Art · knitting · socks · this week

The Week of Blue Knitting

Hello Again Dear Readers,

Thank you so much for returning to read my blog if you are a regular, and welcome to my blog if you are a new reader. I really do appreciate the time that people take to read my blog and leave comments each week.

Last week Sunday I may have hinted that Miss E and I went shopping. My in-laws had promised me a coat for my Christmas present and so we decided that it was about time that I went out and chose one. Miss E was looking for shoes. At Top Shop she found some shoes and I saw the pair pictured below. I LOVE THEM!  img_20170212_134209

We had to go to a lot of shops looking for a coat as I wanted a longish one and most of the longish coats are sold out and not restocked as we are moving into Spring.  But eventually I found the one pictured below.

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All Zipped up

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The long fur on the edge of the hood can be removed.
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It has a double layer zip so you can trap extra air for warmth
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And it is long, it comes down to my knees. Just what I wanted.

The coat is also water proof, which my woolen coat from Z.A. is not. And there are little knitted inners to the sleeves to stop cold air going up my arms. And I can’t believe how warm it is! I don’t wear jumpers underneath it because I would be too hot. I just wear my long sleeve top and then throw on my coat when  go out. It is really amazing.

Then I went home and blogged while T set up the last of our lounge furniture. In the evening he also set up our new curtains. I have always loved the look of those sheer curtains that people hang up but never bothered with them because other than being aesthetically pleasing they have not been necessary. But now we live with windows that face the street and also a police building opposite us where I can see people at work at their desks during the day. So I finally have pretty sheer curtains up. We got ones with a spotted stripe decoration on them.

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Then I uploaded one of my new Redbubble designs. arty_farty_02

Here are some pictures of our lounge. It was kind of messy because we hadn’t packet all the stuff away yet. And in fact we still haven’t. T is actually putting the finishing touches on some furniture in my craft room and then once I can pack all that stuff in I can then sort of what needs to go where in the lounge. img_0680

We set some low bookshelves between two tall ones so that we can hang some lights or some art between them without having to damage the wall. We will use the space behind the couch for long term storage things that we do not need to access frequently. img_0681

This T.V cabinet is a work of art in my mind. We could not find a cheap T.V. cabinet that we liked so T built one. I will label the components below.

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#1 on the sides are two billie shelving units designed to store CD’s.
#2 is a smallish cupboard
#3 is a glass fronted display shelve unit
and #4 are decorative L brackets.

T screwed the CD shelves into the bottom cabinet and then into the top display cabinet and that makes the gap between them as though they are floating. And then he also added the L brackets to look nice and for extra support. So it is not actually sold as a unit but with some creativity T has made the best TV cabinet 😀

I spent the morning cleaning and moving the piles of stuff out of the craft room so that T could build the other shelves in there when he got back from work.

For lunch I had left overs but they were so tasty and looked so good I photographed it. Cream cheese on toast with left over bolognese. img_20170213_131728

Then in the afternoon I was suddenly inspired to pick up my watercolours and do a whole lot of botanical motifs. This was meant as a reference page for myself but my sister and husband are very keen for me to upload this to RedBubble.  img_0716

On Monday night I fell asleep while T was still building furniture in the small room. As I have said before my meds make me sleep like the dead so I didn’t notice his drilling and banging.

On Tuesday morning  (Valentines day) I woke up earlier than T’s alarm so I snuck out of bed not wanting to wake him. I went and answered all the wishes that I got on my phone. Edinburgh is currently 2 hours behind ZA so all my ZA friends and family were awake already.
Then I heard T get up so I went back to the bedroom. At that moment I remembered that T had been working on the craft room and I had not seen the finished product so I rushed through. What a sight to behold. My own little creative space and he had filled it with all the heart shaped things which we own! And he had written me a lovely love note. How amazing is that? I was so blown away. Best valentines gift ever.

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Early in the morning with the curtains closed
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Later in the day with the curtains opened

Just in case you can’t remember how the room looked before I have included a before photo below. It was basically just a walk in closet with a wardrobe in it. Which we have since moved into our actual bedroom. There is no door between the bedroom and my craft room but that is not a problem.

