Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Change of Scene

Has anyone ever been to Oman ? well it looks like we are ! James has been offered a job over there and it just seems like too good an offer to turn down. We have both lived abroad before, but never with Jacob, obviously, so it's going to be different this time. I'm kind of nervous and excited at the same time. I can't seem to find out that much information about what it is like to live in Oman, but the bits I have found sound good. I'm worried about the heat - I'm worried how Jacob will cope - I'm worried about making new friends in strange places - strangely I'm not worried about the day to day stuff like where am I going to do the shopping etc.

I don't suppose there will be that much call for knitting in Oman. Still I have got my new programme and my lovely Hip Knits silk and I plan to make myself something spectacular that I can wear in the searing heat ! I think I may have to just get cotton yarn from now on ! Still I will be coming back, so I'll still need cardies etc.

I'm going to be going yet - James is going to be going by 15 September and Jacob and I will follow after once we have sorted out the house, and all our belongings - so we probably won't go until some time in November. I'm going to miss James enormously, especially since he has been around a lot recently 'cause he's been working from home. Jacob is going to miss his Daddy and I think it's going to be hard to explain to him where he is - still with the wonders of technology we can Skype and webcam each other, so it shouldn't be too bad, and to be honest I think I'll be so busy, my head will be in a spin.

On top of all of this, I hate to fly. I don't mean, I don't really like it, I mean I'm terrified of it - so the idea of taking a flight with just Jacob really scares me - I'm going to go and see a hypnotherapist and see if she can help me - I hope she can - otherwise it's eight hours of trying to hide my sheer terror from a two and a half year old. I hate the fact that I'm terrified of flying - I never used to be and it uses up just too much enegy - where did this fear come from ? I wish it would just go away - it's just a bore really - still hopefully I'll be cured soon.

So it's all change for me and not much progress on the knitting front - I have been doing Jacob's little cardy, I'm trying to get it finished so he can at least have some use out of it before we leave - still I think in the winter in Oman you can still need a cardy in the evenings - so it may come in useful afterall - but I think I'll put that wool polo neck on the back burner !

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

How Cool ......

....... are these wellies ?

Wellies Posted by Picasa

I just bought them for Jacob and I thought they were so gorgeous I had to share them with you - I love finding something a bit different for him - I hate him having the exact same shoes / clothes etc as the person standing next to him at Playgroup - I always go out of my way to try and get slightly unusual things for him and I think he looks all the more gorgeous for it !

Why am I buying wellies ? It's August I hear you say - Have you looked out of the window - it is tipping it down - all Jacob had was summer shoes, so I had to take him to Russell and Bromley this morning to get new winter boots as well as these wellies - he's al kitted out now and the sun will probably return tomorrow - still he's dying to go out splashing in his new boots ! He loves the rain. All I have to do now is get myself some wellies so that I don't get soaked through to the socks every time we go out in the rain - I quite fancy a pair of those lovely red Hunter wellies I've seen around - does anyone know anywhere that does them cheaply I am simply not prepared to pay Russell and Bromley between £50 - £60 for a pair of wellies - call me cheap !

Happy Birthday to Me !

Well today is my Birthday and I have had the most wonderful day - I'm 36 for any that are wondering ! Nearer 40 than 30 now - scary times !

James, Jacob and I went to London Zoo for the day and we had a superb day - we had lunch, saw all the animals and ate ice cream - Jacob had three changes of top - which always signifys a good day to me !

So, here is Jacob and I at the Zoo

Me and my boy at London Zoo Posted by Picasa

That is a London Zoo t-shirt that we HAD to buy him, because he had wrecked his other two !! It's lovely though and he wanted to wear it to bed - I managed to persuade him that if he took it off he could wear it to nursery tomorrow to show his friends - that did the trick !

Here is Jacob with his Daddy at the Zoo

Jacob and Daddy Posted by Picasa

And yes - that is a giant ball of dung and two dung beatles they are standing next to - that was just before we went into the bugs house - where I managed to look at everything except the cockroaches - I hate those things - I lived in a flat in Hong Kond that was infested with them - you had to sleep with the light on or they crawled all over you in the night - god it was awful - suffice it to say, it traumatised me and now I can't even look at them without feeling ill - I managed all the spiders though ! I'm so tough !

