Friday, 31 August 2007

Frilly bamboo

We have frilly progress. :-)

The cardigan trim is done in 4 separate parts, so I only had to seam the shoulders before I could get stuck in - that makes me happy.

The cardigan now has a frilled trim on the back hem, and I think it looks lovely.

It's very easy to do; just an alternating K2tog, YO pattern done using 3 increasing sizes of needle, with a cast-on 2, cast-off 5 finish. Very effective.

On a health note, I had news this morning that all my ECG and blood test results are fine, which is great news.

That means that my recent palpitations and feeling unwell are down to stress and anxiety - not surprising really with the accumulation of events over the past 9 months.

So apart from my whopping bruise left from my last blood test (it started bleeding again as I got up to go, so we had to press hard on it) and a few panic attacks which I need to get under control, all is well - or can become so anyway.

I'm well impressed with the doctors and nurses at our local surgery - they were all prompt, thorough, encouraging, and really put me at my ease. We're very lucky to have such a great resource available.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Beetroot and bamboo

We have a very kind elderly neighbour with an allotment producing too much food for him and his wife to eat by themselves.

So we currently have this - a small bucketful of fresh raw beetroot, grown about 10 feet away from our garden boundary.

I'm thrilled to have such a kind and generous neighbour, and if ever we have a glut of anything edible we will return the favour.

I have to admit that I've never taken to pickled beetroot and have never bought it fresh to cook with. So having absolutely no idea what to do with this bucket full of goodness, I scoured the
Good Food website for ideas - and there were plenty.

I decided to try a couple out for a family BBQ last night to celebrate my in-laws buying their new house just a few minutes walk from ours.

This is one of the results - beetroot houmous - divine!

I would have shown you the
beetroot slaw too, but that's all gone already. :-)

The other project simmering away is this - the frilled cardigan in Sirdar Bamboo.

All the main pieces are now finished, so I can seam those shoulders and start on the beautiful edging..

Thursday, 23 August 2007

All manner of presents

Many thanks for all your birthday wishes; I had 3 days of celebrations as I visited various friends and family, and ended up with 4 birthday cakes! Very yummy they all were too. ;-)

I had some lovely pressies including a beautiful Seasalt organic cotton halterneck beach dress, some Moshulu beach shoes (cuz I can't drive in flip-flops), a rashie for under my wetsuit, some Lush goodies, money, and chocolates.

Then there's the present I bought for myself - 500g of Sirdar Bamboo in shade "Driftwood" and a lovely pattern for it.

I'm so impressed with this yarn in my current WIP that I couldn't resist buying more; it has a beautiful sheen and drape, gorgeous shades, and feels fantastic.

I also had a present that wasn't quite so desired - I've had
palpitations and a 120bpm heart rate since my birthday afternoon, and am now hooked up to a 24-hour ECG, had blood tests, and I'm on beta-blocker tablets to reduce my reduce my heartbeat.

The doctor at my local surgery is being amazing - very thorough, sensitive, and encouraging - even to the point of phoning me at home to check I was getting along ok inbetween appointments - I'm impressed.

Hopefully the next couple of weeks will lead to some good news and conclusions.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Hello..? Anyone home..?

Ho hum - another unintentional blog break. Here's what's been going on in sunny(?) Cornwall since the last post:

Wedding Bolero
I finished the wedding bolero! I rate it 6/10 - ok enough to keep and wear but not exactly as planned. Why? Well because
- For some reason I designed the pattern in a size bigger than I need - brain holiday obviously
- I forgot to increase the V-neck depth, so the clasp fastening is higher than I intended
- I should have used a more open stitch for this DK weight yarn - the result is pretty but not as lightweight and drapey as I'd hoped
- Basically I was in too much of a rush to get the darn thing finished in time for the wedding - I really should know by now that good planning is everything!

Still, I do like the garment, it fits (loosely - but better that than too small), and it goes with the wedding outfit so I will wear it.

Garment details:
Materials: 350g mercerised DK cotton, approx 80 crystal beads, 4mm knitting needles, 3.5mm crochet hook, 1 clasp
Knitted in treble lace stitch with a beaded crochet edging

Evening Wrap
I also wanted a bolero or wrap to go with my top for the wedding evening do. I had 200g of
Patons Reef (a beautiful ribbon yarn) in shade "Pebble" to use. Again speed was of the essence so I opted for a wrap.

I played with stitch patterns, started a couple of times with different widths, finished it, tried it on, and promptly dumped it in the Frog Pond. This definately gets a 3/10 - I love the stitch pattern with this yarn, but the finished wrap isn't deep enough and (again I should know by now) wraps, shawls, and stoles are very pretty but they just aren't me!

So in the Frog Pond it waits, and hopefully it will at some point become the bolero it should always have been.

Bamboo Cardigan
Introducing the new WIP - my lovely dusky rose Wendy Bamboo yarn and cardigan pattern gifted from the kind members of the Beatties Knit Chat group just before we moved to Cornwall.

Woohoo - I got gauge!

Assorted trivia

  1. I christened my new wetsuit by body boarding with my DDs last weekend! We managed not to get into difficulties in the strong rip current thankfully

  2. I hit the high-street sales and got bargains from Monsoon, Principles, Wallis, and Next - but no yarn

  3. My MIL and FIL have now also moved down to Cornwall - they're buying a bunglaow about 3 minutes walk from us. My DDs are thrilled to have nanny and grandad living within walking distance :-)
  4. Keeping an eye on the weather - maybe we should stock up on cotton yarns now?