Thursday, 29 March 2007

Happy Birthday Sarah!

My youngest DD is 6 years old today!

Here she is with her big sister, trying to eat her birthday cake in one go! She has a party organised with her new school friends this weekend, and is getting lots of telephone calls and pressies through the post from our relatives and friends “up country”.

Thankfully she's feeling much better from her fever last weekend - it turned out to be short-lived I'm glad to say.

She’s so different from this time last year – much calmer, and managing to read a lot of her own birthday cards. My baby is growing up.

Happy Birthday darling daughter. :-)

Monday, 26 March 2007


We didn’t get chance to enjoy the glorious weather this weekend as my youngest DD was quite poorly with a fever. I did carry her outside for a short while on Saturday though, to sit on a comfy sun lounger in the lovely warm sunshine and listen to the birds singing to her. It helped lift her spirits, and gave her something else to think about briefly – she even managed a little smile. :-)

Whilst she was having a little sleep, I got round to planting some
garlic in my new garden. I’ve never grown it before, but we do eat a lot of it and it’s supposed to help keep pests away from the other plants. Each clove grows into a new bulb, so we should have plenty to keep us going.
I’m also going to try planting spring onions and my new favourite – fennel. As you can see, I have pretty much a blank canvas to start from!

I have some herbs (basil, sage, parsley and oregano) already enjoying their sunny position in the kitchen. The very helpful lady at our local garden centre phoned me at the weekend to let me know they now have some
rosemary plants in stock, so I’ll be buying one of those soon to keep the garlic company.

We also got the juicer out at the weekend and made out own concoction including 1 jaffa orange, 1 Royal Gala apple, 1 large carrot, half a bulb of fennel, and a handful of red grapes. The result? Delicious!

All this is actually me trying to start to become fit and healthy. The last time I visited a gym was before my eldest DD was born, and now I'm driving myself to work, sitting in front of a computer all day, driving home, then sitting down knitting in my leisure time. Combine all that with the fact the I adore food, and you get the current situation where I want to lose 2 stone before I scare the holidaymakers on the beach.. ;-)

I've been checking out the details of the local fitness classes.. watch this space!

Oh yes - the Hedera sock is growing too..

Thursday, 22 March 2007

On the needles

I realised that I haven’t shared any WIP pics with you for a while. There are just 3 on the go atm – amazing with my track record of start-itis!

Here is the oldest WIP first – the aran lace cardigan started in September 2006. It’s moving along nicely again, since I allocated it as my “home” project. The construction is quite unusual as it’s knitted in one piece from the neck down to the armholes, then the sleeves are worked in the round, then the lower half of the body and fronts are worked in one piece to the hem.

I’m now halfway through the second sleeve, and trying to work one or two lace repeats every evening to keep up a reasonable pace on it.

I have about 4 balls of the
Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran left to complete it, so hopefully it should work out ok.

It’s a lovely design and interesting to work on, with quite easy lace stitch patterns.

Next is the Crochet Fitted Jacket, which I half-heartedly started not long before we moved. I was inspired by the fitted jacket in the Happy Hooker book, but wanted to use a cone of 4-ply lambswool/alpaca that I’d stashed away from ebay a while back. I’ve created a pattern using my Knitware Sweaters program, but didn’t really think about exactly how much work is involved in crocheting such a garment in 4ply yarn,not am I convinced that I like the yarn once it’s worked up. What do you think?

Finally – the newbie on the block – a pair of Hedera socks using the beautiful variegated emerald green Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn I bought from Little Knits last year. I wanted a small portable project that I could work on in short bursts as I get chance during my lunch breaks at work, so it had to be a sock. I like the look of the easy lace in this design, which is different to any of the other socks I’ve done up to now. The yarn looks and feels yummy too!

As always, I’m enjoying these projects but impatient to move on to the next ones at the same time.. I really need a smart brown cardigan for work, and I have some lovely aran-weight bluefaced leicester in the perfect shade bought from ebay calling me from my stash. But then the weather should be warming up soon, so should I wait until the autumn? So many decisions to make.. ;-)

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Yarn in.. Garments out..

Not quite that quickly of course!

Have you seen the fab offer on at
Lidl stores around the country atm? I managed to grab some of their goodies in the Newquay store last week - and DH paid for them!

