I am Sarena. I live in Geneva. I like to knit.

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Just so you know

I haven't quit blogging or anything. I know it's been a while since my last post and I have no reason or excuse other than I can't be bothered. This is not a good attitude as it seems to have spread to some other things that I really need to sort out, particularly before bubs arrived. Maybe it's the imminent arrival of the little on that's making me feel like this, I don't know and I'm not going to apologise, at least not about the blog anyway. There are some things I should be apologising to people about but I think actually getting these things done would be better than an apology.

Anyway, I'm rambling.

Christmas was lovely. I'm in the UK staying at my mum's with Mr H and Trinny (who is causing no end of trouble with my mum's cat and is acting generally like the spoiled princess that she is). I have got lots of knitting done and got some things off my needles. I also received lots of new things to put on my needles in the new year, time permitting. Baby's coming in seven weeks, how crazy is that.

I will post properly later, really not in the mood, want to knit some more. I'm currently working on my Rowan Cocoon Iceland sweater for ME! About bloody time!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

34 Knitting Days until Christmas

I can't believe Christmas is so near now. Every time I think I've nearly finished all my Christmas knitting I think 'maybe I should knit something for so-and-so'. I'll never get done at this rate.

I finished my Chevron Socks last night and am really pleased with them. I'm going to use the same pattern for my dad's socks and expect I will eventually use it for myself with my Harry Potter sock yarn, although when will get around to that is anyone's guess.

I promised my mum that I would knit her some Christmas decorations for the shop as she's been too busy to do anything herself. A little foolish, I know but they're only little and shouldn't take up too much time. I should have plenty of opportunity to knit over the weekend if we get the snow we're forecast, although I won't hold my breathe, we didn't really get any in town last year. It's meant to snow Saturday through to Monday, which I am looking forward to, although I'll probably be staying indoors as I'm really rubbish at walking in the snow and I'm sure my ability won't be improved with my ever expanding belly - I seem to have lost my centre of gravity!

Anyway, so, I actually made a quick start on the Christmas decorations last night and knit up a six-pointed star. It took me about an hour to knit. I used Martifil Diva on 4mm needles. I had received the yarn from my Secret Knitting Pal on Swap-Bot. I think it looks really pretty, especially with the silver sparkles. I will knit up a few more. There are some other patterns that I'm planning on knitting, including some baubles and some knitted fairy lights, should be interesting!

Monday, 17 November 2008


I stole this from Heather and thought it seemed like a little bit of fun...

Grab the nearest book.
Open the book to page 56.
Find the fifth sentence.
Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
Don’t dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

"But if any of us were to chronicle the false patterns, the lulls, the storms of perpetual feeding, the general loony and uncontrollable eating behaviour of a new baby, it would be impossible to make a sensible theory out of it."

From How Not to be a Perfect Mother by Libby Purves

Friday, 14 November 2008

I forgot to mention - When in Rome...

Of course, how could I forget, I visited a yarn store while I was in Rome. Of course, I just had to do my research before setting off, Mr H was very accommodating and led me there to cheer me up on one of my more painful days. The store was called Lana della Vecchia and is at Via del Baullari 3, 00186 Rome.

It was a cute little shop, stuffed to the roof with yarn. The women in the shop were very friendly and one spoke limited English. I think the shop is definitely worth a visit if you're ever in the city.

Of course, I bought some Italian yarns while I was in there. I bought two balls of Laines du Nord 'Medifra' in a beautiful reddish colour (possibly going to be a pair of Fetching for myself). I also bout two balls of a yarn I'd never heard of before - Tropical Lane 'Complice', which is a bulky yarn in a mixture of browns and reds. Very cute, although I have no idea of what it is to become.

While I''m here, I can tell you that my Chevron Socks are coming along beautifully, I'm actually quite miffed that I will be having to give them away, I really am that fond of them. I will definitely be knitting the pattern again, quite possibly using my Harry Potter sock yarn.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Catching Up

Wow, it seems like ages since my last post. Well, I was sick, then I was in Rome (still sick) and then I've just been generally lethargic since I got home.

