Tuesday, November 28, 2006

No Dogs Allowed

We have in this house a very strict, no dogs on the couch rule, but this morning at 4am this was the scene I found in the living room.

He didn't even have the decency to slink off guiltily, he woke up a little as I took the photo and then went promptly back to sleep, snoring his little head off!

weekend round up

What have I been doing, seems like not a lot when I think about it. This weekend we had friends over for dinner, which was fun. This necessitated a trip to the Italian Supermarket, hmmmm yummy. Really not a good idea to go there too often, things are very tempting.
Sunday was a nice peaceful day, apart from the gentle reminders to certain people to finish their homework before we could watch a movie, this included me. Yes, I do my homework the day before I go back to class, its the only way I remember what we are studying!
We watched Mission Impossible 3 and I started some new knitting. This may or may not be christmas knitting so I am not saying what it is, the knitters amongst you can make a guess.

The christmas socks are coming along, though I am not up to speed with some other people, there is no way I could knit a sock a day. I recently counted the pairs of socks I have knitted, in 2 years I have knitted 20 pairs, maybe next year I will manage one pair a month.

The beading is coming along, a bit slowly though, the sale is on Thursday so I really have to move on up a gear....or two.

I have 3 more bags cut and ready to sew this morning, if I promise you pictures tomorrow that means I have to do it, so feel free to nag.

I think I have cracked a front tooth (grinding my teeth) and I know my dentist is really busy before the holidays, so I am hoping she can squeeze me in somewhere......okay, off to work..........

Friday, November 24, 2006

I'm off to London...

....to visit the ...... fairy princess. My darling little niece left me such a sweet phone message the other day I had to try and go visit, so my flights are all booked, the boys and Jim are organised. So the first week in December I am off, free for a few days, well apart from all the girly things I will have to do. Better start getting supplies in now starting with a big packet of glue sticks, that girl LOVES to stick!

We have had a couple of days of sick boys here which is not too much fun, still waiting for blood results for one teenager. A huge art project has been taking up MY table for the last few days, so its now gone and I might manage to do something, though we are having dinner guests tomorrow so we may need it to eat off!

Christmas presents will have to be finished to take to London rather than have my Mum take them home, that kinda cuts the time frame by about 3 weeks. My brother got an IOU for socks last year, which was because he requested them 2 weeks before christmas, but I better finish these for him soon.

I have finished one Fetching mitten in Jakes yarn, I am still not convinced they are nice but he likes them. I got new needles to knit the other one as the metal needles were hurting my hands, though I could only get long bamboo ones here in 4mm so might do a little swop with my Mum when she arrives at Christmas as she doesn't mind them a bit longer.

I bought this while I was in the yarn shop today, I think its new as I haven't noticed it before, I thought it might make a nice colourful hat for my niece.

No2 son is off to celebrate Thanksgiving with his friend tomorrow so I have a Chocolate Fudge cake to make, better get to it.......

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

And Finally

A long, long time ago I was raiding my friends craft cupboard for some ribbon for a present when I came across some small pieces of fabric. The conversation went like this:

"When did you buy this?"
"Ages ago"
What are you going to do with it?"
"Don't know"
"Can I have it?"
"Of course you can....if you make something for me with it!!"

And then a long time passed, there was a little piece of machine embroidery on one piece of fabric, a little piece of ribbon embroidery on another, I had found a nice floral and a couple of green ginghams to match. All the bag pieces were cut and most of them sewn together, then it was put in the project basket and covered up with other projects.

So when am I getting my bag then my friend asked, soon I promised.
Today she asked(nagged) me again, I said but its a spring bag, she said I don't care it will match my new jacket. How she knows this without seeing what I have done with the fabric pieces, I don't know.

So dearest nag, here is your finished bag, you do realise that now I have to get it packed and posted to you, thats always a problem!!!! You may have to wait a little longer.......

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

More Pink

and purple, I am trying to break out of the pink theme but it does look lovely with grey.
There is very grey weather out there today, so pink beads and a felted flower
was just the thing for cheering up. I made seven though and by the end was a
bit sick of poking a hole in my finger with the very lethal beading needle.

