Sunday, 10 October 2010

Outgrowing a name

When I started this blog, the title was apt - I was trying to get back into writing, I was knitting regularly, and I was wrestling with the joys of having a new baby.

Now, the only part of nibs, needles and nappies that features regularly in my life are the knitting needles. Little Whirlwind has been out of nappies for months, and I've nearly given up on finding my writing groove again (it seems that, when I'm happy, the need for writing fades. I suppose not writing is a good sign in some ways...).

So, even though I'd love to get back writing again, and (all going to plan) there may be nappies in my future again at some stage... the blog name just feels wrong.

I wonder, do I change, or wait until it hopefully reflects my life again...

Sunday, 26 September 2010

A Sunday outing

Today I had a 'day pass'... husband took Little Whirlwind out for the day, and to avoid sitting at home all day and being tempted to do housework, I decided to see where I could go. And I struck gold. The Hobby Salon was on in Mechelen.

So, I packed my knitting in my bag (EZ February Baby sweater), grabbed my dictionary and headed for the train. And it turned into one of those days where life in Belgium is pretty great. First of all, there was a deal - train ticket, plus shuttle bus to the venue, plus entry, a grand total of 14.50 euro. Considering entry alone was 10 euro, and parking would have been 4 euro - taking the train was an incredible bargain.

And then,  the fair itself. It's the sort of place that the Knitting and Stitching show in Dublin could take lessons from. Every stand seemed to be craft related. None of the usual stain remover/kitchen knives/magic something-or-other, no-one shouting from the stands - all good quality craft materials or craft-related things. There wasn't much yarn, it seemed to be focused more on quilting and scrapbooking, but there was enough to keep me occupied, and I spend quite a long time staring at the beautiful quilts on display wondering if I could take up yet another craft. I never got elbowed out of the way, never had to fight to get to a stand even though the place was very busy. Most importantly, I was actually able to walk around the hall without getting overheated and claustrophobic.

The layout of the hall was great - all around the sides were different food options - coffee and cakes in one part, sandwich bar in another, full meals in another. And then, on one side of the hall a "beer hall". Schnitzel and beer. Bliss. Not cheap, but not too expensive, and the portion could have fed four people.

What, did you think I was going to finish without showing you my haul...?

First up, beautiful shetland yarn in lovely heathery purples from Klazien's Kreatie.

And then I came across the Tucana's Dream stand. 

 If the yarn knits up as well as I think it might, I think I'll be a regular customer. I got this lovely brown-gold sock yarn.
The colours are beautiful, and the skeins of sock yarn look generous too, so I got another one, in my favourite colour - teal.

Finally, a lovely red yarn caught my eye. So a skein of merino-cashmere made it into the bag too.

And, to finish the lovely day, Little Whirlwind is sitting at the table happily getting herself covered in (washable!) ink using a set of farmyard stamps that I just couldn't resist from one of the scrapbooking stands, and Himself is happily tapping away on his computer.

Sundays rarely get much better than this.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Sitting on my hands

I'm avoiding emailing, calling or otherwise contacting my family right now. I think someone has been spectacularly selfish, and I'm afraid I'll just explode if I talk to anyone about it.

And the stress is playing havoc with my knitting tension...

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

A pause to prepare

This week has been strange. I'm waiting for the Ravelympics to start, and my knitting fingers are going nuts... I've found so many lovely patterns that I want to cast on.

But I can't. Because I know anything I cast on now will either be abandoned for the duration of the Ravelympics and possibly completely forgotten (my short term memory is bad like that), or will take over so completely that the projects I've been studiously avoiding casting on for, saving them for the Ravelympics, will never get started.

So I've been swatching, endlessly swatching. The past two evenings it has been Wendy Happy. On DPNs (that's a whole other blog post). Tomorrow will probably be the decider for what pattern I do - I'm thinking Jaywalkers right now.

Then it will be the Manos for the Lava Flow Cowl. And possibly a little bit of pre-swatching for the Fiddlehead mittens (if my paypal ever gets sorted out).

I'm not sure I've ever done so much swatching. I can barely see the couch for all the yarn and needles that have been dug out this week for various swatching attempts.

Roll on Friday when I can finally get my teeth into a real project!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

I need a swift...

... or a lot more patience.

Little Whirlwind was being put to bed, so I had a child-free and husband-free half hour. And decided it was time to get ready to knit the lovely Lava Flow (it's meant to be a Ravelympics project, but I'm not sure I'll hold out that long). I'd decided on a lovely skein of Manos silk blend which has been languishing in my stash for about two years now.

All of which meant I had the time and need to finally use my ball winder.

It was working so well for a while. And then, suddenly, it all just started to go wrong.

And I was left with this:

and this:

2 hours later, having cut the yarn twice (thank goodness for spit splicing), I finally got to this:

I would have been quicker winding it into a ball by hand. Oh well.

Monday, 1 February 2010

I don't do New Year's Resolutions

The 1st of January always seems to early to begin New Year's Resolutions. I'm usually still in the grip of Christmas, not yet back at work after the festivities, and feeling like lounging about on the couch for a while. Certainly not prime resolution time.

February, now, February is a totally different matter. The depression of January is over, the lull that inevitably follows Christmas. And all the tediously earnest resolutions that enter my head in January have begun to quietly pick up their coats and go. So I'm left with the good ones - the ones I really want to do, the ones that I have more chance of sticking with.

And so, more for my own accountability, here they are, my February Resolutions:

- Blogging. I want to do more. I have ideas, I have things to write. I just need to get over the feeling that I'm talking to a vacuum... or embrace it. Will I say one post a fortnight, just to get started?

- Knitting:

  • Ravelymics. Fiddlehead mittens. I shall say little more, except that I will be very very pleased with myself if I complete them in the allotted time.
  • A garment, for me. Possibly finish Rogue, or move on to something else.

- Other stuff

  • Exercise. One class a week and possibly one visit to the pool. And walking Little Whirlwind to creche.
  • Writing. Start again. The ideas have started poking at my brain and my fingers are getting itchy to start again. So I shall. I think.
  • French. The less said about my current ability the better. When your two and a half year old corrects your pronunciation, you know something is up...

So that's it. Not New Year's Resolutions, but some nice February goals...