31 December 2008

What a busy Christmas!

Here I am, finally, after the busy week we have had celebrating Christmas and seeing our families.

We all had a lovely time even though everyone at some point has been struck down with a cold ( I am the latest victim to fall foul of the virus!) after waking up yesterday with a bunged up nose :oS

Leah had a lovely time and loved all her presents - well to be more precise all the mess she can make with her presents - and she didn't get too spoilt which is a good thing. Mum and Dad bought her the cutest little slippers, but she still won't put them on her feet, she just doesn't want to!

We tried her with Boxing Day Dinner of roast beef (see above) and the traditional roast turkey Christmas Day Dinner, and she ate a little, although she preferred the stuffing and sausages to anything else.....oh well......

She also loved spending time with little William (who is also suffering with a cold, bless him) and she couldn't keep her hands off...

....poor little fella, he doesn't quite know what has hit him!! (or should that be kissed him??!!??)

So here they are on Christmas day, looking as good as gold - all three of them!

23 December 2008

Finished the raspberry socks....

I finally got round to finishing the raspberry socks for my sister in law, but as I was in such a hurry to get them wrapped and under the tree I forgot to take a photo.

Here is the photo of them as WIP and to be honest the finished article isn't too different. The yarn isn't the softest, but does the job nicely. I just have to get the embossed leaves socks finished for my friend now :o)

22 December 2008

My work Christmas party!

Each year our bosses at work kindly throw us a Christmas party. This year we went to a Chinese Restaurant and it was held last Friday. I was a very good girl and didn't drink much but still managed to get a few funny photos.

I managed to take a photo of me and my friend not bad for the last one of the evening. I even got most of our heads in as usually I miss them off!

Poor Sam got a glass of wine tipped over him so he was frantically phoning round all his mates to see if anyone could drop him a shirt down to the restaurant before hitting the nightclubs. I'll have to find out if he managed that one!

And finally my two friends having a bit of a daft moment with the chopsticks - I think they were a little worse for wear before we even arrived! it was a good evening and the food was yummy!¬

15 December 2008

Been shopping today..

Leah and I went food shopping this morning and her treat for being good is a ride at the end!

Today, as always she went on the Noddy ride and really enjoyed herself. When she first went on it she wasn't quite sure, but now she's a real old hand at it! I did run out of change, so she could only sit on the Bob The Builder ride.

I don't think she minded too much! She even posed for the photos today :o)

12 December 2008

Not much has been happening around here......

This week seems to have flown by without much happening, or so it seems. I haven't finished any knitting projects and haven't done much else. One plus, I did get all my Christmas cards written and sent out, so one less thing to worry about.

When we put our tree up, we were a little concerned that Leah was going to pull everything off and end up with the tree on top of her! As you can see, she was more interested in examining everything and just taking it all in.

She loves the baubles and little stockings, but luckily has left them all on the tree. One thing she has learnt this week is how to push herself along on her little truck. It was a present for her birthday, but has been in the loft ever since as she didn't want to go anywhere near it. When we got the Christmas decorations down, we saw it up there and she has been stuck to it ever since. Her favourite thing is to be pushed along on the wooden floor whilst lifting her feet up to go faster!

I am hoping to finish my two sock projects soon, but whether they will be done in time for Christmas is a different story. Neither was supposed to be a present, so if I finish them in time it will be a bonus. Once they are done I have a pair on mind for a friend who I know will love them!
That's all for my unevenful week, hopefully something more exciting will happen this weekend - hopefully it won;t involve, me, a horse and the ground!

06 December 2008

Finally put up our Christmas tree!!

We bought our Christmas tree this morning and what a nightmare we had putting it up. The price of trees really seems to have gone up this year, so rather than buy the type we really like, we opted for a different type, which saved us about £15.

When we got it home we tried to put it in our Christmas tree stand but the darn thing had a two narrow trunk :oS We tried all sorts of things to pack it out but to no avail, we even tried tying an old mouse mat round the trunk. Whatever we did it still wouldn't stand on its own.

Eventually we managed to borrow a smaller stand from Richard's parents, but for some reason the tree still looks drunk. Richard doesn't like it, so that's put a bit of a downer on the whole thing - I tried to decorate it the best I could!!

I don't think it looks too bad?

We also went to the Frost Fayre held by the Church in Mum and Dad's road this afternoon. There wasn't really much to do, and the stalls were all too spread out, so it was a little disappointing.

I did manage to slip in a glass of mulled wine so that was a bonus, and the lights in the street all looked very pretty. Leah liked all the trees and the reindeer!!

