Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.Decorations as provided by Keira (age 4.5) this year - The angel at the top of the tree and the wreath on our front door.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A forest

The trees have grown into a forest....................

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Swap package and more

And if you thought I wasn't busy enough running around after 3 kids and knitting, I've been embarking on some sewing projects as well. Madness, I know. I really want to share these cute Chrstmas trees that I've been making. the pattern is from
here ( little bird handmade). I haven't put much decoration on as I've used Christmas fabrics. I've got a whole forest worth, which hubby and kids want to give away to colleagues, teachers and friends. Thank goodness they take no time to whip up.

I took part the the Socktopus Secret Santa Swap (SoSeSaSw). My first swap!! look what came in the post for me. Isn't this fab!! Sock yarn on the left from Old Maiden Aunt in a lovely Rust colourway. And some handspun from my Secret Santa ( Yoshimi on ravelry).
And the full package. Thank you so much, Sarah.
I forgot to take photos of the goodies that I sent out to my swap giftee. But I wanted to show you the little pouch which I made for her. The fabric is from Liberty. It has knitting on it!! I followed a tutorial on the Purl Bee. I think it turned out pretty well. I had to resort to hand sewing because I couldn't get the sewing machine to sew a perfect circle! Perfect for 1 skein of sock yarn.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Struck down by flu

Why is it that if I catch the kids germs I get the full blown effect? They get coughs and colds and I get the full blown "can't get out of bed" flu. My symptoms from the last 2 days - shivers, fever, cough, sore throat, congestion, ear ache, body ache, headache and more ache. I must have slept for about 20 hours yesterday. I still feel like cr*p, but at least I feel vaguely alive today.

But enough about the complaining. Here's my latest project. With Christmas concert round the corner, I've spent the last few nights knitting angel wings for Keira. The pattern is Allete from Knitty summer 06. I showed hubby the finished article, all he could say was that it needed some gold edging to make the wings stand out. So I added a single crochet around the wing tips in some Rowan Lurex Shimmer in Gold. As you can see, she loves her outfit!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

100 things

I'm nicking this meme from Emma. The things I've done are in Bold.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars - a long time ago, as I’m much more accustomed to the Creature Comforts
3. Played in a band - again, a long time ago and I played the keyboard badly!!
4. Visited Hawaii - I really want to do this
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo - this’ll never happen, I have a crap singing voice.
11. Bungee jumped - Nope, nope and nope!!
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning -More times than I care to count.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill . Who hasn't?
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run - on the Wii
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - On my honeymoon!
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language. I can't speak French to save my life but I can read it and I can understand a lot of spoken French.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. I always think winning the Big One on the Lottery would be great, but I don’t think I’ve been dissatisfied with what I have.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance - although,not for m. It was for hubby when he was in a motorbike accident. Scary!
47. Had my portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Guide Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job - Not because I haven't tried!
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit. Had to sue my landlady, who refused to return my deposit for no good reason, when I was a poor improvished student.
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant

55 out of 100.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Hellooo! Life has been super busy these last few weeks. We have had illnesses in the last 4 weeks. Chest infections, tummy bugs, coughs and colds and unexplained high fevers. Oh, the joys of winter. I'm sure we'll have more as well.

Anyway, let's not dwell on it. I have been busy crafting and knitting these last few weeks. If I get my act together, I do have a cute advent calender for the kids. But the first o december is coming up relly quickly.

I have finished a new project recently. This is Buster from Rowan Babies. Knitted in Rowan Wool Cotton. I made this for a friends new baby. I made it in the 6 - 12 month size (just in case I was bit slowin the finishing up!) I'm happy to say that I did start and finish within 4 weeks and the cardigan is a bit big for the baby so hopefully, he'll have a bit wear this winter. Here's Zoe modelling the finished article. (Note she's 15 months and the cardigan fits her. She's so tiny!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Here's my baby boy except he's no baby anymore. He turned 6 on Saturday. I know Keira looks bigger standing next to him, but she's on her tippy toes.

