Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cowl - FO

I have a FO to report!

The Cowl, blogged about in my last post, is finally finished.

I like the sweater. It was fun to knit, didn't take long, and is very wearable. I'm also in love with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran - so soft!!

The only negative thing worth mentioning is that the garter stitch body of the cowl makes you look a bit podgy round the middle... It's not too bad, but I think it has something to do with the way the fabric drapes, the garter stitch, and the extra-large needles it's knitted with.

Project specs:

Started: September 2007
Completed: October 2007
Yarn: 9 (8 1/2) balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in red (300611)
Needle Size: 8mm and 10mm

Done! It feels good to get a project off the needles for once...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Still here...

Yes, I am, in fact, still here! Who would have thought! :-)

Life is, as usual, but more than usually, busy these days, and blogging from work is something I am trying to avoid, so the poor old blog has suffered a little. Add to that that the home computer is still in bean's bedroom, which means that after 7 pm I can't switch it on to upload any pictures or write any blog entries and you have a situation that is not conductive to regular blogging activity. I do miss it... Today I am working from home, so I thought I'd at least get a teeeny tiny post in this morning!

i have been knitting - yes, despite everything, I have. There is no proper FO yet, but I'll show you the WIP, OK?

This is Diana Rupp's Cowl from the Stitch'n Bitch Handbook - I think I hadn't looked in there for at least 2 years and recently Bean pulled it off the shelf and I flicked through it again. I had completely forgotten how many good and simple patterns there are in this book! I found a pattern to use for my huge lot of green mohair (Martha Lazar's To Dye For pattern) and I found this Cowl pattern in garter stitch for a recent ebay purchase, some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, which is just perfect for this pattern. It's lovely and simple, so I can knit while I watch TV, and it's quick and, due to increases and decreases, interesting enough not to get too bored with it. I've all but finished it - only the assembling and the cowl to go, and then I will finally have a warm and cozy, yet fitted, jumper to wear to work. I can't wait!

I'll leave you with this - the Humber foreshore near Hull, in the late afternoon light on Sunday.

Friday, September 14, 2007


I'm getting ready for the start of term.

Obviously, this entails teaching preparation, tidying of bits and pieces of research, furnishing my new office (so exciting!!), but it also means that I am trying to get the house into a semi-habitable state, catching up on the laundry, ordering in food for the storage cupboard, and... I am continuing on my journey of finishing knitting projects that have been lying around far far too long.

Next on the list are the socks that I have spoken of before:

I'm happy with them. Really happy. The yarn was some merino wool from the Natural Dye Studio and they are super soft. Also, I love the blue. I don't often knit blue things, because it's not the best colour for me personally, but knitting things that are a) not for oneself, and b) socks frees you up a bit on that account. :-) I hope that their recipient will like them as much as I do.

I have also knitted a little Raglan Sweater for the Bean. He had one that I knitted for him when he was very very little, but he never wore it because he hadn't even tried it on before it landed in a pile of laundry that MIL took away to wash for us to help out. She tumble-dried the little sweater and it was never quite right after that... ;-)

This was such a quick knit. I started it last week, then took it with me to a conference at the beginning of this week and I nearly finished it on the train. Just this morning I knitted the last few rows and then assembled the whole thing. I like the simplicity of the sweater - no frills at all - and the rolled edging. I have high hopes that it will actually fit the Bean!

And lastly, I have received the last of my current Gimme Your Stuff exchange parcels and I have to say that I am speechless - such generosity! Just have a look at this:

There are 3, yes, 3(!) yards of fabric, and all soooo pretty! Then there is some Knitpicks yarn, both to dye myself and in a gorgeous colourway, some lip balm, a cute keyring, and there were also some delicious and really fun Jelly Bellies, which alas have already been eaten by D and myself. It was almost like Berty Botts Every Flavour Beans in Harry Potter!! Thank you so much Phyllis, I love everything you have sent!

ETA: I forgot one item in the parcel - a copy of Blueprint magazine!!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Quick update...

