Remember, remember the fifth of November…

I really meant to participate in NaNoBloMo this November (if it’s still going?) but here we are already on the 5th of November and I forgot!

So, brief synopsis of the many months since I last posted – kids got bigger, cheekier and learned lots of things, I knitted some kilometres of yarn, we went camping a couple of times through the summer, I finally finished decorating our daughter’s bedroom and I launched my solo yarn shop, http://www.owlaboutyarn.etsy.com. I’m also on instagram now, you can find me there as @jennieworld.

Let’s pretend I’ve not been away and dive straight in. I’m struggling through a pair of colourwork mittens at the moment. It’s a lovely pattern, although you do need to be familiar with knitting Scandinavian style mittens as directions are sparse, but it’s a free pattern on Ravelry – Heart Mittens. But I’m not in the mood for colourwork, and there are a hundred and one things I’d rather be knitting and so I’m knitting as fast as I can to get them done! I’m well over half way through the second mitten, so it shouldn’t take me too much longer. Here’s the mitt-in-progress;

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Once this is finished, I cast on some plain flip-top mittens, and then some more mittens which I’m designing in my head at the moment! I’m visualising a whimsical little cable up one side…hopefully pictures soonish!

Plans for 2013

I know I’m a little late to this party, but that seems to be the way it is at the moment! Time is flying by so fast, I’m missing all sorts of things. For example, a very good friend had her birthday one month and five days ago (you know who you are!) and I’ve yet to send her her birthday parcel. She’s going to have a lovely late spring surprise at this rate! The daft thing is that I had almost everything I wanted to send ahead of time, and then the days got away from me and I didn’t do it. It’s OK, I do realise how rubbish I am!

So, plans for the remaining ten and a half months of the year include;

1. Holiday – don’t know where, don’t know when but we will have a change of scenery and see somewhere new this year!

2. Redecorate Sweetie’s room before she moves in. Her cot is in our room at the moment, and I think will be for a little while. We need to work out how to put up a curtain rail, as there is no space between the top of the window frame and the ceiling. I sorted out everything in her room this last week though so there’s no rubbish in there any more! However, I still need to decide on a room layout and colour scheme.

3. Get a new kitchen sink. We have one of those beige plastic kitchen sinks at the moment, and since we moved in I’ve wanted to swap it for a stainless steel one. I can’t dye yarn easily until I do, as it would wreck our current sink. Our plumber should be coming out to replace a radiator soon though, so I’ll ask him about it then.

4. Fitness – improve it! I was almost immobile during the last few months of my pregnancy last year, and then it took longer than last time for the pain to go away. On the whole things seem to be more or less back to normal now, so I’m very slowly improving my fitness levels. I aim to go out for walks more as the weather improves, and I always run up the stairs (except when I’m carrying the baby of course!). Baby steps, but it’s slowly slowly paying off.

5. Get my Etsy shop back up and running. I’m planning and working on items for my shop at the moment. I hope to go back to the craft market later in the Spring too, if they have room for me! But I want to revamp my stall completely, so I need to work on that for the next couple of months.

6. Enjoy my kids. They are all three of them growing and changing before my eyes, and I don’t want to miss a minute! Well, maybe the odd minute here or there to go to knit night or Wonderwool Wales, but you get the general gist!

So, these are my overall goals. I’ve got more specific ones, such as improving my baking, or certain projects I want to make. Hopefully I’ll find time to talk more about these as and when they happen.

Rushed

I had the shocking realisation today that it will be December in less than two weeks. Now, I’m growing accustomed to the years flying past, but I seem to have lost a whole season. Is it me, or did autumn come and go in about three days?

My little girl is six months old already (more about that in another post) and still regularly travelling in her babasling. I’m so glad I bought them (I own two – the first was an eBay bargain but in an ungirly green so I splashed out on a nice lilac one once I realised how much use it would get). It takes much less time to pop her in that and get out of the door than it does to pack her in her buggy. Quite apart from anything else, as she’s snuggled right up against me and at least partly under my coat I don’t need to pile so many layers on her. We have recently begun to share a scarf when we travel like this, to keep out the draughts!

I’m not doing much Christmas knitting this year as I always overcommit myself and end up getting really stressed out in Christmas week. I am taking part in a swap on Ravelry though, and we have to make something to go in the parcel. I decided a shawl would be a great idea. However, I’ve just started the border in a 2×2 rib (the knitters among you will understand!) with approximately 450 stitches per  row. I reckon each row will take a good quarter of an hour to complete, and the border should probably be at least three if not four inches deep. And I don’t like knitting rib at the best of times. I can see that I’ll need to find whole new levels of patience over the coming week. Oh, and I’m on a deadline; ideally I want to post my parcel by the end of next week. I just hope the recipient likes it after all this!

Other than that, I want to make some more blanket squares and finish a baby hat by the end of the month, then I’m aiming to make baby Sweetie another jumper before Christmas. So I really don’t have time for it to already be two thirds through  November. Oh dear!

