Archive for February, 2011

A cardigan for Baby

February 26, 2011

This week I have been knitting for new babies.  Firstly, a bunny and a pair of socks for Tim and Jenny’s new arrival, Dexter:

Once these were done, I dug out some baby alpaca I bought on my birthday excursion to Exeter last year and started on a cardigan for Alan and Kat’s baby…which is due any day now.  This turned into a bit of an experiment, which I think ended well:

The edges have an annoying tendency to curl, but after re-starting for the 3rd time I gave up.  It should be fine once baby is actually wearing it!  It’s deliciously soft, and also machine washable, so hopefully Al and Kat will love it too. 

This week coming is a fairly normal one, until Thursday…which is my mate Theresa’s last visit to our office in Bristol before her maternity leave starts in a few weeks.  I’ll really miss that chick, she’s always good for a laugh, and a lunch!  But her baby will arrive sooner or later, so I guess some time off is now inevitable.  I must remember to take her knitted elephant in with me, as it’s my last chance to hand him over.  Then I’ll probably send something to her in Plymouth when baby has arrived.  I’d like to go down there and visit, but that’s only if money allows. 

So, apart from an unusual Thursday, I’m expecting a simple week.  Then Saturday night is our monthly Gethin night – something to really look forward to 🙂

Where the socks go when they’ve all burned out

February 21, 2011

I know, a post on a Monday…almost unheard of!  I have a tiny seedling of an idea, which I’d really value some input on…regarding socks. 

When the socks in our house die (ie get holes in), they go to one of two places.  The ordinary, shop-boughten, mass-produced variety usually become cleaning cloths.  They are very convenient and of course free.  The hand-knit, can’t quite bear to wash the sink with, but also can’t drive myself to darn (even if I hadn’t just used up all the leftovers I’d need to darn them with) lovelies currently get piled up on a chair in the bedroom.  With all the other clothes which need mending but will eventually be thrown out because I rarely get around to mending anything. 

Anyway, long sentences aside, I have an idea for those languishing holey socks.  I want to make then into a different kind of blanket, just sewn/crocheted together side by side.  Not unravelled and re-knit.  Not even darned if I can get away with it.  I grabbed a few of them this morning and laid them out on the bed in a couple of different ways to see if it could work.

Version A…laid flat, pattern side uppermost:

Version B…turned sideways, heel sticking out:

Version B is a little more tricky to arrange, as all the socks have ended up very different sizes and shapes after wearing them for a while, but it looks good.  Version A shows off patterns better, but it isn’t as obviously socks (is that good or bad?).

I can’t decide which of these to try for.  I don’t have enough holey socks for an entire blanket at the moment, but I really want to try the experiment and see if I can make something of these poor wounded soldiers. 

Any ideas?

Happy Birthday Dad!

February 19, 2011

Today is my Dad’s birthday, and I’ve already made contact to establish when we can go and see him.  He is notoriously hard to track down, and even when he says he’ll be somewhere specific at a particular time, that’s no guarantee. 

Next year is his 60th birthday, so may take a little more planning/involvement on our part. 

Anyway, this week has been a quiet one.  I made it to Bristol on Tuesday, but came home early as I did not feel well.  I sat through two meetings, almost back-to-back, with no chance for a lunch break and I think it hastened the bug I had been fighting off.  I ended up off sick on Thursday/Friday, when I slept a lot, watched snooker and skiing (which I have recently discovered is fascinating) and knitted. 

Last weekend I finally got on with the card for Theresa which I was supposed to do weeks ago:

Frustratingly, it was done in time to take in to the office on Thursday, but then I wasn’t well enough to go.  It’ll go with me on Tuesday instead, and Rachel will start passing it around for signatures.  That leaves about a week and a bit before Theresa’s last visit to Bristol before her maternity leave starts. 

Also finished this week, were the socks I seem to have been knitting forever! 

Funky!  I have, of course, cast on another pair…almost finished the first one already. 

Now that the blanket is done with, the knitting seems to be happening really fast.  I have made loads of progress with the rosebud shawl, although it still takes a lot of concentration and I can’t get through more than a few rows at a time.  Next I have to get a few more baby things done. 

On the subject of babies, our friends Tim and Jenny in New Zealand welcomed their second baby into the world this week.  Dexter is their second son, a brother for Monty.  Alan and Kat’s baby is now due very soon, then there are 2 more due in April.  It’s all babies this year! 

