This Weekend #2

Ah it’s been a good bank holiday weekend, despite the blustery weather and a rough start.

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Poor little T. has had his second bout of tonillitis in 3 weeks and so is on his second course of antibiotics. Fortunately by Saturday morning he had picked up enough that we were able to pop to Wales to stay with the in-laws.  And a lovely time was had.  I tried to remember to take photos with my iphone (we are currently awaiting a new camera that the husband insisted we needed).

I had time to get my knit-on… and make progress with my baby blanket; which I must confess I am getting a little bored with now.  I’m so tempted to take-up crotchet when it comes to blanket making.

IMG_3947And I got to start my shawl for the CITC make-along!

IMG_3973I think I’m obsessed with this shade of blue.  I seem to have lots of jewellery in this colour too.

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IMG_3969Many mugs of tea were drank and I spent lots of time in my favourite stripy socks and my well-worn slippers (I really must get a new pair as the soles have had it).  Honestly, these socks are the comfiest ever.  They’re made from bamboo fibre and I’ve only heard of them being sold in my in-laws local farm shop.  My hope is to build up a collection of all the different colour stripy varieties; so far I have 2 pairs.

IMG_3950The husband and I even had an opportunity to go out for a drink, just the two of us!  What a treat.  I had an amazing glass of Syrah (or Shiraz, I can’t remember which it was now).  As luck would have it, the owner of the cafe/restaurant greeted us as we walked in the door, and gave us an impromptu wine tasting and then after a lengthy chat declared our drinks were for free!  How amazing is that!

IMG_3962Whilst baby A. had lots of cuddles, little T. spent lots of time gardening with Gu and the dogs, which he loved.  My sensitive, nature-loving boy.

IMG_3985Then to round the weekend off the husband and I did a little Bank Holiday Monday shopping where I bought these 2 pretty notebooks.  I love notebooks, and I love colourful and pretty things so it was a win-win.  Unfortunately, my main purpose for shopping was to seek out a soap dish but the only variety I could find were either tacky and bejewelled or plain white.

And now we’re back to the working week!  I must dash, little A. has just woken from her nap and is not happy to entertain herself or practice her rolling in her cot.

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CFTC Make-A-Long

One of my favourite knitting blogs is Crafts From the Cwtch (great name but being welsh I’m probably biased).  Anyway, commencing May 1st (tomorrow, eek!) Sarah is hosting a make-a-long.

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I’ve never participated in a knit/make-along but it sounds like fun and the project is a transitional shawl.  The challenge is try a shawl pattern that will develop your skills.  I have zero shawl making skills since I have never made one so my pattern options seemed endless.  Originally I was going to go for this pattern.  However, after participating in the ravelry CFTC MAL discussion this pattern, called Colour Affection, captured me.  I’m a little apprehensive since it involves short rows, increases, and working with a number of different yarns.  Plus, my latest projects aren’t going too well.  Luckily, I love a challenge!

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Despite the MAL kicking off tomorrow, I’ve only got one of three varieties of yarn chosen (above).  I’m not entirely convinced by my choice; that’s the difficulty of ordering online.  My local yarn shops are at least a 30 min drive away so Love Knitting is my best friend.  I digress.  I suspect that my potential other 2 colours will convince me that I have made the correct choices.  I intend on buying the rest of the yarn on Saturday when we visit my inlaws in West Wales.  I’m hoping they can have the little ones so I can deliberate over my options at a leisurely pace.  In the meantime I’m going to get my head around the pattern and practice some of the new techniques.  Happy knitting!

This Weekend #1

Goodness it’s been a busy weekend!  Full of time with family and friends, and not much time for knitting.  To be honest, I haven’t had the energy for knitting even when I have had an odd spare moment.  And I feel a little demoralised after my baby blanket failure…

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I quit. Ugh.  It really wasn’t happening.  One side was almost perfect (above), unlike the other side where the chevrons were all wonky (top photo).  Instead, I’m doing a simple stripey blanket using garter stitch; perfect for when I’m tired (which is frequently) and want to zone out whilst knitting.  Plus, I need to save my knitting energy for my next knitting challenge.

