The one I forgot to Title

Hello Again everyone,

Last week had quite a bit of drama for me as my computer was out of action for a long time, until this Tuesday actually!

Last Saturday and Sunday I knit these little socks. They are for my husbands coworker. She is pregnant and we thought that it would be sweet. I think that they look way too tiny but I don’t know what size babies actually are. They also look smaller than they are because of all the ribbing which makes them quite elastic.

Continue reading “The one I forgot to Title”

The week of deliveries

Hello Again dear reader,

Last Sunday was pretty chilled as T had to go back to London for 3 days of training. So we just chilled together and he packed all his bags.

On Monday I started with my usual house cleaning day so that took quite a while.

I had to email woolwarehouse.co.uk because I had placed an order with them on the Saturday but my account with them didn’t say that I had any orders and T’s bank statement didn’t reflect the pending transaction. So I wanted to find out what was happening. Thankfully what had happened is that my account session had timed out before T had finished purchasing because he stopped halfway through. So the order had been logged as a “guest” purchase rather than linked to my account. And their system is having a problem with emailing the receipts to the guest purchases, but my order had gone through and had actually been sent out that morning by royal mail!

Then I worked on digitizing my mug designs for Redbubble. I managed to get 2 of the 3 done.

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On Tuesday I took a pretty picture of my Daffodils. I don’t know how long they flower for but I am really enjoying them.

Unfortunately I blacked out in the shower that morning. I didn’t think much of it though, I just assumed I was still sleepy and maybe the shower was a bit hot.

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Photo from Friday

I then finished my last redbubble mug design but I also used a screen capture program to video the process so that I could use it for my Thursday art videos. pangaea_mug

While I was filming… my yarn order arrived! I was so impressed with how quickly it came! And it came in this lovely bag! (there was other packaging over it.

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This is 100% acrylic yarn for a scarf for my sister who is allergic to wool.
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This is 100% wool (it was on sale for 1 pound 10!) for a jersey which I am knitting myself.
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This and the black one below are for a shawl I want to make.

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This is a surprise for someone. As I have said earlier I am making lots of presents for people when i go back in April
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I also balled up the yarn for T’s socks. This is a West Yorkshire Spinners yarn in the Blue Lagoon colourway. They have a range which are all named after cocktails.

After I was done with my yarn and my Redbubble I still  had half a day left so I decided to go and check out one of the fabric shops. It is called Edinburgh Fabrics. I walked there, it was about 5 km walk there and back. I also discovered during this walk that I seem to be adjusting to the weather here quite quickly. It was 3 degrees and so got all dressed up only to find that I was over heating. I didn’t need my scarf or gloves. But I do walk quite briskly so maybe that was why I was finding it so hot.

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On the way I discovered this little building which reminds me of the Stuart Little house. So tiny wedged in-between the other big buildings.
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These fabric designs would make lovely project bags!

Unfortunately I still found a lot of the fabric quite pricey so i didn’t buy anything. Maybe once I have adjusted to earning in pounds and spending in pounds I’ll change my mind about whether or not I think that it is expensive. But I have seen cheaper fabric online to order.

 

When I got back home I started knitting T’s socks.

Now we get to the part that makes it relevant that I blacked out in the shower. After I went to bed I then woke up in the early hours of the morning. I didn’t actually look at the time so I dont know for sure. But then lots of horrible things happened which I wont go into the details but it landed up with me very feverish and passing out on the bathroom floor and sleeping there for a few hours.

The next morning I googled all my symptoms and the closest thing I could figure it out to be was a vitamin B deficiency. Thankfully we had bought some on the weekend because T needs vitamin B complex to help him concentrate at work, so I have just started taking that and I haven’t had a repeat episode.

Against my mother and T’s advice I still decided to go to a craft shop at Fort Kinnaird. (I was fine in the end) So I set off and took the bus on my own for the first time. It was about a 30 min trip there and I had to walk a little because I missed my stop and got off at one further.

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I am still in love with the beautiful buildings.

