Friday, 31 October 2014


I'm knee (wrist?) deep in Christmas knitting at the moment, which is both awesome (lots of knitting!) and completely panic inducing (lots of knitting!).  I have two jumpers, a pair of socks, components for a Christmas window at work AND a Secret Santa gift to make.  Oh, and some decorations for the mothers and something for Janet's gift swap.  And a hat requested by a friend.  Who knows where blogging fits in around this insane plan?

I managed to do twenty one tiny hats for the Big Knit and they'll be sent away soon.  Speaking of, Rachel wrote a post about something I've thought about in the past - why are we knitting tiny hats when we could be making something more useful for charity?  (I had some wee bits of yarn to use up but...yeah, not gonna devote a huge amount of time to that when I have that whole other part of the list to get on with!)

My Lego person got a new accessory - the perfect one, if you ask me.  The Lego dogs are trying on their nativity costumes.  Work has become very creative lately!

Tam drew a picture of me crocheting, and I didn't know whether to be happy at how fab it is or a bit worried that I make that face in real life...  I sorted all my winter clothes and got the shoes organised.  Probably only half of these will be worn regularly (plus my wellies and winter boots that live in the car/at Tams) but it's easy to grab any of them when the occasion arises.

Mother sent me post at work one day.  Unfortunately it was when I was off sick and didn't get it until the next week.  Probably for the best, given how quickly those Malteser reindeers disappeared...

Work outing to Home Bargains!  Everyone in Glasgow sings the praises of this place and I'd never heard of it until I moved there, so off we went to the biggest one in the area last week on our lunch breaks.  I'm a bit of a convert now.

Tam and I went to a Mask Drawing event at the Museum Resource Centre last Saturday as part of The Big Draw.  We booked it rather belatedly and were worried it would be full but there were only two other people there!  We went into the World Cultures vault and practised on a couple of sculptures before getting to choose something to draw on our own.  I defaulted to my usual style of tiny drawing, but it was fun getting to brush up on my rusty shading skills with the big bird man statue.

I went on Amazon to buy a couple of knitting needles for my hat and realised it was much, much cheaper to just buy a set.  So...this happened.  And a set of crochet hooks may have joined them...  I'm not a great fan of the bamboo hooks though, so while I'll still be looking for metal ones in the charity shops, these should keep me going for now.

Parsnip was being adorable one day and didn't shake himself straight away when we put a hat on him, so I had to capture it.  Tam was also being adorable and brought me Love Hearts and crisps when he went to fetch a paper.

Remember my latest baby knits?  They were finally wrapped up and dispatched to their recipients, who I'm told loved them.  I was a bit worried about my lack of 'proper' wrapping paper but I think I made it work.

This turned into a pretty busy month, activity wise.  There was the second wedding and the holiday, crochet lessons and sorting out the winter wardrobe.  Tonight we're rounding off the month by going to see Billy Connolly at the Clyde Auditorium.  I've wanted to see him live for years and sadly it looked like this might be my last chance, so when I found out he was playing in Glasgow I had to get tickets.  A couple of people at work have been and said he was predictably great, so I have no doubt it'll be worth it.


Monday, 27 October 2014

A trip to Loch Rannoch

We had a mini autumn break recently at Loch Rannoch, which is in the middle of nowhere (the road only went a few miles further than where we stayed) and therefore awesomely relaxing.  We went with Tam's mum, aunt and uncle, and of course Parsnip.  On the way up we stopped off at Aberfeldy and popped into this great print shop I found last time.  Tam and I bought each other a mini sketch pad and I snaffled one of those cool leaflets for my display board.  

After finally arriving at the cottage, the knitting came out and the fire went on.  This pretty much set the tone for most nights that week, aside from the Thursday when we all went to The Enchanted Forest in the rain.  I like to think the weather added to the 'Elemental' theme they had going on though...  The next day Tam and I went off to use his Christmas present from last year - a trip on the Highland Safari.  We went on the Mountain Safari and it was way more fun than I was expecting.  We even saw some deer!  Two tribes!  (Packs?  Families?  Um...)  And the dram of whisky 2500 feet up didn't hurt either.  Obviously my camera wasn't quite up to capturing the wildlife (hence the giant arrow...) but the binoculars did a much better job.