Saturday morning we we went to an Italian Classic Car event that was being held on one of the main streets in Bristol.  My husband and son love cars.  A and I tagged along for the ride.

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Even though I’m not into cars I found it fascinating and admire the dedication and knowledge that people who are fanatical about something have.  Maybe I’ll be like that about knitting one day.  Right now, I’m fanatical but without the knowledge, skill and experience.  Saturday afternoon I took the kids out for a play date with a good friend of ours.

Sunday morning was wonderfully lazy.  I did some boring chores before relaxing in front of the London Marathon and casting on for my millionth attempt at this baby blanket.  I love watching the London Marathon every year, despite it making me feel terribly unfit and sedentary.

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I thought I’d use the opportunity to try out some new knitting needles.  I’ve never used circular ones before.  They’re Knit Pro Symfonie wooden ones and are wonderfully light and smooth.  Now I just need to learn how to knit in the round!

Sunday afternoon I got my bake on as we had some friends over for afternoon tea and another toddler play date.  I ended up making two batches of jam doughnut cupcakes.  The first batch went a bit wrong because I forgot to add the oil (doh, rooky mistake), the second batch I foolishly decided to be experimental.  I reduced the sugar in the recipe and replaced it with cocoa. Unfortunately the jam just sat on the top due to the density of the batter. Luckily both batches were edible despite my planned and unplanned changes to the original recipe.

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And here we are.  It’s Monday lunchtime, both kids are napping (what a treat!), I’m sitting with my cuppa and the Masterchef final on.  And the baby’s just woken up.  Darn.  It was nice while it lasted.  Happy Monday!  Hope you had a good weekend.

Blanket Dilemma

My friend’s due to have her second baby in a few weeks time so I decided I would knit the baby a blanket as a gift.  She doesn’t know what she’s having yet so I’ve found some gender neutral colours without being too boring (ahem).

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I found a great pattern for a chevron blanket that is straight forward, or so I thought. I have restarted it at least 7 times due to silly errors.  And I don’t yet have the skills to correct mistakes during the knitting process.  Despite the pattern and stitches being pretty basic, I can’t seem to get very far without losing a stitch here or there (usually from missing a yarn over) then I realise too late when the chevrons are already wonky.

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Above is the furthest I’ve got without the chevrons being massively wonky.  What does one do in this situation? I’m not a quitter but I’m tempted to give up. However, I’ve bought the yarn especially for it.  It’s a lovely cotton mix yarn by rico.  And I really like the chevron blanket design. I guess I could do a straight forward striped blanket but it’s not quite the same. Maybe I should design my own blanket (pah!).  I must confess, I am rushing it a bit.  Not only because the baby is due in a few weeks time, but also because I want to join in on a knit-a-long that commences soon (I’ll blog about that shortly).

Knitting Zen

Last summer, I needed a distraction from restless leg syndrome whilst pregnant with my daughter and a hobby that wasn’t food focussed.  So somehow, I rediscovered knitting.  I say rediscovered because it was my third attempt at knitting.  My nanna tried teaching me when I was a child, and I tried again 4 years ago.  For some reason, this time it stuck.  Maybe it’s like the elusive running bug, I got bitten by the knitting one.  I loved it!  It distracted me from my restless legs, and provided a much needed creative output.

I worked my way through Knitty Gritty, with my first project being a straight forward scarf, of course.

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Desperate to explore different stitches and techniques I went on to knit booties for my daughter:IMG_4209

a cable bag:

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I love cable knit.  Since it was my first attempt at cable knitting there were a few mistakes along the way so I decided to knit some leaves using different increases and decreases to cover them up (ha!).

Then there was a cowl using the blackberry stitch (love this stitch).

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I have a thing for self-patterning yarn, which I’ll save for another day!

I tried to knit a cardigan that was made from one continuous yarn.  That was a failure.  You can’t win them all.

So these were my starting projects from last summer.  Which projects did you start with?