Thursday, December 30, 2010

Extra Emergency Knitting

The Ultimate EEK Project - My first 'Posy Cosy'
As you may have read in my previous posting, I have had a busy time just prior to Christmas ferrying a sick friend to & fro from hospital. On the upside, I have learned the very valuable lesson about making sure you having some knitting about your person at all times, as you never know when you might need that additional project for 'Extra Emergency Knitting' or EEK for short.

EEK is best when it's a small project. Preferably one with very simple instructions. Lace should be avoided as your EEK will create eek! if your concentration gets diverted, especially if you are doing 'waiting room' knitting. For my EEK I had a bag of DK scraps leftover from all my Christmas gift knits, so I set out on creating an EEK project on the fly.

I only had one set of needles, 5mm straights, what I use for the felted house slippers. Doing another pair of house slippers did cross my mind, but as I was about to cast on I had an EEK Eureka moment. I thought I would take the elements of the tea cosy I had knitted for a Christmas gift & knit something to fit our 4 cup teapot at home.

So at the GP's I started a garter stitch square using two strands of DK & the 5mm needles. Starting with just two stitches I then added an extra stitch at the beginning of each row until I had 46 stitches. Reversing the process with a series of decreases at the beginning the each row & then making a second square in a contrasting colour to match.

Now time to move from the GP's to the hospital.
Once settled into an ED cubicle I then started thinking about how to embellish this tea cosy. Then I remembered the flowers I have made for a pair or Ever After gauntlets I have made for the A&P Show. They are really simple & fast to knit.

My perfect wee posy.

Using the long tail method, Cast on 112sts in a Contrast Colour. (correctected 26/04/11)
Change colour (if desired) & for the next row - Knit
Then K2 *k1, slip this back onto LH needle & pass over the next 8 sts & then knit this st again, k2* repeat the sequence 9 more times (32 sts)
Knit 24, wrap yarn (to turn for short row) knit 24
Knit 16, wrap, turn & knit 16
Knit 8, wrap, turn & knit 8
Then break the yarn & thread it up through all the remaining stitches & tug firmly to make a flower & secure.

I managed to make three of these at ED & then finished the 4th when I needed an EEK moment escaping the boys in their post Christmas revelry.

To finish the 'EEK Cosy', I just seamed the two squares across the top & then wrapped them around my teapot & joined the side seams in correspondence with the handle & spout on my pot. Affixed the flowers into a small posy on top & 'wha la', my very own EKK 'posy cosy'.
See knitting always brings the best out of a bad situation!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Louis Diaries Part 3

Louis having a great day at the beach on Boxing Day

Catching a Bug.

You know that old saying 'Doctors make the worst patients' well I can unequivocally tell you that Surgeons are even worse again! One of our dearest friends (DF) has been very unwell just prior to Christmas, & like Dr.Phil a fellow surgeon. He had been unwell for a few weeks & after an especially busy weekend a week out from Christmas, he became very, very unwell, very quickly. His significant other called me to check in on him (she lives 4 hours away as she completes her specialist medical training), so after talking to him, making arrangements for him to see a 'real doctor' (aka GP) & offering to take him, I thought all would be well. Wrong!

After not going to said doctor, I then dispatch Dr.Phil to his house to really make sure he's OK. After much knocking & hollering, DF informs Dr.Phil that he's just too sick to come to the door & too sick to see the GP - What!?

The next day I decided to take the decisions away from all these bloody doctors & by the point of a knitting needle I collected DF & took him to the GP myself. GP promptly exclaimed 'off to hospital for you', so off to hospital we go. Now DF works at said hospital, so you can imagine how big he felt being admitted into ED & actually having to fess up to 'baby' doctors that his own self administered doctoring skills had landed him in this mess.

So where does the Louis parable fit into this story you might ask? Well after spending all day with DF in hospital & I returned home.

Louis "Where you been all day mummy?"

Me "With DF at the hospital"

Louis "Why is DF at the hospital?"

Me "He's a bit sick Louis, he's caught a nasty bug"

Louis, ponders this for a couple of seconds then says "Does DF have Praying Mantis?"

Me (trying to keep a straight face & not roll around the floor laughing) "It's not that kind of bug darling"

Louis "Oooooh, he must have Ladybug then!"

The moral of this Louis parable - don't let your Praying Mantis or Ladybug get too bad before you go to the GP!

Oh & DF is now on the mend, after bluffing his way out of ED one day, his significant other (who had arrived from out of town at by this stage) then had to call an ambulance to take him back to hospital the next day. He stayed until Christmas Eve & has been taking it very quietly every since, have being fully tongue lashed by all the women in his life about the importance of listening to all our nagging, because more than occasionally, we're right!