I'll post more soon. I haven't had much time as I've been on my own with the kids for the last week. Back soon for more.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Socktopus shop opening

On Sunday, I attended the Grand opening of Socktopus!!! I met up with loads of knitters, ate lots of cake and cupcake, fondled lots of yarn (I may have bought a skein or two, shhh.....) and thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Here is Alice, shop owner extraordinaire.

And here is the evil temptation...............................

Sunday, November 02, 2008


It was a cold, dark foggy night in freezing London, when we went trick or treating on Halloween. Did I mention it was cold and freezing?! I practically froze my a** off. The kids had an amazing time and terrorised the whole neighbourhood!
We went to a friend's place for the pre trick or treat party. Here's our "scary" contribution. Ghost cupcakes as decorated by the children.

This was the amazing pumpkin display by my friend. Wow!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween projects

I suddenly realised that halloween was nearly upon us and that I haven't even organised costumes or treats or anything. I thought the one thing I could do was make them a nice pumpkin bag to take trick-a-treating. I always wanted to make the dumpling bag from Interweave Knits Fall 08. I didn't have any orange yarn (not a colour that usually appeals to me), so quick dye job later on some white Cascade 220. The orange was bit too bright but I figure, it'll be Ok. The kids won't complain.

A few days later, 2 dumpling bags knitted. Feting was a bit hit and miss in my front loading machine. So, here they are - 2 trick-a-treating bags. I was going to make pumpkin faces, but I didn't have any black felt. i'll have to go to the LYS for some supplies tomorrow.

I also did manage some crochet monsters from this book. Here's Cthulhu and Ninja. In fact, I have many orders to fulfill from this book. My BIL wants a whole army of ninjas and the corporate zombie and the grim reape. The kids want everything but especially Trojan and Spartan for Aidan, Amazon and the skeleton bride and groom for Keira. I'm going to be busy!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

FOs and WIPs

I have one question- where has this year year gone???? Blink and suddenly we're almost at the end of October. I haven't started many summer knits and now it's time to start the Winter ones (I'm bypassing autumn knits, as the weather is super cold in London!) And with the end of October looming, I have to find time for gift knitting. Hubby and Aidan both have birthdays in November. Christmas is coming. Oh the stress!!

Being the slow knitter that I am, I have almost fnished one gift for the hubby. I started it way back in May or June as an anniversary present (due in July). I finally finished knitting the main bag last week. I've tried felting it a few times but the Noro Kureyon is refusing to co-operate, while the grey Cascade 220 felted beautifully. My next washing machine will be a top loader.Watch this space to see how this will end up.
I also made hubby a manly cowl. I knitted this in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky in Camouflage. I think he'll like this and at least find it useful (he rides a motorbike to work.)

Lastly, I also started the Baby pinwheel Jacket for Zoe. I'm up to the division for the sleeves. I'm making good progress so hopefully, this will be finished soon. (Famous last words, I've actually got a million other things on the needles and which need finishing up soon!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ally Pally

The exciting thing that happened last week was The Knitting and Stitching Show at AlexanderPalace. I went as a consumer on Friday. And I went again as a volunteer at the Learn to knit stand on Saturday. I had so much fun on both days. Both days were tiring for very different reasons. I also met lots of people I knew from Ravelry. It was fun.

Here's the Hyperbolic reef that was on display. (I had meant to crochet some bits for it, but had failed miserably!)

It was also one of the first few times that I've left the kids for so many hours with my nanny. This greeted me when I got home, after a long day. The kids wrote - "I love you Mum" at the front gate. It was so sweet.

I'll post about the rest of my purchases another time, but here's some fabric I picked up. I'd better dust the sewing machine.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Tie dyeing

Or what to do with the children on a rainy day or week. Buy cheap white t-shirts (2 for £4) and a few Dylon discs. Find rubber bands (we have hundreds accumulated over time!) and marbles. Involve children in tying up marbles. Follow simple Dylon instructions (but still managing to forget to add salt to the dark pink dye - those t-shirts are gonna run!) .

A few washes and a few days later, happy kids.