I didn’t really find any cheaper fabrics or yarn at the Hobby Craft shop but I am glad that I went there anyway. It is a huge place with two floors of just craft stuff, painting, paper, beading, flower stuff, sewing, pottery, lots of stuff.
On the way back I stopped off on the road that I had been on the day before. I wanted to go to the charity shops because I know that they sometimes get donations of yarn or fabric that they then sell quite cheaply. But I suddenly got this irrational fear that the charity shops were meant for people in need to go and shop at and not that they were intended to raise money for people in need. So I was too afraid to go in. In the end I just landed up going to one which was called “Pets in need of Vets” because I reasoned that it was unlikely that some pet was going to come trotting in and buy itself a jumper. 😛 Unfortunately there was no yarn or fabric to be found.

At home I worked up a swatch for my new jersey, pictured below. I washed and blocked it because I have heard that that is the correct thing to do.

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And then I made good progress on T’s socks. I actually worked them both all the way to the heel point.img-20170208-wa0013

Then I decided that I didn’t want to do my heel flap and gusset heel but rather a German Short row heel. The difference is that the heel flap is “L” shaped and the German Short row heel looks more like a pizza slice. But in order to do this I needed a pattern and after doing a lot of research I decided that I wanted to use a paid pattern. At first I thought I’d have to wait for T to come home and help me buy it because I don’t have his credit card details… but then I realised that I had more than enough money in my PayPal account from all my Redbubble sales and so I could just purchase it with PayPal.  I was very elated and it was a very empowering feeling to pay for a craft pattern with money made from my crafting.

On Thursday I was still feeling the high from buying something with my Redbubble sales and so I was inspired to come up with some more designs. I made 6 in total but I have 3 pictured below. I haven’t digitized them all yet.

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Random picture of our fridge decorations that I took to show my sister. She took the one picture of me, and she is in the other picture with T and I. I don’t know why but having pretty things on my fridge just makes me so happy.

I also received a delivery for T early in the morning. He ordered himself a drill off Amazon. It is a really cool drill it is pretty  powerful but it is also small and very light.

Friday… oh Friday. I must preface this by telling you two things. One is that on Thursday evening my parents told me that they had ordered some amazon vouchers for T as his Birthday present and that they would likely arrive on Friday. The other thing is that I didn’t sleep well on Thursday night. So  I figured that the vouchers were probably envelope sized and could fit through our envelope slot and so I would sleep in.

Well I was having a very merry sleep in indeed when all of a sudden I was woken by pounding on the door. That’s when I realised that someone must be trying to make a delivery. But then I realised in a panic that I was not appropriately dressed to answer the door but I didn’t know how long this person had been knocking!! So i jumped out of bed and grabbed the first thing I could find which was a cardigan. I didn’t bother buttoning it up, I just kind of held it shut with one hand and opened the door with the other. And there was a man standing with a pretty big box. He looked at me expectantly like I was going to take the box from him… but I did not want to let go of my top… so I swung the door open pointed at the floor  next to me in the passage and said put it there please. I also then still had to sign for it. When he left I looked in the mirror and from my hair it was very evident that I had been sleeping. 😛 Oh well, I guess there have probably been equally strange deliveries. I was seriously confused though because this was a giant box for vouchers. I didn’t want to open it because if it was the vouchers they were supposed to be for T and he should open it.

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The box on the right was the package. The one on the left was the drill from the day before.

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Then about 5 min later suddenly my mail slot clanged and I saw amongst all the mail was another large envelope marked from Amazon. So The box was something else. I checked with T and he said that he had not ordered anything. I knew that my parents had ordered me a scanner for my birthday but my dad had said that it was only due for delivery between the 14th and the 17th. So I got my sister and parents on skype and proceeded to open my mystery package. Which did turn out to be my scanner.

 

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Then I carried on working on my Redbubble desgins and started digitizing some of them. It was a funny day weather wise with about as much variation as a Cape Town day. It started off sunny. Then while I was working away at my laptop T messaged me and said” It’s snowing!” So I ran to the window with much delight and took lots of little video clips of the snow and I video called my sister to show her.
Then I went back to work. The next time I looked up it was Sunny again! ….. and then after a while I started hearing a weird noise so I looked up… and it was hailing!

 

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So much hail it almost looks like there is snow on that car

While I was working T messaged and asked if Mz. E could come for supper. Which I obviously said yes to, but then it got me thinking and I decided that I really felt like going out and dancing. I love going to clubs even though I don’t really drink, because I love dancing. Also I am not fussy I will pretty much dance to anything. I also really love getting all dressed up for going out.
So you can see my potential outfits which I picked out. It was kind of hard because I didn’t really know what girls wear out when it’s cold, because obviously when you are inside and dancing you’re going to be hot, and I also didn’t know what kind of club we were going to go to. Luckily Mz. E had been on a Pub Crawl a few weeks before so she knew some of the nice places to go.

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I landed up going with the second one from the right. The black dress with the while collar. It is actually a dress given to me by my mother.

We landed up going to a club called Stramash. And I LOVED it. I think I have found my new club hang out. It kind of reminded me of a club called Gandalf’s in Cape Town with is kind of a metal / rock club. There were some live bands and also a DJ playing in between. They played some songs which they had written but they also did covers of some older songs like Sweet home Alabama, and Fleetwood Mac etc. I really loved it. Oh and did I mention it is in an old church? Oh and did I mention that at the top at the back there are leather couches and some bookshelves with books?!

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Photo by Mz. E
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Drinking our beverages on the leather couches
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This is the upstairs bar. Photo by Mz. E
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Dancing on the dance floor ❤

After we left I was so hot from dancing, and probably the cider I had helped… but I walked home carrying my coat instead of wearing it! Also wearing heels was the worst idea ever. My feet were killing me. It was a 24min walk from the club back home. To be honest if I knew that we were going to that kind of club I would not have worn heels at all and I probably would have worn a different dress anyway. But I loved it and we will definitely be going back.

On Saturday morning I sorely regretted my shoe choice of the night before. Heels pictured below. My toes were blistered and the balls of my feet were bruised. Also remember a lot of the streets here are cobbled so that adds to the walking hazzards of heels. img-20170211-wa0001

We don’t have a bath tub here, as I mentioned in my last post, so after my shower I filled our washing basin with hot water and salt and soaked my poor footsies in there.

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On Saturday afternoon I made my slow and painful walk to my knitting group. This time there were only two of us but it was a new person who I had not met before so we had a great time chatting and getting to know eachother. He is from Denmark and he is engaged to a woman from France and they have both moved to Edinburgh. So it was really nice to chat to someone else who has also moved here and to chat about our experiences of adjusting and learning new things.

While I was out our IKEA order was delivered and T got to work right away on assembling our stuff. Unfortunately this kind of blockaded up the kitchen so we popped downstairs to the Thai restaurant below us and ordered some take away food. It was really yummy. We also had to eat sitting on the floor because there was no space for the chairs. 😛

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It really amazes me how flat they can pack the furniture. I know that that is pretty much the point of IKEA but still.

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I haven’t included that many pictures because it is now Sunday and T is still building furniture. But I am sure that I will include loads of before and after pictures in next weeks post.

Now before I go I am going to share with you all the cute cat pictures my family keep sending me of my babies whom I miss terribly.

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Salty sitting on my mom while she tries to get stuff done.
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Salty playing in a shopping packet.
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Salty chilling n the couch which is right next to the open plan kitchen while my sister did some baking.
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Salty sitting ON TOP of my mom’s artwork.
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Pangaea does not approve of interruptions
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Salty sleeping on my sister ❤

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Salty’s muddy face after she’s been up to no good

Well that’s it from me for this week. It looks like these posts are ending up being a lot longer than I had initially imagined them to be.

Lots of Love,

Diella

First 2 week round up

Hello Again Readers,

Since my friends and family are all (mostly) in South Africa and I am now in the UK I have decided that I might post here once a week to sort of give people an update. I’ll play it by ear and see how many people are interested.

So for this first post there is quite a lot to tell you about and also a lot of pictures because it is basically 2 weeks now.

As many of you know, T and I left South Africa on the 10th of January. We went through security at about 5 even though our flight was at 7 because we just didn’t want any fuss. Thankfully because of who T banks with we were allowed into one of the lounges which was really nice. We got free WiFi, free food and drink and some comfy chairs.

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This was a great relief especially as we had a little bit of a debacle at the security gate. T had suggested that I fly with my “precious” jewelry on me just in case. I had totally forgotten that one of my things that I packed was a brooch and that this might be a problem. I don’t fly very much so I didn’t really know what was going on when the lady said that she wanted to check my bags. Then she started going through all my jewelry, finally she came to the brooch. Now the brooch was pinned in a box to a rectangle of foam. So she front doesn’t look as pointy as the back. She demanded to know what it was so I told her it’s a brooch. She didn’t seem to know what I meant but after some deliberation with a college they decided that they would let me take it. Thankfully she didn’t turn it over because there was a 2inch needle on the other side! As soon as T and I got through customs (which I must also tell you about) in Gatwick we took the brooch out, bought a stamp and mailed it to my Uncle in London because we were pretty sure that I would not be able to get it through the Gatwick security.  You can see the brooch below.  img_20170111_073442_190

Now the brooch isn’t actually particularly valuable but it is very sentimental. When I was in high school I used to do Irish Dancing (some people call this River Dancing) And my grandmother who has Irish lineage and who is now deceased went on a trip to Ireland. When you dress for competitions in Irish dancing you have to wear a sash kind of thing and it gets pinned to your shoulder, so my Late grandmother brought back this beautiful brooch for me. So like I said, I don’t think that it is that valuable but it is very special to me.

By the way I had an awful flight. I had a stress headache from the security incident and this lead to me feeling nauseous for most of the flight. Thankfully in Gatwick we found a shop that sold Ibuprofen so that took my headache away.

Yes now onto the customs or boarder control. I am currently on a visitors visa to the UK because I am coming back to South Africa in April for my cousins wedding. But I am here for 94 days which could look suspicious to the boarder control and they could decide to send me back to South Africa. (And after that horrible flight all the way there I thought I’d rather die than have another 12 hour flight, this time without T to rub my back.) Now T is a British citizen so he had kept telling me that he was going through a different check which would be super quick because they can’t refuse him entry. I kept asking him to come with me to mine because they can ask so many questions and as someone who doesn’t fly a lot this whole situation was scary. He said he’d do his best but they probably wouldn’t let him.
Miracle #1, when we were asking for directions the lady said that since we are married and flying together Thomas must just go with me!!!! I was over the moon.
Now the lady in front of me was also from South Africa coincidentally and she was having a lot more trouble than me. I won’t go into details but basically she had not read ( or possibly understood) any of the rules and she had not brought any hard copy evidence of intention to leave the country so she was getting a lot of questions and problems. Where as I had a printed receipt of my return flight and all the documents I thought I could possibly need. She was actually still there when we left!
Miracle #2, Now you must understand I am a terrible liar and it is very obvious. So When it was our turn and the lady said to me oh, you are here for 94 days, that is terribly specific.  I said without thinking (as I said bad liar here so it was very obvious that I said this without thinking and not lying) oh yes I have to be back for my cousins wedding. Well that seemed to convince her that I was definitely leaving the country, she stamped my book and off we went!

We then had a short flight to Edinburgh and a surprisingly sunny drive to our temporary accommodation. T’s new company is paying for 2 weeks of accommodation for us while we try to find somewhere to stay more long term.

The place that we are staying in is really nice and from what I can tell by UK standards it is pretty massive! We are so spoiled by this, all the flats we have been viewing are so tiny in comparison. I’ll also note here that we have a wonderful friend, E, who has also coincidentally moved from South Africa to Edinburgh and who is working for the same company as T. So she is actually staying in the same apartment block as us. She also grew up in the UK so it has been amazing to have someone who can tell us what shops to go to in order to find what we need.

