Friday, 30 April 2010
There were minor celebrations in our house this week, for which dd made the cakes pictured above. They are peaches and cream cupcakes out of the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook.
On Monday, I went for a job interview. It's only a temporary secondment, backfilling someone else's maternity leave, but it was still a promotion, so I was pleased to receive a job offer later that day.
I'll be working a few more hours, so there may be some impact on my crafting life, but hopefully I'll still be making stuff. Actually, since I tend to knit more when under stress, it may actually improve my knitting output!
Saturday, 24 April 2010
And here's the hat being modelled:
The choc-choc-cherry bamboo/merino mix yarn I used is available from http://www.easyknits.co.uk/.
Both items were made using free patterns available on the Internet. The jacket is the Stripey scrappy socky cardigan by f.pea, specifically designed for sock yarn, but I knitted it without the stripes, obviously. I also made the garter stitch section slightly longer than specified, and the button bands 2 rows wider each side, so I could add two buttonholes using the yarnover method, rather than using button loops.
The hat is a baby ruffle hat (knit) from Bernat - you have to log in to obtain the pattern, but sign-up is free. This one was supposed to be knit in dk, so I had to adjust the pattern slightly for gauge.
Sunday, 18 April 2010
Our fence replacement was done at the start of the month, so I can now plant my soft fruit whenever I like - not expecting any crop this summer, though. I've started with this gooseberry bush:
Dh is going to dig a hole and plant that for me, as deep-hole digging is not my strong point.
Friday, 16 April 2010
- Do more knitting / complete more FOs in 2010 (baseline: 4 completed items in 2009): Two items completed in January - Bella's mitts for dd and a second battenberg tea cosy. Two more done in February - Ziggy zag baby jumper for Gabriel, pink ruffle hat for new niece. In March I cast on for a baby cardigan, also intended for new niece (almost finished - just got collar to work), and worked more of my shawl, which brings me nicely to resolution no 2.
- Complete at least one item out of 4 on languishing list: finished Regatta Shawl in March, aided by a Ravelry group I belong to which set a task to complete a WIP.
- Learn a new skill: had a introductory crochet book for my birthday in January. So far I've only studied the diagrams, but I have a 4.5mm hook and intend to have a go in due course.
Sunday, 11 April 2010
Thursday, 8 April 2010
My blog is one year old today!
I started my blog in light of a sewing restart after an eleven year gap, thinking it would act as a motivational aid and help me complete projects. And it worked!
Since I started my blog, I've learned a lot on the sewing front. I've taken my first steps in quilting. I've learned to spot, and correct for, pattern errors. Previously I only ever worked from commercial paper patterns, but I've now drafted my own patterns, successfully making two different skirts, one pair of pyjama pants and one pair of kids' shorts. And I've even had one of my own designs - a simple upcycle patchwork cushion - published in a real magazine (thank you, Sew Hip).
My knitting productivity went down last year as a result of the sewing orientation, but on the plus side, I finished many more hand-made items, which I've been able to share with the blogging world.
It helps to sustain my enthusiasm for blogging when I know I'm not writing into a void, so please do feel encouraged to leave comments. I'm always charmed to receive feedback from my readers.
PS I didn't make that cake in the photo. Owing to a time shortage, it came from Marks and Spencers!
Saturday, 3 April 2010
Every year, we decorate the two apple trees at the bottom of our garden with colourful easter eggs.
I imported these plastic eggs after spending an Easter in Germany a few years ago. They have been admired by many visitors to our home, so I'm slowly helping spread the custom to England. (We do also have easter decorations indoors, and a china jar full of little chocolate eggs.)
It's easy to find indoor easter decorations in the UK, but the outdoor versions are impossible to find in my experience. If you want to buy plastic eggs to decorate your own garden in the future, try searching for "ostereier" or "kunstoffeier" on ebay, with the international option turned on, and import some from Germany. I've sourced packets of plastic eggs for various friends and relations on there, for very little outlay.
A happy Easter to all my readers!
Thursday, 1 April 2010
I can't fault the efforts of the "cast members" (read "staff") to ensure we had fun, the food (this is France, after all!) or the hotel - we stayed at Sequoia Lodge; it was lovely, and the hotel pool was particularly highly rated by ds.
No, the main difficulties were caused by the age discrepancy between our two children, which I may have mentioned before. I have one hormonal almost fifteen year-old, and one seven year-old with very different interests. As a result, I can't say I've had a totally relaxing holiday.
However, the kids assure me we did have a good time. Here's some photographic evidence:
Although I queued for (and endured!) the Rock and Roller coaster, Space Mountain, and the Hollywood Tower of Terror (twice. I must be mad), I say give me the teacups any day: