Archive for January, 2010

Knit Photo Saturday

January 30, 2010

That title implies that I may have knit me some photos…that’s an interesting concept!  Instead I mean that I have lots of knitting related photos this week. 

It’s been another fast week (seriously, Saturday?  I almost got as far as logging on to the work laptop this morning!).  I’ve had one trip to Bristol and a day in the Swindon office.  As of next week I’ll be in Bristol for two days a week, with one in the Swindon office and two at home.  Fairly soon the Swindon office will be closed anyway, at which point two days per week in Bristol will be the norm.  During my day in the Swindon office this week, the boss-man turned up and we packed away my docking station and the contents of my desk…all of which he took back to Bristol with him.  Makes it all more real, somehow. 

Anyway, in other news I finally made it to an appointment with a private gastro-enterology consultant on Weds, after two cancelled attempts during the Great January Snows.  He agreed with the Irritable Bowel Syndrome diagnosis, on the basis that I’ve already had all the tests, my symptoms are spot on and IBS and endometriosis very commonly show up together.  I’m being referred to a specialist dietician next.  In the meantime, the pain is still there, comes and goes, I watch what I eat and try to get on with it.  On the positive side, I’ve lost another pound – I’m very slowly creeping down on the scales. 

So, back to those knit photos…starting with a big finish:

That’s Buttercup, all done.  The only thing I’m not quite happy about is that the bottom edge tends to roll up, despite the border. 

Next, I’ve got three new cast-ons to show off.  Firstly, my green travel socks:

Secondly, this is the start of a very long-term log cabin blanket:

And finally, a shawl for Mum:

That’s the start of Icarus, which Mum picked out for herself when she bought me a book for my birthday.  The shawl and the log cabin blanket work well together, as the shawl is very delicate and attention-intensive but the blanket is plain old knit-knit-knit.  So when I get bored or tired of one I can pick up the other and get something completely different. 

This week coming…I don’t think I’ve got much going on.  Two days in Bristol, but not much more than that.  Oh yes, and Alan is coming round to attempt to fix the bath taps.  He was planning to come round on Weds afternoon, so I missed knitting in the library yet again, but he couldn’t make it at the last minute.  Fingers crossed he can do the taps, otherwise we need a whole new bath suite!

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Saturday again? Really?

January 23, 2010

This week seems to have flown by.  I suppose that’s because I’ve been so busy, with trips to Bridgwater and Bristol, as well as the Swindon office (which had no heating and was freezing cold).  I’ve attended an all-day briefing and a performance review.  And worked at home for two days, which was such a relief. 

I didn’t make it to Knitting in the Library, as predicted, as Weds was my day in Bristol this week.  I have managed to get some knitting done though.  The no-yellow buttercup top I’ve been working on is almost done, just half a ball of wool left, which I intend to completely use up if I can judge it right. 

All the travelling this week has given me loads of time for my Happy socks, which I’ve finished:

I love the fact that they don’t quite match, although it seems to bug A a bit.  I wore them yesterday and they are really comfy and warm.  To fill the travel-knit gap I have already cast on a new sock, using some Violet Green Solemate, in a lovely rich green colour.  This time, instead of two at a time on one circular needle using Magic Loop, I’m going for one at a time on my pretty KnitPro DPNs.  Photos to follow, when there’s something to see. 

Aside from knitting, but on a related subject, I’ve been shopping again.  This time it’s all from Violet Green

That is the most beautiful laceweight ever – soft and glossy and there seems to be so much of it!  I don’t know what I’ll do with it, maybe invent a lightweight summer cardi, if I have the patience for that much tiny stitching.  Maybe it’ll become another shawl or stole.  For now, I’ll just look at it, stroke it a bit and imagine what it could become. 

I also ordered another 4 skeins of Cascade 220, which brings my total to 8.  I think I finally have a plan for it, too.  I’m going to make a log cabin lap blanket.  That’s a long-term project I think, to be picked away at alongside other stuff. 

Next though, once my top is done, I’m going to start my Mum’s shawl.  I’ve got the pattern and yarn together…just need to wind the yarn into a ball.  That should only take a few days!

The Shawl of Surprising Completeness

January 16, 2010

Yes, the Shawl of Doom is done.  Finished, blocked and photographed. 

Pretty!  And soft.  When I wear it (cruise, anyone?) I’ll get pictures of it on me. 

Sadly, because the weather was bad again, and because I had a hospital appointment (cancelled – again) I didn’t make it to Knitting at the Library this week, so I haven’t had chance to show it off.  I won’t get there again this week coming either, as I’ll be working in Bristol. 

There isn’t much knitting news apart from the shawl.  I have re-started my not-yellow buttercup top, as it was too large.  I also made a scarf for A.  He has never worn a scarf before, as he believed them all to be too itchy and uncomfortable, but when he saw the scarf I made for his Uncle he had a rethink.  Then the weather turned really cold, and he almost resorted to wearing one of mine!  So I got out the black chunky yarn I used for Uncle Den’s scarf and A’s cardi, and managed to produce a long-enough and wide-enough scarf in just 26 hours:

I’m rather shocked – that’s two things I’ve made for A that he actually wears! 

Moving on to wildlife news…exciting developments in our garden!  We’ve been putting out a lot of extra food over the last couple of weeks, as a lot of birds have been struggling in the snow.  Last Sunday we were out strolling and got quite worried by the number of little birds we saw which just weren’t foraging.  One little robin was sat on a low branch looking thoroughly miserable.  So we went to a supermarket and bought 2 big bags of bird food – almost all of which we scattered on our way home.  We found our unhappy robin and dropped food close to him, then retreated a few steps.  He was straight on that food!  It was lovely to see, and to think that for one bird at least, we made a small difference. 