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas Wish

I even managed to get out a few Christmas cards this year - emphasis on 'A Few'

Wine in fridge: Check
Knitted gifts completed & distributed: Check
Enough food to feed 3rd world nation in fridge: Check

You've gotta love Christmas. This year I have enjoyed it especially. For the first time the boys' are both of an age that they are getting excited about the season, Louis has a list for Santa which is as long as your arm (You just have to email Santa Mummy, you have time to add that to Louis list) & Hugo is just been getting into the entire spirit of the season & if that spirit includes Star Wars, all the better.

My little Christmas Angels

This year we have Dr. Phil's Mum here, so with a hankering I have had to martyr myself in the kitchen yet again, we have now also ended up with my cousin & her family & five other friends (all gay) who were at the loose end as well. So 10 adults & 5 children in all - Excellent!
NZ's 'campest' Tea Cosy

After much conference & consumption of many bottles of wine, a menu has been constructed which has now billowed out to 7 small courses. Most require very little or no cooking & I have managed to prepare one ahead of time already, I will do another today with the vast majority of prep, so theoretically things should all be plain sailing tomorrow - theoretically....

A set of Christmas Slippers
This year I also managed to get some knitted gifts done & I have been tickled with the satisfaction I have had from making & giving these gifts. I made a couple of pairs of Slippers one for my grandmother, another for an elderly friend of my Mum's & I made NZ's 'campest' tea cosy for good friends (who were the ones that gave me the 'Really Wild Tea Cosy' book). I would like to have done some more, but time ran away from me & as always I find myself saying - "I'll have to start earlier next year" - Yeah Right!

Slippers #2
I just want to also take the time to acknowledge a milestone this month for this blog & thank you - all the poor suffering darlings who take five in their precious days to read it. The milestone: I clicked over 10,000 hits this month - 10,000!! Ten thousand times people have referred to my ranting & raving, incoherent ramblings & of course a spot of knitting. And if you were one of the ones who contributed to the 10K, especially if you kept coming back, THANK YOU!
My famous Sweet & Salty Christmas Nut Brittle

I hope I have shared my brand Buscke of crazy into your lives & from myself, Dr.Phil, Louis, Hugo, Max & felines, I hope you & your families have a very happy & safe festive season. I will be back with more of the same in the New Year, I might even make a few of those pesky NY resolution thingees - now where's my glass, I mean needles!

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Louis Diaries Part 2

The Importance of Good Grooming

As you can see Louis isn't to phased about his very boyish coif.

Louis has never been one to worry about his 'looks'. Washing his hair is something he insists on doing, which consists of him submerging himself in soapy bath water without rinsing. Thank goodness the kid has a few curls, because the slightly greasy, ginger mess looks half presentable - well most of the time. Still it never ceases to amaze me how many people stop & tell me or him what 'pretty' hair he has, 'What lovely waves' or 'Such a pretty colour'.

So you can imagine my shock this morning then we were off to preschool & here he was in the back of the car craning over the seat to look in the rear vision mirror in order to preen himself. He diligently stroked & his fringe into a sort of an ordered chaos & vainly attempted to tame his errant curls into some sort of submission.

"Louis, what are you doing to your hair!?"

"I'm mooose-sing Mummy"

"Moose-sing? What do you need to 'Mousse' for?" (at this point I really should know better but just call me a sucker for punishment)

"Keep all the bugs off Mummy, bugs like Louis hair, it's pretty, but 'Mooose' makes it better"

Louis Moral #2 - Mooose keeps your hair bug free, especially when it's as pretty as his.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Craft Jammin'

The atrium venue at the Hastings Opera House was excellent. I'm such a messy tart, don't look too closley at the Skeinz table with my Christmas knitting all over the place!

The busy season ramped up a notch for me this past weekend. I had the great pleasure along with all our Skeinz Crew to attend the inaugural Fruit Bowl Craft Jam in Hastings. I worked day one & it was manic! Plenty of keen eyed craft lovers were out shopping for Christmas presents with that handmade flavour. The standard of the crafts was of the highest quality, I feel lucky just escaping with a pair of earrings from my favourite jewellery designer Shelley Von Sturm. It would have been very easy to have given the credit card a good flogging!
My new Victorian Dog earrings - LOVE

I talked myself hoarse showing keen DIYers the joys of making your own felted house slippers. I think several pairs will be sprouting up all over Hawkes Bay in the coming weeks. I even managed to work on the two pairs & am doing for Christmas - it's a useful skill being able to knit & blather on all at the same time!

Suzanne being kept busy - she'll kill me as I'm always sneakily snapping her for the blog!