Let’s talk about knitting.

Do you mind if we have a brief chat about knitting tonight? No? Oh good, I was hoping you’d say that. Knitting has always been something I’ve wanted to do. I really want to be good at it, and make beautiful things. I see things on Pinterest and blogs and I just wish so much that I could make them to. I think if I spent as much time learning to knit as I did learning to crochet I could probably crack it. If I put down my hooks for a while and stopped making blankets for everyone else then maybe my knitting would improve!

Last year I bought some delightfully squooshy Drops Big Merino, which is a 100% wool aran weight yarn. I declared at the time that I intended to knit a blanket from it! Big words indeed. And, over a year later I have finally made a start! Knitting the actual squares is fine, in fact more than fine it’s really relaxing and enjoyable but the calculations for actually making them took me a bit more effort! To start with I wasn’t sure whether my cast on method (long tail cast on) was suitable and I was worried that it was a kind of beginner’s cast on, and that other ones were better. My knitting friends reassured me that long tail cast on was absolutely fine for squares and whatnot so away I went. The next thing I had to work out was how many stitches to cast on and how many rows to knit to end up with an even square shape. Hmm. I started with 30 stitches and knit 60 rows and that made a really nice big square, but then that didn’t give me enough yarn to make two squares from one 50g ball. Argh! I frogged back both of my squares and started again with 25 stitches. Phew, 25 stitches and 50 rows seems to do the job.

The colours above are, left to right, 11, 10, and 07.

I don’t know if I’m working all of this out right, or telling you the right things about knitting as I’m only really beginning myself, but I find the best way to learn is to just try it for myself and see where I get, so that’s what I’m doing. Hopefully I’ll end up with a really nice blanket at the end of it!


Bits and Bobs

Last week marked the 5th anniversary of our wedding so to celebrate we went out for breakfast at the Ice Cream Diner. I wanted to write “5″ on my pancakes with maple syrup but I hadn’t realised how runny it was and I failed miserably. They tasted good though!

From there we went to Bolton Abbey for a walk. I’ve wanted to go for ages (it’s one of my favourite places and if I could drive I would go there at least twice a week!) but it was a bit spur of the moment and we didn’t have the pushchair with us. TTB walked really well but we didn’t really get very far before turning around. I have to judge not on how far he can walk but how far I can manage to carry him back should he give up!

The Bolton Abbey ducks are very bold and keen to come and see you (probably in the hope that you have a picnic they can steal!).

On Sunday morning I did some crochet tinkering to see if I could make a straight start to a ripple blanket rather than adding the straight part afterwards. This is because I messed up my last ripple border despite having done at least five successful ripple straightening/border operations. Three attempts and it mostly works which is pleasing.

How did you spend your Bank Holiday Monday? A drizzly, mizzly mist hung around all day but that did not stop TTB from wanting to go for walks. Andy took him on a long walk in the morning and then …

… I spent my afternoon wandering the streets (and backstreets) with him while he collected sycamore seeds, leaves, sticks, stones, and exclaimed with delight each time he saw a cat. I eventually persuaded him to come home by making a big deal about going in through the back gate rather than the front door (OoooOOOOoOoohhhh) but after his initial excitement about the gate he was mightly pissed off that he was just back in the yard again and I was showing no signs of continuing walking with him!

Toddler exercise is the key priority at the moment, he’s like a dog and he really needs to go out walking in the morning and the afternoons as well. I’m doing my best but boy it’s hard to motivate myself to do it sometimes! Anyway yesterday morning I had to walk up to the post office depot to collect my Homemakery parcel (wonderful service, I highly recommend) which means the pushchair as it’s far too far for him to walk, so we stopped at the park on the way back.

This is what my view of him in the park mainly looks like these days. He runs up the hill, down the hill, looks at the big rock, runs back up the hill … and all the while carrying sticks and leaves and things that just seem to appear in his hands as if by magic. I half heartedly follow up and down with the pushchair but really there’s not much he can do wrong like this. He did get really really close to a crow though! I expected it to fly off but it just watched him. He got about 5 yards away before it flew, I am not sure who was more surprised about how close he got, TTB or the crow!

Ah yes, park treasures. I have persuaded him that they have to stay in the park rather than come home with us … I’ll see how long he agrees to this.

Oh and sad news, the tree that I thought was all autumnal the other week is actually dead. It’s had the bark stripped off it all the way around and it’s a layer in the bark that allows nutrients and water to be transferred from the roots to the rest of the tree. If the bark it cut all the way around then this can’t happen and the tree dies. How very sad. I feel a bit bad for accusing it of being ahead of the game seasonally now!

Ah this is my Homemakery parcel … Rico Baby Classic dk in Ice Blue, Pale Blue, Vanilla, Cream and Blue. Beautiful yarn and really good service and pretty packaging too. My cousin’s wife is having a baby so I thought I’d do a little blanket.

And of course, because TTB needs a walk in the afternoon too we went out again! It was lovely and sunny but still windy and cold. Pretty clouds though :)

He walked a good long way, too!

Tell you what, I don’t half enjoy my naptimes when I can sit down!