I am spending far too much time on Ravelry. It's bad, very bad. I've spent hours today, uploading projects, and I'm not nearly done - and I haven't even really started on recording all my stash, and the needles, and whatnot... Oh dear.

I've been working rather hard recently, or rather, I've tried to. Other than academic work there has been a lot of dealing with fruit - yes, it's that time of the year again...

D has been doing much of the de-stoning while I was in charge of jam-making. We now have something like 40 jars of plum jam. Should be enough for a few years!

To treat ourselves, and also because with all the rain this summer it might well be the last nice and warm summer weekend this year, we had a BBQ and bonfire.

We also managed to go to two (!) car-boot sales this weekend - how I love them! I always seem to come away with something, but this time was special. Look what we discovered:

A set of handcarders, a flick-carder, three bobbins and, not pictured, a spinning wheel flyer!! The guy who sold it all to us clearly had no idea what he was selling. He kept looking at us weirdly, for buying the disgusting old hairbrushes! ;-)

There hasn't been a lot of knitting time but I am heading towards the end of a knitting project that I've had lying around for ages - some socks that I was knitting for someone else, that got left at the bottom of the knitting basket, neglected and forgotten, when the bean entered our lives. Recently, swept up in my newfound enthusiasm for finishing long-term WIPs I discovered the lonely half-finished first sock and finished it and a few days ago I cast on for the second one. I'm so proud of myself! ;-)

Thursday, August 30, 2007


A few weeks ago I finally got my invite for Ravelry and today I found some time to have a proper look at it.

I'm so doomed.

That is all.

Friday, August 03, 2007

This crazy life...

I feel guilty for not updating the blog more often. Life is always so busy around here. Why is that? Is it the same for other people?

The flooding saga continues, but at least the tiles in the hall have now been removed. That means that hopefully the dehumidifiers don't have to be with us for much longer. The heat and noise are driving me potty!

I've also started work, which is wonderful. I'm feeling very positive about it all, I like the people, and am looking forward to working with them, but it also means a lot of lecture and seminar planning for the start of term and also a lot of frantic last-minute research and writing for yet another conference this summer and a book article due in next month. There are also the remaining 4 weddings to go to this summer, and our holiday, which I am determined to spend with my little family rather than in front of the computer, surrounded by books, frantically writing conference papers. We have trips planned - to the beach, to a few museums around here, and then we will spend a few days at the German sea side when we go over there for a wedding in a few weeks time. It's our first real holiday as a little family, so the last thing I want is to take work with me.

I have been knitting, but only on things started a long time ago. The drive to FINISH things is still strong, so I am going with it for now. Maybe, just maybe, before it runs out, I will get a finished Cozy out of it, and possibly another pair of socks.

The picture above is from another Gimme Your Stuff Swap, this time with the fabulous Malin in Sweden. She is the best kind of swapper - we exchanged a lot of emails beforehand and she is funny and interesting, and kind. And the parcel she has sent me makes me so happy. Can you see the gorgeous handmade bag? I love it so! And the quirky mushroom fabric? And I love the Swedish recipe book. I've long been fond of Saffron and Cinnamon buns... And the copies of IK, and the yarn! There is also quite a bit of stuff that didn't make it onto the picture - there was a yummy bar of chocolate with digestive biscuits in it (eaten instantly), and some rosehip soup with almond biscuits (also already gone). Thank you Malin!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Reporting back...

As the weeks pass, the fallout from the flooding is becoming more apparent.

We were not as badly hit by it as many other people, and we managed to carry most of our things upstairs in time, yet the noise and the heat that the dehumidifiers and huge fans produce are becoming increasingly difficult to live with. We have three dehumidifiers and fans dotted around the ground floor to get rid of any remaining water in the flooring and walls, and they have to be on 24/7. The house is soooo hot, and we are not supposed to open any windows so that the dehumidifiers can work most efficiently. Ack! Still, I shouldn't complain - in comparison to a lot of other people in this region we got off fairly lightly.

Which is why I'm moving on now to what I've been up to in the last two weeks:

1) First of all, I got a job!!! Yay!