I started making these flowers when I was thinking of embroidering a pink flower onto the grey pinstripe fabric I bought recently, there was something about the grey wool that needed a little injection of something different. So while I was trawling through some boxes I found these curls that I bought from Fyberspates. I thought they looked exactly like some kind of mad chrysanthemum so I needlefelted the middle onto a piece of felt then sewed on a brooch back to attach to the bag.

This bag is brown lined with silk, just the thing for holding knitting....
I am feeling like a little production line.....so next!

Jamie says thanks for all your birthday wishes and nice comments.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Today Jamie is 17, Happy Birthday babyhow did that happen, only the other day you were a cute little boy.

So as is tradition in this house the birthday boy got to choose cake, Jamie of course thinks he is still 5 and gave along list of cakes he wanted to have that got whittled down to just 4.
So yesterdays baking session produced, the above fairy cakes, chocolate chip cookies, banana cake and chocolate fudge cake, can you see a little theme here. This child is a complete chocoholic sugar junkie, though right now at 6'1" he can get away with eating his own weight in cake!!

In the search for a photo, I realised that most of the photos of all 3 boys there is at least one of them making a face or doing something to one of his brothers or dressed up. I seem to have spent a long time with one or other of my children dressed as a superhero or the occasional fireman or cowboy!
In recent photos of Jamie there are a huge amount of grumpy faces, so one of the wedding ones is all I have with a smile.
He asked for chicken risotto for dinner so I must get to it, I am looking for a volunteer to chop the onions though....

My Mum received the needles and the ball of Noro I ordered for her on Thursday, it arrived on Saturday morning, great service as usual from Getknitted. She was very chuffed to get a parcel as she has been a bit unwell so a little cheering up was necessary.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Red add yellow.....

add turquoise add purple makes...
really ugly wool. Jake had a lot of fun with some
aran wool and some kool aid one day, but I am really not
liking knitting with it. The combination of the wool and
the metal needles is very squeaky! What do you think ugly or not?

Its very dark here today so the pictures are not fab, these are the beads I was working with today, though I have made a few pairs of earrings too.

My mum is nearing the end of her second sock, they are for my brother for christmas (last year) so we were talking about a new project for her, I suggested she knit a pair of Fetching. She likes them so has printed and laminated the pattern ready. She has terrible arthritis in her hands so can only knit a little at a time. I need to look for bamboo needles for her as I am sure they will be better. There is no wool shop nearby, when I was a teenager there were at least 3 decent sized wool shops in town and one in the village where she lives, now nothing, its terrible.
Off to search for needles, tomorrow I am definitely writing my christmas list, promise.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I'll do it tomorrow

Yesterday someone told me how long it was till Christmas, I am now kind of freaked out, so freaked out you would think that I would have worked my butt off today, making stuff for my christmas markets and at least made a list of gifts. No, I didn't, I went to bed to nap.

I had plans to do lots of stuff, dig out fabrics, cut out bags, make some bracelets that are sitting all ready to go, nothing. My husband is home for dinner tonight, a rare occurrence, did I cook something nice, no, nothing...yet! I did spend a lot of time working out how I could knit a jumper for Barbie, top down instead of in 4 pieces like the pattern, I gave up, it was making my brain hurt too much.

I think this is actually quite normal for me, I think that the more things I am supposed to be doing, the more things I actually spend time doing or thinking about doing and achieve nothing.

I did sweep half a dog from the floors today, the warm weather/heating combo is making the dog shed hair like crazy, though tomorrow I do have to clean as I have a friend dropping by in the afternoon, she is a friend of the clean house/no children variety and the state of my apartment might completely shock her.

This is yesterdays earring pile, there needs to be more, tomorrow okay.....

What a day....

