ramblings on a monday

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We just returned from a fun, but exhausting, little trip.  A trip to visit family living in London, which includes our two year-old niece.  We don’t see her often, but what struck me was how much I love her. It just amazed me how much you can love a child that isn’t your own.  She is 10 months older than Alana, so its fun to see what’s, um, coming up.  And also get some clues as to what toys and activities our girl will be drawn to, we get to try everything out.  Alana spent most of the time in their house sitting at the little toddler table and chairs, straining to reach for the markers.  And so our table and chairs arrives tomorrow.

Another fun thing about our trip was the chance to go shopping and plan some new projects.  Although I knit less these days, I still buy yarn but am pretty good at buying for particular projects and then actually making the thing soon after.  Thanks to Ray Stitch and Loop my girl will soon be getting some mustard cord dungarees, and a Caribou cardigan. Its amazing too how quickly you can browse, decide and buy in a craft shop with a toddler in tow. Five minutes in each shop, and it was done.

I got back to some happy mail, some shiny new blended fibre from HilltopCloud.  At the start of the month I signed up for the Tour de Fleece, got incredibly excited about it, and then as always, gave up after a couple of days. This time I’m blaming my tools – my fibre stash isn’t very big and each thing I tried spinning was a bit rubbish.  Then I managed to spin some beautiful Hedgehog Fibres merino and made maybe the worst skein of yarn ever.  All a bit demoralising.  So I treated myself to something new, and this time it’s lovely.  I’m going to spin for a true 3-ply, to keep a nice depth to all the different fibres and colours.

Soon I want to write here about parenting.  Every day I find myself keeping quiet about my parenting views in some situation or another.  What we do works for us and we seem to be raising a fairly happy child, but I keep quiet I think because of some deep-down embarrassment or fear that I’ll be told that I’m doing it wrong.  Or maybe, because I don’t want other people to think I disapprove of their very-different methods.  Which is ridiculous really, we all do the best we can.

Advertisements

three months

3 months old

At 8.05am today I was up, getting my girl dressed, and thinking about how at that exact moment three months before, her little body was pulled out and suddenly appeared on my chest.  How can it be three months already?  In some ways  it seems like I’ve known her much longer, and I suppose I have.  She started kicking and pounding me back in September and thankfully never stopped.

I still feel like the luckiest mama in the world.  Obviously I am biased, but I am in awe that we made something so beautiful and perfect.  I grew a person…the human body is so amazing it blows my mind.  But then I am still amazed by the telephone…

Alana is such a good baby, and a good night-time sleeper, now.  She smiles at everyone, especially older people and laughs at our silly faces.  She likes to move and dance and chatter away to us.  I feel like she’ll be an early talker, she will have a conversation with anything.  She loves to look at the books we read to her, and splash me in the bath.  So far I’ve only found three things she objects to – the baby seat trolleys in the supermarket, being squirted in the face with milk, and putting her arms in jackets.  That all seems reasonable to me.

And because lots of people asked on twitter, yes, the quilt is handmade.  The pattern is Storytime Squares Quilt by Made by Rae.  Fabric is lots of random bits.  Cardigan is ravelled here.

my Rhinebeck sweater

Now I’m back to my normal, cooler climate its time to pull out the serious knitwear.  And light the fire in the evenings again (joy!), something that Penny seemed to particularly approve of last night…

With 15 seconds to get dressed this morning before we all ran outside I grabbed my Artichoke French by the lovely Laura Nelkin that I managed to get finished up in Shetland a few weeks ago.  Wow this thing is cosy!  It has thumbholes! And lovely cables!  I have only good things to say about this pattern and design.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I look either moody or silly in most of the photos for some reason, I really do love it in every way!  There was a plan to take some new smiley ones, but I am overjoyed that as things are still going to plan, the fit of the sweater now is um, not quite the way it was intended to be and its verging on being unfit to wear in public.  Completely fine for working in at home, and it keeps my hands cosy while I type.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
If you’re going to Rhinebeck this weekend I hope you have a lovely time!  Breathe in those wool fumes for me!  I’ve made a start on another sweater from Ysolda’s new book.  Well, the actual plan was to knit the whole thing on holiday and I carted 10 balls of yarn around in my suitcase.  It turns out that knitting a wool sweater while lying on a sun lounger beside a pool wasn’t really that smart an idea, so I’m working away slowly now I’m home!  And so, progress on my Pumpkin Ale, though there’s a little more of it now –

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Working for Ysolda has some nice perks, like getting patterns a little early…but soon they will be available for knitters everywhere!  Both my sweaters are knit in New Lanark, the chunky for Artichoke French and the DK for Pumpkin Ale.  Maybe a little samey, but as its spun just 20 minutes drive from my house I’m not too bothered, and its lovely to knit with too…

in which i almost talk about knitting…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
I have been knitting, and pictured above is a little bit of my new favourite ever knitted thing.  (Sorry little brother, your kilt socks have moved down to Number Two.)  The pattern won’t be available for a while, but you can see better examples of it over at Ysolda’s blog.  I’ll make more – I love a baby gift that looks impressive but is really easy and fun to knit.  And there are so many possibilities for colour combinations.

But mainly today I was going to talk about another finished quilt, which made it to the completed pile a few weeks ago.  Suddenly I had 30 minutes to take pictures before it had to be sent, and it was raining, a lot.