Here's a gratuitious shot of baby, even though she didn't get her t-shirt, she was happy!

Monday, September 29, 2008


I joined the Socktopus Secret Santa Sock Swap, not actually swapping socks but a sock kit. My record for socks this year has been abysmal. I think I've only completed 1 pair so far. UGH! So, here's my questionnaire.

1. What are your favourite colours and fibres?

Colours - Black, grey, neutrals, purple, brown, pink and blue.

Fibres - I like most yarns and have been known to knit some novelty yarn, (although not much since I discovered the "nice" stuff!)

2. Anything that makes your toes curl? (Fibre, colour, other)

I'm not hugely keen on orange, yellow and certain shades of green - they tend to clash with my skin tone.

3. Would you describe yourself as a beginner, intermediate or advanced knitter?

Intermediate knitter who is up for a challenge. I'd like to try new techniques.

4. Do you have an online wishlist? (Amazon or other)

Not as yet.

5. Any new techniques you'd like to learn?

Fair isle, steeking, continental method.

I'm learning spinning and dyeing at the moment, and I'm really enjoying the new activities.

6. What is your favourite:

Snack? - savoury snacks - olives, crisps and especially Malaysian/Oriental/Japanese snacks. I love wine, is that a snack?

Book? - I like a whole range of books - mystery, crime, chick lit, high brow, Harry potter,classics.... My recent favourites are The Time Traveller's Wife, The Memory Keeper's Daughter..... can't seem to remember any more.

Movie? - Gawd, I have so many that it's hard to choose. Pretty much most things except silly guy movies like Borat, American Pie, Adam Sandler movies (except the Wedding Singer!)

Music? - Again, I like a whole range of things, it just depends on my mood.

7. What are your favourite items to knit?

I like making things for the kids, as it's nice and small. And stuff for me as there is such a huge range of designs available now.

8. Any patterns that are top of your queue?

My queue is sooo long that I'm never realistically going to knit all of it! The next thing I want to knit for me is a hoodie of some sort - Cardigan for Arwen, Central Park Hoodie, Riding to Avalon, Apres Surf Hoodie.......... But I'm probably going to start something else completely.

9. Do you have any other hobbies?

Spinning, dyeing, crochet, cooking and baking, reading, tennis and swimming, cardmaking, jewellery and beading,....................

10. Tell us about yourself. When did you first pick up your needles? Who/what encouraged you to start knitting? How would you describe your knitting style? Are you a process knitter or a product knitter, etc.

I learnt to knit from my grandmother when I was 8 or 10. The first I made was a purple acrylic garter stitch scarf, which i can't now find. I also knitted and crocheted a huge wadrobe for my Barbie doll, which I only recently found again! But I started seriously knitting again, when I fell pregnant with my eldest boy, who will be 6 in November. I wanted to make so many baby things for the kids and I've only been somewhat successful. I do intend to make more things for them.

I love knitting. I love making things.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Don'tcha love the big chunky knit. Start it on Friday. Before you can say WIP, it's finished. I need 2 big buttons and that's it. Ends all sewn in. It's ready to go!!! Just in time for Winter as its about to set in any minute now.

Pattern : Tess from Kim Hargreaes
Yarn : Rowan Big Wool in Lucky shade 20
Needles : 12mm and 10 mm

Notes: Easy pattern. Quick knit. Love it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fascination with purple

I seem to be very drawn to the colour purple at the moment. The 2 newest project are purple. The next few intended projects will be in purple and I obviously also have some WIPs lurking around in purple. Wonder why????

First up. This is Daydream from Rowan Babies (one of my favourite knitting books - I must have made 6 or 7 patterns from that book). I made this for my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who are expecting their first child in Oct. I'm glad I finished it in time.

