Friday, 19 October 2012

Fill In The Blanks Friday

Yay it's Friday!! That means that we get the keys to our new house tomorrow, and I could not be more excited. On the other hand, I have the worst cold I've had in ages and hardly slept last night so I don't have much energy to put into decorating tomorrow, but hey ho. 

Anyway, here are this week's blanks, from Lauren. Go take part yourself if you fancy...

1.  One thing I plan on doing to relax this weekend is sleep, that's the only time I'll have for relaxing this weekend because the rest of the weekend will be spent decorating our new house!! Did I mention that I'm excited about this?! We're painting the living room, dining room and Beau's bedroom, all in a light silvery grey colour, similar to this

2.  A big pet peeve of mine is when people criticise the choices I make as a mother, or try and tell me how I should do things when it comes to Beau. My mum has made this mistake a few times and I'm always quick to tell her that I don't need to do everything her way, and if I'm wrong then that's my decision too. There are so many books out there which tell you how to raise your children, and I wish I could just burn them all. You should bring up your children the way you think is best, all the while you're doing them no harm. If I let Beau stay up until 8:30 because he isn't tired, instead of sending him to bed at 7:30 because that's "bed time" then so be it. Live and let live.

3.  I am really loving chevron print at the moment. I want to do all the soft furnishings in my house with it, but it's so hard to come by in the UK. The only place I can get it is from US sellers on Etsy, and by the time I've paid the shipping, it's just too expensive to justify. Hopefully the UK will catch on to the chevron trend soon and we'll be inundated with beautiful things here too

These beauties are from Designer Pillow Shop on Etsy

4. The rain is not bothering me too much. I kind of like being tucked up indoors in the dry and watching the rain outside. There's something very cosy and comforting about it.

5. My favourite girly indulgence is nail polish. Like Lauren, I don't have time to wear it very often these days but when I do, I feel so much prettier and more presentable. 

6. A song I always get stuck in my head is Gangam Style. If you haven't heard it, then lucky you. It is the most irritating pop song, from Korea, and the babies are obsessed with it. Every time they hear it they get so excited and start dancing, which is super cute but god that song is annoying!!

7.  The best cure for stress is a jolly good cry. I think that us humans are too afraid to cry sometimes and try to just bottle things up, but crying is such a release. Next time you're feeling stressed, just let go and have a good sob. You might have a little head ache but you'll feel much less stressed.

I hope you all have a great weekend. Sorry for the lack of knitting related posts but what with moving I just haven't had time to knit too much lately. Once we're in a and settled, I'll be right back on it.

Knit on, knitters


Friday, 12 October 2012

Fill In The Blanks Friday

Happy Friday one and all! This has been a pretty exciting week for me because we're moving house in a couple of weeks time so I've been buying pretty things for our new home, and making lists of all the pretty things I will buy when I can afford them. Check out my Pinterest board Edward Street for a glimpse at my mood board of the way I would like our new home to look .

Anyhoo, here are this week's blanks from Lauren over at The Little Things We Do. As always please take part if you fancy and leave me your comments if you have the time, I love hearing from my readers, all two of you :o)

1.  My favourite flower is  ooh I'm not really a very flowery person. Flowers die on me, and I never ever buy them for myself. If I really had to choose I suppose it would be a hibiscus flower. I love tropical plants, to the point where I had this little tropical scene tattooed on my back a few years ago

2.  You should never talk about  people's mistakes, if you have forgiven them. I believe that if you say you forgive somebody for something then you also have to forget about it, and if you can't forgive them then you need to re-assess that person's place in your life. I am still working on this myself, and I have been known to dig up old dirt in an argument, and I kick myself for doing it, as it ends up hurting everyone all over again. 

3.  My favourite discovery as of late is muller light Greek style yoghurts. They are only half a "syn" per pot on slimming world but they totally don't taste like a low fat yoghurt. They are really creamy, and great with fruit or on cereal. Yum.

4. This fall (autumn for us Brits) you will probably find me wearing   my new size 8 (US size 4 I think) jeans (yep, I just got back into size 8 jeans after 5 years!!), my tan leather knee high flat boots, and a cosy jumper or cardigan. I love knitwear, and if it's chunky, boyish, or leopard print then all the better :o)

5. I wish I were  in New York. It is my favourite place in the whole world, especially at this time of year when it's all decorated with pumpkins for fall, and the ice rinks are going up. I was there in November two years ago and we were staying just down the street from Bryant Park, so most days we would wander up there and have a mooch around the pop up market and watch the skaters for a while over a hot chocolate. If I had the money and could work there, I would move there tomorrow.

