Monday, January 28, 2008

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

First of all thank you all very much for your good wishes for my visit to mum. I found her well, if a little muddled, but quite alright in her own home where she knows where everything is and what does what. As long as she can watch golf or tennis and her soaps she's quite happy. She may not know what day it is or who Gordon Brown is but she can identify the entire cast of Neighbours, Home and Away, Emmerdale, Eastenders, Corrie........... an if I'm still living on my own at 89, albeit with some support, I'll be quite happy. And thank you linz, there is no hurry, but I do know she will be thrilled, I nearly lost the monkey off my Kipling bag on Friday!

Now then, how was Joseph? Joseph was wonderful, thank you. I don't know what it is about Joseph, I always feel as if I'm at the best party ever when I go to watch it. This time was no exception, the cast was energetic and obviously having a whale of a time. Not quite as glossy as the West End production I saw recently, but no worse for that. Craig sent shivers down my spine when he sang "Close Every Door" and that will do for me!

Now as you can see, the Aknita family has been out and about again! January 23rd saw DS's 16th birthday. he didn't want a party, he wanted to go to London to see Spamalot, so that's where we went on Saturday. Setting musical theatre back 1,000 years and full of politically incorrect references to the French it was hilarious. Who knew, for example, that Sir Galahad was called Dennis, or that Lancelot married a young man by the name of Herbert!!!!!!!!! We even had Knights that went Ni and a killer rabbit! I haven't laughed so much for yonks. And of course we all sang "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"

It was a lovely day so we went for pre-lunch wonder round Trafalgar Square being all touristy. Lunch was a two hour long affair at an Italian restaurant. And yes, I did fall asleep on the train home! Here are a few photos of DS, Mr A and me. I have my new coat and my Kipling bag on show - and very pleased I am with them too.

I do knit sometimes though! Over on Crafty Treads 'n' Yarns we are having a Round Robin Gift Bag Exchange and I am pleased to say that I have finished my bag. Made with oddments of Opal Elemente, it's a little longer than suggested in the pattern that I used, mostly because of what I want to fit into it! It will hold a jar of jam quite comfortably too. Now it isn't perfect by any means, dpn's are not my forte and there are ladders I know. However I appear to have successfully negotiated a picot cast on so I have learned a new trick.

Here's the reverse side of the picot edge - I was quite pleased with it though it was fiddly

And the base, blocking away over an inverted tin. I have used thin ribbon to thread through the eyelets, as I couldn't face a 2 stitch i-cord!

And finally here it is all filled and waiting to pop in the post to it's first recipient.

I though you might like to see my DAB digital radio, which was my Christmas present. I can listen to The Goon Show, Hancock's Half Hour, and loads of wonderful vintage comedy radio on BBC Radio 7 to pass the time while ironing. I love it!

And finally, I must go. Simply Knitting and Yarn Forward have just arrived in the post. I have heard good things about Yarn Forward again this month, and I'm so pleased for Kerrie that finally it seems to be working out for her.

This is my last post for January. February will see my first bloggiversary, so please tune in on Friday for news of my plans to mark this auspicious occasion!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Here is Vanessa, all completed. Eventually! Honestly, I knitted the back in Tunisia in August, and didn't pick it up again till the New Year. When will I learn. I'm going for the Mastermind approach to knitting this year - I've started so I'll finish! It's the only way!

I am pleased with it overall, the yarn had a tendency to be "splitty" but has a lovely sheen and produces quite a neat even stitch.


Rowan Classic Art Book 10

Needles: Aero straights in UK size 10 and 8

Yarn: RYC Cashsoft DK Shade 00502 Bella Donna

I am off out again this evening. Eight of us from work are going to see Joseph at Malvern Theatres. Yes, I know I only saw Joseph in November, you can't see Joseph too many times in my opinion. This version stars Craig, who came third in the "Any Dream Will Do" show, my favourite overall, so it will be an interesting comparison between him and Lee Mead. I'll let you know what I think next time.

We are off to the Indian first, I hope they are ready for us!

I'm off to see mum tomorrow. I'm getting more concerned about her, and am wondering how much longer she can live on her own. She gets quite aggressive on the phone on a regular basis, and I've taken to mostly letting her phone me so that her mind is focussed on what she wants to ask me rather than me take her by surprise. Usually she's ok in her own environment, but she is definitely more muddled of late.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Spice Up Your Life!

Somebody pinch me! Was I really really there? Yes, I really really was, and it was really really brilliant too!

What am I on about? The Spice Girls of course! I travelled down to London on Tuesday evening and spent a very pleasant evening with my son, with whom I went to stay. He is 25 tomorrow, how my baby came to be 25 is a mystery to me, I simply do not know where time has gone. Twenty five years ago I was 26, in another twenty five years I shall be 76 which simply does not bear thinking about. I'm still only 27 in my head though and I hope I always will be!

I had a lot to do in London. Wednesday morning saw me in Knightsbridge sorting out the visas for our Egypt holiday next month. I had three hours to spare in between handing in the forms and passports and collecting them. It was a little trip down memory lane. My Auntie Bea ( who incidentally is 97 tomorrow too ) used to work in Harrods and I used to spend a lot of time there when I was younger. I had a lovely mooch round, and just HAD to visit the luxury loos, and then I went bargain hunting.

