Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Yarn Along

Today's post isn't terribly exciting. I'm still reading the second volume in the Ferrante'so Neopolitan stories, The story of a new name. I'd hoped to be finished it by now but I spent about a week looking for it! Himself had put it in a bag with some paperwork he'd cleared off the kitchen dresser. It was only after I found it that he remembered what he did with it!

I've be dipping in and out of a few knitting projects. With the weather turning cooler I've started on a new winter hat for Miss S. The boys hats will follow soon. 

I've been sewing a little too. I've plans to make some beanbags for the kids for Christmas. I've sewn and filled the inner cushions and I've cut the fabric for the outer cushions so I just need to get time to sew them! 

I've recently finished a nightdress for Miss S too. The pattern is from Making childrens clothes.

I used some brushed cotton that I originally got when I was pregnant with Mr A to make burp cloths. Five years later and I still haven't made them! I made the 3-4 years size but I took a couple of inches off the length of the body and sleeves to make it fit the piece of fabric I had. Despite that it's still roomy and will fit her for a quite a while. 
I'm not the mist experienced sewer, especially but I found Making children's clothes had a good mix of patterns. The step by step instructions are clear and we'll laid out. It also has full sized pattern pieces (always a bonus!). I have found that pattern sizing runs a little large. Following the measurements in the sizing table I've made the 3-4 year old size in this (and the puff ball skirt I made earlier in the summer). Even though Miss S is a tall 3 year old both projects are a bit too big for her. The skirt has buttonhole elastic in the waistband so by pulling that in to the last buttonhole it fits okay. The nightdress is roomy but that's no big deal. Plenty of growing room built in I suppose. I would recommend going a size down (although maybe still keeping the extra length) if you want something to fit well now.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Yarn Along

It's been a hectic few weeks. Mr C turned 1 on Friday and Mr A turned 5 yesterday.  Time is going too quickly and they're growing so fast that if I stop to think about it I can almost not catch my breath. We had a joint birthday party for them at the weekend. It was mostly family and Mr A had a few friends over. Between the marathon baking session the day before, then having 14 adults, 2 preteens and 8 kids (6 of whom are very energetically enjoying every thing) in our small house, I'm just about recovered.

I'm just finishing up The story of a new name by  Elena Ferrante. It's the second volume in the Neopolitan stories. Lila is now married and appears trapped while Elena is trying to discover who she is and what she wants from life.   Their paths continue to diverge and converge and while their relationship is complex they still remain friends.

I haven't knit much in the last few weeks but I'm just casting on a pair of socks for himself. It's becoming a bit of a tradition for me to knit him socks for Christmas. He picked out the yarn in Dublin in May for my birthday. We had a bit of time to spare between going to see the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit at the National Gallery and dinner so we popped in to This is Knit so I could have a browse. While we were there he suggested that he pick out the yarn for his Christmas socks and who was I to say no? 

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Yarn Along Wednesday

Just a quick post today. We're slowly settling into a new routine with Mr A in primary school and Miss S started going to preschool 3 days a week. Mr C is enjoying having me to himself those 3 mornings that his big brother and sister are out of the house.

I've started reading After You. It's the sequel to Me Before You. I'm enjoying it so far and I'm hopeful that it will result in fewer tears than Me Before You!

That rust coloured jumble is the beginnings of a Dockside Cardigan in Studio Donegal Soft Donegal. Jessica is running a knit along over in her Ravelry group  if  you fancy joining in the fun!

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Yarn Along and New Adventures

It's been a few weeks since I last posted. There's been visits to the zoo, a pet farm, a castle, numerous playgrounds, family and friends.

I'm just finishing up My Brilliant Friend by  Elena Ferrante. It's a nice, gentle story following the lives of Lila and Elena during their childhood and adolescence  in 1950's Naples. Throughout it their paths continue to diverge and converge but through it all thy remain best friends. I think I will be buying the next volumes in the Neopolitan stories by Ferrante soon! 
Today I'm browsing through the third volume of Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries in the hopes of some dinner time inspiration.  Niger Slater is one of my favourite cooks and I really like his Kitchen diaries series. He focuses on simple, good food. Nothing too complicated but still taste good. I already make several of his recipes regularly and the kids enjoy them too (bonus!).
On the knitting front I'm working on a sample knit for a new beanie design so watch this space.