Rome was really cool, except that I was sick (Crohn's complications - I won't go into the painful detail), so between that and Mr H having a bad back we didn't really get around as much as we would have liked but we still managed to take in plenty. The weather was really great most of the time too, which was a relief as rain was forecast for our whole stay, it only rained twice, the rest of the time we didn't even need our coats during the day.

We also got around to taking some much awaited (so I'm told) "Sarena with Bump" photos. Yes, there is certainly a bump there now and it's not entirely made of chocolate and cake! I seem to be cooking a little acrobat and he's been kicking like mad; I actually saw my belly moving yesterday from the kicks, which was really freaky, I don't know how I hadn't noticed it before! We had the 25 week scan yesterday and everything is looking perfect, so around the 15th February 2009 there will be a baby H coming into the world, eek! I still can't believe that I have an actual person living and growing inside me, that's just so weird.

I have been getting on well with the knitting, despite a very irritating holdup with my Pinwheel Blanket. I decided to do a pointed cast off, like the one on my unfinished Debbie Bliss Circular Cardigan but I managed to run out of yarn for the very last triangle on the cast off, can you believe it?! I was livid! Luckily one of my fellow Stitch 'n' Bitchers has come up trumps and will be donating me a metre or so of the required yarn so I can actually finish it. I love my fellow knitters, I think knitters are generally a lovely bunch of people.

I'm actually really pleased with how the blanket's turned out. I love the colours and think they're a lovely combination and will look lovely draped over little bubs in the pram. I can't wait!

I have also been getting on with my Christmas knitting but it is still far from being finished. I knit Fetching from Knitty.com for my step-mother, using some Grignasco Australia that I had kicking about in my stash. I might knit another pair for a friend of mine but using a lighter coulour as I think the cabling will show up better and there is some reasonably priced Gringasco with an angora mix in the Coop in town.

I am also working on a pair of Chevron Socks for my mother's partner. My only concern is that he is rather colour-blind and so might not actually be able to see the pattern and the colours, hey ho, at least I'll know they're pretty! I will post pictures later when there's more to see.

So, just left is 2 hats, on for Mr H and a friend of mine, something else for my mother that Ican't mention in case she reads this and possibly a pair of socks for my dad. Then I think I'm done. Probably...

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

More baby stuff and another pumpkin

But this pumpkin isn't knitted. I got all domestic yesterday and made stew and carved a pumpkin. Cute hey? I was really pleased with how it turned out, except that my knife was a bit big and I ended up cutting off part on the house and have had to stick it back on with sticky-tape, but who would know?!

I won't actually be here for Halloween, we are off to Rome tomorrow, very exciting. I would be more excited if I wasn't poorly and in pain but I am hoping that y antibiotics will have kicked in a bit by the morning and that I will be feeling better. I am also hoping that the weather forecast for the next few days in Rome is wrong otherwise I will mostly be wearing a mac and sporting my umbrella. I guess we shall just have to spend our time hanging out in cute Italian coffee shops, no complaints there!

I have knit a baby kimono from the Mason Dixon book. I really love it, I just need to get around to sewing it up, I don't know why I'm putting it off so much, it's knit in one piece so there are only two seams to sew. I knit it using one ball of Cascade 220 Heathers on 4mm needles. There is just enough yarn left over to sew it up and then I need to find some suitable ribbons for fastenings.

I have also started knitting a Pinwheel Blanket by Genia Planck. I am knitting that using 5 balls of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in browns and pinks on 4mm circukar needles. I just hope that 5 balls is enough. I'm also hoping that it's neutral enough, either that or if I end up having a boy, I may find people saying how cute 'she' is but who cares. Not a very good picture I'm afraid but it's not easy taking a photo of a round, flat item on a circular needle. I'm on to my third ball of yarn now, so not too much further to go. It's not the most exciting knit in the world, just round after round of knit stitch, I think I'm currently on 400 stitches but it actually suits my state of mind at the moment, I really don't have to concentrate when I'm knitting this and can just kind of zone out. I wish I did have it in me to concentrate a little more as I would really like to crack on with my Rowan Iceland sweater but at the moment I just seem to be doing the odd row here and there but I guess it will get done eventually, I probably won't be able to fit into it anyway at the moment with my ever increasing belly!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Cutie Booties

I knit up the booties for my friend's overdue baby yesterday. Very cute. Knit from Christine's Baby Booties using Lang Bébé on 2.5mm dpns (set of 5).

