Sunday, 29 May 2011

Seven On Sunday

We've been rather busy this weekend so I'm a bit late posting this but hey, that's life and here are my Seven On Sunday.

1) First up has got to be "It's half term next week!!!"  This means an easy weekend for us all followed by lots of family time over the next week.

2) In other news I managed to go out for coffee twice on Monday.  Rather naughty I know but it just kinda fell that way.  We also went to visit the new Lakeland on Monday morning.  I do love Lakeland but until now it's been a bit of a luxury because I've had to order online and pay the postage.  It was lovely to be able to go and see the stuff in real life and buy without having to add on postage.

3) I really, really love my winter coat.  And this is a good thing cos it's been back out this week as it's been so cold and horrid.  I had a new coat for last winter as having lost quite alot of weight my old coat (which was getting on in life anyway) needed replacing and I found a fab Joe Browns coat which I fell in love with.  When you wear something everyday you get used to it but having not worn it for a few weeks I discovered all over again just how much I do love it.  Saying that though I won't be at all sorry when the wind drops and the warmer weather comes back to us.

4) Cuddles from my kids.  They've all been quite cuddly this week and it's lovely to get a quick hug now and again.

5) We've named the bearded dragon now.  After some family discussion I lost out and his new name is Spike.  Spike is settling in well and has even been out of the viv a couple of times to sit on my knee.  He great fun to watch and his personality is really starting to show.

6) Still on the subject of Spike we went yesterday morning to fetch him some more live food.  He thoroughly enjoys his locusts so we got plenty of those and have set them up in a tank on top of the viv.  Mr Miffy and I had lots of fun watching them demolish their cabbage yesterday afternoon.  It is amazing how fast they can get through it and you can understand just how devastating a plague of locusts must be.

7) Our pond now has some proper pond life in it.  Mr Miffy brought home a tank on Friday with some tadpole in a a couple of inches of water from the pond where he works.  I can't believe I never thought to get some pond water from someone before it's the most obvious way to get our pond up and running.  There are now all sorts of bugs and creatures living in our pond.  We also took the opportunity to move a few more of the stones around to create a wider swimming space for the new inhabitants.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Year of Projects Plans

There is a group on Ravelry who have begun a Blogging project called "A Year Of Projects".  It's kind of a spin off from the Blog Hub group and now of course has it's own Rav Group - Come Blog-a-long go have a look see.

I really liked the idea of having some more structure to my knitting plans and this project is the perfect way to acheive that and to be able to have lots of fun in the process.

We officially start linked regular blogging on the 1st July so I really need to have sorted my list before then.  The idea is to challenge ourselves on a personal level, some people are working through a book of patterns, other through their Rav queue (mine is too scary to do that) and other are just creating a list of patterns.

I've been mulling over some ideas and have decided that I really need to get some of these ideas written down before they are squashed out of my overcrowded brain by all the other stuff I need to remember to do.  Some of my knitting is going to be for me but some will be presents for folk for birthdays and Yule etc.

There will of course need to be socks.  There can never be enough socks.  Bean needs a bedtime pair so I think I'll put them down.  I don't really need new socks but then again you can never really have enough so I think a plain pair and a patterned pair for me will be good.

I'm going to hold off on my vest top and put that on the list.  Good motivation to get it sorted I hope.

Middle looks at my hotwater bottle with undisguised longing and I've found him cuddling it (cold) on a few occasions when he's kipped in my bed so I think I may get him one for Christmas and knit it a cover.  And of course whatever Middle has Bean wants so that will necessitate my knitting one for him.  I'm hoping (I haven't looked yet) to be able to find a pattern that requires fairly chunky yarn so these can be quite quick knits.

I'm planning another Hitchhiker scarf which will be for my sister for Christmas.  Again this is a nice simple pattern so good for knitting groups.

And I think a more detailed (read "lace") scarf for me is in the offing.

I got some pure wool a while back which will be fab for felting so I may make another Infinity Bag with that which I will probably give to my Mum as part of her Christmas Box.

I want a fair bit of what I knit to be from stash as I could do with working through some of what I already have but there is a years knitting here to go at so I think some new yarn may find it's way into the house somehow.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday

Wednesday again already and I have some progress shots for you.

First up is the Ten Point 5 blanket.  I spent a couple of nights on it since I showed it last week so blogging it has worked so far.

My other current project, my Hitchhiker scarf, is going well too.

However this does means that I haven't cast on for a shawl I need to make before the end of term  Methinks that will be featuring in the WIP post next week.

To see other peoples work and the progress they are making go visit Tami's blog and follow the links.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Seven On Sunday

I'm somewhat later to this today than I meant to be but we've had a busy weekend and I've pretty much only just sat down.

Anyway here are my Seven On Sunday.  Seven reasons to feel good about life and to remember how blessed we are.

1)  My first this week occurred to me when I was watching the kids play in the garden whilst I was washing up.  There are some pretty big bald patches in the grass under the swings.  I think they rather annoy Mr Miffy but when I see them I just remember how much fun the kids are having outdoors this spring.  It's fab to see them enjoying the garden so much and getting so much fresh air and fun.