2) tidied around the house and thrown a lot of things out that were either damaged by the flooding or that we discovered while shifting things and decided we didn't need.

3) Finally finished the baby quilt for B's little girl, shortly to be sent off to Germany with the baby cardigan:

I used Heather Bailey's instructions for Continuous Quilt Binding, and I love it - so much more neat than my previous efforts! I'm still not convinced of my wonky sewing, and if I made this particular quilt again I would choose some blue thread for the back of the quilt (not keen on the pink), but overall I'm happy with this.

4) Since I was in a finishing kind of mood I tackled a project that is so old I can't even remember when I first started it, although I'm fairly sure that the yarn came from Sherrill at Baa Bonny Belle (thanks again Sherrill!): my Jaywalkers:

I like them (and, as you can see, so does Bean), even though, due to the fact that I knitted half of one sock a long time ago, there is a change in tension, which means that one sock is just right, while the other (the one that was started first) is rather tight around the leg - looks like I don't knit as tightly nowadays... Still, as with the quilt, it's not enough for me to bother changing it and I do like the socks. Somehow the colours remind me of dark cherries, which in turn reminds me of my birthday when I was a child - we always had crates full of cherries in June. :-)

5) I won the birthday contest on Craftylilly's blog and received my price (arrived yesterday) - a beautiful skein of Duet sock yarn in the colourway 'best friends'. Thank you Jennifer, I love it!! Looks like I'll be knitting more socks soon. :-)

6) I received my Gimme Your Stuff swap parcel from Ankaisa in Finland:

It was full of lovely things - a knitting pattern booklet, some pretty yarn, some fabric, two fabric bags, and some pine soap in a cute knitted bag, Thank you Ankaisa!!

It's been a busy few weeks... :-)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Oh what a night (and day)...

Do you see this? That's D and my dad on our doorstep. Yes, like so many other people in Britain, we were flooded on Monday afternoon.

This is what the back garden looked like:

Apparently this hasn't happened in this village in 70 (!) years, so so an old neighbour who has spent all her life here tells us... Isn't it grand that we get to experience such a momentous event in our first year of living here?! My dad is visiting us right now - he feels so privileged that he was here to witness this. ;-)

Fortunately we managed to get most of our possessions upstairs in time - the sofa remained but we put it on a few buckets to keep it out of the water, and some of D's office furniture suffered, but the main damage was done to the flooring. The carpet soaked up the water like a sponge, and I have no idea how things look underneath the tiles in the hall and kitchen... There is also some damage to walls and skirting boards and the like. We'll see what the insurance company makes of it all.

On the bright side, and to leave you with something more pretty to look at than drains water in a garden, a while ago I FINISHED THE BABY CARDIGAN ON TOOTHPICKS! I have finally got round to photographing it so here it is:

I am so happy with it! I'm even pretty happy with the seaming, and that is something that usually goes wrong for me! Not that I would necessarily knit this again, but I am glad I made the effort. :-)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Baa Bonny Belle tagged me for the birthday meme:

The rules are to go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday month and day only. Then post 3 events, 2 births and one holiday that occurred on your birthday, then tag 5 friends.


763 BC - Assyrians record a solar eclipse that will be used to fix the chronology of Mesopotamian history.

923 - Battle of Soissons: King Robert I of France is killed and King Charles the Simple is arrested by the supporters of Duke Rudolph of Burgundy.

1215 - King John of England puts his seal to the Magna Carta.


1843 - Edvard Grieg, Norwegian composer (d. 1907)

1330 - Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Wales (d. 1376)


Roman Empire – ninth and final day of the Vestalia in honor of Vesta

I am not going to tag 5 friends, simply because I fear that since I've been quite busy the last week I'm already quite late with this meme and I won't have time to check in the next few days who has or hasn't already been tagged. So if you so far haven't been, and you like the look of this meme, please consider yourself tagged! :-)

Friday, June 08, 2007


Once Upon a Time Productions presents...


