Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Scarf time

Niccy (one of my best friends now living in California) sent me some gorgeous yarn for my birthday. I'm turning it into a lacy scarf. I love wearing lightweight scarfs in the Autumn and this one is going to be super gorgeous!
Really simple pattern over 41st;
Knit 2 rows.
Sl,YO, K2together, *K1, YO, K2together, Repeat from * to end of row.
Repeat last row until required length.
Knit 2 rows.


Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Just whipped up a Dora Skirt

As you do on a boring summer afternoon...

Many thanks to this tutorial

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

In answer to the question posed by my blog title the only thing I have knitted in weeks and weeks is a pair of socks for my Dad.

I. Am. A. Knitter Slacker.

In other news I popped home for the weekend last week, international jetsetter that I am! Popping home across the Atlantic for the weekend!
I saw my friends and family for the first time in 8 months and it was brilliant.

Except for the football, that was lame.

Huge get together and BBQ with my family and then drink filled boogying with my pals for my Bestie's 40th birthday.
Look at her gorgeousness, 40 pah!
Happy Birthday Joooooliahhhhhh

Monday, 10 May 2010

Jai's 7th birthday

7 years ago out popped a 8lb 13oz baby boy 1 day past his due date. We screamed "it's a boy it's a boy, look he has a willy and everything"

7 years later and the boy wants a party to celebrate his birthday (and probably to get more presents) mummy is a tightwad (I should be the Scottish one in this relationship!) and refused to spend big $$ on a party at some jumping/bowling/robot place so we said we have the room let's have people over. You can invite a few friends from school, we'll invite the neighbours and you can have a Wii MarioKart party, with a racing tournament. I'll even get ickle trophies.
Note. Don't organise a Mario themed party unless you give yourself time to order supplies online. NO shops sell licensed Mario stuff. I had to buy fabric and make little drawstring party bags.
And make cake toppers. I did make a cake, but not this one. My cake sunk in the middle, stupid non-self raising flour.
The boys seemed to have a great time, playing the game, running around, wrestling, eating hotdogs and stuffing their faces with mini chocs. I think it was a success. I think Jai had a nice time, he certainly did well onthe gift and money front. (Note. remember thank you cards)

Then later when all the boys had gone home the neighbours stayed round and we cracked open the wine and had us a little poker session, you know to celebrate the stitches the boy gave me whilst shooting out after 2 hours of labour those 7 years ago! 
I won the jackpot, both in poker chips and in having a lovely, lovely son.

Hope you had a Happy Birthday my Big Big Baby Boy! 

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Bea's eye view.

So I'm uploading some pictures from the camera and find some interesting shots, all taken by little missy below and I though I would share. 
It's an interesting insight into the 3 year old psyche, what she must see, dream and think of her pocket-sized world. (Alternatively titled, what Bea was randomly pointing the camera at when she pressed the button)
Davina Bailey
Dust bunnies.
I think she maybe trying to tell me something about the level of cleaniness in this house, but I can't think what because my brush doesn't fit under there, what would she have me do, move it? Who does that?
I think this is to let her Dad know that when he Santa and his elves built her Little Tykes Princess Car (which this is) he didn't quite line up the eyes properly so they are a little bit sticky out, still.
No room.
I want to sit Mum, but all this crap TV remote, knitting and Dora wrapping paper is in my way.
"Sometimes Eeyore thought sadly to himself 'Why?' and sometimes he thought, 'Wherefore?'"
Obviously she had had enough of being on hold.
Prize winning 'Fruit in a blue bowl'
See that perspective, that's talent that, years of photography school unnecessary now. 
Although I think that may have been used that evening.
Little seen cereal in the bowl.
Captured for the first time, that moment before all the cereal in that bowl ends up on the floor after being kicked by the pink painted tootsies.

Fascinating, huh?
And I chose the best ones of the bunch.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Bea's Shorts

So cute and so finished and so showing them off.

Friday, 16 April 2010

Craft, woman, craft!