Friday, 17 October 2008

Baby stuff and another Christmas FO

I just knit my dad's Christmas present - Skull & Crossbone wrist warmers! Cool hey? The pattern is Skull & Crossbone Wristwarmers by Kara Lyon. I knit them using some yarn from Manor department store (Yukon and Jasmine) on 3.5mm needles. They took me two evenings to knit.

I knit them for my dad because he plays guitar and often wears sweat bands on stage to stop the sweat dripping onto his guitar (nice) so I thought he could do with some funky bands. I'm not sure they will be particularly practical and will probably just go all droopy when they start to get wet but I still think they make a fun gift for him. I might make him something else too, maybe a scarf or some socks or some gloves, not sure yet.

I think I must be getting on well with my Christmas knitting, just my step-mother, Mr H and another gift for my mum for the main gifts (although I might knit up some beanies for my half and step brothers) and if I have time I might add a coulpe of other people to that list. The next project will be Fetching from Knitty.com for my step-mother, just need to choose some yarn, I'm sure I will have something suitable in my stash.

I have nearly finished my baby hoodie, all that's left to do is to sew on the pocket lining, which I'm going to do on the sewing machine (which means it will probably take me forever to get around to doing as I don't really have anywhere to keep my machine at the moment) and then I have to choose and sew on some buttons. It's really cute but the hood is a bit of a funny shape, I think that's a fault in the pattern rather than my knitting. I also didn't do a very good job of sewing up the raglans for some reason but it's mainly the back that's a little messy and I'm not going to undo it now, which is pretty good and relaxed for me, pregnancy must be having a positive effect on me and chilling me out a little. If you said that to Mr H, he would probably start laughing manically, he certainly hasn't been seeing a more chilled me, bless him.

I'm currently on call to go and babysit for a friend of mine who's due to give birth at any moment, she was actually due yesterday and thought she was going to be early so she's pretty fed up at the moment. I really think I should quickly knit up a little gift for the new baby. I think I might make a pair of booties. My friend Annelis made a load of really cute ones and I think I should make a few too...

She knit hers in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino but the pattern calls for 4-ply yarn and I have a load of Lang Bebe in turquoise, so I think I shall use that.

Friday, 10 October 2008

A quick birthday gift

It's my friend's birthday on Halloween, so I thought, what more appropriate thrifty gift than a knitted pumpkin and here it is...

It was a really quick knit, I knocked it up today. The pattern is Pumpkin by Marnie Ann Joyce. I knit it using some left over orange yarn I bought in Manor last year (used for my knitted carrot for the same friend, I guess I think she has a thing for orange fruit and vegetables!) knit double on 4mm dpns.

I think I might knit another one tomorrow for another friend who's birthday it was yesterday as I know she'll like it.

I have almost finished knitting my Wendy hooded top for baby, I just need to knit the button band and hood ribbing and finish sewing it up. After that, I think I will move onto the Pinwheel Baby Blanket by Genia Planck as I really need to knit some nice baby blankets to fill the lovely pram we bought on Monday to make it nice and warm and comfortable.

We also had our 20 week scan on Wednesday. Baby is doing absolutely fine and seems to be developing perfectly. We're still holding out on waiting until the birth to find out the sex, which is actually quite difficult but we will try our best not to give in! I have no idea myself, when I first found out I was pregnant, I was convinced it's a girl but then for a while I thought, no, it's a boy and now I try not to think about it too much otherwise I'm sure it will drive me insane!

So, I will leave you with our future bundle-of-joy at 20 weeks...

Monday, 29 September 2008


Ohh, another two finished items, aren't I productive? I finished my baby beanie hat. It's knit in Laines du Nord Baby Star on 3.25mm dps. I think it's really cute and I have plenty of yarn left over so I will knit a matching pair of booties.

I also knit myself a pair of fingerless mittens. These were a really quick knit, I did them in two evenings. It was really nice as my mum has been here so we have been spending out evenings hanging out watching trashy tv and films and knitting, it's been very relaxing. She's leaving this afternoon, which I'm quite miserable about and have been trying to convince her to stay but I don't think that's going to happen, she's not happy about leaving the shop for so long. She'll have to get used to it once baby arrives!