So, this week coming…work as usual I suppose.  A has an unusual shift pattern at work, as he needs Weds off for a hospital appointment.  That means he’ll be working Monday (usually his day off) and his Saturday shift is an evening instead of a morning.  I guess that means my weekly post will be late next Saturday.

But I LOVE that blanket!

February 12, 2011

Yes, you guessed it, more about the blanket!  Only this week will be the last post about the blanket for a while as I have run out of yarn.  Not completely, you understand, I have plenty of yarn in the stash…I just don’t have any more for this blanket at the moment.  It’s looking good though:

Instead of casting off the last stitches, I have threaded the end of the yarn through and knotted it so it shouldn’t come undone.  I could have used a stitch holder, but I want to use the blanket as it is and my only stitch holders have wicked points on them!  So, there it is – cosy and warm, just in time for the weather to warm up 😉

Now that the blanket is done with, I have returned to my rosebud shawl, and made loads of progress on the socks which were taking forever.  I have also started plans for a card for Theresa at work, which has to be done this week as she goes off on maternity leave very soon! 

Anyway, this has been a busy week, as predicted.  Way back last weekend (which seems so long ago), we had Gethin over to stay on Saturday night.  That will now be a regular event, the first weekend of each month.  It is so much fun!  Hard work, but really worth it.  He’s an affectionate little guy:

Unfortunately, his kisses are with mouth wide open, and I always have to keep one hand free to guard my hair and piercings from his grasp.  This is an unusual picture, as A managed to catch me laughing – I’m notorious for my solemn photos, right from when I was a baby. 

After returning Gethin to his well-rested and happy parents, we slept for a while to recover (oh, the luxury of being auntie and having time to sleep) then went out for dinner with Alan and Kat.  Their baby is due in just 2 weeks now, so we may not see them for a while, but that’ll be another new baby to fuss and play with 🙂

This week was work, but not quite as usual.  I had Monday off as leave, and we slumped around the house all day and generally chilled out.  Tuesday morning I got up oh so early to catch a train to Bristol, only to spend 45 mins waiting at the train station with no sign of any trains at all!  There was a major problem with signals near Didcot and nothing could get through!  By the time I gave up and came home, the 8.00 had been cancelled and there was still no sign of the 7.30 – the platforms were packed solid with people! 

On Weds afternoon, working from home, getting frustrated with various technical issues, we had a massive power cut.  It affected a huge area, apparently, and meant I could not work at all.  I have opted not to go Knitting at the Library, as I had so much work to do, but I may as well have gone anyway! 

But now it is Saturday again, and I have 2 days of peace.  We have no plans for this weekend at all, except a bottle of wine and a take-away tonight and hopefully a long walk tomorrow.  🙂

That damn blanket again?!

February 5, 2011

Again, this week has been all about the blanket.  Again, I’ve been to Knitting at the Library and worked all week.  I knit a bit more sock on the two Bristol days, and had the same lady sit next to me the train between Bath and Chippenham, chatting about knitting. 

This week, for a small variation, my baby bro had a second op on his ankle, to remove some of the pins put in last November when he broke it.  As his wife was unavailable for various good reasons, I picked him up from the hospital late Friday afternoon and spent an hour or two with him until Sam got home.  He’s doing well – has been told he must walk on it now – immediately – no excuses.  He’ll get no physio, he is to give up the crutches as quickly as possible, just get on with it.  He’s going back to work on Weds, which seems awfully fast.  But he’s happy about it, and it seems to have healed well.

Anyway, back to the blanket…it still isn’t finished, although I’ve knit almost nothing else.  I don’t have much left in my bag of leftovers now, so soon I’ll have to stop knitting.  I kind of thought, if I can find a way of keeping the stitches live (waste yarn maybe?) I can just knit on any more remnants as I acquire them.  Is there such a thing as a provisional cast-off?  I know I could just cast the stitches off, then pick them up, but it will be difficult to make that look continuous, like the other joins. 

So, for lack of anything else to take pictures of, it looks like this:

I love it! 

Soon though, I’ll have to stop (even if I don’t run out of yarn) to make a card for Theresa at work, who is going off on maternity leave in March.  Got a few more baby things to do too…

This week coming…we’ve got Gethin from 3pm today until about the same time tomorrow 🙂  Then we’re off out for dinner with Alan and Kat tomorrow evening 🙂  To recover from the active weekend, and use up some leave days, I’ve got Monday off work 🙂  Busy!