Thursday, 17 September 2009

Passing the time

To stop me obsessively checking the status of our Visa I've knitted a few
Hats for Innocent smoothies.

Now I just need to remember to post them.

I hope that the Lawyers don't monitor the amount of refresh clicks their pages get, because seriously I'm expecting a STOP CHECKING message the next time I look...(just checked, no further update) I mean come on already I just want to go, but don't want to go, but just want to go, oh you know what I mean.

Ahem..

A friend's sister wants one of those Kimono Sweaters I like to make, so have just been and bought some Cotton DK for that, brown was the colour required, so brown she will have. Well, it's not as if I have anything else to do, I'm not moving country or anything! So I am welcoming the distraction of knitting that, packing up stuff and being obsessively tidy as the house is on the market is not my idea of fun, fun, fun.

MrD is in the States as we speak, actually he is probably somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean on a Virgin plane, but this week he has been away and I really think I have got more done because of it, including painting the Living Room and Kitchen. But I have a list of jobs, man do I have a list of jobs, just for him!

For insurance purposes I also needed to count up my stash, needles and accessories. I enjoyed that, even if it did consist of some major untangling to get the below amount of odds and sods.


NO MOVING DATE YET! geez.

Monday, 7 September 2009

I have excuses, honest gov...

Ummmm,
  • School holidays
  • Trip to New Jersey house-hunting
  • Family holiday to France
  • Sorting out of our worldly goods
Very little knitting done at all since I last blogged save for a little stuffed horse as a 1st birthday pressie which I failed to take a picture of before wrapping. I need to do some though just to unstress a little. If they say moving house is one of the most stressful things you can do how does moving country compare?

No, no date as of yet, but hopefully by mid October we will be all settled in the States, and about time too!!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Public apology to my friend Niccy

I used to point and laugh at her, I'm a nice friend like that. I used to say, "Niccy, why do you sew so many bags, are you mad in the head? hahahaha"
I'm very, very sorry Niccy and here is why...





And there will be more as a bug has been caught...

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Looky what I got

Me and my friends did a mid year swap and look what I got. Pure Lush!




200g Summer Flower DK Organic Merino, 100g Rose Petal Handspun Merino and gorgeous stitch markers. I am one lucky lady.

My friend, Zan, sells her wares here

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

No news is no news

Still no further forward in our giant leap than the last time I blogged.
MrD's company seem to be a little too relaxed when it comes to communication, any communication. I was hoping to pop over to NJ and scout out some lovely places to live this weekend, but alas, the non communication kicked in and so it was too late to arrange.
So far all I have is lists and endless internet searches and also lots of people asking if I have any news yet. With the tight schedule we have I didn't think things would come to this screeching halt. Frustrating is not the word.
So anyhoo to relax and calm my overworked second-guessing mind I did some knitting but can't post pictures yet because I don't want to spoil surprises. The pieces are as yet unfinished as there is sewing involved, cutting and sewing of fabric and I tend to put that off until I think 'damn' this needs to be posted/wrapped/given to person like now, it's then I tend to do that bit!
Have I mentioned it's my birthday this month? No, well I had better do so then!
It's my birthday at the end of the month!
Whispers in the trees say I'm gonna be old.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Hot Fudge...

...here comes the Judge there's a Green Card in the way,
The Holy Ghost and the whole East Coast Dunlop Family are moving to LA NJ

I think those Robbie Wiliams' lyrics just about cover it!

But for further clarification, yes we are moving to New Jersey in the big USofA
There is every chance this blog will contain more posts about our journey from confirmation of transfer for my husband (herein referred to as MrD) to getting Visa in hand to the big ship, than it will knitting as there is just far too much to do!

I won't deny that I'm slightly bricking it. I'm very excited, very scared and very aware of the enormity of shipping two adults and three children several thousand miles across the pond. We have a lovely lady in MrD's HR department that is now my guardian angel and will help me do stuff like find a house and school, basics, you know (!!)

