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I knit, I sew, I run, I look after children, I cook, I complain.  Sometimes all at the same time.

Monday, 28 July 2014

They laughed at Louie Armstrong when he said he was going to the moon, and now he's laughing at them from up there.

Some things.

I channelled my friend Jason and made a striped Coco, with shorter sleeves.


It's MEANT to have the stripes on the very slight diagonal.  I love it, and I've been wearing it all day.  It's been a more traditional English summer day today in London.  There's been masses of flooding not very far from us, as in less than 10 miles away, but we've barely had any rain at all, despite a massive thunderstorm this morning. 

The girls are knackered from their busy weekend, so we had a very quiet morning.  They were quite happy playing, stark naked, in the other room, so I decided to try to make a new Anna dress.  It was much too hot in the conservatory, and I cut and sweated and swore for about an hour, only realising that I didn't have enough fabric just that bit too late.  Because the Anna has lots of pieces to the skirt, and this print really relies on direction, I have to have 3 metres rather than 2, so I had to buy some more on ebay as an emergency. It won't come until after our holidays though. I'll have a skirt panel left to cut out, and will have more than enough left to make Lucy a flamingo print dress too, which is pleasing.  Shame about the stupid narrow stupid quilting stupid cotton.


I also felt that I should really at least try to make one of my Mollie Makes kits, so had a bash at this one.  The cherries are easy, but I need to concentrate on the leaves, so I'll leave (leaf) them until later.  This solo parenting lark is a doddle, but does cut into the concentration.


Still, new brooch for our holidays.  

Hattie's cardigan will be finished tonight, which I'm very pleased about.  The sleeves are a bit too long, which I'm not happy about, but she can push them up, and her arms are growing very fast.

I can hear that my angels in human form are still awake, and it is nearly half 8.  Better go and do some growling, then a glass of wine and some knitting feature heavily in my plans for the evening.


Sunday, 27 July 2014

You're so wise. You're like a miniature Buddha, covered with hair.



Portraits of the children, once a week, every week, in 2014.

Both taken in or leaving the Isle of Wight.  We had a marvellous time; camping is great when the sun shines.


Saturday, 26 July 2014

The raccoon problem is under control. They have their part of the town and we have ours.

I've been a bit laid back about the Outfit Along; it's a really great idea, and has focussed my colour choices slightly, but I found that there was way too long to do it in - I'm very quick when I sew; because my time is limited, I like to get as much done in a session as possible.  

I've already worn the dress out a couple of times;  to a wedding, to a party and to my WI meeting, where I also wore the cardigan, and was just far too hot.  I think the heat here in London is prohibiting wearing knitted items.


I was recognised by someone off Instagram when I bought this fabric.  How weirdly modern.  The whole lot is from John Lewis.  



They match pretty well, don't they.  I thought I'd maybe make the cardigan orange, but actually the blues go really well together.  The dress pattern is the Anna dress, which is superb and very easy to follow - French seams on the shoulders, get me.  I didn't make any alterations to the cardigan, except I picked up fewer stitches; I always slip the first stitch off each row, so I picked up 1 stitch for every other row, which works well.  Everything else was as written.



There are more lovely outfits here.  An Anna dress pattern can be bought here.  A Myrna cardigan pattern can be bought here.  I absolutely love the keyhole pattern at the back of the neck.  I may well try to add one to my knitted Coco, once I get off my bum and get on with that.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Leslie, what do we do when we get this angry? We count backwards from 1,000 by sevens and we think of warm brownies.

A bit about the knit list 2014 - 2015.

I have to confess to cheating slightly when I drew up the list. I was already more than 50% through my blue Myrna, and only put it on the list to have a bit of a soft start.

Still, my list, my rules, what are you going to do about it?




Blue Myrna, and don't I look silly in it?

For me:
Finish the Myrna cardigan - DONE AND DONE
A Garter Yoke cardigan in that lovely blue - about to finish the yoke
Finish the Wisteria jumper (not much to go)
Finish the other Peacock Mitten in time for winter
A Coraline cardigan in either that same lovely blue, or in the other blue I've just impulse bought
A Petrie top with navy and blue stripes
A knitted Coco (no link, because I am going to make it up and channel Tilly)
A pair of socks


For the girls:

A cardigan for Hattie, probably this one - the back and one and a half bits of the fronts are done. The stripes do not match. This is a bespoke design. My daughter wants me to go a bit (more) bonkers.
Ringo and Elwood mittens in grey and brown
One of these for each of them
A pair of simple socks each

For Simon:
I am going to reknit one of his unwearably large jumpers. Either this one or this one. I was a terrible knitter when I made these, and I'm much, much better at it now. So now he gets a recycled jumper.
More socks.