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The one thing which we noticed straight away obviously was the change in weather. The day that we left South Africa it was 31 degrees C. The morning before our flight I was actually lying on my mom’s tiled floor trying to cool down!
When we arrived in Edinburgh it was about 4 degrees C and it went down over the next couple of days to 1 degree. This presented me with a problem that I had not anticipated. Since we don’t and won’t have a car we walk to most places. Being very cold we dressed up warmly, as one does. But after a few minutes of walking briskly (everyone walks fast here and if you are slow, no one is rude but you get the distinct impression that you are in the way) you start to get kind of hot! So you take off your beanie which is trapping all the heat from your head…. but now your chest is still hot but your ears are now freezing. To be honest I am still getting the hang of it but it is getting better. I bought myself some ear muffs so I can have warm ears but not trap too much head heat in.

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This cold weather has really put me in more of a yarn crafts mood than a drawing mood but this is what  I did when I was trying to keep up some of my drawing. (I have given up for now, but don’t worry I know my self well enough that I know my drawing phase will come back soon enough. It’s always a cycle for me) I made a pretty list of terms that I have to get used to. img_20170116_143717_660

As an aside when we first arrived at our accommodation it was stupidly hot! They have a boiler heater system and we had to turn the heaters down because it was way too hot. We didn’t want to fiddle too much but we’ve got it down to 22 degrees now. And before you ask, my father used to work in air conditioning and he writes programs for it so he gave us one of his thermometers. img-20170111-wa0032

This shower, pictured below, has become a personal joke for T and I. You see coming from South Africa they are suffering a really terrible drought at the moment, so we said How do you know a country doesn’t have problems with drought? When they have two shower heads!  Pictured below.img-20170111-wa0034

The next thing that was weird for me is the ice or frost on the ground. Even if it isn’t freezing point in the air, it may be on the ground. So the white in the pictures below is frost I guess. I haven’t quite got a hang of the terminology yet but I know that it isn’t snow!  We have some snow later on in the post.

On Saturday the 14th we went on a little walking tour of Edinburgh, I may have mentioned this in my previous post, but one of the places we visited was a grave yard. It also wasn’t just any grave yard. It was the one from which J.K Rowling got some of the names from the tomb stones. Now this isn’t going to be a Potter Fan girling because … shock horror, I am not actually a huge Potter fan. T is actually more than me since he has read all the books. But anyway the point of this is that I kept looking at the ground, poking the ground, toeing the ground and giggling like a silly 5 year old because the muddy slushy looking soft ground was actually frozen hard! As someone from Cape Town where it never gets cold enough to snow this is a very new experience for me. img_20170113_142910img_20170113_142917

Then during the week when T wasn’t working yet it snowed!! Okay not a lot and it basically all melted as soon as it hit the ground but there was little white stuff floating down and it wasn’t ash! (Capetonians you know what I mean). I also discovered that I am married to a crazy person. Who says, oooh it’s snowing… let me run outside in my Tshirt? My husband apparently!img-20170112-wa0017

So one of the things that I neglected to do was bring knitting with me on the plane. I did consider it but I know that it can be an issue at security and I just didn’t want the extra fuss. I was however stupid for not packing any in my hold luggage. So by Friday the 13th (I know that we are jumping around dates a bit here) I was kind of desperate to have something for my hands to do. So after asking on my lovely facebook knitting group I was given some suggestions for places to go and we chose McAree Brothers knitting shop. It was close-ish to T’s work so we could go past there and he could get an idea of where he needed to be on Monday. I bought: 100g sock yarn for me, 2x 50g sock yarn for T, 80cm 2,5mm knitting needles, a set of 5 2,5mm dpns and some darning needles for weaving in ends. img-20170113-wa0017

This is how far I got on Friday evening. For those of you who are not familiar with my knitting, I do one sock at a time. img-20170114-wa0000

Saturday and Sunday were taken up with sight seeing so I didn’t do any knitting. On Saturday we briefly popped in at one of the museums and saw Dolly! For those of you who don’t know she is a cloned sheep, and the first mammal cloned I believe.