And here - just because I love them - is a gratuitous photo of a penguin - they are the best !

I love penguins ! Posted by Picasa

On the present front I was very lucky indeed. My SP sent me a lovely present - a ball of Opal sock yarn, so that I can have a go at knitting myself a pair of socks - thanks so much SP - what a lovely present - I'll dig out those DPN's and give it a real go !

From my lovely Secret Pal Posted by Picasa

My hubby bought me a CD (James Blunt) which I have been wanting for ages, as well as a fabulous knitting bag from here. It's fantastically retro and I used it to take my knitting in the car for the journey to the Zoo - I love it.

From my gorgeous hubby Posted by Picasa

I've been wanting a cool knitting bag for a while and this definately fits the bill - I'll be proud to take this everywhere with me.

He also got me nearly 800 gms of silk from Hip Knits in the Surf colourway. I just don't know what to say about this yarn - it is just beautiful and I can't wait to start using it - thank you so much to Kerrie for all the help you gave the DH - he's a bit of a novice yarn purchaser, but I'll get him into it yet I will !! I'll draw him into my addiction.

So here it is, in all it's glory.

Just how beautiful can yarn be ? Posted by Picasa

I'm thinking of doing either a Clapotis with this, or the short sleeve top with criss cross fronts from Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2005. I'm too overwhelmed to decide at the moment.

My Mum and Dad bought me a copy of the Knitware programme - which I have already had a play around with this morning and I can't wait to do something properly on it. How fabulous is that !? My sister hasn't bought me anything yet and said she didn't know what I wanted - I think I'm going to ask for one of the Noro pattern books, so that I can do something fabulous with the Silk Garden my SP gave me I really fancy Lizzy - I know I'll have to get some more yarn - but it will so be worth it to make something so gorgeous.

So that is my Birthday in a nutshell - a wondeful day and wonderful presents - and I don't have to cook dinner which is the best thing ever !

Oh I forgot to say that - whilst still struggling with Manhattan I have now started a little cardy for my Jacob - it's George from Jaeger's Baby Knits and I'm doing it in some Sirdar Snuggly DK in colour 222 Surf (what a coincidence !) - I had bought some a while ago to do Jacob a cardy and never got around to it and I thought George would look rather good in it. It's not a fab yarn - it doesn't wear particularly well, but it will be a nice late summer early autumn cardy for him. Unfortunately Jacob has decided that he just must have the Big Digger Sweater from Lucinda Guy's book. However this is knitted in Cotton Glace - which is really not that appropriate for winter - so should I substitute the yarn or just make something similar up using my software - if I were to substitute Cotton Glace - would anyone have any ideas what I could use instead ? Would it be similar to Wool Cotton - or is it thinner than that - I can of course look into this myself, but any thoughts would be greatfully received.

Anyway I've waffled on for long enough - I'm off to knit and enjoy my birthday evening.

Monday, August 22, 2005

I'm looking forward to this

I have just found out about this book, it isn't out until next year, but I will definately be getting a copy. I am a size 16 and my Mum is a good size 18 and we both find it really hard to find patterns that are flattering on us. There are so many patterns that I see that look just gorgeous and then when you look at the details they just don't go up to the right size - well they do just - but they will be a tight fit, or unflattering - I know I could adapt them, but I've never really done that before and I'd be so worried I'd get it wrong and waste my money on the yarn. So this seems like a really good idea to me - I think I'll probably get the Rowan one as well, but I have to say it will be more for my Mum than me, it looks a little bit fuddy duddy - why is it that in Rowan's eyes anyone over a size 14 shouldn't be wearing anything vaguely fashionable. Still hopefully with the way I'm going, come next year I'll be back to a size 12/14 and I'll be able to knit anything I like from the Rowan books !!!

I purchased a copy of Anna's lovely Claude pattern last night, and I'm dying to get started on it - I've got a cone of pink yarn sitting in my drawer calling out to me - how can I resist ? Oh I'll do the ironing, cleaning and changing of beds later - honest I will !

Sunday, August 21, 2005

I'm so proud

Jacob and I have just had our first ever biscuit making session and it was such fun ! Whenever we have tried to cook together before it's always been a bit of a disaster with him wanting to touch knives etc and not wanting to do anything else. Well today he was wonderful - he helped me measure, mix, roll and bake and we got some lovely white chocolate biccies out of it - yum yum !

