Sunday, February 27, 2011

A crafty weekend

This was one much-anticipated weekend... We were going to the Handwerkbeurs in Zwolle! This craft fair is absolutely amazing, chockful of traders, not only for knitting and crochet, but also for other crafts. We were a bit on the late side, so I immediately ran to my Swedisch embroidery course, by Blomsterstuga. Excuse my terrible picture, but this is my first attempt at 'yllebroderi'.
The beginning of a cover for my BlackBerry
It was great to brush up on skills that I have, and to get to know a bit more about the traditional Swedish patterns...
After I finished this workshop, Mermaid started hers. She had been walking around with Hubby, and she saw that it was possible to make 'whish hearts', something she really wanted to give a try:
Utter concentration...
Even though I am a experienced crafter myself, I suffer from a condition which has stopped me passing on what I know up to now: lack of patience... It takes time to teach a (now) 8-year-old how to do a blanket stitch, how to pass a thread through a needle... But, we did do some crafting when we got home, as she found a great book about beading, and we've made (together!) a brooch for her and a name tag for her new pen pal Ashni in Mississippi :D
After the workshopping and lunch, it was time for some hardcore shopping. Well, semi-hardcore... As I had hubby with me, there was no chance of doing what I usually do: skulk around interesting stores, approach it from different angles, think about it for half an hour, go back, fondle, smell, walk away, walk back... Hubby got a bit nervous after ten minutes, so I gave in to only two urges: buy Zpaghetti (well... Ztringz, as they had the perfect turquoise colour I wanted), and sock yarn, dyed by Dutch Wool Diva. I hadn't tried her wares yet, so I just had to buy a skein!
Yarn and hooks
As she also had lovely crochet hooks, which I needed for the Ztringz, I bought a size 9mm and 10mm. And I've started hooking already. It's so amazingly quick!

The start of a cushion cover... (pardon the colours... lamp light...)
We have also finally rounded the corner where the attic is concerned. It is still not 'perfect', but: I HAVE A CRAFTING SPACE! Yes, after five years, now that we are getting ready to sell the house, I have a space for my stuff. It's still a bit messy, but: tadaaaaaa!
MY space!
In the meantime, I have filled three flat boxes with yarn and fabric, which are stowed in the corner to the right, and the cabinet underneath that Buddha is also filled with yarn ;) But this is a great space for sewing, and for doing silly things like cakeing yarn...
Yes, I weigh the yarn, to get two perfect cakes, to be able to knit two socks at the same time...
And now we're counting the days until the Breidag. I will be following a brioche workshop given by Nancy Marchant (how WOW! is that?) and will be visiting it without Hubby. Traders, lock up your yarns!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A box full...

Today a box went to the post office. A box from Sam for Sam:
A biiiiiiig box!
The box is starting the first leg of its long journey, all the way to India. Which probably gives a clue to what was inside...
The hats our SnB group knit for India!
All 66 of them! What a great result!
Hats great and small, in all the colours of the rainbow...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Queen of ice

When my mom asked my to knit a cowl for one of her girlfriends, who will be celebrating her birthday next weekend, and she tried to explain to me what she would like, I was a bit at a loss... She said her friend had admired a woman in a restaurant wearing something soft and squishy, light and white and with cables. Well, light, squishy and cables don't really go together in my mind, if I thing of light and squishy, I think mohair, lace knitting, and the odd bead here and there.
So, just on the off-chance that it would also be a good choice, I started knitting Ice Queen. It was a great knit, even though the beads are a story of their own. I bought the beads on the Internet, and, as before when I did that, I managed to buy beads with the tiniest of holes, just big enough for the yarn to pass through - but no way would I be able to use a crochet hook to get them on. As I didn't want to fiddle with metal wire (I did consider it for about two seconds), I decided to thread them. All 300 of them. It took me an evening and lots of sighing and watching TV, but when it was done, it was just a case of just moving them along and knitting them.
The cowl came with me to the hospital, but because of the beads (and as I realized there, at around 3AM, that I didn't have enough beads to finish the 16 repeats...), it stayed in my bag and I knit some India hats (more about that in the post tomorrow...). As soon as we got home again, I ordered beads, and then two days later, got back to knitting.
The pattern is lovely, and even the picot cast-off was not as complicated as I thought it would be. I love the little twists that are created just before the picots, and will definitely use that technique again in the future.
Before I handed over this handful of squishy, soft goodness to my mom - who loved it and said her friend would love it too - she reminded me to take some pictures for my blog and for Ravelry ;) She knows me too well, haha...
Don't mind the neck...
I love beads...
The final result
The cowl was knit from Drops Kid-silk, colour: naturel. Just under a skein. I used Gutermann white pearls, around 450 ;)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Casualty... again...

After slipping in a street fountain in August, falling behind the sofa in November, Batman decided to start February off with a bang. A big bang. A type of bang that makes your heart skip about ten beats and turn your hair grey.
Last Sunday night, just before we wanted to get the kids to bed so we could start our Pre-Superbowl Party, Sam fell down the stairs. Probably 3 or 4 steps, but for a little 3.5 ft boy, that's high, comparable to around 7 ft for us! We heard a big bang and found him lying on his back at the bottom of the stairs. Luckily, he came to his senses quickly, started moving about and started crying, but we did not want to take any risks and rushed him to the hospital straight away.
Where we were put in the waiting room. For 2 hours.
A bit of a misunderstanding... We ran into the door for the Out of Hours GP, but as Batman threw up all over the hallway (nice) and was not really responsive, they should have sent us on to Casualty straight away. But, alas, despite us going up to the desk twice, the lady was very adament that we should just wait until a GP was able to see us.
As soon as one was available (it was very busy with loads of people wanting a new prescription for Calpol...), he picked up the phone and called the ER to send down a trolley.
The ER nurse was livid. Batman had been lucky to not have been severely injured, but this should not have happened! He stressed that this case would be discussed in the staff meeting the next day, to ensure it would not happen again and staff at the OoH GP would realize that a 4yo boy, not responsive, throwing up, having fallen down the stairs, should be sent on. No questions asked!
Anyway, after a CT scan, which confirmed a slight fracture, but no dislocation of the skull bone, and a concussion, we waited until Batman got brought up to Paeds. In the meantime, Hubby and Mermaid scooted off home to get some clothes and my laptop, as I would have to stay the night as well. I hardly slept, as Batman was on one-hourly ops and was still throwing up, and managed to get the translation edited that was due the next morning (yep, life goes on with a vengeance...).
Around lunchtime, Batman got a sepository against vomiting and some pain relief, and he visibly perked up. The neurologist did want him to stay another night, as he was still under obs until that evening and she was off duty and wouldn't be back to discharge him until the next day. We both were asleep by half 8, knackered!
Batman in the hospital bed with Bert
In the hospital playroom with Lars and Mart
Tuesday morning came and Batman was back to his old self, enjoying the TV and playing with the other two boys on the ward. Then, after lunch, we were cleared to go home.
And has he learnt anything? Of course not... But we have! Little Batman will be kept under close surveillance for the time being, no running up the stairs by himself, no jumping on the sofa... To make this easier, we bought him lots of Lego, which keeps him entertained. Yesterday, he wanted to go back to school, and he did really well (i.e. got sent to detention for fighting, sigh...), but today he realized that getting punished doesn't get you any Lego, so he has decided to listen to us a bit more... I hope this phase will last...