Saturday, September 30, 2006

New look

I just finished this scarf for Nancy, its a Christmas present, but since she does not read the blog I am safe in posting it. Also, I'm really pleased with it!

The pattern is Child's Rainbow Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (beginning to think I've actually got my money's worth from that book!). It basically a mistake rib pattern knitted in a 2-row stripe. The yarn is of course Noro, in this case Kureyon in colours 166 and 139. I always like the beautiful colours of Noro, but really not the sort of thing you need a whole sweater in, but a scarf is just perfect...might have to knit one for myself.

I too have a new look - here looking both tired and startled. Photo by Adam. The sweater is one I knitted last summer; Carla by Rowan in Rowan tape. Hair by Christina at 5-Color Cowboy.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The dress revisited

Last night we went to a fundraising BBQ at Adam's school, it was pretty early so by 7:30 having eaten and both boys in bed I had some time...

So, I unpicked the tent and remade it. Here I am modeling it in the garden with my new boots. If I look slightly flushed its because it was 80 degrees and sunny.

The pattern is Simplicity 4072. The fabric is cord from JoAnns. I was not planning to make a cord dress, as the style would not really lend itself to such a heavy fabric, but it really was the only material I liked at all in JoAnns. The red cord has some stretch which was good for the facings and they are nice and smooth. Made up, I love the fabric as the cord is very fine and actually not too bulky, and I am really pleased with the colour combination.

I added a 3" panel above the waist. Because the pattern is so busy you can hardly see the modification and it looks a lot better, although it took me a long time to get the fit correct at the front and back. As pointed out by the helpful commenters on dress a day I should have lengthened the bodice in the first place. I should remember that hoping that a short bodice will fit is not going to be enough next time! Actually, next time I think I'm just going to buy the dress from Boden...altho mine cost $27 rather than $128.

I would say that I think it looks better in the flesh than in the photo which makes me look very busty...but I suppose the camera does not lie. It was never going to be the most flattering style for anyone with a bust, I had also planned to make long sleeves rather than the kimono sleeves, but again, didnt have enough material (due to incorrectly reading the fabric requirements).

Anyway it will be a nice warm dress for the winter when it comes and another option instead of jeans!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Small projects

I like to have multiple knitting projects on the go at any time; usually something complicated (currently my orange & pink lace shawl), something mindless for when I am watching TV or listening to a conference call (just finished large secret project), and something small for knitting in the car, or at the park.

Here are a couple of my small projects:

Nigel requested these handwarmers to wear under his cycling gloves. They are knitted in Regia silk, a sock yarn with wool, silk and nylon, so they are both warm and light. I used the pattern from Last Minute Knitted gifts that I had previously knitted for myself.

This little outfit is for my friend Alison's baby which is due on Friday. I think I'm pretty safe posting it now as I'm pretty sure Alison doesnt read the blog. The pattern is a combination of several baby patterns Ive got. Its knitted in Cascade 220 Superwash. The little suit is from the UK.

Friday, September 22, 2006

I made us a tent

While Nigel was away this week I thought I would entertain myself with some sewing. I had been planning a dress like this since I saw one in the Boden Catalog and here .

The fabric is a fine cord and I was really pleased with how the colours worked together. The cord was not as bulky as I had feared and the colours together with the design have a nice japanese style.

However, you will notice that its shown artistically draped on the front bench rather than modelled by me. This is not because of a lack of photographer but because it looks absolutely terrible on. I look dumpy in the extreme: the waist is about the widest point of my bust. I am wondering whether to add another waist panel, because the sleeves and other styling look better than I expected, or whether to follow Nigel's suggestion and cut it up the middle to make a rather sophisticated dressing gown.

The day was not entirely a wash-out from the creation point of view - Finlay and I made some successful brownies which were eaten for tea with much relish by all.

Finlay's favourite part of baking = licking the spoon.

Looking back at the Dress-a-day website I see that Erin made a McCalls pattern whereas mine was a Simplicity one. I might need another trip out to see if I can find the McCalls pattern because it looks as if it might have a longer waist. Hmmmm.....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

GO Wonderpets!

Finlay's new favourite show is Wonderpets

Linny is one of the heroes, he is a hamster. Finlay engaged me in a conversation as follows:
Finlay: Mummy, you know Linny in Wonderpets? On the TV he looks big, but actually he is really quite small.
Me: How small?
F: As small as the hamsters in the pet shop. (A popular activity for Finlay is going to visit the hamsters in the pet shop). I saw him.
M: Don't you think the Wonderpets are make-believe?
F: No they are real. The reason you have never seen them is that they live a long way from here. I saw them when I went in my spaceship. The chick and the turtle are small too.

This whole line of conversation has me wondering, yet again, if he really has a space ship concealed somewhere. After all, the wonderpets appear to be classroom pets - but are actually super heroes.

By the way, I love Wonderpets. It's one of the shows where I actually sit and watch with him. All the dialogue is sung like an opera. The only downside is that I sing the Wonderpets song all afternoon.."We're
not too big and we're not too tough, but when we work together we've got the right stuff...Go Wonderpets!"

Im running a small book on how long before we acquire a pet hamster.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tales of the city

We went to San Francisco on Sunday. It was a lovely day - clear skies, 74 degrees or so. First of all we took a cable car to the top of Nob Hill. Both boys did eventually take seats on the outside of the car (after much persuasion on F).

Then we walked down to Chinatown, where there was a lot going on. We saw an old man playing some instrument that looked like a tin can with a stick stuck in it, he was playing it with what looked like a violin bow. We have no idea what the instrument was but since it sounded like chinese music sounds we assume it was a tradtional instrument. (Who knows - could really have been a retired violinist fooling us all).

We also saw some dragons and acrobats. Here is a photo of the acrobats - they were perfoming on top of plinths about 6' off the ground. I would have taken a photo of the dragons, but F was holding tightly onto my head and struggling to get away (!).

I think this might have been rehearsals for the Autumn Moon festival which is next weekend.

Finally we wrapped up with Dim Sum for lunch. Adam was very adventurous and tried everything including tea. Finlay polished off a plate of pretty spicy noodles but didnt really want to try anything else. They both attempted to eat using their chopsticks with fairly predictable results, however with more success than the middle-aged midwestern tourist on the next table.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Dragon in the garden

We found this beastie in the garden - he was about 5" across.

We have the small blue dragoflies over the pool often, but had not seen one this size.

Last weekend

Last Saturday we went to Pacific Grove for the Pacific Grove Triathalon (sprint distance). We had a lot of fun cheering Nigel (and the other cyclists) from a good vantage point in the cycling loop. Then we went to the running track and watched him finish.
It was actually a lovely weekend, we even had some rain which was a nice change. We did a lot of rock pool exploring and some long cycle rides along the coast.

We saw loads of crabs, starfish and seals, including 2 seals mating.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Is that a...

...Certified Executive Project Manager?

Yes it is.

To celebrate we had breakfast at the LG Cafe.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day weekend

This weekend was a US holiday which turned into a 4-day weekend for us.
So what did we do with all this leisure?
The action men went surfing and diving. (A&F got pretty wet too)

Nigel did some gardening, and some of this...
...and I did some knitting.
This is a scarf (obviously) in Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud, its a simple feather fan stitch pattern and really my first foray into lace. I actually finished this a week ago or so, but only got around to blocking it this weekend while swatching for yet another secret project!

And of course we followed that ancient American tradition and barbequeued.