Monday, 6 July 2009

Happy Birthday wishes

Happy Birthday wishes this week go to my little brother, David, who celebrates this weekend with a BBQ (subject to weather. of course! which, at the moment, is back to the normal damp and wet with sunny spells - SO much for the heatwave and glorious summer).

My sewing-pal-mad-maer asks whats our favourite Smoothie? And it was all sounding rather nice and fruity until I read it again and spotted the SPINACH! spinach? now I like spinach (steamed as a veg or raw in a salad) but not sure I'd like it in a smoothie; I have to confess, though, I've never ACTUALLY had a smoothie (and I'm not sure I know what the difference is between a smoothie and a juice "drink" but Mary seems to enjoy them rather a lot!) (Actually I think I prefer her tip for dipping strawberries in dark chocolate, but maybe thats why my middle resembles blancmange!!). Anyway, we're both in sewing and healthy eating and Mary's blog is worth a visit for either.

EPIC match yesterday! Wimbledon mens final! I was worn out and stressed by the end, but I managed to get a few rounds in on my newest sock and got sock.2 Kai-mei underway now I'm wondering whether to develop an interest in cricket ... (personal sew-pals will be wondering if this is wise, given how quiet the MMG has been thus far and his penchance for tuning in my emb. software to find the cricket ..)

Winding down to the end of the school year for no.2.son - 2.5weeks left and then in September he will begin his GCSE year 10 and it all starts again with exams and revision! Next month no.1.son will get his results and we're hopeful he's done as well as has been predicted - good luck son!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Progress - knitting and healthwise - has been made!

First. Kai-mei sock.1 is complete. This proved to be a challenging pattern for me and I very nearly gave up, ripped it off the needles and flung it in the bin! Luckily I didn't. I set it aside and ignored it for weeks, even looked through my book, Sock Innovation, in an attempt to convince myself that I preferred another pattern. but. I didn't! I preferred THIS pattern!

My problem was trying to learn the technique of ML (while still being "new" to handling circulars) and attempting to understand a complicated-to-me pattern. Once I'd sat and calmed down, picked up the needles and decided to just follow the instructions instead of trying to understand them, I settled into it and resolved to just KNIT and not look at it until I'd completed the decreases for the section on "shape gussets".
Hurrah! it worked! happily I found that the panel stitching was easy-peasy too! (and NOT the most difficult combination of knitting stitches I've apparently never come across before!) and the whole foot and toe was knit with ease!

Pretty good eh? I love this pattern and plan to cast on sock.2 this afternoon in time for the Mens Singles final Wimbledon.

Which leads nicely (yum!) to .. STRAWBERRIES! and another hurrah! for homegrown strawberries and raspberries! We've done well this year, our best ever! And don't they taste much better than shop bought?

Well I shall be enjoying some yummy knitting and yummy fruit this afternoon, and elsewhere my Vintage Cardigan (Debbie Bliss) is nearly complete too! Just got the shaping to knit at the top of sleeve.2 then I shall block it and attempt to follow the instructions to crochet the buttonhole bands and neck edge!

Cast on, too, is another sock - I decided that just a plain ST ST was far too boring and now that I feel confident wielding my single circ. about a ball of wool, have decided to have a go at the pattern in Simply Knitting magazine - Luxe Lace, by Elizabeth Bagwell. Easy 4 row pattern combining both cable and lace I've called this my "Hospital sock"! yes! at LAST! it looks like progress has been made at the Hospitals! FINALLY, the Dr's have decided to stop messing about and just go for it! and take out my gallbladder!! (I've only been waiting since Sept 08!)

First I have to attend an appointment for some sort of "endoscopic ultrasound" which sounds fun (not!) on the 14th July, and then, hopefully, the following week I'm IN on the Wed and ITS out on the Thurs!

