Saturday 31 March 2012

More Fair Isle

I don't think I'll ever get tired of knitting Fair Isle.  What is more, I've just treated myself to this gorgeous book - so I'm itching to get started on some new Fair Isle projects.

I finally got round to buying myself a phone a few months ago (not that I'm using it - it's only for emergencies!) and so I've been meaning to make a cosy for it for some time.  An ideal opportunity to knit some more Fair Isle!

I used my dwindling stash of Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply - I have only 7 colours remaining - so used a bit of each.

Now my phone is warm and cosy - and very stylish!

Thursday 29 March 2012

Swallows and Amazons

One of my favourite children's books is Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome.  I have read it several times - plus all the other books in the series.

In 2010, the story was adapted into a musical with music by Neil Hannon from The Divine Comedy and it premièred in Bristol.

In December last year the play moved to London and this year it is doing a tour of the country.  This week it was in Liverpool, at the Playhouse - and we were there.

It was wonderful - so very cleverly done, lots of fun.

The children are all played by adults and despite the fact that 7 year old Roger was played by a well-built adult male with facial hair and the props consisted of sticks and streamers carried on by actors wearing overalls, it was very easy to suspend your disbelief and enjoy the fun.

The Amazon Pirates

Making a pact

Sailing in Swallow

That's seven year old Roger - second from the right!

The play continues on tour until the end of May, so if you can catch it I would definitely recommend it.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

New Fair Isle

Having completed Eve's birthday cardi, I have three balls of the navy wool left over.

Add some pinks, plums and some cream and it's ideal for some Fair Isle knitting.

I've knitted the back, the fronts and after tidying up some of the ends, I've knitted up the neckband and button bands.

Now for the sleeves.

I had originally planned on a cropped cardi with short sleeves - but, on the one hand, I'm thinking I might get more wear out of longer sleeves - but, on the other hand, with all this lovely sunny weather we're having at the moment, shorter is more summery.  I'll probably end up doing both!

I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday 26 March 2012

Belated Mothering Sunday

Mothering Sunday was last Sunday - but as it clashed with Eve's 18th birthday we postponed it until yesterday (I wouldn't want to miss out!).

Grace and Eve gave me some lovely presents, including this month's edition of Mollie Makes.

The free gift on the front was a kit to make a crocheted rose.  The kit included the cotton yarn, a crochet hook and a badge pin.  I couldn't resist making it straight away.

The girls also gave me a drawing Eve had done of the two of them when they were little.

What a wonderful gift, I'll have to get a frame for it and hang it somewhere special.  I'm so lucky to have such thoughtful - and creative, daughters.

In the evening we went to the cinema.  We have been wanting to see the film 'The Artist' for ages.

Our local cinema is run as a charity and doesn't have digital projectors - so can only show 35mm reel versions.  We like to support our local cinema so I got in touch with them back in January to see if they would be showing 'The Artist'.  Unfortunately the film company weren't releasing the 35mm versions of the film until after the Oscars so our cinema wouldn't be getting it until March (seems unfair).

Anyway we decided to wait, rather than go and see the film at one of the larger commercial cinemas - and finally our patience was rewarded.  It was definitely worth the wait.  We loved it.

The film was funny, sad and very cleverly done - all in black and white and silent.  No wonder it won all those Oscars.

We love our local cinema - it's run by volunteers and very reasonably priced - but it was sad and slightly embarrassing to see that we were the only three people there last night!

It was a wonderful Mothering Sunday - I'm counting my blessings - because I seem to have more than I deserve.

Thursday 22 March 2012

Out and About

One of the great things about birthdays is lots of chocolates.  One of the bad things about birthdays is too many chocolates.

So now it's time to get fit again.  The weather is improving all the time - and the skirts are a bit tight around the waist.  I didn't ride my bicycle as much as I should have done last year so I thought I'd start making an effort this week to get back in the swing.  The first few days were torture - aching legs and some what saddle sore. But now it's not such a painful process.

Here's my trusty bicycle.