I'm a bag of mixed emotions today. It's Mr A's first day at primary school. I'm excited at discovering his potential, watching him learn more and absorb all that information like a sponge. He's broadening his horizons and I'm both excited for him and a little sad for me. He's becoming more independent and I'm happy for him, proud of him but a little sad that my little boy is not quite so little any more. This little boy, my first born, the bundle of joy who made me a mammy and filled my heart with so much love when I first set eyes on him that I thought it would burst and helped to heal some heart breaks there is off on a new adventure...

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Yarn Along

I've cast on for the test knit and I'm just at the sleeve separation. It's a cute figuring weight tee and it will look adorable on any kid.
I finished Me Before You and yes I did shed a tear with a few odd looks from the kids as I was finishing it while we were all eating breakfast. I've just started My Brilliant Friend by  Elena Ferrante. It tells the story of Lila and Elena as they grow up in 1950's Naples. Throughout their lives their paths continue to diverge and converge but through it all thy remain best friends. It is the first in the Neopolitan stories by Ferrante. So far I'm enjoying his book and if it continues this way I will probably pick up the other volumes not this series too.

I finished the princess crown and hair  for Miss S. She's very happy! I think if I could've added a big more "hair" to the front of the crown to give a bit more volume. If I ever manage to convince her to give it back to me I'll do it. I used about 200 m of King Cole Dolly Mix DK. I may write up the pattern if you're interested let me know.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Yarn Along Wednesday

I missed yarn along last week but I'll tell you about what I was reading last week as well as what I'm currently today.
Last Wednesday my Mam and I took the kids to Wells House. The kids had a great time in the playground and at the pet farm. The fairy woodland walk was magical for us all.

We even met the gruffalo and the gruffalo's child.

Last week on the recommendation of my cousin I read O Pioneers by Wila Cather. It tells the story of a young Swedes immigrant Alexandre Bergson as she tries to tame the prairie of Nebraska and make something of the farm that her dying father left to her. Something about it evoked Steinbeck works so I think if you enjoy his works you'll also enjoy O Pioneers!.

This week I'm reading a book recommended by a friend. Me before You by Jojo Moyes is about Louisa who is an ordinary girl living an ordinary life in a very ordinary town. When she looses her job in the local cafe she takes on a job looking after Will who is quadriplegic after an accident. Will is moody and acerbic but Louisa refuses to treat him with kid gloves. I've been really enjoying it so far. It's at times poignant and also quite funny. My friend did tell me that if I was going to read Me Before You I would need to have some tissues nearby. I haven't needed them so far but I'm only half way through. 

On the knitting front, I'm just starting another test knit for Jessica, that's what the blue yarn is for. I've just finished the yellow crown and the white yarn will be attached to it so Miss S can complete her Queen Elsa ensemble! I'll let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Test Knit: Harvest Sweater

During May and June I test knit a sweater for Jessica M. Anderson. Harvest Sweater is a cozy hooded sweater with a kangaroo pocket. The ribbed pattern of the sleeves are nice and stretchy but also make for a snug sleeve, just what I like. The pattern is designed for a sport weight yarn at quite a loose gauge of 20 stitches to 4 inches. It is knit top down in the round.
I found it to be a quite straightforward knit and I've worn it a lot since I finished it. I did use more yarn than the pattern suggested but I did need to add about 1.5 inches to the sleeves. I did find that the suggested sleeve length was a bit short (maybe I have long limbs for my height) and if I knit this again I think I would add about 2.5 - 3 inches extra length as even with the extra 1.5 inches they're still a little short for my liking. Having said that I do tend to push my sleeves up most of the time so the slightly too short sleeves are fine but I do like to have the option to pull them the full way down to my wrist. I would also add a little extra length to the hood before grafting the stitches to make it a bit roomier. I have some more of this yarn in my stash so I may go back and make these adjustments to my existing sweater ... eventually. In the meantime I'll just enjoy wearing it.

Pattern : Harvest Sweater
Size : s
Yarn : Malabrigo Rios in 58 Borrajas
Amount : 335 g/ 1025 m