Friday, 26 November 2010

My Christmas Wishlist...

... isn't very long, not really. For any friends/family who are stuck for ideas (although I never understand why, I think I'm pretty easy to buy for, but that's just my opinion) here are a few tips:

2 x skeins laceweight yarn from Vintage Purls - here's the page link just in case ;-) I want to make this cardigan.


Anything from this website, or this one, or this one, or this one.

Or a book.

See? Easy!!

In other news, I ran for a full 40 minutes this morning, at 9kmph. Yay me!! Wonder if I can build up to a full hour? Or do you think that's pushing it?? In any case, I'm getting a lot fitter, and feel better for it.

And because this is just going to be a big mish-mash of random bits and pieces (there really is no avoiding it), let's just change the subject again. My weekend in Napier was awesome!! Got to catch up with some old friends and had the best time. Saw Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and it rocked!! Totally going to go see it again. Caught up with a few of the family members, and checked in on the house - which as always needs far too much work done on it. Fingers crossed for next year...

While I was away, the boys had a blast playing XBox Kinect and laser tag for X's birthday party. He got some neat 'boy' presents and really enjoyed the weekend. Deane and his mum went to see The Rocky Horror Show. I think they liked it.

I have one sleeve left on my Cherie Amour sweater, and the poor thing has been put down again. I'll get there eventually! I turned the heel on my second Bug Out sock but as I knit it much looser (so it wouldn't cut off the circulation in my foot) and forgot to take into account the increase in size because of this, it ended up being over an inch too long in the foot. Poor thing got frogged right back to less than halfway up the foot, and has to be reknit. Then I'll have to knit a third sock, because the first one is just unwearable, I've decided. It was a good 'first stranded knitting project practice sock' though. Hopefully by the end of it I'll actually have a wearable pair of socks!

I've started another pair of socks, which will be a Christmas present for a special someone (won't say who - it can be a surprise). They're being knit one at a time on dpns though, so will take me a little longer than usual. I'm testing out the new Blackthorn needles, which are made out of carbon fibre - same stuff they use to make stealth bombers. How awesome is that?!? Once I've given them a test drive, I have to pass on my 'review' of them. So far, it's been an interesting experiment...

X's Green Lantern Blanket of DOOM!! is coming along nicely - it's not perfect, but you know what? I don't think he'll care. And if he does, tough. I'm not making another one!!

I finished spinning and plying the yarn I've been working on since October when my lovely arrived - here's the result:

128g/282m of NZ merino navajo-plied yarn - 'a design for life' colourway by maude & me. I think I might make this shawl out of it. Maybe.

The Santa parade is on this weekend, so I'll be taking the boys to that, while Deane plays paintball. Some kids just never grow up.

T will be having his birthday party next weekend - he's having an XBox Kinect party. What a surprise. It'll be December next week, and I haven't even thought about Christmas shopping. That's the problem with having a child whose birthday is on the very last day of November. Christmas doesn't even get a look in until after that. Guess I should at least try to find the Christmas decorations though. We might be having a bare tree this year - at least I know where that is I guess.

Ooh ooh ooh!!! Eclipse comes out on DVD next week too!!! Anyone up for a Twilight movie marathon? No? Just me? Oh well...

And so ends our random-item post for this week, brought to you by the number blah, the letter duh, and the colour wtf?!?

Oh wait, one more thing. The LOLcats have been spying on me:

How do they know?!?

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Blogger slackness: I haz it!!

It has officially been over two weeks since I last updated - tut tut...

On the up side, lots to share!! Let's get started!!

Boy, have I been busy! Although not actually knitting, I finished up ten crochet squares for the Ron Weasley blanket swap (round #7):

I sent them off this morning with a bag of Jaffas (the confectionery, not a bunch of Aucklanders). Three of the squares were made from some acrylic I scored for free from a lovely fellow Hufflepuff raveler over in the US. Her 18 month old had tangled the skein, and her husband had spent over an hour trying to untangle it, until they decided to give up. She announced that it would be free to a good home. So I snapped that puppy up!! It arrived looking like this:

And 45 minutes later, voila!!

Guess some people just have the knack for untangling... ahem.

My Cherie Amour has been dragged out of time out (finally) and I managed to redo the top half with very little frogging (and two pages of hand written graphs and notes, but we won't talk about that). I'm now half way through the first sleeve. Hopefully I can get this done before the end of the year :-)

Also dredged back up out of the WIP pile are my Bug Out socks - I've started the second one. I'm only halfway through the foot at this stage, but have a (self-imposed) deadline of the end of the month to finish it. Fingers crossed!!

Another little something I've been wanting to make for a while was a Thorpe hat with my 'melted neopolitan' handspun - I managed to start and finish this on Sunday, with a little help from knitting group (that blissful three hours without bickering man-beasts around to annoy me). It's super cute and turned out exactly how I wanted it, but as I don't have any girls, this is being given away to somebody else:

But not without getting X to model it for me first - mwaaaahahahahahahahaaaaaa!!!

Doesn't he just look so happy?!?

Moving on... I've started a Christmas present for the above grumpy child, something he asked for years ago. A Green Lantern blanket. I spent a whole three hours one evening in front of the laptop, surrounded by cups of tea and giant balls of yarn (I kid you not - this ball of yarn is HUGE!!) nutting out the pattern for the centre of the afghan. I managed to come up with this:

It's far from perfect, but seeing how that was a trial run, I'm okay with that. I've just started the 'for true life' (as my boys would say) version of it, and will hopefully be able to iron out the kinks. Then on to the endless rounds of black double crochet that will go on forever and ever and ever and ever...... this is why I have called it the Green Lantern blanket of DOOM!! Black is hard on the old eyeballs :-/

Oh, and just for an idea of scale, I took a pic of the giant ball of yarn with a standard 50g ball:

See? Told you I wasn't kidding!