This is my first bargain - this lovely coat from Laura Ashley which was £33:00 reduced from £110:00. I love it! It's not the best picture in the world, the light being what it is, but it's 3/4 length and as warm as toast.

And then there's this fabulous Kipling bag and purse half price in the Kipling shop! How I didn't buy two I shall never know, I have spent my Christmas money on my coat, bag and purse and am chuffed to bits with them.

I met DS at the O2 at around 6:00 pm and we went for a meal at the Sausage and Mash cafe there, sat outside under a patio heater with a nice glass ( or two ) of wine. Then time to go in - oh how fab were those Spice Girls? people ask me how I can go and see Queen and The Who and the like and still like pop. I am lucky I suppose to have an eclectic taste in music, I can listen to ( almost ) anything, and back in the 70's was as happy to listen to Mud or Slade as I was to listen to Yes or Zepellin.

I can't tell you how fantastic they were though, and the dancers, well, such vitality and energy.

And as if that's not enough excitement yesterday I went to see Hairspray. Oh my oh my, how much fun is that show? It is a rare occasion when a theatre audience stands as one at the end of a show, but let me tell you this show is two and a half hours of pure magic. The sight of Michael Ball and Mel Smith sharing an intimate moment on stage will live with me for a very long time! Oh and Noo, if you are reading this, I took myself to Savoir Faire for a pre-theatre lunch and lovely it was too.

And finally - a Forest Canopy! Begun in November as a Christmas knit but postponed when I hurt my wrist, I shall pack this away carefully for SIL for Christmas 2008. I finished it on Monday evening and it's been blocking while I was away.

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl

Yarn: Fyberspates Silk/Alpaca

Needles: 4mm Pony Straights

The light is dreadful, but I am sure you get the idea. There are four extra pattern repeats and could possibly have managed another. You live and learn though, and if I were to use this yarn again I would bind off with a larger needle, the yarn is 90% silk and 10% alpaca so doesn't lend itself to blocking easily.

And finally - Happy Birthday for tomorrow Rob. I have no idea where the years have gone, I am more proud of you than you will never know, and I hope you have a wonderful day tomorrow!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Happy New Year!

Well now, as ever I am all up to date and starting with Christmas! I hope I am back in the bloggy swing of things, I have visited all my usual haunts this morning and made my apologies for being so lax of late. In my defence, I was proper poorly for a while, and things are still a bit of an effort. But I am almost better, my wrist is all mended, all I need to do now is shift this cough and I'll be grand.

So many lovely things happened before Christmas that I can't not include them in my blog! I really cannot recommend both The First Emperor and the The Tutankhamun exhibitions, currently in London, highly enough. Do catch them if you can, I feel so privileged to have seen them both in the run up to Christmas.

We like our swaps on Crafty Threads'n'Yarns and the recent Christmas Decoration swap was great fun. Isn't this lovely!

As you can see, it had pride of place on the tree. Thank you Linz

And now to knitterly things. I have decided I don't like WIPS. Well, not more than one at a time anyway ;-) so I have resolved to finish my WIPS before I start the year afresh. So I started by tackling Shony with gusto. I had started this way back, around July I think, and had got as far as the back and the left front.

Suffice to say I have pooling issues with Shony ( scroll down ) the back and sleeves are fine, but not the fronts. Irl there are real blocks of colour change.

Now, if I were to just wear this at home in artificial light, I might JUST live with it. But it is to be frogged, washed and reskeined, I shall take it to Egypt with me next month as my holiday knitting, and I will blend the yarn carefully. To be fair, I have no pooling of colour on either the back or the sleeves, two skeins of this Giotto were distinctly different to the other six! But we live and learn!

On a happier note, Kolsva is coming long beautifully, I have two sleeves of this finished too. I am finding Kochoran a lovely yarn to knit with, it undergoes total transformation from skein to needle!

And finally Vanessa (scroll down ) all ready to be assembled. I haven't made a wrap / crossover style knit before, I just hope it doesn't look silly on me!

I do like the shaping of this knit!

I also have FCS otn, it was intended as a Christmas present but I didn't finish it due to my wrist. It will be my first Christmas knit of 2008!

I can't go without showing you all these beautiful stitchmarkers. The first ones are from Jacquie and were part of my Autumn Secret Santa Swap present - aren't they just beautiful!

Next, these arrived completely unexpectedly, a lovely present from Holly Burnham and made by Holly herself. Holly sent them to me after my fall in November, and I was thrilled to receive them. Holly, you hide your talents away under a bushel, and thank you again.

These beautiful Christmassy markers were from Mogiebear, sadly blogless, but were part of another swap and they arrived with a beautiful homemade card.

And finally, from the lovely Franney again with beautiful card, these lovely stitchmarkers.

I feel truly blessed to be part of such a wonderful on-line community! Thank you everyone. I wish you all a happy, peaceful, productive and frogless New Year with lots of mojo!

We are having computer issues Chez Aknita btw. Last weekend it went off for an MOT and had a new CD drive or writer or something done, anyway we've had it back a couple of days and it's not working, go to make a CD and the PC shuts itself down. So I'm losing the PC again at the weekend. I shall have limited access at work, but have decided we are going wireless (again ) and I am going to have a laptop of my very own!

If I'm not back before next week, well I have an exciting time coming up! I am off to see The Spice Girls next Wednesday and instead of catching the train straight home on Thursday morning I am staying in London for a matinee performance of Hairspray! Lots to tell you next week then!