Sunday, 1 September 2013

There goes the summer...


Wow, this year is really flying by. September is here and although the weather is still good, the evenings are definitely drawing in. We even had our first Sunday Roast today, as we don't have them through the summer!

I've now finished knitting my 'Hitchhiker Scarf' by Martini Behm (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/hitchhiker) and I love it. I made it using Rowan Cashsoft 4ply and it took just over 3 balls.


I've now started on a pair of socks, my first ever attempt! The design is 'Charlie Chocolate' by Suzie Johnson of The Wool Sanctuary ( http://www.thewoolsanctuary.com/info2.cfm?info_id=171644) and although it's designed as a pair of stripy socks, I'm using a variegated sock yarn by KnitGlobal called 'Harvest'. I'm really pleased with sock one and have just cast on sock two!


Hopefully they'll be finished soon and I'll photograph them properly.

We've spent quite a bit of time in Bristol this summer, doing 'The Gromit Trail' around the city. Sadly it finishes next week and I don't think I'll get chance to see any more, but I've managed 64 of the 80! My favourite is Gromberry I think, although they've all been brilliant. It's been a great way to see parts of the City that are slightly off the beaten track and so good to see so many other people, young and old, also following the trail.


Me with the 'Stat's the way to do it, Lad!' Gromit outside Aardman Animations
Gromberry
Well that's it for now, I'll be back when my first pair of socks are finished!

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Well, another month has gone by...the year is disappearing fast!

I've been busy with the knitting needles this month and have finished two projects!

Firstly is my 2nd Debbie Bliss Striped Baby Blanket, for Ed (who works with Chris) and his wife Kelly. Their first baby was due towards the end of this month, but actually appeared a week or so early, so I hadn't finished the blanket in time. As we've just had a heatwave, I hope I can be forgiven. Congratulations on the safe arrival of Olivia!!

Baby blanket knitted in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

My second project was the Edwin Cream Hand warmers designed by Suzie Johnson of The Wool Sanctuary that I started a while ago. I just finished them this morning! They're my first pair and probably won't be the last! I also have an idea about a scarf to match them, but that's not near the top of my 'to do' list yet!


Edwin Creams knitted in Rowan Cashsoft 4ply

Away from knitting, we've been into Bristol a few times 'Gromit spotting' around the city. There's 80 Gromits around this summer, mostly in Bristol, and all decorated by different artists. They're being auctioned later in the year to raise money for Bristol Children's Hospital. My favourite so far is 'Where's Wallace?' but as we've only got 27 out of the 80 so far, that may chage over the summer!


'Where's Wallace?' Gromit

In the garden, things have been growing quite well. Everything was a bit late because of the cold spring, but the heat over the last few weeks has made everything bloom. I've picked about 4lbs of raspberries which are now in the freezer waiting for me to make jam; dozens of strawberries which don't hang around long enough to do anything with, they just get eaten; lots of cucumbers and the beans are just starting to come, so soon there will be broad beans, climbing french beans and runner beans; oh, there's courgettes and tomatoes soon to!

Today's crop of cucumbers!

Finally, we had our family photo session that my brother and I got for our parent's 45th wedding anniversay last September. The photos were taken by Lee Hatherall, and I'm really pleased with them, hope Mum and Dad are too!


The family
Mum and Dad with their grand-daughters
Amy, Chris and me
My brother, David, and niece, Evie
I guess we don't scrub up too badly sometimes!

That's it for now...off to find a new knitting project!


Sunday, 23 June 2013

June News

The start of June saw a gym competition for Amy, the Welsh Open Aerobic Gymnastic Competition at the Welsh Institute of Sport in Cardiff. Normally she'd be part of a trio, but for this competition the routine was adapted for two of them to do as a pair as one girl was away. This time it didn't quite go to plan on the day so no medals, but it was a good experience still, although Amy was pretty down for a while afterwards. We did get some nice shots though (thanks to Dave and Sam!)

Amy doing one of the elements in her routine, a hinge wenson!

Straddle lever, another element

The following day I did a 10 mile sponsored walk for out local hospice with a friend who lost her husband to cancer two and a half years ago. It was a beautiful day, quite emotional at times, but well worth the effort, the views across the Mendips were amazing. If we could guarantee the weather for next year, I'd sign up again now!