2)  Next up is my nearly empty bird feeder and the visiting Blue Tit that I saw from the bedroom window this week.We've never had much luck with feeders in the garden before.  I think now that our beloved Felix cat must have been the birder of our cat family.  We sadly lost her last November but since then there have been alot less presents of birds left by the back door and alot more live birds hopping about the garden.

3) Still with the garden theme I am very pleased to tell you that we have our first frogs in the pond.  Much sooner than Mr Miffy and I expected too.  One is a fair size (that's the one in the photo) and the other is just a little one.  We've moved a few of the cobbles in the pond about to make a bigger space.  The kids are very excited about the frogs and have been very sensible (so far) with the pond.  The water is still very shallow but it means they can get a better view of the frogs.

4) We have gained some new family members this weekend too.  First up are the stick insects.  There are 6 at the moment though more may follow.  They are living in the boys room and are kind of belonging to Middle who has been patiently waiting for them for several weeks.  I have no illusions though I know that the cleaning out will fall to me for the time being at least.

5) Middle wasn't the only member of the family to get a new pet this weekend.  I finally got my Bearded Dragon.  I've been waiting to get one for a few years now.  Mainly because we want Bean to be old enough to understand how to be gentle with one.  Someone Mr Miffy knows was needing to re home theirs so we went along to see him and unsurprisingly came home with him.  He is now settled into his new home and right now is dozing.  He's not been handled too much of late but he seems fairly happy with us so we are hoping that he'll soon be out and about with the family and will be able to be held by us all.

6) It's been a busy week here at the Miffy house.  I've walked into town every morning to get the Lego toys being given away by one of the national newspapers.  Not a paper I would ever normally by but it was a great way to get some new Lego for the boys and they have been very excited by it all and also very appreciative, especially Middle, which makes the effort involved more than worthwhile.

7) My last good thing is actually probably the best though it is also the simplest.  Eldest was pretty poorly over last week end and the beginning of this week. She's not often ill and when she is it tends to hit her hard so she was pretty out of it and felt very sorry for herself.  It was nothing serious just a virus but I was still very happy to watch her getting better and to see her back to her normal self. 

So there you are.  Seven positive things to help me remember how blessed we are in our lives.

Friday, 20 May 2011

FO Friday - Yay the Shawl is Finished.

I am very pleased to have a Finished Object to share this week. And here it is.

My Shawl of My Own Invention.

The pattern is one I made up myself and I am very pleased with the results even though it is a very, very simple design.

It uses Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic I love this yarn and have used it before.  This skien was a gift and I've not got the label so I'm afraid I can't tell you the colourway. Sorry. As it was a gift and as I love the colourway I wanted to use as much of it as I could.  It goes along way so I was able to get a good sized shawl.  I only have about 7g left.

I think I may knit another of these shawls at some point.

To see other folks wonderful finished objects go visit Tami's Blog and follow the links.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

WIP Wednesday With a New Project and an Old One

Here we are back around to Wednesday already.  I have something new to show you first.  My Hitchhiker.  So far I am really enjoying the knitting.  It's a nice simple pattern and so will be a good one for taking to my knitting groups and for knitting in the day when the kids are around.

My second offering is my Ten Point 5 blanket.  It's been on the needles for a while now and though I've always viewed it as a long term project I would like progress to be a little faster than it currently is.  So I've dragged it out, photo'd it in it's present state and, for the moment, I'm thinking of coming back to it every month or so hopefully with some progress to show.

You can tell just how long term a project it is as I knit a project bag for it before I even cast it on.

And in case you were wondering about the Shawl of My Own Invention.  It's here, in soak waiting for me to go block it when I've finished playing on the computer.

To check out other works in progress go visit Tami's blog and follow the links.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Seven On Sunday

When I discovered the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week a while back I also found a blogging group on Ravelry which I have joined.  It's very interesting to read and I've found lots of other blogs to read through it.  I happily lurking earlier this week when I happened on an idea of Goodgonegirl (from Rav of course) who posts 7 Positive things each Friday.  I think this is a great idea (and I'm not the only one) particularly for me at the moment and I'm hoping it will help me to focus on the good stuff in my life and not just the hard parts.

Now I was all set to post this on Friday but then Blogger had some problems in the day and by the time it came back up I was in chilled mode and really not wanting to finish sorting this post out.  And then I had an idea.  Instead of a Positive Seven Friday I'm going to have a Sunday Seven.  Not every Sunday but hopefully most Sundays. 

So here are this weeks Positive Seven

1) Our mini Guerrilla Knitting group met on Monday evening.  Really it's just a few friends who get together for a drink and as we all knit we bring our knitting along for the trip.

2) We had a lovely walk home from school on Tuesday.  Bean held hands with me and at the same time with either Eldest or Middle.  We got lots of squeezes and hand kisses and even once had to stop for hugs too.

3) It's rained, mainly over the weekend and there was lots of it which is brilliant for the garden.  I've spent the last few days watching lots of new seedlings poke their tiny heads above ground.