I'm thanking my stars I don't have a house to sell/rent out because I think I would loose it, it's bad enough knowing that I'm going to have to sell the last 7 years worth of large purchases, no point taking anything electrical as I'm sure the Americans purposely decided against a 240volt system, just to annoy me in the future.

So as of 23/6 (which I will soon have to write 6/23) MrD's company are filing the forms for an L1 Visa for him and an L2 Visa for me, which will allow me to work should I want to (you can now disregard the below post about proper job, I won't be working anytime soon!)

Now we wait for those to be approved before we can take anymore steps...

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Recent work..

A short-sleeved kimono top for my friend's new bubba.


A bag with some gems on it for my friend's birthday.

Have some big news to share... Watch this space...

Monday, 15 June 2009

Last week...

Last week I:
  • Finished a bag by lining it and adding some beads
  • Knitted two wee-ish shoulder bags as presents complete with initials in crochet and wrap stitch
  • Finished two sides of a stripy 30x30cm cushion
  • Started and almost completed a baby's Kimono Sweater
  • Participated in WWKIP weekend by knitting the above sweater outside Gap in Festival Place, Basingstoke.
That's quite a bit isn't it?

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Life plan musings

I keep thinking on and off about what to do with my life, I'm sure it's a cycle thing because for a large chunk of the month I'm perfectly happy.
I'm 30 very, very soon and that to me seems like a pinnacle age, when my Hubby turned 30 (8 years ago, had to get that dig in) we had only just got together and he was distraught at the prospect of leaving his 20s. However he was already successful in his career by then, had risen to top management and although the last 3 years has seen him soar he put that groundwork in during his 20s.
I never really knew what I wanted to do work wise, my parents would say I was the last person they would expect to have had kids and be a SAHM, they thought I would be career focused. I did my degree in History & Media, got a good 2:1, thought I would end up in marketing like all my Uni friends, but I got a job in retail to tide me over until I found a 'proper job', met Hubby, who was my boss and moved with him to London (from Leeds) after about 3 months so that he could work at the Head Office. I fell pregnant almost straight away and so I never got that 'proper job'. I did some temping for a charity whilst pregnant which I enjoyed and then we moved from to the suburbs and had more children. Still no 'proper job' unless you count Little Milestones, which a lot of people, including my parents, didn't.
My friend and I started Little Milestones (online retail) and ran it for over 3 years before we sold it. We worked very hard in that time, the business took off, we had to get an office and a member of staff and everything. In that time we each had another child and in the end I think we just lost the enthusiasm, we were at a crossroads where if we wanted to take it further we had to invest more time and money that neither of us had. Then my friend's hubby got a job in the States and I didn't want to carry it on on my own, nor work with someone new so we sold it.
That was almost a year ago. My friend has still not made it to the States and I still don't have a 'proper job'.
That said, I'm very lucky in that I don't need to work, infact the Childcare wouldn't make it worth my while, but that doesn't stop me pondering on what I should do with my life. I've been out of the work place, if I was actually in it at all, for a long time, coupled with the fact that working for someone else after running your own business would be hard in itself. Adding to that the fact that for the most part I love being at home, having the time to do stuff I like, being there for the kids. But I can't shake the feeling that I need to be challenged more, although what can be more challenging than 7 year old girl thinking she's 15, a 6 year old boy with an attitude to match the length of his gangly legs and a 2 year old tantruming little girl who seems to have one medical drama after another!
No doubt I'll muse away for a wee while yet on this before I actually do anything about all my musings, so there may be more musings on my non-life plan to come...

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Goodbye oh so lovely bag

Be good to your new owner, she really deserves you,
Carry her wears without fuss or strain,
Adorn her arm with lustre and wows of "where did you buy that",
Let her eyes gaze with wonderment upon your beautiful lining and seams that are magical.
But let her brow not furrow at your maker's poor sewing skills,
Let her eyes brush over those sewing flaws,
Be sure her mobile phone fits the wee pocket you have inside you,
But most of all bring her joy and birthday wishes.