I took this picture of the ice rink at the Rockefeller Centre the day before they started putting up the big tree

6. My favourite TV show currently is  Hart of Dixie. I've only just started watching them after recording the
m all, and I love it.

7.  This weekend I want to knit. I am currently working on a couple of cable knit cushions for my brothers. I'm contemplating adding in a little fair isle stag motif on the back, what do you think??

What are you knitting at the moment? Please let me know your thoughts via the comments section, I really do love getting feedback. Hope you have a great weekend,

Knit on, Knitters

Monday, 8 October 2012

Dad and Pat's 7 Year Anniversary Cloth

This week I've been working on a little anniversary gift for Dad to give to his wife Pat, for their 7 year anniversary, which is apparently the year of wool. He asked me to come up with a design which is personal to them and includes the date of their anniversary, and this is what I designed:

I used a really cheap, basic chunky wool from my local Hobby Craft. It was Highfields Chunky, in navy and cream, then some grey chunky which I had left over from another project. I used size 5.5mm needles, and really they were too small. I should have used 7mm but seeing as the cloth will probably get framed, it's kind of good that the fabric is nice and stiff. This is how is turned out in the end:

What do you think? If you would like me to design a personalised cloth for you then please get in touch via the comment section.

Knit on, knitters


Friday, 5 October 2012

Weekend Knitting

Hey Knitters,

I am so glad it's Friday! I am going out for a few drinks with my girls tonight, to celebrate two of my friends getting fantastic new jobs this week! Charlotte has secured a new job in a GREAT hairdressing salon in Tunbridge Wells, and Toni has landed her dream job of community nurse, something she has wanted to do since we were at school. So we're hitting up Hotel Du Vin tonight for some sophisticated celebrations.

Tomorrow night will be totally different but I'm also really excited about it. I'm going to be babysitting which isn't unusual for me of a weekend, but the parents aren't going to be home until after 2:30am (!!) which gives me around 7 hours of uninterrupted knitting time!! My Dad has asked me to make him and Pat a little piece to symbolise their seven year wedding anniversary, which apparently is the year of wool. This is the design I've come up with and will be making for them tomorrow:

They darker grey border will just be a purl border around the stocking stitch, and will be the same colour as the background. If I get this finished and still have some time to spare, I need to design a couple of cushion covers for my brother's flat. He has asked me to make him a couple of cable knit cushions which is perfect because I LOVE CABLE KNIT!

I'll be sure to post a photo of Dad & Pat's gift once it's finished, and if anyone would like me to design something similar for them please let me know.

What will you be knitting this weekend? Do you have a good excuse to just sit there and knit, without feeling guilty about it?

Have a great weekend,

Knit on, Knitters

Fill In The Blanks Friday

Happy Friday people! Isn't Friday just the best day of the week? Here are some usual please play along for yourself over at Lauren's Blog, The Little Things We Do

1.  The last thing I ate was  oven baked salmon with Uncle Ben's Mexican style rice, for lunch. I'm dieting with Slimming World at the moment and that meal is only 2 and a half "syns" and filling which makes it a double winner. Most things I eat are pretty healthy and boring at the moment, but I've lost 16 and a half pounds so far and have 11 to go until my target weight, so it won't be forever.

This me at 37 weeks pregnant at my baby shower, then exactly a year later, wearing the same dress but  49 pounds lighter!

2.  The last time I went to the beach was  about a month ago I think. Dad and I went down to Seaford one evening to try and get some nice sunset shots, but it took us a little too long to get there and we pretty much missed it, doh! I got this one though which I quite like, and below is Dad running down the beach trying to capture it!

3.  My last vacation was  in September 2010, James and I went down to Dorset with his family. I am longing to go on holiday abroad but I just don't see the point until Beau is a little older, and isn't so reliant on his routine.
The beautiful Lulworth Cove in Dorset

James and I on the cliff at Lulworth Cove

Me, Bridie and Sarah

The cottage we rented was an old mill, super nice

This was on our walk through a cow field to the local pub!

Pretty beach huts

4. The last place I drove was  to work yesterday then home via running club with Sarah's Runners. I ran the 3 mile route, and clocked 3.18 miles in 36:46, though I hadn't run for 2 weeks prior to that so was a bit out of practise

5. The last song I listened to was Pound the Alarm, by Nicki Minaj, but not by choice I hasten to add. Beau and Ivy LOVE dance music and so we have MTV Dance on in the background for most of the day, and Nicki Minaj is their absolute favourite! The last song I listened to by choice, was Moondance by Michael Buble, on my way home from running club. I do love a bit of Michael Buble

6. The last thing I watched on TV was  New Girl. It's a crowd pleaser in our house, we all love it. I want to be buddies with Zooey Deschanel, I love her

7.  The last time I said "I love you" was  when I just put Ivy down for her nap. I am continuously telling the babies how much I love them, they are so darned cute and lovable.