Elsewhere on the health front, although my shoulder is much more flexible (thanks to the hard work by the Physiotherapist) it is starting to ache a bit and I'm beginning to feel occasional pain again. Dr at the Ortho Hospital advises that two injections this year is the maximum and suggests painkillers if I feel I need them and is "hopeful" that the pain won't return - unless I'm very unlucky! like it did before. I'm hoping it won't return, too!
Completely fed up with this frozen shoulder and still can't believe it takes so LONG to recover from it.

I've started to "do" a bit more and think that this may be aggravating it (eg shopping, lifting stuff) but at some point I've got to just for it and carry on as "normal".

I don't have to worry about work anymore (and the heavy lifting involved) mainly because I don't have any work TO worry about! Sadly all of us around the country have been told that our services are too expensive in the current climate, and thus we're all redundant. As of 31st July. We shall all be out of a job, save for two positions retained in London. Its the end of an era and I'm very sad about it not least the fact that I'm off sick for the notice period and thus feel completely out of the loop.

One way or another I shall be rather glad to see the back of 2009.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Prom Night!

Prom night last night for no.1.son - always held in nearby Hotel it was very well organised and attended by most of the teachers and all of the year group. This was our first time at this event and some of our son's mates got together and hired a limo for the occasion - they were very excited about the whole thing and luckily the weather was absolutely glorious!

Below you can see them meeting up in the next street to ours and dh & I sat in our car discreetly waiting for the limo to arrive to take zillions of photos! No.1.son is 2nd on the right as you look at the pic.

Here they are all piling in! gives us chance to drive down the few mins to the location, park up and wait their arrival!

HUGE excitement the other end as parents wait for them to arrive with cameras at the ready! (I think we were more excited than some of them!) Everyone was dressed really smartly and some superbly transported groups of young people added to the atmosphere - a particularly loud cheer went to the pink fire engine that arrived with LOTS of noise and filled with lots of VERY noisy young ladies!!

Below is no.1.son and his mates lining up outside their limo for a photo, he is 5th from the left as you look at the pic - you can see they are looking forward to a fun evening!

Parents gathered outside with cameras to mark the occasion and cheer each arriving party which took simply ages! Below shows no.1.son and his mates about to mingle before going inside where they had food laid on, and a disco.

It was a very long evening! he didn't arrive home until 12.40am! and I was getting rather anxious as school had said the event would finish 11-11.30pm - how I'm going to be once he gets another couple of years under his belt and starts "clubbing" I don't know!!

Dh and I sat up and waited and hoped for a conversation about the evening but - typically teenage style - he came in, announced he was thirsty, had blisters on his heels from new shoes and headed straight for the stairs!! Called up to him a rather weak "errm ..? HOW was the evening .. then .. ? .. ?" the reply, a grunt and a "don't forget to wake me EARLY tomorrow!" ..

hmm. so much for talking about it then!!

Today has been exciting too as one of the Colleges he is considering for this Sept and his A Levels had a taster day with lessons in each of the subjects he's expressed interest in and several of his friends arranged to meet up at 8.15am to travel together. Managed to get a few details dragged out of him, but teenagers don't seem to do well in communication particularly where *mum* is concerned and mostly I know that he is NOT so keen on taking A Level maths and physics! "too HARD!" was the reason! (phew! well. I could have told him THAT! just saying it sounds *hard*?)

Officially he has now left secondary school and has one super summer ahead of him of total freedom and NO responsibilities which I hope he will enjoy and appreciate. What a lovely age to be? I wouldn't want to go back to 16yrs, but its good to reflect.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

no.2.son bakes chocolate brownies!

one for him, one for them, and the rest for meee ...
No.2.son baked chocolate brownies at school yesterday and as we had some chocolate and choc.chips left, he baked a second batch this afternoon!
Rather yummy and worth upsetting an irritable stomach for!
Plan to further irritate stomach further with a couple of large G+T's as we are going out to the pub tonight - well! if you can't live a little!?

Friday, 12 June 2009

WISH I'd taken my camera!