I got a couple of packs of the cotton/viscose solid dark blue yarn - each 150g pack cost £1.99 - plus a couple of packs of the variegated cotton, which cost £3.99 per pack of 300g. Bargain!
I was very restrained as there were loads of different colours of both sorts.
I see a dark blue lacy bolero and a variegated cotton top in my near future..

I've finally got round to posting a pic of the Patons Reef yarn which I treated myself to on my first visit to Truro Fabrics, my LYS.

It's a beautiful yarn, very similar to Colinette Giotto - and again I'm hoping to make another bolero.
I'm fairly keen on them as I got so much wear from my Lacewing Bolero last summer, and often wished that I also had a long-sleeved version. Hopefully soon I will!

Now for the FOs..

Here's my
Calorimetry in all her glory. I don't think headwear does much for me, but this item is warm and fits well, and I love the colours.

I've worn it already on Mother's Day afternoon when we visited
Padstow and stood outside (very cold) eating delicious luxury Cornish ice cream made at Callestick Farm near us.

The yarn was part of a gift from my good friend
Fiona, and there's still plenty of it left.

Next up, a proper pic of "Fortune" - although I'm not quite sure was I was doing with my hands.. This is already becoming a mainstay of my wardrobe.

And finally, the Lacanau beach sandals knitted in 2 shades of Rowan Summer Tweed.

I still haven't found anywhere to buy readymade soles, so I'm watching ebay to see if I can get some leather offcuts to use.

I guess they won't really be a FO until the soles are on, but never mind.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Happy Mother's Day!

It's Mother's Day here in the UK today, so I was treated to bacon sandwiches and a cup of tea in bed this morning. :-)

Here are my gifts - the latest books from my favourite authors - and beautiful handmade cards from our DDs.

Both DDs then wanted to paint their faces; here's my eldest with her finished look - youngest DD is still working on her third version in the background!

I'm wearing my "Fortune" cardigan which I finished recently. It's knitted in Jaeger Matchmaker Merino which is beautifully warm and soft, and I love the design - a Kim Hargreaves pattern of course, from Rowan magazine number 20.

The nasty cold is nearly gone although my ears are still muffled wich makes driving seem weird. Better be chauffered today I guess. ;-)

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Struck down

It seems I'm experiencing my first taste of the Cornish cold, and it's not very palatable.

Winge mode on. My entire body aches, my nose keeps exploding, my lungs feel like they're in a crusher, my throat has yellow spots on the inside, and my ears feel like they have knives in them. Tonight I ended up in bed at 6:30pm - not good.

So now I'm fighting back. I'm taking high-dose vitamin C at regular intervals, I have a hot lemon and honey drip, and I'm gargling with Tea Tree oil (3 drops in 25ml of cold water - do not swallow. Have you tried this? Why would anyone ever want to swallow it? Yeuch!) OK - winge mode off.

On the plus side, we spent Sunday on the beach with a picnic and the girls paddled in rock pools up to their waists. I've started knitting a Calorimetry with some lovely variegated stash wool - the wind is cold on our nearest vast open beach at Perranporth atm even on a sunny day. This should help to stop it giving me earache I reckon.

The girls have also been busy baking gingerbread cookies. They were supposed to be for Mother's Day but we couldn't wait. ;-)

They came out really well, and tasted delicious.

We've since made a tin full of granola bars which was a recipe I'd saved from a 6-year-old Good Food magazine. Very tasty!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Finally online

We're here! Well we've been here 2 weeks actually, but as of this morning we have functioning broadband too.

Thanks for all your good wishes; I managed to take a peek at them during my lunch break at my new job for Cornwall County Council which is going well so far.
The girls are thoroughly enjoying their new school; they've made new friends, been invited to parties, and are going on trips already.

We seem to have fallen lucky with our accommodation too - the dormer bungalow which we are renting has been offered for sale to us, and it looks like we may be going for it as long as we can get planning permission to extend it. The architect is coming round tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes, but the general opinion is that it should go through fine.

I'll have some knitting pics soon - I've finished the beach sandals (apart from getting some soles), and I'm finally wearing that lovely Fortune cardigan. I'm now on the second sleeve of the aran lace cardigan, and deciding which sock pattern to keep at work as a lunch break project.

And yes we've been to the beach - several times. It's all looking good! ;-)