Friday, 20 January 2012

Magazines and lovely cake - relax

Postman flung my subscriber's copies of The Knitter, issue 41 and Simply Knitting, issue 90 at me just as I left to get my INR checked at the Surgery - this is how I plan to spend the last hour before no.2.son arrives home from College ..

cup of tea in my lovely V&A china mug, large slice of fresh cream filled chocolate sponge cake and two magazines - bliss x

quite fancy the cowl pattern from The Knitter by Louisa Harding seen on the right of the pic, there is a version for a collar and capelet included too in various weights of yarn - might have to have a rummage through stash later on ..  cute little owl needle thingie from SK this month and next month is an owl row counter, I don't usually care much for the freebies but this one is quite cute.   SK this month also has a leaflet for 5 patterns to make "for mums" scarves, cowls and the like for "Mother's Day" which is ages off but the Mag is confusingly dated "March".  I know that magazines run at a different time zone to us and they appear in advance of themselves, but really? MARCH? its still January - isn't it?  I don't completely understand the dates to my thinking they come out every month once a month so why the jump? must be something to do with the leap year?  anyway, as I subscribe to both of these I'm not going to miss/lose out so as it bothers me I just don't look at the date - bah!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Happy Birthday Cake/s!

Today is dh's birthday!  its also his day he doesn't work so it was nice for him to be home on his birthday which usually only happens occasionally.  Traditionally we enjoy a nice "cake" and as he likes to take cakes into work I spent most of the day baking!
Above is my his cake!  A chocolate sponge sandwiched with fresh whipped double cream.  Unfortunately I'd run out of icing sugar so wasn't able to "dust" the top to look pretty but I doubt it will affect the taste.

Additionally I baked a batch of plain scones and filled them with jam and fresh cream, a batch of choc.filled "fairy" cakes and two large cider cakes.  Most of these will be sliced and packed to take into work tomorrow for the office.

I managed to roll the dough and cut nearly all the scones in one go! a first for me! usually I am terrible at rolling.

Tonight we are going out for a curry - we went out last week with our no.1.son before returning him to Uni so we could enjoy a family meal but that was at the local pub, this time we're going to a restaurant that does a nice combination of both Indian and English dishes which will suit us three.
Unfortunately this means that I am unable to make the knit night at the lys but as its a weekly event I will make arrangements to meet my knit-pal-Sally for next week, but after the slightly disappointing welcome at the party it won't be a bad thing to leave it a week.

Looking forward, too to getting my hands on the next issue of Knit! which promises to be a "Killing" special and looks good from the preview.
Also looking forward to the new yarns and book collections from Rowan coming "soon" - just read the news e-newsletter for January which touches briefly on whats to come.  If you've not joined its well worth it and there is an option for a free membership and paid one.  Previously I have paid and subscribed, but now I tend to buy any books direct from the shops.

Bargain Colourscape Chunky & hair cut

What do you think?  Had my hair cut and coloured slightly differently.  Slightly more "red" in the colour, we've been adding to the mix for several months now ever since I took the decision to permanently dye my hair and think this is just about "me" - what do you think?

I'm not very adventurous with my hair, although its very "good" and has a nice natural kink/wave to it its really neither truly "curly" nor "straight".  somewhere inbetween and has to be thinned considerably to keep it under control.  I have my lateMother's hair in this respect, unfortunately I also inherited my lateFather's "white" hair too - NOT so good!  underneath at the roots is where it shows hence it gets done every 6weeks.

Popped into the town to try and get a wii golf game for dh for his birthday and - cough - somehow - cough - managed to drop into my bag a ball of Patons Trentino dk AND 5 skeins of Rowan Colourscape Chunky in 443/cloud to knit this from The Colourscape Chunky Collection (first book).

I hummed and haa'd about it (for approx 4mins) as although 5 skeins for £30 is a good price, its not the best bargain however I have wanted to knit something from this book other than the scarf I've knitted twice using 1 skein apiece and as they only had a couple of packs left and it was, afterall, PINK, decided to grab it.  The other ball was reduced £4 and I thought nice "manly" colours that would come in handy should I have a sudden need t knit something "manly" for a man next year .. they did have alternative pink/girly colours but I felt better, slightly, for buying something not obviously for "me".

Monday, 16 January 2012

Waiting for Easter ..

Well at least waiting for the Easter holiday! Because thats the next time we get to bring our son home again from Uni!
Yesterday we took him back which was sad because we're going to miss him, but I think he was about ready to get away from me! at least! and I do feel much better that he seems to want to be away from me I mean at the Uni!  He's taken to his studies very well, clearly enjoys the work and is well suited to the course and is even thinking of learning a language.  Russian.  for some reason.  Vague hints about possibly wanting to go and visit and work/live in Russia .. I managed to dodge those - far too far away for me to even think about! I'm just about managing to cope with him being 4hrs drive away in this country!!
Annoyingly I forgot to get out two of the main bags of provisions from the cupboard and was SO cross and upset at myself for this! Insisted that dh and I took him to his local supermarket to buy some stuff for him to set him up!  It was important to me to feel that we'd given him a good start with the basics and in particular the heavy stuff that he would find difficult to carry, eg milk, water, pop and tinned stuff and potato etc.  I wasn't very popular with either of them in this respect! and its cost us a fortune in grocery bill having him home not least because I spent £60 on clothes for him on his last day .. still you only have them once don't you?
Slight annoyance on way back a diversion cost us an additional hour to the journey plus a lot of heavy traffic added to the stress, we got back and I switched the chip pan on (I'd already roasted a gammon joint in anticipation of a quick dinner late in the evening and "chips" is generally popular with dh and no.2.son) only to find the electrics "went"!  Now.  As we'd had a power cut twice in one day last week, I assumed it was the same and ordered dh to IGNORE it and LEAVE it (stop FIDDLING with the fuse box!) and WAIT .. only problem was WE were the only house in the street in darkness .. dh ignored me and fiddled with the fuse box and power was restored ..
Mad dash about the locality to find a chip shop that was open late on Sunday - dh insisted that he WANTED chips and INSISTED we found a chippie .. we did. and they were horrid.  which is generally our experience hence having a chip pan of our own .. anyway at that late hour it was food at least .. but the gammon was really nice!