I finally dragged down the HUGE and HEAVY transformer that is needed to run any UK appliances here in the US, well any appliance other than the Coffee Machine. The Coffee Machine blows the fuse everytime. Gutted, it was a nice Coffee Machine. I digress.
I got it down (it runs the 5 point surround sound thingy we brought over with us) so that I could get my sewing machine out. I have made a SECRET gift for my sister's birthday (ssssh, she might be reading) and so needed to sew the inside of this SECRET gift. Which, if you are reading Natalie, will unfortunately be a little very late for your birthday as it's not quite finished and so not posted and your birthday is in 4 days and there are also no planes allowed over to the UK. It's worth the wait (I hope).
Anyways, in Five Below the other day they had these denim rectangular cushions, not bad quality, very plump and they were 2 for $1 (yes 50 cents each!) I told the cashier "I can so cover these babies, go get me more" She showed very minimal interest in my excitement of this monumental find. I wanted to grab her by the scruff of her neck and shout, "do you know how much cushion inserts are, not 50 cents that's for sure. Don't you know I'm a Martha Stewart wannabe. Craft woman, craft!" 
Here are those there cushions:
And here's them there cushions covered. Envelope fold so I didn't have to faff with buttons or zips.
I have more to cover. My cushion addicted is officially resurrected.  

Monday, 5 April 2010

When things go wrong and others go right

So I got to knitting some socks for Kia, I wanted a challenge so chose a mosaic pattern from my Big Book Of Socks in purple and bluey Knitpicks Pallete.
This is how far I got (2 inches) before I realised that I had knitted the colour changes too tight and there was no way it would fit over my wee girls foot. And those 2 inches took ages of intense chart following, a furrowed brow and a few well chosen swear words.

It is now sitting in my knitting bag awaiting it's frogging fate.


I started this pattern, a pair of trousers for Bea. Don't know how I stumbled upon this blog with these gorgeously cute free patterns, probably via Ravelry, but I'm very glad I did. The trousers were a impulse knit, I spotted them at about 11pm one night and cast on straight away, I had just the right yarn, 10ply cotton hand-dyed from Artezan. Bea is going to have herself a wicked pair of play pants, or shorts depending on how long the yarn lasts. And they fit. Yes they fit!

#knittingsuccess #sofar

Sunday, 4 April 2010

The Dunlop's trip to DC

We all went on a road trip to Washington DC on Wednesday to Friday and here's how we rolled.

It's only a 3 and a bit hour trip, regardless I think I packed enough snacks to last around 5 days. We still had to stop at the first Starbucks though as a latte itch had to be scratched and the "are we there yets" started before we hit the I95. Got a lot of knitting of these troosers for Bea done though on the way, no driving for me!

Our hotel, The Helix (part of the Kimpton group) was lovely. Bright funky rooms with bunkbeds for the kids and a King for us. The bottom bunk was a double so room for both the girls.

On Wednesday we saw all the landmarks in DC, The White House, Capitol, Washington and Lincoln Memorials. We walked down every street twice. Got sunburnt, again.

Barack begged us to stay for tea, but we had to decline, 
things to do you know.

Cherry Blossom obscured Capitol Building

Mr Lincoln, sir.

We carried the buggy up them steps. 
All I could think about was Forrest Gump.

On Thursday we went to the Natural History, Air and Space and the American History Museums. We would have done all the museums (I wanted to) but it takes 3 kids eons to get around one.

This rock is really old, Bea is suspicious of this fact.

On Friday we really wanted to go to the Zoo, but with a really hot day predicted and it being Cherry Blossom week and Spring Break everyone else decided that was their plan too, parking was full in the lots and on the streets and having checked out of the Hotel we had the car and no where to put it. We had to give it a miss. Such a shame. So we drove home to beat hit the Easter traffic!

Lovely family break, lovely weather, lovely sites.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Jai's Jumper Photoshoot






This post was going to completely different. I had a wicked title and a poll all sorted because I really thought Jai's jumper (sweater) was going to be too small. 
Well it is a little on the snug side and could do with being a little longer, but it is no where near as small as I thought it was going to end up. 
So I'm chuffed, he's chuffed and we both chuffed (we didn't really, well maybe a little parp) during the ceremonial trying on.

Things to note:
  • He asked for the skull emblem.
  • He also insisted on the pictures where he rocks out.
  • He's a handsome wee devil though, isn't he, my boy?
  • He wants you all to know he will be 7 in 6 weeks. (and that makes me want to weep.)

Friday, 26 March 2010

Warning exercise can break you

I have broken my body.

