Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Recipe for Disaster

Take one new lace project, add one new lace knitter, stir in 3 boys and one labrador and liberally sprinkle school holidays and wait patiently till disaster strikes.

It doesn't take long, there you are knitting away quite happily on your second shawl project, thinking all the while, you have this chart reading thing all sussed out.

You get to the bit where you have to set up the first border chart, you think that you can do that while there are free range children and dog to distract you, wrong, its not going to work.

So after 2 attempts and 2 froggings you throw it in the basket, where it taunts you incessantly, you of course, were too sure of yourself to add a lifeline after the main body part, na,na,na,na,na.
Its not going to beat you because you want this shawl, its for you, there is no quitting!

And to prove it you get up when its still dark and quiet and you beat the shawl pattern into submission....well kind of, two more charts to go, I just need to get out of bed at dark o'clock more often this week and we might get there.

Today we celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary, I don't have a wedding picture to scare you with so this was taken by my sister-in-law, I love it because its black and white, has some of my favourite people in it and one of my very favourite views of the west coast of Scotland with Arran in the background. Happy Anniversary Honey.

Monday, October 30, 2006

And its only Monday....

Here was me thinking, stupidly, that I was going to be so organised this school holiday. I was going to achieve something, finish up some projects that have been lying around for way too long.

I was right on track this morning, I sewed our new living-room curtains and was just ironing the 2nd pair, thinking great, I will make some lunch, hubby will go to work.
Then the boys and I can watch a movie and I can knit, cool.

When there is someone yelling, water running and do I know how to turn the cold water off! The tap is broken, it won't shut off,my hubby, the non DIY person of the family, proceeds to take apart the cold tap, tell me I need to buy THIS part and then rushes off to work!

Okay, so I have really dirty hair that REALLY need the roots doing, no cold water, a dishwasher full of dirty dishes, no cold water, 3 boys who need to pee AND no cold water.

Of course I know how to switch the water on but a certain person in his wisdom left the tap dismantled in the bathroom. AND its lunch time so no shops open till 2pm. So we re-build the tap, so that we don't flood the bathroom, cause peeing and flushing are very important by this point.

At 2pm I head out with 2 boys having decided to do some shopping stuff I was saving till later in the week, its sport stuff, I actually dislike shopping in the sport store, A LOT.

So in the 1st store there are no climbing shoes to fit no2 son, no3 son finds the football he wants though. 1 down, in the 2nd store we really like the shoes that are almost 100euros, nope, nice try but try again, we find another pair that are sized wrong but fit, cool, 2 down, now I still need to buy the velvet ribbon and the shop is right across the road.

Do you think the toads can behave for 5mins in the fabric shop, not a chance. Pushing, shoving. poking, prodding, you know its all a ploy so that I can't look at any fabric, well it works.

So now all we need to do is tackle the DIY shop, did we find the part, no,non,nup,nope,nothing, after searching, asking 2 guys, no they don't have anything like it and they can't help, bum!
So I decided to check out the taps to see how they should work, they don't have any evenly remotely like the ones on our sinks.

So I give up, a certain someone can have a go at fixing it tomorrow, I'm done.

Did I do any knitting, eh no, the photo is this weekends sock progress.
The rest of the week can only get better, can't it?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Sewing, sewing all the time

This is an old Neva treadle machine that my neighbours bought me for my birthday last year, it does work, though I have to find some new needles for it.
I love it, it needs a little tlc but it is a stunning piece of machinery. They bought it at a second hand market and knew that I would love it.

My love of sewing began when I started to sew clothes when I was 14 years old. I had spent a year nagging, convincing my Mum that it was a good idea for me to get a sewing machine for christmas. She on the other had really thought it would be a phase and it would be an expensive ornament.
I used that same machine each week for 18 years, then I traded it in for a new model, which I have to say I don't love in the same way.

When I was 15 I started to work in a fabric shop at the weekend, then the fabric obsession really started. I have a HUGE amount of fabric in this tiny apartment, some of which does indeed date back some twenty-odd years.

Every time we move house I get more and more ruthless about what I throw away but that doesn't mean I stop buying new fabrics and therein lies the problem.

September I did really well and bought no fabric, this of course means I just didn't go anywhere that sold fabric, easy.

October I had a few lessons to give to my friends two girls, one of which was learning about types of fabric and buying fabrics for specific projects.

This of course meant visiting all the fabric shops in Grenoble, there are quite a few. So of course we are into a new season and new fabrics are out, new fashion and someone has new shoes that NEED new trousers.
So 1m of some nice wool mix came home, thats okay it will soon be a pair of trousers it doesn't even need to make it into the chest, no problem, right.

