Saturday, 30 January 2010

Currently working on...

Time for the usual (occasional) round up:

Reading - Colour: Travels through the paintbox by Victoria Finlay. 

Found this in the Oxfam bookshop and am enjoying it a lot, especially as I've just finished indigo and am now on violet (my favourite colours).  Very interesting, even if it is more about pigments than dyes.  Next up is the reading group book, The Family Tree by Carole Cadwalladr, which will probably be a breastfeeding book, if I can remember how to read while feeding.

Knitting - Pinwheel blanket, as blogged earlier.  I've finished the squishy baby blanket, which has turned out very soft and squishy and worth doing even if the yarn was a nightmare, so I can now concentrate on the pinwheel.  Currently it measures about 12 inches across, so a fair bit more to go then.

Sewing - currently in between projects, I've just finished felt monsters (had the craft workshop today, and had lots of kids making monsters - they were brilliant, loads of creativity and perseverance and quite a bit of good sewing!) but there is another project in the pipeline, though as the deadline is next Saturday and the baby is due on Wednesday, I may have left it a bit late.  Ooops.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A moan, and more knitting...

I'm really struggling with this pregnancy now.  My bp is up (which I've never had a problem with before), my pelvis is hurting all the time despite the painkillers even when I'm resting, and I'm so slow on the crutches it took me 20 minutes to pay for the parking and walk back to the car at the hospital today.  Just as well there's only a few weeks to go now.

Still, I had a lovely midwife at the hospital today, we were discussing genetic syndromes which was very interesting (she has a different one in her family), and they were very nice about carrying my stuff around for me so I didn't have to struggle with coats and bags as well as crutches, which makes a huge difference.  Still no induction though, as, in the words of the doctor, 'it wouldn't work'.  I don't want a long slow labour (or worse), so I'm glad not to be induced, but I do wish Lentil would hurry up and make up her mind to come out - she's obviously still quite happy in there for the moment!

So, to take my mind off things I've started two blankets.  One is the diagonal baby blanket, in a lovely, soft, multicoloured chenille yarn that is horrible to knit with.  I've had it in my stash for ages having got it very cheap (probably because no-one else likes knitting with it either) and was wondering what to do with it - it needed an easy pattern that doesn't involve being able to see your stitches.  It will make a lovely baby blanket though, and if I make a mistake you can't see it at all.

The other is the pinwheel blanket, I love the geometricity (is that a word?) of the pattern and am really enjoying knitting it, though as I'm doing it in sock wool it could take a while.  I might try it again in some much bulkier wool afterwards to see what the difference is, but I chose the sock wool because I just love the colours, and I'm using 4mm needles so it's quite lacy in a way.  It's nice to be back in the knitting habit after the post-Christmas hiatus.

Monday, 4 January 2010

A plastic-free Christmas?

It occurred to me this year just how much we use plastic in the disposable bits of Christmas - namely wrapping.  So I determined to try to reduce the amount of it I used.  So, how did I do?  Well, I still used sellotape (sorry, sticky tape) and paper to wrap up most of the presents.  A few got wrapped in homemade fabric bags, tied with a fircone glued on to a pipe cleaner.  The beauty of this system was that the tag could be threaded onto the pipe cleaner, and it made a nice Christmas decoration once off the present. 

The fabric bags themselves were an attempt to find an alternative to cling film in which to package sweets (homemade fudge and the like).  In the past when giving these sorts of gifts, each piece has been individually wrapped in cling film, a very tedious, and plasticky, process.  I thought about boxes, but didn't have time to make that many.  So fabric bags it was.  I think I made six in all, out of red gingham material so they could be reused for anything (plus its cheaper than Christmas material).  I think they looked pretty cool (eco-chic maybe?!) but I think some in the family were a bit bemused!  I stuck to paper for the kids, after all, what's Christmas if you can't rip the paper off presents?

Next year my goal is to abolish the use of sellotape so that the paper can at least be recycled, or even (horror of horrors) reused if it's big enough.  I have abiding memories of my mother assiduously cutting the sellotape off wrapping paper on Christmas afternoon so that the (usually very crumpled) bits of paper in the middle could be reused the following year.  How come it never occurred to us not to use sellotape in the first place?

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The white stuff

It's snowing.  Again.  Need I say more?  And at 35 weeks pregnant (nearly 36!) with a dodgy pelvis and using crutches to get around, not to mention the car, that's not particularly good news.  But I love the snow.  Especially days like today when the sun shone down and threw the hills into relief.  We even managed to get up the Torside road to see the views - it looks a lot more wild and remote and snowy at the moment than it usually does.  Just wish I could get out and walk.  Friends of ours are off to a cottage in Wick this week, I'm very envious.

We went sledging yesterday, Hannah had a whale of a time going down on her own, very brave of her, and Steffie slept through the whole thing.  Then we came back to tea and mince pies, followed by fish and chips for tea.  It doesn't get any better.