Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Drama #2

The drama continues here, although we have now watched all of The Killing (series 1). It's good - and I am looking forward to catching up with series 2 sometime...

Putting that aside, perhaps it is just as well I started my Christmas crafting when I did. There has been little action on that score since the beginning of December. And, the socks I have started for DH have stalled a bit - they are toe-up and just look a bit, well, wrong. I am undecided at the moment, but am waiting for a new moon or something before they go to the frog pond...

The other dramas in our house have been a little less knitterly.

On Saturday the television stopped working - the remote control worked, but the telly did not. Fuse was checked, words were sworn and various things banged, bodged and shaken. To no avail. It was dead. It had departed. It was an ex-TV.

Given that we my husband has been discussing buying a new telly for months now, it didnt take us long to come to the conclusion that we should buy a new one. The old telly (about 10 years old - so box shaped rather than a flat screen) had been on the blink for a while. DH has been researching all the options - wireless, dongles, boxes, recorders, LCD, LED. But it all just made my head hurt, so I told him we should wait until the old one gave up, and that's what we did. On Sunday morning decisions were made, and a new TV was procured (look it up on tinternets, ring up shop, pay and collect later). One thing sorted.

Yesterday, I got into the office and sat quietly at my desk sewing on some buttons while my laptop powered up and my inbox caught up with itself. I was finishing those wee jackets I started a week or so ago, for those little twins I mentioned. As I sat and sewed, I scanned my inbox - and there was a birth announcement! Eek! Born on Friday, a few weeks earlier than expected and hoped, but safely born and good sizes (c. 4lb each). Welcome to the world little ones - Nathaniel and Lilith - we wish you and your clever mama and papa all the very best. There is a parcel of things on its way - including those two hats, and two wee jackets (paxton pattern from stitchymama via ravelry).

Two baby beanies.
yarn: small amounts of 4 ply from the stash

Yarn: 100% cotton DK (pink = Sirdar Carousel; blue = Jonelle) from stash
Size: 6-8lb (preemie/small newborn)
Notes: no mods - jacket with long sleeves. buttons from stash. This is the second time I have made these jackets - they knit up quickly and take almost no time to finish because of their top-down seamless construction.

This morning, after counselling both of my small people NOT to sit on window ledge next to Christmas tree, a few moments later the bean arrives in the dining room (where I am waging war on a tsunami of crayons and pens and bits of paper that have suddenly hurled themselves onto the floor) announcing that the wire has got his leg and the christmas tree has fallen down. The jelly bean wets herself at that very moment and my sense of humour disappears very rapidly. No-one was hurt, and the only thing broken (apart from my spirit) were a couple of decorations on the tree. Grrr.

Santa came to the rescue. In times like that emergency chocolate really is the answer, and if that is shaped like santa, then all well and good...

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Heads, fingers and toes (FOs)

A quick post to catch up on some of the little things that have recently made their way into my gift stash.

These are girl socks for the jelly bean, knitted with sparkly Berocco sock yarn. See those sparkles?

Followed by handwarmers for my dad, knitted with some mystery grey 4 ply. I think this yarn came from grandmothers house. There were several partial balls which - as you can see - were clearly from different dye lots. I hope the subtle difference in colour is not too noticeable when being worn! It feels like quite a woolly yarn, and it has bloomed and softened with washing. I improvised the pattern based on the ones I made for myself a few weeks back, but using slightly more stitches to accommodate a manly hand.

Last and not least are two very weeny baby beanies for those twins. Anticipating smallish babies and smallish heads, I adapted my baby beanie pattern, using 80 stitches rather than 100... Oh, and rather than an i-cord stalk with knot, I made wee circles instead. Cute huh?

Tuesday, 6 December 2011


There has been something of a post illness lull in this house. I have taken up one or two little projects to keep myself occupied - some weeny jackets for those twins I mentioned - but for the last couple of days I have been enjoying myself enormously making endless pompoms and watching the Killing (series 1). [If you dont know it, its a Danish crime thriller/drama series which moves very slowly over 20 episodes and which has the enigmatic Anna Lund as the main character. Anna is of course famous for her knitwear - witness last week's discussion on BBC R4's woman's hour...]

We have been easing ourselves into the Killing over the last few weeks. After episode one, DH said he wasn't too bothered about it, and I watched the next few on my own. Somehow DH managed to be in the room when I watched episodes 5 and 6. Can you see what is coming next? When I got back from pilates last week, there he was watching episode 7 on his own. His face was suitably guilty...

Trouble is, what with the Danish and the subtitles and all, you have to really concentrate on the screen lest you miss a significant comment or detail. It is not the time to be knitting anything with charts, or rows that needs counting. I even found it hard to increase every other row when knitting weeny jacket no 1. It all looked tickety boo until I looked at it carefully in daylight and had to rip back a few rows to fix the increases I had missed.

Last night I managed a double bill of the Killing, and switched to pompoms. They are a lot more forgiving - although I do of course have to put them down now and again to really concentrate on the drama.

Can you tell what it is yet? I've come over all Martha Stewart, and I'm making a christmas wreath with pompoms. It's eating into my stash very nicely, and using up some of the dodgier balls of yarn in an entirely pleasing way, as well as some of the less dodgy things. Dont you just love how pompoms made with mohair turn out? Gorgeous.

I made the base for my wreath out of a coat hanger, bent into a suitable shape and padded with some strips of fabric topped with toy stuffing. This was secured with yarn. Lots of yarn. I used up some peach coloured yarn underneath, and then topped this with white yarn, as the pompoms are mainly white/cream. DH approves of the stashbusting - and it's using up quite a lot of yarn. The bean inspected the half finished wreath this morning, and declared it gorgeous. I promise to show it off when it's finished...

In other news, we have had our first snow of the season. Not enough to make snowmen or throw snowballs, but just enough to dust the grass and verges with white and to freeze the earth to stone (good job I dug most of the spuds up last week).

DH is further north at the moment - near to Loch Fyne - in a lot more snow. He set off very early yesterday and arrived safely - waiting for the road at Rest and Be Thankful to open, rather than taking the long diversion. But the weather meant that they did no work because it took all day to get their equipment up 5 miles of snowy track to their site. So, it looks like he will be there most of the week. Best get cracking on his Christmas socks then....

Thursday, 1 December 2011


I am celebrating quietly as the darkness draws in and we look forward to the turning of another year.

We have reached a certain sort of milestone in our house, not just where there is little trace of any baby-ness (moses basket, cot, baby toys, baby clothes all gone), but where the toddler days are almost at an end too. Our little jelly bean has stopped wearing nappies. I won't go so far as to say she is completly potty/toilet-trained, but we are well on our way.

The cloth nappies I made a few months back are all packed up ready to hand on to a new baby. I'm happy, but a bit sad too. It's nice to move on and grow up, but I do love scrunchy little newborns, and a happy baby that coos and rolls and gurgles and only drinks milk! I'll have to see if I can get by just borrowing cuddles from other people's babies from now on....