Alien invasion

alien.jpg
I ordered some super softies for our nephew and his brother from Rhelynn. She is the most talented toy maker I have ever come across. These aliens are for Daniel.

zebra.jpg
This zebra is for new boy Alex.

bunny.jpg
I couldn’t resist this bunny with the embroidered ears for my friend’s little girl in Norway. This little softie will be well-travelled!

happy-tooth.jpg
I got a little black cat friend which I forgot to take a photo of (but I will because black cat friend is so cute) and Rhelynn sent me this super happy tooth she made me! Thank you so much, Rhelynn!

They are all awesome and I love the happy tooth – I am a lot less stressed now but still have masses of work work to catch up on before I can think about college work. Happy tooth makes me smile!

Back in Boston again

I’ll bet you never thought I’d get round to Boston! 🙂 It seems like a very long time ago now!

When pao and I were on our honeymoon in 2001, one of the things we both said was that if we were ever to go the US again, we were definitely going back to Boston again. We’d only had two days either side of our driving trip and we were jet-lagged at the start of our trip. It was a real joy to visit Boston again when we were awake!

We chose a hotel near Copley Square so we could make the most of being central and it was fantastic. We had a bit of a crummy room when we arrived because the Red Sox were playing and it was Labor Day weekend after all but the hotel made up for it the rest of the week because we had the most amazing huge room after that. We had considered booking one night in the Fairmont Copley Plaza but with the way our flights worked out and the trip to Maine we’d organised, it didn’t work out. Oh drat, does that mean we have to go back? 😉

Any how, despite the clocks going back and us getting an extra hour in bed today, I felt dreadful and slept all day so I’m just going to share two photos of Boston today and tell you more soon as we met up with the wonderful Sarah, visited Maine and saw penguins!

state-house.jpg
This is the Boston State House which is such an incredible building. I’m hoping we’ll be able to visit Boston again so that we can walk around the Beacon Hill area where it is located and we can see it up closer. This photo was taken on a bus as we passed by it quickly!

pao-cake.jpg
I’ve never seen pao defeated by a cake before but Boston has a branch of the Cheesecake Factory which we’d not come across before. They don’t believe in small portions in there and if we’d had anywhere to take our leftovers to, we would have because we could have eaten for a couple of days on their portion sizes. I strongly recommend their meatloaf! We decided to try one of their desserts because they looked fantastic and I never thought I’d see the day when pao couldn’t finish a dessert!

Sundara’s Sunny Yarn

sundaratrio.jpg
You already know what a hero pao is when it comes to organising the most beautiful gifts but look at this! pao had to spend what amounted to possibly double the original amount for the yarn in order to get this lovely lot out of UK customs. He plotted with my Auntie H and he ordered these for my birthday but they didn’t arrive til much later.

eggplantoverspice.jpg
They are all incredibly strokable and it was hard to decide what to make out of them but I’ve decided now particularly after looking at the awesome book that Lizzie got hold of for me. This Eggplant over Spice is destined to become a Cheshire Cat Stole. (I would also recommend going to Purlescence just to read some of the fairy tales that they had in their Storytellers competition last year because they are truly awesome and incredibly creative.)

Anyone going to the Stitch and Bitch event? In a moment of weakness, I just ordered a ticket!

Birthday sock recipe

birthday1.jpg

I used the #1 Husband Socks recipe with a few modifications of my own. I prefer a 2 x2 rib for the cuff and then added a plain heel which I liked a lot better than the fancy heel in the pattern. I think those modifications really bring the wave pattern out a lot more so I’m pleased with the effect.

Do you know, anyone would think that I liked knitting?

encyclopedia.jpg
My lovely friend Lizzie saw this going spare somewhere and thought of me. Thank you so much, Lizzie – it is brilliant! There are lots of fantastic lace patterns in there which have gotten me thinking about pao’s very beautiful birthday present of Sundara silk. pao has only just admitted how much duty and sundry charges he had to pay to get it out of customs so I am determined to knit something special out of it. I’ll post some pictures of it when we have some daylight as it is really rather lovely.

Anyone want to see how a pao would spend his birthday?

birthday-pao.jpg
Hehehe 🙂 He’s even wearing his birthday socks!

Stocking up on the stockinette

regia.jpg

There is nothing like a bit of stockinette to take your mind off all the things that have been going on particularly the thing going on with George. I did feel slightly panicky waiting for the bus on Friday but getting these out made me feel a whole lot calmer.

These are knit using Regia Canadian colour in the Manitoba colourway. Yes, they are very bright indeed – even more bright in person. They didn’t look as bright on the web when I ordered the yarn but they are immensely cheerful.

trickortreat.jpg
I’ve been tagged with this treat by the lovely Rhelynn for Halloween. I have shamelessly stolen her explanation: “The Trickortreat treat giving originated with Anni, who’s been giving out Halloween treats this month on her blog. The idea is if you are given this treat, that you post it on your blog, pass it along to others, but also provide a link back to the source, Anni!”

