Tuesday, 28 June 2011

More please

Sitting here watching Harry Potter with the boys, and just heard the loudest thunder clap I've heard in years!!! Opened the balcony ranch-slider, and it is absolutely pelting down outside, and there's hail too. Ooh, I love a good storm!!

Monday, 27 June 2011

What do they say about best-laid plans?

Mine have been dashed entirely - T was home on Friday with a high temperature, which meant no run, no supermarket shopping, nothing but sitting at home with tissues and paracetamol and pyjamas. Saturday was much the same, but with an extra kid. Sunday, thankfully, went a little better - we got out of the house and went to watch Cars 2, then did a bit of shopping. The boys got some new Star Wars Mighty Beanz, which they were rather pleased with.

Then along comes Monday... both boys are home from school today, T has an awful cough (continuing on from last week's illness that I thought was over and done with - how wrong I was) and X, having battled a headache all day Sunday, has declared himself unfit for school with headache and tummy ache and anything-else-he-can-think-of-to-get-off-school-like-his-brother ache. Food levels are running low, the need to go for a run is ever-increasing... I really hope they're feeling better tomorrow!!

I have managed to get plenty of knitting done though - I've been working on my Christchurch shawl (Rav link), and made fairly good progress. I'm nearly up to the border now:

I've also nearly finished another project, it just needs two buttons. Which, of course, will have to wait until I can get out and away from invalid children! Ugh. I am seriously resisting the urge to cast on for the Simplicity cardigan (Rav link), but I think I'll cave in the next couple of days. I'll soon be sick of the high levels of concentration required to knit the shawl, and I'll want something simple to knit, that's easy to cart around. My Pisqu socks do not fill that category, nor does spinning. What can one do, but cast on for a new project?

As predicted, my new handspun cardigan is getting lots of wear, and it will have to be washed soon. I'm going to miss it. I think I'll have to search for some more yarn to make another one...

Thursday, 23 June 2011

How dare he??

My husband of ten years has informed me he is leaving me for his new love. She is half Chinese, half Italian, and they met in Singapore. Her name is Pharo. Damn her and her side jets, and degree-monitored-adjustable-temperature-controls:

He did say there was a downside to this new relationship, in that he cannot spend every waking moment with her. (I'd imagine hypothermia might be an issue at some stage). Still, it appears they are very happy together. Personally, I think the relationship won't last. He'll leave her eventually (somewhere around hotel check-out time) and come back to me. Especially since I informed him that I have recently been on a lingerie purchasing expedition ;-) That, and I just finished his latest pair of socks:

A test knit pattern by Valerie Wagoner - Celtic Roots (link is to my Ravelry project page, so if you don't have an account, you probably won't be able to see it. Just sayin') knit in Vintage Purls 'Hathi'. The pattern will be available once the test stage is over, and Valerie is happy with it. An excellently well-written pattern in my opinion :-)

And of course he'll want to see me looking fantastic in my new cardigan, of which I now have pictures. I decided to cut my head out of the pictures because in one I had an awful dead-pan look on my face, and the other I was kind of smiling, but in a horrible way that made me look really weird and ugly (not hard to do) so you are spared the horror:

Yes, it has a weird band of lighter colour through the middle - it just kinda came out that way by accident, but I like it :-) So far this week I've worn the cardigan most days, and I'll be sad when I have to wash it. Still, it will dry and I will be able to wear it again, so something to look forward to I guess. I feel kind of like a kid separated from their favourite toy, hanging out in front of the dryer waiting for it to be clean again. I must grow up one day and start behaving like an adult...

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Have you ever noticed...

1. JayJays clothing tags have interesting nuggets of information on them. I've found three different ones on mine so far:

* Monkeys eat bananas
* Time heals all pain
* Shiloh is a pretty name

Wonder who comes up with these?

2. Tug-of-war sounds really stupid, and if you think about it, doesn't really make any sense. Wouldn't it be more like 'war of tugging'? Or just stick with 'tug war'. Either one.

3. There are some really gross-sounding words in the English language. One of them is moist. Ew.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Rainy weekend fun

Saturday saw me at the cafe on my own, knitting happily away on Deane's second sock, then traipsing down to the library in time to pick up season one of Bones on DVD (again) so I can watch it while Deane's away. Sunday I was at spinning class all day. Fabulous!! It was quite nice to be inside with a bunch of beautiful wheels and fibre (not to mention the company) while it poured with rain outside. I learned a lot about how to prepare fleece for spinning, straight from the sheep. Don't know if I'll ever use this knowledge in the future (I'm a lazy spinner, preferring to work with prepared fibre) but you never know...

