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Thursday, June 30, 2011

New carpet!







You may be thinking why would we want to cover over the wood flooring with carpet? Trust me the boards are not as nice as they look in these photos. Beside the terms of the ground lease don't allow us to have bare boards. Granted this is the same lease that forbids us from playing a pianola after 11:30pm but still it wouldn't be fair on the downstairskes.

Now we just have to build our bookshelves, move the cardboard box fort containing all the books from the living room back to the spare room, oh and find someone to trim and rehang the four doors which wouldn't clear the carpet. I have to say that I'm a little narked that the estimator from John Lewis didn't tell us that the doors would need trimming when he came last week but it's a small gripe.

Now do you want to see something really horrific?

Moth damage

I was really excited this morning when I finally found where my original Berry Hill mittens had been hiding all this time. Sadly something had found them first. This is why I now keep all my knitwear in plastic boxes with cedar blocks in them. Can we all take a moment to mourn the sad passing of my wee gloves? At least they're immortalised on Ravelry. Also fallen prey to the moths' tooth were some Louisa Harding fingerless mitts (one of my earliest knits), my bonfire night mittens (in the same yarn as the Berry Hill mittens - that stuff must have been tasty), and a non-handknit hat and scarf. Sigh!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Domestic upheaval

The spare room is nearly empty, the front room is full of boxes, I can't reach my spinning wheel and the TV will have to stay on stand-by as we literally cannot get close enough to it to reach the on/off button. We're not moving (thank goodness) but we are getting new carpet in the hall and spare room which means that everything that was in them must be stashed elsewhere. The biggest challenge is the huge desk (plus pc and monitor) in the spare room. The plan at the moment is to move it into our bedroom at the last minute on the morning that the carpet fitters are due to turn up and then just hope that we don't want anything out of the bedroom until they've gone away again.

Despite the upheaval and the vague sense of panic associated with the fact that there's still a lot of stuff to move before I can start vacuuming and cleaning I'm very excited. The flooring in these two rooms (bare scuffed boards plus trip hazard rugs) has annoyed us for over three years - it's going to be so lovely to have beautiful clean carpet in there instead. Then once that's done we can put up the new bookshelves - it's all going to look so much nicer.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

A walk in the park

I still can't get over how lucky I am that this is my local park.*


We went for a late afternoon walk round the lake after I had got back from a lovely afternoon watching The Way at the Phoenix Picturehouse. I've made a resolution to go to the cinema more often. I think we got a bit out of the habit (what with the Odeon charging through the nose for what are often not-very-good films) but watching a film (a good film at any rate) at the cinema is a much richer experience than watching at home on tv or a laptop with the ability to pause and break the spell at any moment. I very much recommend The Way - it's heart-warming without being being overly cheesy or sentimental and Martin Sheen is great.**

My afternoon was absolutely made up though when I popped into Darn It and Stitch to pick up some buttons for Kate's cardigan and received a wonderful present from Jo as a thank you for entering a cake in her competition - apparently it is the taking part that counts. Jo had mentioned that there was a small thank you waiting for me in the shop but I was completely amazed when I opened the parcel and found a £10 gift voucher and a skein of Fyberspates Scrumptious 4 ply (apologies, just got completely distracted on Ravelry wondering what to knit with it).

Anyway, back to our walk.


I love these views from this side of the lake where you can just see Woodstock in the background. It's hard for me to believe that this isn't a natural landscape when walking round here - these guys did an amazing job.

* and that their ticketing and access policies are so enlightened as to allow us to enjoy it as frequently as we do.

** although frankly I could listen to Martin Sheen reading out the phone book and enjoy it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Another cardi for Kate

Drops cardigan

Just finished another of these little cardigans for my niece Kate - she looked really sweet in the first one. I just need to pick up some buttons. I have plenty in the button bag but there aren't four which match either each other or the cardigan.

I even like the back - if it weren't that I'd been commissioned to make a cardigan I'd be very tempted to knit this as a sweater.

Kate's cardi - back

Pattern: 0-684 Baby cardigan with short/long sleeves by Drops design
Needles: 4mm circulars
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (1.25 balls)

Here's a pic of Kate in cardigan #1 - it's not the photo which shows off the cardigan the best but it is the one in which she has the least grumpy expression.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Wee Drops cardi for Kate

One of the lovely things about being a knitter (or indeed about being generally crafty) is that you can make things to specification when required.

In this case my sister wanted a couple of raglan (easier to put on) short-sleeved cardigans for my little niece Kate to sleep in. I scoured Ravelry for suitable short-sleeved patterns and came up with the snappily named 0-684 Baby Cardigan with Short/Long Raglan Sleeves from Drops design.

Drops cardigan for Kate

Pattern: 0-684 Baby Cardigan with Short/Long Raglan Sleeves by Drops design
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (1.25 balls)
Needles: 3.5mm and 4mm circular needles
Ravelled here

The yarn is from the rather delightful Burford Needlecraft shop which is handily situated on the direct route between my place and my sister's new house. I've got two more balls in the cream so I just need to decide whether to knit another one just the same or search out another short-sleeved pattern.

Happy Birthday Darn It and Stitch

It doesn't seem like a year since Jo opened Darn It and Stitch (Oxford's only haberdashery) but she celebrated the shop's first birthday today with cakes (both crafted and real) and a drop-in workshop and book signing by Mary Jane Baxter. I didn't have time to stay for the workshop but I had a lovely time browsing round the newly refurbished shop and picked up some very cute bits and pieces.

I'll show off the rest of my haul on another occasion (when there's better light for photography) but I couldn't resist this sequinned motif.

Blue bow vest

Which is now adorning this vest.

Blue bow vest

It's almost instant crafting gratification. A £1.99 vest from the Gap sale, a £7.50 motif, half an hour of stitching and I now have a snazzy new top.

I took a few shots of the birthday decorations and the new layout in the shop.


Check out the amazing crafted cakes in the window. Mine is the knitted cake with the pink "icing" in the bottom left photo above.


I love how Jo has arranged everything together by colour and the way that she's used vintage suitcases for shelving.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

On my way home

On my way home yesterday evening I noticed that it is almost hollyhock season. Hollyhocks seem to grow all over the place in Oxford and Woodstock, often just seeming to pop out out of cracks in the walls and pavements. At the moment they're mostly still in bud but I spotted the first flowering plant yesterday evening.


I think that hollyhocks are rather triffid like - they definitely have an air of lurking in wait.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Rose coloured socks

Jaywalker sock

There's been a bit of debate about what these socks most resemble - sherbert, tropical sweets, rhubarb and custard - but personally I think they're rose coloured.