Thank you, Rhelynn! I’m tagging the extraordinarily talented Fraro (when my account has been fixed – I’ll be there!) and the lovely and extremely generous unofficial coffee swapperCarrie K.

Socktober Progress

I decided well before we reached Socktober that I’d participate again this year.

I’ve mainly been working on pao’s birthday socks and got the the stage where I ran out of wool on Thursday but Chris kindly went to the store in MN and put extra supplies in the mail. However, Royal Mail have conspired against me and keep going on strike so my extra yarn could be in Kalamazoo for all I know. I have ten days from today to have them done and as the postmen are on strike again on Monday, I am hoping that they arrive Tuesday or Wednesday (if you’re listening Royal Mail, I’m not impressed since Chris mailed it in good time). Thankfully I have one pattern repeat of 10 rows to do then the toes so the end is in sight.

trekking.jpg
I ploughed right in and started on a pair of plain stockinette socks on Thursday which are great when you want to switch your brain off. The photo only shows the one but I did finish the second on Sunday evening. I was influenced by the lovely photos that Lolly and Mary had posted on their blogs so I had a good hunt round my stash and came up with some lovely Trekking. I may or may not have strayed onto the Woolly Workshop in search of some swap pal goodies and came away from with some striping Regia in eye watering Manitoba (I think I may be under Chris’ influence). Gill from the Woolly Workshop tends to send her packages Special Delivery which I’m very thankful for as they have a better chance at arriving than normal mail. HipKnits Kerrie and I are well versed in the vagaries of the mail system.

But wait, I have a lone sock waiting for a friend. I spent quite a bit of time knitting this whilst I was in the US only to find that I’d been a bit amiss with my counting and I had to pull it all out again just as I’d gotten to thinking about the heel. The yarn is soft and lovely but kept on breaking or knotting at inappropriate points so I have put it to one side until I’ve stopped being cross with it. I also started doing the fancy heel which I didn’t like much so I’ve abandoned it for the moment. I might start on it again when I’ve finished the second Trekking if the yarn for pao’s second sock doesn’t arrive by then. But then again, I’m so cross at it still I won’t take its photo!

I won’t go into details but I have had a traumatic last couple of days to the extent when my dentist saw me this evening – he looked in my mouth and pronounced that I was stressed. At that point, some tears leaked out but I managed to sit through some filing whilst he sorted out the damage my unintentional tooth grinding has done. Maybe I should knit a toothguard next!

Swapping again :)

I am the luckiest person because not only did I make it into one of my favourite swaps of the year, I made it into two!

kts4button.jpg
I really got the best swap partners. Robin is my Knitter’s Tea Swap Pal 4 and we’ve been exchanging emails already about our preferences for tea and fun stuff. Go and say hi because her son got married yesterday and she also has the cutest kitty cats. She even has a cat called Earl Grey – how appropriate!

kcoffeeswap3_2gif.png
For the Knitters’ Coffee Swap 3, I got the really wonderful Knittymama. Another amazing lady from the looks of her blog so go and say hi if you don’t know her already!

I have my coffee swap questionnaire right here:
1. Whole bean or ground?
Either is good but I err on the side of ground..
2. Fully-loaded or decaf?
Fully-loaded. I need all the help I can get early in the morning but nothing too strong please.
3. Regular or flavored?
Definitely regular but I’m up for anything (although cranberry still sounds disgusting)
4. How do you drink your coffee?
In a big mug, hot and with milk no sugar.
5. Favorite coffee ever?
Carrie K has been sending me some wonderful coffee from a place called Peets. I am probably going to sound odd but I really really like Folgers which we bought just the one container of to try when we were in Boston.
6. Are you fussy about your coffee or will any old bean do?
I’m not fussy. I am open to trying new things.
7. Favorite treats to have with your coffee?
I love chocolate bars particularly things like Almond Joy, Peppermint Patties, Mr Goodbar, Butterfingers (any one who has ever read my blog has known of my particular lovely for American candy) so anything like that would make my day!
8. Anything else about your coffee preferences?
My US trip inspired us to buy the most awesome filter coffee maker – we haven’t had one for several years and we are rediscovering the delicious joy of filter coffee so coffee that is suitable for filters would be brilliant.
9. Yarn/fiber you love?
I love natural fibres and I am really rather fond of Shi Bui which I got in St Paul but I also love things like Soxx Appeal both of which we can’t get over here in the UK. I am up for surprises so anything is good.
10. Yarn/fiber you hate?
Acrylicy yarn and fun fur type stuff.
11. What’s on your needles?
A pair of Trekking Socks. It is Socktober after all!
12. Favorite colors?
I love purples and black but also most jewel colours.
13. Allergies? None.
14. Anything you really love, really don’t like, or just need to get off your chest? It is really hard to type when Ophelia (the cat) keeps walking across the keyboard and tries to sit on your hands.

ariel.jpg
Ariel says that she would never sit on my hands. She would just wait until I was out of the room and press the delete key if she doesn’t get her Whiskas.