Monday, 20 June 2011

G is for...

Today, G was going to be for Going home, but unfortunately, due to unforseen circumstance, we're staying in this house until Friday. I cannot wait to move out, and I'm then going back to my parents house for 2 months before me and the boy move into our new house! We have almost no stuff left, since my dad came and took it away on Sunday, so there's only enough things that we can carry on the train. It feels so empty

So G is for Got my results! I got a 67% average, which I'm really pleased with, though I did want to get over 70. I only have one year left for my first degree, and to get a first I need over a 70% average. But next year is worth 60% of my marks for my degree, so I should be able to do it. Just more work and less knitting! The boy got a 64% average, and he's really pleased too.

G is also for Giving geeks, a Nerdwars challenge.  I'm still knitting preemie hats, and I've now made 8, 4 for boys and 4 for girls. I've started my 9th, then I'm going to make some ventilator bonnets, which I've just found out our NICU is in desperate need of! It's a good job I have a lot of baby yarn.

G is for Good food. The boy made the most AMAZING roast pork lunch today with roast potatoes and gravy. I take responsibility for the vegetables though, carot and swede mash with pepper., and broccolli It was so good, and it made a good going away meal for our best friend, who's off back to London today. I cannot cook to save my life, so I'm blessed that my boy has such amazing cooking talents.

Finally G is for Going on holiday. My parents have invited the boy and me to a cottage they're renting at Sands End near Whitby next week, from Saturday to Tuesday, so my post week will be a bit late. I haven't been on holiday in over 2 years now, so I'm so excited to go, knit and relax, before the serious job hunting starts.

So that's my G post, sorry for the lack of pictures. To see more, check out here.

Friday, 17 June 2011

FO Friday - pink madness

As I said on Wednesday, I finished my snuggly soft simple socks. I'm not entirely sure why they seem to have an aura in this picture, but perhaps it's because they so amazing!
I love how soft and warm they are, and I love the way the yarn knitted up into such a pretty colour and pattern. I do have a few problems with them though...
At every point where I've joined the heel flaps I have holes like this, and I have no idea how to get rid of them, or what I've done wrong. I would really appreciate any suggestions on how to avoid this next time I make a pair of socks!
And I found out, after finishing the first sock, that I was doing Kitchner stitch wrong. I couldn't go back and fix the first sock, since I'd woven in the ends, so I decided to just leave them. I do now know how to do it right for next time though

I've also been very busy making preemie hats
I've not quite finished, I still have 2 1/2 boy hats to do. The camo yarn I'm using for boy hats is a lot warmer than it shows up in this picture, and I think is really cute for a little boy. I'm trying to make a few different sizes so that there are lots to choose from. They are this pattern, and i would really recommend making some to donate if you have any space baby yarn lying around!

To see more Friday post, look here

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Excellent news!

Some people might remember the fort my boy was building over the past few months, and the stress it caused to get it handed in on time.

Anyway, he got his results back today! 85%, which is the maximum they can give out, highest this year and joint highest ever. The marker described it as "stunning in every way."

I'm so proud of him right now!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

WIP Wednesday

I thought I might do an update on all my current WIPs, because I haven't posted any in a while. I did finish my snuggly socks yesterday, so I'm going to tell you all about that, but I might save that so I actually have a FO Friday post this week!

First my Central Park hoodie:
I'm really pleased with how this is going, it's a good first sweater. I'm a bit worried about it fitting me, because this yarn is pretty thin for aran, so I'm not sure how it's going to come out when I block it. Also I'm not entirely sure how to block a 20% wool, 80% acrylic blend. I guess I have a while to figure that out though, but I'm hoping to finish this over the summer, ready for winter.

Then my tatty teddy bookmark:
This is so close to being finished, I just need to finish the backstitch and then attach the backing. The only problem is, I can't focus on it (and by that I mean my eyes can't focus!). I think I need an eye test...

I did cast on something to day, with the yarn that's left from my socks.
It's a preemie baby hat. My university Knit-a-soc (knitting society) has a charity project trying to collect as many preemie hats as possible for the special care baby unit at our local hospital. I've been meaning to make a few for ages, and I got just the push I needed when I joined the Nerd Wars group on Ravelry, since they have a challenge called "No More Naked Newborns"

That's everything I have on my needles that I am actively working on, and I want to get it finished then I can start some of the new stuff I'm planning! To see more WIPs, have a look here

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

F is for... Freedom

Freedom means a lot of things to a lot of different people. Although it's defined as "The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint" I think that most people would agree that when thinking about it, they would say that to them, certain things make them think of freedom.