So here he is eating the first biscuit he has ever made ! What a talent !

Biscuit success Posted by Picasa

Yummy in my tummy Posted by Picasa

Well I just had to share that with you all - he growing up so quickly and I find it a bit frightening - before long he'll be off at school and I'll be home all by myself weeping into my tea - before whiping out my knitting of course !!

Don't you just love colour ?

Look at these beautiful colours.

Yum Posted by Picasa

Shhhh - say no more ! It's a secret.

Manhattan has been, what shall I say - slow. All that moss stitch is taking time and I don't seem to be able to do moss stitch as evenly as I do other stitches and that annoys me - when I look at it, it just isn't perfect and I cannot undo it all the time - I guess I just have to pay more attention and be careful with it. It will get there - it just may take a little time - sorry Sam !

We went to some friends for dinner last night and had a lovely time, unfortunately in the night Jacob wasn't feeling well and woke up several times, requiring doses of Calpol - today James isn't feeling well, so they are both snuggled on the sofa at the moment under a blanket with hot water bottles watching Snow White - ahhhhh ! I hope they get better soon - I don't make a very good nurse, I don't have the patience for it !

We finished doing the front of the house on Friday and it looks lovely - window frames are now white instead of black, we have a nice gravel path with some gorgeous grasses in pots and a wondeful new door number, which was quite expensive but well worth it. So now we just have to finish our bedroom, the upstairs hall, the bathroom and the spare room and then we are done - sounds a lot, but shouldn't take too long once we get going, our bedroom is nearly done anyway and the hall and spare room are just decoration jobs, it's the bathroom that's going to take the time.

Best crack on - or shall I go and watch Snow White and do some knitting - mmmm let me think !

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Flowers in the Sunshine

When I went to Bluewater on Monday - I didn't buy any yarn - I know, shock horror, but nothing took my fancy - but what I did get was these.

Flowers Posted by Picasa

They are a pair of Johnny Love Rosie flip flops with the most fabulous flowers on them - I have wanted a pair of these for ages and then I found these lovely ones in the sale - they were reduced from £25 to £7.50, how could I say no ? I also bought an hairband with a lovely flower on too, but I didn't want to overwhelm you all with purchase pictures. You must excuse my slightly chipped nail varnish - it is that time again - time to shave the legs, do the nails and generally sort myself out - but who's got the time ?!

I have done no knitting at all this week - I have had such an awful cough I find it hard to get comfortable at the moment - I'm hoping it will pass and that I will be able to get some done tonight - once I have got through a pile of ironing the height of Mount Everest. Why do I let it mount up so ? I used to be so good at doing it every week - I had an allocated night and then for some reason it all went to pot and now it just seems to be an ever growing pile of guilt, especially when we all have no clothes in our wardrobes !! Right must get on with it NOW.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Momentary Inspiration

Well it was my sister's birthday this weekend and luckily she loved her socks and got them onto her plate of meat immediately - declaring them "snuggly " - nice. Have you ever made a Boston Cream Pie ? Well I got out my Domestic Godess this weekend and decided to whip one up as a Birthday cake for my sister - now usually I find Nigella to be excellent - but I have to say Nigella, if you are reading this (which of course you will be !) this recipe was slightly lacking - You have to make a creme patissiere - not too difficult, but she didn't bother to tell you at which point to stop thickening it, so I thought - about half way should do - WRONG - it was way too runny so that when I sandwiched the whole caboodle together the top layer just kept sliding off great amusement factor, but not great for presentation. I wasn't too happy, on top of that, literally, you make a chocolate ganache to ice it all with - again, not too difficult, but by the time I had warmed all the ingredients together, and then allowed them to cool a little, there was soooooo much fat on top I had to drain it off - I was still left with a pool of fat at the bottom of the pan when I had finished using the icing. So all in all, not the most successful cake I have ever made, but on the plus side at least it wasn't burnt !