Yes, not only have I crafted like crazy, I've added spinning into that craziness as well. I finished spinning the single I've been working on since last month, when my lovely arrived, and I just started navajo-plying it this morning. I should be able to finish it in the next day or two, and make it look all pretty for the photo shoot. This skein has to look its best for the Spin-Along!! Prizes are at stake!! Prizes full of fibery goodness!!! If you're feeling a little scared and confused, refer to the aforementioned 'crazy' and this simple adjective should answer all your questions.

Woohoo! Managed a full 30 minute run yesterday!! Go me :-) Now, the hard part - keeping it going! I have discovered that running on a treadmill is easier than running outside, especially when you have a little screen in front of you telling you how far you've run, how long you've been running for, how long you have left to keep running, what speed you're running at, and roughly how many calories you've burned - not that I really pay attention to that, because as far as I'm concerned, I'm going to eat what I want, when I want to. Calories be damned!! For example, these lovely cupcakes I bought last week when mum was here:

Oh, they were good! And they were packaged up in a really cute box too!!

And you can still listen to music. And it doesn't matter if its raining outside. Or if it's too sunny and hot. Brilliant!

Other goings-on
It's X's birthday tomorrow - he's going to be eight. He's very excited. A birthday party has been organised for this weekend and he's invited five of his school friends to come over, then they're heading out to play a few rounds of laser tag. T won't be able to play because he's too little, but his birthday is at the end of the month, so he'll be able to do something else. Almost everything is organised, I just have to bake and decorate the cake, which I'll do on Thursday/Friday. On the plus side, I won't have to deal with hypo-active screaming kids. I'll be in Napier watching my friend's daughters dance in their ballet recital, and then going to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. I. Can't. WAIT!!! Soooooooo exciting!!! Deane has assured me that he is fully capable of dealing with six boys all at once, and his mother and sister will be on hand to help, and look after T. I'm just going to try and enjoy my weekend, and hope for the best.

At the moment though, it's nearly time to pick the monsters up from school, so I must dash. Have a good week!!

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Summer's on the way...

...although technically not here until December. But with weather the way it's been lately, I'd be happy for it to take its time. Gone are the days of rain and chilly winds, I am welcoming warmth and sunshine. Reason to wear shorts and singlet tops, and my ever-favourite $70 leather jandals (which by the way, I've had for about four or five years now, and they've still got at least that long in them again, making them totally worth the expense!! So there Deane!)

Today was one of those days (as was yesterday). This morning after dropping the boys at school, I headed off for a run around the park, managing three blocks of nine minutes, with two minute breaks in between - I'm back on track!! Even one of the road construction guys noticed, and commented on my third lap (which was actually my fourth, but who's counting?). Guess I'm pretty memorable! Or maybe he just noticed my jiggly butt...

Back home for a shower, then into town to purchase some more running gear (since I'm now going to the gym on the days I'm not running, it's a little hard to keep one set of gear always available - I've only got two pairs of shorts) and some new sunglasses (my current ones are soooo last season ;-P). I stopped in at a cafe for a sandwich and a cup of tea - my favourite giant cup from Esquires - then I wandered back down to the park with my crochet and current book (It by Stephen King - something I've always wanted to read but never got around to). I spent a lazy hour and a half lying in the sun (covered in sun block of course) reading and crocheting, and narrowly missing getting trampled by a bunch of guys playing a lunchtime game of touch rugby. Eventually I moseyed on home, made the beds (because I'd been lazy and hadn't made them earlier in the day) then headed off to pick the boys up from school. T did his homework while X had swimming lessons, and now we're home again.

Dinner is being constructed out of leftovers and whatever else, simply because its been one of those days, and I'd like to continue the slovenliness I've become accustomed to. Me, I started with an appetiser of watermelon. Seriously - watermelon!! A sure sign of summer on the way if ever there was one. I made myself leave some for Deane, because I'm such a good wife (mwahahaha), but I think I may just get some more tomorrow. Mmmmmmmm, watermelon.....

On the knitting front, I've been a busy little beaver. Deane's TARDIS socks are done, and I love them (although I may have mentioned that already). Unfortunately they're waaaay to big for me (trust me, I checked), so I guess he really will be getting them for Christmas :-(

And I also finished my Vespa shawl... thingee:

Since I finished it before the end of October, I managed to hand it in for Defence Against the Dark Arts - as a deterent for vampires:

I'm now crocheting squares for round seven of the Ron Weasley blanket swap (which are due by the 15th November!!!) and then I'll be starting a surprise present for X. He wanted a Green Lantern blanket to replace 'kiki', his dearly beloved (to the point where it literally fell apart) baby blanket. I've found the perfect green, a stupidly large 400g ball of black acrylic, and instructions on how to crochet a circle and turn it into a square without it looking stupid, so hopefully I'll be able to construct a reasonable replacement blanket by Christmas.

Spinning-wise, I'm over halfway through the braid I started for the Maude & Me Spin-Along, so I'm on track to get that finished by cutoff on the 21st November. I plan to navajo-ply it, which will be the most I've ever done, so I really hope it turns out!! Looks like it'll be around a sport weight, give or take a few WPI.

Mum's coming to stay next week, so I guess I'd better spend some of this free time I have clearing some space in the spare room. I'm not sure that's actually possible, but I should at least try. Perhaps the weather will oblige by turning nasty for a few days, giving me an excuse to stay inside. I doubt it though. Mum, I think you'll be sleeping in the lounge...