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Our friend E went on an organised pup crawl and sent us this picture. I know a lot of people are going to cringe but I really want to try a deep-fried mars bar! img-20170114-wa0019

Sunday was my birthday, but to find out more about that and our sight seeing you can read my previous post. Oh and for you South African’s, this dress is amazing. It is a complete fluke but I bought it from Mr Price and it’s actually really thick material. I never wore it in ZA because it was just too hot. So with Leggings and a coat it was perfect for Sunday, which was also a bit warmer at about 9 degrees. img-20170115-wa0008

On Monday I sadly discovered that I had over worked my Achilles Tendon during all our sight seeing which we had walked everywhere. And a lot of up hill too. On Sunday evening my one ankle was really sore. Then on Monday I was doing some dishes and I noticed that that same ankle felt like there was a rubber band sliding up and down my ankle bone as I moved. Sorry if you are skweemish. As it didn’t really hurt that much I didn’t want to go see a doctor I just googled a bit and apparently it is called creaking. I also spoke to a friend of mine who is a Dr so she gave me some advice. Since I hadn’t actually damaged it and only really over worked it I just rested it a lot and took some Ibuprofen which I already had from the  airport. Unfortunately towards the evening it got really uncomfortable so my darling husband was kind enough to make our delicious supper, pictured below, even though it had been his first day at work. I felt really bad but he said it was such a simple recipe he didn’t mind. (He is an AMAZING cook, way better than me)img_20170116_194050_112

On Wednesday T got send to London for 2 weeks (thankfully he gets to come back for the weekend) which was kind of lonely for me. Not too lonely as I do have E near by. But I got a lot of chance to work on my socks and I even discovered an awesome podcast, Knitting Expat. The awesome thing about her, I have started at the beginning of her videos, is that she started her podcast when she moved to a new country and didn’t have friends. Her husband was also working long hours with a long commute so I kind of feel like I relate to her at the moment. Although T wont always be working away and I am sure that I will make friends here soon. I also decided to teach myself to flick instead of throw. (knitting jargon I am sorry). I have considered picking but when I do the stitches always seem to come out twisted. Bare in mind I did this while knitting a sock. I may experiment some more with the left over sock yarn.img-20170119-wa0019

On Thursday I had finished both of T’s socks! We are such a similar sized foot that we actually both use 64 stitches! This socks are just a bit longer than mine. So these are my feet below.

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Then I started my sock on Friday. I have discovered that if I have nothing else to do (at this apartment there is housekeeping so I don’t even have that) it takes me about 4 days to knit a complete pair of socks. I don’t know why I thought this but I thought that my socks would be more purple and less pink, but anyway they are kind of pink now.

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As you can see below… we don’t have any scissors here so I have been using the cuticle cutter side of my nail file to cut my yarn.img-20170120-wa0003

We also don’t have any measuring instruments here so I had to make my porridge up by guessing. The instructions on the packets are also no help as the oats are in grams and the water is in ml so i can’t even work out a ratio. But as you can see below I think it turned out alright. img_20170121_110057

My mom… has been such a meanie poo and keeps sending me pictures of my darling cats and making me miss them sooo much. I am just dying for a furry snuggle. I think that I am going to spend most of April in South Africa just cuddled up with PanPan. I love Salty too but she doesn’t tolerate cuddles as much as PanPan. PP will let you cuddle her all day if you want to.

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On Friday I tried to do a different style of heel as I always do the heel flap and gusset, but after a couple of attempts I frogged it back and did my trusty heel flap as I just wasn’t managing the new heel. img-20170120-wa0005

On Friday night when T came back I made soup and friend E came for dinner and brought Elderflower Cider. It is soo yummy, and I love the bottle cap.img_20170120_222255_230

On Saturday I didn’t do much knitting as T is back and has to leave on Sunday evening so I wanted to spend time with him. But we decided to try out using the bus day pass for the first time so we went to a whole lot of the yarn shops here and I got a few things. The stylecraft yarn is for me and the West Yorkshire Spinners is for T. The funny thing is that T was born in West Yorkshire. Also the two colours are Blue lagoon (the cocktail) and Juniper. How cool is that? img_20170121_160052

So that is it for the last two weeks. I am sorry that it is SOO long! I plan to do next weeks one on next Sunday so hopefully there will not be sooo much stuff to show and tell you about.

Lots of Love,

Diella aka xYOOPx