Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The best laid plans

My knitting & crochet blog week plans were interrupted by the most amazing thing ever, I don't regret that I didn't get any further than day one.

Welcome to the world Abigail Emily and well done for showing remarkable punctuality and joining me in being one of the 5%ish of babies born on their due date.

She arrived Tuesday evening weighing 7lbs 9oz and is the most perfect and precious little thing ever. I wonder if I'll find time to finish her cabled cardi before she's too big for it!

Monday, 23 April 2012

3KCBWDAY1 - Colour Lovers

Colour is one of our greatest expressions of ourselves when we choose to knit or crochet, so how do you choose what colours you buy and crochet or knit with. Have a look through your stash and see if there is a predominance of one colour. Do the same with your finished projects - do they match? Do you love a rainbow of bright hues, or more subdued tones. How much attention do you pay to the original colour that a garment is knit in when you see a pattern? Tell readers about your love or confusion over colour.

Anyone who knows me or who has read my blog before will know I am rather a lover of one colour in particular, I just can't get enough green. Pretty much any shade will do, I love it. It's not just in my knitting, my wardrobe also contains more than it's fair share of green and it's the colour we chose to paint the baby's room (fortunately my husband shares a fondness for the colour though perhaps not such a strong one as me). I did have to think if there were other colours that I tended to be drawn towards so I got out my sock and laceweight stash. Sock and laceweight yarn purchases tend to be my impulse buys so it's here where any clear preference for one colour would show the most. It did and it's not just green. It's a combination of green, purple and shades of blue that are tinged with green and purple.

Colour lovers

It's there on my ravelry project page as well. Even where the dominant colours in the yarn are not green or purple there is almost always some of one or the other hiding in there as well.  Also looking through my projects those not in shades of green and purple are almost always things I've knit as gifts!  I need to start branching out more, I do appreciate other colours, honest :)

Clearly I am obsessed with green and purple!  They do look rather lovely together though, don't you think?  Now it's off to google 3KCBWDAY1 to see what other bloggers have to say about their love of colour.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The race against the clock

I'm very much on the home stretch where the baby is concerned now. Officially Baby NM is due on Tuesday so we'll see whether they follow my very punctual and unusual lead and arrive on that date (which seems unlikely but my darling mother keeps saying "well you were born on your due date so your baby will be" I'm not sure it works like that!) or if it takes after daddy and decides to give it another two weeks. Somewhere in between those would suit me just fine!

I want somewhere in between because I am still racing to get things finished before he or she does arrive. You'd think two weeks of maternity leave would mean all my knitting is finished up but it turns out that even when I'm not at work I still seem to have eleventy million things to do and knitting it still largely reserved for the evenings. Also my attention span hasn't made a reappearance so my knitting concentration levels just aren't there. Still, I'm getting there. First, the little plain stockinette cardigan knit in some Regia sock yarn is finished. Buttons were purchased and I'm very pleased with how it has turned out.




Gentle blocking before sewing did make that easier and I used mattress stitch but it's still a bit wonky in places where in spite of counting and measuring things didn't quite seem to go together. Still it's definitely cardigan shaped and I'm pretty sure the baby wont care about my wonky sewing!

I also have one finished sock to match but have yet to cast on the second.


Also less finished but definitely getting there is the cabled cardigan. Whilst the back seemed to take an age to finish I actually flew through the left front and the first sleeve. I am hoping to finish the right front tomorrow and then knit the other sleeve and do the button bands. The pattern is for either a hooded or a collared cardigan, I'm going to go for a collar as I can't imagine the hood being that useful or staying up particularly well. Also I have higher chances of finishing the collared version!




This cardigan is actually 0-6 months size so I'm hoping will fit a little longer than the first two I knit which are both 0-3 but we'll see. I still have lots of baby yarn in my stash which I may donate to my mother along with some patterns and beg of some pretty little knits whilst I don't have time to knit any! We'll see though.

