Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Z is for ...

I'd like to say Z is for zebra, but the way I felt the past weekend it was more of a z for the whole zoo.

I was in the Dentist's chair for 45 minutes yesterday. I got out of the chair feeling a wee bit woozy, with a crook in my neck, muscle aches in my shoulders and a lip that drooped to the floor. But you know what, I'm in a whole lot less pain than I was over the weekend. I had to have root canal, oy, and you should only know what I've been through. And, its not finished, I'm going back next week for her to finish off.

I picked up the alphabet blanket last night for some mindless pattern following knitting, however, its hardly that. Its real concentration, get your post-it notes out knitting, what with all the yo and k2tog's. Its worth it though, its a beautiful knit and I'm enjoying it. Lucky "Baby L".

I've lost 3lbs. Probably due to the fact that I haven't been able to eat all weekend, but who's asking about why's and how's. I was able to squeeze back into my size UK10 Ralph Lauren jeans. I couldn't wear them though, I was frighted to sit down for fear of popping the button or worse... ripping them.

Anyone for a stick of celery?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Look who's been sitting with the big fella from Lapland, or in this case from Harrods

Today we took the Bubela to visit Father Channukah at Harrods. We were very lucky to only have a two hour wait!!

As the doors opened at noon, Hubby flew up to the fourth floor to get a place in the queue. The Bubela and I, along with my niece and nephew and the Grandparents, leisurely rode the escalators. Whilst in the queue we watched the panto on the stage and noshed on gingerbread men and lollypops which were being handed out by Santa's helpers.

Why does FC look so miserable?? He looks like he has the right hump. I wouldn't mind, he didn't have to queue for two hours.

Was the two hour wait worth the two minute photo? Was the two hour wait worth the book he received? Was the two hour wait worth seeing the Bubela's face? Oh yes, and I'd do it again, and again, and again.

I've knitted up my tank design, but unfortunately the V-neck isn't deep enough for me. Im a discrete cleavage girl at heart.

I've frogged again. I'm going to start over and either get rid of the ribbed bottom edge or make it about an inch wide, what do you think? I'll also make it a size smaller - I have a habit of thinking I'm bigger than I actually am, typical woman. I need to drop the whole diamond pattern down a couple of inches so that the the v-neck starts by the armhole decreases.

Oy vey, I'm not looking forward to knitting this up a third time.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


I would like to wish all my dear American friends a very happy thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Lose a pound, gain a pattern

This is the pattern repeat I'm going to use. I like it, I have to like it, it took me long enough to work it all out. Actually, there's nothing to dislike it's a tidy diamond cable, edged by two cables either side. Its a bit bunched up on my bamboo straight, however you can see it fairly clearly.

Oh, and there is an incy wincy error at the bottom of the left cable, but don't worry your feathers, I will rectify it. The plan was to just knit up and take notes of the first pattern repeat, then frog and re-knit from the pattern to make sure it was error-free. How's that for perfection... something I'm having to get used to in knitting.

I've not clocked up many working hours in the last couple of days, for sorting out this headache of a cable pattern. I feel like I can sort of relax a bit now. Is there some sort of free download that can chart out cables for future reference? I think I've really gone around the houses with this cable design and feel like I'll be herding the sheep in next. *Note to self, remember to buy some sort of stitch dictionary*

I finally went to the gym today with a friend. Thank you for inviting me, otherwise I wouldn't have gone. I'll weigh myself tomorrow, however, I do think I've lost weight through just not having time to cook and eat because of this damn pattern.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Mish mash dolly mixture socks

The yarn I dyed is all balled up now and raring to become a pair of socks. I love how the mix of vibrant colours appear all balled up, but once knitted up, I think it looks a bit of a mish-mash of colours. Maybe next time I'll make longer skeins to make sure each dyed colour makes at least one round for a pair of socks. Don't get me wrong I like the colours, they are kind of a dolly mixture look, they're just not stripey socks, they're... I guess - mish-mash socks.

As for my new unnamed design, I have now completed the back. I've kept it simple, just plain stocking stitch with a wide 2x2 ribbed edge. I'm not sure about the front yet, I'm playing around with all sorts of cables at the moment. One thing I'm certain of though, its going to be a v neck. Far more flattering for the buxom woman.

The diet. It's starting again today. Hubby brought home some Krispy Kreme's yesterday, and I've never ever, ever tasted one, and it would have been criminal not to wouldn't it? You know they're the only thing Madonna noshes - good enough for her, good enough for...

Friday, November 18, 2005

Pins and Needles

I've been having acupuncture now for a couple of weeks. I'm having it to balance my inner self out. Make the bad good and the good bad. You know, the whole yin and yang thing.