Yesterday started off in a quiet unassuming way, I walked for an hour with the dog and my friend and her dog, Hi Clare!
I went home and beaded for a while and chatted with another friend. I then beaded while chatting online with my mum, Hi Mum.
I then got ready and got ready to drive into the city as I had heard on the news that the bus and trams were on strike. The normally 15 minute journey took about 35mins, it was chaos everywhere, cars jumping red lights and blocking roads.
I thought it was worse because it was lunchtime.
So I knitted and chatted for a couple of hours and planned my route for picking up all 3 boys at different schools. Only one of them has a phone so he was the only one who knew that I was coming to collect him, so it was always going to be hit and miss whether I got them all.
When I left the cafe the city was grid-locked with traffic, complete chaos, one driver jumped a red light to cut in front of me, had no place to go so just blocked my entrance onto the main road, so then I was blocking the traffic from the other direction.
Driving in Grenoble centre is sometimes pretty hairy, but when something goes wrong and everyone is in a hurry its a complete nightmare.
A journey that should have taken me 15mins took 45mins so then I was late to try and catch no2 son. Jamie spoke to the kids outside school and Jordan had left already, presumably to walk home. It is a pretty long walk about 5.5km.
So then I had to fight back through the city centre to get to the bus stop where Jake catches the bus home, we got there eventually and there he was, totally oblivious to the chaos, just waiting, got to love that laid back child.
So then the search was on to see if we could find Jordan in the chaos. No chance, then of course we got stopped at every red light, there are lots, at every one there were only room for one or two cars to get through. By this time my little old car was having a little trouble, it was a bit overheated and was really not happy. The thought of breaking down on the main boulevard surrounded by traffic was terrifying me, so I prayed all the way home.
Got there okay, no Jordan, this is about 1hr 20mins after he finished school. I called all his friends no-one saw him leave, he didn't walk part way with any of them, nightmare. He finally showed up very tired, 2 1/2 hours after leaving school, he had apparently waited around for 1/2 hour then headed off home, poor boy.
So there was a little knitting, some beading so pics later when its light enough. Today I am not leaving the house.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

No time

Tram and bus drivers on strike, driving in the city chaos, lost one child for a few hours, knitting tomorrow...........

Monday, November 13, 2006

Its all pink

This scarf and fingerless mitts I just finished for my oldest niece, its actually for her birthday, which was about 2 months ago. I did buy part of her gift then had no idea what else to buy her. It is really hard to choose gifts for people when you live very far away, but also who you have no contact with anymore. I have seen her once in the four years we have lived here, so I really don't know her anymore.

Jake did ask me if the mitts were for him because I am in the habit of knitting pink things for him. Eh not!! He does want a pair the same so I will have to see what I can do. Not likely to be this week as I am feeling a little snowed under already and its only Monday. Marie, who I got all the fabric from is an artist and she is having a little exhibition type thing at her house and she asked me if I would take over some of my stuff to sell, it is of course this week so have to get my butt in gear and do some more work. I did come home today and make 6 pairs of earrings but I have to do a whole lot more.

One of my friends commented that I was being "nice" when she read my blog, I think she meant that my normal sarcasm wasn't quite making it into what I was writing. Other than that she meant I wasn't bitching and moaning like when I talk to her on the phone!!

So now I am going to moan, nah not today, I do have a few moans to make but can't be bothered today am too tired and a bit brain-dead, french lessons get me like that, can't think straight afterwards.
I know I promised sock pictures but the feet the socks belong on were not home in daylight hours for a photo and the indoor flash ones are rubbish. So maybe tomorrow or wednesday. Tomorrow is knitting bee day, so if you are Grenoble we will be in the Cafe Leyritz see ya then, and I will try to remember the camera.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Saturday morning

Well today is a holiday, no school, yeah!!
One tiny problem the littlest person in the house forgot to turn off his alarm clock, which is set for 6.20am, guess who got to get up to turn it off. It did mean that I got to see this wonderful sky at 7.15am. The camera didn't have much battery and I really need to practice taking sky photos but this is the best one. For a great frosty view, hop on over and see the view from Vicki's window.

Friday, November 10, 2006


It gets to this time of year and cooking becomes more of a priority. What is about the cold weather and food that make you want to feed everyone all the time. The boys and I are making our way through the Holiday Cookie magazine by Martha, one of my friends sent it to me at this time last year and we have managed to try out a fair few recipes. These are oatmeal and raisin without the wheatgerm as I couldn't find any and with a bit less sugar. They are very yummy, the recipe makes about 4 dozen so I try and hide some for another day........ yeah right, its worth a try though!!