I'm so cross with myself! I sorted my camera and made sure it was charged, and then forgot to take it in the end!
Yesterday evening I met with my knitty-pal-Sally for a glass of wine and a catch up and took along my sock (see bottom pic for a look) which I cast on to knit while waiting for an appointment earlier in the week. I promised to bring along my sock knitted with one circular (magic loop) and since I have two of these circulars decided to make that my next "appointment" project which brings me to three socks OTN's which isn't ideal but never mind!

Sally brought along her FABULOUS pieced and appliqued quilt top for her dd who is expecting a 2nd baby and thats why I am cross! I'd have loved to have taken a photo and shown it to you! The quilt is going to be super! lovely and bright with super animal faces all expertly appliqued using her Janome 4000. We discussed waddings, and quilting options and I've promised to help with the binding method that I remember bring brilliantly easy-peasy-lemon-squeazy but which I've apparently "forgotten" the detail of! If I can't remember, I know I've got a sew-pal who can help me remember!

We looked through Sally's latest book purchases knitty and quilty and generally decided upon a couple of patterns for my latest yarn bargain too!

Progress is slow but steady, but not with great confidence on my sock Kai-Mei - I need to sit for a couple of hours and just knit the gussett decreases with my eyes shut tight! (and hope I'm right!)
Nearly completed sleeve one on my DB cardigan - enjoying this project! can't wait to finish/wear it!
And, below, you can see a pic of the latest appointment-sock OTN which is just your basic plain sock that can be knitted mindlessly while waiting etc.
In this month's edition of Simply Knitting there are a couple of patterns I like the look of, and have decided upon this one by Amanda Jones on page 44/45 for my bargain Rown KSS yarn - I plan silver beads/buttons.

Tempted with the Sarah Hatton pattern on page 24/25 from Rowan book - Ravenscar - in All Seasons Cotton as its currently on half price sale - however as its sold in bags of 10 and I need 12 balls, it wouldn't be much of a bargain. Easier would be the super pattern in Yarn Forward using Rowan Calmer x 8balls also half price - but am resisting! for now, at least!

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Hurah! look what I got! a new toy!

LOOK at what I've got! HURRAH! its brilliant and its MINE! DH bought it for me as a surprise as he knows I've been wanting one for years! (we'll gloss over I waited years to get what I wanted! lol!!)

JUST as I'd leaped into the shower yesterday morning after seeing both lads off to school for the day and exams respectively, the door knocked! I thought it was one of them returning to pick up something they'd forgotten and nearly ignored them thinking, lazy lads! they've got a KEY! Luckily I didn't! it was the postman! (who didn't know where to look as I stood, dripping slightly, just about covered with a rather skimpy towel that I was just clutching at myself rather than the large bath sheet that would have amply covered me on account of I thought I just had to turn the key, let a lad in and scarper back to shower!
DH had told lads that he'd ordered the walkman for me and it was due that day but sworn them to secrecy, they kept the secret all day and didn't let on!
Lovely! to have a surprise gift and lovelier still that its something I wanted!
NOW to find some yummy knitty podcasts to add to the music that no.1.son has already added to my file AND I need a cover! anyone got any suggestions for good pattern for standard walkman?

On Thursday I'm meeting with my knitty-pal, Sally, and she promises to bring with her goodies she purchased from the Ravelry Day in Coventry at the weekend! Looking forward to seeing her, catching up with knitty gossip AND a large glass of wine!

Sunday, 7 June 2009

More dismal weather (more sewing!)

I wish I could send Val some of our rain! what am I saying? I wish I could send ALL of it! the cats are thoroughly fed up now and keep following me with the clear expression they expect ME to do something about it!
My has gone to the races and informs us that after a delay in the ferry crossing and with the awful weather he has finally arrived - completely soaked through, but happy to be there!
The wet weather seems to be everywhere at the moment which is disappointing as its meant to be summer! surely?
Today I'm going to sort patterns and fabric! Mind, with the weather as cold as it is wet, I don't feel much inspiration for summer garment sewing in fact last night I got out and fondled my stash of Cocoon and wished I'd started on that! And that, I suppose, is the best way? to sew and knit ahead of season? I wish I could be better organised. I need to sew with a plan!
Hope the weather is better for you.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Dismal Weekend (weather)

well! what a difference! the weather today is totally different to last couple of weekends, we're back to grey skies and copious amounts of rain! the sort that gets you wet and doesn't look like stopping! The cats are fed up - they hate the rain and want me to change it back to sunshine! if only I could! I would! sigh!
Still. on the bright side: I managed to pick up a super bargain midweek! I received in the post a gift voucher for £10 redeemable for House of Fraser and hurrah! LOOK what I found in their sale? A bag of ten balls of Rowan Kidsilk Spray for just £20 - how could I resist? yahooo! I picked up ten balls of yummy yarn for just a tenner to me! hurrah! AND whats more! I have the perfect patterns to choose from for knitting it!

On the knitting front, my cardigan is coming along nicely, I'm 1/3rd way through sleeve 1, on the magic loop sock I'm trying to calm myself down and relax into knitting the gusset decrease/pattern commencement and TRUST that it WILL work - still not quite convinced, but working on that currently in peace and quiet!
Sock on DPN's is progressing slowly but steadily and I've had to cast on an emergency plain sock on my second extra long circular needle for appointments I had last week and forthcoming weeks where I need something to knit that isn't going to make me stressed if someone approaches to ask what am I doing!? (or lose my place when they call my name!)

Had an interesting conversation with someone I was seeking advice from last week; when he collected me I bundled my knitting into bag as we walked to his room and he sat and stared at me for 1 or 2 mins before narrowing his eyes and asking from WHERE did he know me!? I was sort of hoping he didn't know me! and couldn't think from where or how he might have known me, I certainly couldn't recall him - but it turns out his wife is a knitter and we concluded he must have spoken with me in store. This happens a lot. I think I probably have the sort of face that looks like one might "know me". I got caught - again! in the supermarket by a lady in the bread aisle who said "excuse me. DO I know you? .." It can take a while before we establish if we DO know each other : have you got teen children? (we might know each other from the playground? this happens a lot especially now that we no longer meet on the playground to collect our children) the library? (I'm always in there!) WeightWatchers? (I used to be a regular!) how about tennis club? (dh plays/treasurer etc locally) the Doctors! or hospital? (I seem to be a regular and always up there these days and have struck up a conversational friendship with a neighbour who also apparently frequents the surgery as often as me these days! in fact only yesterday she nearly knocked me down after she spotted me walking down my road as she drove up and veered onto the pavement, and called out to me! - I, thinking she was a nutter, had sidestepped out of the cars oncoming path and put a step on it and it was only after she caught up with me and tapped my shoulder that I realised WHO she was! of course we had to walk back to where she'd abandoned her car and I was quite grateful after 15mins of catchup on latest round of unsuccessful appointments and disappointing results that one of my neighbours decided he needed to go somewhere and would my "friend" mind moving her car!). Anyway, we discovered that we did in fact know each other! through a combination of our children and the local tennis club after my dh popped up from the grocery section looking for me! and recognised this lady! apparently several years ago we were in the red group and sat outside from 5.15-6.30 together! phew!

Anyway, after we had this interesting conversation about our knitting, I concluded that perhaps it was a good icebreaker to have that sort of face! (except now, of course, I'm trying to place his wife!)

Our no.1.son has almost finished his GCSE exams and we've got his Prom to look forward to in a couple of weeks time - he has a suit and we just have to hope he doesn't grow anymore!

Sewing wise I've managed to cut the elastic from some summer skirts I'd made last year in order to make them smaller on the waist and yesterday I did a sterling job of reorganising and cleaning my sewing room and hope to switch the machine on this weekend! In doing this I "found" an old quilty project that I had got part way through before losing momentum and interest in a large craft bag and I decided upon retrospect that in fact it IS quite an interesting project and well worth finishing! I hope to be able to get cracking on that next week too!

Sunday, 31 May 2009

First BBQ of the summer!

Good old no.2.son! doing a fab job minding the BBQ (just watch the smoke, love! don't set fire to the house!)