Anyway, mitts. The pattern I used was Axel Mittens by Blue Garter. I used one ball of Lang Maxi Tosca on 5.5mm dpns. I'm quite pleased with them, although if I did them again I would make the rib on the cuff a little longer. They're very warm and I love the yarn, especially the colour.

Back to baby talk, baby has been very energetic lately and the movements have been getting bigger. Mr H felt a kick for the first time last night, it was all very exciting. I think bubs is a little dancer. I also have a proper bump now, I was hiding it a bit too much, thinking it was mostly chocolate but I have come to realise that is is actually baby as it's the wrong shape to be pure fat! Ohh, I'm nearly half way through already!

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Babies in Yodas

I just had to post this photo that my friend sent of the twins in their Baby Yoda sweaters. Too. Cute. !

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Two Gifts (kind of)

I have another Christmas present off my needles. I finally finished the scarf I was knitting for my brother for Christmas. It looks pretty good and I'm really pleased with it. I don't particularly like the yarn I used but it is soft and it's meant to be hypo-allergenic, which hopefully means it won't aggravate my brother's eczema.

I knit it using Patons Zhivago and it's the Elongated Cable Scarf by Jenn Nevitt. I used just under 5 balls of yarn.

Now that's off my needles I can get on with some baby knitting. At the moment I am knitting a baby beanie using Laines du Nord Baby Star. It's very cute and I'm about halfway through it. I am also knitting a little hoodie by Wendy in Wendy Peter Pan DK. There are so many things I want to knit for baby and occasionally it makes me want to find out the baby's sex but I'm staying strong and will wait for it to be a surprise.

I met a group of mum's to be this afternoon, which was really nice. I put an ad on the expat site here and six of us met up for coffee to discuss our experiences and share stories. It was so nice to meet other pregnant women as I don't know anyone else really here who's pregnant or who has children. Actually, I know one other girl with a child and she's been really great since I told her I'm pregnant and she knits too!

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Innocent Knitting for Age Concern

Last year I knitted some mini hats for Innocent Smoothie bottles. The idea is that Innocent sell their smoothies with your knitted hats on and then 50p goes to the charity Age Concern. I plan to knit a few hats again this year.

If you want to take part, visit the Big Knit on the Innocent Drinks website. They have some free patterns for all levels, along with photos to give you more ideas and you will also find the address to send your finished hats to. So, get knitting to help raise money to keep older people warm this winter.

Sunday, 31 August 2008

A room to myself

I'm finally back at my mum's in Farnham after my two weeks in a youth hostel in York. It was so nice to have a room all to myself last night with no one snoring, jangling keys or getting up every hour to have a swig of vodka (seriously).

I am going to have a very lazy next few days and take advantage of the time I spend with my mum and spend it knitting without Mr H frowning at me because I haven't done the washing.

I am halfway through my Opal socks. I grafted the toe on sock #1 last night and I am very happy with it. I just hope I get to go home with it as mum has taken rather a liking to it. I love the colours, they're so soft. I particularly love the sage green in the sock. It didn't really look like much on the ball and I actually nearly changed it but I'm glad I didn't. I still need to knit lots more socks so I have plenty of yarn for my blanket.

The yarn for the socks is Opal 4-ply in 1917 - Fantasie.

I am now just looking forward to getting back to Geneva and Mr H and Trinny and to getting my 16 week scan, not long now!

Saturday, 23 August 2008

The sites and the course

Here are two photos to quickly show you what's going on up in York. No time to post, gotta go find Mr H...

As far as the Montessori photo goes, don't ask, or maybe you should as I have an exam next week, ohh err!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Up North

Posting has been quiet and will remain so for the next couple of weeks. I am currently up in York on my Montessori apparatus workshop. The weather here has been abysmal, it's really like autumn. It has been a bit of a shock to the system after 30 degree heat in Geneva to cold, wet and windy in York. I would have some photos to take but I seem to have left my camera cable in Geneva (I hope).

