Monday, 15 February 2010

Mrs Speccy Four-Eyes updates

 Been a while, innit?  It's not that I've been lying around, wanly demanding bonbons, gazing out the window at the leaden skies and not really feeling in the slightest bit guilty about not being able to get to the allotment in order to start planning the next season (although there has been a certain amount of that).  I have, actually, been, like, really busy, yeah?

First of all, my rather wonderful mother paid for a new pair of glasses for me as a Christmas present.  I've worn glasses since I was 18, and toyed with contact lenses about 6 years ago but I just didn't really get on with them.  I have one eyeball that's attractively shaped like a rugby ball so I had to have a toric lens for that eye which had to be put in and then manipulated around until I could see in focus.  But it would move about so I'd have to poke myself in the eye to shift it about, and it would dry out and there was the increased risk of introducing germs due to the increased pokage and, in the end, it was all just too much of a faff, so I stopped using them.

I don't mind wearing glasses but, it would appear, and contrary to my personal life's gameplan, I seem to be growing older (I know!) and when you get to my age, i.e., forty-mumble, the lenses in your eyes apparently harden.  I'm not an optician so am not entirely sure what this means but what happens is that you end up needing bifocals or varifocal lenses.  And I now need them.  This means there's graded lensey-ness from the top to the bottom of the lens.  So, at the top of the lens is my long-distance seeing bit (for telly-watching and driving), the middle of the lens has my middle-distance seeing bit (for when I'm using a computer) and the very bottom has a close-up seeing bit.  What I had been finding with my previous, single lens specs, was that, although I didn't need them for close up stuff, like reading, or making jewellery, or doing crochet - so I'd take them off - if I then wanted to look at something a bit further away, I'd have to put them on again.  Made it a pain to read books or crochet in front of the telly, constantly putting them on and then taking them off.  What I really needed was some reverse lunettes, with just a lens on the top half of the glasses frame but no-one's been imaginative enough to develop these yet.  I'd wear them, probably even in public too.

So, here I am in my new specs: 

Yes, yes, I know it's out of focus and opinion might suggest that my specs aren't doing their job and I need better ones, but this was taken on my iPhone so there was a bit of a wobble when I took it.  But I really like the effect.  I don't generally look great in photos but this one makes me look really quite acceptable and non-horse frightening.  Perhaps I'll have to carry a clear plastic vaseline-smeared shield in front of me at all times in order to look this good.

At first the new lenses were dead weird.  Because I favour a narrow lens from top to bottom, the relevant distance bits are extremely small and, bizarrely, if you move your eyes (rather than moving your head) to look through the far sides of the lens, it all goes out of focus.  To be honest, I'm not sure this is a good thing to experience when you're driving so I may take my old single-lens glasses with me when I drive anywhere.

They were also eye-wateringly expensive, which is the downside but, realistically, I do need to be able to see in order to function in this world (and I'm not letting anyone stick a laser anywhere near them), so I have little choice.

I've also been crocheting like a demon.  I really, really enjoy doing it.  I've now finished a scarf for myself in a fantastic ripple crochet design which is so simple but stunningly effective, especially when using bright colours:

It took quite a long time to do and there's about 15 different colours in it, but just look at it:


I'd like to make a blanket for our double bed in this stitch but I found it quite tricky to hold the scarf on my lap while adding new rows so god knows how I'd cope with an enormous (by comparison to a scarf) blanket.
You may remember that I've also started a circles and stars blanket/throw/shawl/whatever, that I'm adding to slowly when I want a change from doing ripply lines or granny squares.  This is also coming along and currently looks like this:

It's quite psychedelic.  I realise it's a bit clashy with my Gudrun Sjoden tablecloth, but I do like me a bit of colour in my life.