Looking at it propped up there, I feel it could do with some colourful decoration - I'll have to work on that.

Anyway, today for my ride I thought I would cycle along the promenade and maybe pop down to the beach to collect any interesting pebbles or shells.

As soon as I reached the front, I realised I wasn't going to get much beach-combing done - the tide was in!

It was an unusually high tide - all the iron men were virtually submerged.  (There are pictures of the iron men, here, if you don't know what I'm talking about).

Can you see a tiny black dot in the water towards the top left - that's the head of an iron man.   Here he is zoomed in.

The iron men make very useful perches for passing gulls.

Despite not being able to collect any pebbles, I had a lovely time at the front.  A pleasant Spring day and fortunately I had come prepared and had my pen, notebook, novel and reading glasses with me.

So it was a relaxing hour spent getting fitter and enjoying the great outdoors.

Monday 19 March 2012

Eve's Birthday

Yesterday, my little baby girl was 18- where has all the time gone?  It seems like no time at all since she was so young and now she's an adult, ready to step out into the big wide world.

We had a wonderful day together.  We had great fun reliving memories and rediscovering the past (yes, I have saved every drawing she made, every story she wrote, every certificate she received and anything else worth saving).

Grace made some crochet gifts for her, which I'm sure she'll blog about shortly.  I knitted Eve a cardi.

It's a Kim Hargreaves design called Ali from the book called Breeze.

The finished article looks wonderful, a great fit and Eve is really pleased with it, however it wasn't a pattern I'd want to knit again in a hurry.  Although it was double knitting weight yarn, the needles used were very small, so it grew slowly.  The pattern wasn't well written and at times very confusing (highly unusual for a Kim Hargreaves pattern).  The basket weave pattern was not exciting but required stitch counting so concentration was required at all times.  Putting all that aside, I know Eve will wear the cardi as much as she can and she does look good in it, so it was all worthwhile.

As Eve's Teddy was also 18, I made him a matching basket weave sweater (this was a lot quicker to make!).

I also made her a phone cosy.

This was knitted using 4 ply yarn and has a lovely cable and lace pattern.  The pattern is available as a free Ravelry download, here.

And finally, here is the card I made her.

It was a special day for Eve, very emotional and full of love. May the coming year bring her all that she hopes for and all that she deserves.

Saturday 17 March 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day

Eve is off out this evening to celebrate St Patrick's Day and the fact that at midnight she will turn 18.  To help her and her friends celebrate I have crocheted them each a shamrock.

I saw the pattern featured on Tangled Happy's blog, here, and thought it would make a great little gift.  The pattern is by Tania Lamm and is free.

If you're off out tonight to celebrate St Patrick's Day, have a good time.

Thursday 15 March 2012

Swan Lake

I had a lovely afternoon out, yesterday.  I went to the Empire Theatre in Liverpool to see the ballet Swan Lake.

The production was by the Russian State Ballet of Siberia and was lovely and colourful.

I've seen Swan Lake so many times now, I've lost count exactly - it's my favourite ballet and no matter how many times I see it I love it more and more.  Each production offers a different interpretation and the costumes are always amazing.

Hopefully it won't be too many years until Swan Lake is back in Liverpool.  Until then I have my CD of the complete ballet music and my DVD of the ballet so that will keep me happy for the time being.  And when I grow up I want to dance the lead in Swan Lake!

Tuesday 13 March 2012

An Unbirthday Party

Eve finishes school early on Tuesdays so as an early birthday surprise we had an Alice in Wonderland style unbirthday lunch.  It's half way between my birthday and hers so it seemed like a good time to do it.

So, with some crocheting, some baking and some crafting, here's what I came up with.

Mini teapot, cup and saucer

Mini pizzas

Mini chocolate muffins

Biscuits made with my new teapot cookie cutter (a birthday present from my girls)
A sleepy crocheted dormouse

Even Ada, the mannequin, joined in the fun

Cheshire cat smiles

A very smiley Eve

Great fun and Eve loved the surprise.