Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Distraction from my lack of knitting

Very little knitting has taken place recently. Between the cold and work I'm so tired every time I sit down I tend to fall asleep. Not conducive to knitting. I managed to get to Hobby craft to get a few more bits for my Cinderella Bag but as that took up most of Saturday there wasn't time for much else. The inside bit of the bag is almost done but as it's just garter stitch there's not much to talk about there. I promised the pattern by the end of the month so I'm going to have to get a move on, especially as this weekend I'll be painting the ceiling and getting the first coat on the walls of the spare room then on Sunday we're off to Cirque Du Soleil. We saw La Nouba on our honeymoon and enjoyed it so much. Hopefully this one will be as good.

In order to pretend to myself that I am in fact updating the blog properly I decided to complete this fun little meme.

A- Available or single? Married.
B- Best Friend? Don't have one as such but a few good friends that I can always rely on.
C- Cake or Pie? Cake, not a pastry fan.
D- Drink of Choice? Depends on my mood/situation. Nice mug of tea, extravagant glass of champagne, cool beer ........
E- Essential Item? Computer, I'm addicted to email checking.
F- Favorite Color? Depends. At the moment I like turquoise/petrol blue colours.
G- Gummi Bears or Worms? Gummi Bears (bouncing here and there and everywhere!)
H- Hometown? Ooh now, difficult one. I'm originally from Dunfermline area in Fife and that still counts as home but now I can be found nearer to Cambridge.
I- Indulgence? Bollinger Champagne or lavender bath
J- January or February? Neither, I get SAD and sleep a lot.
K- Kids and names? None, perhaps in the future.
L- Life is incomplete without? Hubby and my family
M- Marriage Date? 6th March 2004
N- Number of Siblings? One little sister
O- Oranges or apples? Apples.
P- Phobias/Fears? I'm scared of a lot of things. I particularly dislike/fear heights and being trapped. I can't sit on the inside seat on a train/plane/bus.
Q- Favorite Quote? I'll have to think about that one.
R- Reason to Smile? Only 3 more hours 'til work finishes :)
S- Season? Spring
T- Tag three people! Not going to force anyone into this but if your reading feel free to do this meme and leave me a message so I can be nosey.
U- Unknown Fact About Me? As you know little about me there must be so many. Well one that keeps me pretty much anonymous is I have a doctorate in chemistry.
V- Vegetable you hate? parsnips
W- Worst habit? My worst habit? I worry about everything and always think what could go wrong. And talk too much too.
X- X-Rays you’ve had? Face (orthodontics and facial injury) and neck (whiplash).
Y- Your favorite food? I particularly enjoy a good roast or a nice warming stew (perhaps the cold weather is affecting my taste?).
Z- Zodiac? Leo

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Resolution Update

Just a very quick post. Unfortunately not much knitting has taken place. I have the cold and my hands are so sore so I can only knit for a short while. The only knitting has been my "Cinderella's Bag" for Purlescence. I need to get the bag completed and the pattern written up by the end of the month as they will be publishing the winning and runner-up entries and I said I could be finished by then. Bit stressed as mostly I've just slept when out of work this week and I need to get to Hobby Craft from some more wire bits, so a bit of a trek in store this weekend.

On a much more positive note I am making some progress on my resolutions.
  • The sleep thing is happening (mostly because of the cold) and therefore I've managed to get my train instead of driving.
  • I've bought the paint for the spare room (Dulux Provencal Pink) and this weekend all the cracks will be filled in preparation.
  • I purchased a small shaker rail in a gorgeous powder blue for the kitchen and it complements the yellow walls perfectly. If only I could afford to buy more from this shop but small things I love in my house make such a difference so I will continue with this.
  • I found a link to the perfect book for me using my sewing machine more - Bend the Rules Sewing. It sounds perfect and looks interesting even though it has stuff for beginners. Pity I have to wait until the summer for it. At least that will give me some time to knit!

Now if only I could find time to knit and do some exercise I'd be well on my way.