Then one of the girls need to find a specific fabric, not to be found in any shop, so we head off to search the markets, bingo, found the fabric she wanted, perfect.
Problem being I also found some english wool in pinstripe, gray and navy, a gorgeous cotton jersey in 2 perfect colours, 2m of needlecord and they were so cheap, they had to come home with me.
So now we have to do a little bit of re-organising of the chest a little bit of squishing the lid down, yeah I know it bounces a bit when you sit on it now, just don't sit on it and no-one will notice.

One of the girls has gone off to do some volunteer work in Africa, one of the things we made before she left was a little drawstring backpack. Her Mum called me the other day to see if I would pick up some cottons for her to take over there to show some kids how to make these bags, sure, making a trip to the remnant shop is never a problem.

So I picked up lots of small pieces for her and was very pleased with my purchases. Except these came home with me too, pinstripe velvet, stripy needlecord and a floral cotton lining, now if only there were a lot more hours in each day I would be fine.

Today I have to buy the ribbon for my tank, the only place that sells velvet ribbon is the poshest fabric shop in town, so I promise not to look and not to buy any fabric when I am there, okay, wish me luck.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Hot Off the Needles

Well the scarf is, the tank I finished a couple of weeks ago and have worn it a few times since then. I love it, it is so nice and cosy and warm. I still need to buy some velvet ribbon in brown and black to thread through the holes. I did buy some satin ribbon in the same colour but have managed to lose it somewhere in the house. It is a Blue Sky Alpaca pattern knitted in Alpaca and Silk., which does smell kind of funky but it is gorgeous.

When I was visiting London in the summer Yvonne gifted me a couple of skeins of the Alpaca and Silk and I loved it. After carrying it around for a few days, I sent her a message to see if she was going to be back to the wool shop any time soon. She of course was very obliging, picked me up the pattern and the rest of the yarn and posted it to me. I changed the pattern slightly to knit it in the round, as I was knitting in the car from the UK to here and I switched the seed stitch to a rib. I had a little leftover, enough for a skinny scarf which is very cute.

The weather is doing some strange stuff for October and yesterday we ended up with the temperature over 25deg, it was t-shirts and sunglasses all round. Looks like it is going to be the same today too. The only problem being we have communal heating which is already on, so we have to have all the windows open or the apartment is completely stifling, bizarre!

Today we are doing some family stuff, bowling apparently, I am not complaining as for some strange reason, only the teenagers know the answer, my boys are getting along, sshhh, I am kind of scared to mention it, in case they realise that they are no longer fighting, ALL the time!
It is very strange, maybe its the weather!

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Right now in Grenoble we have perfect autumn weather, cold, sunny and dry with lots of crunchy leaves on the ground. So that means its time for soup, Red Lentil with ham, yummy.

Autumn red yarn to be Whitby socks from Knitting on the Road for my brother for xmas.

Its the first day of half-term holidays today so lots of projects to organise for the boys to keep them busy.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


48 Things You Could Care Less About

1. FIRST NAME? Yvette


3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Oh, no idea, I cry all the time, at soppy television, when I'm tired, stressed etc

4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Sometimes, its very messy though.

5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Corned beef, or chopped ham and pork in a roll with pickled onion crisps, yummmm

6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Originally I thought , no way, because we would never finish a conversation, we would interrupt each other and talk over each other all the time but then I realised that actually I do that with at least 2 of my bestest friends and it works, so absolutely yes!

7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? This is it


9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No, no and NO are you nuts!

10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? None, I don’t like milk very much.



13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? McLellans milk ices handmade by my Dad, unfortunately no longer, shame!

14. SHOE SIZE? UK6 or EU39

15. RED OR PINK? Pink for summer and red for winter


17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? I miss the friends I have left behind dotted all over the UK.


19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Jeans,pink, no shoes in the house and my pants are lilac.

20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Leftover Pad Thai

21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Whatever (crap) music the boys are playing


23. FAVORITE SMELL? Lavender, rosemary or lemon thyme

24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My darling husband to find out who ate MY chocolate!


26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? absolutely

27. FAVORITE DRINK? Gin and Tonic

28. FAVORITE SPORT? I hate sport29. EYE COLOR? Blue

30. HAT SIZE? 22”

31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Glasses to drive and watch telly

32. FAVORITE FOOD? Hmm choices choices, soup ,cookies, curry, chilli, cheese and chocolate, I am hungry now can you tell!

33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings always, with some music thrown in for good measure



37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Cookies and ice cream or brownie and ice cream



40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Tales of the Otori Trilogy by Lian Hearn

41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? A cockerel


43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Rain, while snuggled up watching telly and drinking tea.





48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I stole it from Cara and Mary

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Favourite socks

This first picture is Jakes favourite socks we were lucky enough to be given this camo yarn in the unloved sock yarn from Maryse.

The second picture is the reason we NEEDED new camo yarn and socks. This is Jakes first pair
of camouflage socks knitted out of the ugliest acrylic camo yarn ever, that he bought himself.

Why? because I would not buy him Lornas Laces
in camouflage.
Why? Have you seen those socks?