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The only problem is that we realised that the room is very very uneven. We would say that there is a 5-10 degree slope across the room. When I sit on my chair it twirls round voluntarily.  So I have not yet packed the shelves as T is putting in some wooden wedges under neath to try and balance things out as best as he can.

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A quick little valentines doodle which I did for my instagram

Tuesday was actually quite an eventful day other than being valentines day as I had to go out and do a few things I don’t like doing.

The one is that I had to go and buy a Rida card. Basically this is a card which has your name and picture on it, you can then pay about 50 pounds per month and have unlimited access to the trams and buses. I was really nervous about going because, what if I filled out the form incorrectly? And what if my card rejected the transaction? (up until this point I had been paying cash for everything) I was just so worried and to make matters worse I had run out of airtime / data on Sunday so I couldn’t even call or whatsapp T if something had gone wrong. I say HAD…. because nothing went wrong 😀 and I survived. 🙂 But this then lead to the second stressful thing. I had to go and buy a top up for my phone. It is all fine and dandy having WiFi at home but I sometimes want to go out.

On my way to the shops that sells me my data I got some whatsapp messages from my sister and T. Then I was so confused. I was wondering if maybe T had bought me data online while I was sleeping and not told me. I tried to message him and even call him once but he was clearly busy at work and did not answer. By this time I had arrived at the store. I checked and I wasn’t connected to any nearby WiFi spots. But I was just worried that I didn’t buy data, went off to Fort Kinnaird and then couldn’t contact T. So I went into the shops and was unusually brave. I explained to the assistant that I am new here and that I thought my airtime / data had run out but that i was still somehow getting messages but I don’t even know the code to call and find out my balances. They were super friendly and really helpful and it turned out that I had 9pence left on my account which was what was letting my whatsapp messages come through so they helped me buy more airtime and change it into data.

I then went to Fort Kinnaird and bought myself some masking fluid for my watercolour pieces. If you don’t know what this is, it is a liquid that is rubbery and once it dries you can them paint with watercolour over it. Then when you rub it off the watercolor will not be there where it was. Basically acts like masking tape but you can paint it with a paintbrush so you can make much more intricate designs. I also bought food colouring for T as he had decided that he was making dessert.

Back at home I made T a watercolour valentines card and then finished off his socks which were knit in the West Yorkshire Spinners “Blue Lagoon” colourway.

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I used the WYS “juniper” colourway to do the heels an toes so that it did not break up the stripes.

For supper I cooked Chicken a la king which T had requested. And T made a red velvet, fudge brownie, cheesecake dessert. It was as decedent and yummy as that sounds.

On Wednesday I decided to make a trip out to McAree Brother’s knitting shop since I now have a Rida Card. I needed to buy a needle guage, potentially buy some new needles, and buy some yarn for some friends presents.

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Just a beautiful building I saw on my way to the shops.

Little did I know but my yarn shop trip was about to become quite an adventure.

I already had the yarn I needed to start my sister’s scarf but I didn’t know if I had the needles. I have some which I had bought but if you have ever owned a lot of knitting needles you will know that there are UK sizes and US sizes and mm sizes and then also old and new standards. So basically what that means is that you NEED a knitting needle gauge. In ZA I always used my mother’s one but now I needed my own one. So I took my needles with me to the shop. I measured them there and discovered that I already had the size I needed. So I bought the gauge and not any new needles. I also looked at their sock yarn. As I have said I want to knit lots of presents, mainly socks, for my friends when I go back to ZA but I want it to be out of UK yarns. I think that that will make it special. But looking at what they had at Mc Arees I decided that I need to use a machine washable brand because I can’t be guaranteed that my friends are going to do hand washing and I would hate to give them a gift that just felts and becomes useless on the first wash. So I am going to use the West Yorkshire Spinners sock yarn as it is machine washable and UK based. But Mc Arees doesn’t stock that. So I just got the gauge.