I like York, although I haven't had a chance to look in any of the shops as they're all closed when I'm not on my workshop. It's quite nice walking through the city at 8am when all the shops are getting ready to open. My youth hostel is about a 40 minute walk from where the workshop is held in town. It was interesting to walk across one of the bridges yesterday morning and to see that the river had burst its banks with lots of road, benches, trees and cars under water.

As the weather is so miserable, I felt the need to start a pair of socks. I bought a pair of Knit Picks Harmony needles and a ball of Opal sock yarn from my mum's shop before I came up to York so I cast on the socks on Sunday night. I'm only doing my generic pattern, even though I vowed I would never do so again but I think sometimes a plain sock is called for with certain self-patterning yarns.

I'm also working on a baby sweater for that little baby that you would have seen in my previous post. I'm coming up for 13 weeks now so feel that it's safe to knit. I think I cast on my first baby item on the day of week 12 after I had my scan. For all of you who want to know, I'm due on 25 February but it's more likely to be somewhere around the 1oth as I have to have an elective c-section. We're not going to find out the sex. I think it might be a girl but of course, who knows. Tell me your old wives' tales and maybe I will try some of them out if they're not too wacky!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Finally an FO

You may (or may not) have noticed that at the bottom of my WIP list there have been a pair of Wendy Fusion socks which have been there forever. Not anymore. Today has been rainy and horrible and I refused to leave the apartment but didn't feel like working on my regular projects, so I decided to dig out these long forgotten socks and work on them. Now, I have a pair of warm, chunky socks, yay!

I must have started working on these about a year ago. I originally knit a pair for my friend who was going back to Canada for college but ended up having to knit two pairs so they would match better as the colour changes are really long, so I ended up with one green sock and one purple sock. I got my friend's pair finished but never finished mine. I'm fairly pleased with them, although one is a bit longer than the other, but who's going to notice?

FYI, they are knit in Wendy Fusion on 5.5mm dpns over 32 stitches.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Have buttons, will travel

So, my February Lady Sweater finally has buttons. Actually, it's had buttons for a week, it's just taken until today to be able to get Mr H to take a photo of me wearing it.

I'm really pleased with it (have I mentioned that already, I think I have but I mean really pleased with it!). It was fun to knit and I love that it's all done in one piece - I hate seaming and I'm not particularly good at it either and I don't really go in for the old 'practice makes perfect', my ironing contradicts that.

The sweater took me exactly 10 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. There are a few less rows of garter stitch at the bottom than there should be as I ran out of yarn and wasn't about to go and buy another ball for the sake of a few rows. If I'd done one less pattern repeats on the body or the sleeves I'm sure it would have worked out fine but I can't predict the future. (FYI, I did 25 repeats on the body and 18 on the sleeves).

I also have a photo of my sock yarn blanket, although it's not a particularly good one. It's coming along very slowly, as I've said, due to an actual lack of sock yarn. It will be even slower now that I have frogged my Froot Loop socks due to a mistake I couldn't fix or ignore, grr.

I know it looks a bit of a mess at the moment but I'm sure that it will start to look better as it grows. I will be raiding my mum's leftover sock yarn when I'm in the UK next week, ohh, actually, it's this week I go, very exciting, apart from the bit where I have to spend two weeks in a youth hostel in York, I'm not really looking forward to that. Oh how I wish I was rich and could afford to stay in a hotel for two weeks. I am cursing not doing the London workshop, which then leads me to curse my old boss, but let's not think about him or I might scream!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Pretty Lights

Last night was the last night of the Fete de Geneve, which meant a huge firework display. We headed down to the lake to make ourselves comfortable (as comfortable as you can be with 10,000 people sitting on rock) and watched the show.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Work avoidance techniques

I'm on to the next Christmas present. I am knitting my brother's scarf at the moment. I'm not sure if I like knitting with Patons Zhivago or not, it's 50% acrylic, 50% Tencel but it really feels like knitting with just acrylic. I've never knit with Tencel before, so I don't know what that should feel like.

I shouldn't be knitting at all at the moment, I should be writing an assignment at the moment. I'm supposed to have had five done before I go off on my workshop in York next week but so far I've only done two. I've been told I can get away with three so I really need to get my next one done by the end of the week so it can be marked before my workshop starts on 17th. I've written one paragraph. At least it's a start. Technically, I'm not allowed to do the workshop without completing and passing the assignments. Oh dear. I seem to be having a problem with self motivation. I think I should lock away all my knitting until I've completed all my work, and block Ravelry and Facebook so I'm not distraced every five minutes by them too.