Whilst my sister was here, she was bemoaning the fact that she gets ridiculed for her mobile phone by her friends - she has one of those brick sized G3 phones - so I suggested that since she was being ridiculed anyway she might as well go the whole hog and let me knit a cover for it - and you'll never guess what - she agreed !!! I did a little research, and this is what I came up with.

purrrrrrrr Posted by Picasa

I had such fun knitting this - I loved it, it has a little flap on the back so that you can cosset your little mobile phone and a strap on the side, so that you can attach it to the handle of your handbag - never again will she be rooting around in her bag for her phone. It also has a little mouse button sewn on the bottom to provide kitty with permanent temptation ! I have decided that I am going to make one of these for myself, I'm going to do it in some pink Calmer that I have in my stash and I'm going to get a fake flower to sew on to it - I can't wait - I'm sadly excited about this. I love small projects that you can do in an evening - I make even make myself a few to use depending on my mood - I've got some nice sparkly yarn that I could use for this. Jacob has taken a real shine to the little kitty and wants me to make him one as well - so I'm going to be a busy bee.

I have also managed to finish the scarf for my friend's birthday - I'm really pleased with it and am debating whether I actually want to give it to him or not !! No I shall definately give it to him - I shall also be making one for my Dad for Christmas.

Silk Garden gorgeousness Posted by Picasa

A friend of mine wanted to knit a scarf like this for a toddler - but I felt that the Silk Garden was a bit scratchy - does anyone know if it softens up when you wash it, or if perhaps the Noro Kureyon is a bit softer ? Comments from everyone more than welcome.

I have also managed to finish my Silk Garden scarf - more or less anyway - I've just got to sew in the ends and I love it - I just love the way the colours change on it and all the contrasts - I can't wait to wear it now !

Silk Garden Skinny Scarf Posted by Picasa

Don't you hate the fact that when you order books from Amazon and take advantage of their free postage you have to wait just ages for your books. It feels like yonks ago that I ordered my two books and no sign of them yet - I want to try and knit something for my Mum's birthday in September from one of them, so I hope they turn up soon.

We won £150 on the premium bonds last week - we have had premium bonds for about 5 years now and this is the first time we've won anything ! I'm off to Bluewater this afternoon to buy myself some shoes !! And some wool may just sneak it's way into my bag as well, you just never can tell !

Use the Force

Have you ever seen anything as fantastic as this ?

The Force is strong with this one Posted by Picasa

Jacob just got him as a present from his Godmother for sending her a birthday present - totally uncalled for but fabulous - Jacob thinks he's the best and has been fighting everything in sight with the light saber. Camilla - you're the best - thanks so much !

Friday, August 12, 2005

I've had "one of those" days

It's been that kind of day - nothing really wrong, but nothing really right. I've just felt out of sorts, kind of down in the dumps and fed up, for no good reason really - I hate it when I'm like this. I'm usually quite a positive person, so when I have days like this when everything looks black and I don't know what to do about it, I find it a bit overwhelming. I think I need some time to myself and I'm not getting much of that at the moment - still there it is - DH is at the pub tonight, so I've got a bit of time for me and I'm sure I'll feel better in the morning.

On the plus side I got a lovely package from my SP this morning. It was a fabulous tin of biccies from Brittany. I don't know how you knew SP, but I LOVE those tins. When we went to Brittany (which I loved by the way) I bought a tin of the exact same biccies, mainly for the tin. There is something about a tin that is so comforting - why is that - is it because when I was at boarding school our year mistress used to keep our pocket money in old Strepsil tins - you probably don't remember the kind, but they were small and neat and tin like and so useful. There is something so inherently useful about a tin, but it is appealing at the same time - I love that combination. So here is the lovely tin of biccies my SP sent me - Thank you very much indeed SP and Jacob would say thank you too if he hadn't had a mouth full of biscuit all day !!! (not really I'm not that bad a mother and it wasn't that bad a day !)

From my lovely SP Posted by Picasa

I also a took a picture of the tin that I bought when I was in Brittany, cause I think it is one of my favs - but although it's beautiful it is fully used, Jacob uses it to keep his little people in and you tin will be joining this one SP once the biccies are all gone !

my favourite tin Posted by Picasa

I have managed to finish the socks for my sister this evening - they are OK - I don't think I would make a pair for myself, I don't like the feel of the seam on the bottom of my foot, still I'm sure with a bit of wear they will be fine - hopefully she'll like them - now all I have to do is get them posted to her, as her Birthday is on Sunday. Happy Birthday Holly - I hope they get to you in time. So here, modelled in full white leg glory, they are !