05 December 2008

The leafy socks......

My friend wanted a pair of knitted socks, so I said I would make her a pair with pleasure :o) I wasn't sure what type of pattern to do - so thought I would do the embossed leaves socks by Mona Schmidt as it was a pattern I wanted to do anyway and I love all the socks in that pattern I have seen.

I am halfway through the first sock and wish she didn't want grey socks. I don't think the yarn is quite suited to the pattern, as a smoother yarn would make the leaves more outlined.

You can still see them, just not as much as I had hoped unfortunately. I am also finding the pattern a bit of a strange one!

All the sock patterns I have followed so far pick up stitches from the heel flap by continuing after the last heel row, then across the instep and up the other side, ending in the centre of the heel for the round. This one requires breaking off the yarn and joining down the opposite heel edge first, so that the end of the round is just before the heel (although the pattern says the centre of the heel is the beginning of the round, the way the needles are numbered doesn't tie up to this) so very odd! here is also a random M1 that doesn't tie in with the pattern (??) anyone else found this weird?? Other than the strange way it is written I haven't had any problems with the pattern itself - it is quite easy to remember! I think if I make these for myself I might change the way the heel is picked up and knit it in my 'normal- way.....

04 December 2008

hmmm, how annoying!

Since her obsession with 'In the Night Garden...' Leah had realised what the remote control is for (thank goodness for Sky+) and it is sooooo annoying! If she doesn't want to watch what's on she grabs the remote and make a real moany noise until we change it!!
Quite frustrating really, especially when she then turns the TV off.....
On another note I finished the Christmas shopping today and still can't believe the lack of space between Christmas displays, it is almost impossible to get a pushchair though :o( I was soooo annoyed by the end!! At least its all done for another year, just the wrapping to do - urghh!

01 December 2008

My first pair of fingerless mitts....

Although I have been knitting since I was a child, it's only over the last year or so that I've been knitting again frequently and enthusiastically!

I am always looking for smaller projects to do, as having a toddler keeps me on my toes and I have to fit in my knitting during nap times and once she's gone to bed. (For the record I have tried knitting whilst she's awake and it ends up with Leah running off with the ball of yarn and me trying to catch her!)
I came across these fingerless mitts on Ravelry and thought I'd give them a go. I am always losing gloves in one way or another and can never find a woolly pair when I need them. These will do just the trick when I take leah for our winter walks, as my fingers are still 'free' to do whatever I need to do to look after a toddler :o)
I have just used some yarn I had in my stash and to be quite honest I think it has done the job - and the fact the yarn is acrylic means they will be able to be washed frequently.
The pattern was too big for me at first - I ended up frogging the first mitt last night and casting on again with 40 stitches instead, which is just the right fit for my small(ish) hands. I didn't think that the cables were coming out that well, but thankfully they look better in the photo. The mitt (I've only made one so far) tookme about 2 hours to knit, so if anyone is looking for some last minute Christmas gifts, I would recommend them. I'm thinking of making Mum a pair for the cold lunchtimes in the playground ;o)

Had a great ride on my favourite pony!

I just wanted to show you a picture of the lovely pony I rode yesterday - I love him! He's about 14hh and is getting on a bit now, but I had such a good time.

The stables have quite a few new horses and ponies at the moment which they are still learning about, so I was the sensible one, following up the rear and helping to keep an eye on everyone.

The ground is so muddy we weren't able to do much, but we were able to have a few good canters on one of the dryer tracks. We held back a bit to give us some space and Dandini was raring to go. Bless him, he was jumping on the spot getting all impatient!

I haven't ridden him for about a year, but you wouldn't have guessed that as I easily fit back into the riding rhythm with him. He's such a good boy but you have to be firm from the start otherwise he'll take the mickey out of you big time!!

26 November 2008

Roberta will shortly be on her way....

This is the little lady that will be making her way to Annie, the winner of my very first giveaway. I decided to give her a little snowflake dress as we are coming towards the festive season. I hope she will find her way there safely!

I changed the way i did the shaping on the head, and I think it gives her a much more innocent look :o)

As for me, i am not doing too badly - I was back at work today - but my tummy is definitely not its normal happy self, so I have a nice trip to the doctor tomorrow. No doubt I will have to give a sample of something or other to find out what's wrong - bleughh!!

25 November 2008

Laid up in bed....

Today and yesterday I haven't been feeling myself...I woke up yesterday with a 'funny' tummy and whenever I got up I felt like I was going to faint.

Richard stayed home to look after Leah - and even went food shopping for me, armed with a list of course, as there was no way I could get it done.