Anyway, back to our garden.  I’ve been watching from our bedroom window from time to time, and there has been quite a range of birds flitting in and out.  At one point I counted an adult robin, two juvenile robins, a male adult blackbird, two wood pigeons and a wren.  That’s brilliant, given that our garden is tiny and our neighbourhood almost devoid of green places.  At other times the robin has been hanging around a lot, not even bothering to fly away when I take out food for them.  There have been two wrens at a time as well, so hopefully they are a pair and thinking about nesting somewhere nearby.  It’s all so exciting!

Finally, I have a confession…I’ve been buying pretty things:

That’s ‘Winter Berries’ from Laughing Yaffle.  It is destined to become a shawl for A’s Mum for Mother’s Day. 

 

Those two lovelies are ‘Silver’ and ‘Lady’, both from YarnAddict.  Silver is for me, probably for a stole.  Lady is for a shawl for my Mum for Mother’s Day.  If I can complete so much in such a short time.

Photo Saturday

January 9, 2010

This week has been a weird one…although, when I think about it, doesn’t every post start like that? 

The main weirdnesses have been the snow, ice and cold weather, and my return to work after 2 weeks off.  Not that returning to work is weird, but at times I have actually enjoyed working this week, and even looked forward to going to Bristol on Tuesday. 

I’m not going to say much about weather, as it’s the only topic of conversation anywhere right now, but I took a quick photo of our garden, as seen from our bedroom window:

The impressive thing about that, is that it hasn’t snowed (beyond light showers) since Wednesday!  Usually around here, it snows and settles then the temperature picks up and it rains and washes it all away within a day or two.  We’ve been keeping the bird feeders topped up, and I’ve seen one fat pigeon tucking in. 

In knitting news, I’ve started on a new top for myself.  It’s called Buttercup…and the original is yellow…but mine isn’t:

Not much to see so far, but I’ve just joined the front and back.  Last night I decided I’d better attempt to try it on, so I threaded a lifeline through the live stitches, but then NCIS started and I realised that if I carried on with things like ‘taking live stitches off needles’ and ‘putting live stitches back onto needles’ while watching a new episode of my favourite programme, I was sure to cause some kind of disaster.  So it’s waiting for a quiet moment for now. 

I finished the cross-stitch picture for Amy, delivered it last Sunday, completely forgot to take a photo of it! 

The shawl of doom is still waiting to be blocked, but we moved some furniture around in the library this week, so there’s now more floor-space.  I might attempt it later this morning.  We had to move the furniture because this room is so cold.  The radiator is hot, the window is double-glazed, I don’t understand why it is so much colder in here.  When you open the door you are greeted by an icy draught!  Anyway, we’ve moved my desk to the alcove next to the window and radiator, so when I start to feel the cold I can shuffle my chair back a bit and warm up for a while. 

In other news…not much really.  I had a hospital appointment on Weds, which got cancelled (snow).  I was planning to meet my friend for lunch on Thurs…cancelled…snow.  I didn’t go knitting on Weds, or into the office on Fri…yep, snow. 

This week I have a hospital appointment on Weds (re-arranged from last week), the usual work stuff including Bristol on Tuesday, and a nephew’s birthday next weekend.

On a positive note…

January 2, 2010

Happy New Year! 

I’m determined to write positive stuff today.  Today is the day I pick myself up out of the tongue-tied misery that is depression and get on with my life.  I’ve only been down for a week or two, but that’s enough this time. 

So, happy stuff:

We cooked ourselves an ‘xmas’ dinner.  Only it wasn’t on the day, as that is always far too busy for luxuries like cooking a complicated dinner or eating what we’ve cooked.  We waited until Sunday, then did the whole xmas roast thing, with all the trimmings.  We didn’t buy a turkey though, as organic ones are really expensive and neither of us actually like it that much.  Chicken is much better and we always get one of those in the monthly meatbox.  Here’s how it looked…

That includes our best china, cutlery and glassware.  Plus my Nan’s serving dishes.  She’d have loved that we’re still getting use for them.  Plus, if you look really closely, you can see the steam rising off the food.  Mmmmm, it’s making me hungry!  Of course, there was far too much for two people, but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and had all the leftovers for lunch and dinner the next day so nothing was wasted. 

Next, happy knitting news!  I’ve finished…finally…the shawl of doom.  It needs blocking, so no photos just yet, but all knitting is done.  I’m trying to think of a place to block it now, maybe on our bed, if I pin it out early in the morning and leave it ’til bedtime.  We’ll see. 

I also finished the cowl I made for Sam’s birthday:

I’ve also almost finished the baby picture for Amy.  That’s another project I’ll be glad to get done, I have not enjoyed it at all. 

Of course, with all of these finishes and near-finishes, I’ve ended up with not much on the needles.  And I don’t seem to have much inspiration for what to do next.  I could start thinking about baby stuff for my brother’s little sprout.  Or for my cousin’s.  Or something for my other cousin’s wedding, although I don’t even know if they’re planning it to be soon.  There is my friend’s birthday in March. 

Meh!  Uninspired!  Maybe I’ll just knit socks until something hits me. 

Finally, a brilliant sighting in our garden this morning – two wrens!  We’ve seen one hopping about in the cherry tree before, but today there were two there, and they stayed ages.  🙂