Archive for December, 2007

I have a finished object to report. Devan from Knitty is finally done.

Remember how I had to re-knit the front pieces? We will not discuss that the fact that during the re-knitting I did different decreases on the two different sides and now they don’t match. I am not unseaming and re-knitting at this point. I think it won’t be obvious once she’s wearing it.

I managed to find the most wonderful buttons – I bought these at the LYS that’s going out of business and they were super cheap.

I’m still chugging away on the animal quilt. This block is finished and another one is 90% done.

I think this is my best hand quilting yet. Luckily the weather has cooled down enough that it’s not unbearable to sit quilting.

Gorgeous Girl turned 12 weeks old last Thursdsay. This was the weekly photo.

On Saturday we went to the local Nature Reserve. Gorgeous Man went bird hunting and Gorgeous Girl and I relaxed in the shade.

I even managed to work on a sock for a while. Amy, that quilt is a kid magnet – there was one little boy (complete stranger) who kept pointing to all the squares asking ‘what’s that?’ Very cute until I wanted Gorgeous Girl to sleep as she was getting overtired. Felt like a bit of an ogre sending him back to his mother.

Finally, my step-mother-in-law makes beautiful cards. When we lived in Australia, Gorgeous Man and I would try to get down to his father’s place (they lived 4 hours away) two or three times a year and I would always take my card-making supplies. SMIL and I would have a couple of days stamping and creating while the ‘boys’ went fishing. It was lots of fun and I’d always come home with enough cards to last me until the next visit. I really miss making cards with her, so I want to show you the Christmas card that she sent this year.

Isn’t it stunning, so simple and elegant – and she’s going to kill me for putting it on here, so say nice things about it 🙂

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Greetings! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We did. 🙂

Gorgeous Girl gave us a present of her own, she rolled from her stomach to her back twice (at 11 weeks and 5 days, for those of you who care about those things).

I didn’t get Gorgeous Girl’s stocking finished, or the cardigan sewn up on Christmas Eve. I did something much more enjoyable instead. Gorgeous Man and I took Gorgeous Girl to a local night shelter that provides safe accommodation for the homeless in the area. The shelter can accommodate 50 people a night. Some of his students from Burundi (who haven’t gone home for the holidays) were running a braai (BBQ) for those there for the night, so we went to help out and lend them some support.

For the past few months these students have been collecting unwanted clothing from their classmates and community. After the meal they put all of the clothes on the table and encouraged those there to choose for themselves. The first items to go were blankets and one woman was ecstatic over a towel. The clothes were all good quality and went very quickly. I’d taken some of Gorgeous Girl’s clothes that she’s outgrown and they were snapped up so quickly I felt bad for not bringing more.

People that stay there are charged a small fee each night, and the students also covered the cost of the accommodation for Christmas night as a gift to them. It was a really lovely way to spend Christmas Eve and I’m sure we’ll be going back there again before next Christmas.

I didn’t take my camera because I think there’s something slightly repulsive about saying ‘Here are some gifts for you, now let us document our generousity.’ So no photos of that.

Christmas Day was just a quiet one at home with Gorgeous Girl and Gorgeous Man’s mother and step-father. Here she is with some of her gifts. We tried not to go too overboard since she really doesn’t need anything.

Gorgeous Man and I gave her this very cute owl mobile to hang above her cot. It’s made locally in Cape Town and they do ship internationally if you are interested.

Gorgeous Man gave me sock yarn (Opal) for Christmas, and Amy Karol’s book, which hasn’t arrived from the US yet. I was so happy with the sock wool that I carried it around and kept petting it all day.

I worked on the cardigan Christmas Day, it’s just awaiting buttons and then I’ll post a picture. I’m going to work on the stocking today (child allowing) so that it will be well and truly finished in time for Christmas next year.

Finally, pop over to Barbara in the Netherlands and congratulate her on the safe arrival of her gorgeous little boy.

There has been reading.

Book update:

Books I’ve read in 2007

62. Shanghai Harriet Sergeant – a biography of Shanghai from the arrival of the first Europeans to the end of the Japanese occupation.

63. Making Money Terry Pratchett – the man is a genius, what more can I say. A very funny book.

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One of the nice things about Christmas in the southern hemisphere is that it’s warm enough for Carols by Candlelight in the great outdoors. Last night was the Carols at Vergelegen Wine Estate. The money raised from the event goes to benefit a local hospice and is their primary fundraising vehicle for the year. I’ve been very busy practicing with the choir for this event and it’s good to have it over and done with, now I can start to relax. It was very well I heard attendance estimates of 5 500 to 7000 people. I think the reality is somewhere in the middle.

What I didn’t mention here was that in addition to singing in the choir I was also the soloist this year. I sang Mary’s Lullaby, a beautiful song I hadn’t heard until 2 weeks ago. I think it went well, but given that Gorgeous Man was at home with the child, I don’t have a truly objective opinion. However, I didn’t miss my entries or sing the wrong notes and that’s always a good thing. 😉 It’s actually easier on the nerves to sing in front of very large crowds than small groups.