This was such a quick and enjoyable knit. If I made this again I would trust my instincts more than my gauge (which was a bit off, so I decided to knit the smallest size) and would make this bigger - as you can see, it is a little on the small side... Still, it was fun and I've already worn this today. Also, the yarn was wonderful to work with - Knitpicks Andean Treasure - I can only recommend it.

2 1/2 skeins of Knitpicks Andean Treasure in 'Granite'
Needle Size: 4.5 and 2.
Started: 31 May 2007
Finished: 7 June 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sometimes it's nice...

... to knit for yourself.

Progress on the baby-cardigan-on-toothpicks has stalled because even though I was following the pattern I managed somehow to run out of yarn. And not only that, I managed to run out of yarn about 3 rows before the end, or rather, 3 rows into the trim for the cardigan. Rather annoying. A third ball of yarn is on order (hopefully they will be able to send me the same dye lot), but until then I'm stuck with this project. Not that I mind too much, because instead I've been doing other things...

Like this:

This is the start of the Two-Tone Ribbed Shrug (well, in my case it's a One-Tone Ribbed Shrug) from the newly acquired Fitted Knits, and it's for ME!! After knitting for the bean and then for other babies, it feels positively sinful to knit something for myself. At least I am using yarn from stash. It's Knit Picks Andean Trasure in 'Granite', a 100% Baby Alpaca yarn that's sooo soft, I could fondle it all the time. I bought it off Amanda a few months back and have been itching to knit something with it ever since.

I have also started another quilt, also for the recipient of the baby cardigan:

The fabric is Alexander Henry, and the backing is denim. I made it extra thick by adding an additional layer of fleece fabric on top of the batting, just to make sure that my little girl is never going to feel a cold floor when she is lying on it. This is my second baby quilt - I made one for the bean a while ago that I completely forgot to photograph. It was made with another Alexander Henry fabric - this time with Cowboys on it. Might take a picture once it's out of the wash...

And lastly, today I got this in the post:

Isn't it pretty? It's a print by the talented Rachel Salomon that I ordered a while ago. I love it. It's going to be part of my growing collection of small prints that I am planning to frame and hang in the hall.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More reasons to be happy...

#1 - Discovering that there are deer in Richmond Park:

We spent last weekend in London, visiting friends. Rather than a planned trip, this was more of an emergency solution that turned out absolutely lovely. What we had planned was something much less lovely, so I'm doubly glad it turned out to be such a fun weekend after all. Sometimes I wonder about D and myself, though - two PhDs, and at times we don't seem to have a brain cell to share between ourselves...

This is what happened: We had an invite to the naming ceremony of the little daughter of an old friend of mine on Saturday afternoon. The plan was to do drive down to the Midlands on Thursday, down to London from there on the Saturday morning, and back up to Yorkshire on Saturday evening after the ceremony. Quite OK in theory, but not so much in practice.

First of all, it took us almost 5 hours to get to our destination, all the while relying on the dubious navigation of Multimap. We were led right across central London, passed Westminster and Marble Arch, and you can imagine how crazy the traffic was. Bean had been asleep on the journey to London and chose this opportune moment to wake up and start screaming, we were tired and in need of food, drink, and the loo, and generally pretty frazzled by the time we arrived in south-east London. At least we were on time... just!

The ceremony was beautiful and it was great to see our friends, but clearly the last thing we wanted to do at this point was think about an even longer journey up North. Also, in order to arrive at a reasonable time we would have had to leave barely an hour after we'd got there in the first place. Honestly, what were we thinking, planning to drive back up on the same day?! We agonised over it for some time and then decided to pounce on some other friends and ask if we could stay with them. 5 minutes later, the life-saving SMS arrived - no problem at all, we are welcome to turn up whenever we want. Aren't friends great?

They put us up, moving out of their own bedroom no less, so we could put bean's travel cot up in the bigger room, and even cooked dinner. We had a great evening and the next day decided sensibly that we might as well take some more time and drive back in the late afternoon. We decided to have a picnic in Richmond Park.

I'd never been, so to discover wide open fields, forests and lakes, complete with whole herds of deer, all in the centre of London, came as a bit of a surprise. We had a lovely day and a good journey up, and arrived in Yorkshire just in time for bean's bath and bed.