Speaking of prepared fibre, I bought some rather luscious merino silk roving from Lyn of fibre2go while I was there - a beautiful crimson red colour, 80% merino/20% silk blend. 200g of it!! The intention is to spin it into a 2 ply laceweight, and knit a scrumptious large wrap or shawl out of it. No hurry though, eh? ;-)

My cardigan was still damp from the blocking process on Sunday morning, so I couldn't wear it to spinning class to show off, but I took it with me anyway and received lots of praise. Just the right amount to boost my ego ;-) Still haven't got modelling pics yet - hopefully I'll be able to con somebody at Wednesday knitting to take a few for me. I've been wearing the cardi today, and I'm more in love with it than ever. Its cozy and warm, and very soft. Looks fabulous on too ;-) Sooooo glad I decided to block it, as it now fits even better than it did before blocking! Which I guess is kinda the point. I must confess, I am now fully converted to blocking and swatching. Well, swatching to a certain point anyway. Lets not go overboard here!!

Deane left this morning in a whirlwind of last minute packing and organising, with a brief and slightly disappointing kiss at the airport before dashing through the rain into the international departures terminal with his travelling companion, a work client (hence the business trip). We won't see him again until he arrives back in Auckland some time next Friday. 12 days on my own with the boys. Hurrah. Still, bedtimes should be a little smoother, as there will be no 'staying awake in expectation of dad arriving home and maybe reading a comic or playing a game even though its past bedtime already' scenarios to deal with. Although my children can be rather inventive, so I'm sure they'll be able to come up with plenty more lame excuses as to why they're still awake at 9pm on a school night. Horrors.

Still, I must look on the bright side - there's now one less person to clean up after! Less washing to pick up off the floor, less shoes in the middle of the lounge to trip over, less dishes lying around in stupid places to pick up and stack in the dishwasher, less cooking (hmm, how many times can I get away with spaghetti on toast for dinner, or poached eggs, or 2-minute noodles, or cheerios?? Probably don't want to push my luck...) More quiet time to watch what I want, knit when I want, read in peace (A Tiny Bit Marvellous by Dawn French at the moment, quite funny). Come to think of it, the next two weeks doesn't sound like it'll be so bad after all...

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Hey crazy lady! You're crazy!!

Um, yes, that would be me...

I just registered for the Auckland Quarter Marathon in October this year. A whole 10.55km, to be run on the 30th October, starting at 6.45am. Madness!! Madness I tell you!!! At least I didn't go completely off the edge and sign up for the half or full marathon. Maybe next year ;-) Ahahaha...

I guess now I'd better get serious about training. Don't want to make a dick of myself on the day, and collapse halfway round the track or something. That would just be embarrassing! At least I know that my first 10km run wasn't just a fluke, I did it again yesterday. I think the next step though, would be to run outside instead of on the treadmill. Perhaps I should try to find a decent route somewhere around Auckland that won't have too much traffic. Nothing worse than having to stop at a pedestrian crossing and wait for cars!

Queue abrupt change of subject

I finished my cardigan last night, buttons sewn on and everything! I was very sorely tempted to wear it today, but decided to block it instead - all the better to show it off at spinning class tomorrow! Provided its dry by then of course.

(Here's a pic of it blocking on a manky old dryer-warped towel - I should totally win an award for world's worst photography...)

I'm now working on the second sock of the pair I'm knitting for Deane. The test knit is going well - all the kinks have been worked out, and I'm pretty sure the pattern is very near completion.

Unfortunately its still not available on Ravelry, so I can't link to it for you. I'll post some pics in a few weeks - should have them well and truly finished by then. I can't post them any sooner, because Deane is off to China, Singapore and Malaysia for nearly two weeks for a business trip. I get all the joy of staying at home and looking after two boisterous boys. Hmmm, who got the raw end of the deal there? ;-)

On the up side, I get to watch what I want, when I want, and just think of all the knitting time!! And being able to wear pyjamas to bed... Every cloud has a silver lining indeed ;-)

And just a completely random item - saw this on the footpath on the way to school yesterday morning, and though it was really sweet:

How cool is that? Imagine walking to school one morning, and spotting an extra special message spray painted on the footpath just for you - 'daddy loves you'! Gorgeous :-)

Saturday, 11 June 2011

I love craft markets!