Me and Moira

Yesterday was horrible weather, cold, high winds and on/off showers...it must be the Airday! Fortunately the show still took place with different aircraft flying all afternoon. I only managed to catch the last hour, but this hour had the highlights, the last flight of the Vulcan Bomber, which never ceases to amaze me (surely it's too big to be airborne?) and the Red Arrows which I love. They are fantastic pilots, especially when you realise just how windy it was and how low the cloud base was!

Vulcan Bomber
Vulcan Bomber over Brean Down
Vulcan Bomber leaving Weston - forever!
The Red Arrows








I've managed to get a bit of knitting done too, I'm over half way through my 'Edwin Creams' handwarmers by Suzie Johnson of The Wool Sanctuary and have just started on another Debbie Bliss striped baby blanket, for friends of Chris, Ed & Kelly, who are expecting their first baby, a girl, next month. Better get a move on with that!

Edwin Creams knitted in Rowan Cashsoft 4ply (in grey)

Just needs sewing up

The start of the blanket, there's a lot more knitting to do here! Knitted in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

Well, that's about it for now...off to do some more knitting as the weather is still nasty!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Lace Knitting

Just a quick post to prove that I do occasionally finish items...

The finished item

Close up of the lace (leaf) pattern

A lace tube!
I made it from 1.5 balls of Rowan cashsoft 4ply (shade 441) which is now sadly discontinued, bought from Suzie at the Wool Sanctuary. It is lovely to knit with and wear against your skin.

This was my first attempt at lace knitting. I made a shorter version of the snood than the pattern, so it’s more of a neckwarmer, but I’m really pleased with it. I had to unpick the whole last section and re-knit it because of a mistake on the penultimate line that went badly wrong when I tried to correct it, only to make the same mistake again. This time I carried on, so there is a mistake in the finished piece (and many more that I am yet to notice I expect) but I don’t care, I still love it!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Florida!

We're just back from an amazing 2 weeks in Florida over the Easter holidays. We've been before, but went with different friends this time, who have twin daughters the same age as Amy. They've known each other since playgroup and are best friends now, so it was lovely to go away with them.

We did loads while we were away...the 4 Disney Parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot, plus the 2 Disney water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach; Then Universal Studios; Islands of Adventure (featuring Harry Potter and a truly amazing ride!); Discovery Cove for swimming with dolphins; Seaworld; a Segway tour around 'Celebration' a town designed by Disney and a bit of shopping! We ate out for breakfast a few times (Cracker Barrel was our favourite), had meals out at the Rainforest Cafe and Planet Hollywood and the BEST steaks we've ever had at The Texas Roadhouse.  It was pretty full on, fairly early starts and long days with lots of walking, but it was brilliant!

Here's just a tiny amount of the photo collection!


With a Green Army Man from Toy Story - one of my favourites!

Phinneas and Ferb (Amy's heroes!)






Geared up for Hogwarts!

Hogsmeade Village



Hogwarts Castle

Pumpkin Juice!

Butterbeer outside of the Three Broomsticks

Olivander's Wand Shop




Discovery Cove, swimming with dolphins







baby alligator, Boggy Creek



Segway!


At Planet Hollywood

The villa we stayed at was fantastic, 4 double bedrooms with a lovely pool, this is the website if you're interested: http://www.blueheronfloridavilla.co.uk/index2.html

While I was away, I also managed to knit 2 'Where's Wally?' hats for an old friend for her son's rugby tour this weekend. I made 4 in total, from a pattern I found on Ravelry called 'The Elusive Gentleman' by Alexandra Tinsley  http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-elusive-gentleman. Now that those are out of the way I can get on with my lacy snood again (no further progress since last time), or start the baby blanket for another work friend of Chris' who are expecting their first baby (a daughter) in July...



I've also achieved something of a personal milestone this week too. Since the middle of December I have lost exactly 2 stones in weight! This is down to a combination of Weight Watchers (I need structure to lose weight, I've tried it on my own and it doesn't work for me), walking more which is down to my wonderful Fitbit and down to my marvellous step aerobics teacher. I still have about another stone and a half to lose, but my head is in a good place and I know I can do it given time.

That's about it for now, nothing else to report on yet!

Take care
x