Its a great feeling. No *waving my hand in dismissal*, the needles don't hurt a bit. You can hardly feel the prick, its the nerve like feeling you feel. Actually, I'm not sure whether I enjoy the whole needles ceremony or the fact that I lie there (needles and all) for about half an hour. No one driving me mad, not a sound, not a bleeb... just pure silence, me me me time. Its great. I come out of there feeling all woozy and all my impurities released.

My acupuncturist asked me yesterday whether I was feeling any different. No, just more relaxed. And, come to think of it, I'm so relaxed that I just haven't been bothered to pick up my needles the last few days. Well, thats just not on.

So, not only am I bursting back to knitting, but I'm pulling out my sketch pad too. Ha, listen to me, pretending to be a designer with not a designing qualification to stand on. Although, credit be known, I did submit something to Knitty and YES, its been accepted. Watch out for it in December. I'm so chuffed.

I've sketched (badly) a jumper, and I've already decided that its a tank top I want now. I guess I'll just knit and see where I go. I may need help along the way, so I hope you don't mind me asking. I'm using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino SuperChunky in Olive...you know my feelings about Cashmerino.

BTW, I'm thinking of starting the diet again!! Tch, AGAIN. Yes, I don't know what happened the first time, but...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Habit or OCD

Everyone has an obsessive compulsive disorder. Some more obsessive than others. Some more annoying than others. And some you just think are cute and learn to live with.

Hubby is a right angles man. Everything has to be straight or in right angles. Take his bedside drawer for instance, hankerchiefs are perfectly folded on the right, cuff links and buttons on the left. God forbid something should be askew in there. His shirts are placed perfectly in his wardrobe with a 2" gap between each one.

He's also a man of habit. Good and bad. He ALWAYS leaves his shoes by the front door for all and sundry to trip over.

Me, on the other hand, I'm perfect. Ha, no seriously, I too have my own obsessive compulsive disorders. I seem to do everything in excess. Buying clothes, if I find something I like, I'll buy it in every colour it comes in. When I cook a meal Hubby likes I make it to the point that the oven is even sick of cooking it.

Also, my knitting can be a bit on the excessive side. Take the Debbie Bliss Argyl cardigan. Its cute, I enjoyed knitting it. Not one of my favourites, but hey it was good. I even had to frog and knit again, remember? But, I can't just be satisfied with knitting up one, no, I'm knitting up another. Oy.

The picture? I'm a bit too embarrassed to talk about my yarn buying obsessions.

*Note to Hubby* All that yarn, I'm looking after it for a friend, ok?

Friday, November 11, 2005

Caught short

Nobody likes cold feet, least of all cold tootsies. I don't know how I managed it, but I've been caught short of yarn. Every knitters worst nightmare I'm sure, and I'm living through it.

It would be fine if I could purchase Lion Brand magic stripes here, but oh no, another thing us Brits don't have here!

I have a pretty plea to my fellow American friends. I'm using Jelly Bean Sripes No.200, if anyone has the tinyest, incy-wincyiest piece of strand that they would be willing to send me, I would be ever so grateful.

BTW, have you seen the new Debbie Abrahams book? I had a preview at a friends house, its so cute. It has a seasons of the year blanket with pumpkins and autumn leaves, a baby's blanket with letters of the alphabet, a circus blanket with clowns faces on. It's on my Channukah wish list [ok hubby?]!!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Penny for your thoughts

Last Sunday, whilst at a friends house I came up with the bright idea of dyeing my own yarn. I thought if I enjoy it, and most importantly can do it well I could sell it. That's one of many brainstorms I have every so often. Hubby says if he had a penny for every business idea I had, he could give up work.

Monday morning I ordered some 4ply yarn and bid on some kool aid on Ebay. We can't buy kool aid in the UK, well I've never seen it if you can. I won my bid.

Firstly, I soaked my 4ply wool in warm water. Whilst that was soaking, I mixed each kool aid sachet with 8oz of water. I then squeezed the excess water out of the wool and applied the dye. I used the microwave method of heating/steaming and found that very quick and easy. I was expecting a lot more mess, in fact, it was considerably tidy.

Does anyone know of an alternative to kool aid that I could buy here in the UK? I'm going to try my next lot using Dylon, any tips?

I love the colourway, although it's a bit wishy-washy. I definitely need to concentrate the dye more next time. However, this skein will go on to become another pair of socks. It seems I've gone sock crazy.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Pure and simple

There is nothing like wrapping a new born baby in a pure white heirloom blanket, especially made from baby cashmere. Pure luxury.

That is the sole reason why I am knitting up this gorgeous alphabet blanket in Debbie Bliss' sumptuous baby cashmerino yarn. This really is a special blanket. It was the reason I bought this book in the first place, almost two years ago now. It was my first knitting related purchase.

This will be a gift for my friend Gem who is due to have her baby in May. I know I have plenty time for this project, but I'm going to take this one real slow and do it letter by letter.

