Monday 27 December 2010


Now with Christmas gifts all given out, cooed at and (mostly) loved, I can finally talk about knitting. I've been a demon knitter. I decided to be really resourceful this year and stash dive, matching projects to existing stash and thus handmaking much of my Christmas gift list. I avoided blogging while I knit furiously and of course, like so many knit sibs, I left it all far too late.

I started early with
Daybreak for the Beau, a beautifully designed graphic shawl pattern by Stephen West of Westknits. This pattern is deliciously simple in idea and so well written up that there really was no problem with the knit. The increase create this wonderful shape and I chose Superwash fingering weight Aspen Moon Arts and 100% Alpaca 4ply by Artesano. I've worked with the Artesano before and it's delicious. I would say the weights weren't perfectly matched but it worked and while I loved the pattern, I was ready to poke my eyes out as I increased past the 350 odd stitches point! The results are SO worth it though. I heart Stephen West, the man is a genius.

I made a Star Crossed Slouchy Beret for Tracy, my US girlfriend who is too far away for my liking. I used Artesano again, but this time in Aran weight. It blocked up beautifully and was really quick to make. Word of caution though, this thing grows so unless you're after the snowboard floppiness I was after, take that into account.

These two gifts were started early, in plenty of
time, sensibly. I did leave my sister and mum's presents a wee bit too last minute. By a wee bit, I mean approximately a month or two too late to be comfortable. I was finishing my Mum's plain vanilla socks on Christmas Eve as I only started my sister's 16 cables hat at the start of the week! Mind you both projects were dreamy yarns: Malabrigo for my sister and Abstract Cat in Sportweight with SILK for my mum. I was practically licking them as I made them.

I would like to say I've learned my lesson and am already planning next year's gifts so I won't have the sore fingers and panic of this year ever again. However, all I can think of now is knitting for me, me, me......... expect another 'quiet' patch on the blog......!!!

Tuesday 21 December 2010

Oh Vienna!

Yesterday's post had some of my favourite pics from my recent trip to Vienna. I just loved the thick white snow. I was out in Vienna for the beau's work thing. He invited me to come play at the weekend when all the work had finished and threw in the extra bonus that we'd pretty much wander round the Christmas Markets, drink Gluwhein and eat. I didn't need asking twice.

Can you believe the beau had
never made a snow angel? No really. He announced this when I was scampering around and finding the biggest snow drifts to jump in (I just got new snow boots, this activity is now a lot more fun). He actually looked scared of the idea and lodged some serious reasons not to: I'm in a suit, it's cold, I'll get wet, I don't know how. These lasted him until that evening when I announced the fact to his work colleagues who all gasped in horror. His ass was going down....

There was something brilliantly fun about encouraging the beau, who is a giant of a man, to throw himself down and wave his arms and legs. I got down there too, ofcourse, but was wearing a knitted dress so I definitely came off worse. His work colleague coached him through it, shouting tips because being Canadian, he was a snow angel pro and I was too busy making my own if I'm honest. The beau stands up, looks back and grins widely.
Apparently snow angels are fun, who'd have thought it?

Good job beau. Good job.

Mine's on the left, the massive cavity on the right is proof that he did make a snow angel.

Monday 20 December 2010


Virgin Snow
Looking out at the vastness of white
Snow had fallen throughout the night
Footprints in the virgin snow
From whom they come I do not know

Winter it has come at last
Can’t even see one blade of grass

Ice it forms on the lake

But not thick enough to take ones weight

Soon the kids will be here

Sledges out and snow ball spheres

Making angels in the
virgin snow
And having fun wherever they go

The day goes and darkness comes

Kids gone home to there mums
The snow falls throughout the night

Erasing all that days snow fights
A clean sheet in the morning light
Ready for that days snow fight

by Jim O'Donnell

Thursday 16 December 2010

Monster Sandwiches

Ok let's be very clear here, while this is a playful blog, I take my food very seriously. I mean really, why wouldn't you? I've met those people who shrug and say 'Food is just substance to me, I'd take a pill if I could' and quite frankly they scare me.

So here's instructions for weekend sandwiches. Not the weekday ones when you're in a rush and aim cheese at a half buttered peice of bread and pack the avocado to lob in later. No, I mean the indulgent ones where you cook parts and nibble on crisps while you assemble them. I mean MONSTER SANDWICHES.

Instructions for Monster Sandwiches:

1. Using preferred method of ambling (bike or foot), take ipod and camera and pootle down to that bakery that's a little more expensive than you can really afford and buy some sort of rye/ wholegrain/ pumpkin or something or other loaf that smells incredible in your hands as you pootle about for the morning.

2. Repeat exercise at farmer's market: pick something lush and green and something red to go in monster sandwich.

3. Get home and whack some bacon under the grill while you slice beef tomatoes (my red choice), rinse spinach (my green choice) and nibble on kettle chips.

4. Hum contentedly as you pat off excess fat with a paper towel and layer the bacon with tomato, spinach and shavings of parmesan on top of the yummy sliced bread. At this point, congratulate y
ourself on splurging on this over the weekend rather than the trashy mag, it'll make you feel saintly). 5. Dollop some pesto mayo in there for good measure and serve with juice and crisps.
6. Devour.

Here's another pic just for good measure.

Saturday 11 December 2010


The title is a quote from a little boy I used to look after. If you asked him where the bruise came from on his knee, he'd point at the floor and say "Fl'over". Well I fell off the blog. I apologise. It's not that I haven't thought of it often, jotted ideas in my journal. I've just been, well, busy. Sometimes life happens. I promise.

There will be some more posts soon. In the meantime, satisfy yourself with this pic.
(Instructions for monster sandwich to follow...)