Right, I'm off button shopping and then I will sit down and write 500 words of my assignment. Promise...

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Cat Mouse Mat

It just occurred to me that I never posted a picture of my Cat Mouse Mat that I knit for Trinny. I have it down as a finished object although, strictly speaking, that's not true as technically it still needs whiskers and eyes but I came to the conclusion that Trinny would be more than likely to chew both off and she seems perfectly content (if not a little over defensive) of the mat as it is!

I used Baruffa Club yarn for this, which I received in a Swap Bot swap from Diamanterosa (Secret Knitting Pal). It took approx. 4 skeins.

While I'm here, I can quickly say that I have already finished the knitting of my first Christmas present of the year, it now just needs buttons, yay. Now I can cast on my brother's scarf. I'm knitting him the Elongated Cables Scarf by Jean Nevitt in Patons Zhivago. Should be a nice one...

Need buttons

I finished the knitting on my February Lady Sweater. Best. Sweater. Ever. I love it, love it! I've never been so happy with something I knitted. All I need now is some pretty buttons to finish it off, that and for it to get chilly so I can actually wear it! I'm not sure what colour to go for, I was thinking green, brown or maybe even mother of pearl if I can get away with it. It requires quite large buttons so I will have to make sure I choose wisely, I don't want to ruin it.

I have already started my Christmas knitting! I cast on my first gift last night. I can't disclose any information though as it's a gift for my mum and I know she does read my blog from time to time so no news on that project until after Christmas. I know it seems like Christmas is ages away but I don't want a repeat of last year when I was up first thing Christmas morning grafting sock toes! Plus, I only completed half the gifts I planned on last year so some family members ended up gift-less (I figure it's OK as they live in Germany and I didn't see them anyway). I'm already over halfway through my first gift so I think everyone on my list will get their gift this year...

Mr H and I spent the day in Lausanne yesterday, I'm afraid I didn't take any pictures though. I can't believe we were there for four hours and I failed to find any of the yarn shops. I know they exist there as I went there with my mum around Christmas time and we found two without even looking. Maybe it's a sign that I need to be knitting from my stash and not buying new yarn. I do have in the region of ten miles of yarn in my stash. I find that quite satisfying.

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

I need to knit more socks

If I am knitting a blanket out of left over sock yarn, I need to have knit lots of socks so I have lots of left over yarn, right? That is where my plan fails, I haven't actually knit that many pairs of socks so now I have run out of left over yarn. I really didn't think this one through too clearly. I must knit more socks.

Yesterday I cast on some Froot Loop socks from Knitty.com using Regia Bamboo Color. They are knitting up fairly quickly (as I type, they are twice as long as in the photo which I took about three hours ago). I have been doing a lot of knitting today though in place of anything else as I've been in pain for the past couple of days so it's always good to be doing something when I'm feeling otherwise useless. I'm not a huge fan on the colour of this yarn knitted up, although it looks great on the ball. It does seem to have the perfect colours for a Froot Loop project though. I also think the colours will look great on my blanket (still no pictures yet) and will really brighten it up, there's way too much blue going on with it at the moment. I am eagerly awaiting a package from my mum containing some of her left over yarn.

Unfortunately, since casting the socks on, I have been neglecting my February Lady Sweater, actually, I've been neglecting that for a few days now, which is just typical of me when I'm so close to finishing it. All I need to do is knit one sleeve and finish the bottom. I ripped back the bottom of the sweater to add a few more inches on and am leaving it on the needles until I've finished the other sleeve in case I have enough yarn left over to add a bit more length onto the bottom. I vow I will pick it up tomorrow to carry on at Stitch 'n' Bitch tomorrow night, I'm just putting off picking up the sleeves which is ridiculous as it's one of the easiest things ever.

