Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Finished Christening Knits!

Well, I did manage to finish the cap and bootees in time for the Christening! I think that's the first deadline I've met in a long time!

Sadly the bootees were a bit big, and wouldn't stay on, but they looked pretty darn cute! Hopefully he'll get another opportunity to wear them. (read: I want another opportunity to put them on him!)

My sister very bravely went out and chose the buttons for me. I think she did very well! I don't have a photo, but there was a matching button on the hat.

We had a really lovely day, and lots of friends and family turned out to welcome our beautiful boy. Of course, there was some serious head-wetting to be done, so Bapar and Husband invested in a little something from the Rebellion Brewery. I suspect they may have had to do some serious testing...

Sausages requested that Bob have "a spiderman cake," so the week before I had a go at making a red cake with a blue web. It didn't go well. I'm not a great one for decorating cakes, but I think this might be the ugliest one so far!

Er, can you see what I was aiming for?

Strangely enough, it all got eaten just the same!

I'm joining in with Ginny's Yarn Along this week, so I'd better tell you what I'm reading! I lent Playful Parenting to Husband without having finished it myself, but I think I'll do a whole post review on that one. I'm back reading Margery Allingham. I can read it on autopilot, and when you have very small children and very little sleep that's no bad thing. It's much in the same vein as Agatha Christie, but not quite such good quality. I quite like the period setting.

I'm back to knitting on the Adventurer's Vest now we're back from our Easter holiday. I don't have much time for knitting at the moment, but I hope to have it finished for half term adventures. What are you crafting and reading this week? Did you have a good Easter break?


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Holy Week Yarn Along

Just a quick link up with Ginny and Tami this week, while we spend time with my family. I've nearly finished the Aviatrix for Bob's Christening, so at least I should achieve that. I'm moderately hopeful about managing a pair of shoes to match.

I've held out against Cashmerino patterns for a while, but Bob's Godmother gave me the Debbie Bliss book, so it felt appropriate to knit something from it for his celebration. It knits to almost, but not quite, sport weight gauge, so really it's a difficult one for substituting. I'm knitting a sport weight hat size that should come up a little bit big on Bob, but it should come up a nice fit because of the slight difference in gauge. I find the pretty splitty, and my stitches don't look very even, but that might be attributable to new-baby sleep deprivation. One of the marketing points of the yarn is its washability and durability, and as a consequence its suitability for baby and toddler clothing. I'll just have to wait and see on that one!

Bob is not sleeping terribly well, and so I don't have the concentration for reading, but Husband and I have just watched the BBC three part Johnny Worricker series. I have to say, it was quite an achievement to find the time when we were both awake and the children were asleep, but we did it! We enjoyed the series, and it has an impressive cast, but the ending was a bit weak. Ho hum. I think I was sort of expecting something a bit more Le Carre. For now I'm just knitting and admiring the view.

That's not me, it's my lovely knitting company, sweetly knitting this for Bob. He has grown out of his jumpers. He laughs in the face of growth charts, just like his big brother. It's all that full-cream nutrition. Zzzz.

I hope you're having a good Holy Week, whether religious or not. It's such a special time for Christians and Jews (happy pesach!), and a lovely time of year for a little break for everyone, regardless. I'm looking forward to spending time with my parents and siblings, how about you? What are you crafting and reading? Any Easter projects out there?


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

This Little Piggy...

Although I'm joining Ginny and Tami this Wednesday, there hasn't been much progress with my knitting or reading this week. The Explorer's Vest has gone from just a back to a back and one side of the front. This is the sort of pattern that has lots of components, so I've given up hope of finishing it for next week. Perhaps tomorrow I'll start on the Christening accessories so that I can come back to this with them finished and ready to go. I must actually try Bob in the Christening dress...he has outgrown all of the 0-6 month sleeping bags at 12 weeks, which is a little worrying on that front!

