Sunday, 29 June 2014

Picking a project for the other Birthday Girl

This is Shan and she's my special 'birthday twin' as we were born on the same day in the beds next to each other 30 years ago! I wanted to knit her something to mark the occasion, as for me that's the ultimate expression of love; making something specifically for someone and hoping they'll like it, use it/ wear it and cherish it forever. So I set about thinking what I wanted to make for her:
  • She's a classy lady so I wanted something unfussy, but with a simple interest. 
  • She wears a lot of black, perhaps because she's a doctor and has seen enough white for a lifetime? So it needed to complement that without being a really 'out-there' colour that she'd never wear. 
  • She has recently bought a house, which is probably the most exciting house I have ever been in. It's like a little cavern that keeps throwing up random rooms, extra kitchens, tiny stairways to studies and narrow hallways leading who knows where. The only thing is that it's practically falling down and therefore freezing in the winter. So whatever I made for her I knew it needed to be warm. 

The pattern I finally settled on was The Age of Brass and Steam, which is a rather steam-punk name for a pretty simple, classic pattern. The barley colour of the yarn really reminds me of Shan as she loves neutral tones in her home decorating. The yarn is 100% wool so it will be super warm in the winter - it's actually a bit of a shame that I gave it to her during summer! Although she can't wear it just yet for fear of over heating, she seems to really like it, so if she's happy, I'm happy.

We did lots of celebrating this year but wanted to do something extra special to mark the big birthday so went away for a long weekend, husbands and Flo in tow to Camber Sands in East Sussex. We stayed in an amazing little holiday home called The Salty Dog which I HIGHLY recommend. It was lovely to spend some quality time together and get away from it all for a few days, but by far the best part was Camber Sands beach and dunes. Seriously, you can't get better than this.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Birthday Goodies

This year I reached the grand old age of 30 and subsequently got lots of amazing gifts. Here are just some of my favourites:

Roberts retro look DAB radio. The kitchen and garden have been alive with dancing and singing since it's arrival.

Lady Dinah's cat cafe 9 lives card. This entitles me to 9 free entries to London's first cat cafe. They have their own cats, you need to bring your own! I'm dying to go but sadly they're all booked up until October, so I'm hanging on the hope that I'll get a cancellation before then.

Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply. Merino + Silk = Yum. I am not sure what to knit with this yet but when I do it will be squash-tastic.

TickTackToe yarn print cushion. This is pride of place on the sofa.

Bespoke necklace from my Birthday twin Shan. We share the same birthday and were born in the beds next to each other a few hours apart 30 years ago. The necklace has an 'L' and 'S' on it and feels very special. The photo doesn't do it justice.

Peace, Love, Knit Tee Shirt. Wearing it loud and proud.

The Mr. got me this AMAZING bespoke yarn bowl made by my favourite ceramics designer Annette Bugansky and Maya from Knit with Attitude. It's only one of a couple in existence so is a pretty special gift. The bowl is made up of two halves and is made to look like a big ball of yarn. You open it up and pop your yarn inside, thread the yarn through the hole in the top half and knit away without your yarn rolling off. I must confess with Flo running around I'm unlikely to chance putting this delicate ceramic on the floor at present, but there will be a time that I use it perhaps for a one skein project when she's at University? For now it is admired on a shelf, away from little sticky hands.

A friend, Katie, made me this lovely tea cosy, which has been in use a few times already. I need to drink my tea scolding hot, so this helps keep my brew at optimum burn temperature.

And finally my knit Guru, Wendy, knit me this cute back pack with cats inside and out. She uses her famous Peterson technique to do the intarsia. This technique ensures that the edges of the image are smooth and contoured instead of blocky. Cool huh? Tutorials are yet to come on her site but I'll let you know when they're up.

All in all it was a great birthday - what a lucky girl I am!