Sunday, 26 February 2012

Deer Spotting

The deer are still paying us visits from time to time.  It's a funny thing but you never see them when you are actually looking for them.  You just sort of notice them when you are glancing out of the window, perhaps to check the weather or something.  This means that it is nigh on impossible to actually get a decent photo of them.  By the time you have unearthed the camera and got yourself ready to take the picture, they have melted away into the trees....

Having said all that, DH did a pretty good job with this latest pic I think. you may need to click on the picture to enlarge it a bit.  There are two of them.

Knitting - Latest FOs

I've been a busy little bee this week.

Monday was the last day of the half term holidays. Well not really a holiday day - one of the INSET days that are added on here and there.  It was vile weather so the girls and I nipped over to Clitheroe to have a look around.  Looked in the toy shop and nearly fainted at the cost of dolly clothes.  This prompted a trip to the wool shops (a therapy shop you see).

Got a dolly clothes pattern book and some sale yarn and cast on that very evening. First item is finished and here it is....
It's a little pinafore dress.  Blue and white yarn in a chevron pattern for the skirt and plain blue on the bodice. I'm quite pleased with it.  It's a little on the large size but there is also a jumper to knit to go with it which I haven't done yet.
There are even buttons up the back.

I also made a little pink phone sock/cosy.  This was a request from a colleague at work so I hope they gave me the right dimensions.  I used some free yarn from a knitting magazine so it was a nice cheap project.  Pink was the requested colour so I hope he likes it.
Pink phone cosy

Warning - Very Girly Content

If you have more than one child then you will be familiar with the fairness rule.... this means that if you do something for one child then something of equal value must be given/done for the other child(ren). If this rule is not observed then you are a dreadful parent who loves the other one more....sigh...

Big Girl has had her room redecorated, so Little Girl must have hers done too. God forbid the consequences of not doing it....

So here it is.  I must warn you that it is very girly.  Extremely, super, uber, mega, supremely girly.  Pink and girly.  You may need to adjust your screen.  Sunglasses might come in handy too.


OK here it comes.......
I told you it was girly, didn't I? Are you ready for another look?
You can go and have a lie down in a darkened room now if you need to.  Little Girl loves it though and that's all that matters really, isn't it.

Rambling about looking for Spring

Walking along the  River Calder 
Not the best weather this weekend.  A bit drizzly and gloomy today but we decided to go out for a walk around anyway.  We decided to follow the river footpath to Altham and then come back via Simonstone. Apart from a bit of mud it was rather nice.

Cable Bridge at the substation
There used to be a power station in Padiham which is long gone.  There is still a substation here and lots of pylons leading from it.  It was a bit drizzly today and you could hear the pylons buzzing as you passed them.  In fact, you could almost feel the electricity in the air.  It's an odd sensation.  They build housing estates around pylons. You couldn't pay me to live there.  The noise and the odd sensations would drive me nuts.

There's a lot of lovely open countryside around so it's strange when you get to the former power station site and suddenly see lots of electrical hardware and industrial looking stuff there.  A few minutes later and you are in the open fields again.
Muddy Lane
We tramped through a field full of very pregnant sheep.  They are all walking around in a decidedly wibbly-wobbly manner because they are so very fat at the moment. The lambs will be arriving any moment I think. Ahh... cute little lambs. Spring is definitely on the way. Along the lane we found some Hazel catkins. Another sign of spring.

 The Snowdrops have been fantastic this year and we found a late display of them looking gorgeous.
Late Snowdrops
We also saw some early daffodils.  Some sweet tiny ones in the park.
We just need a few more sunny days and warmer temperatures and we will most definitely be in the throes of Spring. Can't wait.


