Thursday, July 27, 2006

Birthday ups and downs

Well, today was my birthday and I had a lovely start to the day with the children giving me cards and my husband giving me a voucher for Stash Yarns - yippee! Then Ellen wanted to go to the Florence Nightingale Museum (my birthday treat!) - she went there on a school trip this year and really enjoyed it, so I got the kids ready and we set off, as I had promised that we would go.

It was another sweltering day so we just went to the museum, which was very interesting, and the children all did a quiz sheet while they were going round, which was fun. Florence Nightingale made a huge difference to hospital care and it was fascinating learning more about her achievements.

It was too hot to stay in town once we had been to the museum, so we came home for lunch. Lily (my youngest) finds this oppressive heat difficult to cope with so staying out too long leads to tears and tantrums. We were getting ready to go to the library later in the afternoon when I realised that my wallet was no longer in my bag and, to my horror, realised that it must have gone missing at Waterloo (I bought the children croissants to eat on the train home and figure that is when it was stolen). So, I then had the daunting task of cancelling all my cards and dealing with that. What a birthday present! I am sad about my wallet (a lovely pink one!) and I had just taken some cash out to pay the babysitter in the evening (Paul and I went to Tas with my sister and her husband in the evening). But the real hassle is all my cards - bank cards, membership cards, driving licence - what a nightmare!

I did have a lovely surprise from my secret pal, though, as this arrived on Tuesday:

And inside was this lovely card and scrummy sweets:

Thank you so much secret pal - and thank you for timing it just right for my birthday!

I now need to try to forget about my wallet and get on with the job of replacing everything that was in it and trying to concentrate on the nice things about my birthday. Here's hoping for a better day tomorrow!

Monday, July 24, 2006

I'm so lucky!

My mum came up to London last Thursday to see Ellen's show at school of Matilda. The show was fantastic - everything a performance at school should be - funny, sweet and entertaining. The children all did a fantastic job and us parents were so proud!

After the show I went into Putney with Mum to Stash Yarns. We took advantage of the air conditioning to hang out for a while with Nathalie and as it is my birthday this week, my mum very kindly bought me 13 balls of this (Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK):

to knit this:

Everyone in the knitting group loves this pattern and I know that Jill has done the back and sleeves of hers already! We all love the cable detail on the back and fronts. It really is lovely. I reckon this will be my holiday knitting! Mum also generously bought me this book, which I have wanted for ages:

Aren't I lucky! Mum didn't buy anything for herself, although she thought the shop was fabulous - a real antidote to all the wool shop closures that have been happening in Oxford, where she lives.

These needles also arrived from the States. I have taken my passion for coloured metal needles a step further and bought these beauties on ebay - aren't they pretty? I am looking forward to using them! I just love the colours!

School finally breaks up tomorrow and I shall be relieved that the children can have a rest - they are all so tired! I am looking forward to the long holiday and just being able to go to the park and do things in London together.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Another party, another poncho

Today Edward went to a friend's birthday party and because he is so fond of her I made her a poncho (I always try to do some knitting for the children's special friends):

This is slightly adapted from the Rowan pattern Rosie and I have knitted it in Rowan Big Wool (Cheeky - a discontinued colourway) rather than the recommended Ribbon Twist and also used some Colinette Chicago yarn I have in my stash because I didn't have quite enough Big Wool to complete it. I rather like the stripe although it was just a tactic to eke out what yarn I had. I was originally knitting this and trying to make the yarn go further by plying all the bits I had together (taught to me by Nathalie at Stash Yarns), but I wasn't happy with the result and so frogged part of it and did this instead. Here is the edging in close-up

Margaret commented on my telecoms problems and linked them to the wonderful imbenge bowls made from telephone wire. It just so happens that I have an imbenge bowl, which I love, which is indeed made from telephone wire (although not mine!):

Its purpose in my household is rather mundane

but every time I hang out the washing I admire the craftsmanship that made it and love the feel of it. I was looking for a peg bag and found it in a charity shop instead!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

On the crest of a wave

At the Putney knitting group yesterday I was swatching and knitted this rather sweet old shale pattern in cashmere yarn in a lovely forest green (although this is hard to see in the photo). After washing it looks lovely and is so soft! I am planning to make a scarf with it as it is good travel knitting for the summer:

I also took some more mystery stripes, which I knitted a bit of, but cannot really show what I am making as it is a surprise (sorry to tantalise you!).

Fleece Artist had arrived at Stash Yarns since my last visit and I could not resist...

I bought a skein in Hercules (bottom), a beautiful colourway of greens, blues, purples and reds, and a skein in Rainforest (top). It is gorgeous - beautiful colours and lovely soft yarn. I have also had my eye on this book for a while and splashed out on this too (I love patterns like old shale, so am planning a few more things as variations on a theme):

Today, to my delight, a book I have been wanting for a while turned up in the post:

Amazon was unable to supply this, but the Knitting and Crochet Guild came up trumps and delivered very quickly. Now I have some new books, I am planning some new projects but need to finish my mystery knitting first!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sorted (hopefully!)

Well, for the first time in two and a half weeks, finally my telephone and broadband connection are both working. Yippee! And while dealing with the frustrations of technology that won't cooperate and making endless phone calls to 'technical support' who have all told me it is a fault at the exchange, I have done some knitting at last, despite the 30 degree heat.
And here it is:

Jill made this baby bolero from Leigh Radford's One Skein book and hers was so cute that I thought I would make one too. I had two balls of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk lying around and that was just enough for the body and the sleeves, and I just did the edging in another yarn - cute, huh? (How to make your yarn shortage into a design feature in one easy step...)

I thought it would be fine for a boy or a girl and gave it to the mum-to-be this morning, who was thrilled! Hopefully normal blogging service will now be resumed if my connectivity is sorted.