Knit, Inc

Hallo peeps! I am back from the wilderness and also from a much needed vacation in Florida. Yes, you’ve guessed it, there has been much stash enhancement, with a sprinkling of new yarn store discoveries too. Oh, and I might have also enabled my new sewing obsession just a *little* bit… Hold on to your seats, here comes some yarn/fabric pr0n!

Let’s start with my first love, knitting. This first batch comes from KnitPicks. I also bought a ton of yarn from here for some of the gals in my knitting group, but I haven’t put this up here. I think there’s enough!

 

The first yarn is Lindy Chain, 70% linen, 30% cotton. I got two colours, Silver:
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and Hollyberry:

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I honestly don’t know how this yarn got in my basket. it’s Shine Sport in Blush, the same yarn I used to make the A Good Stripe Dress for Alice years ago. All I can imagine is that it was in my wish list from ages ago & somehow made its way into the basket. Now I have to find something to knit with it!

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Mmm, shiny sock yarn. This is Stroll Glimmer. It’s a gorgeous turquoise-y shade. And sparkles!

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This is Stroll Fingering handpainted in the colourway Lullaby. I’ve bought this as a present for one of my knitting group ladies who has been very good to me recently. She has brought Dad up to visit Mam on two Sundays for me when I couldn’t. It’s the least I could do to say thank you to buy her some nice yarn.

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I’m not really sure why I bought this, but it is nice. It’s Gloss Lace. I got two skeins, so plenty for a nice shawl.

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This next lot of yarn came from a new yarn store I discovered in Odessa, Florida called Fiber Art, Inc. I’ve pics of the store later on in the post. This gorgeous yarn is Berroco Boboli lace. I also bought a pattern book to go with the yarn, some lovely patterns in there.

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Another one of my favourite yarns, Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine. Scrummy.

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This one really leapt off the shelf at me, mostly I think because of the colours. I’m a sucker for turquoise. It’s Berroco Maya, three dark turquoise, one light.

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My final yarn store was my ever beloved Sip & Knit in Maitland. Doni and the gang moved to a new store location recently, and it was great to see her lovely new store and squish all her fab yarns! This one is Cascade Avalon. I love Cascade yarn.

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This picture isn’t great, this yarn is a *gorgeous* peachy shade. It’s Holiday Yarns FlockSock sock yarn:

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The minute I saw this yarn label I thought of Breaking Bad. It’s CoBaSi from HiKoo The Co is cotton, Ba is bamboo and Si is silk. Mmm!

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This yarn is deliciously soft and silky. It’s Berroco Folio:

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Another of my favourite yarns, Cascade Heritage Silk Paints. Lovely foresty colours.

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Doni gave me this fab tote bag for being such a good customer. It’s for loyalty club members, but I snuck one home with me 🙂 Isn’t it lovely? I love the pocket in the front for patterns!

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So that’s the yarn roundup done. Now onto the fabric! Yippee!

This is a selection of lengths of fabric that’s meant to be used for a quilt/blanket, but I’m going to use them for a charm roll bag. They’re in gorgeous gold/brown/orangey shades. Yum. I got this in Fiber Arts, Inc too.

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Just across the road from Sip & Knit there was the most *enourmous* fabric store! Bonus! It was absolutely HUGE. I could’ve spent hours in there! I managed to restrain myself and just bought a few notions and this most adorable fabric. SHEEP!

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I practically skipped into Jo-ann’s this year and I think I spent 3 hours in there before hubby & Alice dragged me out! (I did end up going back later in the holiday and spent another hour or so in there). It was fabric HEAVEN. And bargain-tastic! This first fabric is for a music bag for Alice:

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OWLS!

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This colour was hard to photograph, it’s a purply blue. I got enough to make a dress for me:

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This one is for a dress for Alice. I previously tweeted about a pattern & fabric I’d bought in Belfast earlier this year to make a dress for Alice, but when I got home there wasn’t enough fabric. To say I was disgusted is an understatement. So, this fabric is to make up for that. Alice picked it herself. It’s very light, so I got some dark purple lining to go underneath. I hope it turns out ok!

