Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Christmas everyone

Before I get to the Christmas wishes, I just wanted to show a few things which have been keeping me cbusy over the last few days/weeks. Firstly, I made 2 stockings for lil ones. Both made with felt and embellished with more felt, beads and yarn and furry fabric. The best thing about them, the kids love them. I haven't even filled them up with anything yet!Next up, are some Chrsitmas softies. I know a lot of people have been making the Yuletide gnomes but I couldn't resist them either. So I made a Santa looking one, all red and white and very Christmassy. Here he is underneath our Christmas twigs ( we are going away for Christmas, so we didn't buy a tree). All the presents are for the kids!Sitting beside Mr Gnome/Santa, is my attempt at aChristmas Angel, which I am submitting to this month's Month of Softies. I haven't had much time to focus on this for the last few months but will definitely make more of an effort in the new year. Here is a close up of the Angel. I have to say, given more time, I would change the eyes and learn how to sew on hair. It just looks "dragged thru a hedge". Anyhow....
Finally, I also managed to start and finish the knitting for my MIL's purse (Christmas pressie). The pattern is from Emma King's book, 25 bags to knit. Some really fun patterns in there. The purse was knitted in Rowan kid Classic (really nice yarn) and I will embellish it with some knitted/crochet flowers in the silver yarn (Lily yarn purchased in KL, Malaysia but i think is quite similar to Rowan Lurex Shimmer).

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I have made some really lovely new friends this year and I hope long may it continue. See you all back in the new Year. Have a good one.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Busy, busy, busy me

I have been so busy this last week. That's all because of the kids. I should change my status from mummy to chaffeur, cook, cleaner and general dogsbody. We have been to 1 birthday party, 2 christmas parties (with another 2 parties, tomorrow and Friday), making Christmas stockings (partially finished), clearing out one room to make it into their playroom, buying and wrapping Christmas presents and making a knitted Santa. The santa is for Aidan and I now have to make a knitted angel for Keira. Less than 12 days to go. Oh dear...... (I'll have to photo Santa tomorrow as it's past midnight now and I'm about to go to bed!)

I also just wanted to share a few photos from our Christmas Advent Calendar activity. This is our "Let's be a cat for the day". I also made felt cat's ears and braided tails but must have forgotten to take the picture.
And this is our "Let's have crazy hair today". The kids put on every single hair accessory on their heads. We had curlers in our hair, pigtails, clips, you name it! It's been so fun!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Harry Potter the movie

My in-laws are in town and when they are around, we get to go out!! Hurray!! Hubby and I decided to have a date and go out to the movies. We decided to go along with the Harry Potter fever and watch Goblet of Fire. Really fabulous movie, much darker than the previous
movies. Obviously, not as good as the book as whole chunks of the book is missing, but enjoyable nonetheless.

This brings me neatly on to what's on my needles... The Gryffindor Prisoner of Azkaban scarf.. at the request of hubby. I made the mistake of showing him the Weasley knitalongs on Alison's blog and he wanted one. He loves maroon so here I am knitting this massive scarf. It's knitted in Jaeger Matchmaker Merino DK in shade 655 (maroon/burgundy) and Cygnet Superwash Pure New Wool DK in shade 2155(gold). It's a pretty good match of the colours I have to say.(anyone in the UK looking to knit this!) I'm about halfway through at the moment and I might save it for the holiday period as it is pretty mindless knitting and I won't need to consult the pattern.
It's also been very busy here with my Christmas card production. I've had fun making these cards. Now I just need to write them out and send them out, especially the ones which need to go overseas.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Just wondering......

Would anyone be interested in purchasing these tote bags which I have? It's manufactured and sourced through Hong Kong. They would make great Christmas gifts! It's a tote bag with pocket picture frames, which could be dressed up to suit the occasion, your mood, or give to someone special as a personalised gift .