For me it is:

The time when the housework is done, the uni work is done and there is nothing hanging over your head that you HAVE to do.

The feeling when you are upside down on a trampoline, and it feels like you're flying

Wearing whatever you want and not caring what other people think about it (purple zebra trousers and a very studded plastic jacket anyone?)

A time to sit and knit, for as long as you want, knowing there is nothing else you should be doing

Cuddling up in bed with the one you love, knowing you don't have to get up for a long time

The moment when you are standing at the top of a mountain, knowing the only way from here is down, and the climb was so worth it (if you're interested, the picture is of Mount Mulangi in Malawi)

Jumping  into the sea from big height (here it's off the top deck of a boat, and technically it's a very large lake)

Being in that crowd, enjoying the music and moving as one

Sitting round a campfire at a music festival, drinking cider with your friends, surrounded by 200,000 people

Dancing with your friends, completely sober, just because you can and they won't judge you

Having the time and money to just get in your car and drive, and see where it takes you

Going to the beach on the only hot day of the summer, and doing nothing all day

Watching a beautiful sunset, and feeling peaceful and happy.

I class a lot of things as defining freedom to me, even though they don't all fit into that definition at the top. What would you class as defining freedom to you? I'm genuinely interested in what t means to different people.

Check out other peoples' ABC posts here

Sunday, 12 June 2011

World Wide Knit in Public Day

To celebrate this, Rowan at John Lewis were hosting an event, and I thought I would go along and check it out! This is the first time I've ever been to a knitting group, or even knitted with other people. I'm not a socail knitter...
They had decided to put together a goody bag for everyone who came to the store to knit that day with a load of free patterns, a 10% discount voucher on Rowan items, as well as a Rowan bag, sticker, and label to sew into your knitted items, which was a really nice thing to get.

They'd stolen a load of comfy chairs and sofas from the furniture department, and put them in the knitting section along with our own sign announcing world wide knit in public day. I didn't manage to get a picture of everyone knitting, but hopefully someone should email one to me.

We had a couple of silly competitions, one for fastest knitter and one for knitted bunting. I took my sock along to finish, but spent the entire day working on my piece of bunting. They even gave us Rowan yarn and needles to knit with!
My beautiful piece of bunting! It's just moss stitch and stockinette stitch stripes, and then I picked up and knitted a border, because my edges were a mess.

This is all the bunting we managed to finish, and there were a couple of unfinished pieces as well. It's going to be strung up together and hung up at the next John Lewis knitting coffee morning. You can see the prizes in the background, and I didn't win either competition (but I did find out I can knit 107 stitches in 3 minutes if I try!) but I had a really lovely day. The winner was not surprisingly the amazing string of WWKIP day bunting you can see at the back in blue and yellow. It even had embroidered balls of wool with needles in them, as well as WWKIP embroidery!

We had the designer Sarah Hatton with us for the day, and we got a sneek peek (and by that I mean knitted up items) at her new designs for the next Rowan magazine. In fact, there is a picture of the group knitting at her blog here. I also got to see everybody's beautiful hand knit items, and it's spurred me on to try and finish my Central Park Hoodie, so I can actually wear something I've knitted.

Of course, I couldn't let that 10% voucher go to waste...

The book is Sarah Hatton's, and she was kind enough to sign it for me, and the yarn is Rowan siena. I just can't get the beautiful blue colour of the yarn to come out, so you will have to take my word for it that it is lovely.

What has everybody else been doing for WWKIP day?

Friday, 10 June 2011

Extreme Stash Enhancement

I have to say I love having a boy who says "as a birthday and thank you for helping me present, we can go to Hobbycraft, and you can pick out exactly what you want, and I will then pay for it!" Surprise, surprise I did some extreme shopping:

So that is 2 pattern books, some needles, a needle sizer, a ball of cotton, a cross stitch kit and a pyrography kit. I have never done pyrography before, which in case you didn't know, is burning pictures into wood. The kit comes with some wood and leather pieces as well as the pyrography tool, which looks a bit like a modified soldering iron with interchangeable ends. I think my plan for this weekend (as well as going to WWKIP day) is to give it a try, and I went to a DIY shop yesterday to get some scrap wood to practice on before I use the pieces in the kit. Now I will be honest, I'm not very good at drawing, so I will have to see how this turns out.