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This fabric ROCKS. I bought it to make an apron for hubby.

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SEWING FABRIC! I bought this to make a sewing machine cover:

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Then I found the extra bargain corner where there were loads of fat quarters for $1.49!

Christmas ones:

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Hallowe’en ones! Now I need to figure out what to do with them!

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Then I went a bit berserk in the pattern section. How could I not? I got almost all of these patterns for $1.99. yes, $1.99! These are about €18 here! Brilliant Ted!

A dress for me:

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Another dress for me:

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Umm another dress for me:

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A dress, but not for me! yay! It’s for Alice:

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Lots of outfit options in this one for me:

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An apron pattern for hubby’s fabric:

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This portion of the pattern segment is brought to you by bags. I am a bag ho. I’m not denying it. First set of bags:

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This one is phone and tablet bags. Woot!

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Messenger bags and backpacks:

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Moar bags:

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Tote bags that are perfect for knitting project bags:

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Finally, I saw this cross stitch kit and just couldn’t resist. Look! Sewing notions! Too cute. This will hang on the wall of my craft room. Now all I need to do is learn how to cross stitch! oops!

 

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As promised, here’s some pics of my latest yarn store discovery. Fiber Art, Inc aka Fiber Art Fine Yarns in Odessa, Florida.

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It’s a really lovely store with very friendly and welcoming staff. I actually arrived 5 minutes before closing time and they very happily kept the store open for me until I was finished. They chatted away the whole time about their gorgeous yarns, it was a great visit!

This was a wall of yarn from Australia, I can’t actually remember the name of it, but it was SCRUMMY. Apparently they were hand picked to be one of the first yarn stores to stock it.
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Look at the colours. I could have petted this all day.

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This was the back of the store, where there were loads of cubbyholes and racks of scrummy yarn:

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The front of the store was so welcoming, with lovely comfy chairs and samples to sit amongst while you knit away. I could see myself settling in there for a while!

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They also had a small selection of fabric and roving. It really was a lovely store, I shall definitely visit again and spend more time there.

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Wow! What a mammoth blog post! My fingers are killing me! Hope you enjoyed my yarn/fabric pr0n! I did do some knitting while on vacation, more on that next post.

 

Good knitting (& sewing)!

BabyMania

Posted on: June 9, 2014

*tap tap* *whistle* Is this thing on? Yes, I’ve been missing again. What can I say, my life is one unending soap opera.

 

Anyhoo, here’s what knitting I’ve been up to during my absence. I seem to have been bitten by the baby bug. I’m really enjoying baby knitting at the moment. I think it’s because there are some really lovely patterns out there, I’ve come up with some of my own and also because it’s quick. That’s probably the best thing about it as I don’t really have patience for a longer project anymore.

 

So, here’s the first cardigan:

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Pattern: Garter Yoke Baby Cardigan by Jennifer Hoel

Yarn: Random DK acrylic

Needles: 4mm

The ever popular garter yoke cardi. I love this pattern, it’s so cute!

 

This next one is a vintage pattern I found. It’s absolutely adorable I think!
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Pattern: Puss by Patons from Patons R.30 – Favourite designs for babies

Yarn: Peter Pan Bonnie Babe 4ply

Needles: 3.5mm

I’ll definitely knit this one again, I love it. to be honest, almost all of the patterns in that book are super cute. I love vintage patterns!

 

This next one is adapted from another vintage pattern & I hope to publish it soon:

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Pattern: I’m toying with the name Leafy Yoke Cardigan

Yarn: Random DK acrylic

Needles: 4mm

I’ve adapted this to use a heavier weight yarn than the original, made a couple of changes and also charted the design. I had asked some lovely knitters to test knit it for me and there were lots of errors. LOTS. I’m not so great at remembering the changes I make! So, I decided to re-knit it and also to make some further changes. Any of my test knitters that I rudely abandoned recently, I apologise. I hope to re-send the pattern out soon.