I'm actually impressed I'm still managing to knit in this heat, it's horrible, especially the humidity. We keep having storms but they don't seem to clear the air. I'm not good with heat, copious amounts of iced tea and coffee for me!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

J'arrête encore

I haven't smoked in 4 weeks, 5 days. Good huh? Just a thought.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

The World's stupidest needles

Progress on the sleeves of my February Lady Sweater has been rather slow as I was knitting them on stupidly long double pointed needles. I mean, who even needs 30cm (12inch) DPNs? I only had them because I bought them from a charity shop. Surely if you need DPNs that long you just use a circular needle instead? I finally managed to find myself some short circulars to get on with the sleeves today and progress has suddenly increased tenfold so now I just have one and a half sleeves to knit and I'm done, yay! I can't wait! I love the needles too, their Lang needles but are made by Addi, making them a little cheaper than standard Addi needles but they are exactly the same. I've never really knit with Addi needles before until the past couple of days and I have really fallen in love with them, they are so smooth and comfortable to work with, definitely worth the extra money over any other brands, especially since I really can't get on with bamboo circulars, I always find that they snag where the needles join the cable.

Yesterday I cast on a leftover sock yarn blanket. I'm knitting it in a logcabin style, making it up as I go along. I'm thinking this will be a very long-term project with no visible end date. Unfortunately I made the initial piece rather small, so I'm hoping it won't look strange but it is meant to be all higgeldy-piggeldy and kind of like a scrap patchwork blanket. I will post pictures when I have made a little more progress.

Monday, 14 July 2008

Progress Update

My February Lady Sweater is coming along nicely. I have gotten used to the gull lace stitch pattern and have managed to get on without making any mistake, which is a relief as I had to do the first repeat twice due to mistakes and figured it was going to be a very long project if I had to do each repeat twice.

I'm really enjoying knitting this, now that I've got the hang of the lace pattern I'm finding it a breeze but the kind of breeze that I still have to think about, which I haven't had in a knitting project for a long time. I needed something a little more challenging, which this is but not so much it hurts. Hopefully this will prepare me for a bit more lace knitting that I have planned, although I'm not sure how much knitting time I'm going to have over the next few months for reasons I can't go into at the moment.

There are more socks I want to knit now, Opal have a new range of their Hundertwasser sock yarn and I love it. I will try to restrain myself for a bit but I'm sure it won't be long before I'm over at Tricolaine raiding Annelis' stock!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Ravelry group for Interknit Cafe

So, I just set up a group on Ravelry for the Interknit Cafe, so feel free to join if you're a member of Ravelry, the more the merrier! The group can be found here: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/interknit-cafe-farnham-2

Monday, 30 June 2008

Go Murray!

So, I've spent the evening watching the tennis and knitting. Very relaxing. The knitting did help to keep me relaxed through the tense Murray match, I was very glad to see him win. Maybe I should go out onto the streets of Geneva and make lots of noise like all the football fans. The Spanish fans were so noisy last night. Apparently the fanzone was packed so I'm glad we gave it a miss, I'm still not feeling 100%.

The doctor has got me on steroids for my Crohn's to try to help the inflammation. I'm getting better each day and have actually managed to get out and do some things, which is a relief to both me and Mr H, although, to be honest, it's kind of too hot to do too much other than strolling in the shade and drinking iced coffee. The good thing about having been ill though is that I've managed to give up smoking again (yes, I failed last time, which was probably obvious by my silence on the subject). Haven't had a cigarette in 9 days and tomorrow is the first day of the public smoking ban in Switzerland.

The February Lady Sweater is coming on slowly. I've not done any knitting since last weekend until tonight so there's not been much to report. I did receive a lovely gift from my mum (it took a week and a half to get here after a detour via Ecuador!). She sent me a copy of the book Tea Cozies and I want to knit all of them! It is such a lovely book and is beautifully photographed, I can't wait to start on a project. My mum wants me to knit her some from the shop and will be sending over some yarn for me when I tell her which ones I will do, very exciting!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Knitting Therapy

I'm sick. I don't know if I mentioned it before, but I have Crohn's disease. It first started five and a half years ago and I've been sick on and off since then but have been pretty symptom free for a long time, except for some complications but now it's back and I'm not a happy bunny. I have stomach pains, no appetite and want to sleep all the time. Luckily the symptoms aren't as severe as they were when I first got sick and I got seen to pretty quickly but I have to wait for more tests before I can start any new medication regime or whatever my specialist has planned for me. My doctor sent me for a CT scan on Monday and that showed inflammation at the location where I had earlier bowel surgery 4 years ago. They did try to hospitalize me when I went down to ER on Tuesday on the advice of my GP but I refused and insisted I go see my specialist first. He didn't seem overly concerned (in comparison with my GP and the ER) and has booked me for more test next week so he clearly didn't think it was an emergency although my pain has increased since then.