My sisters' socks Posted by Picasa

I was taking pictures of Jacob in the garden this afternoon and he came up to me and asked if he could take a photo of me - I thought - yeah that's going to look great, just a photo of sky probably - but look what he took.

Photo by Jacob Posted by Picasa

Isn't he a clever bunny ?! I'm so proud !

Well I need to go and get on with Manhattan now - I've made a start, but I just know that she's going to be slow going - moss stitch all over was bad enough in a six month old's jacket, but in a full size woman's cardy - not sure how I'm going to get on with this - still must make some progress.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Gratuitous Jacob Post

I love my Jacob and my Jacob loves me - just look how cute he is !

Knitting news to follow in due course.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

I Heart Rosy

She's finished - that Rosy and I love, love, love her. I stayed up until 1.00am this morning - watching the rather Gorgeous (with a capital G on purpose) Geoff Bridges - mmmm, he's yummy. Anyway I nearly finished the final front and then this morning I got up and got straight on with it. Result by just gone midday she was finished and I wore her to a friend's house for lunch - Oh I love finishing a project. I realised it has been ages since I have knitted myself an actual garment - I did a little poncho last year, but not really a garment and I love the feeling of wearing something I have made myself. I'm so, so tempted to make another Rosy in the pink Cotton Angora I have, but perhaps I should let the Eurphoria wear off first. So, here she is.

Rosy Posted by Picasa

I managed to persuade the lovely James to take photos of me this evening, which is why the light is a tiny bit dodgey, but I don't think the photo is too bad - I've recently managed to loose some weight, so I'm not feeling as paranoid about having my photo taken and also, Rosy is such a lovely cardy - so comfy and cosy - if you are contemplating doing one, do it now, you won't regret it, I can see I'm going to wear this a lot - must take good care of her and wash her carefully.

Now that I have finished Rosy, I am inspired to knit something else for myself and I'm thinking that maybe the gorgeous Silk Garden that my SP sent me, might make a lovely One Skien Wonder - I'm not sure I'd have the confidence to wear such a garment as this, but I love it and thought it would be worth giving it a go - hopefully by the time I'm done with it, bearing in mind I've several other projects on the go - my tummy will have shrunk even more - well I can hope !

I think I've got the bug of knitting for myself, how selfish ! I've got quite a lot of the cone of blue Cotton Angora that I knitted Rosy from left - so I'm going to trawl around and look for something to make with it - I love the feel of this yarn, it's so soft and snuggly.

Whilst I'm here - I thought I would share with you a picture of Jacob post painting from yesterday morning - I haven't shared a photo of him with you for a while and I thought a photo of him having just done something crafty was appropriate. He loves painting, especially if it's really messy !

Jacob Post Painting Posted by Picasa

I don't think he looks too much of a mess do you ?!

Well on with my other projects now.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Set 'Em up and Knock 'Em Down !

Hooray - another FO to share with you all. May I introduce Sport.

Sport Posted by Picasa

I'm really pleased to have finished this one - last time I did this cardy - I had to do the buttonhole side three times, so I had been putting it off and putting it off - I finally decided to get on with it and I managed to get it right first time - I did have a few sewing up issues, as in I didn't sew the shoulder seams together correctly - still I managed to undo it and redo it and now it looks lovely. The little flower is actually a brooch - I made two flowers, one in Kid Classic in orange and the second one in a combination of the orange and the Wool Cotton the cardy was knitted in. Then I sewed them together and bunched them up a bit, then attached them to a brooch pin and I think it looks rather effective - I'm chuffed !

Close up of Flower Posted by Picasa

I went to Whitstable for the day yesterday with Jacob and my Mum and it was lovely - we had a nice lunch and then a little wander and then went down to the beach for a play - the weather wasn't fab, but it wasn't raining, so that was fine. We had a really nice time and I'm still very keen to move down there. I think it would be lovely for us all to be near the sea.

I'm planning a visit to the Yarn House in Caterham today - I recently found out that the lady that owns it apparently is a friend of the sister of a good friend of mine - does that make sense ! Anyway - I didn't realise until last week that this was the case - it's a small world !