This is a picture from last year, as I forgot to take my camera. There was only 9 in the choir this year, and I think it was a better program. Once darkness falls and the candles light up it’s a truly beautiful sight.

It is stinking hot here at the moment. Too hot for knitting or sitting behind a sewing machine 😦 I’ve spent most of the day sitting with Gorgeous Girl propped in front of a fan (no air-conditioning).

I also made a fruit cake for the first time today, it’s currently baking in the oven, so we’ll see how it turns out.

Our Christmas parcels from Australia haven’t arrived yet, and are unlikely to arrive before Christmas so we’ll get to celebrate again in January.

Well the child is starting to fuss, so pictures of hand crafted Christmas cards and our little beaded wire tree will have to wait for another day.

If you celebrate Christmas I hope you have a wonderful time with family and friends.

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This morning I got up very early and I’ve gotten a whole lot done. I’ve read all of the updated blogs that I subscribe to. We won’t talk about how many I’ve got bookmarked and regularly visit…

I finished quilting one more block on the quilt and started another one.

It’s a warthog. I’m keen to get this one finished since my mother is being courier for a kit I ordered from a store in Australia and I only work on one quilting project at a time.

I also made a card for step-FIL birthday.

Not the greatest, or the most elaborate, but Gorgeous Girl woke up while I was working on it, so plans had to change.

I fielded a phone call from a company that I made a complaint to. I’m finally learning to write letters to people instead just living with a faulty product or problem. Looks like the issue will be resolved nicely to my satisfaction.

I spent some time chatting on IM with one of my friends, who is wonderfully creative and doesn’t up date her blog nearly enough 🙂 There’s a hint. I love IM.

I’m hoping to get at least the dough for speculas made this afternoon – it has to chill for 4 hours and today is going to be really hot (31C 87F) so the oven won’t go on until it’s cooled down a little this evening anyway.

Finally gratuitious cute kid pics from her visit with Father Christmas.

and my favourite picture

In both pictures she’s looking at Claudelle with the big camera. She got some lovely pictures of her too. All of the equipment and props belong to Claudelle, she does great kid photograpy and is available for hire.

It was a fun way to spend the afternoon.

Ok, I’m off to knit on my sock for a bit while Gorgeous Girl naps.

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I’ve finally gotten the fronts of Devan from Knitty reknitted and it’s blocking as we speak.

The back is already blocked. As soon as it’s dry I can seam it up and I’ll have a finished object – very exciting! It won’t fit Gorgeous Girl for quite a while though, as I knitted it in quite a large size.

On Thursday, when I felt really awful, I was too tired to do anything except knit slowly around the sock.

Nearly done, I don’t have very long feet.

Here’s Gorgeous Girl’s 10 week photo.

Normally, going for a walk in the pram puts her to sleep, but this time she was laughing and talking and was so cute I had to stop for a photo opportunity. lease excuse the framing of the photo. We live at the top of a steep hill and this was taken while I balanced the pram against my hip so it didn’t roll down – come to think of it I should have put the brake on 🙂

Saturday night I sang at a local Christmas concert – this was a small dry run before the really big one next Friday. It went well, I sang with two groups, one big choir and one small group of about 8 – the small group is fantastically musical and I get chills every time we perform together, it always goes off without a hitch. The bigger choir has a wider variety of talent…

Today one of our friends has roped her husband into dressing up as Father Christmas and we are going to get all the kids together, take pictures with him and spend some time with other adults having grown-up conversations. I’ll post some pictures if Gorgeous Girl cooperates.

I’m off to take advantage of nap time to eat lunch with two hands and maybe get some hand-quilting done before we go off to meet Santa.

Thanks for stopping by.

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I saw this on Carole’s blog and thought I’d play along. The idea is that you take the first sentence from the first post of each month.

January – I received my Christmas parcel from my mother today.

February – This weekend we had a flag ceremony to recognise the different nationalities of the students.

March – On Friday I met Gorgeous Man in Cape Town and attended the last session of a conference that he was attending.

April – Well the cat is home from the vet and has been making himself quite at home.

May – This weekend we had a five day weekend, so Gorgeous Man and I (along with his mother and step-father) drove just past Port Elizabeth to visit Addo Elephant Park.

June – How to spot a blogger out in public: she’s the one who, realising she forgot to take a ‘before’ picture, hands the hairdresser the camera before he can touch her hair.

July – As far as animal sightings go we had a very eventful trip to our camp. Here are a few of the animals we saw on our way to Tamboti Rest Camp.

August – So, we are 9 and 1/2 weeks away from delivery, assuming that the off-spring comes on time.

September – When I hit my late 20s my biological clock didn’t just start ticking, it exploded.

October – On Ruth’s behalf I’d like to announce the birth of Araminta Sarona, born 3.49 PM, October 4, 2007. At 3.905 kg, Araminta was born via Caesarian and everyone involved is well & healthy.

November – Sorry, I can’t resist a pun.

December – I finally have enough space cleared in the study/sewing room to allow me to block the cardigan I began knitting for Gorgeous Girl while I was pregnant.

I won’t tag anyone, but let me know if you decide to play.