Here’s my latest attempt so far, knit using Cascade 220 superwash:

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It’s going swimmingly.

 

My last FO to show is not technically an FO yet. I finished it ages ago, but I haven’t blocked it yet:

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Pattern: Garden of Alla shawl by Suzy Crancer. I adapted it to use the alternative edging by Haramis17

Yarn: Wollmeise Pure 100% merino superwash in Tandoori Masala. NOM

Needles: 4mm

This turned into a bit of a prayer shawl for me. There was a lot of stuff going on while I was knitting it and I found myself repeating a bit of a mantra while knitting and knitting. I knit this in about 10 days, such was my need for some sort of reassurance. One of the two major things has worked out well, so perhaps it did some good.

Amazingly, I have found lace knitting quite therapeutic. Perhaps it’s the concentration required, it stops my mind from whirling quite so much.

In other news, my little girl left yesterday for 3 weeks in the Gaeltacht. For those outside of Ireland, it’s an intensive Irish language camp where no English is permitted but lots and lots of fun is had. I can’t describe how much I’m missing her, we’ve only been apart once for one night in her 13 years. The house is so quiet & empty without her. I can’t wait for her to come home. Perhaps it’s time to take out the lace knitting again until she returns.

 

Good knitting!

Ze vest, eet ees finished!
 
 Ok, enough of the smarty pants French. Sorry. In my defense, I did knit this from a Bergere De France pattern…
 
 Anyhow, the vest for my Dad’s birthday is finished on his birthday. A huge achievement I think, all things considered.
 
 
 

 Pattern: Debardeur by Bergere De France. For some reason the name made me think of Gerard Depardieu, so that’s what I’ve decided to call it.
 Yarn: miscellaneous chocolate brown acrylic, 2 & 1/2 skeins
 Needles: 3mm & 3.75mm
 
 Apart from the fact that this was knit with acrylic & was knit in pieces, I quite enjoyed it. I hope my Dad likes it. Happy 91st birthday, Dad!
 
 In other news, Mam was moved into the permanent nursing home today. I’m dying to see her & get her settled, but I’m still housebound and off work with vertigo. Two & a half weeks now. I’ve got cabin fever!
 
 Thank god for knitting to keep me sane. Speaking of, my next project on my list is a blanket for Mam. I was going to knit this one, but after Dad’s vest, my heart isn’t in another cable pattern. Plus the thoughts of more acrylic is kinda breaking my heart. I must check my stash to see if I have blanket quantities of proper wool for something. I’d love to something cheerful & colourful for her, something nice for her to look at. Maybe a ripple afghan? Any ideas?
 
 
 Good knitting!

Since about last Sunday I’ve been feeling increasingly dizzy. Last week it all came to a head, so to speak. I had to walk across town to a meeting and I crossed a bridge over the river. It felt like the whole bridge was moving under my feet. I must have looked drunk, I was clinging to the rails for dear life! Driving home that day was frankly dangerous. Every time I turned a corner the whole world swung round.

I decided a visit to the Dr. was in order. I thought I was having a reaction to my increased anxiety meds. Nope. Turns out I have vertigo, most likely caused by an inner ear infection. I have no ear pain though, but my god, the feeling is so unnerving. I can hardly walk. I’ve been off work since, but I’m still very bad, so I think I’ll have to go back tomorrow to get another cert for next week.

In happier news, this has meant that knitting productivity has increased somewhat, as I’m under orders to stay indoors & am effectively stuck in a chair.

First up, we have hubby’s belated Christmas present that became his birthday present. It was his sort of birthday yesterday (leap year baby) and I got these done at about half 11 yesterday morning! Phew, talk about cutting it close!