It's made of durable PVC and is available in two sizes (6 pockets or 9 pockets on each side). The transparent pockets are sized to fit standard 3R (5"x3.5") photos. You could fill the pockets with photos, fabrics, flowers, sketches or anything that grabs your imagination to make a bag that really is unique to who you are. These bags cost GBP 12 (delivery to UK) or GBP 15 (US$ 25 to anywhere else in the world). If you are interested, please email me!. (Sorry, I still don't know how to just link to paypal for payment.)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

ISBN 4529040445

A few months ago, I wrote about my Japanese craft book on Barbie doll's clothes. Well I actually have a few more kicking around and thought I'd share them over the next few days/weeks. The ISBN of this one is 4527040445 and it's for making doll's clothes. The dolls featured are Jenny dolls (big in Japan) but they fit 11.5 inches fashion dolls like Barbie. I like this book because the clothes have a trendy modern feel - leather trousers, bustiers, rock star apparel,jeans - no ruffles or ball gowns. Really nice!

Advent Calendar

No knitting was done the last 2 days. Instead, I have been making an advent calendar for the children. I didn't really want to just buy a chocolate/sweets filled one (they have a lot of sugar in their diet already). So I made a fun activity filled one, having seen a great post on loobylu. I made small paper envelopes and stuck them on christmas tree cardboard cut out. Stuck a star on top. Wrote out 24 fun-filled activities and Hey presto!!! How it took 2 days to complete, I never know!!???

Here's Aidan looking totally unimpressed with it! His only comment was that the numbers were not in order and that I should have started with the number 1 and put them all in ascending order. Thanks cheeky monkey! Well, I like it and I thought I did a great job. Our fun activities included:
  • have a dress up day
  • make Christmas decorations
  • put up Christmas decorations
  • have a swimming adventure
  • go on a magical mystery adventure (we'll take a drive to see the Christmas lights on Oxford Street)
  • bake cookies
  • make homemade pizza
  • have a crazy hair day
  • and I can't seem to remember what else I wrote. It'll be a surprise to me to find out what funfilled activity I had planned.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Blackberry completed

I've been waiting for days for the weather to clear up (it's been dark, misty and gloomy in London) and for hubby to return from a business trip to photograph Blackberry. There's one done by Aidan, my lil one, but it's slightly out of focus and has more of the ceiling in the picture than me. I have enjoyed knitting this cardigan and it's been getting a lot wear in the cold weather at the moment. The pattern is from Knitty Fall o5 and designed by Jen. I made a few changes to the pattern including resizing the sleeves to fit my puny arms, omitting the bobbles (mine were just too messy) and reversing the cables, because I liked them that way round. Here's a side view of the sleeves and cables. Here's the full frontal view. (Sorry about the messy hair - didn't have time to do anything with it!)

Aidan also wanted to be in every picture today. He's so cheeky. I also forgot to mention that he had his third birthday last week. I can't believe I have a 3 year old and an 18 month old and I have new found career as a full time mum. 3 and 10 months ago, I was having a lot of fun, working hard and partying hard. I was never home. Now I wouldn't change my life for my previous life, apart from the lack of income!

On the slight subject of anniversaries, hubby and I got together in the first term of the first year of university 16 years ago. That's a lot of my adult life. We've had our ups and downs and we've grown up, grown as a couple and grown as individuals. Love you darling!

What's brought on this post, I guess it's Thanksgiving and I'm being thankful for what I've got in my life.

Thank you

I really do love the knit-blogging community. A few weeks ago, I sent Ra my spare ticket to the Knitting and Stitching show which she was going to use to go to the show in Harrogate. Look at what she sent me as a thank you, which was totally unnecessary but gratefully accepted.
Included in the gift was gorgeous yarn in lovely autumnal colours (yellow, orange and purples), geranium and rose petal soap, a pair of gorgeous earrings and incense leaves. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

What does my birthdate mean

I have seen this little test at a few sites and thought I'd try it too.