To lose a few pounds that's all, maybe to tone up a bit, get a bit fitter.

That's all I want.

Back in the UK, for a brief time I did Body Jam, a class with my friend Julia. We went most Friday mornings for an hour. It was the first organised exercise class that either of us had set foot in since school. We enjoyed it. It was fun. Probably more so because neither of us was particularly good and there was a lot of giggling involved. We did sweat a little though.

Then we stopped going.

Then I moved here.

America has been a little harsh on my belly, so I started doing some Youtube cardio vids and some strength exercises, watching what I eat, calorie counting but not excessively. Personally I believe that running around after a 3 year old, trying to get 2 kids to the bus stop on time, cleaning a house = enough exercise, also knitting is exercise right, because you move your arms and fingers... but a little more doesn't hurt...BUT IT DOES.

I can't walk.

I have broken my calves from doing step ups, which I ingeniously stupidly thought would be a great idea. Sweat a bucket and tone your legs at the same time.

Exercise Fail.

What isn't a fail however is my friend Zan's new Yarn Store

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


♫Heaven, I'm in heaven, I'm in yarn delivery and organisation of yarn into neat little drawers that replace the pink basket mess of wool, heaven♫

Thea from That Yarn Store gave me a Sunshine award this morning. How utterly sweet, and totally replaced the lack of sunshine here in NJ today
With this shine comes great responsibility so here goes:
Here are the rules for accepting the Sunshine award:

1. Place the logo within your blog or post. (√)

2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers. (cheating and doing 7 just now, but they are from all over he world)

3. Link the nominees within the post. (√)
4. Let the nominees know they have received the award by commenting on their blogs. (give me a sec...)
5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received the award. (√)

Smiles all around...

Friday, 19 March 2010

It's me, slackermum

I'm affectionally known as slackermum.

Alright, well I named myself slackermum and it's perfectly apt.
My involvement in all things 'school' is usually limited to walking the kids to the bustop and cursing if I have to pick them up if they are ill. Last week or so Kia comes home with a letter about 'Immigration Day' where they will celebrate the trip our ancestors made on the boat over to Ellis Island (or in our case the 7.5hr flight on a Virgin Plane to Newark). The letter has the words 'volunteers needed' and I immediately switched off.  If I wanted to be surrounded by 30 children I would have become a teacher or Trigint-mum (hah you Duggars beat that!)

There was also a wee bit about sending in a traditional dish from the country your ancestors came from for the classes to sample. In true slackermum style I ignored that bit too. My cooking skills aren't exactly top notch. I am not her        ------->

Then Kia has a playdate and the friend's Mum, who if we were in a comic would be my arch nemisis in her very nonslacker "I'm in daily email contact with the teacher" way, raised her eyebrows in true shock and horror when I mentioned that I wasn't lovingly preparing a gourmet meal of epic proportions for this major 2nd Grade event that they will remember for the rest of their lives (rest of the week maybe) and that they were pretty short on main course dishes as many were sending in desserts.
Well the gaunlet was thrown.
I won't say I'm competitive because that would be too weak a word!
Trouble is what on earth could I cook that's 
a) British 
b) within my limited repertoire 
c) portable to school without needing warming 
but mostly b)
Thanks to Twitter suggestions, Yorkshire puds won out considering they have, like, 3 ingredients and are pretty much idiot proof, or should I say Cara proof.

So I told Kia's teacher at Parent's Conference that I will bring in a dish of these yummies, oh and I'll throw in some Marmite sandwiches for good measure, because then that's two dishes, two separate 'British' things, all be them far, far from gourmet, and even though I was screaming to take in a Haggis with a side dish of Black Pudding. Yumm-a-licious!

Problem is, I'm ashamed to admit, even after spending 5 years of my life in Yorkshire (admittedly in a Stella haze) I've never made Yorkshires before, Aunt Bessie did that for me, because they are perfect every time. 
We scoot to today and I deliver the delights of the creme-de-la-creme of British cuisine, the Yorkshires came out mighty fine (if I do say so myself, and I do) complete with little notecards explaining what they were made from and what on earth Marmite was, and Kia informs me after school that only her and her teacher tried the Yorkshires and noone cared for the Marmite Sandwiches.
Next time I'm keeping my slackermum pants on.


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