Sunday, 28 June 2009

Anja's birthday present...

... is a gardening apron.

It's made out of the back of her husband's ruined jeans, and some lovely fabric from Brixton market. If she's very good, I'll stick some secateurs in the pocket too.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

World Wide Knitting In Public Day

We went to Dunster. It's on Exmoor. It has a castle.

And pubs with picturesque beer gardens

And a historic medieval yarn market.

And even though it lacks any actual yarn shops, you can still knit the first round of your new socks there, in the yarn market, to celebrate WWKIP day.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Tshirts to dresses

I do like a wardrobe refashion and I particularly like it combined with a clothes swap.

This little dress was a tshirt. You know what a tshirt looks like, so I didn't take a picture first. It had capped sleeves and was fine, but nothing special.

I had been holding forth about how easy it was to make little girls dresses out of tshirts, and then someone rather called my bluff, by saying go on then.

So I did. And I must say, I'm rather proud of it.

It's got a ruffle.

It's got a pouch type pocket.It fits the child it was intended for.
I proved a point.

Job done!

The second tshirt is for another friend's little girl. Still a work in progress, but nearly there.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Friday cupcakes and a picnic

I feel like I spend all day everyday at work (although it's the only place I have any peace and quiet to arrange childcare and think about food shopping), but on Fridays I quite often stay at home with Child B. And even on days when I don't, I come home early to pick up Child A from school.

Like many parents (well, mums) I've found the transition to school traumatic. Nursery used to run from 8am to pretty much 6pm, with snacks and naps all round. Even though it bled us dry, financially, it was a source of emotional succour as the pastoral care was provided as much for the parents as for the kids. School, in terms of weekly budgetting, is a godsend, but in terms of hours per day it's a nightmare. I mean who on earth can fit a working day between 9 and 3? Especially once the guilt laden 15 minutes extra in the class room are accounted for. Even when I work from home, 9.20 to 2.55 hardly constitutes a working day. But in a way, the worst thing is what to do with all that extra time with your child! Much as I love them, I can't be the first mum to think that the less time she spends with her children, the harder the time left becomes. Firstly I don't know what they like to do. Secondly I forget how to play, or how to let them play. Thirdly, there's a lot of pressure to make all the time together precious, when inevitably some of it will be fractious, or involve wiping noses, administering vegetables and shouting.

When it's sunny, we often go straight to the park after school. When it's not we bake a cake. Sometimes from first principles. Often from a packet. The boys mostly eat porridge for breakfast, but porridge augmented (secretly with fruit) with hundreds and thousands, chocolate sprinkles, food colouring, whatever. I think it's still more nutritious than Krusty Flakes, or (insert generic sugar laden cereal here). I means though, that we're at the top of our game when it comes to icing cakes.

Lucy from Attic 24 always takes such beautiful pictures of her little people's works in progress, and manages to even make her housework look lovely and colourful. I'm not quite as adept, but in the spirit of at least trying, here are our little bowls of icing. Oh no, darned computer won't move them. They're at the bottom.
Here we all are at Chepstow Castle. In the sun. Glorious!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

A little birdy told me

These pretty little birds are from spool. I've been making a batch to give to people who I'd like to give something to when they've had a baby, but for whom a knitted blanket wouldn't really be appropriate.

They're sitting in the fence that separates us from our lovely neighbour. Her garden is much better than ours, so it's nice to be looking that way.

The look we aspire to with our garden is something along the lines of repossession chic. Our gardens go back to back with our neighbours, so it would be quite a feat to get a car on bricks through. However, if we did manage, it would feel right at home.

We used to have a pond. Considering our garden is not large, the largeness of the pond was a particular insult. That it housed newts was a redeeming feature, but it did threaten to drown most children / cats that passed its way. A couple of years ago, Mr Kinkatink decided to fill it in. But first he had to dig another pond. For the next two years, we had 2 ponds, taking up about 50% of the garden.

At the bank holiday I freaked out at the allotment after bastard slugs ate EVERYTHING (well, not the bind weed) so I decided to abandon the allotment (it's going spare, if you'd like one - time wasters need not apply). By the end of the weekend, we had somewhere to sit and drink pimms, and more importantly, to photograph little birds. They are now winging their way around new babies in the greater Bristol area.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Bundles for babies

I might have mentioned once or twice that it seems like everyone I know is having babies at the moment. Yes, I know I've got two, but they'll be 5 and 3 within the month, and they just aren't babies anymore. So I have to make things for the new ones. And their mummies, and their siblings. In the past, it was always local people having babies, and I'd turn up with a card, homemade bread and soup, something nice for the mum - some nail varnish, or mascara (blue, so when it smudged, it would just look like eye makeup), a blanket for the baby, and a little something for the sibling. I have a stash of cards, blankets and small presents for siblings, so in the event of a surprise birth I'm good to go.

I've made the same cards for a while now: cookie cutter bunnies out of green/blue/purple paint samples on a pink or blue background. I just use two the same, and invert one, but you have to be careful what they're called. I painted a room Sexy Pink once. You wouldn't want to put that on a birthday card. Gender stereotyping from birth is all well and good, but that's a step too far!

In one batch, I was left with two bunnies but not enough samples for the card, so one of the cards like this has two bunnies on. I thought it looked fine, but I think now it's going to have to wait until someone pops twins. Boy twins. No pressure guys.

This here is the parcel I sent to my good friend Joy. I've known her since university days. She was the first to have a baby, who is now a very grown up nearly nine year old (and my god daughter to boot). Time has passed, and we've all grown up a bit, and Joy now has a new husband and a new baby, and I don't see nearly enough of her.

The blanket is tiger eye lace. I did have a pattern for it (as a scarf) but the site seems to have disappeared. It was a bugger to knit! But very pretty, so I guess worth it in the end.