Today I made an impromptu trip to the yarn store, it is about a 15-20min drive on the highway on a good day, on a bad day it can take forever. It is a mainly plassard store and the lady who works there is very nice. The other yarn stores that are nearer drive me insane, they have the stupid no touching rule and extremely rude staff, so I only go there when I really have to.
I needed to go to the yarn store to find yarn for a xmas project, it involves this pair of tights, this needlecord fabric and now these two yarns and now you have to wait to see what I can come up with! The colour is a bit more muted in real life but I had trouble getting it right....
Next up a finished pair of socks ...Wooot!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Its Autumn

Its still pretty green looking outside, though there are some leaves around.
I took this yesterday of a Persimmon tree in my friends garden, I love the colour it turns.
This morning it was a lovely autumn morning cold, clear and sunny, I am hoping we have lots more leaves falling soon, I love scrunching in them.

Knitting, I have done a little but it is boring. I have lots of projects in my head but need to focus a little. I have signed up to sell some stuff at a couple of craft fairs at the beginning of December, so really need to get a move on.

Today the creativity was kind of sucked out of me because someone (me) stupidly suggested we bag up all the lego in 500g bags to sell at the toy sale at the end of the month! They also stupidly said that really the Megablox and the Lego should be separated...Duh!!! So far, I have sorted and weighed about 3 kilos of bricks, so am kind of skelly reading the tiny print on the blocks! Someone else (not me) suggested we build the big things HP Castle etc and sell them bagged with the instructions, NO WAY, I hate building lego with instuctions, I only like building things of my own invention. So maybe someone else will build them, or NOT!!!!!

Of course the bags of bricks are colour co-ordinated, why would they not be???

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Today I received this in the post from Vicki,
this is my prize for being comment number
a lot, can't remember what. What a fantastic prize,
thank you sooooo much, sock yarn,just my colours,
soap, smells great, a fabulous sheepy pin,so cute,
chocolate, sweets, hot chocolate AND a signed copy of
the Yarn Harlots book, amazing, thank you, thank you.

And so just for Vicki, photos of the fabric haul.

This is it all, looks like a jumble sale.

This is all the chintzs I will keep to make bags out of.

And this........well all I can say is that they looks better in the photo
than in real life.

They are samples of really drab, 7o's I think, prints, yucky horrible colour combinations, quite a few that were very nicely described as vomit coloured!

No knitting so far today, just playing with fabric and planning projects. I'm off to knit some sock, so that I can plan my next socks for me and eat some chocolate...hmmmmmm

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Knitting bee and bags

...And fabric of course.
So first this is the fabric that actually came home with me yesterday as
I was inspired to do something with it.
So this morning I made this bag.
I needlefelted onto some denim and used the flowery fabric as the lining.
I gave it to Marie who gave me the whole load of fabric this afternoon, she loved it.

I have to say the rest of the fabric is still in my car, there is a HUGE amount,
3 bags, a box and 2 small boxes of ribbon and trims, ssshhhh, don't tell Jim.

Its alright dear its not all going to live here, tomorrow I am taking it to my friends house to share with her, I will take photos then as someone asked to see the new fabric stash.

Today was the knitting bee and it was fun, lots of scarf knitting going on as its suddenly freezing here, very frosty.

One scarf knitter is about to take the plunge and knit her first cardigan aren't you Mandy?

I forgot the camera though, next week, definitely. I did not get my sock finished I spent too much time talking and collecting fabric, will try to finish it tonight, its his birthday on the 20th so I have time, technically they were for last year but who is counting!!

I was also asked to take sock pictures with feet in them, I will once the right sized feet are around!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Progress and a new bag

Well the socks are coming along slowly, I have finished one for my brother and the giant sock is well underway and might be finished tomorrow.

I sewed this bag at the weekend as a prototype, I am now going to try out, one a little smaller and one a little bigger to see how that works.

Today a friend of a friend called me to see if I wanted some fabric that she no longer wanted.
I was very near her house so went by to have a look. Unfortunately I had taken the bus into Grenoble so had no way of getting it home, I am going to pick it up tomorrow!!