There was much dog walking done too of course, which Parsnip was very excited about.  We had a great walk in the Black Woods (a name that didn't endear me to it right away, funnily enough, but the peacefulness soon won me round) and completely tired Parsnip out with a game of 'fetch the stick'.  One time he even dived into the bushes and came out with a completely different stick, which he looked so pleased about I couldn't help doubling over with laughter.  He's a hoot.  We got on better with the selfies this time too - Parsnip is turning into an excellent photography subject!


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Finished Knitting - Chunky beanie hat

My latest knit may be my favourite so far.  There's a good chance I say that about a lot of things I knit, but this one was just for me so it has the edge.  I picked up a ball of chunky wool in the sale when I went to Bridlington in July.  I only remember that it was reduced to £2 in Boyes - the label had been lost so I have no idea what brand it was.  This is really annoying me now that I've knitted with it, loved it and want to buy more.  Faff.

I used this free Debbie Bliss pattern, Dandelion, and did the crown decreases as per the latter part of the Orange Bobble Hat pattern, although I could have figured that part out myself if I wasn't concentrating on TV at the time...  I had just enough in the 100g ball to complete the hat and pompom (I LOVE THE POMPOM.  ALL THE COLOURS.) and, thanks to TV again, I got a bit carried away on the rib and made it longer than I really meant to.  Since it was just for me though, I decided not to unravel it.  I also went down to 8mm needles after doing a swatch on 10mm and it was the perfect fit.  Plus that lovely combination of big needles and chunky wool meant it was started and finished in one night.  I need more thick, fluffy wool now.

(these pictures were kindly taken by Tam when we were on holiday at Loch Rannoch last week, the perfect setting for knitwear!  My gloves were handmade by his aunt and my jumper is from Long Tall Sally.)


Monday, 20 October 2014

A few of my favourite things

These items are quickly turning into my wardrobe staples.  Here's the bargain cashmere jumper in action - you know, that one I won't stop going on about?  It's sooo cosy.  This dress is in pretty constant rotation all year, being that it's that rare mix of long enough, and navy, and fitted in just the right way.  (Here's a slightly better view of it...)  And the shoes.  Hmm.  Alison also owns them and loves them but they're taking an absolute age to break in!  In fact I wore them out to dinner a few weeks ago - I walked there and back, about half an hour round trip - and they rubbed my feet so badly I couldn't wear anything against my heels for over a week.  Picture me walking about Glasgow, standing on the back of my shoe so nothing touches the bloody, plaster-covered surface of my foot.  It's a nice image, isn't it?  I'd been a bit scared to put them on again since but they seem to be ok just walking about work.  Fingers crossed they accept my feet soon!

coat - Topshop Tall via eBay
jumper - M&S mens via charity shop
dress - Monsoon
brogues - Clarks

Friday, 17 October 2014

Finished Crochet - Christmas bunting

My first completed crochet project!  I'm a bit proud of myself here, since I managed to do this completely independently of my class.  I was off work ill a couple of days last week, which carried on into the weekend, so I thought it was a good time to lie on the sofa with movies and wool.  After finding the bunting project on the Let's Knit website (free pattern!) I decided it was time for a bit of extra crochet practise.  I had no trouble with it at all - the triangles are just like granny squares and the snowflakes are chains and double crochet.  They took about ten minutes each and I LOVED doing them, I think our office window will be getting decorated in snowflakes soon.

As usual my stitches were pretty tight, so the shaping came out a bit curved.  I also did the red border around three sides instead of two - that'll teach me to only read the instructions once.  The 'string' that holds them together should have an extra chain row on the top but when I started it, it seemed to be taking the design out of shape - again, this was probably down to my tight stitches though.

I've decided to give my first completed crochet project to Mother next month - I got us tickets to the Country Living Christmas Show for her birthday so it seems like an appropriate time!  Plus she taught me how to knit many (many many) years ago and it feels right that she should benefit from the eventual evolution of my skills.

Next up, I want to try this cute little pumpkin pattern designed by Jo.  Hopefully with my fellow crocheters sat beside me on holiday I should get it semi right...