Now why didn't we plan it like this to start with? Why do we need to always rush around?

~ * ~

#2 - going to the cinema with D:

We are going to see Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End tonight!! We will put Bean to bed and then MIL will look after him for the evening. Hopefully he will be asleep the entire time anyway. I'm ridiculously excited about this. We haven't been out, just the two of us, ever since LAST SEPTEMBER when the little Bean arrived!

~ * ~

#3 - almost finishing the little baby cardigan for my friend B's little girl:

This is the second sleeve. After that I only need to assemble the damn thing and add the borders... It feels like I've been knitting this for ages! I do like the way it looks, though. Hopefully B will like it too.

~ * ~

#4 - spinning again:

I've been spinning up a bit of the merino superwash that Tawama of Rooted in Knit-reality sent me for Yarn Abroad! over the last few weeks. I love the way it spins up and I am planning on Navajo plying it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

7 random facts...

I've been tagged by Baa Bonny Belle.

Here are the rules:
Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs the 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

OK, here goes:

1) I'm half-Korean but other than the words for grandma, grandpa, milk, and thank you, I can't speak any Korean at all. I can, however, sing an entire song in Korean - apparently it's a children's song about how pretty the dew looks when it catches in spiderwebs and blades of grass, but I don't understand a thing of what I am singing. It could be about anything...

2) I can't dive without pinching my nose shut. As you can maybe imagine, this is not particularly conductive to efficient diving and, during swimming lessons at school, led to various embarrassing incidents with me trying to retrieve items from the bottom of the pool, padding with one hand while the other was taken up by me pinching my nose shut. It also led to me failing most of the swimming proficiency tests.

3) I'm appalling at sports. During PE lessons at school I was ALWAYS the last person on the bench. I started to feel sorry for the team who had to put up with me in the end because really it was as if they had one person less on their team.

4) When I think of something that I find embarrassing, I start singing. This is something that I do completely involunatarily and I have no idea why.

5) When I was little, my dad used to tell me that there were what he called 'Shrunk Germans' who sometimes visited him when I was asleep. They were the size of a thumb and he managed to convince me that they were all around us and only hid from children because they were scared of them. For years I longed to see them and convince them to live in my doll's house.

6) I think and dream in both German and English.

7) I'm much better at starting projects than at finishing them.

I am tagging:
Union Centre Knits
Felt Like Knitting
La La La
The Woolpalace
Lixie Knits It

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Up for grabs...

This is a desperate attempt to rid myself of some stuff. As you may have gathered, I have rather a lot of stuff, and with most of the house still in a state of chaos this fact has been weighing rather heavily on my mind. Do you know that feeling that you can't think because somehow the clutter around you is getting into your head and you can't find your own thoughts anymore? Yeah, like that.

Anyway, I was thinking that I might offer some of these things up on the blog. I don't want any money for them, just the price of postage, so if you want any of them, just leave a comment or send me an email and I'll mail them to you, OK?

Right, here we go, one fibre item and two non-fibre shoes:

First on the list - a bin liner full of unwashed fleece. I bought this off ebay ages ago and it was sold to me as Bluefaced Leicester, but I'm pretty sure that's not it. The fibre is of very varying quality, some super-soft (and that could convince me that there is at least some Bluefaced Leicester content), and some quite coarse. It obviously needs washing, etc., and also sorting through to separate the very coarse bits from the good stuff. If I had the time right now I'd do this and I had already started to with a small amount, but let's be realistic - it's not going to happen in the next 5 years, so it's got to go. I have no idea what postage would be for this but if you are interested I'll walk it over to the Post Office and find out for you.

Second on the list:

A pair of very retro, very red shoes. I bought these a few years ago in the vain hope that what didn't fit me then would suddenly, miraculously, fit later. The picture is not very good, the shoes do not look quite so gaudy and (I think) more retro than kinky! ;-) They are size 5 / 38, made by Schuh, and as good as new. Again, I only want the price of postage for them.