Pattern: Decorative Ribbing Socks by Charlene Schurch from More Sensational Knitted Socks

Needles: 2.5mm dpns

Yarn: Cascade Sateen, about 1.2 skeins.

These socks were boring as all hell to knit, which probably explains why they took so long. Effectively k1p1 rib that goes on for EVER in mens sock sizes. Still, hubby loves them so that’s the main thing.

So that’s another pair of socks to add to my Sensational Sock Project and an item to cross off my earlier list.

I then turned my attention to Alice’s birthday present. My little baby will be 13 this month. Jesus. A teenager! Help us all.

I had already decided to crochet her an owl, and here it is! Just finished this morning:

Pattern: Bright Owls from Woman’s Weekly Knitting and Crochet Special, March 2014

Yarn: Various scraps of acrylic DK

Hook: 3.5mm

Now I know I’m not the best at crochet, but I’m really pleased with it and I hope she likes it too. I think it’s really cute. Item No. 2 crossed off the list!

Next is the vest for my Dad’s birthday on March 10. This one will be a very close call, if I make it at all. Here’s my progress so far:


Yeah, not a whole heap going on there. This is the back, which is knit plain, thank goodness, as it should increase the speed. I wish I’d converted this to be knit in the round, but time is against me. The pattern I’m using is from another edition of Woman’s Weekly (I swear I don’t buy this magazine all the time, these have accumulated from buying them to read to Mam in hospital). It was originally published in the Bergere De France magazine Tricot Irlandais. It’s called Debardeur which for some reason in my head becomes Gerard Depardieu, so that’s what I’m going to call this one. I’m using some chocolate brown acrylic as that’s what my Dad chose. Who am I to argue, although I’ll have had my fill of acrylic by the time this is done. That’s 3 projects in a row out of the stuff! Ouch!

 

In other news, Mam was moved to a nursing home last Friday. While I’m happy that she is in a place that’s better able to look after her, I’m still sad that it’s come to this. Poor Mam. Even worse, as I’m confined to the house I haven’t seen her for ages now and I’d love to get her settled in properly. Hopefully in the next few days I’ll be able to go.

So, I’m not hanging around here chatting, I’ve got a vest to knit!

Good knitting!

Well. After my last post I’m a bit embarrassed to say I totally ignored my list and spent the week sewing! I’m totally smitten with my new machine.
 
 
 First of all I made a strap type thing to prevent hubby rolling onto his back and holding his breath. Basically, it’s an elastic strap held together with Velcro and encased in cotton. On the back is a bag that contains a ball which is nice & hard to make him turn over onto his side.
 
 I have no pics, but I might take some and do a tutorial as I think it’s something that someone who suffers from sleep apnoea would find very useful. To buy something similar is about €140 and I made mine for less than €10! Plus it’s smaller and more comfortable so you can travel with it easier.
 
 
 It took me ages to make it as I was making it up as I went along. However, hubby declares it a great success so I’m happy. I needed to get some cotton for it, so off I went to the fabric shop. While there I had a root in the remnant bin and look what I found:
 
 
 

 What fabulous oilcloth! I just had to buy it. I decided to make a bag for Alice to carry her gym gear to school in. I followed this tutorial. I found sewing with oilcloth to be very difficult. I broke needles and the denim thread I had wasn’t strong enough. I did find that covering the bottom of my all purpose sewing foot with masking tape was a big help to stop it sticking.
 
 About 5 hours of swearing and ripping later, I had this:
 
 

 How cool is that? I love it so much I think I might make another one, I have tons of fabric leftover. I was also thinking of making a wallet, I saw a great tutorial on instructables.com.
 
 Not content with that bag, I decided to make another one! I had bought a kit for this bag from http://www.gleasta.ie at the knitting and stitching show last year for €25. This took me about 4 hours to make:
 
 


Isn’t it lush? I absolutely love it. So much. Look at the lining and magnetic closure:
 
 


Squee! I’m definitely using this as my handbag when I go back to work tomorrow. It might just make it a little less difficult. Nah, who am I kidding, I’ll be dragged back kicking & screaming. Boo.
 
