Knitting

A Good Haar Day

Yet another migraine morning for me today and wee Elisa had a horrid night with fever – I tell ya, we’re all glad here it’s the weekend!

12070624_1687310361499186_1537387375_n The Haar is in this morning – that’s the sea fog that envelopes the Firth of Forth and the surrounds. It’s really thick and visibility is about 10 metres at the moment. (Picture added later when it had started to burn off) It’ll hang around for a little while by the looks of it too. I remember being at a friend’s place and watching it roll in – reminded me of the dust storms in Melbourne many years back.

This morning is a quiet one in. I’m going through our list of meals to organise the week and the shopping. I love online shopping but I do miss the walking around and instant inspiration of seeing products on the shelves.

One thing I’ve noticed is when trying to find new dinner options it’s actually not that easy. You can readily find sites with thousands of recipes, and it’s all very well seeing recipes that look amazing for restaurant quality fussiness but what do people actually eat for dinner? You can easily find a recipe for an elaborate roast with amazing artisan and rare to find veggies, but how easy is it to find a decent recipe for lamp chops and veggies? What are your plans for dinners this coming week? Are there any staple dinners that you always seem to fall back on?

Later today I’ll be heading off to Stockbridge to join in the fun of a knitting Tea Party. WHile I’ll be there in person there will be a concurrent virtual event happening so anyone can join in. This is to celebrate the launch of Clare Devine’s fabulous Tea Party Collection of knitting patterns using Jess of GingerTwist Studio’s wonderful hand dyed yarn. We’ll be casting on for the knit-a-long while there. I figure I need a winter hat so why not make a lovely one with friends where there’s a reason to finish quickly and not eat into Christmas knitting time. I’m really looking forward to the event tonight. It’s so nice to get an adult break, now if I can only get my stupid head to cooperate!

Elisa, Katja, Knitting

2015 Crafty Disaster No. 1

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It’s only three weeks in and I’ve already hit my first craft disaster of the year! This does not bode well..

Now I have a confession. I didn’t swatch. Instead I was cocky and figured that as I’ve done some colourwork in this yarn before and got gauge with that there wasn’t any point. And to be fair, it starts off fine but it grows. I started with 7 stitches to the inch and now I’m getting 6. That’s a 3″ difference over 128 stitches. So I’m not so sure that a swatch would have seen off this particular nightmare.

I had been thinking of lining this one with something super soft and slightly less itchy, but now I’m not so sure that this will be enough to save it so I’m trying to emotionally come to terms with the idea of ripping it all out and starting again. The only saving grace with that is that as I want it to be smaller I’ll be able to reuse the yarn – good thing I hadn’t sewn in all those ends yet!

The smaller size is only 4 stitches difference so I guess I’ll go down a needle size and also down a hat size. But right at this very minute I want to shove it all in a bag and throw it into the back of the cupboard πŸ™ Such a shame – I was really enjoying this one!

How would you handle this one? Would you rip back or try to somehow pull it in? Would you toss it aside or get started on a new one straight away?

In other news

We went to the Camera Obscura with E and A last week and the kids had an absolute ball. The Camera people were putting on a Toddler week and they did a brilliant job – they even set up one of their meeting rooms to be a break room complete with high chairs, toys and coffee. That was truly inspired – more venues should do this.

Elisa is now walking, albeit unsteadily unless she’s holding onto something. It’s quite scary considering she’s only 9 months old but I guess the incentive to keep up with Katja is probably a great motivator.

Yesterday E and A popped round and we did some biscuit baking, lots of fun. Although next time I think I’ll premix all the ingredients to save some time.

Knitting, Memory Monday, News & Updates

Week 2 – Christmas is over

tree

Christmas is over. And as per tradition here on the 5th or thereabouts most people pulled down their Christmas tree and decorations and dumped the tree next to their bin for collection by the council.

I have two issues with this. The first is that, well look at that tree – so much green left in it and it smells absolutely divine and yet there it is cast aside as worthless. If you are taking down because of tradition then why not keep the unadorned tree inside for a while and still get to enjoy it’s life?

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 10.44.20The second is that this week there are several storm warnings. And the winds have been furious. Just look at this – a full sized bin knocked over by wind, and there were plenty more of those. Trees can become deadly in weather like that so to my mind they’re best left inside where they are not going to fly into a passing car.

Anyway, we didn’t do a Christmas tree this year because Elisa is at just the wrong age for it, although we will need to next year as Katja was so excited seeing them and kept pointing them out whenever we saw one. Instead we had lots of glittery stars hanging from the ceiling and I’m planning on moving those to the kids’ room to make it cosier.

