Monday, July 21, 2008

Stitching, knitting and exchanges

I have been meaning to post but just not getting around to it for the past few days. Given that I'm not really short on spare time at the moment, I'm not really sure where the time goes each day. Mostly it disappears into more sleep time, doing strange stretching exercises and general household stuff. I have been catching up on a lot of household tidying over the past 2 weeks as I seem to be further along the road to recovery than I was a few weeks ago. Returning to work soon is looking a lot more realistic just now and I should hopefully have a better idea after a round of different hospital/GP appointments this week.

Saturday I got a lovely surprise in the post. I took part in a Valentine's exchange on the SBEBB earlier in the year but something went wrong and I didn't receive an exchange. On Saturday, I got a lovely replacement stitched by Cathy B who stepped in so I got an exchange.

It is a lovely sweet LHN design finished as a little pillow and she also included some DMC threads and some sampler fabric which will be made into something soon.

Valentine exchange from Cathy

A slightly better picture of the pillow

Valentines exchange from Cathy

I've also finished some stitching. First up a little biscornu pincushion which I stitched to try out the finish as I've signed up for an Biscournu exchange.

Buzzing around biscornu

The design is a freebie from Barbara Ana which I found via a link on her website. I also signed up for her newsletter which sends out some lovely freebies. I can see a few more biscornus in my future.

I also finished a Shepherds bush design On the haunt. The fabric is a lot more orangey in real life.

On the haunt

The sock knitting continues also. I've finished knitting the two pairs I was working on and cast on for some more.

Evolution socks

Plain fabel socks

I haven't actually finished any socks in the past week or so. I've been doing some secret knitting for someone and also knitting some squares in leftover sock yarn for a charity afghan that I'm taking part in the Who knits group on Ravelry. Speaking of knitting, this coming Saturday, the Guardian has a knitting supplement featuring designs from a knitter that had a Doctor Who related run in with the BBC

Thanks for the nice words about my baking. I do appreciate it and the biscuits and cake were lovely. I do agree with Lena-lou about the shape of the Dalek cake though. The Dalek cutter came from a kit that you can buy in a local supermarket and I've saved it for further use.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Daleks and other things

Well I think I've just about recovered from the excitement of the series finale episode of Doctor Who. Sunday was nearly as exciting as I spent most of the afternoon watching probably the best tennis game I've ever seen - Federer v Nadal in the Wimbledon final. I was supporting Federer and it was such a shame for him at the end of the match as he looked absolutely heartbroken. Nadal was amazing and is a worthy Wimbledon champion.

Anyway back to Doctor Who. Whilst my mum taught me the basics of cooking and baking, I've not made icing for years and I had never made buttercream icing before. I did have a ton of fun making them.

Dalek Cake minus plungers as I forgot to buy anything to make them with.

Dalek cake

Dalek biscuits. The icing went everywhere.

Dalek biscuits

Over the past few days there have been a few event anniversaries that have been on my mind. Saturday marked the 60th anniversary of the creation of the UK's National Health service. I'm slightly biased as I work for the NHS but I think that inspite of any problems it has, its an amazing organisation. Staff from the NHS helped to bring my sister and I into the world, cured my sister's hip dysplasia as a child, saved my Dad when he nearly died from Cardiomyopathy/heart arhythmias and made sure he stayed alive with life saving drugs. The NHS has helped most of my family in some way - My uncle who's beat the odds and survived more than 5 years post lung cancer diagnosis, My aunt who is now more mobile after knee replacements. I've been helped to become a nurse by lots of dedicated staff and helped by some great physios to get better from my current back problem. All without having to worry about how we will pay for it. Happy birthday NHS, here's to many more.

The second anniversary was on Sunday - 20 years since the Piper Alpha oil rig explosion off the North east Scotland coast. I've lived and worked in Aberdeen where many people from the UK oil industry are based and I worked in the hospital that the victims were taken to, years after the event. Aberdeen is such a small city that everyone knows someone who is in the oil industry and I worked with staff who were in the hospital that day. Its hard to imagine how they coped but coped they did. Hopefully they won't have to do that again.

Friday, July 04, 2008

The week so far

The needles have been pretty busy this week. I broke away from the sock knitting just after my last post and knitted my very first adult sized hat.

Rose red hat

The pattern is Rose Red by Ysolda Teague and is wonderfully written. The yarn is Orkney angora St Magnus DK in violet and its so very soft.

Tuesday I was back to sock knitting though. For no apparent reason, insomnia hit on Tuesday night and I barely slept. After struggling to sleep for a while, I end up getting up and getting my knitting out for a while.

Prior to bedtime, I finished my first pair for summer of socks - the Uptown no purl monkey socks from my last post.

Uptown no purl monkeys

And then I finished the first sock of my second pair in the early hours of the morning when sleep just wasn't happening.

Fabel sock 1

Its just a plain stockinette sock in Garnstudio fabel and I'm knitting away on the second one. I couldn't resist starting a third pair on some slightly thicker yarn.

Evolution sock 1

The yarn is Evolution by Chameleon colorworks and its merino yarn stretched and heat set. It feels absolutely gorgeous and cashmere like. The pattern is by Gilraen.

I was also cheered up this week by a very short haircut which I'm gradually getting used to. I'm not sure that the hairdresser and I shared the same definition of fairly short but it will grow again lol. I also got a very sweet letter from my Great Uncle in Australia. He's 97 and I've started writing to him recently as he loves getting letters. We've never met but I have met his son who my dad didn't know existed and its turned out last year that he lives in Glasgow. My Great Uncle was apparently a bit of a rogue in his younger days but he's had an interesting life so there's always little interesting bits in his letters about moving to Scotland from Ireland and then on to Australia.

The weekend brings something that I'm very excited about - the last episode of the current series of Doctor Who. I shall be glued to the TV on Saturday night and probably sobbing on the sofa after it. In honour of the finale, I'm going to have a go at Blue Peter's instructions for making a dalek cake. Pictures to follow if it turns out.