Wednesday, February 27, 2008

FO Crossover Rib socks

I love love love these socks. They've been a long time in the making (I started knitting them when mum was in hospital, the yarn came from her) but the wait and work's been worth it. I do want to wear them and I don't want to wear them for fear of wearing them out!

Pattern is crossover rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. Bamboo dpns 2.5 mm, yarn is Regia Summer or something like that! I've lost the ball band. The colour reminds me of the beach, of the sea, of sand - I love being on the beach (something I inherited from my grandmother who I never really knew that well as she died when I was 12).

The stitch pattern eats yarn though - you start off with k2 p2 but then increase the 2 knit stitches to 5 stitches and gradually decrease them again by knitting two stitches together every 2 rounds. I wasn't sure whether I'd have enough to do the top of the foot in the same pattern so decided to use stockinette. As it is, I think it's probably worked out better - the socks might have been a bit too thick if I'd continued the pattern.

I can't wait to start wearing them - or maybe I'll leave them lying around for a while just so I can admire them for a bit longer...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Seven things about you meme

I have never done a meme before but I read the one on Glenna's blog who tagged everybody reading it - so here goes...

1. I learnt 6 languages at secondary school: Dutch (if that counts!), English, German, French, Latin and Greek. I spoke basic English, German and French when I finished my A levels, but then came to Britain and learnt to speak English fluently. It seemed there was no longer any room in my head for the other languages and I only have a very basic grasp of them now. Although when I go to France, my reading French is better than B.'s, whose spoken French is ten times better than mine due to having lived there for a while.
2. I worked as an aupair for two years when I left school. The first family had 4 boys, lived on a farm and were partially self sufficient. I had a whale of a time and am still in touch with them now, seeing them once a year or so. It's weird seeing the boys all grown up and even with children of their own now.
3. I have a thing for old sewing machines. I met Helen through Freecycle and it's all her fault ;-) B. bought me a treadle for Christmas two years ago, then Helen gave me two handcranks for the children. I regularly collect old sewing machines and take them to Helen to restore. They're beautiful (much more so than the modern ones), sturdy and stitch wonderfully. And you can use them during powercuts. I just wish I had more time to use them.
4. I love cats and dogs and would love to have one, but used to suffer very badly with eczema due to allergies. I have been clear since N. was born almost 6 years ago and don't want to take the risk of having it come back, as it can be very debilitating. It seems I. has inherited some of this allergy too, as she starts sneezing and her eyes start running when she cuddles our guinea pig.
5. I love my breadmaker. I bought one about 2 years ago, as my 'homemade' bread was usually a disaster (think potential murder weapon) and I'd seen what good results a breadmaker could produce. I was worried it would be one of those 'use once gather dust' things, but I use it at least once a week and love experimenting with different recipes. My favourite is probably malt loaf.
6. About 4 years ago I was introduced to the concept of Freecycle by my friend Sam. I thought it was a brilliant idea straightaway, joined several groups and eventually took over the Suffolk group, which I still run, but now with two extra moderators. I have got rid of a lot of stuff, have picked up some great things, met lots of lovely people and have made friends through it. Whoever thought up this concept, deserves a medal!
7. At weekends I'm a keen cyclist. One day B.'s dad found a discarded bike in one of their ditches. When nobody came to collect it, B. did it up for me and I started to explore the little country lanes around their farm. Eventually I started to go further afield and the longest trip I've done was 38 miles. I'm happy to go out in most types of weather, although rain will stop me. I even wear some of the cycling gear (lycra trousers!) which gave I. terrible giggling fits the first time she saw them. There is something about getting exercise, seeing the seasons change and getting fresh air into your lungs – I love going on my own and don't even use an MP3 player as I feel it'd be cheating.

I'm not going to tag anyone in particular as not everyone who reads this blog, has a blog of their own, and I'm not even entirely sure who reads this blog anyway! But if you do read this and have a blog, it'd be great to see another meme... just leave me a comment so I can go and read it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You're special because...