And it now is a kids’ room – we moved Elisa in there on Thursday. I was sceptical as K gets so excited whenever she sees E and has had a few nightmares in recent weeks – they seem to feature bees or snails. I couldn’t understand who Wednesday night’s antagonist was. But so far it’s working really really well. It was lovely on Friday morning to hear that she had dreamt of “stickers, lots and lots of stickers with lots of colours”.

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The weather here is getting decidedly cold. Time to get out the woolies! Katja had a ball on Saturday when we got caught in a rather horrid sleety snow shower on the way home. She’s too young to remember previous snow so it was an exciting and new experience. We had to stop at very car on the walk so that she could grab some snow (which by then was a crusty layer of ice) so she could throw it in the air. Today the snow has gone, but no doubt there will be more given the weather warning sin place for later this week.

I remember the first time I saw snow. In Melbourne snow is something you go to, it doesn’t come to you. It was an exciting trip going up to the mountains and seeing snow for the first time. I remember having a hot chocolate and it was probably the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had. I would have been about 10 or 12 then.

When was the first time you saw snow? Do you remember it? Do you like the snow?

On the craft front my two active projects are coming along. I’m currently working on a bunny doll for Elisa and a pair of socks for me. Next week I’m planning on casting on this hat – I’m looking forward to it but want to have the bunny finished before then if possible. I’ll be using the same colours as the picture, mainly because every time I come across a picture of it I think it’s gorgeous.

So what are your current creative projects? Do you have more than one project on at a time? Do you know what your next project will be?

Knitting, My Lifestream, Photo A Day

Puppies

Want to see a picture of a cute puppy? Of course you do...

So here I am, slowly coming out of the post baby zombie fog. E is doing amazingly well, putting on weight like a boss and sleeping better than K does. Of course the combined effect of the toddler not sleeping so well and the baby waking at normal for a two month old intervals means that C and I are completely shattered.

Craftree now has over 600 members and is growing daily. There’s over 700 patterns catalogued too.

On the craft front, yesterday I managed to do two pattern rows – not quite two repeats of my Wee Leisl which I’m working on for K. I also managed to do about a row’s worth of my old turtle latch hook. Would like to see it finished, although I realise now that the reason I slowed down was that I’ve no idea how to actually bind it off once I’ve done. I’ve generally made cushions or simply not completed the end product before. Time for a google me thinks!

The mouse wars are currently at a stalemate. They’re nolonger coming into the kitchen, although I do hear them behind the kick plates. That’s a win for us, however I’m hearing a LOT more noise behind the walls at the moment. Apparently we’re the only ones who have had them in the flat – I find that very hard to believe. I honestly think most people have no idea that they have them. You wouldn’t know here if you weren’t paranoid as I am. A few others have reported the scratching in the walls so I’m led to believe that the resident’s association are looking to get a communal pest controller for the whole block. Could not happen fast enough!

Picture is of Elisa wearing the cute puppy onesie from Grandma. I love the way she stretches when you place her on the bed.

Crochet, Katja, Knitting, My Week in Pictures

February 2014 Round Up

General Pics

We started the month with a quick belly shot – interesting to compare the Katja bump on the left with the new bump on the right. Especially since I feel a lot bigger. My hair is a lot longer too, and has been looking good since Tegan straightened it for me back in April last year – only problem is now that my roots have started to grow I look like I have a frizz mullet!

Katja has finally started to expand her eating and every now and then will even have a sandwich for lunch. One evening she managed to eat all of her own dinner and polish off mine as well – granted it was fish fingers with mashed potato, but I was delighted.

We had an exciting afternoon when two firetrucks turned up, sirens going full blast and about 20 guys jumped out. There was that anxious moment of “OMG what do I need to pack to evacuate” but then I noticed that they were all heading for the block next door.

Towards the end of the month an errand filled morning saw me attempting to use the ergobaby to bring Katja home from nursery. This is no mean feat with the belly but we managed it and the girl thought it was great fun. I paid for it later on!

Also this month Mark visited us, but I was too slack to take any pictures. I’m so useless at that!

Crafty Pics

On the crafty front I ended up with some extra stitches in my cable here but twitter knitters soon put me right πŸ™‚

I also blocked Damask – and found out that my cast on is far too tight to get a good scalloped edge. Must work on loosening up. Still, I’m delighted with it πŸ™‚

I also started a hat for me, but it turned out far too big so I’m scrapped that. I then found an old crochet project to scrap and I’ll use that yarn to make a little hat for WeeBump.

