Sunday, May 31, 2009

Weekend update and some shameless begging

This weekend has been lovely and relaxing. The west of Scotland is currently having a little spell of lovely summer weather which is happily happening whilst I'm off work. Today I've spent most of the day at my parents' house sitting in their garden, enjoying the weather.

They have a little garden room thing in their rather small and wild garden, which is absolutely stuffed with plants. At the moment, they also have family of Blue tits in a nesting box in the eaves of their house. The chicks are about to fledge out of the nest and its been lots of fun to watch them sticking their little heads out plus watching their parents try to keep up with their food demands. Unfortunately I couldn't get a good picture of them.

Later we had a barbeque and I did a little outdoor knitting whilst everything got going.

Yesterday I was too tired to do anything very much so I ended up stitching for a few hours on the sofa. Rather than work on anything too challenging, I stitched up a Shepherd's bush kit from my stash - Keeping the bees. I'm thinking of finishing this into a pinkeep.

Keeping the bees

I'm hoping for a lot more stitching and knitting progress whilst I'm off on holiday and I will of course share pictures of the wall hanging that I talked about in my last post once I've seen the finished article.

You might notice that there is a new thing in my blog sidebar just now. My little sister Nicola is running in the Cancer Research race for life next weekend. She's been training for quite a few months now and has done so well. She started coming to the gym with me around this time last year after she stopped smoking and I'm very proud of her. Cancer has affected her life with her FIL being diagnosed with cancer and nearly dying just before her planned wedding date. Thankfully her FIL is still alive and fighting cancer as is a favourite Uncle of ours who was diagnosed with lung cancer over 5 years ago. Advances in treatment have meant that our Uncle is still alive today to meet his first Great grandchild, who was born last year. This is especially amazing given that he was given 18 months to live at diagnosis. So if you can spare a few pennies, I would really appreciate a donation. I see how cancer changes lives everyday at work so its a cause that is close to my heart. Unfortunately I can't be there in person to see her run but I wish her, and the hundreds of other people who have given up their time to run, lots of luck.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Socks and stitching

One of my favourite things of the year is the weekend GTG that I'm going to in a couple of weeks. A long weekend in a lovely group of cottages on a farm with lots of stitchers and crafters who I've known for quite a few years now. Last year, the owner of the farm sounded us all out about making a wall hanging for her farm in return for a discount on this year's visit. Different people are doing different bits of it - Kate of Sparklies has designed the cross stitch section for instance and Joy has been organising us all plus putting it all together along with several others. I've stitched a small section and I really can't wait to see it all put together.


Flowers aren't my usual thing but I volunteered to stitch the french knots as I really like stitching them and most people aren't too keen. My stitching motivation still isn't too great so it took me a lot longer to stitch this than it should have.

Knitting motivation is still going strong however. I've finished my Kai-mei socks from the last post. The pattern is by Cookie A, who is definitely my favourite sock pattern designer. She writes such lovely patterns. The yarn is Malabrigo sock in Lettuce and its even greener in real life.

kai mei finished pic 2

I've also made some progress on my Socktopus March sock club socks. The first sock is done and I've moved on to the second.

Over the garden wall sock 1

I quite like the embellishments even though its not particularly practical. Hopefully I shall finish the second one this weekend.

Next week brings the first week of two weeks off work which I'm really looking forward to. I'm hoping for lots of stitching, knitting and crafting plus there is the GTG and lots of things to do around the house.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Star trek

I spent an enjoyable couple of hours at the cinema yesterday watching the new Star trek movie. As a child, I very occasionally watched the original Star trek series but I really wasn't a fan. I've seen bits of some of the movies but I really wasn't keen. Mostly I was put off by William Shatner. Later on, Next generation came on to Sky and I was hooked on it. My real favourite is Deep space nine, mostly because of its continuing stories and dark, dramatic side. When I heard about the new movie, my interest was peaked, particularly once casting information started coming out and Zachary Quinto was named in the part of Spock. He's absolutely fantastic in Heroes even when he's being ubur creepy.

The whole film just blew me away. Its stunning visually although I did find it a little loud as I can be a little noise sensitive. The casting is, without exception, perfect. Zachary Quinto is just Spock without being an impression of Leonard Nimoy. Chris Pine is a better Kirk imo than Shatner. My favourite was Simon Pegg as Scotty. He does a Scottish accent thats like the original Scotty but is more like a proper Scottish accent. He also has the best facial expressions and stole a couple of scenes in the background just by the way he was looking at everyone. I might just go back and see it again as I enjoyed it so much.

But not this weekend sadly. Its back to work tonight and I'm also working tomorrow. Its only a couple of weeks till my holidays and the weekend GTG that I'm going on.

Monday, May 11, 2009

May Monday progress

This past weekend has been a lovely time of rest and relaxation after a very stressful week at work. I've cooked myself some lovely food - Asparagus cannelloni due to the bargain aisle at Tesco and then couscous, pittas and houmous yesterday. Having time off also meant I got some stitching and knitting time in.

Yesterday I got some stitching time in Autumn watergarden, which I've fallen behind with a little. I've now managed to get part 1 finished, beading and all and got a fairly good start on part 2.

Autumn watergarden pic 3

I've also been stitching on my part of the group wallhanging that I'm part of and that's almost done too.

Knitting wise, I've been knitting on a couple of pairs of socks. First up, the Socktopus club socks from last month's parcel have made some progress. The people in my knitting group have heard my frustrations with these socks at the last meetup I made it too as I was having problems with one of the pattern lines that was in turn causing problems with the stitch count. It turns out that one of the written pattern repeats had an extra yarn over in it but the chart didn't. I had been using the written pattern, hence my problem. After getting over this, I made quicker progress. The first sock is knitted and I'm now on to the icord embellishments of that sock.

Over the garden wall wip pic2

Whilst I was really frustrated by the problems of that sock, I cast on the first of a pair of socks from the new Cookie A book - Kai-Mei in Malabrigo sock in Lettuce.

Kai mei wip

I have done a little yarn buying over the weekend though. I've been trying to find a little cardigan to go with my dress without luck. I did, however manage to find the right colour of cotton yarn to knit one so hopefully with a firm deadline, I hopefully should get it done. The yarn is Drops safran and I'm planning to use the pattern Marigold from Rowan 45.

Drops Safran sh 51

Friday, May 01, 2009

April progress and May goals

For April, I said I would

1. Finish a Lacy cardigan that I'm currently knitting. I've only got the sleeves to go.
- Yes I finished it.

2. Finish at least one pair of socks
- I finished my Jungle stripe socks

3. Start and finish my Socktopus April sock club socks once they arrive.
- I've started them but I'm having a few problems with the pattern on one of the rows and with the stitch count.

4. Finish at least part 1 of Autumn Watergarden and try to finish part 2.
- Didn't even manage a stitch in it.

5. Finish the box side of Japanese Octagon box and start the next part.
- Yes and I've made quite a bit of the progress on the next part, the first side of the scissor holder

6. Stitch my part of a group wall hanging project that I'm part of.
- No

For May, I plan to

1. Stitch my part of a group wall hanging that I'm part of.

2. Finish the first half of the Japanese Octagon box scissor holder and make a start on the next part.

3. Finish Part 1 of Autumn watergarden and start part 2

4. Knit 1 pair of socks from the new CookieA book for the Cookie A KAL that I've joined on Ravelry.

5. Finish my Socktopus club socks provided I can get the pattern problem sorted.