Sunday, December 30, 2007

Flat, Flowers, and The Dark Side

I've been feeling as flat as the Norfolk landscape the last few days. It's probably something to do with the helter skelter month of December being over. Too busy to think, until now. And it's winter. And I hate the retrospective of New Year. It really annoys me. And the feeling I really can't do another year of the same; treading water.
Anyway, on a cheerier note! I got this beautiful material from CottonPatch yesterday.The orange Roman Glass by Kaffe Fassett I liked so much when I made Bette's coaster and placemat from it, I decided to buy 2 metres to make a dress!! Ha ha. The green Roman Glass I only bought a quarter metre to make either wash bags (lined with shower curtain material) or a paperback tote bag for carrying one's paperback to the cafe! I have one myself, which I love, and it also doubles as a sock or mitten knitting bag. Likewise with the Carla Miller gerbera material. Gerberas are my friend Janie's favourite flowers so I'll be making her either a wash bag or a paperback tote bag, not sure which yet. She works away from home sometimes, therefore a bespoke wash bag would be useful, but she also reads paperbacks and enjoys trips to Starbucks. Hm.

I just watched the documentary on JK Rowling and I'm so glad she has her success because she seems like a properly decent person.

Sometimes I struggle with what to write in this blog. I severely edit out of it anything that is not entirely happy and good and beautiful: illness, death, the Dark Side generally. Because this is my happy place, where nothing bad happens. I have considered slashing and burning the blog and starting afresh, anonymously. Because even though almost nobody leaves a comment, I know a wide range of people read it, from my sister and husband, to friends, to work colleagues. Maybe I just need to have more courage of conviction. BUT this is not a New Year's resolution, which I also hate. Happy New Year!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Meg's Christmas

Playing with a Christmas star (to stop her wrecking the rest of the tree).
Helping to unwrap the presents.
And finally, finding somewhere comfy to sit on Christmas Day:
Both couches, her beanbag, and her rugs obviously weren't comfy enough.
I'll post properly soon; but these seem to be the only photos I took on Christmas Day!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Sickness

I finally succumbed to some pre-holiday illness, after congratulating myself on missing out on all the sickness bugs and colds that were going round the office, striking everyone down. I got the sickness bug, along with the rest of my family who I had just visited in Scotland this weekend. The only good thing about having this bug is that I haven't eaten anything for two days, which, for someone as 'cuddly' as I've become, is a good thing (we constantly tease my nephew Stuart about being 'cuddly' - he was cuddly as a baby and is still cuddly now. I must get that photo of him wearing his blue tights to publish in the blog). Luckily, I managed to finish Bette's Christmas present before the lurgy struck.I used embroidery transfers from Sublime Stitching; the lovely material in the centre is Kaffe Fassett's Roman Glass. Absolutely gorgeous. The placemat and coaster are backed in this material too.
It was lovely seeing my family in Scotland, though I think most of us now have, or have had, the bug. Keigan is an unstoppable climbing-machine, and it took about seven adults to herd him away from the more dangerous climbing routes in the living room. This is him attempting to scale the back of the chair, with my dad holding onto him.

My sister and I managed to visit a couple of coffee shops while finishing our Christmas shopping, and I loved this star on top of my decaf mocha so much I didn't want to disturb it (I'm easily pleased).Meg has ignored the Christmas tree for the last week and a half, until this morning when I found her hiding behind it, before she launched herself into it, scattering baubles and tinsel. I had to move some presents round to the back of the tree to stop her returning there again and again, to do the same thing.And finally, Keigan and my brother-in-law Robin playing at swings:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Red and White

These are my finished mittens from the Folk Mittens book. I absolutely love them. The red is RYC Cashsoft 4-ply, the white is Jaeger 4-ply. I think using two different types of yarns caused a little bit of tension between them. They've turned out okay but not as even as my Scandinavian mittens, where I used Jaeger 4-ply for both colours. The RYC Cashsoft has less elasticity than the Jaeger. I think I'm going to give them to Hagos's mum, Bette, for her Christmas. She's knitted loads of things for me and Hagos over the years. I must photograph her garish (deliberately) Kaffe Fassett waistcoat she gave me a few Christmases ago. Kaffe Fassett knitting is already OTT, but Kaffe Fassett interpreted by Bette Haggarty is off the scale!
The Make-it-Yourself Secret Santa present I made for Anna. I'd been obsessed by placemats and coasters since I got the Bend-the-Rules book in the summer. And when I saw the John Lewis Christmas material I couldn't resist. It's different on both sides so she can choose if she's in more of a red mood or a white mood. Beautifully modelled using my own table, cutlery and glassware.
I got a really sweet email from Anna saying she really liked it (it was obvious who'd made it), which makes making things worthwhile. Altogether I used a metre of fabric and some medium interfacing. I had expected to get four placemats and four coasters out of the fabric, but eventually I decided to make two generous-sized placemats and four coasters instead, so they can be special Anna-and-Chris placemats. I was off the day the presents were opened so I have no idea what anyone else got or what I have.
I finally caved in and bought The Gentle Art of Domesticity. And just to prove how domestic I am, my mittens just happened to be beside the book when I took the photo.
I saw this photo on someone else's blog. It's from a kntting magazine, I think from Germany. I SO want this dress. Actually I want the whole look, the wellingtons too.

I seem to have been in a red and white mood lately, looking at all the photos in this post. Except, of course, there's always a bit of ginger in whatever I do. Hagos is in France this week with MF and Meg always becomes more clingy when he's away. Maybe she's worried I'll go away too. This is her playing in her box.

Action cat!

And finally, a gratuitous photo of decaf mocha, which I enjoyed yesterday while listening to a children's brass band playing outside the library in Norwich. They were so out of tune and out of time it was fantastic.
I was straining and willing them to keep time and hit the right notes.
Well, that's all for now. I don't feel very effusive. Will hopefully feel happier when Hagos comes home.