I have other good news, I found my button tin!


Hurrah! This means I have a choice of buttons for the little cabled cardigan when it's finished. I don't have a lot of choice as my button tin isn't exactly overflowing with buttons that go with the yarn I'm using but I do have two choices to go with. I am very fond of the little wooden buttons but at the same time think if I don't use the little white ducks I'm not sure what else I would use them on. Also Mr.NM is a great fan of the little white ducks so perhaps I'll use those because they're his favourite and as supportive as he is of my knitting habit he rarely expresses much of an opinion one way or another on my yarn and button choices! Decisions decisions...


So I'm racing to get the cardigan and second sock done, I expect to win so had better get cracking! I'm also going to give Knitting and Crochet Blog week a good go. I think that having something to focus on daily that is unrelated to wondering if the baby will come or not can only be a good thing and will be a distraction for me. I just need to attempt to engage my brain and be a bit creative which I'm not entirely sure I'm capable of! I'll give it my best shot though :)

Friday, 13 April 2012

Almost but not quite

So the little cardigan is almost finished, but not quite.
I do like to block the pieces before sewing together garments, it makes the edges straighter and not curled up so makes the sewing easier. I'm really pleased with how this has turned out and the yarn has gone lovely and soft after it's gentle wash. It's machine washable as well so baby friendly I hope!

Why is it not quite finished you ask? I mean it looks quite finished, the seams are all sewn, the neckband knit but something is missing. Something important.

Remember I moved house recently? Well my button tin (which I can't find a picture of, annoying as I was sure I had one, it's red with white polka dots on and came from Cath Kidston) has done a disappearing act in the move. All the boxes are unpacked, my yarn stash is all together, I have my WIP basket as well but no button tin. It's nowhere to be seen. ARGH. In an attempt to encourage a reappearance I ordered some more buttons from ebay but I am rather annoyed that I can't find my button in. FO post yet, sorry.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The end is in sight

For the first time in ages (since late January according to my Ravelry project page, oh dear!) the end is in sight on a project and I'm definitely going to get it finished. Wow! Pregnancy really has not agreed with my knitting mojo I must say. I've been tired and easily distracted and really haven't been able to focus on knitting. Terrible when there are so many adorable baby things to be knit but that's the way it has been. Obviously throwing a house move in there didn't help much either! That said, I can see the finishing line on the striped baby cardigan, hurrah! I finished most of the knitting last night (the neckband still needs knitting) and gave it a little rinse and pin out to make it easier to sew together. I'm just waiting for it to finish drying now so I can do the making up. I didn't make much effort to get the stripes to match up but it's pretty close in places which is nice, I suppose I'll see how it looks when it's finished.
Whilst waiting for the pieces of cardigan to dry I decided to cast on a little pair of matching socks because every baby needs their socks and cardigan to match! Also I still had lots of yarn left and the baby already has a lot of hats thanks to knitting and crocheting friends so I didn't plan to do another (though might if I still have yarn left after the socks)
I do still have that cabled baby cardigan to knit on but have fallen out of love with the knitting. I'm hoping that being on maternity leave with lots of time to fill I'll get back on track with it. The baby is technically due in two weeks but I expect I'll have longer than that to entertain myself before motherhood takes over. In the meantime I'm resting as much as possible, knitting as much as my fuzzy brain allows and eating toast with jam!

Monday, 2 April 2012

An enjoyable weekend

I actually took pictures of some of my activities this weekend, amazing! OK so I took them with my phone and not my proper camera but it’s better than nothing and means I actually have something to blog about…with pictures!

I had a lovely weekend actually. I had expected the weather to be rubbish but the sun held on for two more days even if it was cooler than it had been during the week. I didn’t really get out and about but just having the sun streaming through the window and washing on the line was enough to please me.
We’re settling in to our new house now. All the furniture is in the right place and most of the boxes are unpacked apart from a couple in Mr NM’s office.

