Tuesday, 30 December 2008

A Great Break

I am so just enjoying chilling and not being at work. Today, I have spent most of the day catching up on blogs and sorting out photographs. I have (with Iain's help) sorted out the bedroom. I have drastically reduced my shoe collection and will finally be saying goodbye and eBaying my collection of DM boots. I am sad but my feet have grown over the years and I fear I will never fit UK size 5 again.

The good news is that my DH gave me the loveliest pair of boots for Christmas.

I am hoping my sister will drop by tomorrow. I will then be able to thank her for my presents, which included:

Yes, that's right - both Mason-Dixon books. I think these are great, they are fun, informative and encourage you to do your own thing. I really want to make the following:

a mitred blanket and also a log cabin blanket (not pictured)

A knitted quilt (this one is flying geese).A swatch blanket. I just love the denim blues.

I love this dotty blanket and think this would be perfect for Kauni yarn. Yes, I am aware I seem to have a fixation on blankets since knitting Lizard Ridge.

I also loved this simple but clever shawl in Rowan Kidsilk Haze, something I seem to have quite a bit of in my stash.
I love the bodice of this cardigan. Maybe the lyrics from a meaningful song:

And I believe in Love
And I know that you do too
And I believe in some kind of path
That we can walk down, me and you
Into My Arms by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

I think my neice would like a huge stocking for next Christmas...

Talking of Christmas knitting, the only thing that has saved me this is year is I don't see everyone before Christmas so I have been using my Christmas holiday to finish off the knitting. I shall bve very happy to finish the last of them tonight.

Finally, I have a really cute reindeer:
He is staying with us until 12th night. Then he shall hide away until next year (boo hoo)!

Anyway, DH and I are spending the New Year with Matthew and Sam. We will also be joined by Mel, all the way from New Zealand. I can't wait to see them all.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Santa's Coming

Merry Christmas to you all.

It has been a busy couple of weeks involving Christmas shopping, cooking, the annual Christmas party and, of course, knitting.

I still have a couple of gifts to finish but as I will not be visiting them until the New Year, I still have time.

I did manage to make some mittens for the new(ish) babies at work. A fun pattern (Bold Banded Mittens by Zoƫ Mellor) to knit and very easy to memorise. A good stash buster as well, these were knitted in Debbie Bliss, Baby Cashmerino.

I admit I have cast on a project for me, I know I shouldn't but I really couldn't resist. As you can see it is a very cheerful cardigan and the yarn is really nice to knit with. I purchased it cheap on eBay and it is by Royal Fibre Spinnery.

Having spent the purchasing and preparing food. DH is having filo haloumi parcel for main and I have made some white chocolate Christmas puddings but forgot to put the breadcrumbs in. I hope they still taste good.

Anyway, it is nearly time for bed so the festivities can start on waking!

Monday, 8 December 2008

A short fuse?

I just love the glasswork of Teresa Belmont. Every year I purchase a new fused glass decoration from her. I also purchase her glassware as presents for other people.

I'm sorry the pictures are not so good. Her work should be available shortly at Beau Jangles Glass.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

A Crafty Weekend

I have spent the loveliest weekend; I feel very contented at the moment. Three days away from work and I feel like my batteries have been recharged.

I spent a wonderful Friday catching up on some housework. Unfortunately, I can't say I caught up on everything as my office and the bedroom need a good dose of organisation. Also, I still have the contents of the conservatory and shed in my dining room and it currently doesn't look as though the conservatory floor will be finished before Christmas. Poor Iain is so busy working late into the evenings and at weekends I sometimes forget he is in the house. This is always Iain's busiest time, which is a shame as today it would have been lovely to take a walk in the woods.

Anyway, I spent the rest of Friday knitting presents and I am pleased to say the first present has been completed and I have nearly finished the second present - these are for my sister and BIL so I can't really post photos, just in case they decide to look me up. Only two more presents to go after these (and one must be complete by the 19th!) and I have finished gift knitting. Yippee!

On Saturday, several of us visited the Knit and Natter at Get Knitted. As this usually involves quite a bit of talking, I decided to cast on a cardigan for myself. This is loosely based on Sedna by Katya Frankel [Ravely link] but will not carry the cables. I am really hopeful I will have enough yarn to do the sideways bands but I will have to wait and see. I do have some concerned regarding the yarn ... it is a damn sight more colourful than I thought when I bought it off eBay. It is also more colourful than it looked in the skein. I have decided this will be my Depressed Cardi. It is like a party and I just hope I am brave enough to wear it when it is finished.

The yarn itself comes from a small independent spinner/dyer Royal Fiber Spinnery and is a medium tight 2ply worsted (aran), although I think it is closer to DK than aran. It is really lovely to knit with. The skeins are the biggest I have ever come across and are way too big for my yarn swift. Consequently, it took me nearly 20 minutes to wind just one. I have 4 more to go. I have received an offer of assistance (thanks Elizabeth!) which has made me very happy.

Of course, I couldn't resist making several purchases while at Get Knitted. It would have been rude to use their heating, lighting and coffee facilities without swopping money for yarn, right? I purchased two skeins of Manos del Uruguay for my Woodland Shawl by Kathy Merrick.

I also purchased two skeins of Alpaca Sock Yarn by UK Alpaca. These are called rose and sapphire and will make a gorgeous pair of socks.

My final purchase was this lovely skein of Echo Self Striping Sock Yarn by Fybrerspates. This colourway is called flowergarden and I am very excited to own this. It might not be knitted up for a while, but is definately a favourite with equal billing to my Zen String Bambewe. These two yarns excite me so much it is obscence!

The afternoon and evening was spent at Elizabeth B and Kendric's house-warming party. It was great fun and Kendric laid on a feast, including pigs in blankets vegetarian style. I am trying out his receipe tonight to gauge Iain's thoughts. I am also making bread sauce ... yum!

We decided our next collaborative project and are going to cross stitch Elegance of the Orient for Elizabeth S's mum over in the States. We have decided we like to make people cry by craft. It is very satisfying.

All this talk of cross stitch prompted me to pick up a FO and start working on it again. The design is The Fairy Moon and is designed by Nora Corbett under the name Mirabilia. I totally love her designs. I have a sneaky suspicion I have a couple more charts in my crafting stash so I really must spend more time on cross stitch.

Sunday afternoon was spent wondering around the Christmas Market. Unfortunately, we were not able to visit in the evenings due to Iain's work commitments and it really does look its best at night.

My favourite stalls were:

Button Company
, Chichester carries a great selection of buttons, ribbons, and other crafty items - very useful for the knitter, quilter, sewer and card maker.

They also showed a variety of quilt and folksy kits. These are carried by The Eternal Maker and I shall be ordering THIS one - In My Folk Art Garden by Cinnamon. The colours, quality, design and textures are just lovely. I just need to get paid first.

Another lovely stall, as always, is Walcot Woollies. When Maddy is bigger, I shall buy her a fleece or a dress from here. Their garments, hats and booties are beautiful.

These mugs are cute, especially the sheep and penguins. They were on the ECP Design stall.