I'll umm, just relax with a G+T and umm dish out the orders from this lounger ..

The men. Gathering by the BBQ testing it out for temperature - I left them to get on with it, it all turned out ok in the end! came round on his bike for an impromptu afternoon in the garden but was unble to as he had a friend round for a weekend of gaming, beer & blu-ray!

Weather has been glorious this last week which has been great for us as its been half term and the lads were both home. School commences tomorrow - back to *normal*!

Lots of knitting activity this week! Cardi in DB pure silk is coming along brilliantly, am already starting to see me wearing this! Sock on ML has hit a slight problem and I have to frog a bit and HOPE can pick up the stitches - I mean pattern! gulp! (A couple of nights sleep to think about this and I feel confident of having a go tomorrow after the family are out of the house!).

Having lost around 8" off my hips I've decided to have another bash at some dressmaking! However I have around 4 summer weight bias skirts that I'm hoping I can adjust satisfactorily at the waist (elasticated) to fit well enough to see me through the present sunny hot spell and I spent two days unpicking seamed, zigzagged AND overlocked elastic x 4 times! grrr!
Hope to get these done best part of next week.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Always wanted one ..

I've always wanted one of these! but at full price I couldn't really (afford!) justify it as predominantly I'd want it for fusing interfacings! (although it is a whizz at pressing laundry too!) An opportunity came my way to purchase a nearly brand-new and hardly used one for £50!
I'm SEW excited I'm still pinching myself to believe my luck!

Absolutely loving the magic loop method of knitting my sock! Have got into the swing of it and find it dead easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy and I've checked! not even any gaps or ladders at the join from side to side! how whizz is that!?

Celebrated our 15th Wed.Ann. last night with a few G+T's in the pub - we'd both had less than satisfactory days "work" related and a timely reminder courtesy of my by way of a card was the final straw, I mean deciding point!
We don't generally celebrate, as such, mostly because we don't often remember! Of course we remember the sort of date but usually we can't agree on the ACTUAL date, when my Mother was alive she would send us a card on the day and we just relied on her for the prompt!
Anyway, not quite believing how could actually have remembered the month never mind the date, dh decided to once and for all dig out the paperwork and confirm the date which he duly did and promptly announced he needed a drink!
And if my maths is to be trusted, this will be our 23rd year of living together - in this same house too - which is a very scary thought! how did that time go? and where did it go to?

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Hurrarh! I'm doing it! I'm magic-looping!

Well! these might not stay OTN for long! (they've been ON! they've been OFF! so many times I've had to untangle and rewind the wool into a sort of 2nd mini-ball!)
I started off with the 2xcircs but really at 100cm these are too long for comfort.
I knew this when I bought them.
But I still bought them.
And now I've got them, I ought to use them!
Decided to try knitting with ONE circular - Magic Loop! - hurrah! if I can crack this, its another new to me technique!
Finding it hard to get my head around it but after an hours reknitting this morning after ripping last night's efforts, I think I'm ready to go!
I've got 6" or so of k3,p3 so that ought to be easy enough to get me going?

OTN is Kai-Mei - 1x 2.5mm circular
YARN is Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn
COL is S164 LOT E
From Sock Innovation, Cookie A

Also progressing very nicely is my Debbie Bliss Vintage Style Cardigan - the left front is complete and will cast on for right front later today.
Sock.2 on DPN's are also progressing slowly, but nicely!
Still not decided on my next project, in two minds between a super looking cardi in this month's Simply Knitting OR super looking shawl in one of The Knitter magazines - yarn will be the KSH that was abandoned during the winter months and I'm hopeful now the light is better (and my shoulder is better able to knit with!) that it'll be easier!

Half Term next week! and a Bank Holiday this weekend, we've no plans but at least I've lots of knitting to keep me going.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

The socks are finished!

