Archive for December, 2010

Last-minute Christmas preparations

December 24, 2010

I don’t have much time to write today, as I have a long list of last-minute things to do.  Not that I’m behind with my preparations, you understand, these are things I couldn’t do until today.  Mostly 😉

This has been a long week, so far, and it’s only Friday morning.  I worked for 3 days, as planned, although I didn’t make it to Bristol thanks to all the snow.  I had planned to go on Tuesday, but it snowed heavily in Bristol on Monday and I was advised not to travel by the boss-lady’s boss. 

As well as work, we seem to have done endless shopping.  Every time we think we’ve finished, we think of something else we must have.  Like Christmas won’t be Christmas without a tub of twiglets, or some pate.  It’s a ‘pointless consumerism’ way of thinking which we worked hard to stop a few years ago.  It just goes to show how far back we’ve drifted! 

Still, this afternoon we’ll go and pick up A’s Mum, who is staying overnight, and from that point onwards there will be no more chores and no more shopping. 

Tomorrow we’ll be visiting various family members and going out for lunch.  Then I’ll drive A’s Mum home and we’ll open a bottle of fizzy wine. 

It sounds chilled out, but somehow it always ends up manically busy and frustrating on the day.  We’ll see.

This week there has been knitting, as always, including finished items:

That’s my Baby Dragon scarf…I love it!  It’s really long, but not quite thick enough for this really cold weather.  So, also finished is this one:

It’s warm and snuggly and wide and long.  It does tend to curl, despite blocking, but the yarn has a high acrylic content (70%) so it’s only to be expected.  Despite that, it is just what I needed. 

As well as the scarves, I have re-started my alpaca socks with no pattern.  I was making a complicated mermaid pattern, but was not enjoying it in the least.  I have come to the conclusion that my back-up sock project needs to be plain, or very nearly. 

Last night I also made a couple of dishcloths, purely practical and not at all ornamental, and started a couple of pocket bunnies for a colleague’s children.  I have also promised an elephant to my friend Theresa, for her baby, as she really loved the one I made for Gethin

Anyway, can’t sit around chatting…back to the chores! 

Merry Christmas!

Quick update

December 18, 2010

I hadn’t planned to write today, knowing that we would be at Gethin’s christening most of the day.  Only it snowed last night.  And it snowed all morning.  Then it snowed almost all afternoon.  Two thirds of the guests were unable to get there and the reception venue was snowed in, so David and Sam cancelled the whole thing.  They will rearrange it for another time.  I’m really disappointed for them, they had invested a lot of time and money in it, but they made the best decision. 

Weirdly though, today has disappeared in a rush of nothing done.  We dressed in many layers and good sturdy boots and wandered off to the supermarket.  We fell asleep for a couple of hours.  We got takeaway for dinner.  It was chilled.  Totally unproductive, but relaxing 🙂

To be honest it was probably a good thing, relaxing today, after starting back at work this week.  As predicted by the consultant, it was exhausting.  I have had to sleep for an hour most afternoons (thank goodness for home-working), but I made it through most of the 5 days.  I even went in to Bristol on Tuesday, as planned, and made it from 9am to 3pm.  Not a full day by any means, but not bad for a first day in the office.  While there, I couldn’t help showing off my Fetching fingerless mitts, which my boss really admired.  She plays netball, and they are just what she needs for matches.  So this week I’ll leave them on her desk as an extra xmas present 🙂

In the meantime I have made another pair, also Fetching, using some Aran silk/merino I bought in October:

Of course, with my return to work, my knitting output has decreased a lot.  I have been knitting away at two scarves and a pair of socks, but progress feels slow compared to a week or two ago. 

Thanks to the cold, snowy weather, the wildlife in our garden has been exciting for the last few weeks.  We now have regular visits from a robin, a dunnock, several magpies and a blackbird, as well as the endless supply of pigeons.  We’re putting out a fortune’s worth of food for them every day, and working really hard to make sure the bird bath has stayed clear for at least a couple of hours a day.  This seems to be much appreciated, so it is all worth it. 

This week coming…3 days at work, including one in Bristol (assuming the trains are running).  Then Christmas!  I’ll almost certainly miss next Saturday’s regular post as we’ll be getting excited and sharing presents and going out for lunch, but I’ll either post before or soon after. 

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas! 🙂

It’s back to work I go…

December 11, 2010

 

So, after eight weeks of recuperation, I’m finally facing the dreaded return to work.  I’m not really dreading it, not really.  It’s just the laziness kicking in and wishing for more time sat on my backside knitting and reading and not having to do much else.  There is a general level of anxiety about the early mornings, the trips to Bristol, the bit where I have to see the people for the first time, but it’s not so bad.  Honestly.  Convinced yet?

No, me neither. 

Anyway, I thought I was going to say that this week has been a quiet one…and compared to some it has been…but not that quiet when I think about it really carefully. 

Last Saturday we went out for dinner with lovely Kat and Alan.  We went to La Carbonara, an Italian restaurant not far from here.  It was delicious.  We’ve been trying to get a reservation there for a few months, as Alan and Kat recommended it strongly, but it is always fully booked.  This time we reserved a month in advance and I now understand why it is so popular – the food is really good quality and cooked so well.  There’s a huge range available, so much it was hard to choose! 

We had planned to take our nephew out for his birthday on Sunday, but that didn’t work out.  We’ve bought him a present which we’ll deliver later today instead…think we’ll stick to that in future. 