Born 26th February 1912
The Titanic isn't the only centenary this year.  My grandad would have been 100 years old today if he was still alive.  I love the photo and frame above.  Taken as he was off to fight in the Second World War.
I loved my grandad.  I once believed that  he was the Bungalow Bill from the Beatles song and he went along with that.  He was a lovely man who took life as he found it and expected life to take him as it found him.  Not always politically correct but one of the most tolerant people I ever knew.  Used to have my tea with him 2 or 3 times a week when I was at school and still remember the hot pots and potato pies he made me... yummy... and the fried fish (on a Friday) and the salads!  He wasn't a big fan of salad... it was half an iceberg lettuce, some cucumber, a sliced boiled egg and some ham!! He wasn't a big fan of all "that foreign muck" either.  Good plain fare.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Here Comes the Sun...

...and I say, it's all right

Sunshine over Padiham
Such a glorious sunny day.  Just had to nip out for a breath of fresh air and to soak up some of the lovely rays.  Set off with the girls, the dog and my camera with a goal in mind.  Get some more milk.  This means a leisurely amble down through the park, and onto the Greenway.  It is the long way round but almost entirely traffic free so well worth it.  The sky was a most brilliant shade of blue and the clouds were fluffy and few.
Down through the park...
....and along the Greenway
Padiham Greenway is just fabulous.  It used to be a railway track years ago and has recently been transformed into a well used cycle and walk way.  It' s great.  The picture at the top of this post was taken from the Greenway and is one of my favourite views of Padiham. 

We had a really nice time ambling along looking at all of the familiar landmarks on our way. The White Horse of Padiham has had a bit of a makeover lately.  The building was once a pub but is now a car parts store.  I just love the fact that they have embraced the landmark status of the horse and have given it a smart new coat of paint.  Not only that, they have also restored the lighting behind it so it glows at night again. Nice!
The famous White Horse of Padiham
Admired the turret at the top of the Nat West Bank on the main road. It's quite grand really.  Check out how blue the sky was today.  It was simply stunning.
Classical Features on the main street

Steep and quaint Mill Street
Took the quieter but steeper route home up Mill Street.  Lots of quaint cottages and cobbles.  Lovely and olde worlde. Also the beginning of the Conservation Area.  Lots of cobbles and Narnian looking lamp posts.  I love this part of town.  So quaint and higgledy piggledy. 
Sunshine and shadows on the cobbles
Vintage lamp post on the corner of Dragon Street
Buds.  Spring can't be far away now
Some colourful Crocus
The signs of Spring are about now.  It feels like it really won't be long before the warmer weather and longer days are here.  Lots of crocus in purple, yellow and white looking so cheery and optimisic. Daffodils will be here next and before you know it we'll be changing the clocks.  I just love the anticipation of late winter/early spring.  It never fails to fill me with excitement about the year to come.

Flusi socks

Yet another WIP. Some socks for Big Girl in cheery and bright Regia Flusi sock yarn.  Big Girl's feet aren't far off the same size as me so I am knitting them with a view to maybe wearing them myself from time to time.  ( I do have teeny little feet).

Note the outside photo.  It's been a belting day today here.  Lots and lots of lovely sunshine. Marvellous.

Crofter Legwarmers... how to

2nd pair of legwarmers done.  Much better than the last lot.  Used some gorgeous Baby Crofter yarn by Sirdar.  It is really lovely for an acrylic/nylon blend.  Little Girl's are in colour no. 167. 
Sooo pink and girly
 Since the crofter yarn is self striping I decided to knit the legwarmers in the round.  You could knit them flat and seam them if you really want to.....

If you are interested in making a pair here's what I did:

  • Cast on 52 stitches on 3.25 needles.
  • Knit 18 rounds in K2 P2 rib
  • Switch to 4mm needles and knit for approx 7 inches (not including ribbing)
  • Switch to 3.25 needles and rib for 18 rounds.
  • Cast off in rib LOOSELY
Looking good on!

Note: If your little one has chunkier/skinnier legs then increase or decrease stitches in sets of 4 accordingly.  I probably could have gone to 52 stitches for an improved fit.