Your Birthdate: February 1

You are a natural born leader, even if those leadership talents haven't been developed yet.
You have the power and self confidence to succeed in life, and your power grows daily.
Besides power, you also have a great deal of creativity that enables you to innovate instead of fail.
You are a visionary, seeing the big picture instead of all of the trivial little details.

Your strength: Your supreme genius

Your weakness: Your inappropriate sensitivity

Your power color: Gold

Your power symbol: Star

Your power month: January

I guess with all these things, some of it is accurate and others not so. I really don't think I'm a leader, natural born or otherwise. I'm really not a follower either, more non-conformist. I do believe I'll suceed in life (gosh that sounds arrogant, but I don't mean it like that!), I don't think I'm doing too badly at the moment. I hope I have creativity and I'm really bad with details. You should see my performance reviews at work and I used to be a (sad) auditor!! Don't think much of my strengths or my weakness or power colour or power symbol. Oh well.

On the knitting front, I am stuck on seaming Blackberry which is taking forever. I have forgotten how long it takes to seam things. More on that soon.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Completion and progress

I really must make an effort to post on a regular basis, otherwise I have a huge number of photos and things to write about on one post.

First up, progress on my Blackberry cardi. I have completed one sleeve (I frogged the original sleeve for being too big and reversed the cable onto the knit side of the fabric) and started on sleeve two. I am hoping to complete sleeve 2 fairly quickly, seam it and start the ribbing. The weather in London is absolutely freezing at the moment and Blackberry would get a lot of wear. I have also just played netball tonight, so I can confirm it is Artic out there!!!
Next up, I was stressing a week ago about finding Adriafil Globe Multicolour to finish Clapotis. I managed to score some from an advert in one of the knitting magazines (I find those details). So, a few hours of knitting later and a few more hours of light blocking, I present to you the finished article. I love it! It is going to keep me so warm. I love those colours too. One day when I run out of projects (ha ha!!) I will knit this again in a variegated yarn with longer strips of colour. Here is hubby showing how big it is, Clapotis that is.

Finally, I also started on some Christmas presents. I knitted this scarf in Noro Tubu (small) which I purchased from Get Knitted in summer (ages ago). All it took was one hank of 100g. I think this yarn has been discontinued. I have a few more hanks and a few more presents to complete.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

It's a disease..

I've got startitis and I've got it bad. In the last week, I've started 3 new projects. I kinda stalled on my Clapoti as I ran out of yarn and I'm waiting for new supplies to arrive. So I thought I'd start a new project or three.
First up is Blackberry from Knitty winter 05. It's knitted in Rowan Chunky Print in shade 73 Temper. I bought that in the Liberty sale for GBP3 per ball. It was destined for another project but I liberated it to make Blackberry. I love chunky knits, blink and it's almost complete. I started it on 27 October but took a trip to Chicago for a few days and didn't fancy taking heavy yarn and heavy knitting so I left it at home. It got restarted on 3 November and I have completed the back and two fronts and most of a sleeve.
Here's a picture of the sleeve. I tried the bobbles but I didn't like them, that's probably to do with my poor bobble making skill. I ripped back 25 rows and started again. I've now got to the armhole shaping and I've decided I don't really like the shape of the sleeve......

I think it's huge at the wrist. See I've got it pinned up and it's probably 8 -10 stitches too wide for my liking. Does anyone else feel the same? I'm thinking of ripping it out and starting again. And if I was going to do that, I'm going to reverse the cable. I prefer the knit side too. Hmmm....????? As I couldn't take Blackberry on my trip, I thought I'd take a smaller project. This is the complete opposite of Blackberry. It's Arisaig, again from Knitty Winter 05 and knitted in 4 ply wool and small needles 2.25mm and 2.75mm. The yarn is Rowanspun 4 ply in Sugarspun ( a totally me colour!) Man, it takes so long to knit lil itty bitty stitches on lil itty bitty needles. In probably the same amount of time , I've only knitted a small amount of the ribbing for the back. It's going to be a labour of love project. I fear progress will be slow.