Project details:
Pattern: Daydream from Rowan Babies
Yarn : Jaeger Baby Merino in Lilac
Needles : 3.25mm and 3mm
Size : 6 -12 mth
Thoughts: Lovely simple pattern with lovely details. I really enjoyed making this.
Here is Zoe modelling the finished article. It was a little too small on her 13 month old body.
I also started Tess from Kim Hargreaves' book Heartfelt. I started this on Thursday, as evidenced in the photo. I have now finished the main body and the left sleeve. Amazing progress!! I've got to admit, it's knitted in Rowan Big Wool on 12mm needles.
And for some eye candy that is NOT in purple. This is some Sunshine Yarns sock yarn in the Harry Potter inspired colourways - Chinese Fireball Dragon and Accio Firebolt. I'm looking forward to knitting these.

Monday, September 15, 2008

IKnit day

Note: I suddenly realised that I drafted this post but never actually posted . Duh! So here it is.

I had a fantastic day at IKnit day on Saturday. I got to meet lots of Ravellers and other friends, admired the architecture, drooled over the wares (lots of yarn and fibre and other stuff), heard the Yarn Harlot speak, watched the fashion shows (I never realised how much I liked the fashion of the 50's). I brought a camera, but sadly I forgot to charge it. I did manage one photo of the Yarn Harlot, but it was so blurry that it wasn't worthy of posting. But here is link to the photos on flickr as posted by everyone else. IKnit Day

Finally, here are purchases from the day. I was very well restrained - I didn't buy any yarn, but I bought loads of roving.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Progress knitting and spinning

Finally,I got the 2 kids back in school on Thursday. Peace and quiet in the house from 9 till 3, well as much peace as a clingy 1 year old is willing to give. I did have some time to tidy up my WIPs, stash and Ravelry. I have embarked on ripping some unfinished projects which I know, I'll never finish. I have also made some progress on photographing the extensive stash. There will be a destash happening sometime soon.

I just wanted to show that I have been knitting. This is sock one of Embossed Leaves sock and I am making slow progress on sock 2.

I have also been spinning. This is my first full skein of yarn!! YAY! The pink/purple single is BFL dyed by Dianne and the cream is superwash BFL. I think i have about 120 feet of yarn which is a bit uneven, overly twisted in parts and a bit badly plied in others. But I'm very proud of my first attempt. I think it will be knitted up into a cowl/scarf for Keira, who loves the colours.


ANd finally, I'm off to meet the Yarn Harlot tomorrow at the IKnit day!! Hurray!!! (Completely off topic, the IKnit day will be held at The Royal Horticultural Halls in Victoria, in London. This was the venue of my Law Society Final Exams 15 years ago! It brought a tiny shiver to my spine!)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

London Knitters with kids

I helped Mel and Luise organise a picnic in Kew Gardens for our little Ravelry group - London Knitters with kids. The idea was that we would drag our other halves and kids for a knitterly meet up. We could knit and the kids could go play with daddies. The picnic had been in the diary for months and I kept my fingers crossed for the weather to co-operate. I needn't have worried. The weather was glorious - practically the first sunny day in London for months! The kids played well together. The menfolk got on well together. We got to knit and spin. Just brilliant!

kew picnic 3

kew picnic 2

Monday, August 18, 2008

Baby bell bottoms

I used to enjoy summer. The prospect of going on holiday and relaxing, barbeques and not having the kids on a strict regime for school and activities. But since being back to London, with no help and no extra entertainers (I mean grandparents and extended family), I have had enough of the kids. The constant attention and entertainment and cooking and cleaning after them is KILLING me. Plus the extremely crap weather in London has meant we've spent a lot of time indoors.

I have had very little time for anything else. Luckily, I booked them into a summer Day Camp program for this week, and I'll only have one baby for most of the day. this means I get a chance to get on the computer and update my blog!

I signed up for Ravelympics for a few events and heaven knows, how I'm going to manage as we've got less than a week left. I've managed to finished one project - Baby bell bottoms. I made this for Zoe in the 12 month old size. Unfortunately, it's still a bit too big. I'll arrange for the modelled shot in a few months time.

Pattern - Baby Bell bottoms by Alison Hansel
Yarn - Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in Pink-a-boo (1 skein) and Tea Rose (0.3 skeins)
Needle - 4mm
It was a relatively quick knit and I love cotton fleece. It wears well and is soft yet strong. I hope Zoe likes this.