Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Because writing isn't hard enough

It helps if you have a little friend on hand,

So that just as you're about to reach some clarity,

This happens.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Butter Fiend

As soon as I stepped into the shed her nose started twitching. I love that she's so assertive she just gets up and sticks her nose right in my lunch! She wasn't interested in the egg (sometimes the only way to stop her standing on the plate is to let her smell things close up. I picked up the egg and held it right under her nose), it was the butter she was after. I broke a bit of toast off and gave it to her to lick. She was then content to lick the butter all over her fur before settling down to sleep again. Ah, she's so sweet.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter Jumpers

The jumpers are knitted! Now they just have to be sewn together (one has to be pressed first), have their neckbands knitted and buttons sewn on and they will be entirely, completely and absolutely finished! I'm so looking forward to packaging them up and sending them off. I hope Nate and JJ like them!

In this state they remind me of a fish game I had when I was a child. Something to do with, the fish came in bits, like a jigsaw, and the object of the game was to put the whole fish together. I think dice were involved. The fish were all colour-coded, but I like to mix and match them, so they were multi-coloured. I won't be doing that with the jumpers.

Sewing together is my least favourite part of knitting. So I reckon - today I'll press the top jumper, then next weekend I'll knuckle down, sew the shoulders together and knit the necks, then I might save the remaining sewing together for another day. We'll see. I would like to send them off as soon as possible, before Spring arrives.

The pattern is a Sirdar, I think. The wool, as always, is Rowan. Pure Wool DK.

I've been really enjoying knitting recently. I briefly went back to my TV jumper while waiting to be able to go to John Lewis to buy an extra ball to finish Nate's jumper (I had already bought one ball over, thinking that would do but I ran out a couple of inches from the top of the sleeve. Luckily the dye lot is so close I couldn't tell where the join was). 

I've also been itching to set aside time to sew my tweed skirt, and I thought this weekend would do it, but no. Time went far too quickly for me. Next weekend for sure. 

Monday, January 18, 2010

My co-writer

My little co-writer loves spending the day in the shed with me while I write; except she gets a little outraged if I move around too much, or make noise (suddenly lifting her head and looking at me with a mix of disbelief and disgust). Last summer there was a daily battle between the two of us as to who would reach and claim the swivel chair first. If it was her there would then ensue a bigger battle to move her from the swivel chair onto the blanket I'd laid out specially for her, taking up one third of my desk. I wasn't always quick enough to place something on the swivel chair to dissuade her from jumping on it as working in the shed means I have a couple of boxes of books, my laptop bag, pens and paper to transport each day from the house. She, of course, is straight in, unencumbered.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tweed Skirt

I love tweed, particularly the more colourful and striking weaves, though I love deep plain colours too. Last summer Hagos and I came across the shop Jack Wills in Edinburgh. I loved their jackets and their knitwear and their sleepwear and their socks, and the pants were cool too. I loved most of the shop. After that I decided to make myself and Hagos winter tweed coats (because, why buy something when you can make it yourself?). I got as far as buying a Project Runway pattern for myself (previously blogged about) but no further (so far). 

My local fabric shop, Anglian Fashion Fabrics, had a small selection of tweeds in and I chose the one above to make a skirt out of. I've cut it out (pattern the ever-trusty Amy Butler A-line skirt, but shortened) and it's hanging up ready to sew. I thought I might also get a bag out of the material (I love matching items). My lovely Mulberry bag is nearing its end, but I haven't found anything to replace it with. It's perfect as it is, so I thought I might use it as a template for making the tweed bag. It won't be as sturdy, of course, but I might get a bit of use out of it, and I can always make a replacement.

My aim for the last few years has been to plan and make winter items in the summer, and summer items in the winter, so that they're all ready for the correct season, but I've fallen behind this year and am only now getting round to making my winter skirts and jumper(s). My long-sleeved TV jumper (blue with orange kidsilk haze stripe) was put on hold weeks ago while I knitted jumpers for my Godsons, Nate and JJ. As I near the end of the second jumper I remember very clearly why I stopped knitting jumpers for children older than two. It takes too damn long! And two jumpers takes twice as long. But then having someone knit you a woolly jumper is very cool. I hope they both think so when they're finally finished! 

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


It's so cold here in Norwich; too cold to venture far from the fire, definitely too cold to go to the gym, too cold even to go out for dinner in the evening, or go to the cinema. Motivation to get the year started is also hibernating. Now that I've recovered from the flu I have an urge to get on with things, but the weather and the temperature both say, non.  

So, apart from photographing cat and bird prints in the snow, I haven't been doing much at all. Oh, I finally finished my cord skirt yesterday: I sewed the lining around the zip, and hemmed the lining and outer. I like it, though I think for the next skirt I'll skinny it up a bit. The pattern is a bit too flarey for heavier material. But it's fine to wear at work, which is what it was made for. I want to make the next skirt in tweed.

I'm ssoooooo looking forward to the snow clearing and the warmer weather coming and the gardening season starting.  

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Under The Skin

So, after the excess of socialising and travel over Christmas, the days since I got home have been mostly spent with this book and this blanket (and a hearty thanks to Lemsip and Nurofen Plus).

It's more luxurious to do nothing after a hectic period. To really do nothing. I always have a list that I'm working my way through, and for the last few days I haven't tried to achieve anything at all. Some days have been spent entirely in pyjamas :) And it's been years since I spent the entire day reading.

I first read Under the Skin by Michel Faber a few years ago. I loved it because I absolutely didn't know where it was going, page by page. And I liked the language, and the ideas that emerged. I don't want to reveal anything about it as I'd really recommend reading it.

Tomorrow will be more of a back-to-normal day. But I've really enjoyed the last few days resting, sleeping, reading, watching TV with Hagos and Meg, and cuddling up under the blanket. My flu has pretty much gone.