24 November 2006

Your nursery ideas are needed

Thank you all for your kind reassurances. After much angst and deliberation we have decided that I should stop commuting in 3 weeks time – we are 6.5 months now.

(I am blooming!)

There are a number of considerations we have had to take account of:-

- I spend 4 hours commuting – door to door
- As I get bigger – it is taking me longer to traverse distances which were previously deemed ‘short’
- By the time I get to my return train, most seats are taken
- Nobody, absolutely nobody will stand to give a pregnant woman a seat
- Much as I love my job it is stressful

Ian and I agreed that the aggregate of above might have negative effects on our health. So, I work for another 3 weeks in London and finish with working from home for another 3 weeks in January.

Then, the other day one of my friends sent me a little mum-to-be package in the post. It contained contact details for non toxic paint suppliers (for nursery) and an overview of child development (benefits of different sounds at certain stages) among other things. She will also be giving me all her terry nappies, as I am keen not use disposables and she will lend me her Moses basket as she thinks babies do not spend much time in them so worth borrowing. She is so generous, lovely and considerate. Sarah I love you!

I am on the scrounge for ideas for the nursery. We do not know the sex (will find out at birth) and not sure of essential furniture/equipment. Sarah has already given me some tips but would also be good to hear from you knit sibs. So what is essential and what is a waste of time? Which makes are good and which are also good value for money?

Oh and the book from whence the knitting adventure came from is Textured Knits by Julia Cooper. There are other interesting knits in the book. My verdict of the project completed is that it is quick to complete, has lovely combination of yarn (I love the feel). Only one downside to it – it curls inwards? Aargh! That blocking board I started over the summer will need to be polished off for things like this.

Fellow adventurers how goes your project?

19 November 2006

My, aren’t you big!

Isn’t it funny how once you are pregnant you become public property. You receive comments you would not otherwise. I wonder whether everyone who has gone though pregnancy has had the same response. Whilst I appreciate the attention I am also intrigued. I expected everyone to want to stroke my belly but actually they have kept their hands to themselves. It must be something in my body language. But… They do open their mouths! The conversation usually goes like this…

Admirer: “Wow! look at you!”
Tusa: “Hi” (shyly)
Admirer: “You are blooming. When are you due?”
Tusa: “February”
Admirer: “My, aren’t you big! It’s going to be a big baby…”
Tusa: silence… thinks… yes that might be the case you are probably the thousandth person to say that and I am really getting fed up. But replies “yes, maybe. See you later”.

At home my poor husband has suffered the perennial “do I look big?” question. His answer is always charming… “Darling you are a small person and the belly looks big on you in relation to your normal size. You look pregnant darling. You look wonderful”. And I skip away having had my ego stroked. No wonder I married this man.

But despite the reassurance from Ian, and after a few more encounters, I asked my midwife about this at the last appointment. “It is usual” she said “and don’t get offended. The next time someone says something like that tell them that your midwife says you are right on target”. Then she showed me my measurement and the chart. Fantastic! I walk out with a huge smile on my face. And… I have used that line already.

As for knitting? I have finished my Secret Santa Scarf

And, here is the rest of that project.

With right side facing, pick up 44 sts evenly along the other side ends of the fabric using yarn B

Then starting with a purl row work in stocking stitch as follows:-

Work 37 rows in yarn B
Change to yarn A and work for 8 rows
Change to yarn C and work for 12 rows
Change to yarn B and work for 4 rows
Cast Off

I have not finished this but I should by Tuesday. I the last stage for myslef to read:-

With right side facing, pick up 44 sts evenly along the other side ends of the fabric using yarn C

Then starting with a purl row work in stocking stitch as follows:-

Work 37 rows in yarn C
Change to yarn A and work for 8 rows
Change to yarnB and work for 12 rows
Change to yarn C and work for 4 rows
Cast Off

You must have guessed by now. Source of the pattern in the next blog.


17 November 2006

The Wrong Red

I love this time of the year. It has a special feel to it. Although dark, wet and windy, I still think it has a magical feel of its own.

Every year in my office we buy each other presents for Christmas - in secret. Ever done secret Santa? Yup! The last two years through were a shambles, and apparently I was the only one who did not know my secret Santa… I felt so left out…

This year though the team has agreed that it should be completely secret. Separate shopping (they went to the same market last year), no hinting etc. So mine would like her gift brought from India (a member of the team is out there travelling) but tough! Had we sorted this before Australia, I could have got something from there. But we didn’t and it will just have to have my signature on it!

