Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Cute Chickens

For simply ages now I've wanted to knit these cute chicks - Gordon, Jamie & Hugh by Janice Anderson in Rowan Purelife - the organic cotton kids collection book but couldn't really justify the expense for one novelty pattern!  Just as I was about to cave in and just BUY the book! though! I found through browsing Ravelry patterns that in fact it was published as a supplement with May 2010 issue of SK magazine! one that I subscribe to! and I ought to have!? but where!?
I don't know if you are like me, I like to keep absolutely everything for very nearly for ever! but every now and then I throw a wobbler and have a good sort out and get RID of stuff - usually everything!
After an hour's searching I'd just reached the point of feeling that maybe I had had it! and maybe I'd also chucked it! bah! and then I found it! slightly crumpled but I had it! hurrah!
Double hurrah's! too when I discovered that inside are a collection of mummy, daddy and baby bear that complement the tiny teddy by the same designer! ha! they have a family!? almost finished just awaiting embroidered details IS "mummy bear" claimed by no.1.son.18yrs .. PLEASED all round ..

I knit the chicks above in left over Sirdar baby bamboo yarn from the previous baby-knits and its the dingly-dangly legs with their knock-knees that I esp. like! There was a 4th one - in cream with lime detail, but I'd not knit it at the time and since I've given the denim blue chick to my no.2.brother who is recovering at home following a motorbike accident on his way to work last week!

My brother is doing well and recuperating at home but not before a somewhat confusing and stressful set of encounters with the Dr's who seemed to be unable to decide what if anything was broken!
At one point after a 2nd lot of x-rays, the Dr returned to announce that "EITHER his left OR his right .. possibly BOTH? .. or NEITHER shoulder was broken!"
hmm. I think I could have come up with that diagnosis myself without even requesting an Xray never looking LOOKING at it!
Essentially, my brother went with the Dr to the Xray and HE pointed out to the Dr the L and R .. aha! yes! and also pointed out it was the BACK of shoulder (can't remember name of bone) that IS indeed broken!
A painful RIGHT elbow/hand was declared NOT broken.  As he left the following day, the Dr chased him and announced upon reflection! the hand on right WAS broken .. As my brother FLED up the corridor (as fast as one can flee with one broken shoulder, one broken hand a torn lung and a badly bruised hip and back) he called out that NO WAY WAS HE HAVING IT PLASTERED/STRAPPED! and so he's home now! and putting up with the pain .. and I'm helping as best I can with cooking and shopping for him and his Dad ..

Monday, 30 May 2011

Knitting for CHARITY!

When the Charity group I belong to as a member suffering myself with Atrial Fibrilliation put out a plea to knitters to send in "hearts" to decorate their stand at a woolfair end May, 2011 what could I do other than knit a few and send them in!
I met with Wendy one of the organiser's fundraising officers for a knitterly chat about exciting things to come over the summer and months ahead which I hope will present a useful way in which I and other knitters can combine craft with health to raise awareness of the impact a cardiac arrythmia has on life and much needed funds for their activities and work in this field.

All of my projects are, of course, Ravelled with details of patterns and where to find them - I think my projects page is about up to date now! just!

Good luck to all involved in this Event which is taking place today!

New babies in the family!

In Feb/Mar 2011 both of my sil's children safely delivered granddaughter - Maisie and grandson - Arthur and presented an opportunity for me to knit BABY STUFF!

Above are photo's of various items knit for each from the Sirdar baby bamboo book that I purchased.
In addition I knit a pair of Little Teddy Bears by Laura Long as published in Yarn Forward mag (now renamed KNIT) issue 27.

I used a selection of yarns for the various projects - Sirdar Baby Bamboo for the stripy hoodie, cable jumper, and little Sailor Girl which is in fact a Sublime pattern as published in The Knitter, issue 19.  Sirdar Snuggly DK for the bolero cardigan and a mix of left over yarns for the tiny baby socks.
For the duffel coat I used a pack of really cheap dk yarn from a local PoundStretcher and it lends itself well to the design of the garment but not as "nice" to knit with! excellent value though!

Thanks! to my longtime cyber-Sew-Pal-Jan for her bag pattern! I've used this no end of times to make "baby gift" bags and craft bags too and its just PERFECT!  The fabrics came from Cotton Patch.

Both babies are adorable as you'd expect! and both very much welcomed to the family none more so than Claire's "little bean" - Maisie who will I'm sure bring something to her more so than any other "new mum".   You can read about her and follow her fight to relearn to walk here as well as see more pics of her adorable baby!

Changes and redecoration

OK so its been almost a full YEAR since we started redecorating our lounge! but as we approach one year I'm happy both with proceedings and with the choices we've made.
We've completely ripped out the entire side wall of brickwork and fireplace and shelving as built, originally, by dh's friend whose house it was and who at the time was a bricklayer.  he did a brilliant job (some heaving and thumping to dismantle it!) but it was very old fashioned and HAD to go!

Its left us with a nice big room and another pal very kindly helped dh to plasterboard it and the ceiling and I'm pleased with the finished result and the new set of ceiling lights on dimmer switch are fab!