We’ve been quite fortunate as the house we bought has quite neutral decoration and so whilst there are things we might like to change over the next few years it’s nothing we can’t live with. The only room that really wasn’t neutral and that we wanted to change anyway was what is going to be the baby’s room. When we moved in it was painted lilac and as pretty as it was we didn’t want the baby’s room in lilac. For starters as much as I protest the idea that colours go with certain genders there is no denying the fact that lilac is a tad girly and we still don’t know whether baby monkey is a boy or a girl. More importantly than that though I’m not really big on pastel colours and wanted a bright and cheery baby’s room. This meant painting. There are still things to do with the room (the cot has yet to be delivered!) so I don’t have a full finished room picture to share, it remains a work in progress! I can share the colour we chose though…unsurprisingly we went with bright green!


I absolutely love it! It’s only on the one wall with the other three walls left white but I think if we’d done it all green it would have been a bit over the top. As it is it’s just enough colour and I’m delighted with it. We just need to finish sorting furniture, get my mum to adjust the curtains (they’re too long) and get all the things ready in there.

On Saturday evening our good friends came over which was lovely, we never really entertained in our old house. It was small and cramped and I hated the kitchen which was pretty much a cupboard and did not enthuse me to make much effort in the culinary department. We now have a much bigger kitchen (which I must take a picture of as I’m very pleased with it!) and a proper separate dining room to eat in. Anyway our friends visited, the brought beautiful flowers for me


and beer for Mr NM (no picture of that but it was bottles of real ale from Yorkshire based breweries) and in return I made a lasagne.


It was fantastic to have visitors. After dinner we played Settlers of Catan which I highly recommend if you’re a board game fan though important to note that it needs at least 3 players, sadly this means we have to rely on having visitors if we want to play it! (we’ve also got it on ipad though where the computer will fill in if you don’t have enough friends!) and then they went home very late.

Sunday involved a lie in to recover from the late night with friends and boring household tasks that had been ignored on Saturday. We also went to the supermarket where I picked up one of their little magazines which have recipes in. This inspired me to do some baking, my first attempt at baking with our new (to us, it was in the house when we bought it) electric fan oven…a bit of a change from the old gas cooker we had before! It went well though and I achieved mini egg cookies without burning them!

They’re a bit crispy at the edges but soft and squidgy in the middle, just the way cookies should be. Also they have mini eggs in them, mini eggs make most things better!
As this is supposed to be a knitting blog I’d best also share that I have been doing a little bit of knitting. Not much I must confess, in the last few weeks I’ve been hit pretty hard by what I’ve been told is third trimester insomnia, apparently my body is preparing me for the broken sleep of new motherhood by not letting me get to sleep now. It’s not much fun and as I’m still working full time (but finish on Thursday, yay!) I’m rather zombie-esque most of the time! Knitting has just felt like far too much for my brain to handle and has done for much of my pregnancy, frustrating when there are adorable tiny baby things to be knitted! I’m saving the cabled cardigan I was working on for when I’m on maternity leave and am not juggling work with lack of sleep. Instead I’m currently working on a plain stockinette cardigan, much more within my current brain abilities! It’s growing quickly and using up a bit of my sock yarn stash in the process.
I’ve knit the back and right front and am currently working on the left front. Purely by chance the two fronts almost match as they were started not far off each other in the colour repeat which is nice but I hadn’t made any effort to force that. I’m hoping it shouldn’t take too much longer to get it finished then I can sew it up and add it to the baby’s clothes.
I’m still trying to decide whether or not to take part in Knitting and Crochet Blog Week this year. The baby is actually due that week but I know lots of babies are late so don’t really expect an appearance then, it’s just whether I can get my brain into gear for it! I’d recommend others sign up though because it’s good fun and it gives me lots to read if you do!
Maybe for my next post I’ll have actually finished a project…maybe…but probably not!