Third and last (for now) on the list:

Another pair of shoes. These are a more worn, in particular around the buckle, but otherwise the story is very similar to that of the red pair above. What can I say - I have an issue with shoes that I like but that do not fit. These are size 6, made by Saxone, and way too large for me! I love the classic shape of them.

We'll see how this goes - there may be more in future.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Little treats...

I still don' t have much to show for regarding the baby cardigan, although I can report progress - the back is finished and tonight I have cast on for the first of the sleeves, so there is hope. I may even take a picture tomorrow because I am quite enamoured with the scallop trim...

Last Wednesday I finished some work, so I've been taking it a bit easy - I spent some time in the garden yesterday and planted some beans and tomatoes, and today we went to the local farmer's market and took a stroll around town. As I am typing we are watching the Eurovision Song Contest, which is always good for a laugh. Life is good. :-)

I've also been meaning to show a few little things that have arrived in the post since my last blog entry. First of all, I've treated myself to a book that I'd been coveting for I don't know how long:

I am so pleased with this - so far I've only had a quick look through it and there are already at least 3 things I want to knit.

The next thing is the Diaper Bag pattern I bought from Craft Apple. I saw the bag she made a while ago in her blog and I couldn't believe my luck when I realised a few weeks ago that she has now published the pattern for it:

I've been very happy with my Amy Butler Diaper Bag, but I'd love another one - for variety and also because occasionally it can be a bit annoying that the bag doesn't close. It would be good to have one that closes so that, if I overfill the bag (as I usually do) the contents don't spill out.

And lastly, a few weeks ago I received an email from a small start-up company who produces yarn harvested from British farms. It's called Farm Yarn, and they asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing their yarn. I agreed and a few days ago they sent me a small box with some yarn samples:

The yarn is lovely. Obviously it wasn't enough to knit anything, so I can't really say much about how the different types knit up, but they feel wonderfully soft and the natural colours are beautiful. There was natural Alpaca yarn in different weights and colours and also some organic sheep yarn - Llanwenog and Jacob, which isn't quite so soft but has a nice crisp texture to it. I've added a link to their website on my sidebar, so have a look!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

May is upon us...

... and isn't it lovely to see everything grow?

I was in Germany for a week, to let the relatives have a cuddle with the bean, and when I came back I was greeted with this spectacular growth in the veg patch:

Just because it's so lush and yummy-looking, here it is again:

Isn't it spectacular? I was only gone for a week and everything has grown so much! The potatoes, which you can just about make out in the back, have grown at least 15cm!

There is even some growth on other things - baby cardigans for example. I don't have a picture because really there isn't that much to show for, but I have finished both front panels now. Maybe there is a chance that I can finish this item before my friend's little girl ha finished school after all...

* The bluebells on the top picture have come up amidst the weeds by wall next to the kitchen door - it's quite exciting to see what this garden hides, now that most of the brambles are gone.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Gimme Your Stuff

Gimme Your Stuff

... I've caved and have signed up for Gimme Your Stuff. I've resisted for some time (found the blog a few months back), but it seems like such a cool idea that it was only a matter of time until I gave in. Could be fun, right?

What I can swap:
* yarn
* fabric
* anything crafts related as long as I can get it here
* something handmade by me
* sweets, etc
* anything typically British that you always wanted to get your hands on
* Postcards
* Recipes
* Magazines
* clothes and accessories
* vintage stuff (I love car-boot sales ;-) )
* virtually anything you are looking for, as long as it isn't too heavy

What I am looking for:
* all of the above really, with the exception of sweets (although I like the occasional chocolate bar I'm not much for candy...)
* crafts books and magazines from any country
* fabric
* Japanese crafts books and mags
* Yarn or fibre that is typical for your country
* anything handsewn
* Clothing that I might like (T-shirts, skirts, etc)
* handbags (handmade or bought)
* anything vintage or funky or quirky that you think I might like

There, it's done. I'm clearly doomed to never get any work done...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

What does a girl do...

... when she doesn't like knitting socks because knitting on small needles takes far too long for her liking?