So in my infinite wisdom, I've decided to start a new project tonight. I am making the Chevron tank from Rebecca 29 in HipKnits silk in Stormy which I purchased from Ally Pally. The yarn is beautifully soft and the colourway is gorgeous. But I seem to have some problems with it already. It snapped twice as I was casting on and it seems to pil. As you can see, I've only really just started so I'll going to progress a bit more before I make my mind up about it. I'll let you know!

Friday, November 04, 2005

Aaahh.... Chicago

I just had a wonderful long weekend in Chicago with hubby and without children (how I missed them in 4 days, pathetic I know!). It was lovely just to be able to go out have dinner with friends, go to a club (without worrying about babysitters etc), go shopping without the hassle of a double buggy, have cuddles (and more!) in bed without interruptions! We stayed in the W hotel on Lake Shore Drive. Fantastic views of Lake Michigan and a short hop away from the Magnificent Mile (lots of shopping!) I have taken loads of photos but the battery died and I can't find the charger. So it's going to be a photoless post. Sorry!. For anyone who's not been, Chicago is a fantastic city. Great architecture, friendly people, yummy food, good shopping (apart from if you wnated children's toys in the Downtown area).

I basically just shopped and wandered around in Chicago. I also managed to find my way to a few yarn stores in Chicago. A few which I wanted to get to were shut on Monday & Tuesday so I didn't get a chance to visit, so I'll have to try next time I visit Chicago. I'm going to have to write another post about the yarn stores as I need to show my purchases and I can't do that without a camera.

I have also been knitting a storm. I have a severe case of startitis and have started 3 new projects. Madness. One's a chunky knit and it's going so quickly. If I don't get a progress shot soon, I'll just have a completed FO shot! More about that soon!

Friday, October 28, 2005

My Hair colour should be

PINK!!! Maybe not! Although it has been funky in its time, just not recently. I'm sure I used to be hyper, insane and a boatlad of fun, but I'm not sure that's me at the moment - stressed out, headless chicken mother of two toddlers!

Your Hair Should Be Pink
Hyper, insane, and a boatload of fun.You're a traveling party that everyone loves to follow.

On the exciting front, I'm off to Chicago for a fun filled long weekend with hubby. I've checked out all the knitting stores in the vicinity. Now I just need to lose the hubby for a few hours. Any ideas..........

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Post about an FO

I have given up on knitting the Opal socks for hubbies birthday. I was knitting it wrong, all wrong, so wrong that I don't even want to talk about it. Suffice to say, it's been frogged and I will try it again but only after a quick break. Which brings me to a nice big chunky knit instead. I decided to knit him a scarf for his birthday. 8mm needles, 2 balls of Rowan Chunky print, and a nice simple basket weave pattern. Super quick and hey presto- nice masculine scarf. Here's hubby posing for the camera. Here's a close up of the basket weave. I think I should done a small border for a neater edge but I think it could be the thick and thin effect of the Chunky print yarn. Overall I am pleased with it and he's happy too. (He did get it a bit earlier than his actual birthday becos it is absolutely freezing in cold, wet, foggy London. Also we are off to Chicago in 2 weeks time and I wanted to have it done before then.)

Friday, October 14, 2005


The anticipation and excitement of going to Ally Pally could be felt by 7 am this morning. I was up bright and early to make sure I packed everything I needed for the day. Show guide, wallet, cheque book, bottle of water, something to knit on the train journey, snacks and notes on what I wanted to knit so I knew what to buy. You might have guessed what I forgot on the list already. I, however, did not realise this until I got out at Wood Green. You guessed it - my ticket which I purchased in advance!!! Doh! Double Doh! I couldn't just turn around and go home to get it. The journey took about an hour. I had to drop the kids off at the nursery (Keira is not used to being left on her own with strangers, and I had to spend half an hour settling her in! Not including two 2 hour sessions earlier in the week already). Oh well, there goes £12 on a second ticket. But this means I could go again on Sunday! Hurray!