So, I am taking it nice and easy and have been spending most of my time watching daytime tv or sleeping. You'd think I would have got loads of knitting done but I haven't as I keep getting tired when I try to concentrate. Of course, I haven't neglected it completely, it was when I first got sick all those years again that I picked up the knitting needles again and it really is a great comfort to me when I'm feeling otherwise useless.

I'm currently knitting FlintKnit's February Lady Sweater in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. I would be further on with it but I had to frog it as my increases on the raglan were all different, clearly a lack of concentration! It's starting to come along nicely now and I can't wait to get it finished, if I can only keep myself awake!

Despite being in pain I managed to get along to my Stitch 'n' Bitch's World Wide Knit in Public Day in the park on Saturday for a couple of hours. The weather just about held out for us, although it was a little chilly. It was really nice to sit and have a chat in the park, our local Starbucks usually plays their music a bit too loud for us to be able to have a proper group chat when we're there on Wednesday nights. Hopefully we will have a few more sessions of knitting in the park throughout the summer.

Monday, 9 June 2008

World Wide Knit In Public Day

For any of you who don't know already, this Saturday 14 June is World Wide Knit In Public Day. Yes, that's when all us knit lovers all get together and sit somewhere conspicuous so lots of members of the public can see us indulging in our favourite hobby.

If you happen to live in or around Geneva, you are more than welcome to come and join the Stitch 'n' Bitch Geneva public display of knitting solidarity. We will be in Parc des Bastions on the lawn in front of the Reformation wall from 14:00 until 18:00 if the weather is fine. If however, the weather reverts back to its gloomy self, we will be in the cafe in the park next to the giant chess boards. (In case you're not familiar with the Reformation wall, here's a photo on the right).

I guess I need to find my motivation so I can get a new project started...

Sunday, 8 June 2008

A general lack of motivation

I have no motivation to do anything at the moment, which is made worse by Mr H deciding to have a clear out today. I can't be bothered to knit, study, tidy or sew and I have been in a foul mood all day for no apparent reason. I decided I should at least post on my blog so I've at least done something creative today.

I finished my string shopping bag a few days ago. It's OK, nothing special but what could I expect from a black string bag? I expect I will knit some more but will make them more colourful, I just have a lot of black cotton that needs using up and I don't really like knitting with it so a quick-knit shopping bag seemed like a perfect project to use some of it up.

I think next time I make this bag I will make it a little deeper as I don't think it will hold too much but it is good as I can just pop it in my handbag or pocket and pull it out at the supermarket.

I don't know what to knit at the moment. I have to restart my Noro socks as I changed my mind about the stitch pattern, but a few repeats into the new pattern I realised that it's really not showing up so I have to choose yet another. I have lots of socks on my list to knit but just don't feel like doing them. I'm really uninspired. There are a few more summer things I'd like to knit but I don't have any appropriate yarn in my stash and am seriously lacking the cash to buy anymore. I keep browsing through patterns on Ravelry that people have knitted with yarns that I have in my stash but I just don't have enough of anything for a whole, decent project.

Euro 2008 started yesterday so Geneva was full of Portuguese and Turkish football fans, all very noisy. I'm pretty glad I wasn't in town and was off in Veyrier babysitting an adorable two year old boy, much better than watching the footie I think! When I got home, Mr H and I decided to venture out into town to see if anything was still going on, we figured that there would be since it was about 1am and the bars are open at least until 2am, so we thought there'd still be a lively atmosphere in town and that we'd go and join some Portuguese fans in a celebratory beer. We were wrong. The fanzone was closed and everyone who was left in town was waiting at tram stops, the bars were empty. We decided this was typically Swiss and that we shouldn't really have expected anything else. Personally, I think it's a good thing that England didn't make it through as I'm not sure the Swiss would be able to handle all the English football fans!