Good Morning

Good morning! It’s only 7am but TTB and I have been up for an hour officially, an hour and a half if you count the 30 minutes that he climbed on my head and I pretended to be asleep for. He’s having breakfast and I thought I would come and chat on here. I realised I haven’t really “chatted” on here for ages. It’s hard to find the time sometimes, and I worry that my chat is really boring as so much of my time is toddler-focussed. For example, most of the photos I am using in this post are of he and I walking together. Because that’s what we do at the moment! We are walking! He needs to walk more and by gaw he’s keen, always wants to walk and rarely accepts the pushchair now. Last week he walked all the way to Tesco and back and we had to stop and pick up all the dropped leaves that he found. I had to get him a carrier bag from Tesco in the end for him to carry them all in.

Of course he wanted to do the same thing again the next day, only he noticed the buses in the bus station on the way and we had to go and watch them for ages. Meh, why not? We had the time. The way I see it is that I am training him up to walk and behave properly in town and shops. To hold my hand when we walk, not to grab things off the shelves, not to pick up every single thing he sees. How to cross a road (he loves to tell me when the man goes green). That kind of thing. So we may as well take the time!

We got thoroughly caught out a week ago, thinking we’d caught a gap in the rainy weather to nip out and get bread. Of course, he refused the pushchair and it’s hard to “nip” when he’s walking and we got caught in the most torrential downpour. Everyone was hiding in shop doors and under the market stalls and I tried to do the same but he just shrieked that he wanted to walk. We were wet anyway so I thought we may as well just carry on. The rain was bouncing off the ground, which was swimming with water, and we got so wet that we both had to strip off in the hallway when we got in and have a full clothing change. It sounds awful, but you should have heard his laughter! His delight at the feel of the water on his (sandalled) feet and how it was rushing down the hill and around his toes. It’s hard to be frustrated about being soggy when it made him so happy.

Ironically when we went out later in the afternoon to splash in all the puddles that I was sure would be there, it was so hot and sunny that we only found a couple and were very hot in our wellyboots. Which I’d had to wear because my shoes were still full of water from the morning! Splashing in puddles is a top toddler activity and now we even have to go through them in the pushchair.

My father in law visited the other week and we went to the clay painting place in town to put TTB’s handprints on a mug for him. I’ve been training him up (TTB, not my father in law) for this moment for months, practising at home with paint and paper. He can now spread his fingers and place a handprint on command! Good lad. We were super fast: paint on hand and then SPLAT press it to the cup. Wipe hand quickly with babywipes, and repeat with other hand. I am planning a pre-Christmas trip to do something Christmassy too. I am also planning to consult Pinterest for ideas beforehand.

Thank you for all your Frozen Blanket love – it makes me so happy a) to get something finished and blog about it b) all your kind comments and c) seeing it pinned on Pinterest. I love that!

I like to use Pinterest when I haven’t had time to make things myself. It’s like being creative by proxy. I see lovely things and feel really inspired and satisfied despite not having made them myself. Quilts particularly make me feel like that! I like to have a quick browse on my ipad before I go to sleep so that my thoughts are filled with colourful, creative things. There are some awful things on there too though! Sometimes I see people pin things and think … really? You really like that/think that’s a good gift/ would eat that? Ok I admit, Pinterest makes me feel creative AND a little bit judgemental ;-)

I remember a time after having TTB that I realised I hadn’t laughed in such a long time. I can’t remember when it was … maybe a month, maybe two, maybe more? after having him. I’d been so tired, so unwell, so absorbed in the responsibility of caring for him, so tired, so exhausted (you get the picture) that I just hadn’t laughed. And I went onto Pinterest and I found “texts from dog” and “damn you autocorrect” and I just laughed and laughed for what felt like the whole evening (probably less than that as I imagine he woke up before long). It felt like the biggest release!

Admittedly this time of year is not inciting the same thoughts and fears and worries as it did last year (which I know I went on and on and on about at the time) but I have been thinking a lot about little Mr Newborn Tiny Tin Bird lately as in a few short weeks (5 and a half) he turns TWO YEARS OLD. I keep waiting for myself to be shocked by this revelation (that’s why I used capitals) but no, if someone was ever ready to turn two it’s he. Nearly all of his friends are six months older than him so we’ve done lots of second birthday parties already, which is really nice as it subtly prepares my mind in advance! He’s a wonderful little boy and I just delight in being his mum.

Sometimes when I think about blogging, or read other people’s blogs, I worry that I’m boring, not creative, don’t take enough beautiful photos, don’t make as much yarny output as I should. But not for long really, because I have always wanted to be a mum, and these young years just fly by, honestly, you don’t really believe it until it happens. I want to make the most of being a toddler-mum! I like taking him out on slow rambly walks, I like drawing round our hands and feet, I like blowing bubbles for him and chasing him in the playground or spotting him for endless goes on the slide. I like reading the books he brings me, over and over. And I think to worry about not doing enough crochet or knitting or blogging right now would be ridiculous. There is so much time for creating isn’t there! Sometimes I feel like I should apologise to you for not writing much very often here, but really, at the moment I do think the balance is about right.

I need to sign off here as aforementioned almost two year old needs me to get him dressed now. Nice to talk to you x