I got to meet the lovely Kerrie in the flesh. It certainly feels strange to meet someone in person when you know them from the internet. There were lots of gorgeous yarn on display. I succumbed to some HipKnits silk in the Stormy colourway, also 1 skein of sari yarn to experiment with and a silk flower kit. (See purchases below). Kerrie was worried about the silk selling out before Sunday arrives, no wonder, they are gorgeous. Lovely to feel and gorgeous colourways. In my excitement, I forgot to take any photos. Oops.

I also got to meet and chat with Nicky Epstein, who was very friendly and helpful. She signed copies of my purchases and posed for photographs, which I can't seeem to show because Blogger won't let me!!! AAARRRGGGGHHHHHH!

It was also nice to chat to chat to people where you have been buying from, like Get Knitted, Debbie Bliss, Web of Wool and plenty more. Apart from the silk yarn, I loved the yarns from Kaalund Yarns. Both the girls Kirsty and Jodie were fantastic. I came away with 2 skeins of Expressions, one in Waterlily and one in Anemone. What shall I do with them?
I set my self budget for the day and was very glad I didn't over spend. Apart fromwhat I already mentioned, I also bought some sock yarn from Web of Wool. The selection was tremendous.

I had a fabulous day and will definitely go again next year. (I might still go on Sunday as I still have a ticket to use up!)

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Rebecca shrug almost complete

It's amazing what you can find in the house that will come in useful. Take for example, the kid's foam number blocks. Great as a blocking board. All bits of the shrug knitted and washed and pinned out. Now to find the energy to sew it up. But I'm just too excited to do that at the moment. I need to do a lot of research on what I want to buy at Ally Pally tomorrow. So far, I have had to revise my budget ever upwards! Shhh..... nobody tell my hubby!!!!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ally Pally

I am very excited about the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally. I'm going on Friday. Kids are booked into the full day nursery. Camera is fully charged. Filling up my notebook with ideas and stash enhancement possiblities. The show guide arrived on Saturday and I'm in the process of doing my research. I know for a fact, I'm not only going to be buying yarn/pattern books/knitting needles, I'll be buying beads, fabrics and all manner of other paraphernalia.

The only thing to decide is how much my budget is for the day so that I can overspend!

Only 3 more days to go .............

Monday, October 03, 2005

Where to buy Japanese craft books

I had a query on how to obtain Japanese craft books. I usually buy mine when I'm visiting Malaysia or Singapore where I have family. That is not very useful if you live all the way here in the UK. Recently, I have been getting them from a great website called (the Oriental version of Amazon). Yesasia is much easier to use than Amazon Japan in that it's in English. If you know the ISBN of the book, then it becomes much easier to purchase.

There is also a great website called Crafting Japanese set up by Maitreya, which is a resource for people who collect japanese craft books. Oh yes, we do collect them. Once you start, it becomes difficult to stop. Also you get to see loads of books that you never knew existed. There's also a guide on how to buy on the site. Go check it out!

I hope my links work as I've really not tried to link before. Let me know.

PS: There aren't too many places to buy Japanese craft books in London. There is a good bookstore in the Japan Centre on Picadilly Circus but their craft book selection is limited. The best bet is still the Net.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Progress report

Remember a few weeks back when I injured my hand playing netball and couldn't really knit for too long. That's healed. Well this week, I twisted my ankle really badly so I can't walk! Great. Does anybody realise how difficult it is to have 2 young children and not being able to walk! My husband and I don't have any family who live nearby either (parents and siblings are in Switzerland, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore & Australia). I don't have the luxury of a nanny either. Thankfully, hubby could work from home and has been a godsend. *Mwah* astral kisses your way!

