Tuesday, 19 April 2011

happiness is...

... clean washing on the washing line, blowing in the spring sunshine

... making easter decorations with my children

... collecting the mugs we painted for daddy's birthday surprise

... getting into a pilates class with my favourite teacher

... working at home on a sunny day, reading and marking dissertations in the garden

... a quiet house, waiting for the small ones to return from their adventures

... the last day of work before a week of holiday

... hearing of a new baby, gently and safely born. Welcome to the world little Dylan, and many congratulations to your mama and papa. We wish you all much joy, sleep and love as you grow together in your new family.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

third time lucky?

With only a few days to go until DH's birthday, the end of the purple socks (currently on my feet) gave me chance to cast on for some quick and secret birthday socks. Since Grace is having a short break in the not-quite-finished basket, I thought that 10 days or so would be plenty of time for some secret sock knitting.

Well, I might have been right, except I made a rather basic error. It's not even a beginner's error, because beginners tend to not to be quite so stupid. So, time to 'fess up: I didn't read the pattern and knitted the cuff in the wrong rib pattern, so I had to rip it and start again. And I didnt just do that once, I did it twice.

So, now I'm casting on for a third time and reading the pattern (Java) just one more time, in the hope that this time I've got it right and third time does prove to be lucky.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

This week I have...

... finally managed a FO! The purple socks are done, and very fine they are too. They took 56g of Jenny Cook's lovely yarn (leaving another 50g for another pair), and they took an absolute age (I cast on at Christmas!) because I have been doing. Other. Things.

... still not finished poor old Grace. I ripped the collar and button bands, and will have to do them again - perhaps things will work out better if I do it in the light. It was kind of okay before, but not good enough really (given that i've spent sooo much time knitting the d*rned thing, I might as well make a good job of finishing it).

... been trying - but failing - to finish my marking (grrr).

... enjoyed the spring sunshine and being outside without coat, hat or scarf! It was so glorious at the weekend, that I had to take refuge in the shade from the fierce sun and heat [Note: fierce is a relative term, but given that we are in Scotland, and still in early April, temperatures of more than 20 odd degrees is really a shock to the system. Today it was equally sunny, but very windy and about 10 degrees cooler!]

... cast on for some new socks - Java from knitty. I'm hoping to dash them off in the next couple of weeks so I can give them to my husband for his Easter birthday.

... got some sewing lined up; dribble bibs and wipes have been cut and stacked ready for stitching. It felt good because I cut them from a bundle of old/stained baby clothes which were not good enough to give away. There are some new babies in the offing, and I want to plenish my stash of gifts for new parents. I also cut a few fleece nappy liners too in the same vein.

... listened to Lord Layard's lecture on happiness, given as the fourth Joseph Rowntree Lecture at York University a few weeks ago.

... finally realised that it is best to make bread in the morning. On Sunday morning I started a couple of loaves at breakfast time, while the little ones were playing and DH was having a snooze. It felt really good to have dough made and proving all before 9am! By late morning they were all done, and perfectly crusty and warm and delicious for lunch.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

A pip and a squeak

Grace is almost there. And I still have yarn. Hallelujah. There was 44g left when I had cast off the back, and now I'm on the collar, so I'm (almost) confident that I'll be able to finish it now without having to buy or find a suitable substitute. The button bands and collar aren't quite working out as written - I had less than the suggested no. of stitches for the button bands, and way more for the collar. Not sure how or why that should be - the button bands look okay, although I did manage to miscount and only made 6 buttonholes instead of 7 (doh). Not sure about the collar yet - I started with the wrong side facing so that the slightly raggedy neck edge will be hidden beneath the collar. We'll just have to see how it works out. 

While I was waiting for Grace to block, I cast on for another chevron scarf from last-minute knitted gifts. I'm using some rowan cashsoft from the stash and some of Jenny Cook's delicious handpainted yarn, this time in soft greens and blues. I made one of these scarves last year for a friends' 40th birthday, also using some Jenny Cook yarn, but never blogged it because, as usual, I was knitting up to the deadline and didn't manage to photograph it before it was wrapped and gifted!

The second purple sock (also Jenny Cook yarn) has been picked up again, and in a rare slot of child-free time at the weekend, I managed a leisurely coffee and got past the heel flap, so it's all down hill from here. But as if that wasnt enough I'm itching to cast on for a couple of other projects too. I've promised the Bean a new jacket knitted with Rowan denim, and there are some balls of deep raspberry yarn waiting to be cast on for a Betty (Rowan Winter Kids). Perhaps it's the spring that is doing it? Anything seems possible now that the evenings are lighter and the washing can go outside on the line for a good blow again.