Friday, January 05, 2007

New Year Resolutions

I've been thinking recently about what I want to do with this year. Last year just vanished and I achieved virtually nothing, well not quite but it feels like I lost a lot of time. I've decided that I want to spend more time on the things I want to do, appreciate the good bits of my life more and focus on them and perhaps look after myself a bit, especially after all that's happened in the last few years ( look at one of those life events/stress tests and I covered most of them in the last few years).
  1. In October 2005 we moved into our new house. Until now we've lived in rented places with magnolia walls and cream carpets. Being a new build house of course our new place has magnolia walls and cream carpets - AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!! So resolution #1 is that 2007 will be the "Year of Colour". I chose the colour for the spare room at the end of the year so that will be the first job. And I've already got tester pots for our room and have narrowed it down to a few choices of blue (why are the colours in the paint brochures nothing like real life?).
  2. I have still never completed anything more than a bag for myself although I have one cardigan underway (Pampas) and another waiting in the wings (Kim Hargreaves kit). So this year I will complete 2 items for myself.
  3. Socks - I am always so impressed with pictures of handknitted socks and would love to be able to produced something so amazing myself. I bought 2 Opel sock kits last year. These will be completed this year. And if successful a book purchase may follow.
  4. My brave purchase last year was my sewing machine and this year it will be used for more than taking up one pair of jeans. I have been wondering about this book for a while now as I think it could provide a few interesting projects for me to attempt. This may be an early treat this year.
  5. Another house one - as we were students for so long (7yrs for me) we still have that mentality and often buy things because "they'll do". This year I want to buy things that I love and that make my house more homely even if this means waiting longer. To start this off the hunt is on for a kitchen table (most are too large).
  6. Creating a proper craft room/study. We have a small 3rd bedroom and at the moment this very much a dumping ground, so much so I often shut the door and pretend it doesn't exist. This year I want to buy a large work table so I have somewhere to produce cards again, sew and block knitting and hubbie can use it for his painting too.
  7. Sleep - having moved so far away from work I have a long commute which results in being home late so I'm tired and everything takes longer to do so I'm late to bed and so the vicious cycle continues. If I sort this one out, including getting the train instead of driving some of the worst roads ever (including A14), there will be more energy and time to allow me to complete all my other resolutions. Perhaps this should have been #1.
  8. And no resolution list would be complete w/o this one - exercise and eating well. Of course I want to lose weight but mostly I'd like to get fit enough so I could cycle the 4 miles to our local town and not have to queue for parking and fit everyone else that wants to drive everywhere.

Now I've written them down I have to keep them. I may have a resolution audit in the summer just to make sure I'm making progress.

On a quick knitting note a bit of exciting news. Purlescence are running a Story Tellers design competition and I was a runner-up in the "What would Cinderella Knit?" competition. This is very exciting as I've been knitting less than 2 years but also very scary as I know have to knit up the item and write a pattern. Have a look at the winning entries, their amazing. I can't believe how much effort people have made and what beautiful entries were submitted. You can definitely tell I'm an unartistic scientist.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Combat with the hosts of hell

AKA Hogmanay

As we are about to sit down to out New Year's dinner (yes at this time and not in the afternoon) I was investigating about why we (the Scots) first foot but no one else seems to. Last night at midnight DH went outside, bottle, chocolate (Shortbread alternative) and coal in hand and rang the bell. Being tall, dark-haired and bringing all the necessary gifts he is the perfect first foot. At home dad was always sent out to do the deed. Also whenever we go to visit anyone on the first few days of the New Year we MUST take "something" (usually shortbread) with us. It's bad enough me being a redhead female but if I was to turn up empty handed who knows what disaster would befall the household.
This article in the Telegraph describes our way of doing it well. Many a year, when living in Scotland, we would still be up at 5am in our next door neighbours house playing Triv and drinking a nice, warm whisky. Of course this was just to keep the devil at bay.
And this is why I have tomorrow off work, no self-respecting Scot would chose to work on the 2nd (some have to, I know) and am only about to have dinner at dinner time!!

Christmas Knitting

Happy New Year

No new knitting to report, hoping to get started on my Kim Hargreaves kit asap. But in the meantime some photos of the Christmas knitting I managed to complete. I finished the gloves and hat for my roommate in enough time but was in such a rush to get them sent to her I forgot about taking photos until they were all wrapped up and addressed. Thankfully I received this photo of the hat in its new home.

Finishing the Rooster scarf for my sister was another matter altogether. The knitting bit was fine but then came the crocheting. It actually turned out much easier than I thought it would and the scarf itself was finished without pain. Oh, but I forgot about the flowers. And not one or two, no ten. Ten whole flowers to crochet for a complete beginner, not a fast job and a bit fiddly with having to work so many stitches into the round. It took longer than I thought but I was taking the scarf home to my sister so there was plenty of time - right? Yes for crocheting but what about the packing, card writing, present wrapping-forgot that part. A mad couple of evenings crocheting, alongside all the other Christmas chores, and I was left with this, two nights before we due to drive home.

That left one evening to sew all the ends in and attached the flowers. Why did I have all that panic? I even had time to model the scarf before it was wrapped up.

So all's well that ends well. I didn't manage to do any more on mum's hot water bottle cover but compared to leaving her birthday present from all of us under my tree when I went back to Scotland and having to track a new one down there and arrange a refund for the forgotten one that's nothing! At least she'll have a surprise another time.