 
 Let’s not talk about the (lack of) knitting that (didn’t) happen this week. Sssh.
 
 Good knitting! Or maybe that should be sewing?

I love lists. If I’m not making one, I’m crossing things off one. I’ve found that as I’m getting older and particularly with my current stressful situation, if I don’t put something on a list it will invariably be forgotten.

One other thing I’ve noticed is how little I do for myself. Take for example my current list of knitting projects:

1. Finish hubby’s Christmas socks in time for his birthday at the end of the month. (I just can’t seem to find the mojo to knit these, even though I’m almost at the heel flap of the 2nd one)

2. Knit a vest for my Dad for his birthday on March 10.

3. Crochet this cute owl for Alice for her birthday near the end of March (she loves owls):

4. Knit a blanket for my Mam to keep her legs warm in the hospital in time for Mother’s Day on March 30.

Not an inconsiderable list I think. I doubt I’ll get it all done, but I’ll have to try.

There is some knitting for me going on, but not a whole heap. Work progresses on my featherweight cardigan, but it’s slow going as it’s lace weight. I do love the yarn though – Jaggerspun Zephyr silk/wool. Lovely and soft and the colour sheen is gorgeous.

I’m off work this week (can I get a yay?) so I hope to make some progress.

Good knitting!

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Today is St. Brigid’s Day in Ireland.
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Brigid is the female patron saint of Ireland, and one I quite like. She was a strong woman and her feastday is not filled with green beer and such. It also signals the end of winter and the beginning of spring. Not that you’d know it round here, it’s so windy, rainy & cold today.

 

I thought I’d just pretend like I haven’t updated my progress for the last *cough* months and begin afresh. I just have one exception, and that’s to show off what my hubby got me for Christmas:

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Bijou Basin Lhasa Wilderness yak yarn. MMMMM. I don’t know what to knit with it, but I’m enjoying squishing it at the mo.

On to my most recent FO:

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Pattern: Shetland Triangle Lace by Evelyn Clark

Yarn: MadelineTosh Prairie, one skein

Needles: 3.75mm

Beads: Guttermann seed beads size 9/0, about 1/3 of a tub

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I really enjoyed knitting this shawl. Placing the beads was a mutha though. I had no crochet hook small enough to go through them so I had to use dental floss. Video tutorials here. It was slow going, but totally worth it.

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I did 20 repeats of the body pattern before beginning the edging as I wanted to use all of the yarn. I’m really pleased with it.

 

My current project is the featherweight cardigan using Jaggerspun Zephyr wool/silk laceweight. Scrumptious.

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This cardigan is going to take a while!

 

Good knitting!

I got an email today from WordPress that had neatly condensed my year of blogging into some lovely graphics. While the graphics were lovely, the information they contained was not.

I haven’t blogged since July. JULY. Those of you who know me in real life know all of the reasons why I haven’t written a post, but for those who don’t, suffice to say this year has not been a good one.  I will be more than happy to see the back of it at midnight tonight.

I sincerely hope that 2014 will be a little better, although I know the first half will be tough too. But I *promise* to get back to this old blog and keep it up to date. If for no other reason then for me. I miss it, I really do!

So, Happy New Year everyone and may 2014 bring all that you wish for. I’m going to be cautious and just wish for some quiet. And non-drama.

Happy New yearPicture taken from http://photo.elsoar.com/happy-new-year-wishes-2014.html via Google Image Search.

Crochet. The craft that has previously eluded me. I made one successful foray into the world of crochet previously with reasonable success, but I hadn’t picked up a hook since except to fix a dropped stitch. Until now. Look!

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Pattern: South Bay Shawlette from Lion Brand Yarn

Yarn: Debbie Macomber Blossom Street Petals Socks. Approx 3/4 of a skein. Gorgeous yarn but very sticky. Ripping back was no fun. Definitely use this one from the outside in!