Apparently the kids are doing 'you're special because...' in assembly at school. Tonight, at the supper table, N. looked at me while I was crocheting I.'s beanie-take-two and said 'you're special because you knit a lot'.

Kids have an uncanny knack to say things without realising how much better they make you feel.

We have stairs

and neither of us can get quite used yet to not having to climb a ladder!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Memorable meals

B. and I have a list of 'memorable meals' - meals that were so good that we remember them for a long time. This was one to be added to that list.
On Friday night I got a phonecall from B. as I was leaving work, to say that I shouldn't bring up any food, he was cooking me a meal. The house tends to take priority over everything else right now, so I was quite surprised to say the least! I got to his place to find him cleaning mussels, I'd mentioned a few weeks ago it was time we had mussels again. I'd found some reduced price sushi which we had for starters, then the mussels cooked in wine with a ton of garlic, followed by dressed crab with a homemade salad. The wine the mussels were cooked in was pretty good so we left it at that, rather than opening the bottles of bubbly you see in the photograph - saving those for another special occasion. Dessert was the heart shaped biscuits I'd baked. Followed by a Fred Dibnah episode and we had a pretty relaxing evening!

We're going through a cold snap right now - Saturday night at 10 pm my car registered -6 Celcius, which is pretty cold for where we are. This is the view from my bedroom window this morning at 7.45 AM. It doesn't quite show how white everything was - it was beautiful with the sun just coming up. It does make for very cold nights though, especially as N.'s back in his room and has taken the fleece blankets with him!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

No, this is not what I received, but rather what I made made (with I.'s help) for B.
I don't really like those days where you're almost forced to give each other a present - it doesn't feel spontaneous and therefore not real or meant. I appreciate the presents which I get unexpectedly much more. So we'd agreed we wouldn't do presents for each other for today, just a card, but I'd seen heart shaped biscuits and fancied making those. So that's what he's getting (tomorrow, as we don't normally see each other on Thursdays). Coffee biscuits with coffee buttercream. Yummm....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

That didn't last long

I. has just admitted she thinks she's lost her beanie :-( I'm so disappointed. She wore it when we walked from the park (where we took the photos) back to the car park, I remember because she was in front of me and I wanted to take a photo of her as it looked sweet with her plait. We then went to Sainsbury's and to the pet shop, and I remember asking her that afternoon where her beanie was, and she said she thought it was in the car. Didn't think anything else of it, till this afternoon and it suddenly clicked with me that I hadn't seen it in the car at all. Have rung Sainsbury's and pet shop but no joy of course. It might still turn up, it could be at J.'s place although I doubt that, I don't remember her taking it with her yesterday morning, basically we haven't seen it since the 'photo shoot'.
She's inherited the genes of two parents who aren't the tidiest people in the world, but she also has a habit of being quite careless with things - which is why I'm even more disappointed... I suppose I'll get over it - right now I just want to make another one, but that would just give her the impression that you can just replace things and I want her to learn that she's got to care for her things.

Monday, February 11, 2008


A few weeks ago I ordered some yarn from Ebay for a cropped cardigan, and one ball caught my attention - I don't know why, but it was just one lonely ball and it wanted to come home here. As they do ;-) When I saw it in real life, I knew it was perfect for I. as she hasn't outgrown the pink stage yet, and together we decided it'd be a beanie. I'd tried teaching her crochet the other day, but she wasn't particularly interested, but it whetted my appetite, so a crochet beanie it'd be. No pattern, just constant fitting and decreasing number of stitches to get the right shape. No fancy stitches either, just single crochets all around, and then a flower from here to top it off.

She wasn't keen on the flower to start off with but it seems to have grown on her and now she wears it all the time. The beautiful weather here made for some good photo opportunities, which we did this morning. Nice to finish something in such a short space of time (took 4 or 5 evenings of one hour sittings) and have it appreciated too!