I had a eventful time whilst he was out - passing out in the bedroom floor on the way back from the bathroom! So I spent all day in bed with a splitting headache and generally feeling sorry for myself.

We called the doctor out at the end of the day as I was still feeling pretty rotten, and I found I had a lowish blood pressure and a bit of a temperature. Nothing too serious, I just had to take it easy.

So no knitting, no TV (missing Eastenders, Spooks and 24!) and lots of sleep.

Today I've managed to have a cup of tea and a small piece of toast, but STILL haven't brushed my teeth for over 24 hours - YUCK! Might do that now!!

The winner to the giveaway is......

I did a random number generator thingy via Random.org and the lucky winner is comment no. 5 who is Annie!

I'll be in touch to find out what bunny you'd like!

22 November 2008

Can you believe it??

I thought I would make the most of the Debenhams sale yesterday and went into town with my sister to do a bit of Christmas shopping.

It was a complete nightmare taking the pushchair as all the clothes are put out too close together, so its like an assault course just trying to get to where you want to. Add into the mix a bored and hungry toddler and a stressed out Mum and you end up with me being in a real bad mood!

Nevertheless, I managed to get a good chunk of my Christmas presents bought, and with another trip into town today, (with the help of Richard) we've managed to get most of it bought and its not even December yet! That's a record for us as we usually leave it to the lasy minute LOL!

I also got myself a dress to wear to my coleagues wedding reception on Friday night - so now I'm relieved I haven't got to go in my birthday suit.....

Onto nicer things, I've got my first waving not drowning sock finished and I can't believe how quick it was to do. Some patterns seem to take forever, but I finished this sock in two days which is another record for me!

I am really pleased with how the striping has turned out so now I just have to make the second one so Mum can have her Christmas pressie!

20 November 2008

Welcome Matilda and Morris!

Today my lovely package of monkeys arrived from Kitty Wrinkle and I am thrilled to bits with them. I hope the kiddliwinks will like them for Christmas.

The little monkeys told me that their names were Morris and Matilda and that they are cousins, just like their new owners! Matilda is a year older than her cousin Morris, which is why she is a little taller. They said they can't wait to meet their new owners, but I told them they will have to be patient and wait until Christmas day. Until then they will be staying with me!

I introduced them to a little bunny named Beatrice (who is for sale by the way) and she seems to have made them feel very welcome.
Many thanks Kitty!

My latest purchases...

Today the postman had some great mail for me (see the next post for the other items).

He bought me this lovely book 'Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs' which will give me some great ideas for blankets and throws. So far all I have managed to do are some Granny Square blankets so a change in shape of motif will make things a bit more interesting.

I also received my two skeins of hand dyed yarn by Babylonglegs which I bought from Folksy.com and I can't wait to use them. I really love the selection of sock yarns you can buy at the moment, the problem is knowing what pattern to use them on.

I am interested to see what they will knit up like.

17 November 2008

About the bunnies....

I have been thinking about this for a while...... If anyone is interested in having their own bunny I am willing to sell them for £12 each plus postage and packaging. This will cover the costs of materials and time I'd have to put in.
So far I have only made bunnies, but I can also do a tiger, mouse and lamb - all with clothes of course.
Once I have practiced for myself on those patterns, I can offer those for sale too.
If you are interested just e-mail me (see my profile) or leave a comment for me and I can add you to the list.
I can't promise how quickly I would be able to make them, it all depends on what else I have to do - but I can promise each will be unique and I have a selection of clothing to use for each bunny (if there is nothing suitable I could always design something).
Esther & the bunnies! xx

16 November 2008

My 5000th visitor giveaway!

To celebrate my 5000th visitor to my blog - well more or less (I actually missed it) I am going to giveaway a little hand knitted bunny rabbit in either dungarees or a dress depending on what you'd like.

You will also be able to choose the colour of the safety eyes in blue, brown or black.

He/she is not quite finished yet but will be a little bit like Wibur in my previous post - but with safety eyes and a more sandy colour.

If you'd like to receive the bunny, just leave a message and I will pick a winner using some type of random sorter (not sure how yet) by November 23rd (next Sunday).

Good luck everyone!

Monkeys are on their way!

I have just received an e-mail (well earlier today, but I've only just got around to reading them!) from Kitty Wrinkle leting me know my monkeys are ready - yippee!!

This one is for Leah.....

....and this one is for William, and will be wrapped up nive and snug ready for Christmas ( I will make sure there is a hole in the wrapping for them to breathe!