My SS loves the colour red, and would appreciate something luxurious but I can only spend maximum of £5. So, after a few head scratching moments, I settled on the good old scarf. I headed out to my local to see what they had in stock. You know how it is you have one project in mind and by the time you leave you two other projects in mind. I will only share these other two with you once I cast on – just to be sure.

Anyway, how did I decide? I saw a lovely fluffy scarf in lavender in the shop. I touched it, stroked it, and fondled it. Yeeees… My precioussss.... Mmhh. So, next I peaked at the instructions attached to the scarf - my local, English Yarns, is really good at this. I committed the pattern to memory then decided to look for red yarn. But oh nooo… It was not going to be that simple (a scarf for crying out loud!). The colour did not quite look how I had mentally pictured it. Rather than holly red it is cranberry red. It was the wrong red! But I need to make something and soon as our reveal date is 4th December. So, I reasoned that at about £3 I could buy it and if it did not work out I would wear it.

As you can see from the photo it has turned out really well. This is the first time I have worked with eyelash yarns and it is surprisingly easy. I always thought they would be very hard to work with. This scarf feels soooo good I will have to make one for myself.

Oh and that adventure - I know that one person has joined me… The next steps for your project are…

Change to yarn C and work for 10 rows
Change to yarn B and work for 4 rows
Cast off

With right side facing, pick up 44 sts evenly along one of the side ends of the fabric using yarn B

Then starting with a purl row work in stocking stitch as follows:-

Work 37 rows in yarn B
Change to yarn A and work for 8 rows
Change to yarn C and work for 12 rows
Change to yarn B and work for 4 rows
Cast Off

Have you guessed yet?

13 November 2006

Adventures Down Under…

So the other day I set up a mystery knitting adventure. But let me tell you about my recent travelling adventure.

At 5 months pregnant we decided to head to Australia… Yes! Down Under, to Perth where we have friends. It has been my hubby’s dream to visit the place again after his initial visit 15 years ago. So off we went. Bring pregnant I did not plan to do very much apart from visit the Swan Bells Tower where Ian’s uncle worked at the turn of the millennium to hang some bells.
I also wanted to see some of the outback so we went on a tour which passed by the Pinnacles. My first time ever in the desert – fantastic. And also see a bit of Perth and the surrounding areas. Actually, I ended up being pretty active throughout with some rest days of course!

Anyway, while we were there I thought what better time to find out if I can by some Aussie yarn especially Kaalund. I have always thought it to be very expensive but thought I might have a go this time. To commemorate a special occasion. Nyet! The only outlet I could find was in Victoria! Hours and hours away! I was so disappointed. Yet there are more outlets over here and in the US… What’s up with that? It also brought to light why Australia is also called a continent it is so huge. I could not just pop over to Victoria – much to Ian’s relief!

Ok so that mystery knitting… I am assuming you have some yarn in your stash and now ready to cast on…

So now, using Yarn A and 4 mm needles cast on 176 stitches

Beginning with a knit row and using stocking stitch complete rows as follows:-

Yarn A = 2 rows
Change to yarn B and work for 2 rows
Change to yarn C and work for 10 rows
Change to yarn A and work for 4 rows
Change to yarn B and work for 18 rows
Change to yarn A and work for 10 rows

It should end up looking like this…

Good luck! More my next blog.

10 November 2006

Mystery Knitting Adventure

Are you in? Good.

Well I have so much to share with you but most importantly I want to share this journey with you. I started yet another project. Yup! I am back with knitting. Got my mojo back!

I have also discovered that many women actually go off knitting at some point during their pregnancy. It does not make sense… The only thing I can think of is that one’s body goes into energy saving mode… What are your thoughts about this? The bump is developing and here is a picture of us.
Anyway, I wondered whether you might be interested in a mystery knitting adventure. It will make a great Christmas gift for someone but you will have to trust me through this journey. It should last a week or two at most depends on how much time you have…

You will need

4 mm needles
Yarn A – Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK or equivalent 1 x 50 g ball
Yarn B – Rowan Kidsilk Haze or equivalent 1 x 25g ball (use 2 strands together)
Yarn C - Rowan Kidsilk Haze or equivalent 1x 25g ball (use 2 strands together)

I don't think you need to worry about tension but if you want to... it is 22sts x 30 rws to 10 x 10 over stocking stitch using 4 mm needles.

The colours are up to you really. I can share mine here…

More in the next posting!

p.s. this is not my design therefore will share the source at the end of the adventure...