I dyed my own sock yarn today. I don't want to add colour to this pure post, so I'll post pictures tomorrow. In the meantime, go and find your Gucci shades.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Argyl cardigan... lesson learnt

Now, doesn't that look better. To be quite honest, I didn't think I was such a perfectionist. I would usually just sweep it under the carpet and ignore it, but in this instant I thought the mistake looked too obvious.

Now, had I have been as quick thinking as Karma, who suggested sewing in a brown argyl in that huge gap it had, I'd have probably done that. However, I was too quick to rip it up before asking advice. That will teach me a valuable lesson, tch tch tch!


MATERIALS: Rowan All Seasons Cotton in mid-blue, with small amounts of Rowan All Seasons Cotton pale blue and Debbie Bliss DK cotton in brown.


At least now I have a guilt free gift to give.

The Bubela went to a friends house after school today. Oy, he's only four and this is where the real worry starts. He finished school at 3pm, I phoned the kids mum at 3.45pm to check everything was ok (or more importantly they were home from school). No answer. I phone again at 4pm, no answer. Again at 4.10pm. I don't have the mum's mobile telephone, so the neurotic mother that I am, I phone the school and ask for her mobile number. Let me put you in the picture thats in my head at this point... accident, car, hospital... I phone the mobile, "Hi, everything ok?" EVERYTHING OK, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN FOR GOODNESS SAKE, "yes of course, just wanted to check the Bubela wasn't being a nuisance or anything." "He's as good as gold". Of course he is.

Where was she??? *shrinking into my chair* picking up older son from school who finishes at 4pm.

What am I? A typical jewish mother!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Oh dear...

When you knit something up and realise that its not quite right, what do you do:
(a) immediately rip it out and start over;
(b) stick it at the bottom of your WIP list and never touch it again; or
(c) ignore it and smile whilst you finish it.

I've always found these multiple choice questions difficult. I'm either two of the above or none of the above, and sometimes ponder over all three. However in this case I think its a case of what I'd like to do, and what I have to do.

As you can see, I'm slightly off symmetric with the pattern repeat. I did all the maths to accompany the yarn substitution, but forgot to take into consideration the pattern repeat. Damn, that really buggers things up for me now.

I can't have a baby prancing around in something cockeyed especially with my name at the bottom of it. So, you know what this means don't you. Rip, rip, rip... to your hearts content.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Yoo-hoo, I'm over hear

I was leaving my house yesterday, to take the Bubela to school, and as I'm strapping him into his car chair I hear "Cooweeeee". Again, "coowee". I look over my shoulder and its Nosey Neighbour waving her hand at me. "Good morning" I croaked. Then she proceeded to approach me at the car. Do I not look like I'm busy or in a rush that I have time to stop and chat about the neighbourhood.

"I notice you've not been in work attire recently, are you still working". Nosey Neighbour, knows everything about everyone. You could merely call her perceptive, or just plain nosey. Actually, I told her, I am still working but I work from home now. Then she bogs on about how boring it is to work from home and that you can't pull yourself away from your work, oh she knows alright...so do I now. Do you want to know? She worked for many years at home, she set up her own accounting business from her third bedroom.

Anyway, I love working from home, but I've got the bubela to take to school now, so cheerio. So there was a reason she came out to see me at 8.15 in the morning. She handed me a parcel from Amazon. "Been shopping!!" she teased as she handed me the parcel.

Yes. Yes. Yes. It finally arrived. After Jody's recommendation of Holiday Knits over at SavannahChicKnits I've been dying to get my hands on a copy. And you know what, she was right. Its definitely a great book, and has to be up there with my favourites. I'm going to have to start the holiday knitting soon. Unless, it goes belly up like last year and everyone got.... nothing, well knitted anyway.

The Argyl cardigan is coming along great. Its such a quick knit, I'm thinking of even doing another one. I love the colours I'm using. Mid blue, light blue and brown, just so smart.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Bouncing Babies...

Its like waiting for a bus and then three come along at once. Only its buns in the oven I'm talking about this time, yes, babies. Most of my dear friends are having babies all due early next year. To top that, my closest friend announced yesterday that she too is joining the crowd and is due in May. Muzel tov Gem. And everyone loves to knit for babies, don't they? I know that I do. Its my favorite knitting, because its quick, its cute and its rewarding, especially seeing that baby wearing your stuff.

Here is the Argyl cardigan. I'm not sure who this will be for yet, except that he will be one very smart boy. This is another knit from Debbie Bliss' Special Knits book. I love this book, definitely her best baby book yet. Her baby patterns are definitely more simple to read and work out than her ladieswear. I wonder who actually writes up these patterns? *Scratching head and thinking very hard* Just my cynical thinking, ignore me.

One foot is cold and jealous of the other. I'm knitting its partner and can't wait to finish it. Thank you all for your kind comments. The crazy stripes are Lion Brands Magic Stripes, their great arn't they?