Friday, 22 May 2009

Shhh ...... someone's sleeping

I managed to get a quick photo of my Buddha baby wearing his new kimono. I am really pleased with this little cardi. I agonized over whether to have the buttons opening on the left or the right but decided it didn't really matter and I would stick to the pattern. As I mentioned in an earlier post I got the pattern from Interweave. It's a very ingenious design in that you knit it all in one piece and you only have to seam the underarms. The shoulder seams are joined by a clever three needle bind off - thanks to Mary for her invaluable tip on how to do this as the glossary wasn't included in the photocopied pattern I got from Interweave! The only tricky bit for me was remembering to slip the first stitch on every row. It does give a lovely finish - but I missed one which got knitted and only discovered it when I had gone too far to turn back, luckily the second one was spotted quickly so I could redo it. You have to be a bit vigilant! I decided to do buttons rather than the ribbon tie as it was for a boy and found some cute little fish buttons. The button loops were made by making a loop of wool where you want the button to be and roughly the right size and then I did a sort of blanket stitch all the way round the loop. More photos of the kimono can be seen on Ravelry.

I was reading periwinkle's blog last night and she had posted that she was off camping this weekend. We too are being mad impetuous fools and spending the weekend under canvas. Well it would be canvas if we were borrowing DH's parents 1930's tent again which we used last year. We had a very retro look on the campsites, with all our old and borrowed camping equipment. But with the arrival of Little Roo we needed a bigger tent and really we needed our own tent - not that the grandparents go camping that much anymore! Anyway we road tested the tent and Little Roo last May bank holiday and it was deemed a success. It's funny that camping is a real divider, you either love it or hate it. I must admit I'm not one of these minimal campers, turning up with a tent on your back and with a small stove to cook on. Given the choice between a luxury hotel and camping it would be a hotel every time! But with little ones, they just love it so it's got to be done. Here are a few points that make camping work for us
  • We only ever go for two nights which means you are never far away from a hot bath and comfortable bed!
  • We only go if there is minimal (preferably no) rain forecast. It's just no fun camping in the rain. Luckily the forecast for this weekend is good.
  • We make sure we have lots of layers to wrap up warm with and blankets to snuggle under.
  • we bring some knitting do - that's me of course not DH! Camping is prime knitting time when little ones are scampering around the field.
  • we go with some friends, which makes the whole thing so much more enjoyable. In fact last time we went we invited people who weren't camping to join us for lunch and another family came for an afternoon cream tea! You can entertain even in a tent.
Anyway, enough on camping and the joys of, I have lots of packing to do! Enjoy your Bank Holiday - whatever you are doing

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Homemade Home

I must say I have been loving Kirstie’s Homemade Home programme. She’s not everyone’s cup of tea I know but Kirstie’s a girl after my own heart. I love how she transformed her cottage in Devon and made it into a home, something unique and interesting. I share her love of looking round other people’s houses to get inspiration and I find the most interesting homes are the ones with old pieces of furniture or with interesting or beautiful objects in them. I have decided that if I don’t absolutely love a piece then I won’t have it out on display, that goes for all my clutter too (but that might be the subject of another post!). I’m also trying to remember that if I see something wonderful then I must buy it, rather than regret it later on. We have a wonderful bric a brac shop in the village and I have got some wonderful things from it over the years. It’s the sort of shop that you have to keep popping in to as the stock changes quite often and all the good bits are snapped up, but whenever I’ve needed something I tend to find it in that shop. Unfortunately it’s the sort of shop that is not practical to push a buggy round so I have to sneak off on a Saturday afternoon to get my fix!

Of course the best part of the programme was watching all the talented crafts people trying to teach Kirstie their crafts. Really inspiring to watch and a great advertisement that things you make yourself can be just as gorgeous as something you might buy in a shop if not better because you have something fully original and one off. So don’t go searching for that perfect cushion – make it yourself! That’s what I did with the cushion above, it goes brilliantly with my red and gold sitting room and was fun to make to!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

To Finish or Not To Finish . . .

. . . that is the question? I'm in a bit of a dilemma about this ballet bag for Flopsy Bunny. As you can see, I made the bag some time ago, a cute pink gingham rucksack. It works really well, it's the right size and Flopsy Bunny loves to carry her gorgeous ballet outfit in it. But I'm not sure I can add the ballet bag to the finished project list as I had intended to sew a ballerina on the front of it. The fabric I bought for the ballerina is gorgeous and I had almost forgotten how gorgeous it was until I got it out of the bag yesterday for the photo! The problem is that now the bag is in use I wonder if it needs a ballerina on the front of it. More to the point, now that the bag is in use I feel (in my mind) that it is finished and I've already moved on to the next of many projects! So there you have it, a minimal ballet bag and some lovely fabric still to use for another project . . . or . . . what do you think I should do?

Monday, 11 May 2009

A Novel Project

My author friend Fiona, or should I say my friend who's a novelist - either sounds good doesn't it?! Anyway, my clever friend Fiona has a new novel out, The Blue Handbag and being a creative type has started a project to interview 100 people who have read the book. It attempts to find out a little about them and a little about what they thought of the book. A bit like a huge international book club meeting! Very exciting. Anyway, the 100 Readers project has started and you can take a look here - 2 interviews have already been done. If you'd like to take part you can get your copy of the The Blue Handbag book at Amazon, or you could just pop over and say hello. It was Fiona who got me into blogging and she has lots of other interesting blogs as well so well worth a look if you are a budding writer or just want to read her pearls of wisdom.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Three Needle Bind Off? - HELP!

Today I mainly want to be a cat, curled up in a sunny patch, asleep ... or just dozing. I realise I have been daydreaming about sleeping a lot recently and can only put it down to 5 months of sleep deprivation. Roll on 6 months and hopefully Little Roo will be sleeping more and feeding less in the night. It does make it difficult at the moment to choose what I want to do with any scraps of time I might have for myself. A big part of me will be saying - sleep - but then I think I could be knitting!

I'm in the middle of knitting Little Roo a baby kimono which was featured in Interweave some time back. I managed to buy a photocopy of the pattern from Interweave and have been happily knitting away. It is knit in one piece and then it appears to be joined together by some clever three knitting needle bind off (or cast off for those in the UK). Unfortunately I didn't get a copy of the glossary with my photocopy so don't really know how it is done. So if anyone out there knows how to do such a thing or knows of a tutorial on the web they can direct me to, please let me know! I'm sure I will eventually find out how to do it - otherwise it will be seaming for me!