Tomorrow is the Grenoble Knitting Bee afternoon, this will be our second meeting and I am really looking forward to it.
For as long as I can remember my aunts have had a weekly knitting bee, my Dad has 6 sisters. I love being there, it gives me a real sense of belonging, they don't all knit any more but there is usually something else going on too. (My Dad calls it the Gossip Bee)

Just to be part of a group of women who are all different but who have something in common and to know that there will usually someone who can answer your questions and fix your mistakes is very cool.
So I decided the Grenoble women needed to have a knitting group, so far we are pretty international and the styles of knitting are varied. This I love, I come from a family of "scottish" knitters, but I have to admit to using circulars more and more. So to study how other people knit I find fascinating. So far the Austrian, Hungarian, Australian and Danish section of the group knit continental but all with different ways of holding the wool, its great. The Irish, English and Scottish knit english, I have tried to knit continental but I think it is something I have to practice more as I found it much slower. We have one non-knitter in our group but that won't last long she will be converted....soon!
Hey, why does my spell check want to replace knitters with janitors??

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ta da!

Its finished

Swallowtail Shawl from IK Fall 2006

Handmaiden Seasilk in Berry

I love it and this is how I will wear it.

This is only my second lace project and the first time working from a chart, I did love knitting it, even the nupps, when I got used to knitting them a bit loose, thanks for the tip Mary.

No, this is not how I usually look to walk the dog!

My usual choice of photographer was a asleep as its tradition to spend the last day of the holidays in bed, so I had to make do with Jim, so apologies, this is the best!

I love the Jumper on the cover of the Fall Interweave knits but am having trouble finding wool that I get gauge in, any suggestions?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Pick a square

This is one project we have been working on this holidayWe started off with this,

Which became this,

and then this

Now just all the sewing to do.

Jamie has been collecting old jeans for the last 5 years to make a patchwork with.

I have to say for the past 2 years he has not been the easiest person to live with, teenage angst hit hard.
Needless to say every time I suggested we work on his project it was met with a firm NO.
I still kept every old, holey pair of the jeans in the hope that one day he would decide it was time and it was still something he wanted to do. And he did! (we do have enough jeans left over for at least one more quilt!)
We had such a laugh remembering who had worn which jeans and I laughed at him because he insisted on keeping the pieces with "nice" holes, I am sorry honey but a holey pair of jeans is just that!
He also took the longest time re-arranging the squares, I had to try really hard not to say anything, especially when Jim said in passing "he is so your son!"
I have no idea what you are talking about!

Jamie started a new school in September after fighting the system (and us) for almost 2 years. We got to the end of half-term with only one minor bunking off on the last day, this is a major achievement and I am very proud of him.

He is studying Mens Tailoring at school and apparently its fun, yeah!
We spent a long time coming up with other study options for him and to be perfectly honest, I thought he chose this to keep me happy, I had highlighted it as an option as a joke, cause I would have loved to do this course. (I did also suggest a ChocolatiƩr, sp?)

At home in the last 8 weeks he is a different child, he gets up for school with no arguing, he chats about his day, he asks me sewing terms in english, he talks about project work, he reads my Vogue magazine, he is not fighting with his brother so I am kinda hoping the teenage thing is over. Maybe I will be better at the parenting thing with the other two! Or with any luck they won't feel the need to rebel quite so much!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


This is part of what I am up to today, you don't want to see the rest.

The thing about children is they get to an age when they really can't decide if they want to keep toys or do they admit they are told old to play with them.
If they are too old for them, what then? Keep them for future generations? Give them away or throw them out? Jake is twelve and for almost a year there are certain toys that have not seen the light of day but they are still his and still dear to his heart. Its kind of sad to see your baby grow-up.

We do have a few boxes in my dads attic that I couldn't part with Duplo and the Thomas the Tank Engine collection of trains, the Brio collection went to my niece at Christmas time and that was a big wrench for Jake.

In this apartment we have no extra space, so its time to make that decision, Jake has been in a horrible mood all day, I know why, he doesn't want to decide.
So far we have chucked out all the rubbish and the broken guys! I put together all these guys, please don't tell me if they are wearing the wrong clothes!
So we have some knex, lego, megablox and playmobil, its kinda scary how much there is but this stuff has belonged to all three boys, so about 13years of toy collecting........decisions, decisions.

So on the knitting front, I am on the edging chart for my shawl so might be finished by tomorrow, no sock progress, there may be some later