Rubbish colour representation, sorry! I'm ploughing on with Playful Parenting, and will be for a while. My opportunities for reading tend to be pretty brief, and this isn't an easy book to pick up and put down. I've been discussing it with friends who have also read it, and trying to put some of it into practice already. Although I have some fairly major criticisms (which I'll discuss when I have read the whole book) I think there is some good stuff in there. I've felt like my parenting toolbox has been depleted by pregnancy and the change to having two children, and this book is part of restocking it.

Sometimes the boys both fall asleep in the car, so I can end up sitting on the drive rather than wake them. My sweet neighbour always gives me a wave! I've been reading this magazine to fill the time. It's a real indulgence! Also I have been seizing the opportunity during night feeds to visit all the Wednesday link-up posts, and have discovered some great new blogs though them. It's nice to see what other people are up to out there, and it cheers me up when I'm very tired and don't feel interesting myself.

Yesterday we had a complete spur-of-the-moment trip to Wimpole Farm. Lambing is pretty much over there, but they are expecting several litters of piglets over the next few weeks! Husband took this shot, and passed some comment about how I had it easy just breastfeeding the boys. Needless to say, my response was non-verbal.

"I'm not sharing mine!"

I tried to get some nice shots of our corkscrew hazel, but it proved very difficult! It just didn't show up well against the grass or the other branches. It is festooned with catkins. The rest of the front garden has been colonised by rocket, which is now as tall as me. Ok, I'm not a tall lady, but even so...I had no idea that it produced these lovely flowers, and they smell good too. For various reasons we will not be planting food this year, but this is a pretty good hangover from last year's produce.

What are you crafting and reading this week? Do share!


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

New Books!

This week I finished Doris Lessing's The Cleft. It was a really enjoyable read, although I was expecting something more dramatic in the ending. It was an interesting imagining of gender in the early evolution of human society, with an unusual narrative style. It was just the step up in literature I was needing. Next I'm moving on to Lawrence J. Cohen's Playful Parenting. Sausages is going through a challenging time, and Husband and I are feeling that our parenting resource reservoir is low, so we're looking to recharge it a bit. Do you have any suggestions?

Last week was my birthday, and I received some exciting new books:

This from Husband. I'm looking forward to making some of the recipes soon!

This from one of my sisters. Bob's Christening is coming up, and while he will wear the gown we bought for Sausages', I felt he should have something of his own as well, so I'm planning an Aviatrix and sandals from this book as accessories. Because babies need accessories, right?! I have always felt it was a bit rude of Debbie Bliss to have her own gauge yarn and patterns, so I have never used the Cashmerino before, although I know a lot of people rave about it.

Last week I cast on a pair of dungarees in 4ply, but the ladies at my knitting group pointed out that I don't possibly have time to knit them before Bob is too big. So I have been a very good girl and lifted this vest out of hibernation. This is from another Debbie Bliss book, and the yarn is King Cole Moorland Aran in the "foliage" colourway, which makes a good camouflage effect as it knits up. The vest has lots of little pockets, and my plan is for Sausages to be able to wear it for his adventures over the summer, especially on the beach in Ireland. The Waves of Clew Bay shawl has had to be frogged, and I'm taking a break before I cast it on again. It serves me right for deviating from the pattern so far without doing the maths!

For my Birthday Treat the boys took me to Wimpole Hall Home Farm. We took a picnic in our lovely picnic basket with proper china and cutlery, and our brewing-up kit of gas stove, kettle, and tea pot. One should never be without the wherewithall for making a fresh pot of leaf tea, of course. The boys bought me a party cake from the supermarket, since Husband doesn't bake. Because we're National Trust members, the shop cake cost more than the rest of the day put together.

Sausages liked the piggies the best. It hailed and hailed, and little mountains of ice piled up around the farmyard, but Sausages proved that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing, when he managed to get the whole farmyard to himself!

Don't forget to pop over to the Yarn Along to see what everyone is crafting and reading, and WIP Wednesday to see what people have on the needles. I hope you're enjoying the wonderful variability of spring too!