Bobble hats for April

I’ve started knitting a woolly hat – which I only started because I had no project to work on at Wednesday night’s knitting club. I thought “what a silly idea, knitting a woolly hat in spring – what are the chances of me wearing that?” And yet now, as I gaze out of my window, staring at the torrential rain hitting the window in a horizontal action, it seems only right that I finish it so it’s ready for our typical British summer!
Also as I stare out of the window I see that the neighbours are trying to “dry” out their tent after the most dismal week’s camping holiday ever.
You’ve got to love England, right!

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A bit woolly headed

I thought it was about time I updated you all on my knitting antics, so here you go.
As my F/book chums will have noticed, the 70s-style tank top for Ethan is complete and he looks a right Bobby dazzler in it! The main part was pretty easy, but for the arm and neck bands I had to get to grips with picking up stitches. Luckily I had my knitting club ladies to help me out with that. I cocked up the neck band but as the wool is multi-coloured I don’t think you can really notice it. On the home stretch I stayed up one evening until midnight to finish it off – yes, it is addictive! The following morning I proudly showed it to Guy and Ethan only to discover that it wouldn’t fit over Ethan’s large head…. So I snipped a bit and will alter it later!
Now I’m attempting “entrelac” which means interlace knitting – remember I got a book all about it for Christmas and said it was way too advanced for me to take on. Well it’s not going too badly…. As you can see!

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Pink to make the girls wink

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I’m so glad it’s March. Spring is finally in the air and new projects are being started. I’ve dug over the veggie patch and planted my onions, made an attempt at spring cleaning the house (don’t look too closely) and begun venturing outside a bit more, taking Ethan to the park and going on more long walks.
One thing I’m rather proud of is the tank top I’ve started knitting for the baby. He may not thank me for it when he looks back at pictures of himself in 17 years time, but right now he’ll wear anything we dress him in. I love the multi-coloured wool for this particular project and they say a man that can carry off pink is secure with his sexuality, right?! Well, there’s just a hint of pink in this design, but it’s balanced with some boyish turquoise and even a bit of brown.
Anyway, it could have been worse, I recently discover this old Peter Pan pattern for a baby romper suit….. Watch out Ethan!

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High drama and fingerless gloves

It’s been an interesting week for the family. Finally, having got over my feeling-terrible-ness, we had a scare on Sunday night when Ethan woke up making a noise like a barking seal and seeming not to be able to catch his breath.
Like the paranoid first-time parents that we are, panic set it, followed by the “no one ever prepared us for this” face and then the sudden decision that driving to Yeovil hospital A and E department was the only thing for it – at midnight. Of course the second we arrived, the seal-like noises and shortness of breath miraculously disappeared as quickly as it had started. On meeting a member of the paediatric team Ethan then turned on the charm, laughing and hooting as if this was all a very amusing game.
Anyway, he’s fine. I guess it’s the first of many panicky moments that we’ll have where our baby is concerned.
During the day before the hospital incident, my poor mum rang me to tell me she’d been walking the dog when she happened upon a dead lady lying in the road. It had shaken her up pretty badly and who can blame her? So in a week of high drama, knitting has featured fairly low down on the agenda I’m afraid to say.
However, with the cold weather finally setting in, I’m working on a pair of fingerless mittens – I’ve finished one, so one hand will be nice and warm. I imagine they’ll be useful should we have any more late night drives to the hospital…..

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10 reasons why knitting is great

When I was taught how to knit, not all that long ago, I knew I wanted to keep it up as a hobby but I never really realised just how much I would love it. Here are 10 reasons why I think knitting is great.
1. It’s better than exercise. Before knitting I could easily drink a few glasses of wine during an evening while watching telly and scoffing a bag of Cadbury’s Buttons. Now I get so engrossed in what I’m doing I forget to eat and drink, therefore saving me from consuming thousands of calories.
2. It saves money. Before knitting I would see things in the shops and think nothing about shelling out loadsa money on the latest cool item of clothing, now I tell myself “I could make that” meaning I don’t buy anything (although I never get round to making it either).
3. I’ve extended my social group.
I now have an extra 20 or so friends over the age of 70 who have taught me more about the town I live in than I managed to learn in eight years of living here, including my neighbour’s name.
4. I get to buy brightly coloured wool.
5. My husband thinks I’m really clever. For some reason Guy thinks the art of knitting is mysterious and amazing and is still thrilled at the prospect of me one day knitting him a jumper.
6. My mum is finally asking for my advice after 30 years of me asking for hers.
Mum thinks I know more about knitting and “how to hold the wool” than she does.
7. I get waited on hand and foot. The phrase “I just need to finish this row” sounds very important and means someone else makes the tea or changes channel for me.
8. I sound more interesting. Now rather than just writing “reading and going to the cinema” as hobbies on my CV, I can add “knitting”. How very quirky.
9. I get “me time”. At the end of a very long day talking to a baby, it gives me the opportunity to ignore everyone and pretend I’m engrossed in a pattern.
10. I get to write about it. Well, I’ve got to tell someone how great it is!

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The first night of being off-duty mum

On the train to London, Monday night, and I’m thinking this is the first time I will have been away from my son since he was born.
Surrounded by suits, laptops on tables and people with an agenda, I’m sat with a 70s knitting pattern, an empty pack of Sainsbury’s sushi and thoughts of whether or not Guy is going to remember to give Ethan his milk at the right times while I am not there to supervise.
I suppose this is where I’m meant to do that “letting go” thing, and it does feel a little odd.
On the other hand, it does feel strangely liberating. I have already achieved one of my ambitions, knitting proficiently on a train, whilst managing to maintain an air of calm and sophistication (of a fashion).
Tonight I will drink wine with my sister in law knowing (hopefully) that I will not be woken at some godforsaken hour in the morning by a screaming baby. I will wake up and worry just about myself. I can drink a cup of tea while it is still hot and have a shower at my own leisurely pace, where I don’t have to worry if Ethan has pulled the baby walker on top of his head.
Tomorrow I am going shopping with a good friend and we plan to eat sushi in Harrods and drink bubbly (her treat – I resigned, remember!) Freedom.
But although I can’t wait for the fun and excitement of the city, I already miss that feeling of being needed. And I’m already looking forward to seeing my baby again!
I’ll leave you with a cute picture – then I get to take one more look at my son…..

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Life begins at 30

With Kate Middleton hitting the big 3-uh-oh this month, it got me thinking about whether I’d achieved all the things I’d set out to do by the time I reached 30.
Ok, so I’m not a princess, but that was never the aim, so I don’t regret that.
If you’d told my 18-year-old self that by the time I reached 30 I would be an avid knitter, keen gardener and occasional baker then I think I would have run a country mile. But back then, those pastimes weren’t “cool” like they are now (as this article proves!)
At that time I had aspirations of being a session musician for some uber cool band, or a hard nosed journalist for the national press. I liked to keep my options open.
As it happens, I did become a journalist, albeit in sleepy Somerset for the local press, and I did get pretty good at playing the guitar. But the best thing I did when I hit 30 was realise that it doesn’t matter whether or not what you do is “cool”, or what people think of you – as long as you’re happy doing it. Thirty rocks!

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