She starts knitting a baby cardigan on toothpicks of course!

I'm so hopeless. Honestly, much as I adore sock-weight yarn and much as I adore handknit socks, I am rubbish at finishing sock-related knitting projects. Knitting a pair of socks takes me on average 2 years. So what am I doing, trying to knit a baby cardigan in 4-ply yarn? For a deadline that could be any day now (my best friend is due TODAY but fortunately her little girl is not in a hurry to leave her cozy little nest and face the grey and rainly April weather)?

Obviously I fell in love with this project BEFORE I checked on the required yarn and needle size and when I did it was already too late, in particular as I'd been waiting for quite a while for a suitable girl baby to knit this particular item for. And now I'm stuck, evening after evening, after settling the bean down for the night (he thinks knitting needles are utterly fascinating, so no knitting with him around!!), squinting at my minuscule progress on said cardigan. Even D commented a few days ago - 'god, you've been knitting this for ages. It's tiny!!' Grrrr!

I do like the result, though. I think once it's done (should be around the time the little girl leaves home to go to university...) it will be very cute.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Happiness is...

... a Sunday afternoon in the garden while the sun is out.

... admiring the fragile flowers on the fruit trees.

... working on the vegetable patch and spotting the first few shoots coming up (these are my mangetout pea seedlings)

... just sitting back with a cold beer and watching the cat (who thinks the new vegetable garden is a fabulous huge cat latrine -blegh!)

... the first BBQ of the season (although it was rather tricky to light sodden charcoal, but the grilled chicken was divine!)

It's good to do nothing in particular sometimes.

~ * ~

My blog seems to be on some kind of hiatus. Not that I want it to be, but somehow I am managing to start most days with thinking "today I am going to update the blog" only to realise when I go to bed that once again I've forgotten to do just that. I have a new resolution, though - from now on, I will update the blog at least once a week and I will only skip the update if I am away. We'll see how I go with that.

Things are good here, the bean is starting to enjoy some solid food, we have finally made a start on painting the walls in his room, and the recently lovely and warm weather has meant that I have also started my very own vegetable patch! And there has even been some crafting and knitting. We are content. Life is good. I think it was this that gave me the idea of starting this little series of posts about what makes me happy.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Look Ma, actual crafts content!

It's been a while... again. The bean had his third set of vaccinations and the poor little mite had a rough few days because of them, so that meant no computer-playing time for me, and before that we were in the Midlands for a few days because I finally graduated! Yes, I'm officially at the end of my studies now, and can now enter the frightening world of the job-less. Obviously I am hoping that this is not a permanent state of existence so I am keeping my eyes open for job opportunities, but for now I am trying to enjoy my time at home with the little bean.

One nice thing recently has been going fr walks at lunchtime on those days when D is working from home. We wolf down some food, stick the bean in his carrier, and use the rest of the lunch hour to explore the footpaths around the village. It's really helped me to get to know this part of the world better, and when initially it looked pretty drab, I am slowly coming to appreciate the big open skies you get up here.

And there is always a little surprise, a small discovery - this time it was a horse in a hidden little paddock in the middle of the village.

Crafting has been very slow going. Somehow, knitting and sewing is really not the same when you try to balance a baby on your lap at the same time. Though maybe with a bit of practice...

One thing I finally managed to finish, though, is my first quilt. I used all sorts of off-cuts, mainly very old pieces of fabric that were still from my mother and that I remember from various sorts of projects - kitchen curtains, table cloths, some trousers she made, etc., and I added a few of my own that I had acquired over the years or that were left over from other projects. The result is... eclectic:

It's far from perfect - the quilting is completely wonky and the spacing is uneven, and so is the seam, and sometimes the backing is a little bunched up, where I hadn't pinned the layers together properly - but I really don't care. It's rustic-looking and I think it should be fairly hard-wearing. I used denim fabric as a backing, because it seemed to work best in terms of the colours, but also because I am planning on using this quite a bit in the summer, when the bean can practice his crawling in the garden. For now it works well on the sofa and to cuddle up in on those cold winter evenings.