Tuesday, 25 June 2013


Ooh, look what has just arrived in my neighbourhood: a new yarn shop.
I have only peered through the window so far, but could see lots of pretty skeins hanging up...
I might just have to nip in and buy myself a birthday present.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Craft In Action

Here's little bean wearing his mama-knitted Charles. And here he is snuggling under the endless blanket in its current form.

The blanket is coming on fine - in line with my little and often philosophy I'm trying to manage a row or two every day. Unlike knitting, I can just about manage to crochet while I am feeding the baby. Who knew crochet was amenable like that?

And look at all that wool at midsummer! What on earth? For the sake of balance and accuracy I should point out that yesterday we were all in short sleeves and sandals. It's not always grim up north...

Thursday, 20 June 2013


I have gone and done it: cast on the pink thing which was pulling at my inner knitter the other day.

And, here I am drinking tea in a coffee shop, with a sleeping baby beside me in his pushchair, making a start.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Starting. Again

Maybe it's my hormones. Or the weather. Or the phase of the moon. Or something. It seems I am powerless to resist the siren call of the yarn goddess, and today I pulled yet more yarn from the stash for another project. 

I haven't cast on yet, but that's only because I've been busy feeding a baby, trying to ensure most people in the house have clean pants to wear tomorrow, and make something dinner-like from the dregs left in the fridge. How is it, that a fridge that was respectably full only yesterday now looks as though it belongs to an impoverished student, close to the end of term? 

I digress. The new project is going to be something small, and pink, for a small girl I know who recently had her first birthday. I failed to make her anything when she was born, and I owe her and her big sister BIG time. The blue sparkly Phoebe (which is not quite finished) is for her sister, and I have an idea about making her a bigger and pinker version of the Charles which I made for little bean, and which is proving to be even nicer on a baby than it was on the needles. 

In other news, the crochet blanket is starting to look a bit less like a very long brown wolly bookmark. After two blocks of colour (each block = one small ball of yarn) I've devised a stripe pattern for the next part of the blanket. This is partly because I like stripes, and partly to keep life interesting. There is something more-ish and manageable about knitting just one more stripe, in a project that is likely (if I think about it logically) to take a Very Long Time. It could be a never ending blanket...

As well as the blanket, there is poor old Phoebe to finish off (really, there is not much left to do...) and those man socks which, it turns out, aren't for my husband at all, but for my dad. The Regia jazz stripes are, apparently, well outside the acceptable sock comfort zone for my husband. He was fairly diplomatic about it and while we were talking about the colour thing, he also let me know about some of the fit issues he has with the other socks I have made him. These have all been noted, and no doubt as a result of my wisdom, maturity and age, I managed not to take these comments to heart or run from the room beating my breast and gnashing my teeth. I took it, as knitters do, with grace and good humour (ha). Its hard to say whether he will be getting any more handknit socks in the near future... 

Happy Fathers Day, Dad. There are some socks coming your way. 

Saturday, 15 June 2013


So, what was I saying about WIPs? Reader, I am weak and couldn't resist any more: I cast on a new project.

This is not just any project; this is a stash battering project that should take care of a good amount of yarn. It's another crochet blanket - big enough for snuggling under on the sofa, or covering our bed. I say this confidently, although I am not following any pattern, and don't really know how much yarn I've got or how much I might need to make a blanket of the size I imagine.

It must be a crochet thing, i'm not usually so blase about knitting projects and yarn amounts. But my fingers were awfully itchy, and I just had to start. Today.

I cast on (do you cast on in crochet?) this morning, managing a few stitches here and there whilst out and about with the children.

Most of today's crochet action happened once the small people were asleep. It is gobbling yarn already, and the end of the first (small) ball is nigh.

I won't bore you with any pictures of this narrow ribbon of dark brown woollyness. Instead I offer this - a picture of little bean enjoying some afternoon sunshine in the garden. (Yes, we do have sun in Scotland, despite rumours to the contrary!)

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Little and often

One thing I have learned over the years is that action little and often is no bad thing. Most of my knitting is done this way - a round or two on the bus or waiting for a doctor's appointment.

Now that the little bean is here, this is more true than ever. However, there are lots of things to do, not least of which is to stop fantasising about new projects and finish some of the WIPs piled up here and there.

I managed to grab some time today for more sewing. The third pair of pyjama shorts got some attention, and I quickly rustled up a couple of washable baby wipes.

These wipes are modelled on some fab Imse Vimse wipes a friend passed on to us. I made use of a top I deconstructed the other day because the stitching and fabric were tearing. Two layers of this fine cotton were sewn together to make a thin cloth perfect for washing/wiping a baby's creases.

Sunday, 9 June 2013


As well as welcoming a new baby to our family, in recent weeks we have also been blessed with our first Edinburgh allotment.

We had an allotment in Bristol, which I acquired only a few weeks after moving to the city. Getting an allotment in Edinburgh has been a completely different story. No quick chat with a committee member and turning up to see which plots were on offer. Oh no.

In Edinburgh there is a waiting list; a really LONG list. Shortly after we moved here, we added our names to the list.

8 years later we have finally got a plot. Yes, eight years. A lot has happened in that time: we got married, moved house, moved jobs, had 3 children, put in a new bathroom, put in a new kitchen, had significant birthdays and all the time we were waiting for an allotment....

It's lovely - only a couple of minutes walk from our house, and well loved by its previous holder. So, before we started work there was rhubarb and currants and raspberries and mint and other herbs.

Today we spent a couple of sunny hours at our plot, sewing seeds with the children and doing a bit of watering and tidying up. Not a bad way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.

When we got home, a bit of water play in the garden helped take care of the worst of the mud. I hope our little beans look back fondly on these afternoons - carefree play (no roads, no cars) in the sunshine, getting really really dirty.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Shortly (FO)

Little bean is taking up most spare moments, as you would expect of a 3 week old baby.  And, to be fair I am trying to savour these baby moments as I know how fleeting they will be....

Yesterday was the first day I managed a stitch of any kind. I got my machine out of the cupboard and finished a second pair of pyjama shorts for the (biggest) bean.

I upcycled them from some pyjama jackets I didn't wear - and which were taking up shelf space in my wardrobe.

As the bean often complains about being hot at night, I thought some short pjs might be a good move. I cut out 3 pairs using some existing pyjama trousers as a template. The first pair were quickly pressed into service, and have been a great hit - and yesterday I fixed the elastic in the second pair.

I'm so pleased with these - they are filling a need and helping me to declutter my wardrobe, and they cost only pennies to make....