Hurrah! the socks are FINISHED! After a particularly lengthy Hospital appointment yesterday I finished shaping the toes and then did kitchener stitch when I got home. Just a short pair, and a simple "plain" pair of socks more to trial the technique of knitting 2socks x 2circular needles, I had already knitted a pair of Monkeys in this yarn and intended using the leftover to knit a sample sock but enjoyed it so much decided to buy another ball of yarn and knit a pair! If you remember, which I don't suppose you do! I had tried and failed to learn this technique and originally knitted just one sock before pulling myself together, gritting my teeth and just GETTING ON with it! I ended up frogging the first sock and recasting on a pair.

I'm glad I did! I'm inspired now to knit a patterned pair next time!
Maybe! even! try magic loop!?

Tempted by the Salzburg Twisted Stitch sock pattern on page 62 in the July edition of Yarn Forward .. sigh .. but also tempted, still, to knit from my latest Sock Innovation book too - so many patterns! so much yarn! I need to get a grip!

Enjoyed reading this months Yarn Forward which was my treat for the appointment earlier, I was tempted to buy some Rowan Calmer reduced to half price to cast on for Morning Echo, page 24, too - but! I resisted! phew! (memories of recent stash tidying)

Slipped in to House of Fraser and stayed for the Knit'n'Chat session for an hour's knitting and showed off my socks! admired the fair isle scarf, yummy cardi and interesting cushion being knitted by some of the other ladies and we talked mostly about health and ailments and nightmare hospital experiences! My own, on this occasion, was quite fruitful! I am to have my gall bladder removed! at last! someone has made a decision! (admitedly it was the surgeon, and that is his job! and perhaps he needed have looked quite as though rubbing hands at prospect OF another job .. but still, at least, it was a decision!).

Sunday, 17 May 2009

A crafty tidy up and some welcome P+Q for the weekend

This is how my weekend started! with a glass of wine and some peaceful knitting! bliss!
Dh took the lads "home" to Newcastle for the weekend for the match on Saturday and they stayed over at his sister's house; I, on the other hand, stayed home! Variety of reasons, the main one being for some welcome peace and quiet!
Now, its been many years (more than 23!) since I've actually lived on my own, and I'm not saying I'd want to live on my own, but if I were to find myself ON my own, it wouldn't be that big a deal! The prospect of a whole weekend home alone, with no tv, no hungry teenagers was too much for me to turn down!
I thought I'd do nothing! just sit! and knit! but in fact I decided to sort out and declutter the bathroom cupboards and clean bathroom while I was at it which set me in the mood for decluttering and cleaning!

FIRST my magazines! Every year I try to sort them out and recycle a few in order to make room for new ones, having let my subscriptions to some lapse and retain only Simply Knitting and added The Knitter I thought it would be easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy! In fact it took me 2hrs to sort through my extensive collection and eventually I managed to sort into one large box all the mags I definitely want to keep (which include 18months worth of Threads and about 6-9months worth of Sewing World and several Patchwork & Quilting mags including a few overseas mags too).

Bunged under my drop-leaf cutting out table a pile of "don't want to recyle but not necessarily attached that much" magazines in the hopes that I won't mind in a few months time moving these on!
And sorted into two piles a stack to be taken off to various waiting rooms, starting tomorrow with another Hospital appointment.

NEXT I turned my attention to the yarn! I had thought I'd tidy the sewing room but decided to start with the yarn and move onto the sewing but as that took up the rest of Saturday the room will have to wait until next week. Bertie, as you can see above, decided to help me. Note to self: DON'T leave entire stash of yarn on sofa while eating dinner in the other room and expect it to remain safe!

Bertie hopped it when he heard me return, and headed for the radiator shelf and made do with watching proceedings thereafter.

My stash laid out across the sofa! Fortunately I've been pretty good at curbing impulse to buy at random having been largely cured of this some years ago following a competition on a sewing forum.
Even so I had quite a lot of yarn and even more notions accessories and books, not to mention needles!

Luckily I have plenty of boxes and bags! Above you can see the free gift that came with my recent subscription to The Knitter, my loose patterns are stored in the underneath bit, notions in the side pockets and inside are the two freebie bags that came from old Simply Knitting as gifts that house my sock knitting project and bits and pieces, the other my crochet hooks and cable/circular needles.