Stuck

I had plans to be busy this afternoon, but then this happened;

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Sweetie was miserable and unsettled this afternoon, and as GG couldn’t get her to sleep I offered to calm her down. Seems to have worked!

Mind you, it looks like it’s contagious – GG’s now asleep in his new chair with his mouth open. We must be getting old!

I’m working on a hat for my niece at the moment, as well as dungarees for baby Sweetie. The dungarees are all but finished, they only need buttons and decorating. Both the dungarees and hat are my own patterns. I’m enjoying coming up with ideas to design for the babies, although it’d take me months to work through all the ideas I’ve been jotting down recently. Especially if I spend many more afternoons like this one!

A lovely surprise gift!

I’m a member of a group on Ravelry called the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup. The purpose of the group is to inspire all the members to knit, crochet, weave etc at least one thing each month. Each project you submit gets you points for your ‘house’. I’ve been a member for nearly three years now, and the people there are so friendly. They’re really supportive in good times and bad. As a fabulous example, look what I got a couple of weeks ago;

The blanket is made up ( as you can see) of nine squares, made by five other members of the group and then pieced together and sent to me by one of them as well. What a lovely gift to get! These people have never met me, and in all likelihood never will other than on the internet and yet they took the time and trouble to make this for my new baby. She’s a very lucky little girl! It’s been in use every day, and I can see that it’ll be useful for a long time to come, either as a playmat or to keep her warm whilst she’s sleeping. One of my friends suggested that it might become her snuggle blanket which would comfort her when she’s off colour. However it’s used, I’m sure it will be well used and well loved!

 

Getting busy

Until we get past exchanging contracts I’m not getting busy packing boxes, so I’m making the most of these last few days to sit down as much as possible, and also to knit as much as I have time for. I get the impression that February might be a bit of a write off, craft wise, and I’ve got a cardigan which I’m making for myself that I’d like to be able to wear this winter. I’m nearly up to the armpits now, so I’m reasonably confident I will finish it before the weather warms up significantly. Hopefully I’ll have a picture of where I’m up to by the end of the week. Hopefully, also by the end of the week, I should have photos of a pile of boxes!

Bonus Baby, judging by the size of me, is growing well (23 weeks tomorrow!). I’m getting regular internal gymnastics displays, which are really reassuring, and I’m starting to let myself plan more. I’ve got a line of jumpers and cardigans queued up, both in my mind and on Ravelry.com to make before May! My sister-in-law is hoping that I’ll be making a couple of matching jumpers for Bonus Baby and my niece – could be good, even if only for the photos we’ll be able to show them when they’ve grown up!

Next week will be all about planning for the move some more. I’ve worked out a couple more places that I could stack a pile of boxes in the flat, so I’m not quite so concerned that I’ll need to pile boxes up on the front lawn now! I’m also going to have to clear out some more rubbish, which on the plus side means I’ll have less to pack!

My three boys (I include my husband in that!) are treating me like a princess. Regular drinks and food are provided by one or the other, together with unlimited cuddles and back rubs. And when GG and Cheeky went out for bread and milk a couple of evenings ago, they came back with red roses for me. I could get used to this! It makes the stiff joints and the slowing down completely worth it!

Knitting like a maniac

I don’t know where January is going. I also don’t know where my mind is going; each morning (and sometimes several times through the day) I keep thinking that it’s February already, and spark a mini-panic in my mind! Hopefully we’ll be moving house in February, and so I’m not anxious for the next five weeks to go too quickly as there’s a lot of packing and cleaning to do before we go. I’ve made a start on packing some things (mainly clothes that don’t fit right now anyway) but space is at a premium already in our flat and so I’m a little concerned about where all the boxes will go. I’m resisting the urge to pack too much until after contracts have been exchanged, which hopefully will be in the next week or so. But then it will be all stations go. I’ve already had to slow my pace down, so I can’t afford to leave it all to the last few days.

I’ve had a lucky break with my job though. We are encouraged to use up all of our annual leave before we go on maternity leave, and so I’m actually finishing in three weeks time, although I’ll not officially be on maternity leave until April. Which means that I get two clear weeks before we move (if the date stays the same) to stay home and pack!

Already I’m 22 and a half weeks through this pregnancy, and she is kicking up a storm every day! Handsome and Cheeky felt her thumping away through my stomach at the start of the week, and they were so excited. I made her a little cardigan at the weekend, and yesterday I made some little flowers to embellish it, although I’m not fixing them on until I’m certain she is actually a girl!

I’ve been busy with my knitting recently, as I’m keenly aware that once I start packing, then unpacking and arranging, then when the baby arrives, I’ll not have very much time for crafting! So I’m making the most of January before life gets hectic! So this month I’ve also made some washcloths for Bonus, a pair of flip top mittens for GG and a shawl for noone in particular but because I wanted to knit up the yarn.