Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Monday, 27 February 2012

Still addicted...

The blanket is still the thing. The socks aren't getting a look in. Neither is the cardigan I should finish (all sewn up and just waiting for 300 miles of edging to be knit onto it). There is an itch to be scratched, and I just need to scratch it.

The ripping and re-doing of the blanket has been a complete success. I am much happier with everything, and now starting to motor along, getting quicker and quicker all the time. It's a good feeling.

The rugby outing yesterday afternoon was fabulous. I have missed going to big matches like that (the last international I went to was the RWC in 2007, when the bean was about 9 months old), and it was so good to be back at Murrayfield for a sell-out match. The atmosphere of Scotland vs. France matches is always very good natured. The french fans play their part well, with  lots of flags and coloured wigs and silly hats. It meant that there was plenty to look at for our two little people - particularly the jelly bean - at her first rugby international. Her brother went to his first international match as a babe in arms, aged only 2 weeks! He's been to a few more games since then, mostly with his dad and other (male) grownups. This was our first outing as a family of 4 - and a rehearsal for attending sporting events with small people in tow, as we are off to the Olympics in the summer...

Too bad that Scotland couldnt get a win yesterday - but the roar that went up when they scored was incredible. And, we were lucky enough to be sitting in the north stand, so saw the first (Hogg) try fairly close up. A great memory for us all.

I've been thinking about stuff lately. There are so many of us trying to cope with having too much stuff. And, the more I think about, the more I think that the motto of the 21st century should be: don't buy stuff; do stuff. Yesterday was a good day for that.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

A good weekend.

This weekend is proving to be as good as we hoped.

Sunshine made for a good walk on Blackford hill today, the wind whipping our hair. Then home to watch England v Wales - and a fine Welsh victory - with an old friend. He's Welsh - so it was the right result as far as we were concerned.

We are hoping for a good show tomorrow at Murrayfield when Scotland play France. We're going - with the children, and my in laws and our visiting welshman. Our first international match with both of the littlies... Should be fun!

Oh, and the blanket is coming on lovely. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2012


The temptation to start over proved too much, and this morning I ripped back the blanket almost to the beginning. I'm not normally such a perfectionist, but I just couldn't go on with so many not quite right elements. Perhaps that will be my Lenten penance this year: to get it right.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

In which the crochet gods flex their muscles...

The crochet is addictive. Although I generally prefer a knit fabric to a crochet one, I do see how appealing crochet can be, and it's a bit easier to pick up, put down and rip than knitting is. And, it's much easier for a large project like a blanket. I like that. A. Lot.

So, after a week, this is where I have got to. Pretty, huh? I even managed to crochet with some novelty yarn. But, but, but... my inner crochet gods are displeased.

There are parts that I dont' like and some places where my stitch count has gone a bit awry, so the pattern is a bit wonky. I started off using the chevron pattern from Jane Brocket's 'Gentle Art of Knitting', but couldn't seem to get the valley part of the pattern to look tidy. So, I looked at some other ripple blanket patterns and fudged a different version of the valley which looks better, but isn't so chevron-y. Then I realised - yesterday - that I hadn't quite been doing that the right way (either), and so I'm wrestling with the idea of ripping it all back to the beginning and starting again and getting it right this time.

But on the other hand, I'm wondering whether I should just keep going, using this as my learning piece, and keeping this blanket as a stitched record of my progress and improvement, so that I can marvel in years to come about how badly I started off, and how slowly/quickly I learned... what to do?

Poor old birthday socks. They have been left behind because of my affair with the hook. I should finish them soon - look, what's not to like? Nice yarn, nice stripes and already at the heel flap of sock 2. It's all downhill from here...

Monday, 13 February 2012

Playing hooky...

I've got some big plans in train - not only to knit down my stash, but also make some things that will. be. Useful.

In relation to stash knitting, socks don't really cut it. At only 50g or so a pair (for me at least, ymmv) that's only a teeny dent in my personal yarn mountain.

So, the plan - in short: blankets.

I've got oodles of DK cotton yarn in that stash. Just right to make blankets for small people. We have quite a few baby blankets around the place, which just about cover a little person - but I thought we might usefully graduate to blankets which are about the size of their beds, and which might last for a good long while - and then we can pass the baby blankets onto some babies.

I've been toying with various ideas about what to knit. Cos, well I'm a knitter - and, you know - knitters, um, knit. But then  - then there was a ripple blanket and Jane Brocket and more ripple blankets, and I thought about that idea. But I can't crochet.

And then I learned. On Saturday I bought a small book at McAree brothers in Edinburgh, and spent an hour or so mastering the very basics. Then I started my own ripple blanket, and I think that maybe, just maybe, I am completely hooked.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


The rhythm of this new year and a new semester is taking a while to sink in. My teaching days and times have changed, and my inner clock/diary is confused..

It's a new drum. A new tune.

Part of my new weekly rhythm is swimming. My husband is a swimmer - a good swimmer - and before our son was born he helped me to improve my technique. I'm getting back into the groove - and it's noticeable how things improve week by week. Tonight I did 50 lengths.

Crafting and knitting and sewing have little space in my week at the moment. Snatched moments here and there are all I've been able to muster. No evenings of sewing like there were before Christmas - although I'm desperate to get my machine out and try out my new walking foot (thanks, Santa!) I have been knitting some socks for a friend's 40th though. I thought I would nail the pair before the great day, but I didn't. I didnt even manage to finish the first one before the party. Sigh. Last night we watched a film and I cast on sock no. 2. The film was Valkyrie. We enjoyed it and the sock grew nicely. I'll show it to you when it's finished. It's stripey (of course).