Feeling very weary today, wip photos in the next post…

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Gorgeous Man is in Cape Town over-night for meetings, so it’s just me and the Girl at home. Our first girls’ weekend! lol

I don’t bake. I’m not very good at making biscuits (cookies to my American friends) althoguh I am good at making scones (biscuits to my American friends – have I confused everybody yet?). Gorgeous Man usually makes the biscuits in our house and I make the scones and banana cake.

Anyway, in the last week I’ve baked up a storm, two batches of speculas (though I just used an ordinary cookie cutter), one batch of Anzac biscuits and one very good banana cake. I don’t understand where this sudden urge to bake has come from. I’m now looking at Christmas cake recipes! I didn’t get the pre-birth nesting instinct that everyone says you get before going into labour – maybe because I just had sporadic contractions for two weeks but never got into labour proper… Gorgeous Man wanted to know if there was pos-natal nesting instinct because it seems that is what I’ve got. 🙂

Yesterday was very, very hot. So hot that Gorgeous Girl spent the day in just a singlet and a nappy and we still had trouble keeping her cool. Today a cold front has come in and I’m sitting at the computer in jeans and hand-knit socks – very odd. I did manage to finish a hat yesterday despite the heat, but no picture until it’s received. I still have to knit something else to go with it, so it’s not in the mail yet.

There’s been some work on the sock, and I’m still plugging away at the re-knitting of the cardigan. My cutting board looks like it’s going to flatten out nicely, I put it in the sun like Tazzie recommended and then when it was nice and soft brought it inside and put books on it.

I’ll leave you with a gratuitous kid picture, but this is especially for Jody. Gorgeous Girl has started vocalising a lot in the last few days, and using her hands to bat at her toys. Here she is communing with Zebra.

I’ve got choir practice tonight, but hopefully tomorrow I’ll have some pictures of progress to show you. It’s that time of year again, filled with rehearsals and performances which keeps me out of mischief.

We are into our usual Cape Town summer power cuts. Today the power was off for two and a half hours – we are two for two so far, a power cut of some length every day this week.

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Yesterday I received a parcel in the mail, the box was very battered.

but the contents arrived safely. It came all the way from the Netherlands. Barbara stitched this beautiful tin for Gorgeous Girl, she’ll be able to keep special things in it when she’s older.

Isn’t it lovely. Thank you Barbara!

I’ve got quite a number of works in progress at the moment, but I’ll only show you a few.

The sock is coming together well, I’m up to the heel (eye of partridge).

I’ve started cutting for Gorgeous Girl’s stocking. For some reason my cutting mat has warped a little, does anyone have any tips for reflattening it, (and yes, I do store it flat).

Finally Gorgeous Girl’s 9 week picture. I’m going to take a picture a week to document her growth – poor child is going to get very used to the camera pointing at her.

It’s very hard to get her to sit still…

There’s been reading too, but an update can wait for another post.

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Fat Boy has been very good about staying off the baby’s things. We’ve had no problems with him in the cot or on her play quilt. But this week has seen a change in his behaviour.

Gorgeous Girl inherited a padded ‘tummy time’ playmat which Fat Boy seems to regard as his new cat bed and yesterday I turned around and discovered this

He was turfed out immediately but was back in the pram in less than 5 minutes. A firm no and taking him out again seems to have gotten the message across and he hasn’t been in the pram since. Now if we can just convince him to stay off the playmat all will be good.

In other ‘news’ I have finished reknitting the left side of the cardigan

Shown here in its unblocked state. It actually matches the back so it was worth the reknit, and it didn’t take me as long as I feared. We may have a finished object by the end of the week, definitely after the weekend anyway.

Yesterday was a big day, Gorgeous Man and I went to the staff end of year lunch. For a fancy restaurant the food was very, very ordinary, but since we didn’t have to pay for it I’m not going to complain too loudly. If I’d had to foot the bill though I would have felt very ripped off. Gorgeous Girl came too and slept until the last half hour, so Gorgeous Man and I got to eat our meal with both hands, and not juggling a baby – it was all very civilised.

After the lunch I got to meet a fellow blogger who is in South Africa visiting family. Karol Ann called in briefly to say hi – turns out her brother lives down the road from us. We are going to try and get together to do some show and tell, and maybe sew a bit before she goes home. It was fun to put a face to a name and meet someone from the online world in real life.

I’m off to work on some socks while the child is sleeping. Hope your day is wonderful.

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I finally have enough space cleared in the study/sewing room to allow me to block the cardigan I began knitting for Gorgeous Girl while I was pregnant.

I have a confession to make: I’ve been knitting for longer than I care to remember, addictively for about the last 6 years, and this is the first time I’ve blocked something.

Why aren’t the front pieces pinned, I hear you ask. Because it appears that in my late-pregnancy befuddled state I cast on for one size, but knitted to the measurements of the next size up and so the front is too long and skinny. Good thing I blocked and noticed before sewing up all those seams, hey?

So guess who is knitting two new front pieces today instead of working on her hand quilting… The pattern is Devan from Knitty. I can hear the child stirring, so no links.

Here is a picture of her yesterday, we had friends over for lunch, so I put here in ‘special’ clothes.

This was taken just before she had a complete meltdown, which is why she is less than happy.

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