Friday, January 27, 2006

Good luck goldfishes

We're getting all excited about the weekend. It's Chinese New Year tomorrow and we've been doing some preparations for it. We've been cleaning and tidying up and I've been busy finishing some unfinished WIPs (I'm never actually going to finish all my WIPs, there's just too many!!) I'll post about those soon.

Since I made a bit of an effort with Christmas decorations, I thought I'd ought to do the same for CNY. So I made some lanterns with lil man out of the ang pows (little red packets filled with money for giving out to children or unmarried relatives/friends). In the Chinese culture, red is a powerful colour and it's supposed to ward off evil. It also shows that the giver is prosperous and generous in sharing that prosperity.

Apart from the lanterns, I also made some Good luck goldfishes. Here's a quick tutorial on how to make them. Firstly, make a square with some red paper. I used some leftover red packets. Valley fold the square diagonally to make a triangle. Valley fold the 2 corners of the triangle to make a diamond shape. Flip it over and valley fold one of the corners. Make a cut along this fold, leaving it attached in the middle. Cut some scallop edges for a fancy tail. Turn it over again and valley fold the 2 points ( making sure both points touch the top ie fold it in half). Sorry, if this seems overly complicated!! Then fold the points at an angle for the eyes.Then valley fold the remaining triangle (see paper clip below). Then fold up a little nose. Open up and voila, little goldfish decoration all done.

I'll post a picture of my living room with the decorations all up soon. I've got to go back to some cleaning and food preparation. I've got 6 people coming to dinner. As this is CNY eve, it's important to have family coming home for the reunion dinner. Being far away from home, we've got extended family/friends coming. With reference to the cleaning, let me just link you to Polly's post about it.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Knitting funk

I really must apologise but I am suffering from some bad funk, not just knitting related. I am somewhat depressed with the results of my MRI scan. My knee has been feeling pretty good. I can extend it fully and can almost bend it fully. I am walking without a limp. However, when I saw my consultant, he said that I had torn my ACL (Anterior cruciate ligament) fully and also torn my miniscus cartiledge. What that boils down to, is that I have to have reconstructive surgery to rebuild my ACL. I don't have to do that, but it means I won't be able to be very active ie no netball, no skiing, no tennis. Also, I have 2 little kids and I want to be able to run around with them. God damn it, I'm only in my mid-thirties, I don't need to write off physical activities!!!!! So, I have surgery pencilled in, in May. The only upside is that I will have a lot of time to knit and read. I may even be able to complete some projects!! (but don't hold your breath!!!!)

Speaking of completing projects, I have not been motivated or bothered to seam up Murmur. Sleeves need to be sewn in and just finished. I'm sure I'll find the motivation one day. On the other hand, I have started a brand new project. I am knitting the Thinking Dress from Miss Bea's Rainy day. The yarn is from my purchase in Lausanne. It's Schachenmayr Baros, a cotton, polymide and acrylic mix. What's really lovely is the sparkly bits running through the yarn. It's very nice to knit up. The yarn is a bit stretchy, kinda like Rowan's ASC. As I mentioned earlier, I was in a bit of a knitting funk, I had to rip it back 3 times already. Mainly beacuse I cannot count. Anyway, I am progressing now, and I am enjoying the knitting. (Hmm, no sparkly bits showing through on the photo......)

I must also confess to some (ok, a lot..) of retail therapy. There are lots of yarn sales on and I really can't help myself. (My excuse is that it's cheaper than actual therapy). More on that soon.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Knitting completed

Good news and Bad news. Yay - I have completed the knitting on Murmur. I made this in the smallest size and it called for 8 balls of Biggy Print. Boo - What I have left is approximately 1 meter of the yarn left. Note, I have not seamed it nor have I made the ties for the front of the cardigan. Hmmm. I am definitely not about to purchase 1 extra ball of Biggy Print at £7.50 just to seam this. I must have something in the STASH that is appropriate. Well, it's blocking at the moment, so I shall just ignore this problem until at least tomorrow. Here's all the bits all knitted up.

I know I have a few unfinished items on the needles, but I can't help looking to start something new. I have my eye on Backyard leaves by Annie Modesitt from Scarf Style. However, I am completely stuck on how to start this. I have looked at the Scarf Style/Wrap Style knitalong but I'm still none the wiser. Maybe it's because it's late and my brain isn't working. I'm going to go to bed and try again tomorrow.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Out of sorts

Since the injury, I have been feeling all out of sorts. My body hurts in all the strangest of places, like ankles, left shoulder, calves and fingers. I think it's because I'm limping around. Never knew my body was a finely honed and tuned machine!!

I haven't felt like knitting much or in fact doing anything. This could also be related to the weather as it is COLD and GREY in London. Aarrrgghhhh. But this morning, I decided to make this with some Rowan Biggy Print which I had in my stash. I'm making it in shade 239 Giddy. I do love BIG needles, after 10 minutes, decent progress!!!
While in Switzerland, specifically Lausanne, I even managed to find some yarn stores. I didn't get much on the knitting front for Christmas. Hubby found 2 of my secret yarn stashes and decided that I probably had enough to last a lifetime. So I felt, I needed to add to the stash myself. I found a French publication called IDEES, which has fun crafty things to make for yourself, your home and your babies. It didn't put me off that I don't read French. I have a library of Japanese craft books and I don't read Japanese. Anyway, here are some photos from the magazine.

I also learnt that Lang Yarns are a Swiss company and they have some interesting yarns. But I only bought 1 ball of the blue variegated Lang Yarns (Tosca). They were full price. The pink yarn is Gedifra. I'm hoping to make hats for the kids from these. I bought a whole load of the blue and dark pink yarn at the bottom. They should knit up like Rowan's All Season Cotton. They cost CHF2 each, that's less than GBP1!! What a bargain!! If I can be bothered to knit, I'll be making stuff for the kids. Watch this space.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

Hello world. I'm back from the Christmas holidays. The family decamped to Switzerland where the in-laws live. We ate too much, drank too much, let the kids spend too much with the grandparents (they are almost feral!!!). Hubby and I also managed to get away for 3 days to meet up with friends in Val D'isere and go skiing. The weather was absolutely freezing (minus 14 C at 4pm, minus 23 C in the evening and at the top of the mountain!!). This is where my bad news start. I fell while skiing and the doctors think I have a torn ACL. So, right now I have a swollen left knee. I am limping. I have to inject myself with anti-coagulant drugs in my tummy (my hubby gets too grossed out to do it!!). I have 2 kids to look after on my own. I may need surgery. The year didn't really end on a happy note.

But really, apart from the little accident, 2005 was a good year. On the knitting front, I have started and completed more projects than ever. I have learnt new techniques. My stash of books, magazines and yarn have grown. I have met and made new friends. I hope 2006 is a good one too.

Anyway, more soon. Off the rest my leg.