On Tuesday we offered to look after Gethin again, so David and Sam could go to the cinema.  Lovely Sam has been desperate to see the latest Harry Potter film, so we took in a very grumpy, teething baby for a few hours.  Poor little boy was obviously in pain, and couldn’t decide between crying to express that pain or laughing his usual constant chuckle. 

Early this week there were also a couple of expensive incidents…firstly A noticed that a hubcap was missing from my car.  I hadn’t realised how expensive those things are!  Then, in a moment of utter stupidity (me) and carelessness (A), I left my glasses on the bed while I changed my jumper…A bounced into the room and launched himself across the bed…crunch!  Luckily I bought 2 pairs at once, so I had a spare pair, but have since been to Tesco for a really cheap second pair to keep spare.  I can’t see much at all without them, certainly can’t drive, so I have to have a spare pair. 

On to knitting news…I have finished both special requests from last weekend:

Legwarmers for Mum (she’s very happy with them), modelled by A.

And A’s Santa beanie.  He’s also happy.  🙂

For some reason the knitting this week has been mostly about a particular skein of yarn, and a particular pattern.  I have started at least 6 different things with this lovely yarn, including scarves, hats and finally:

The pattern is ‘Fetching’, a Ravelry freebie.  I completed the first one in a few hours yesterday, so the second shouldn’t take long to do.  They will probably live in my desk drawer at work, for the days when the heating doesn’t work or isn’t enough. 

The scarf pattern I got hung up on (I really wanted to use the yarn above but didn’t have enough) is ‘Cable and lace scarf redux’, another free pattern from Ravelry.  I’ve ended up, after many false starts, using some King Cole Riot, bought on holiday in October:

The colours aren’t quite as neon as they look in this photo, but they are hard to capture! 

Also in progress are my alpaca mermaid socks, but they’re going very slowly.  I think maybe because I’ve been focussed on the whole ‘got to use this yarn’/’got to knit this scarf’ problem.  Also I haven’t been out as much this week. 

So this week coming…apart from the whole ‘back to work’ thing on Monday and the ‘trip to Bristol’ thing on Tuesday, there’s not a lot going on.  This weekend we’ll be putting up decorations, writing cards and wrapping presents for Christmas.  Next weekend is Gethin’s christening.  Then just 3 working days the week after and I’m off for Christmas.

Three finishes and two requests

December 4, 2010

This week has been slightly less packed with adventure than the last few weeks, although there has still been plenty going on. 

Overnight on Saturday we looked after Gethin, as planned.  That boy is just so cute!  He is happy and smiling almost all of the time, which makes it so easy to look after him.  Plus, he has the best sleep routine I have ever seen in a 5 month old…we gave him a bottle and changed him into ‘jamas at 7-ish, we read him a story, we put him in the travel cot, walked away…shut the door…didn’t hear a sound from him until nearly 9am the next morning 🙂 !  And apparently that is his normal routine.  He just goes to sleep by himself and sleeps right through.  Now that is the kind of babysitting I can cope with! 

Anyway, the main reason for looking after the Baby was to give Sam a break and it worked.  She slept for nearly 12 hours uninterrupted and didn’t wake up until almost 11am.  I’m glad, she obviously needed it. 

Also this week I’ve been for a doctor’s appointment myself, and taken my Mum to the hospital for the first of several angina tests.  We’ve finished out shopping for Christmas – all the presents, wrapping paper, most of the food.  We just have a few bits and pieces to get fresh at the last minute. 

And there has been knitting:

A knitted cover for my Kindle.  I’ve taken it out with me several times this week, and it’s really convenient.  On Friday I was early for my appointment with the doctor, so I sat in a cafe and read my Kindle with a nice hot coffee.  I then sat in the doctor’s waiting room reading it when the doctor was running late.  It’s so slim and lightweight, it easily fits in my bag and doesn’t feel uncomfortable to hold and read.  I even read it on the bus on the way home.  This knitted cover is just to protect the screen from scratches. 

Also finished, my Dawlish Warren socks:

And a reversible hat:

 

Yay!  It’s pink on one side, green on the other!  It’s really warm, which is great at the moment…it has been freezing cold and snowy for a week or more. 

I have also started a new pair of socks and a scarf for myself, but those may have to wait as I have had special requests from Mum and A.  Mum has no heating at the moment, so she is really cold.  For some reason it is her ankles feeling it most, so she wants leg-warmers.  How very eighties!  A, on the other hand, has been asked to wear a Christmassy hat when he works on Christmas eve.  He doesn’t like the cheap santa hats we could easily get hold of, oh no, he wants a custom made one.  He is at least thinking practically – if I can make him a plain red hat with a white brim, then add a detachable pom-pom to the top, he can take off the pom-pom and wear the hat after Christmas, just to keep his head warm.  It makes sense, but that’s two projects with very short deadlines…plus I have a few baby gifts to make…plus I really wanted a new scarf myself. 

All of that and I’m running out of time.  I spoke to the boss-lady this week, and my return to work is set for a week’s time.  I’m looking forward to seeing the people, but I could really get used to this lazy life 🙂

So, this week coming up…not a lot at the moment.  We’re off out tonight with Alan and Kat, for dinner in a nice Italian restaurant.  Tomorrow we may be taking a nephew out for his birthday.  On Tuesday we might look after Gethin again, so David and Sam can go to the cinema.  But that’s it. 

Oh, and one more thing – how cute is this?!