Also for birthday gifts I got *mumbles* a Hello Kitty colouring book and pencils *mumbles,* and a free birthday pattern from MinKnit designs! I picked the Poetry Anklets pattern, as I've wanted to make these for ages.

And finally, my present to myself is in the post. 5 balls of Sirdar Snuggly Crofter and a pattern book, so I can make my Goddaughter a jumper for her Christening on 7th August.

I promise there has actually been knitting occurring this past week, and there will be progress picture soon! And I got my first choice dissertation topic: "Human Placental Vascular Dysfunction in pregnancies complicated by maternal diabetes: Causes and Consequences"

Monday, 6 June 2011

E is for... Emma!

I thought I might do my post this week on... well... me! Especially since I turn 20 tomorrow, so I think I'm allowed to be self absorbed for a couple of days.

This is me:
Or at least it was in 1997. Wasn't I a cute child? The most recent comparable picture is the one from when I  left school 2 years ago:

Apart from me, there are 4 other people who appear in both pictures, and I bet you can't tell who they are! Hmm.. I have no idea why I was wearing a suit with trainers that day... Actually I do, it was comfy! But breaking the school dress code is bad...

Having had a browse through my facebook pictures, anybody would think I spend my time in fancy dress, drunk and/or pulling silly faces. Case in point:

But there are a couple of things that are very important to me, apart from knitting of course.

First the boy, Connor. We've been together 2 years, best friends for 5 and have lived together for a year:
And if you're interested. That's the house I grew up in in the background.

Then there are my doggies:

The little black and white one is Siouxsie Sioux (after Siouxsie and the Banshees), and she's 6, and the bigger brown and white one is Jessie (named after Toy Story 2) and she's 11 and going very deaf! They're both Cocker Spaniels.

Then there's trampolining, which I am President of. I don't have any pictures of me on a trampoline, so here's some of my club looking very attractive in unflattering leotards:
Then there's my degree. I wish I had an exciting picture of me in scrubs or a lab coat to show you, but cameras aren't allowed in labs, and I haven't been able to wear scrubs yet! I do love it though. I started the work for my dissertation today and it's amazing. I'm studying Pregnancy, Reproduction and Development, though I haven't decided on my specific research project yet. And I'm already the go to girl for all medical advice among my friends and family.

And finally there's my friends. What actually got me all nostalgic was that some of my school friends made the effort to travel from all over the country to see me this weekend to celebrate my birthday with me. And one of them made me this. It's a wall hanging with pictures of us and things that remind her of me, like some cute but evil things and her old school tie. I was just so touched that she made such an effort and I love it!
Other interesting facts: I have 7 ear piercings and a tattoo. I hate mushrooms and I have most probably seen any band you can name at a festival somewhere =P

 Right that's enough self indulgence for now! And I hope that's a good introduction to me.

Thursday, 2 June 2011


My exams are over! No more stress!

And the last one didn't go nearly as badly as I feared, which is very nice. Now just to wait til the 20th for my results.

Today's been a catching up on important things that I haven't done for the last 3 weeks, like laundry and cleaning, as well as trying to sort things out for when me move out at the end of this month (which I cannot WAIT for). I've talked to all the bill companies and I think we're going to have to pay about £200 at least when we leave, which wouldn't be too bad if one of my housemates wasn't point blank refusing to pay any bills, but that's a whole other kettle of fish. I'm going to start job hunting this week, and I get to see all my friends on Saturday for a birthday celebration.

I had a bit of a disaster last night involving my boyfriend's bum, my housemate's chocolate and my nearly finished sock:
I could have cried at the time, but I've given it a wash today and it seems ok. I'm just letting it dry then I can finish it.

The boy has finally finished and handed in his fort and all the things that go with it, and it looks amazing! If anyone's interested, here are some pictures

And yes, it's 92cm x 62cm, and totally to scale. I know the amount of effort that went into this, and the time it took.

Now to some free time and some knitting!