Craft, Knitting

From Disaster Hat to Bump Hat

As it’s the very end of winter here in Edinburgh (and indeed in many other places too) it is rather cold. It’s a biting kind of cold and the wind when it blows is icy. I need a new hat. One that covers my ears! And so it was that I found a cute little pattern for an ear-flap hat called Boreal. The bonus being that it includes sizes for wee ones as well as adults. I admit that the image here attracted me, most likely due to the colours. I’m a sucker for pretty colours.

Anyway, I pulled out my favourite Mirasol Akapana with all it’s llama/merino slubby squishyness and cast on with reckless abandon. After all, I’m rarely out that far with gauge and the last hat I made complete with gauge swatch ended up a bit smaller than I would have liked. After a couple of evenings of knitting it occurred to me to try it on and just see.

Disaster! I pulled out the hat I had made last year for Katja to check what gauge I had achieved on that and compared to the pattern. Way off. In fact, so way off that I estimated I’d need to drop from 5mm down to 3mm to get close and with this yarn that would result in a hat with all the squishyness of cardboard. (I’m quite proud of myself for figuring out that the fabric will not work, that’s what I would have called “advanced” knitting only a few months ago!)

So, back to the drawing board. I have my socks languishing, I could pick those up – but brain isn’t really up to it. What I need is a quick fix. And then I decided that I would knit a hat for Bump. I’d been avoiding it, partly because there’s no real need – we were given a gorgeous little handknit hat for Katja when she was born at the hospital, apparently they have a supply of them. It’s acrylic lemon and plain and part of me thinks it would be unfair on Katja to give Bump something in a quality yarn and made by me when she has something so simple, but then again, it’s also unfair to deny Bump the fruits of my improved skills. Plus I have to sit in waiting rooms a lot in the next few weeks and need something to do!

Eventually I settled on a sweet little lacy leaf hat pattern and decided to frog a project that had been sitting at the bottom of my stash drawers for 5 years going nowhere so that I could reuse the lovely lilac alpaca yarn. Very proud of myself for that, felt liberating as I pulled out the crochet rows.

But then I looked more closely at the pattern – gah, nightmare! It was the PDF equivalent of that poster that someone has photocopied the photocopy of the photocopy of and put up in the break room. Impossible to read, and stuck in the middle of the text. Why do people do that? I can understand that if you’re giving something away for free you don’t want to spend too much time on it, but surely a knitter has pride in their output, even the paper kind? I cranked up StitchMastery and got to work. In no time at all I had a lovely easy to read chart and a set of written instructions that were also much easier to follow. Do other people do this or is it just me?

Finished Projects, Katja, Knitting, My Week in Pictures, Travel

January 2014 Round Up

General Pics

January started in the standard way, with lots of fabulous fireworks. We stayed in and watched them from the comfort of our couch – very cosy!

For a minute there I thought the business to the left was doing private parties! #lookagain

And while picking up Katja from Nursery the street was blocked off by firefighters. Turns out there was a building well and truly ablaze on the other side of the canal. It’s since been torn down, which is no great loss – was a bit of an eyesore.

Family

Katja is starting to try to help around the house, which is really quite sweet. She’ll sweep up with the broom, put on the rubber gloves and even tries to season the chicken.

I popped into a local charity shop and scored a toddler sized handbag and very pretty denim dress for Katja – and no pink or cartoon/princess characters in site.

Meanwhile we’re into the 7th month of Bump and she’s starting to look a little more obvious now!

London Trip

This month we popped down to London for a long weekend. The idea was to meet up with Suzy and Dave to celebrate their recent nuptuals, but that didn’t quite work out. Never mind – we got to catch up with Ilze and Paul and with Gavin and take Katja to the Natural History Museum, which she adored.

We went down by train which we booked online only to find that thetrainline.com had put us in separate seats with no table despite our wishes. And as there was no way of letting them know that we had an under 2 with us oh my what a nightmare that would have been! Luckily for us we were travelling off peak and the wheelchair spaces were free for both journeys giving us the space that we needed for 5+ hours of train time with a toddler.

Craft

This month started with one finished item – a jumper for Katja which unfortunately ended up just a tad too small πŸ™ An unusual construction technique didn’t really pay off so eventually I’ll make another for her using the same yarn.

I also started on my Birthday Damask Shawl – a fabulous gift from Liz. I’d been eyeing this pattern off for years and had somehow elevated it to the “wow” level. I also found the prospect of starting by casting on over 300 stitches for the long edge to be overwhelming and I was convinced it would be a drag to knit. Boy was I wrong – I haven’t enjoyed knitting something so much for quite a long time. Actually, probably not since the last time I knit lace. Perhaps I should be looking more at lace patterns to knit!