Knit on, Knitters

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Beau's Blanket

I decided just after Christmas 2011 that I wanted to teach myself how to knit. I am an avid Pinterest pinner and I had seen so many cute knitted items on there and always though "oh, if only I could knit" then one day it hit me...teach myself! I had knitted when I was a little girl because my Nan was hands down THE BEST knitter in the entire world. She would sit at the table, watching Eastenders, knitting away, without so much as looking at what she was doing, and everything came out perfect and beautiful. To me it seemed that all she did was to click the needles together, because she did it so fast that that's all you could see! So she taught me how to knit at various times while I was growing up, but as with most things (apart from riding a bike, as we all know) I forgot how to do it because I didn't keep it up as a regular hobby.

When I decided the learn how to knit again, my first thought was naturally of my Nan, and how sad I was that she is no longer around to teach me. She passed away in 2001 from a lung condition and I miss her very very much. I knew I couldn't afford to take lessons, so I decided I would have to look to my friend and tutor of EVERYTHING, YouTube! With the help of some fantastic tutorial videos from people such as K1P1TV, The Knit Witch and Knitting Help I learnt how to knit, at a very basic level. Once I had learnt the Knit and Purl stitches, I wanted to have a go at knitting an actual pattern. I had seen the diaper cover from ezcareknits on Pinterest and so I had a look at her Etsy shop, and came across her cloth squares. They were the perfect first pattern for me, as they looked simple but fun and creative. I went ahead and bought some of her patterns, and went about knitting up the little squares. I had a few random balls of yarn lying around so I just did the squares in those various colours, and was thrilled with the results! 

Once I had knitted my first six squares, my Mum said to me "Kate they're fantastic, but what are you going to do with them?" I hadn't thought that far. I was just knitting to get used to following a pattern, but I thought they were pretty cool, so I wanted to make good use of them in some way...

One thought was to get them framed individually and have them up in Beau's room as some wall art. Then Mum suggested that I should make some more, and sew them all together into a blanket, what a great idea! I love blankets, and what could be better than hand knitting one for my first born baby? So it was decided, and I set about knitting more and more squares.

I had long been obsessed with anything fair isle, and decided that I wanted to learn how to do that myself too. This time, my Mum taught me. We sat at her house one evening, with a simple little heart pattern I had drawn up, and Mum recounted the story of how she had once knitted a fair isle jumper for my Dad (under the watchful eye of my Nan, who taught Mum how to knit too) and she won first prize for it at the Rusthall Village Fete in the late 70's/early 80's. To my surprise, fair isle knitting came pretty easily to me, and it wasn't long before I decided that I wanted to incorporate some into Beau's blanket. I would use the ezcareknits patterns as a template for size, so that they all coordinated on the blanket, and I used excel to create my patterns. This was the first one I did:

Then I made one with his name on it:

I also adore cable knit, and once again I was determined to learn how to do it so I could put some into the blanket. Trusty old YouTube served me well, and after a couple of botched attempts, I got the hang of it and  designed a little square to fit in with the others I had already knitted. This was halfway through the first one I completed, and I have to say I was pretty thrilled with how it turned out!

Eventually, 6 months after I had started the project I got to a point where I had knitted enough squares to make a decent sized blanket, and in the process I had taught myself a number of invaluable techniques and found a new hobby which I absolutely loved!! Next on the curriculum was learning how to sew it all together...

I spent HOURS agonising over the layout. I knew how the fair isle row would look but with the rest of it, I knew I didn't want any of the same two colours or designs next to one another and it was a lot harder than I had imagined to find a layout which fitted all my self-imposed rules. Becs (my sister, who has a keen eye for detail and design) helped me shuffle the pieces around and around like one of those frustrating jigsaw puzzles where the squares slide up, down, left and right until the picture is complete, until eventually we got it right, and I pegged all the rows together and numbered each stack so that they didn't get out of their perfected order. 

I used a couple of different YouTube tutorials to learn how to sew seams, and once I started, it actually progressed really quickly. Once it was finished, I wrapped it up and gave it to Beau as a birthday present on his first birthday :o)

Here are some photos of the finished article:

During the process, Becs asked me to make one for Ivy and my friend Jemma asked me to make one for her daughter, so I'm now working on Ivy's and will do a post once it's all done!

If you would like any of the fair isle patterns or the cable knit pattern please ask in the comments section and I would be happy to share them with you. The patterns for the other squares are all available from ezcareknits Etsy shop.

Please let me know what you think. Would you like to make one for your child or someone else you know? 

Knit on, Knitters x