I'm still here...

Apologies for the strange looking blog, gremlins seem to have taken up residence during my long vacation.
This post is going to be mostly pictures, I’m afraid, just to bring the blog up to date. It has been a long time since I last updated here, despite composing many posts in my head. Alex has taken up so much of my life, sometimes it’s easy to forget to think about other things. But I am beginning to realise that for the sake of my sanity I should make an effort to do more. Being a stay- at-home mum will be such a wonderful job (if you use that word for something that is more fun than work) but, like any job, I don’t want it to be all that I am so I am trying to make an increased effort to be more than that (in the very small amount of spare time that I have).

Anyway, here are some of the FOs which I haven’t previously posted about. They are on Ravelry with more photos (my user name is skendras).

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl (interweave knits)

Yarn: Posh Yarn Eva – Orchid (I think)

Needles: 3.5 mm

This was made for my Monkey’s Grandmother. I added tiny purple beads to the points of the edging.

Pattern: Kerchief Bib

Yarn: Rowan Denim

Needles: 4mm

Made for my little monkey, to soak up the rivers of drool he produces when he is teething. Just made a few mods to allow for the thicker yarn and the fact that the denim shrinks. Plus I added a felt heart for some extra cuteness.

Pattern: My own Bobbley bobble hat

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran and some left over Rowanspun Aran from my Juno

Needles: 4mm

This was made for my baby monkey, it looks totally ridiculous :-) He gets so many nice comments when he is wearing this hat!

Pattern: Just made it up as I went along

Yarn: Sirdar Baby Bamboo

Needles: 4mm

This was made for my baby Monkey. He loves to fiddle with the various textures. It’s quite a small blanket but I wanted to make it so that he could cuddle up to it.

I’m currently knitting a Cardigan for Merry, Icarus, two lace stole and a baby blanket... hmm did I say I don’t have much spare time!

Now a quick non-knitting update. Alex is almost a year now and is busy crawling and cruising the furniture. He has been through a (long) period when he wasn’t sleeping well at night and I have been feeling like a zombie but for the last 5 nights he has slept through and it’s making such a difference to both of us! I‘ve actually regained enough brain power to finish sentences and not put the milk in the dishwasher.

So that kind of brings me up to date. I wonder whether any one is still out there! I’ll have to go and check out all your blogs to see what you have all been up to.

'Snow in April'

I know I said I would post more frequently and I’ve not. I’m sorry. We were burgled recently and my laptop was stolen. I know that it is just a ‘thing’ but to be honest, I’m feeling quite down about it.

It isn’t just the laptop (although it did have all the patterns I’ve downloaded over the years and my new design on it); it is the thought that someone got into my home so easily and looked through all my things. I hate the fact that they might have touched my baby’s toys. This is a bit silly and I shouldn’t let it bother me but it does. We are going to get a new lock fitted soon, so that will make me feel a bit happier I think.

Everyday the blank spot on the coffee table where my laptop used to sit reminds me about the burglary. If I were to get close to explaining how I feel about it, I would say that mostly I feel foolish. It feels like ‘a slap in the face when you expected a kiss’ (by the way if you can tell me where this quote comes from and what the full version is I’ll be sooooo impressed). People are all so nice to you when you have had a baby and I guess I had got used to it! I was wondering around with my head in the clouds and a smile on my face and I really didn’t expect it.

Anyway, that is enough moaning about that. Let’s send it under the metaphorical bridge. I’ve been knit, knit, knitting away here. I can’t really show you as I am still planning on trying to get the pattern into one of the online magazines but I’m really pleased with it so far. By the way what are your views on beads in lace? I can’t decide whether to put some teardrop beads in the border of the design or not.

I’ve put some pictures of my finished scarf up. I was hoping to take some of me wearing it but somehow the only person who gets photographed these days is my beautiful Alex.

Serendipity Scarf* details

Yarn: Colinette Point 5 dusk - 3 skeins
Needles: 15mm Lantern moon (lovely, lovely, lovely)
Pattern: none really

I wanted to really show off the colours in the yarn and a simple garter stitch just didn’t seem to do it. So I used a kind of slipped stitch rib, which, as well as meaning it didn’t curl, made beautiful bud like stitches that seemed to bloom out of the fabric.

CO 14 stitches
Row 1: (RS) K14
Row 2: P2, (slp wyf, P2) 4 times

Repeat these two rows until you almost run out of yarn, BO.

*I'll explain the name of the scarf in a future post!