Blankets:

Owl Obsession for my new godson
Hexipuff Quilt (I'm aiming to get 250/500 done by the end of June 2015)
The Weather in the Streets (should probably be finished by June)
Finish the bloody Elephants blanket
A blanket for Lucy's 6th birthday, which is in September, so may well be sewn together stripes instead of something knitted - I've decided to make her a Lucy Attic24 ripple blanket, which will be for her birthday but not on her birthday, if you see what I mean.
AAAARGH. I FORGOT TO ADD NICHOLAS' POP! BLANKET. I'm making that too.

We're going away next week, so I will take a ball of yarn for Simon's socks, a ball for the girls and something for me, and see what I come back with. My record for making socks is something like 5 in 14 days, and we're doing a lot of driving, so who knows.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

The sea is just a wetter version of the skies

More camping, this time on the gorgeous Isle of Wight.  I've never been there before, which surprises people who don't remember/realise that my cut glass RP hides all sorts of foreignness.


We were promised crap weather, and on Saturday morning, it wasn't great.  Except that didn't last at all.  It was absolutely gorgeous from about 1pm on, actually hot and sunny.  Wonderful.  We met up with a friend and his son, and everyone really enjoyed themselves.


I wish we'd stayed longer.  It was a really lovely few days, and felt like a proper line drawn under the insanely busy half term that had preceded it.


Ryde Beach is really lovely, even in the rain. I can see how you'd go properly mad there in the winter, but in the summer, it's glorious.


I'm trying a bit more of realistic approach to writing about the kids.  I like to think that I'm relatively clear sighted about their tantrums and general annoy habits; this photo shows a pre-dinner snack, successfully warding off bad temper.  


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Today you're younger than you're ever gonna be

Portraits of my children once a week, every week, in 2014.

Week 29.


The garden looks a bit like the Somme.  The lawn may never recover.  Hours of fun in about 6 inches of water.



Tuesday, 15 July 2014

So I let Crazy take a spin

The Year of Projects runs from July to June, and so I really need a new list.  Last year was partially successful, so I'm going to up the ante this year, and include slightly more projects, plus I'll almost certainly be doing a bit of sewing.

For me:

Finish the Wisteria jumper (not much to go)
Finish the Myrna cardigan (again, shouldn't be too hard)
Finish the other Peacock Mitten in time for winter
A Garter Yoke cardigan in that lovely blue
A Coraline cardigan in either that same lovely blue, or in the other blue I've just impulse bought
A Petrie top with navy and blue stripes
A knitted Coco (no link, because I am going to make it up and channel Tilly)
A pair of socks

For the girls:

Ringo and Elwood mittens in grey and brown
A cardigan for Hattie, probably this one
One of these for each of them
A pair of simple socks each

For Simon:

I am going to reknit one of his unwearably large jumpers.  Either this one or this one.  I was a terrible knitter when I made these, and I'm much, much better at it now.  So now he gets a recycled jumper.
More socks.

Blankets:

Owl Obsession for my new godson
Hexipuff Quilt (I'm aiming to get 250/500 done by the end of June 2015)
The Weather in the Streets (should probably be finished by June)
Finish the bloody Elephants blanket
A blanket for Lucy's 6th birthday, which is in September, so may well be sewn together stripes instead of something knitted

That looks do-able.  Probably.  Come back in a month.

Monday, 14 July 2014

People are just people, they shouldn't make you nervous

On Friday, I went to a party.  It was in Peckham, which involved getting a bus, then a train, then a tube, then another tube, then another bus and then a walk.  It is 16 miles from Ealing and felt more.  I used to live in Canada Water, and it's really, really changed.  I don't think I have pictures from back then, but it looks a bit different now around the station.  A quick google shows me that my flat looks the same as it always did, at least from the outside; the next door flat is on sale for a ridiculous amount of money.


My old flat is on the left, second floor.  Super place to live, and I had a lot of fun living there.