Just went this morning to the Auckland Art & Craft Fair. It's so fun to be able to wander slowly around and look at lovely crafty stuff. I don't like the crowds so much, but that's just something you can't really avoid. And I guess the crowds are a good thing, because that means people are interested, and willing to buy lovely hand made things. I bought a cool kiwi gift card from Cloud Nine Creative, and the most awesome tea cup and saucer set from a lovely girl who is just starting out in business:

Fabulous, isn't it? She has a blog and a shop on Felt (currently empty - I guess all her stock is reserved for the Craft Fair). She has tea pots too!! I couldn't afford to buy one today, but I fully intend to get one soon! One can never have too many tea pots :-) Plus, another tea pot means a good excuse to make another tea cosy ;-)

I also discovered that Happy Go Knitty are now stocking merino 4ply and 8ply yarn, and a squidgy soft merino/possum blend yarn. Yummy!!!

Hope you're having a good weekend - I'm off to cook some dinner, then get stuck into some serious knitting ;-)

Friday, 10 June 2011

So much for 10k...

Went to the gym this morning, all psyched about doing my first 10km. Set up the treadmill, punched in all the data, and got running. Sadly, I had no music of my own - T had been fiddling around with my headphones this morning, and I hadn't noticed that one of the earbud pieces had gone. So I was stuck with barely audible crap. Oh well...

All was going well, and I got into a nice rhythym. I reached the 9km mark and was very pleased to know that I still had plenty of steam left for that last 1km when disaster struck! The treadmill went into cool down mode!!! I frantically started pressing buttons - increase the speed back to 9kmph, increase the cool down time from five minutes to the required six minutes 40 that it would take me to run the last kilometre, and the treadmill had a hernia and just stopped. It was almost like the machine was saying, "sorry lady, you've had enough time. Now get off!!"

Needless to say, I was quite gutted. I was looking forward to being able to say "I ran ten kilometres today!!". Now I can't. Sucky.

In other news, I finished a sock for Deane - no pics yet though, it was dark by the time I finished it yesterday, and now its raining so the lighting is really bad (apartments are a little like caves). I'll get some stylish modelling shots on the weekend ;-) Mwahahaha!! Deane. Modelling. The mind boggles...

My hanspun cardigan (Rav link) is going really well - I've finished the body, and am on to the sleeves. The body was worked in one piece up to the arms, then split off, and the fronts and back were worked separately, with a three needle bind off on the shoulders, thereby avoiding side seams and shoulder seams. I was going to attempt knitting the sleeves in the round from the top by picking up the stitches with the aim of avoiding seaming completely, but I couldn't get my head around how to work the shoulder caps. I gave up and started from the cuff in the round. Minimal seaming is better than heaps, right? And this problem of mine will hopefully be solved come August - I'll be attending a class called 'Getting Set From the Top Down' by Morag McKenzie of Vintage Purls fame, at Knit August Nights in Napier. Its all about how to construct a garment with top down set in seamless sleeves. Ooh, I can't wait!!! A whole weekend of knitting and spinning fun, with Ravelry friends from all over New Zealand in one place, which just happens to be my home town!! What could be better? Hmm, probably should let Deane know at some point...

I've fallen in love with this cardigan already - the yarn is incredibly soft, and it looks beautiful knit up (if I do say so myself ;-P). The cardigan could be a little bigger, but that was my own fault. I'm working on 3.25mm needles, when the pattern calls for 3.5mm. And the recommended yarn is sport weight, whereas my handspun is more like a fingering weight. I'm making the small size, but probably would have been better making the medium. Having said that, it will still fit nicely I think. I can't wait to be able to wear it!! Definitely going to be putting in some time on those sleeves this weekend!! Hopefully I'll have some finished pics for you next week ;-)

I have a feeling that I may just be making this cardigan again in the future - its a lovely simple knit, and the pattern wasn't nearly as difficult to follow as I thought it would be. Drops patterns seem to have a bit of a bad reputation for being hard to read. I've found it okay.

I couldn't resist casting on the Round Seven socks from SM5 - Pisqu. I haven't done much, since the cardigan and the test knit socks for Deane have been demanding my attention, but I like how its coming out so far:

Sitting flat (or rather, not-so-flat)

On my leg

Pretty, huh? I'm using white Shibui, and the last instalment of the Knitsch yarn club - Kelly.

And I couldn't help myself, I signed up for the next Knitsch yarn club the other day. I checked with Deane first, and he didn't (technically) say no, so I'm not entirely to blame... Next yarn club will have to be a Vintage Purls though - Morag writes the best sock patterns!! Of which, I still have one to knit - Leaflink. Its on my (ever-growing) to-do list.

Must be off - things to do before picking the boys up from school - I'm running out of time! Hope you have a happy (and somewhat dry) weekend.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Just a couple of things...

1. I ran 8km today. Yay me!!

2. Dear person with crutches - you don't expect people to take your injury seriously when you're wearing platform heels, do you? They do not aid in recovery, and your doctor would be very disappointed in you.

That is all.