But he had to go back to work today and thankfully I'm feeling a lot better. The ankle is the size of a plum and in a lovely shade of purple. I did consider doing a self potrait Tuesday but decided against it! Hubby said it was way too gross.

However, I have had a lot of time to knit, including some time in A&E waiting for an x-ray. After all the horror stories on waiting times, I was seen and sent home in less than 45 minutes. So I got approximately 2 rows completed on Clapotis (second time around). I'm still on the increase rows. It's got the slight feeling of been there, done that. So am slightly unmotivated with it.

However, more progress has been made on my shrug. I have completed the back, one sleeve and I have started the second sleeve. Had to fudge the pattern slightly as my row gauge was slightly out. We'll have to see how it turns out. I'm hoping to complete this soon as I have loads of new projects which I want to start. More about that soon.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Barbie dolls

Ever since I was a little girl, I have always loved barbie dolls. But having 2 sisters and a mum who hates spending money on junk, we had to share the dolls and make clothes and furniture for the dolls. If my mum hasn't thrown it away yet, there is a box in KL, Malaysia with 3 bedraggled barbie dolls, clothes and furniture. Maybe I should get it shipped to me here... hmmm..... now there's an idea.

Well this brings me to what I was going to blog about. Japanese craft books on clothes making for Barbie dolls. The ISBN of this book is 4579109821. This has to be my favourite book. The dresses in it are just gorgeous. If only it was life size, I would wear them. (No not make them as I haven't even managed to make any for my barbie doll - sorry not mine, my daughter's). These dresses are sized for silkstone dolls which have slightly different dimensions to regular Barbie dolls.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Retro Knit & Crochet

I just wanted to share some pictures from a Japanese knit/crochet craft book from the late 70's which I just love. There some examples which I must have worn as child of the 70's. Apologies, it doesn't have a cover or an ISBN number. I'd like to make the little red/pink dress on the left. Just fab!
Crochet swimwear - I just love it! Maybe by next summer, there'll be an FO on this blog on crochet swimwear.
Next up is a crochet beach cover up/ hoodie. I have actually completed the one on the right. So here are some pics on my effort. Doesn't Keira look cute modelling it! I started this in February when I was in Malaysia visiting my parents and decieded to check out the LYS. This is knitted in Gedifra cotton in cream and red. This is my first crochet project in a long time.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Completed projects from Rowan Babies

Truth be told - I really only picked my knitting needles again (after an 18 year break) when I found out I was pregnant. So three years ago, I started knitting again. Most of my projects tended to be stuff for the children. Sweaters, hats, scarves and toys - so far. Knitting for the kids is brilliant for me - short attention span, fast completion time. (Although, one or two projects have stalled).

This is one of my first "big" knits. Raglan sweater from Debbie Bliss The Baby Knits Book. It was super easy to knit and super quick too. If I remember correctly, it was in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino aran. ( I know, it's not technically from Rowan Babies!!). It's being modeled by Keira, although I knitted it for her elder brother.

She has been super patient modelling all the different knitted items today. This next knit is from Rowan Babies. It's Relish and knitted in Rowan Wool Cotton in shade 951 Tender. This was completed about a year ago when she was only a little baby.

The next picture is another poncho, Dapple, again from Rowan Babies. It's knitted in All Seasons Cotton in a lilac colour. Apologies, I have forgotten the shade and number. It's knitted in the 2 -3 year old size, hence it's looking a bit big. But that's the great thing about poncho's. Now that the weather is changing, it will be perfect!

Next up is Streamer, also from Rowan Babies. It's knitted in 4-ply soft. The only problem with knitting in 4-ply soft is that it does take a long time to knit. But as the name suggests, it is lovely and soft.

Lastly for today, this is Husky in Rowan Big Wool inRascal. I do love knitting children's knits in Big Wool. It took absolutely no time at all. (Even for me, and I take forever with most items).

Here ends my little promotion of Rowan Babies. I do knit from other publications apart from Rowan, honest.