Wednesday 17 February 2010

Little Big Planet

The little fella above is my latest completed knit, and what a relief to have him finished at long last. He has been a work in progress for almost a year after the pattern by knit designer Alan Dart was in an issue of 'Simply Knitting' magazine.

His name is 'Sackboy' and for those not in the loop he is the hero of Media Molecule’s PlayStation3 game 'Little Big Planet'. It's a fantastic game with great graphics assimilating various textiles with Sackboy actually taking the form of a 'knitted' character.

So, I began this the week I got the magazine then got distracted by some other knitting project or other. This week I awoke it from its hibernating slumber with the intent of completing it by Valentine's Day for The Mister (a big fan of the game).

I'd done the head, body and legs so just had to finish his arms (bit fiddly) and sew in the zip (awkward). However the buttons I'd previously purchased for the eyes proved to be too small (arghh). After a button run to nearby haberdashers I finally got my act together and my Sackboy was 'born'.

The Mister seemed pretty chuffed with his gift (better late than never) and so I declare this a successful knit.

Pattern: free link on Ravelry here
Yarn: Sidar Click Chunky with wool.

Tuesday 16 February 2010

From Russia With Love

I hope everyone had a Happy Valentine's Day, especially if you were fortunate to spend it with the one you love. Maybe you are still waiting on that special person to share your life with or maybe you are more than content going it alone. Maybe you are a cynic and view Valentines Day as a commercial ploy to emotionally blackmail consumers into measuring their love against the amount of money they spend.
I think everyday is a day good enough to celebrate love, but if theres a day with cards and hell with it..I'll take them.
This was the Mister and I's eighth Valentine's Day together as a couple and over the years we have marked the day in various ways. Year One, we took our first ever trip away together and spent a wonderful weekend in a city we grew to love..Amsterdam. Other years have included flowers, chocolates, jewellery, a Playstation 2 and post it notes all over the house.
Now we are older and wiser..the romantic gestures are most definately still there but the need to spend shedloads of money no longer feels necessary (The Mister may disagree..I'm sure he wouldn't refuse a 50" TV upgrade). Besides the 'man in my life' always gets the gift just right.
The photo at the top of this post is my Valentine's gift from Gavin..isn't it beautiful?. It's a piece of Gzhel, which is Russian pottery. I collected wooden nesting dolls for years and since I ran out of space I only really collect special bits and pieces on the same theme. This piece entitled 'Gossips' is the perfect addition to my treasures...I really love it.
What did I get him? A Blu-ray disc of 'Gran Torino'...I still haven't quite got the hang of romantic gift buying..but he seemed happy enough.

Saturday 13 February 2010

Bargain Hunting

The dapper looking gent in the pic above (for those of you who may not recognise him) is the lovely Tim Wonnacott, antiques expert and presenter of daytime TV show 'Bargain Hunt'.
Whilst the Mister and I were browsing around a nearby antiques fair (as you do..well we don't usually but we did today!) we were fortunate enough to spot the film crew shooting some episodes of the show. Being a big fan of day time TV this was a pretty big deal for me (and the Mister seemed pretty tickled too). Shows like 'Bargain Hunt', 'Flog It' and 'Antiques Roadshow' have made antiques 'experts' of us all.
The format for this particular show for those who have missed out is something like this..2 teams of two hapless members of the public, donning either red or blue fleece jackets (bearing the shows logo) are given £300 to go and find 3 'bargain' items within the antiques fair. Each team is assisted by a (so-called) expert in the field of antiquities supposedly to prevent them being duped. Each teams items are subsequently sent to auction and the team that makes a profit from their spoils is declared the winner. The majority of the time the teams make a comical loss which seems to warm itself to followers of this almost cult show.
Here presenter Tim is seen chatting with a stall holder who has lent him some tartan apparel to reinforce the shows presence in Scotland.
Unfortunately..this happened to be the one day I forget my camera. Pictures come courtesy of the Misters mobile phone.
Oh and I didn't buy anything..too busy trying to get into camera shot...ha ha.

Saturday 6 February 2010

10 years of Gav & Lou

Today marks the 10 year anniversary of the day The Mister and I first met. A decade ago I was doing a journalism course and went along to a classmates housewarming party. As a drunken student I took the obiligatory bottle of vodka but forgot a mixer. It was then a cute stranger with a bottle of lemonade made my aquaintance. 10 years on the strongest thing we drink now is a well brewed cup of tea.

He says I've given him wrinkles, I say he's made me fat.
Still, we are fairing not too badly thanks to lots of love and laughs.

Thank you Gavin !

We went for an afternoon drive and then out for a nice dinner to give 'his nibs' a break from cooking. He won't let me cook..I burn things (mostly myself!).

Thursday 4 February 2010

Patch is 8

Yesterday was my beloved pooch's 8th birthday. Happy Birthday Patch!!

Now that you are a senior dog will you please do me the honour of growing old gracefully and start behaving yourself ? He has mellowed slightly over the years but the mail which drops through the letterbox each day is still fair game. Patch can be very loving though and adores a snuggle up (albeit sometimes too loving and my teddy bear continues to get the frisky treatment once in a while!).

Yesterday also saw the arrival of some pretty, pretty yarn at Chez Lou. Before Christmas I won 'Letter Of the Month' in Simply Knitting magazine and my prize was £30 of yarn from Serenity Knitting. It took me a while to decide what to order but here is what I chose.

Six balls of Artesano 100% alpaca in 4ply weight. The variegated colourways are from the Hummingbird collection with the red autumnal colours called 'pheasant' and the blue-green is 'lapwing'. The soft grey goes by the moniker of 'bon bon'. I'm hoping to use these to knit a shawl of some description and perhaps my first pair of patterned socks.
All pattern suggestions greatly appreciated.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

I finished the 'Tia' childs pattern I was knitting, I can't quite decide whether it was a sucess or not. I didn't do a swatch to check my guage and the yarn I used must have been thicker than that required. It came out wider and shorter than I envisaged but I'm sure some little kid in Malawi will be very grateful for it when its shipped with my Knit Club's charity donations.

The colourways of the James Brett Marble Dk are beautiful though and make a plain knit look much more attractive.

In January I also managed 2 other quick little knits for the Raven's Trust charity.

Tuesday 2 February 2010

Birnie Loch

On Sunday the Mister and I decided to go for a drive and ended up at Birnie Loch. A man-made lake, Birnie Loch was formally a sand and gravel quarry but when these resources were exhausted the company gifted the flooded pit to the local council. It has now matured into a small semi-cultivated loch and nature reserve and has been colonised by many varieties of wildlife including birds, fish, invertebrates, and plants.

Apart from the great scenery the main feature is undoubtedly the fearless swans who venture right up to the carpark area in hope of some titbits from visitors.

Despite the beautiful, bright, crisp, clear outlook , the weather was bitterly cold and the Loch was mainly frozen over. Although you can walk the mile-long footpath around the water..this was not the day for me to be doing that (having unwisely left my hat, scarf and gloves at home!).
So we retreated to Fife Animal Park next door and had a cup of tea in the cafe. We didn't visit the animal park itself but as cafe reviews go..this one didn't rate high. However, the kids returning from the animal section all seemed happy with what they saw.