4) I have finally done something to start sorting my head out.  It's been a very hard last few months and I've finally had to admit that I wasn't coping well and so I'm getting a bit of help.

5) I have new stash.  And at bargain prices too so I was able to get twice as much as I thought I'd be able to.  I went shopping at Stash in the Araucania Clearance Sale which I was directed to by Stitched-Together and another Ravely friend.  My parcel arrived very quickly and I am very pleased with it.  Just need to get knitting it now.

6) We treated the boys to the Lego Pirates of the Caribbean game and they were so pleased to get it they were speechless.  This never happens normally and it was lovely to see their excited faces when they realised what they'd been given.

7) Eldest and I went to town Saturday morning to have a wander round the shops and of course we went for coffee and cake in Costa.  I love being able to do that with her just a bit of Mama/Daughter time gives us a chance to chat and relax without the chaos of home and household jobs getting in the way.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Work In Progress Wednesday

I really can't believe that it is Wednesday again already.  In fact when I got up this morning and staggered downstairs to make lunch for the masses (at 7.00 in the morning 4 people seems like masses) I was genuinely surprised to find that it is indeed Wednesday.  I think this sadly says more about my mental health at the moment than how fast the week is going though.

Anyway onto the knitting.  I've been totally swept up in the Shawl of My Own Invention which I have been hugely enjoying.  I have a picture for you but I'm afraid it's pretty similar to the previous pictures I am hopeful though that the knitting will soon be done and the shawl on the blocking boards.  Probably not for this Friday but maybe for next.

If you want to see me work in progress then follow the links from Tami's blog.

Monday, 9 May 2011

Visitors to the Garden.

We got some much needed rain over the weekend.  It's been dry for weeks and we've been watering the pots and flower beds every couple of days which is OK but we don't water the grass and that was starting to look rather dry and certainly not very green.

Yesterday afternoon the world dried out again and the sun came back out and you could virtually watch the grass growing.  I'm hoping that I'm going to see lots of seedlings coming through in the next couple of days now they've had a good drink.

Or course the grass and flowers haven't been the only things to enjoy the rain.  Middle and Bean were fasinated with this snail and spent quite sometime encouraging him to slide onto their stick.  Normally I chuck snails into the composte bin in an effort to keep them away from my plants but I let this one just crawl away on his own.

 Of course the snails haven't been the only visitors to our garden.  Mr Miffy and I spotted these littlies one evening last week.  At this size I can cope with spiders quite well it's when they get bigger I tend to run away.

I took Bean outside to see them the next afternoon he was very impressed by the tiny spiders but less keen when they started casting their webs to get carried away on the breeze.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

This Weeks Progress aka WIP Wednesday.

I've been really pleased with the progress of the Shawl of My Own Invention I'm loving the way the colours are coming out.  The bright green is seriously bright!  I'm sorted too with the pattern now so I think this will just be a case of knitting away until it is done.  Saying that though each row is over 200 stitches at this point so, as I'm not the fastest knitter, it takes a while to get through a row so I'm tending to only pick it up now when I've got a decent stretch of knitting time.

I've not got any pictures of progress from the Blue Bamboo (at least it's got a name now) as although I loved my swatch my swatch did not love either of the patterns I had in mind for it.  I had cast on (264 stitches) and I knit 6 rows during the Royal Wedding before deciding it wasn't working out.  My fabric was just too dense and was eating up the yarn and I knew I would never have enough to finish the top.  So I am back to swatching again, this time on bigger needles.  Fingers crossed eh?

To see other folks progress go visit Tami's Amis and follow the links.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Turning of the Season

It's very nearly the end of our Easter holidays in fact Mr Miffy went back to school today.  I'm missing him already, it seems a bit odd me and the kids home without him.

We've been very lucky this year, I think partly because Easter has been so late, and the weather has been fab.  The kids have spent hours out in the garden just having fun and mucking about which has been lovely.

Mr Miffy and I got out in the garden again this last weekend and so there are now tubs planted up with lettuce, radish and carrots.  The mini plot in the front garden has been planted up with beetroot.

Eldest and I also put some nastertians in her flower garden so grow around her willow tepees.

I love this time of year the garden is really waking up now as the new seasons comes alive.  I feel myself becoming more alive too.

I love lots of things about the winter those long afternoons curled up with a blanket knitting.  Walks in the snow.  The fact that I don't feel guilty for putting my PJ's on at 6.30 in the evening and settling down for the night.  A hot water bottle every night and my big heavy duvet on the bed.

However for all that there comes a point where I really need for it to stop raining and brighten up.  For the garden to dry out so I can hang washing on the line without needing to put my wellies on first.  For the flowers to bloom and the green to return.  For the smell of fresh cut grass and spring flowers.  For me to be able to leave the house without layers of jumpers and coats and gloves.

So here I am welcoming the turning of the year and looking forward to the coming summer and even more warmth yet I know by September I'll be longing for the nights to draw in so I can go back to my winter hibernation.