Monday, 25 May 2009

Happy Hooker

I've become well into crochet this week!
I've just been mucking about really, trying different stitches, getting them wrong, unraveling a whole night's worth of hat because I double crocheted wrong. I want to practice to use the crochet cotton from my Great Grandma to it's full potential.
I did a little bag just to see if I could, I can, just.

Then on Saturday I crocheted this Fast & Easy Crocheted Summer Hat with Brim and it was both fast & easy, it was a summer hat and it did have a brim, unfortunately after ripping it out once due to double crochet confusion, it turned into Giant Fast & Easy Summer Hat with a Brim, fit for the head of Gulliver if crocheted by the Lilliputians for the Lilliputians.
I had a thought, I'll shrink it, the yarn said no tumble dry, so what if I tumble-dried it? Umm fail, apparently that trick only works on clothes bought from NEXT.
It's unwearable unless you are Stewie Griffin or one of those martians from Mars Attacks so I'm going to be brave, frog it and start anew.
I really must go get some fabric to finish those bags from my last post, I can't believe they have rested unfinished in my knitting bag, well I can actually. I'm on a deadline now though as the intended recipient's birthday is at the end of the week and seeing as it will need posting I had better pull my finger out!

Monday, 18 May 2009

That's where I'm at

Lots of things in the mixing pot at the moment.
Two different Bags of Choice, taken from Simply Knitting Mag, one apple green with butterflies and a flower and the other coffee coloured and lacy. I want to get some silky green fabric with butterflies on it for the green bag and I'm thinking burnt orange for the coffee coloured bag to add contrast, what do you think?
Both are for gifts so keep stum about them ok?


An I-cord tied cabled and bobbled cushion cover
(it's gonna take foooooooooooorever)

I also cast on for Ivy because I've had the wool for ages and want to get started on it but need to finish other stuff first!

That's where I'm at!

On a completely non knitting front, wasn't the finale of LOST brilliant! Although it does mean no Sawyer until 2010. I will have to console myself in Season 5 of House (when did it become 'Season', I'm sure we used to say 'Series' have UK progammes adopted the US 'Season' aswell?) But before I can watch it on Sky1 I need to see Season 4. The DVD on its way from Amazon, should be here tomorrow, that gives me 13 days to watch it. Completely do able. Will mean 13 straight days of Hugh Laurie. Shame.
Bea's pleased! Or should that be Russell Brand.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

In memory of my Great-Grandma

My Great-Grandma was a lovely woman, she lived with my Grandparents but had her own little living room and kitchen and when we went to visit I would go to her first and we would spend hours playing cards. She taught me many, many card games, but we played Rummy the most, we had long, long, score sheets that we added to every weekend we went there.
I kind of remember her knitting and have vague memories of her showing me how, and I do remember a cream Aran cardigan she made me with brown toggle buttons. I don't remember her crocheting though, I'm trying to but I can't. Maybe it's because when I did see her it was all about the cards, unless the Snooker was on, she was a big fan of Snooker!
I told my Grandparents a few months go about me knitting now and they dug out all her old needles and my Mum mentioned recently that I had started to teach myself crochet, so they have dug out all of her crochet stuff too. All old crochet threads and some hooks.
This is what I came away with today:


In amongst the thread were some samples of my Great-Grandma's work. It's so beautiful.