Anyway, I got the 381 down to Peckham, and went to the By Hand London Thank You For Giving Us Money Party, in a lovely little studio near the bus station.  Talking with one of the ladies, Victoria, I found out that their new studio will be in North Acton, and I can practically walk there from work, so I am looking forward to their next party.

There were lots and lots of people there; lots of people I recognised from the internet like her, her and her, and I managed to get over myself and chat away to a lot of them.  Roisin is really very nice indeed, and I wish I'd not been so silly and talked to her earlier.

I wore my terrific Anna dress, the one with the raccoons; Hattie pulls a very similar face when she is concentrating on being naughty.


I don't know what's going on with the camera on my phone; that is a terrible picture.  There is a better one here, and do follow the link as there are 10 of us in the same dress, although each one is different.  The joy of handmade.  

I managed to pull my calf muscle again on the way home; it's those sodding shoes, so no more running in Converse.  Stupid things.  I actually NEED to go for a run, but while I'm hobbling around, it's a very bad idea. It's not as bad as it was the first time, but I'm still wincing going up and down stairs, so I'll try to go out tomorrow.

I'm thinking about a Frozen inspired Anna Maxi dress.  The obsession in our house is not getting any less, although I think I'm the worst of the bunch.  I explained the plot to my mum on Saturday evening, and nearly cried at the end.  To be strictly open and honest, I had been drinking mascara thinner all night, so that didn't help.  

Anyway, Dodgeball is on and I have an empty glass that needs filling.  Four days until the holidays.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

You laugh until you cry, you cry until you laugh

I've missed a few weeks, what with one thing (laziness) and another (too busy).

Week 26:


Lucy at Sports Day.  She is very good at the things that involve following the rules, and not so good at things like running very, very fast.  We are going to work on that. 


Hattie at Sara and Reuben's wedding.  She had a great time, and hasn't taken that cardigan off since.

 Week 27:


I'm not sure this is from the right week, but I can't find a better one.  It's from my strike day; the best bit was when I went to pick up the children and we went for ice cream.  Very expensive ice cream.

Week 28:


Lucy has been doing ballet for a while now, and took 2 exams in May.  She's very young to be doing exams, but actually, she wants to do it properly and they help her focus on what she's doing and why.  I don't force her to do anything she doesn't want to do, and as long as it's making her happy, she can carry on doing it.  Her great friend does Modern dance, so Lucy's been doing it for a few weeks.  She's getting the idea of it.  Next year, both girls are going to be in a show in a professional theatre.  Brace yourselves.


Hattie on the tag-along.  Her legs aren't quite long enough to reach the pedals, and she didn't really enjoy it very much after a few minutes.  Lucy was her age when she started riding on the tag-along, which shows how much taller Lucy was than Hattie.

Portraits of the children once a week, every week, in 2014.



Thursday, 10 July 2014

Leslie, no, don't drink that. We use it to burn warts off of the mules!

WARNING.  THIS IS ABOUT KNITTING.  LOOK AWAY NOW.

Apparently, it's been a year since I started the whole "Year of Projects" blogging about knitting and that.  I had forgotten about it as sewing gradually took over my free time and most of my spending on myself budget, and I started writing more and more about non craft things like running and Frozen.

So, here's the list at the end of June.

Wisteria - on hold; but there's not a lot left to do really.
Idlewood - done!
Blue and Grey Socks - done and being worn
Elephant blanket - two stripes still almost finished.  For Hattie's birthday (December) I don't like this much.
Peacock Mittens - found this the other day, it's too hot to think about gloves
Ringo and Elwood mittens - still queued (still want to make them, see above)

Owl Blanket - finished and done
Paper Dolls - finished and done
Peerie Flooers - finished and done
Alphabet Blanket for Noah - done
Granny's a Square Afghan - done

Hexipuff Quilt - 147/500 hexipuffs done (least said, soonest mended)
The Weather in the Streets - done and sewn together up til April.

That is not bad progress really, considering I've made a cardigan for Lucy that wasn't on the list, a couple of other things for my nephew and an entire wardrobe of dresses (5).

I need a new list now, and a new resolution to stick to the plan, and try to write a bit more about the knitting.  I'm going to have to have a bit of a think.

A SELF PORTRAIT OF HATTIE FOR NON KNITTERS.


She is a photographic genius.