Sunday, 29 July 2012


And we're off...

Down to London to join in with the Games madness. We are very excited!

Thursday, 26 July 2012


The bags are now ready for gifting: washed, ironed, ribboned. Tonight they will be filled with a few small chocolate gifts, ready for the big day.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Stash bags (FO)

It's a big week this week. 

On Friday our son - the bean - has his last day at preschool. And, a new big scary chapter in which he starts school, begins. He is most definitely ready for this, but I am not. As the yarnharlot might say: it scares the snot out of me. 

Anyway, that's all for another day and another post, and this is meant to be about the fruitful stash diving and sewing that went on over the weekend. So, as I was saying - the bean finishes preschool this week, so I have been wondering idly about the best way of thanking his teachers. Of course, whenever there is idle wondering, there is idle googling and reading of blogs. 

Kelly at handmade at home hit the spot with her post about fabric bags. I half read the tutorial, and let the idea marinade for a few days. I talked to the bean. He thought it was a good idea.I went diving into the stash and pulled out some likely bits and bobs. The bean  had a look, and made his preferences clear.

So, Saturday evening, I unpacked the sewing machine and the cutting mat and set them up, along with the ironing board and iron. I folded, measured and cut fabric - enough for 8 bags. And then I sat down to sew.

At that moment, that very moment, the planets aligned themselves in a most unfortunate, er, alignment. It was now after 9pm, and the jelly bean - who had snuck a 1 hour nap that afternoon - was not sleepy. Not. At. All. No sir. She was as far from sleep as a 2 yr old can be. So, she was wriggling and getting in and out of bed and generally making us aware that she was wide a w a k e. 

While that was going on, my cousin rang to talk about our Olympic trip and meeting up and life with twins and parenting and Boris Johnson (London mayor) and all the other things that cousins talk about when they don't see each other from one year to the next. It took more than an hour...

It was now near to 10.30pm, and not a stitch had been stitched, and the jelly bean was still very awake. Surrender was the only course of action possible. We made our bed (sheets stripped and washed and hung out to dry at the first glimpse of sunshine earlier in the day) and offered her the chance to sleep with mummy. It was 11pm. I climbed into bed next to a wriggling jelly bean and wondered what sort of useless parent I was for giving in like that. 

It was gone 11.30 when the wriggling finally stopped and the warm feet on my belly could be gently moved away. Asleep, at last.

Sunday morning was slow and gentle and full of sunshine. We pottered about, reading books, eating, giggling. I caught up on my missed sewing session - sitting in my pyjamas at the table, while people around me drank and ate and dressed themselves. I consulted the bean on progress. He seemed happy, so in the evening after they went to bed (exhausted by swimming and cycling and lots and lots of fresh air) I sat down to finish things off. By (my) bedtime, there was a pile of 8 little bags. Start to finish in about 24 hours. Not a bad days work. 

Monday, 9 July 2012


It's that time of year again. The one where I have my birthday (41, ahem) followed shortly after by our wedding anniversary (7 years). To add to the excitement, my brother and sister in law arrived last weekend with their two young sons. 

It's such a shame that the weather has been so awful - but if I have learned one thing in my 41 years on this earth, it is this: moaning about the weather never, ever, ever make one jot of difference to the weather that comes. You just have to make the best of it. So, the driest days have involved trips to beaches, farms, play parks and walks around and about; and the wettest days have involved trips to museums, swimming pools, soft play and inside sorts of places. Edinburgh's blessed with a number of such venues, so it hasn't been too hard - but still, a shame for them not to have seen some Scottish sunshine.

My in-laws organised a gathering of the wider family to celebrate the visitation from the American branch. As both my mother and father in law celebrate their 70th birthdays this year, we made the most of the opportunity to celebrate, and surprised them with birthday cake and champagne! They were completely unprepared for the surprise - but both seemed really delighted. Significant birthdays are always worth celebrating, and the greater the age, the more reason to take stock and give thanks for health and happiness. 

Meanwhile there has been knitting. Dolly (age 3-6 months) now has 2 sleeves. A back will follow methinks. There is also a sock making good progress - mostly encouraged by the tennis, which was superb this year - and one or two other things have sprung on and off the needles. A tank top began a week or so back, but was no sooner started than ripped again. Not. Quite. Right. 

Thursday, 5 July 2012


Whilst I have been working hard on the stash busting over the last couple of years, there are some corners of the stash which look decidedly dodgy. There is some really awful acrylic and wildly coloured yarns which came either from charity shop raids, or from my grandmothers knitting basket. I think I inherited her thrifty ways, as well as her bag of yarn unravelled from long forgotten jumpers. 

But, I have a plan. It is cunning, and a bit daring and probably also rather mad. And I'm hoping it might look a bit like this...

Apparently highly coloured acrylic yarn is just the thing cos it lasts for ever .... who knew?