She died in her early 90's when I was about 17 and I miss her terribly still.
I hope she doesn't mind me using her things, I'm sure she wouldn't, I will put them to good use. I feel like having a game or two of Rummy tonight in her memory.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Well that perked me up

I was feeling quite grumpy this morning, kids were being annoying, PMT kicked in, miserable day of grey skies ahead and then this lot arrives:

New edition of my Knitting mag and the half a ton of wool that I ordered on Tuesday!
Look at all that lovely woolage/yarnage however you prefer to call your balls/skeins!
I love those sorbet colours, they are going to work so well in a bag I'm doing as a present. But not only are the colours and textures delicious but, and this is usually the thing that pricks my ears, is the cost of that lot. Less then £25 (incP&P) for all that above (minus mag) and more not in the picture! 2 lots of bag handles and a monster crochet hook (for that aforementioned t-shirt yarn down there, just below, see?) I thought that was extremely barginous!

So I've cheered up a bit now. Well until tomorrow when my baby boy turns 6 and I ponder all day on where the time has gone, and it's only been 5 mins since I did that pregnancy test, let alone gave birth to him.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Mucking about and trying out

The same lovely lady I mentioned in my last post (@knittingnews) tweeted a site that gave tutorials on recycling household things for re-crafting. This site actually: craftstylish.com
I had to give the recycled t-shirt yarn a go straight away.
I have yet to actually make it into anything, but the thought is there.

Then I came across this... adventures-with-old-jeans.html
Now I want to cut up jeans.

Following knitting peeps on Twitter is such a great way of coming across patterns and tips that you would never find yourself. There are some great knitter-twitters out there.

On the needles front...
Although I'm not good at having too many projects on the go, I have started another cushion before finishing the last one. Well the last one (big softie brown one) is finished in terms of the knitting side it just needs to be sewn up. If I do the other cushions I want to do for the sofa first then I can sew them en mass, can't I? Well that's the excuse I literally just thought of.

I'm really pushing the limits of my skills with this new cushion though.
Cables, and bobbles and it's bigger at 40x40cm
Will I survive?? Will it take weeks?? Will I get bored and put it away and start something else?
(More than likely, I have such a limited concentration span)

Thursday, 30 April 2009

This is getting a bit silly

I've cast on for another cushion.
When I got married (a year ago on the 10th May) I had this thing about cushions. It started off with me wanting chair covers and gawping at the cost of them. I then got fixated with cushions as an alternative, I suppose there were worse things to get all Bridezilla about! So, me and a friend went to Ikea bought 50ish 59p 30cmx30cm cushions, unpicked them, removed fluff, dyed them red, re stuffed, sewed them up again and sewed on ickle red roses. Small job.
Here was the result.

So a year on and I still have all these cushions. Most were vacuum packed in the garage, until the bag exploded and now a few have made their way into the lounge and other areas of the house.
So far I have covered three of them (as per blog posts)one for each child. Now I think my sofa deserves some, probably more than the kids. My sofa is chocolate coloured leather (mmm chocolate), so it needs cream or brown cushions, and would you believe it, I have two balls of Sirdar Big Softie in brown just waiting to be turned into a cushion for my sofa. Half a ball is so far (so far, sofa, lol, ahhh)

Some lovely lady tweeted this pattern the other day Hugs and Kisses cable washcloth It's an easy beginners cable pattern, one which I thought would look nice as one side of my cushion, I'll probably fabric back it like the others. It was handy in that it require 35 stitches, which is how many wide my cushion is.
So that's where I'm at, a year later still obsessed with cushions!
I have used the word cushion 11 times in this post!

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Friday, 24 April 2009

Oh my, it's so beautiful


I think this is one of my best knits ever.
Disregarding a few mistakes and rip backs, purely due to knitting whilst watching The Apprentice and shouting at that stupid "Pantsman" idea, this worked out wonderfully. This bamboo yarn is great to work with and so soft.
I'm not going to talk about the sleeves...I hate sleeves, don't know why but me and sleeves don't get on. I made them short so as not to prolong the sleeve agony, although considering we are coming up to Summer (though if it's anything like last year Autumn 3 months early) it was probably a good call as this is 3-6months, also I had a wee panic about running out of wool as only had 2 balls.
Poo, I did end up talking about the sleeves!