We had a new patio door and have completely rearranged the room to bring the tv over to the opposite side and are currently taped out on the floor positions for the new furniture!  we're going for a 3xseater and 2xseater and this is currently on order due end of Juneish time.

Carpet is ordered and due to be fitted mid June and the Italian wallpaper is on order and due any time soon it should all be coming together very quickly and very soon - I can't wait!

Other changes include dh's "retirement" of this year!  At the beginning of the month he turned 65yrs and "retired".  For some 2weeks, 3days.  And has now returned to work on a pt basis of 4 days a week.  Its necessary for financial reasons that he do this in part because he is able having actually GOT a job and also because (touch wood!) he enjoys perfect health!  Our plan was always that I would return to work - at one he tells me, it was even agreed that I would return F/T but I can't say I recall agreeing to that!! Anyway, although I am looking more toward exploring ways of returning to paid work, at the moment I don't feel able to do so and so dh has taken up his new role for this year and possibly a 2nd if its still necessary.

Our house is paid for! we now officially own it as of start of this year!   And after 26yrs here we still feel we're just starting!  Still one more room - dining room - to be completely redecorated and we're going to have to rethink our current living arrangements in view of the changes to the family with our sons now growing up and looking to leave home - Uni etc - its possible I may give up in part my beloved "sewing room".  More on that as we organise our thoughts.

And baking ...

What can I say? I've turned into a greedy pig! ok, when you have 2xhungry SKINNY teens in the house they need feeding and baking is something I've been doing a lot of since my redundancy and subsequently more time to spare on such things at home.

Second to crafty stuff I enjoy a large G+T and an even larger slice of cake! and home made is easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy and CHEAP too!  Above are the recent bakes, a fresh steamed chocolate sponge topped with melted chocolate sauce and below some fruit scones filled with fresh cream and jam - I don't need to tell you they didn't last!

Our youngest son is doing "cooking" for one of his GCSE's and had a spell of interest in baking which proved rather expensive during last year's classes in which he had to cook and present variations on a theme - I ought to have taken more note at the time BEFORE agreeing that his theme COULD be fresh cream filled cakes & fresh soft fruits! EXPENSIVE both in the purse and on the hips!
In MY day one learned to cook basics like stews and pies and baking limited to bread and fruit cakes .. then again in MY day I learned to cook BASICS like stews, pies and fruit cakes and could when it happened, look after myself nutritionally!

Our eldest son is looking to move away from home to attend Uni in September and I have to admit to some reservations, not least how will he COPE! I'm sure he will, but I worry all the same ..

Sunday, 29 May 2011

A catch up and things to come

Well for a start I hadn't realised it had been so long since I last blogged!

What put me off initially was that I had set a lovely background that became detached (I think!) and sent up error messages all over the places and I couldn't seem to sort it out.  My brother came round one evening and has at least got rid of the error messages! I'm left in the meantime with a different appearance but I'm loathe to tamper with it until I get myself better acquainted with blogger and its improved features.

Although I have been quite productive in knitting and a few forays into sewing I didn't feel inspired to blog about it and my main preoccupation of my ongoing health issues meant I was worried I'd end up whinging about my wretched problems! well! I'm largely over that and myself! not fixed! exactly, but coming around to getting on with it!
To summarise, I have undergone an op. to remove my gall bladder, two catheter ablations to improve my atrial fibrillation and in the process suffered a minor set back in form of a stroke or two!  minor! thankfully and although I have issues and complications, they are improving and I am adapting!

Thats enough of that! back to crafty stuff! I've enjoyed learning how to knit socks 2AAT and also had a go at toe up - I enjoyed a sock KAL with a couple of cyber-pals in a private forum and I'm looking now to progress my knitting with some complex standing and lace projects some of which I will blog about next week! 

I've tried to keep up with my Reader and check on what fellow blog-crafters are doing and will endeavour to join in a bit more and get back "into" things over the summer!
I'd like to hope that some of the readers following my blog will continue to  visit and see that I am "back" and it would be nice to share comments! xx

Yarn has been stashed!

Well you know me and a good bargain! can't resist!  I have wanted to knit Arielle from Kim Hargreaves book, Misty for ages? well I bought a pack of fine milk cotton for the bargain price of £10 for ten balls and so purchased the book! (and promptly knitted Adore!).

In time I will sort out my yarn purchases and update my blog and ravelry too but I am pleased to report that a fair bit of knitting has been done so I don't feel too guilty.

There has been KNITTING!

Actually I'm pleased to report there's been a LOT of knitting!
some of which include from top, a pair of reindeer fingerless mitts inspired by a craft-pal who found a nice pattern and coincidentaly a copy of Simply Knitting magazine featured a charted motif in their Christmas quick knit guide that "fit" across my hand - had to be knit!! I wore them all over the winter!

Also for winter knitting another Tainted Scarf knit in the gorgeous Colourscape yarn - I love this yarn and the pattern is quick to knit.

At the bottom is my best pair of socks yet for challenging me to knit 2AAT ML with a different set of pattern each side - Weird Science Socks! The pattern was featured in Yarn Forward issue 21 and is designed by Jon Dun-Ballam whose yarn I've yet to purchase but one day I will - seriously yummy!
These are yet to be gifted but I hope to do this soon.