My Super personalised knitting project bag custom embroidered and made by sewing-pal-Carol, above, contain the remainder of my knitty notions and current WIP's which include a nearly complete dish cloth that I'd forgotten I'd started!

The box on the left has bag of yarn for my next planned project (more on that later when I've decided WHICH of the two choices!) and the rather super laundry box on the right house the oddments and the sock yarn. This was a bargain costing me just £2 from £22 and is rather floral and fun and far too nice for boring laundry/household products!

Below are the rest of the bagged yarns and projects which will go back into plastic box when I finally sort out my sewing room next week! phew! I needed another glass after all that!

Apparently the family are about half way! they are just at the service station about to fill up with petrol and refuel with coffee and cola and rang to advise are starving hungry and could I make sandwiches for them!

Well I'm about to make the most of my remaining time, might pour another glass of wine and finish reading my book! Its been a super weekend and even some rather unsettling news that will affect me personally over the next few weeks hasn't spoiled the benefits of some time out alone. I feel quite relaxed and rather virtuous! I might even save a glass for dh ...

Monday, 11 May 2009

Some crafty activity!

Sorry! it makes more sense to read my next post below this FIRST! why do I always forget the order when posting twice? duh!)
Well it was inevitable, really, that I'd find some crafty place to visit!
On Saturday around 5pm we headed out toward this shop! The family left me for 45mins to explore (I explored the shop! and they explored the surroundings and found us a pub to relax over my new book purchase with a large and welcome G+T in the still warm and sunny early evening).

Couldn't resist reading my new book! Though no.2.son was slightly puzzled by why anyone would want to buy a book on socks!

Dh didn't get it either and it took ages to prise the book back off them!

The meal was lovely, too! and I took rather a time to select from the menu

The purchases!
The book!

Sock yarn!

2 pairs of lace circular needles for a project I have in mind from this month's The Knitter (more, later!) a packet of lockable stitch markers and ..

2 pairs of 2.5mm circulars for my socks! I've transferred them to my current basic sock which is just an inch away from toe shaping. I couldn't get want I really wanted in the 2.5mm's and these at 100cm are a bit longer than I really need but they are miles better to knit with than the rather nasty and cheapie ones from the market at least.

Finally! on Sunday, a trip to John Lewis, Oxford Street, and I bought a ball of Noro sock yarn which I've wanted for ages and ages and isn't sold locally - by now the family were thoroughly fed of me a/ finding crafty places to visit b/ reading and fondling crafty purchases and c/ spending all our money on crafty purchases!

Super weekend! and now really looking forward to next weeks trip to Newcastle to see what craftiness I can get up to there while the family attempt to enjoy one of the last remaining fixtures for NUFC (before they are relegated!?)

Weekend trip to London

We had an overnight stay in London hotel, The Hilton Metropole, this weekend as part of another of works' trip organised by the social club within the place dh works. These trips always offer terrific value for money and are generally popular and this one was no exception. A full coach load of us travelled down early Sat arriving around 11am and leaving Sun around 4.30pm.

We didn't actually go on the London Eye although we nearly chose it as part of the package with a trip to Madam Tussaud's museum as we thought one event each day would be quite enough to fit in and we decided to try and fit in with no.2.son's preferences on this occasion for various reasons. We did have a lovely walk that way and all agreed we'd do it next time! On Saturday evening we found a nice restaurant this way and enjoyed a meal.

On Sunday we went to The Dungeons! very scary! dh was slightly worried after he inadvertently let out an "oh! dear! (gulp)" which was picked up by one of the presenters - a rather fierce looking woman and no.1.son was put in the dock and found guilty of "being from Birmingham!!" and sentenced to a horrid end!

The weather was great on both days and we enjoyed a walk around one of the many fabulous parks before going into the museum.

Couldn't resist, of course, a pic with Robert Plant ! - sigh -

We enjoyed both actitivies and managed to find a couple of pubs to relax and enjoy a few G+T's too!