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If you are interested in my journey through my textiles degree - see here!!

Time to Catch Up

I thought it was about time I gave a bit of a catch up on what I have been up to! Time rushes by so fast its good for the soul to sit back and think about what you have achieved (or not as the case may be) over the past few months!

In terms of work life I have to say it has been pretty boring - lots of changes going on and I have become rather de-motivated. I am not at the point of changing jobs, since actually I have plans to fill my new spare time......actually technically its not spare, just now that I work the standard 8 hour day rather than the 12 hour one I was working before, so that leaves me more time to do what I want to theory! In practice of course I have so many things that I want to do that its been a challenge deciding what it is that I can spend my extra 4 hours a day on.

First and foremost of course I need to dedicate some more time to the kids. My son has been through a problem time at school and so has needed support. His behaviour has certainly improved now that I am not always putting him off in favour of yet another conference call!

Secondly I have decided to work towards a Degree in Textiles in order to prepare me for a time when I don't have to work in HR, and can do something I love! So I have signed up with the Open College of Arts in the UK. Once I had pressed the 'send' button on my registration (and payment - ugh!) I panicked for about 5 minute and then decided that I have absolutely done the right thing and I am super excited about starting as soon as the course materials arrive. For years I have seen myself as someone who 'just' enjoys knitting and sewing, but now I want to take it to a new level. I have a lifelong love of historical costume so I am SOOOOO looking forward to studying that element of the degree!

Yes yes yes I know that I work full time with 2 children and a basket full of FOs but I have been thinking about this for a long time now and it was the right time to do something for me!

Anyway, more of that in a later post, and I have to create a blog for my coursework, so once that is up and running you can see my progress (that should be 'interesting'!!! :)))

So, what have I been doing in the meantime.........

Well I did go through 3 or 4 unproductive weeks and lost a bit of my knitters Mojo - but as ever a couple of smaller projects restored it!

I completed my Multnomah in the pure silk from Silkindian. The finished result is lovely, but in hindsight I think I could have gone down a needle size. Colour is stunning, beautiful bright sapphire blue, but I have nothing to wear with it at the moment - sigh!

Also completed two baby jackets for pregnant friends in London - very gratifying quick knits which look super sweet and should be off to their respective receipients this week.

Finally another Liesl, which I did intend to finish for our trip to Jordan, but sadly ended up not completed until I returned - however it does remind me of Jordan anyway, since it has the hue of Petra!

Now I have started the Geodisic cardigan by Connie Chang Chinchio - the yarn is lovely and from a fellow UAE knitter Jocelyn from Dubai Knits on Etsy. The colour is a lovely Burnt Orange and since I have now decided to go with colours that actually suit me and match what I have to wear (woo hoo there is a revelation!) I think it will get a lot of use. Its not going to be a quick knit since its lace weight and stocking stitch, but I have not done anything reasonable challenging for a while so I am actually enjoying it!

So that's me for the time being.........summer is here in the UAE and its like living in a sauna....phew!

Snake in the Grass......

Woo hoo so I am managing to get another Blog entry done - life must be getting around to giving me a break!..............Well sort of!

This week was interesting since K finally got his stitches out and ditched his crutches - but not after causing huge amounts of fuss and complaining so much that I ended up not going to the Knitting meet up in Dubai - still have not forgiven him for that nearly a whole week later! Anyway he is pretty much getting back to normal now, and has started barking his orders out and shouting at everyone regularly, so he must be feeling better! Do you get the feeling I am not too in love with him right now!!?? Ha ha I guess its all about being married for 17 years I fall in and out of love with him on a weekly basis!!!

So whilst I could not go to knitting, I decided to start on a project with Freddie. He is doing a jungle themed project at school and has to produce various educational projects as suggested by the teacher. Now a lot of these involved paper, paint and glue, and anyone who knows me knows that whilst I love anything crafty I really do not enjoy small children and paint in the same sentence - my sister is brilliant at this sort of thing, but I have no patience and worry constantly about immovable stains on the furniture!!

However if there is anything which could be remotely connected to knitting I am a very happy bunny! So firstly we made different coloured mini snakes using the French Knitting Dolly, each was a different length and Fred had to measure them and write down what he found. However I was not going to stop there...........oh no, I was inspired! So I decided that we should go for a more ambitious project which could get him involved in knitting. Keeping with the jungle theme (and also the emphasis on snakes which he wanted) I decided to cast on the Curly Snake by Susan B Anderson. The project was supposed to encompass numeracy so Fred helped me by counting the numbers of stitches I cast on, then adding the increases so that he could come up with the total number of stitches for the main body of the snake. He then helped stuff it as we went along and measured every little while until we got to the right length! He really enjoyed it and was encouraging me to knit all the time (no encouragement needed of course!). We finished it off on Saturday night and he was thrilled to bits. Now we just have to write about it in his project book - way better than mopping paint up off the floor I think!!