All packaged up now and winging its way to its new little owner.
All credit to Jacki Kelly for the wonderful pattern.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Must practise sewing, cos I'm rubbish!

I've been kind to myself and have only uploaded the pictures of this finished cushion which hide the pure amateurishness of my sewing abilities.

It was going well to begin with, I cut my backing fabric and hemmed the edges which made a slightly skewiff square, pinned the furry side down and sewed 3 edges... ha ha ha ha I made that sound so simple. Sewing furry fabric is not easy, for me sewing any fabric isn't easy.
After stuffing the cushion pad in sewing up the open edge proved almost as difficult as getting my 5 year old to learn his spellings, in fact getting my 5 year old to sew this probably would have yielded neater results.
Oh well it's not that bad and I'm sure my girls will like it in their room.
They will like it in their room.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Finished, wrapped and well received

Saw my sister today, as it was her birthday, and she seemed to like the socks that I FINALLY finished. It seemed to be a long slog in the end and I hope I blummin' see her wear them after what seemed like a lot of effort! It was such hard work finishing them yesterday whilst sitting in our sun drenched back garden watching DH weed and mow, hard life.

I enjoy knitting socks, to a certain extent, but also find them a little tedious, I don't know why. I do know that's the reason I do them two at once as I know I would find it hard to have the motivation to do the second one! I will admit to these being the first ones I've done with a stitch pattern, which helped, and I love the effect, so who knows I may do another pair soonish. Funny how yesterday I was saying I would never knit another pair!
But for now I have a new ickle baby cousin to knit for so I'm doing her a Seamless Kimono Sweater in Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo.

I've knitted another one of this fabulous knitter's designs before, her Seamless Kimono for a friend's little boy, which was lovely. I expect this one with be just as delicious and I hope to get it finished in a couple of days.
Last night, whilst watching LOST, I finished the cushion cover front which now needs sewing.
It's all go!

Saturday, 18 April 2009

So near and yet so far

I have until Sunday to finish these socks, that's tomorrow, and I've lost all motivation!
I have half the feet and then the toes to do.
I really must get on...

I had a little problem turning the heels in that I forgot to do two at once, like a jibber, so had a hard time repositioning them, got there in the end after blood and tears and a sore thumb that needed a plaster (bitten in frustration)
I realy must get on...
I also did two rows of the pattern wrong due to a wonky stitch count after repositioning nightmare and I had no choice but to swallow it and carry on, lucky that I'm not going to be wearing them as I would notice that constantly, even though it's not noticeable to an untrained hubby's eye, I can see it in the photo above, left sock.
I have sock woe sympathisers (esp tiggerjen at http://withneedlesinherhand.blogspot.com)
So to all the naughty socks out there, behave!
I really must get on...
If I get these finished I can start something new, after I've finished the cushion I started before the socks.
I REALLY must get on...

Monday, 13 April 2009

Easter Knitting

Loooong weekend, hubby off from Thursday and doesn't go back until Wednesday! I've haven't had lot of time to knit, to managed to squeeze in a bit amongst doing a mega clear out of the kids rooms, we have swapped them all over so that the girls are in together and boyoh gets his own room. This meant a new cabin bed for him so that needed picking up and assembling without instructions (that was challenging to say the least!) Also decided that if Bea's old bed was to go in the garage then to make room that needed to be cleared out, so that got done. Then when clearing the rooms we needed even more storage space so it was decided (by DH) to clear out my wardrobe of excess clothes to make room. The charity shops are getting a nice delivery tomorrow!

In amongst this mammoth, almost impromptu spring clean my sister declared that for her birthday she would really like a pair of socks. So whilst I went with big girl in tow to the wool shop, DH decided he would let Bea clean our MacBook with a babywipe that she had previously been sucking, bye bye nice LCD screen and working keyboard. It's off to the Genius Bar at the Apple Store for a seeing to tomorrow. I'm no psychic but I foresee much expenditure on the horizon...