On Friday we went for a meal at the local pub to celebrate the early birthday for Les while our son was still home, give our son a nice meal out before his return and it coincided with the 10th anniversary of my late Dad who died on 13th January 10yrs ago so all in all Fri 13th was an emotional day for various reasons!

On Saturday my friend, Sally, and I attended a party to celebrate the relocation of a lys and took along a gift bottle of sparkling wine which I embroidered a bottle jacket for - ours was a posh bottle of wine!! probably not vintage but it was at least welll dressed!
Finally finished, on Sunday night the back of Joshua and here you can see silly-Lilly helping me measure it and checking for me that it is finally "right" .. I don't know what it is about cats and knitting/sewing but they do feel they have to be involved! unfortunately their idea of involvement usually means CLAWS!  Anyway, the back is now the required length, and whether I have enough yarn or not I'll have to wait and see ..

Friday, 13 January 2012

A proper real life LYS, knit nights and a party!

At last! we've got a proper real life WOOL SHOP! and I can say that with confidence since they specialise and feature yarns with at least 70% natural fibre and many from lovely independant producers too - a must for the discerning knitter!
Last night my knit pal, Sally, and I went along to their evening knit night and met with some other ladies that have come over from the original premises and as I know there are lots of "local" knitters here, I'm hoping it won't be too long before a few familiar faces join in too.
We reviewed yarns this time for a knitting magazine and on Saturday there is the lovely launch party to look forward to!
I expect I shall spend a lot of time and money here! and this is just one of my recent purchases:
A skein of hand dyed dk yarn, 80% superfine alpaca and 20% silk from The Knitting Goddess in semi solid "biscuit" purchased at recent trunk show at Fibre Flurry - lovely and soft!

New Year Knitting

OTN's is the lovely Joshua by Sarah Hatton from The Knitter issue 39.
I will update my Ravelry project page with details of the yarn which was purchased at HofF in a 20% promotion.  Its knit in the lovely Rowan Tweed and while I've had a few "problems" getting the pattern established, mostly its been of my own doing!

I've ripped back several times - annoyingly after completely most of the back/cable section before FINALLY getting the "pattern" only to find that a chance ponder over "length" made me realise that this falls some 5cm short compared to no.2.son's RTW jumpers!  Knowing that he is somewhat "reluctant" to wear "mum's knitted jumper" if he barely manages to tug it down past hip bones he won't wear it! so - once more - ripped right back and reknit to add the length .. which means is a good chance I'll be short of yarn, but can't be sure as I purchased "extra" just in case .. if I were more mathematical (or just did/understood the point of a tension square!) I'd be able to work out IF I had sufficient yarn - as it I'm mathematically challenged so will just knit on and see how I get on!

Now that I've "got" the pattern, I do like it! the cable section which you can't see from here, is nice and I will update as I reach that point ..

FINISHED is Banshee by Kim Hargreaves from the lovely Scarlet and its a lovely warm jumper knit in the cosy Rowan Kid Classic, this was a bargin lot of 10 balls in yarn clearance marked down some year or so ago.

At the same clearance, I also bought 10 balls of Rowan pure silk and was pleased to find in local JL a half price Rowan book featuring this yarn!

Best bargain! though! was 12 balls of the lovely Rowan Lima at half price - I've spent the last week or so fondling various yarns and very nearly didn't buy anything, but as I have had my eye on a few patterns using this I thought that 12 at half price in such a nice neutral colour has got to be taken home!! Shade 889 Lot 2F9289

Happy New (crafty) Year!

A belated but sincere Happy New Year! x
FINALLY I uploaded squillions of photo's from my camera to the pc and find myself overwhelmed with so much and so many things to SAY and share that I've decided to fling, instead, a selection of photo's and start afresh with some KNITTING completed and newly OTN's!

The cats enjoyed searching for "mousie" in amongst the gift wrap .. poor Lilly got "shouted" at by dh and had a sulk in response and had to be "persuaded" to join in .. she's such a GIRL!
we had a quiet night in on New Year's Eve with a drink, just the family - and enjoyed a nice meal on New Years Day.
It was nice to have no.1.son home from Uni for the holiday, and nice to have both our "children" together albeit they kept as far apart as politely possible!! it seems to be some sort of law that you don't like your brother but without any specific REASON - a teen phase (we hope!)

Anyway, we had a good time enjoying our family at home and this weekend we take our son back to Uni.  No.2.son is today taking the first of his first year A Level exams and dh remarked that it won't be too long before we're looking at Uni's for him! and then another year and they'll BOTH be off our hands and on their own!  A rather daunting prospect! no "children" at home!
Next month we find out if work will extend dh's post-retirement contract - fingers crossed they will for both financial and personal reasons and not just to suit me!!