On my way back up the hill I messaged T and said I wasn’t sure if I should go and get the yarn for my friends socks or if I should just finish my sister’s scarf first. He said it didn’t matter but if I messaged him later I could meet up with him later for coffee.

So I decided to go to the Ginger Twist studio yarn shop as it was further away and would take longer, and not to mention I had not actually been there before. I stepped off the bus and discovered to my surprise that the shop only opens at 11am! And it was 10.45am. I decided that it was worth while waiting so I went for a meander down the road to just see what else was about. I noticed that I was right near the place that we had caught a bus back home on Sunday the 15th of January. (I have blogged about it)
While I was walking I suddenly landed up near a little mall. I saw that they had a pound land which made me really happy because I really needed a new journal and pound land was the cheapest place I had seen them before. I need cheap journals because I write A LOT! I am sure that you believe me since my blog posts are so long. Haha. I landed up getting a folder for holding my knitting patterns in, a journal, and a packet of Blueberry licorice flavoured hard-boiled sweets, 3 pounds in total.
Then by the time I got back to the Ginger Twist studio it was 11.10am so they were nice and open. It is quite small but very lovely. The lady there was very nice and we discussed machine washing hand knit socks. I bought two balls of yarn which I unfortunately cannot show you!! Because I know that at least once of the two recipients reads this blog! So you are only going to see those yarns /knitted items in April! I also bought some black DK yarn to knit T another pair of split mittens as he has requested.

I then let T know I was on my way to meet up with him for coffee. On the way I couldn’t help snapping this pretty scene. That is the Scott Monument. So Gothic, so lovely! On a clear day we are going to go to the top of it and take some photos of the city. But  I think that the building makes an amazing silhouette.

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I had a lovely coffee with T. I had a crembrule latte. This is actually the first time I have met up with him during his lunch break from work… ever… in the 3 and a bit years that he has been working.

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Back at home I started knitting my sister’s scarf. I also figured out how to log into BBC iplayer and I watched some movies.

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On Thursday I pretty much just knit and watched series.

I added two garter stitches down the side of my stockinette scarf hoping to make it lay flat.img-20170216-wa0006

But alas it is still curling. Miss E said, Oh are you knitting a snake?

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On Friday I uploaded some more Redbubble art. A Cat Lover design this time. And then carried on with my knitting. cat_lover_01

At this point it was over a meter long and getting quite unwieldy. img-20170217-wa0003

I also chatted with my sister who has been suffering severe knee pain since about October or November last year. She tried physio but it didn’t get better so she went to a specialist today. And They think that she has a torn Meniscus but they need to confirm with an MRI and then they might have to operate! If she reads this she is probably going to be mad at me for telling you because she is quite shy, but I think that she needs more love and good thought coming her way. Anyway so after our chat I went and painted her a little picture. She loves dogs if you can’t guess. I have sent her a scan but I will give her the original in April. img_0711

And finally on Friday evening I finished my sister’s scarf while Miss E was over for supper. It is made to my sister’s specifications. 2 meters long and 22cm wide. img-20170218-wa0000

On Saturday I tried blocking the scarf to made it lie flatter. But now (On Sunday) it is dry and I have unpinned it and it is still sort of curly. img-20170218-wa0004

Saturday I didn’t do that much. T and I made a trip to he hardwarestore. We took a long tram ride which was nice. He bought the things he needed for finishing my craft room.
Then we dashed to Mc Arees and bought me a 120cm long 2.5 mm cable needle so I can try 2 at a time socks.
And then I dashed off to my knitting group which was great. We had 6 people this time. 2 of whom were even newer than me. And the one was so new we were teaching her how to cast on. And she was from France and so her pattern she was using was in French. The one lady at the table did French in high school so we had much fun and hilarity trying to decipher the pattern instructions.

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A final picture of the scarf post blocking.

And my sister and my mother have been slacking on the cat photos this week. I am going to have to have word with them! So for this week I have a photo of the sweet Zoe.

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I hope that you had a great week and that this next week is even greater. 😉

❤ Love Diella

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4 thoughts on “The Week of Blue Knitting

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