Back to the socks, I suppose in some roundabout way I could blame my sister for the wipe incident, if I hadn't have had to buy wool for her socks then I would have been here to prevent sucked babywipe incident, think I can bill her? Anyway again, back to the socks...decided to keep doing two at once magic loop style cuff down, but couldn't face round and round knit so opted for a very simple rib variation found a pattern called Chardade which uses Herringbone rib, which I'm following loosely.

You can't see the pattern very well with this yarn (Regia 4ply) but it's keeping me from going mad with knit knit knit. Need them finished by next Monday as that's her birthday.

Inbetween the socks I'm doing a little cushion cover for the girls' bedroom from some Sirdar Funky I got ages ago from a sale for 70p a ball. Only have a enough for one side of the cushion, but I have some nice fabric to back it with.


I nearly forgot!! Pictures of Bea's dress...

Monday, 6 April 2009

Ahhh School Holidays (more like Argggh!)

Kids!
Create mess faster than you can tidy it away, play rough games with their siblings then cry and whinge they get hurt despite several warnings that the game will end in tears and "don't come running to me if you break your leg", tell tales constantly that you wish you had never named them those names because, quite frankly, their names warbled at emense decibles are started to grate, are entranced so much by the telly that they forget their own warbled names and their memories are only jogged by screaming their name for the forth or fifth time in their ear that "dinner's ready", then refuse to eat it cos "it's disgusting" (even though they liked it last week)
Give you hugs, tell you they love you and you are the best Mummy in the world for letting them have an Easter cake (given simply because they went on and on and on and on about wanting one, that you ended up screaming "OK, WHATEVER!")
Breathe and knit...

Friday, 3 April 2009

Onto the next, just quickly...

Here's me in my vest.

And this is Bea's dress on the needles.

It's coming along quickly, shouldn't take much longer, although with the Easter Holidays for the next two weeks I'm not sure how much I'm knitting I'm going to get done.
The wool I'm using for this, RY Luxury Cotton DK, is awful, nice and soft but so splity that I keep knitting half a stitch.
Going to get on with it now, whilst I can.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

I have created...

Well it is finished, my first Mummy sized garment, I have yet to block it as I keep forgetting to do it before I go to bed, so I will post some piccies of it being worn when I sort that out.
Here it is though, Voila...


I haven't anything on the needles at the moment, to be rectified later today/tonight when I cast on for Bea's dress. I had such a sweet comment from the pattern's desinger on my post lower down. Unbelievably her daughter is also called Bea, and is also 2! So it really will be a perfect "Bea" dress. How spooky huh? It had me shaking my head in amazement, I mean it's not exactly a common name is it? We often get asked if it's short for Beatrice or Beatrix but it's not, it's just Bea. We wanted short names for all our kids and they have 3 letters each.

I've turned my hand to crochet over the last few days with hooks from the Charity shop at 30p each, trying to desperately understand the basics, have done a few circles and flowers. It's really enjoyable actually. I'm now going to go OTT with embellishments, Zan you have inspired me. (My friend Zan at Zanzthingz)

Not bad for a first attempt, you should have seen my first knitted square!!

Whilst writing this I am listening to Just Jack, I've had his albums for a while but revisiting and loving! I suggest you do the same, now, go on...

Monday, 30 March 2009

I am so close to finishing my vest top it's scandalous!
Here it is just after I shaped the arm holes.

And here is me knitting, thrilling picture I know but I love it cos it makes me look like a busty lady, I am not a bust lady!

That's my lovely iPhone beside me, I've found the StitchMinder app extremely useful for counting rows, before I used pen and paper, those now little known tools, but I'm a modern techy girl and knitting has gone all digital! Actually a man I know once said to me knitting is very much like Binary Code, all 1s and 0s, my knowledge limits actually understanding that one iota!!
A closer look at that app and my shiney toy.

By my next blog I will have finished and be wearing that vest. Actually sod next blog, by tonight I will have finished it!!

Sociable

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