He is currently in the queue for another pair of socks, he has of course chosen camouflage colour yarn. He did also ask if the old ones could be repaired, not by me, I told him to ask his Papa, he is the only person I know that can and does darn socks. I'll just knit new ones and keep these for his memory box, they are of course known as the Ugly Socks.

Monday, October 23, 2006

This is it...

.. the last of the wedding pictures, I promise. This all the other outfits I made for the wedding in August. My younger cousin and her daughter, my lovely Mum who was gorgeous in blue and last but not least my darling angel niece, otherwise known as the fairy princess.

Off to french class this morning which I love, love, love, NOT! Tchao.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I know lots of sock knitters have this problem but I had decide by the end of this month I was going to be rid of all these orphan socks. Unfortunately this is not going to happen, partly because the turq/brown one is a new addition to the flock. Well I did finish a couple of others first and it was a special request from my friend but it now joins the ranks of lonely socks.

The 2nd green one is one its way, top down on 2 circs, which I have to say I am not really enjoying knitting this way, but it was good to try.
The 2nd blue one is stalled unfortunately someone broke my yarn mid sock leg and I am not sure about joining it, any suggestions?
The 2nd red/pink one is not even started, want to hasard a guess why? Would you check out the size of that thing, it could easily pass as a canoe cover and yes it does fit the recipient, No1 son! It is his birthday soon and he has requested that there might be a pair of socks by then so I really should get on to it.

So the 2nd photo is the reason for the desperation to finish all the pairs, this is the bowl of sock yarn and I want to knit with some of the new yarn, the patterns all have post it notes on and the gauge swatches are done and I am ready, except the orphans are making me feel too guilty to start something new, so no more distractions , like gorgeous new patterns.
The bowl in the photo did used to be the fruit bowl but as the fruit lives in the fridge I had to fill it with something, only problem is its getting to be a juggling act to keep it all in there!
Okay off to do my french homework, Tchao.

Saturday, October 21, 2006


Well this is our view from the bathroom window today, the sun is trying to shine and no snow on the mountains yet, though I am sure there was a little during the week.

We are off to deliver this quilt which my friends and I made for our Danish friends as their wedding present, yes, its a little late but we ran into some technical difficulties, one of which was the difference in weights of fabrics, silk and cotton velvet, not liking each other and the other was the heat causing short tempers (mine), I did only threaten to throw it off the balcony once, then stuffed it in a bag for another day!

Tomorrow I am hoping to show you all the other wedding outfits I made for Scotland but am waiting permission from my cousin to print her photo, hope she lets me. Tchao!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Summer Wedding

So here we are, I was very chuffed the boys wanted to wear kilts to the wedding and I think they looked very smart, No1 son was all in black for that traditional Goth look!

My dress was made from a pink cotton with a tiny little cream square with a little beige line on it and I have to say was the hardest fabric to track down.

Problem was I bought the shoes first, doesn't everyone?
Then had to spend various shopping days with various friends in various towns, with one shoe in my handbag to match the colour.

Finally found this remnant while digging around in a HUGE pile of fabric while looking for some cottons for bags.

Then I was worried that it wasn't smart enough, then was worried that it wasn't all going to come together and almost bought a dress when I arrived in Scotland, only lack of money and the prospect of shoe/handbag and hat shopping stopped me. That and my good friends common sense, thanks dear.
So back to the outfit,

Dress: cotton with net and cotton voile lining and net and cotton underskirt
Pattern: McCalls no 4674 from 1958 bought on ebay from Macojero
Jewellery: Murano silver lined beads bought in London aided by Yvonne who is a fabulous enabler.
Hair decoration: Silk flower and feathers glued to comb, which I am sad to say got lost at the end of the night, well 3am the next morning!

Verdict, it was a fabulous day and I loved, loved, loved wearing vintage style clothes and being completely over the top girly!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Sewing Summer

This summer was the summer of sewing for me, we attended 2 weddings, one in Denmark and one in Scotland.
The top picture is a headless picture of my friend, the bride wearing a One Skein Wonder, I knitted for her and a necklace in freshwater pearls, swarovski crystal squares and bicones.
The Danish wedding was classed as smart,casual,informal which caused me more problems than the very smart Scottish one. So in the end I sewed 3 dresses before I found one I was happy with, even then I was wishing I had gone with my first option and not let myself be talked out of it, as too dressy. So dress in cotton voile Burda magazine May 2006.
Sorry no full length pictures as No1 son was in charge of the camera for the day, so this is it! Necklace by me with recycled glass beads and a piece of fern quartz courtesy of two of my friends, thanks girls. Next up Scottish wedding with my boys in their kilts.

Et Voila!

At last, I have been meaning to get into this blogging lark for a long time and life just keeps getting in the way. So this will be a journal of my life, complete with knitting, sewing, beading, cooking etc and whatever else I get up to. Including of course the trials of tribulations of being a mum to 3 boys and a dog!