I've also been doing a bit of baking too (damn, who knew I could be so domesticated?).  A friend in America commented on her Facebook page that she'd made Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting for the Superbowl and I demanded the recipe off her.  I made them.  They were fantastic albeit extraordinarily calorific and liable to give you instant diabetes the moment the crusted, yielding frosting and crumbly sponge touches your lips:

Peanut Butter Cupcakes just out of the oven

 Peanut Butter Cupcakes now with Cream Cheese Frosting

This is what they look like out of the case...

The sharp-eyed amongst you will notice the pots and jars of pearls and beads in the last two pictures.  The photos were taken in my jewellery workshop where the computer I'm using to type this is located.  Which reminds me I have a new jewellery design to show you.

This is a brooch based on the Ancient Roman fibula (from whence our safety pins arose). 

Please ignore the little clear plastic box which is being used to prop up the fibulae.  I can make these in any size and in any colours (if I've got the relevant beads, that is).  They're designed to be worn on the right hand side with the swirls pointing downwards and can go on knitwear, hats, scarves, etc.  I'm rather pleased with them, and they're available at my jewellery website.

Hmm, it's lunchtime now, and I can hear the last of the cupcakes calling to me from the kitchen (if you want the recipe I'll post it next time)....


Kella said...

I so love your hair colour, and yep this is a really nice photo of you even though its a little out off focus.

Your scarf is beautiful how long did it take you to do?

I love those pins, I have made these in the past as a practice thingy but I think my wire gauge wasn't strong enough, do you mind sharing what strength wire you used?

I finally made it to the lotty today for a short while, which I'll blog aboout later.

Mrs Jones said...

Kella - bless you! The scarf took probably about a week to do altogether, although there were days when I literally did nothing but crochet it (and I mean ALL day) and then others when I only did a row or two. I followed this tutorial - - which shows exactly how to do it. The foundation chain has to be in combinations of 14 plus 4 for turning. My scarf was 3 x 14 (i.e., 42) plus 4, therefore 46 chain stitches to get it going. Obviously you can make it shorter or longer but it has to be in groups of 14 (plus the extra 4). Give it a go, it's really terribly simple once you get going.

The pins are made from 1mm wire but I'm not sure what gauge that is.

I really must get to the allotment soon....

Anonymous said...

Love the photo of you, love the scarf, love the whole crochet thing and love the brooch!!

Love cousin K x

mountainear said...

That's the trouble with cakes - somebody's got to eat 'em and when there's only two of you.....they look seriously good. I think a pearl decoration would have looked the business with that frosting.

Anonymous said...

loving the psychadelic circly thingy,reminds me of the Lemon Jelly cover for "KY"


Claire said...

Hmmm, multi focal glasses. Once you get used to them you'll be so pleased you spent the money. I recently got my first pair and it took me some time before I could bring myself to say "multi focal" being only fortymmmmmmumbl!!

Love the circles and stars blanket, it's going to be fab when it's finished and the scarf looks great, alot of stitchin goin on in the Jones household.

Peanut butter cupcakes, why go to the trouble of making cupcakes, just eat the peanut butter straight from the jar!!

Anonymous said...

I just love the stars and circles scarf - I am going to have to find out how to do it. Would like something to do at night in fron to the T.V., so thanks for the idea!
You look lovely in your glasses. I am going through the whole forty something old age eyes thing to, and I am short sighted as well as long sighted now so have to carry two pairs of specs or buy varifocal. But so expensive! I will stick to carrying the two for awhile yet.

Anonymous said...

Forgot to say - I am a big fan of Gudren Sjoden, wonderful clothes. Also - your robin photo is ace..

Mrs Jones said...

Why, Ms Cheese, you'll make me blush! The stars and circles thing is quite easy really but I have found that the biggest circles that work are no more than five rounds in size otherwise they get a bit 'crinkly' round the edges. I found a video online showing how to crochet five-pointed stars in order to fill in the gaps. Trouble is I don't know what to do with the edges - I'd like to make them straight, like in a proper blanket, but I've no idea how to do it!