Hook: 5.5mm

Once I got the hang of this, it was a really easy pattern. Definitely one I’d make again for gifts etc. I am SO proud of this! I can properly crochet now!

Inspired by my success, I was in the newsagent and spotted a magazine with a crochet special insert. It had to be brought home with me. I immediately hooked on for a table runner/placemat/coaster set:

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I’ve made two placemats so far and I think they’re looking pretty good. The pic is before blocking so it should flatten out nicely. Yippee!

 

In other news, it was my wedding anniversary on July 4. 15 years. FIFTEEN. Holy crap. Where has the time gone? My lovely Dad bought us a beautiful bouquet of flowers:

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Aww. He’s such a pet. There’s a big party planned for his retirement from the choir next Friday night. Should be good fun! The last one ended with me having to bring him home at 12.30am! Mad. I was falling asleep, he was having a ball playing the organ with the band.

 

In delicious news, I was in Aldi the other day buying veg & fruit for hubby. He bought a juicer recently and it’s revolutionised the way he eats. You wouldn’t have gotten a vegetable into him if you had a gun to his head, now he’s juicing beetroot, celery, broccoli, carrot etc along with nommy fruits like pineapple, grapefruit, orange and apple. Anyway, all this increased fruit and veggie intake is making large inroads into my grocery budget, so I headed to Aldi and am really surprised at the selection and prices of their produce.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw 250g punnets of cherries for 79c. 79c! That’s redonkulous! They’re usually about €3 in the other supermarkets. I literally pounced and bought 4 punnets, knowing exactly what I was going to make. Cherry pie. NOM. I’ve never made one before (because the cherries were so dear) but every time I saw one on tv I drooled. And rightly so. This picture might look like a messy lump of pie, but believe me it was the nicest pie I’ve ever had. Ever. Juicy sweet and not enough. I could’ve eaten until I burst.

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Needless to say the pie is all gone, but I’m heading to Aldi tomorrow to buy more. I wonder how they freeze? Should I freeze them raw or make another pie and see if I can get it to the freezer before me & the rest of the family devour it?

 

Good knittingcrocheting!

At last! The socks of doom  Bluebell Rib socks are finished! According to Ravelry I cast on these socks on  April 4. Sheesh. I hang my head in shame. Call myself a sock knitter??? In any event, I think they turned out well and are nice and comfy:

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Pattern: Bluebell Rib Socks by Charlene Schurch from Sensational Knitted Socks.

Yarn: Cascade Heritage Silk

Needles: 2.5mm dpn

This is my leftovers. How I could have looked at the ball previously and thought I had made two I have no idea. I did enjoy making them though, the 6 round repeat was nice and easy to remember.

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Remember I said I was 40 last Saturday? Well. Let me tell you I was thoroughly spoiled. Look at the lovely card my hubby made for me. Sheep!

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And then I opened my present. Ooh. A limited edition Princess Grace Mont Blanc fountain pen.

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Ooh. It’s just the most loveliest fantastic gorgeous pen ever. And I got a ton of inks in purple, oyster grey and blue. I ADORE it. I shall write with it everywhere.

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But that wasn’t all. Oh no. I was packed off to the Four Seasons Hotel and Spa (a super posh hotel) for an afternoon of Jacuzzi, facial and hairdo. Sigh. It was wonderful. I had my lunch served to me poolside on a silver tray with a chocolate mousse cake made for me by the chef with Happy Birthday in white chocolate. The facial was just divine and I felt like a movie star after my hairdo.

Then it was off to the cocktail bar for a mojito (or two) before a super posh dinner. Afterwards I was so tired I could only manage one more mojito before I declared the best birthday in the world ever to be done and we headed home. I loved every second of my day thanks to my darling hubby. He really pulled out all the stops. If this is what being 40 is all about, bring it on!!

 

Good knitting!

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