I will let you know when they arrive - I can't wait!
(photos are courtesy of Kitty Wrinkle - thank you for sending them to me)

14 November 2008

My last day in my twenties!

Today is my last day in my twenties as I hit the big 3-0 tomorrow. Who would have thought it was possible!
I am not too bothered as age doesn't really matter to me, but it will be strange to think of myself as being in my thirties now!
I am lucky in that I have everything I could ask for - a beautiful daughter, a wonderful husband, a job, a home and a loving family and friends. Who could as for more? (well, apart from winning the lottery and not getting too many wrinkes!)


Today I got round to finishing my waving lace socks and I love them! It took me a while, but after turning the heel it only took me yesterday and today whilst Leah was asleep to get them all done.

I really like the colour and the yarn is lovely and soft :o) The pattern is really easy to remember ans simple too. I liked the fact it is in multiples of ten rows so its easy to get a whole batch of pattern done at once.

12 November 2008

It makes me sick to my stomach

For those of you in the UK who have seen the news over the last few days are probably aware of the horrific case of baby P who was killed by the people that he should have been safest with.

I have found the details of the case difficult to read and feel sick to my stomach that people can be so cruel, and that the authorities have yet again failed to save a child in so much danger from their own guardians.

This poor child was only 2 months younger than Leah when he died, and when I look at her I cannot believe that people can be so cruel and torturous to a child. I hope they get a long hard prison sentence when they are sentenced in December, and that the poor child is in a place where he finally gets the love that he needed.

It brings a lump to my throat just thinking about how this poor child had to suffer in his short life.... when you think how some families would do anything to have a child of their own to love.... and this baby had to do without for his whole life.

God bless little one...

11 November 2008

My own little rabbit.....

I just wanted to show my little rabbit design I made before I found the fuzzy mitten patterns. It wasn't quite as good as I had hoped but it wasn't bad for my first own toy pattern!

For those of you interested here is the pattern - I used sirdar snowflake DK and 3.75 mm needles. A different yarn may have a different effect as this yarn isn't as bulky as normal DK yarns. If there are any problems please let me know as it was a while ago I jotted the pattern down in my notebook!


cast on 15 sts, purl 1 row

knit into front and back of every stitch - 30 sts

P 1 row

Knit front and back into every other stitch - 45 sts

starting purl, st st 9 rows

next row - *K2tog K3* nine times - 36sts

st st 3 rows

*K3 K2tog* until last stitch, K1 29 sts

st st 3 rows

K2tog 7 times, K1, K2tog 7 times 15 sts

st st 3 rows

K2tog 3 times, K3, K2tog 3 times

P 1 row

K2tog all across the row

bind off

Ears (make 2 the same)

cast on 10 sts

st st 10 rows

K1 (knit front and back next stitch, K2) 3 times - 13 sts

st st 3 rows

K2tog 3 times, k1, k2tog 3 times - 7 sts

st st 3 rows

(K1 K2tog) 2 times, K1 - 5 sts

P 1 row

K2tog K1 K2tog - 3 sts

bind off


cast on 15 sts

st st 3 rows

inc into every other stitch - 30 sts

st st 3 rows

inc into every other stitch - 40 sts

st st 21 rows

K1 K2tog across the row - 30 sts

st st 7 rows

cast off

leg (make two the same)

begin at foot

cast on 10 sts

P 1 row

inc into every stitch - 20 sts

st st 3 rows

increase into every other stitch (by knitting front and back) - 30 sts

st st 7 rows

K3 tog 10 times - 10 sts

increase into every other stitch across row - 15sts

st st 25 rows or length required for leg

K1 k2tog to end 10 sts

st st 5 rows

cast off

arms (make 2)

cast on 20 sts

st st 30 rows

K2 tog K1 to 9 sts

bind off

join all seams by mattress stitch.

Embroider face or use safety eyes on the head.

Wrap yarn around the decreases of foot to make a defined foot shape.

Join arms, legs, head and ears to the body.

make a pom pom tail if you want :o)

not having much luck!

I've never made myself a jumper or anything of any size before, so I went ahead gung - ho and got stuck right in.

I had the right needles, right yarn, but what - it looks a bit small??!! You know what I didn't do? Knit a tension square! This is something I have never done before, aminly becuae I knit for Leah, and her sizes always fit, plus it takes too much time and I like to get results straight away.

Anyway, I decided to go up a needle size for both the border and main body of the jumper and to also do a bigger size ( I bought enough yarn for this anyway) - and did a bit of a tension square and counted the stitches (not the whole amount of rows) and it doesn't seem to be too bad. I haven't knitted that much so it is difficult to see what kind of size it is going to be....