Anyway here is the little snake and photos of Fred helping!

He (the snake that is and not Fred!) was made from some very old sock yarn by Opal that I had in my stash. It must be about 8 or 9 years old since I bought it with the intention of knitting socks for the first time and then managed to get completely freaked out by turning the heel and gave up! So it has been languishing in the stash for a LONG time. Have to say that the Opal wool was one of the first self striping yarns for socks, but boy oh boy its not exactly super soft sock yarn - way more 'traditional' so not too sure I would make socks out of it now. However for this project it was perfect!
Aside from that this week there has of course been a lot of work and I am still really tired and could do with a holiday......but its coming!
I have worked quite a bit on the Serpentine Socks and I think they should be finished by the weekend since I am knitting with my friend Liezl tonight and then again on Friday with the UAE Amiras. I also finished off a baby sweater which had been a UFO for a while now, just need to add buttons to that one!
STILL the mohair bolero/shrug sits in the UFO box shouting loudly to finish it! Its been in there - I am ashamed to say - for 2 years now.................I should finish it, I really should, since if I don't I seriously think its going to haunt me forever!!! But there is SO much seaming to do as all the cuff and collar bands are knitted as seperate pieces and its BLACK mohair..............
Oh well until the next time....................

New Year............hmmn its March already! bad have I been at blogging recently? - Ok yes, so that's VERY bad!

Usual excuses come to mind, but in truth work has been unbearable! A couple of weeks ago I was at the point of total breakdown! I have not had more than 2 days off together since July and really that is now taking its toll on me in many ways. I book vacation and then when I see just how much I have to do.....cancel it again! I did manage a weekend away, but got home to over 300 emails so wondered whether it was worth it! However I am pleased to say that I finally have some help coming and then I can get my life back in order! As ever I eat when I am stressed so the weight gain then makes me depressed and so on and so on.......... amongst all the work angst I there have been other things in my life! My sister visited for 3 days on her way back from New Zealand and it was lovely to see her again, although I was not able to spend as much time with her as I would have liked due to work - but she had fun sitting by the pool and learning how to knit socks from the toe up (my new passion......but more of that later!). Acutally she is a really good knitter and crochets way better than me! THEN my brother stopped by for the day..........yes a whole day in Abu Dhabi, which seems strange until I tell you that he took a cruise with Emma (his daughter) on the new Discovery of the Seas (massive ship and I mean MASSIVE) which sailed around the Gulf with one day in AUH! Since he came on a Friday (our Saturday) we were able to spend the whole day together which was great.

On the not so great side, DH Keith managed to tear his cartiledge again whilst kneeling down mending the Blu Ray player............. so last week he had an operation to remove it. We were both a bit worried about having an operation away from home, but although the hospital room was not exactly luxurious the surgery went well and he is on the road to recovery. However of course in the manner of all men, he is milking his recovery period................! Its tough having to work and look after his and the children's needs - all three of them seem to be fighting for my attention!

But to Knitting!! Hurrah at last.............

So I have done a ton of things since I last blogged:
  • Finished the Phiaro
  • Cloud Nine socks
  • French Market Bag
  • Van Dyke toe up socks
  • Bolero

The last two Van Dyke and Bolero were for my entry into the Ravelympics - not too ambitious, but given that I have not had so much time since I have been working so much - all in all I am quite pleased. (Details of all can be found on my Ravelry page - Louiseluvsyarn).

I am also knitting another pair of toe up socks - Serpentine - finished the first sock last night and will cast on the second today I hope! These are from 'Socks from the Toe Up' and I love this book - I find toe up socks somehow more satisfying and logical, but there is always of course an argument for cuff down for some patterns.......... I think I am going to try and design some of my own as I really like a stitch pattern I found which looks a bit like a flickering flame and I think it could look great. The pattern looks as if it needs to be a toe up - so that could be fun

I have been using up my stash for all the above projects - smug smile :) - especially the Posh yarn, which is actually really lovely sock yarn and the colours are fab, the Serpentines are Elinor in colourway Gobelin (what a great name!) and they are really funky!

French Market bag was great and a lovely little bag to transport my knitting around and the Bolero was a sinch to knit up with the most amazing yarn which I got as a swap from my local knitting group the Amiras - thanks to Ramer!

I have been listening to a lot of podcasts recently and more and more would like to do one of my own - no disrespect to the lovely US and Canadian ladies out there - I absolutely love you all, Knitmore Girls, Stash and Burn, Lime and Violet, Nevernotknitting, Manic Purl etc but there are not so many Brits flying the flag (although I adore the Electric Sheep)! So as I have been considering buying myself a new laptop for quite a while now I am going to get a Macbook and get started - so more news on that later........... I need to be able to make links in shownotes etc - which I have no idea how to look at the whole thing as a learning opportunity!

Anyway enough for now..........................................

Happy Knitting!