Happy knitting

Cast on another pair for Big Girl. Also using Sirdar Baby Crofter, colour 162 this time. She is a bit taller so there is 8 inches of plain knitting between the ribs.  Cast on the same number of stitches as for Little Girls as she is a skinny thing. Also added a couple of extra rows of ribbing to make 20 rounds at each end.  One down one to go. 

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Legwarmer frenzy

The stripy leg warmers are done.

 Sadly, they are little on the large and baggy side so am in the throes of another pair.  Of course, got to do some for Big Girl as well.  This time some self striping yarn so I can knit them in the round without all the faff of jogs.

Nature watch

Just a quick post to tell you about the latest sightings around here!!

Cycled to knitting last night.  13 mile round trip - yes I am feeling rather virtuous too! Anyway, a barn owl swooped across the road in front of me on the way home.  Amazing.

Also the 3 deer were spotted again this morning in the back garden.... Yes, I have a small herd of them now.

Just wish I could get a decent pic for you!

Dulce et decorum est...

Viewing platform at the Imperial War Museum
We decided, the girls and I, to visit a museum this half term.  After a bit of debate we decided on the Imperial War Museum North.  The main reason was the current exhibition called "Once Upon a Wartime".  It features some really well known children's books such as "War Horse", "Carries War" etc.  Really good.  Also includes the Silver Sword which is the book I got Little Girl's name from so it was a first for her to see her own name printed all over the place!

Then we checked out the main exhibitions.  Once an hour the whole of the main exhibit goes into darkness and there is a 360degree film show. There are a few different versions but the one we saw was all about children and war.  It was very moving at times and I was quite weepy by the time it was done.

It really was a thought provoking and interesting place to go to.  There's a time line to follow and the exhibits feature lots of more modern conflicts as well as the two world wars. Can't recommend it enough.
Part of a window from the World Trade Center
Also the whole Salford Quays area is fabulous. Lots of interesting ultra modern architecture to admire. I haven't really been here before and I was quite blown away by it.  It's really impressive and a fabulous renewal of what was really a bit of an industrial wasteland previously. Fantastic.

The Imperial War Museum North
The footbridge across the quay to the museum

The Lowry Centre
We also had a look around the gallery at the Lowry paintings which the girls really enjoyed.  Last time I saw them they were still in the original gallery at the Salford University site where I was working.  Still love them.  The simplicity and distinctiveness of them.  The industrial scenes and the Northern feel of them.  They are great.
Amazing modern architecture at Salford Quays

Little girls, little girls

Everywhere I turn I can see them...
As it is half term, and close to Big Girl's birthday we decided to invite some friends along to make cakes and pizza and have some fun.  We made macaroons (total disaster) and cakes which we decorated with coloured butter icing and sweeties.  Lots of fun.

Edible works of art!
Things got a little giggly after that so it was time to head out for a walk.  Oh the joys of having a cute doggy.  There is always an excuse to go outside to walk her and the cuteness is a real lure to visiting kids!!
Off to let off some steam
Much running about and messing on the play area ensued.
And another group shot on the recent sculpture.  The lightening represents where the old railway supplied coal to the former power station.  It's really cool.  We saw the sculptor at work on it last year.  It's done with a chainsaw.  Awesome.

Posing at the lightning sculpture
Then we walked the long way round via the reopened sweetie shop to (hopefully) wear them all out.

I was completely worn out by the end of the day but we did have a good time.  Bit giddy and giggly but overall pretty good.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Home Sweet Home

It's not a palace but it's warm and cosy, aglow with activity and all mine!

New Stash

New sock yarn
Kemps have some exceedingly cheap sock yarn at the moment.  Just too cheap not to indulge.
Regia - Flusi sock yarn blues and greens

Regia - Flusi sock yarn blues and reds
Regia - Flusi sock yarn yellow
Regia - 6ply
The Flusi sock yarn was inspired by a famous German kids book which after much hunting I managed to get my hands on for the girls.  It's very sweet and funny.
Regia issued a small pattern book with a new Flusi story and sizing for childrens socks to go with the yarn which I also have!!
Not that I am obsessed or anything.....