The problem is that I am so impatient when it comes to knitting, I want a result NOW!

Hopefully it will turn out ok!

i will post some pictures when I am progressed a bit further :o)

07 November 2008

A tank top for William

I got round to finshing off William's tank top and I was pleased with the result. I got a little mixed up with the first few middle stitches on the V neck border, but luckily my sister didn't notice too much!
I'm thinking of making one for my friend's son too as they are fairly quick to knit up and are a lovely pattern too.

06 November 2008

Ta-da and uh-oh!!

Hmmmm, well they don't taste bad, but they need to be a little sweeter - I will see how Leah finds them, or else the birds will be in for a treat!

What to do with a pumpkin??

Since Dad grew Leah's pumkin for the Harvest Festival Church service, I have had a pumpkin sitting on the side in the kitchen waiting to be turned into something - but what? Its not massive, but is still large enough to feed the 5000 with pumpkin soup, so for the time being I have decided against that idea.

As for pumpkin pie, I remember having it one Harvest time and I really didn't like it, so that idea is out the window too......

... then into my inbox pops an e-mail from Organix for a recipe for pumpkin muffins! Yes, something new to try - albeit for children, but hey, we are all young at heart and Leah can give them a try!

So off we popped to the supermarket this morning to buy a few of the ingredients I had run out of (or didn't have such as wholemeal flour and maple syrup) and with some luck, managed to get them all (except maple syrup - a summer product so I was told so is out of stock - but substituted with maple sugar instead) and headed of home to bake.

Currently they are just finishing off and Leah is asleep, so in roughly 10 minutes I can put my feet up with a nice cuppa and a pumpkin muffin! Just hope they taste as good as they smell (will post some pictures when they are out of the oven).

31 October 2008

Blog award!

I have been lucky enough to have been nominated for a blog award by no less than 4 bloggers! They are :- Beate's corner, My In Box, Just me and my fbs and Creative Hands.

The rules of this award are:

1. The winner can put the logo on their blog.

2. Link the person you received your award from.

3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.

4. Put links of those blogs on yours.

5. Leave a message on the blogs of those you’ve nominated.

As quite a few of these awards are going around at the moment, I am going to leave my nominations to a later date - keep posted to see if you are a winner!

29 October 2008

A day out at Dover castle....

On Saturday we took a drive down to Dover to visit Dover castle and the secret wartime tunnels. it was a really good day out and was really interesting. The views were also fantastic across the English Channel.

here is a view of part of the castle.....

....'Why are you taking a photo of me Mummy?'....
..another part of the castle.....

.....and another one!
The wartime tunnels were really interesting, especially the underground hospital. It was quite amaziing the think they organised the evacuation of Dunkirk there in 1940 and it was such an important part in the organisation of the D-day landings. A very educational trip was had by all! Unfortuantely you weren't allowed to take any photos in there for security reasons...

Been away for the weekend.....part one

This weekend was spent in a caravan in Kent - not the luxury kind, but a static home - it was fine for a few days but it was a bit cramped to spend a whole week there. It was also a bit cold so it was good we remembered to bring our heater!

We made the most of it by visiting some National Trust and English Heritage site whilst we were there.

On Friday we went to Scotney Castle which was lovely to look at. You can go inside the 'new' castle, which was very interesting, but not so picturesque as the 'old' castle. The owners built the new one as the old castle was too damp!

This is part of the old buliding.....

...and the view across the water - just beautiful....

This is the new building, not as pretty - but I still wouldn't turn it down if it was given to me....

There was a beautiful garden and lake, but it was a little too damp to walk about too much. We spent an hour or so there, which was a good way to break up the journey.

20 October 2008

A visit to the sea life centre...

On Saturday we took a trip into Southend with our friends and their son, to visit the sealife centre. I haven't been for years, so we thought it would be good to take the kiddies along.

Leah loved looking at the fish - but seemed to enjoy running about just at much. I think she wanted to join the children's party that was taking place at the same time ( I never knew that little boys could be soooo noisy! I don't think there was one of them at the party that spoke rather than shouted!)
It was quite difficult to take many photos because of the lighting, but we did manage a few. We saw some gigantic sea bass - about a metre long - stingrays, plaice and sharks too! There were also some little turtles and some cute tree frogs.

Here was a fish (not sure what) swimming quite fast - I liked the effect the camera took, all by accident too :o)

We went to a cafe afterwards for a cup of tea (the restaurant at the sealife centre was full of the kids party!) and I took her on the Tweenies ride outside and she loved it! Luckily she was happy with the one go :o)