So some not-so-great indoor pictures are all I have –

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
An improvised top, backing from Ikea (and most appropriate for a house-warming gift – I need to find some more), and the binding was mostly leftovers from my Picnic Blanket skirt with some top leftovers to fill in the gaps.  It was my first time doing a completely machine-sewn binding that wasn’t on a quilt destined for a dog, and I like it.  I find the teeny little stitches all the way around very pleasing!

I quilted this using an awesome tutorial from Film in the Fridge called Big Diamond, Little DiamondDefinitely using this again, its so pretty.  My photos really don’t do it justice!  I just have one more quilt to write about and I’m all caught up.  Maybe I will attempt an actual knitting post next…

postcards

Things are getting back to normal here.  I had a lovely two weeks with my visitors, many giggles and crafting sessions and saw a lot of the extremely beautiful country where I am lucky enough to live.  I arrived home feeling very inspired (thank you, Shetland!), and my knitting mojo is back and fierce.

I’ve had so many kind messages over the last weeks, so at the end of this post there will be a tiny amount of little one chat – if you are sensitive to this for whatever reason please feel free to stop reading after the pictures x  Next time I will talk about knitting…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

(My mum’s new, slightly modified Sheep Heid.  It is a work of art, her colourwork skills are totally inspiring.)

 

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Turns out I took a lot more pictures of Skye than Shetland, probably because as soon as we landed my fingers were clenched round my knitting needles.  I will save the yarn chatter for another day…

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

And so to me and my little one.  Things still seem to be fine.  People who know what they’re talking about keep telling me that things are fine and that they know for sure that this little one does not have the same terrible condition that affected our son last year.  So that particular worry has melted, and I try hard not to fill my mind with thoughts of other things that can go wrong.  As I get rounder and feel things wriggle a little, its getting easier to imagine that things might turn out well.  And just like last time, I am hopelessly in love x

In less than a week it will be exactly a year since our tiny little boy was born, and we came home without him.  The weather is turning now, just like it was when we lost him, and I can’t believe a whole year has passed.

quietly rambling

IMG_0257

It was a very peaceful weekend.  I read, knit a hat and slept, a lot.  The hours I spent conscious were pretty few and far between, but I think my body needed it.  This doesn’t make for the most interesting blog post, so I’m sorry.  But mainly I just wanted to appear to here to thank you for the comments, and many PM’s and emails of love given what I hinted at in my last post.

Things are still fine, though I most likely won’t mention it much here.  If I ever do, I’ll warn you so if you want to, for whatever reason, skip it.  There was a time not too long ago where I found sudden mentions of babies and pregnancy jarring and there were several places both online and in real life that were just too difficult to visit.  As strange as this sounds given my current situation, I often still find this to be true.

Soon it will be a full year since our terrible loss, and I realised this morning that more than a full season has passed with me growing my second little one.  Where has the time gone?  The coming weeks will be busy – I have some wonderful friends coming to visit, and there will be adventures as we try to show them as much of Scotland as we can manage, including a trip to Shetland.  I had a crazy idea this weekend that it’ll be possible to make a quilt for the newly-decorated guest bedroom in time for their arrival.  Still trying to talk myself down from that one…

back again

It feels like its been a while.  Sometimes I just don’t feel like blogging and I don’t feel bad about that.  Hello again.

This most recent absence though is more to do with an almost entire lack of crafting to share.  I didn’t just lose my knitting mojo this summer, my spinning, dressmaking and quilting mojo’s all flew out of the window too.  There were no major house projects to occupy me, or big changes in the garden.  I’ve just been living quietly and my brain’s been a little full of worry to fit anything else in.  (The worry is easing a little now.  There was nothing particular to worry about, just the prospect of something bad happening.  So far, it hasn’t.   Right now, things are fine. But when terrible things have happened to you before sometimes its hard to shake the worry away.)  Sorry if that’s a little cryptic.  I have no secrets but am a little shy and cautious.  I might talk about things more here when I’m ready.  In the meantime, if you’re on Ravelry, this knitting project helps explain it.

And onto the making!  Pretty much the only thing I worked on through my worry was my Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery monthly sampler.  I worked on it a little back in January and then stopped, so I had a lot of months to catch up on.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think progress (and so the fact that I made anything at all) should be credited to my good buddy Bex.  She’s working on the same thing, alongside lots of other beautiful embroidery pieces, and she made me want to reach for my hoop.

Just in the last couple of days I’ve felt my knitting mojo starting to nudge me a little.  Maybe something to do with a trip to a new yarn shop?  I cast on for a Wee Brock for a friend* as soon I was home and fed.  I can feel that obsessed-with-a-new-project feeling coming on.  Hopefully it’ll lead to another one…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

*This friend is a Mr Saz’s cousin, who has an adorable little two-year old.  She doesn’t knit, but always seems to be appreciative of handknitted things, and she got a lot from the ladies at her work (and me) when her daughter was born.  But as new babies have been born, her supply dwindled.  I randomly knit a little cardigan and it was passed to her, and I didn’t hear much, apart from ‘she says thank you, she loved it’ from my mother-in-law.  Then, a couple of weeks ago I was in a different town and randomly walked into her and her little girl.  Her daughter was not only wearing the cardigan but she was snuggled up it, it was covered in bits of the biscuit she’d been eating and wow, it looked like it had been loved.  I could see her looking embarrassed that it looked a little messy but all I could think was ‘You get more knitwear for your little one.  You get ALL THE KNITWEAR for your little one.’  Seeing the things I’ve made look used and loved is one of the best feelings ever.

I’m not ready to talk about the time I was in my sister’s house and spotted the huge quilt I’d made her scrunched up her dog’s basket.  It might have looked used and loved, but it gave me the opposite feeling…