More lace

This is my favourite drawer in my entire home. Look at all that lovely lace weight yarn. The problem is that I really need to knit this yarn up before I can allow myself to buy any more. Knitting lace is definitely more difficult since Alex was born but during my maternity leave I came up with a new design and the temptation to start it was so great that last week I cast on.
I'm making it in Jaggerspun Zephyr in a gorgeous shade called Ruby (it reminds me of the colour of the Grand Prix roses I had in my wedding bouquet). I'm probably being a little bit over ambitious but I was thinking that perhaps I might try and get the design into one of the online knitting magazines. I know that this is unlikely as there are so many people trying to do this and most of them have much better patterns than me but I thought I'd give it a go. However, this means I'm being extra picky about the knitting and the design. I keep changing my mind and having to undo about 10 rows or so at the time and mistakes that I might normally turn a blind eye on have to be corrected. Anyway, I thought I'd tell you about my knitting ambition for 2008. If nothing comes of it I'll put it as a free pattern on here and try again another time.

Time for tea...

I'm going to have to write today's post pretty swiftly as Alex is beginning to stir and will soon be wanting his next feed. I think that I've got used to the way I live my life in 3 hour blocks around Alex's eating times now. It takes roughly an hour to do a complete feed and change his nappy, then about 30 minutes of play time, then he settles down for a sleep and I have an hour and a half to do housework, wash, eat etc. It took me a while to get used to this but now I've got it down to a fine art! I usually cook the evening meal at about lunch time and leave it on a low heat in the slow cooker for the rest of the day (this limits the options for meals but what's better than a tasty stew at this time of year?).

Alex usually has trouble settling down to sleep in the afternoons and I stay next to his bed to soothe him and cuddle him when he needs me. This has officially become my knitting time as I can sit near him keeping nice and quiet and just put my knitting down whenever he needs me. If he is really unsettled though we go for a nice long walk (and Mummy buys chocolate from any shop she happens to pass, which is almost as good as knitting). The title of the post comes from the fact that Alex has a tea sensor. He knows when I have a cup of tea and invariably wakes up. This means that by the end of the day there are usually at least 3 cups of cold tea sitting around the house. There is definitely no time for tea here!

like Monkey, like sonI didn't manage to get pictures of my finished project yet as my camera is out of batteries but I've put a picture of one of my other projects up. It's Buttercup from one of Kim Hargreaves collections. I'm enjoying it so far - I always like Kim Hargreaves' designs though. Everything is done with such style and care. I love the new book by Kim Hargreaves - I'm finding it hard to resist. Has anyone else bought it yet?

Anyway, I'll leave you with another photo of Alex. He has no trouble settling down to sleep like this - who would?

Easing myself in: comfort knitting

I didn’t really understand how much work looking after a baby would be. I secretly laughed at comments from friends about having no time to myself when the baby came. ‘No time to myself? I’ll be off work for an entire year!’ I thought. How wrong I was. To give those of you who don’t have children a measure of how much work it is, I will now tell you that my baby was 8 weeks old before I managed to knit a single stitch. 8 weeks without knitting, how did I cope? Well to be honest I didn’t even notice and that’s not just because the lack of sleep meant I barely noticed that I hadn’t brushed my hair, ironed my clothes or eaten my lunch. It is because I was mesmerised, obsessed and totally in love with my beautiful son. A day could easily go by in which all I had done is fed, cleaned, cuddled and looked in adoration at my baby. Eventually, however, I have slowly begun to be able to change a nappy in less than 30 minutes (without him taking out 3 outfits – mine included) and I gained back a few hours every day while he slept and during which I didn’t need to do housework and I knew I could knit again.

I’ve got a few projects on the go at the moment – something I hate. I’d much rather concentrate on one project at a time but the yarn keeps getting the better of me. But I needed something to ease myself back into knitting, a project which could be put down and picked up at the drop of a hat (or the wail of a baby) and luckily one just dropped into my lap (literally - I’ll fill you in on this in a later post). This project is very different to anything I’d normally knit but I love it. Big needles and bulky wool equal instant gratification.

I’ll post pictures of the finished item tomorrow. Yes tomorrow! To wean myself off spending any spare time staring at the baby monitor and waiting for a cry, I’m challenging myself to post every day until Easter… We’ll see if it works!

Anyway, I’ll finish with a picture of my baby. Isn’t he perfect?

Thanks for all the good wishes you sent to my little family.