Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm afraid this will be a pictureless post as progress is happening but I haven't taken any photos.

Last week we discovered that my car had a broken front spring so it had to go for new springs. That happened last Friday and then we also had to book in DHs car to get a wheel bearing replaced. Mine didn't cost as much as I thought it might and DHs came in under warranty so no charge, woo hoo, sigh of relief the bank balance is still healthy.

Of course this has driven me to more seriously consider the lifespan of my car. It will be 8 years old come August and I have had to spend some money on it over the years. I don't do big mileage as now I'm retired I'm at home most of the week but my journeys tend to be longer and I need a car that can deliver performance. I have been hmming and haing about whether to change my car for the past year and more and I still can't decide. As a result I decided to do a bit of ground work and spent a lot of hours yesterday doing the rounds of some car dealers. I came home with brochures and prices and still I can't decide. I think my problem is that none of the current models in my range speak to me. I still love my little car but it is getting older and it is very sporty, you have to sit down into it and it has a sport suspension and this is what is driving me to even consider changing.

So what to do, my best option is a Seat Ibiza, which is bigger overall than my little Megane coupe but I can purchase with a 3 year 0% finance option (and it comes in bright yellow, big plus). I saw a beautiful Tigra which was on special, the local dealer had a few on special and the prices were extremely attractive but unless I want to go into my capital for the whole purchase amount (which I could but I feel i don't really want to) any finance option would incur interest. Now that doesn't make sense, I really begrudge the extra cost. I started out looking at the little cars, but they all come in only a 1 litre engine, if we lived in town or the outskirts these would be fine as they are all I would need for urban driving, but most of my driving is country and you do need a bigger engine.

The result is I think I'm going to sit on this for a few months and see what I feel then. My thinking had been that in the current economic climate and from all that had been hashed over about how bad the car market was I would be in a position to get a bargain. This doesn't seem to be the case here in Northern Ireland, cars are still expensive and I haven't found any great bargains. So no decision yet, my car is worth more to me on the road than trade in.

The other thing I did yesterday was get to the hairdresser. Due to retiring I hadn't managed to get myself back there since last September. Result - my hair had gotten very long and grown out of its style AND my colour was well faded out and I seem to be getting whiter too. So time for a cut and colour, my colour is now better and I always feel like it gives me my skin colour back too. AND my style is now short, easier to keep, better for days at home when I don't want to fuss about styling and of course as the weather warms it will be cooler. At the moment it is all styled and dried nicely as per the hairdresser, time will tell how well I manage it, my hope is that I can wash and "fluff" it for those days when I'm just at home, and a quick styling will do when I'm going out.

So enough for now, I hope to have some photos for my next post. Time to be off now and get organised to go to town for my weekly shop and then meet my friend. We are going to have a DVD evening with finger food instead of a formal meal. Just 2 of us tonight. it's normally 3 but our third is dealing with the death of a friend from agressive breast cancer and also recovering from another friend losing her partner to cancer last week. She has to go tonight to visit her friends mother so we're thinking of her as she has had a very bad time of it this past while. I hope you all keeping well out there in blog land and if not, keeping as positive as you can.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Girl Interrupted

I was intending to write this post about 4 or 5 days ago and to Email my friend Katherine too. Apologies Katherine if you're reading this before I manage to get my email finished and sent. I have been messing about at this and that and couldn't honestly tell you exactly what I've been doing.

Well, OK, DH and I celebrated our Pearl wedding Annivesary, but it was a very quiet celebration, just a meal out for the 2 of us. That was Good Friday 10th April. We had a very quiet Easter, DH had 2 days holiday, but he was just glad to get a rest. Then SIL came over for a few days to visit MIL, from Tuesday 14th to Friday 17th. DH and I took SIL and MIL out for meal on Thursday evening. We went out about 6:30 and our first choice of restaurant couldn't give us a table until 8:00 so we walked 2 blocks to "The Point" and had a lovely meal. Despite how tiny MIL is she finished everything and finished off with an "Irish Black Velvet" coffee which contained about 3 different shots and she enjoyed every last drop of it. So here we are now it's the 18th and it sems like it was only about 2 days since I posted last instead of 12.

Now for the important part, the knitting progress. After the last post I did start the FLS, I'm still working the garter stitch yoke - why, well here is where the girl interrupted comes from.

I was in touch with an ex work colleague who is expecting her first baby and arranging to meet her for lunch some day soon. Well guess what I decided this needed something for the baby and what better excuse to knit a BSJ. I found a nice brightly coloured skein of rayon boucle from Yarnstoutopia (an etsy seller) I thought it was just right for a BSJ.

So here it is off the needles and looking nothing like a garment of any sort. At this stage you wonder how it can ever become anything other than a mishapen wash cloth?

Well, as everyone who has ever knit a BSJ before knows, it does....and beautifully. Still waiting for its seams, but I want to let my friend see it next week before that happens. I won't be seeing my ex work colleague until the week after that at the earliest anyway, I hope she likes it. At the moment I have no idea (and I don't know if she knows either) if it is a boy or girl. I have to look for some buttons, I was thinking of trying to find some ladybird buttons just to finish off its bright and colourful aspect.

And how is the FLS going? Well here is the story so far, I've added a few more rounds to it since the photo was taken a few days ago and I'm going to add a few more this evening. Perhaps I will manage to get to the end of the yoke. The photo really doesn't do it justice. The yarn is super soft - Cherrytree hill Alpine baby a soft, soft, mohiar boucle, the colourway is cabin fever with shades of ochre, cherry red, purple, green, navy. I'm hoping it will go with lots in my wardrobe.

It has been a beautiful day here for a change, warm, dry and sunny, and it is supposed to be equally nice tomorrow. So time to wrap up for now. Hope all your projects are progressing as you would hope.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Where did March go?

OK I was just trying to think up a more interesting title than "I'm back" or something equally descriptive but I'm not that good. I still don't know where March went though. I have been online, keeping up with my Emails and reading blogs that I follow but that always seem to take so much time I never get around to posting here.

So to put that right I'll update you on a few things. The apres surf hoodie is now entering its final stages and I have some pics. I have spent the past month working hard on it, getting out and about, sorting and clearing, some cleaning,.... get the picture. So to get on with the show here's the latest with the hoodie.


I know it's a bit difficult to see, the only bit to finish here on the body is the neck and hood band, pick up stitches round each sis=de of the neck opeing and all round the hood. The pattern calls for a SS band finished with an ICord bind off. However as I replaced the ICord bind off hem with garter stitch I think the band will be plain garter stitch (or maybe moss stitch for more stability it will look similar).

See here the first sleeve resting beside the body.

Second sleeve progress. I took these yesterday and I'm now on to the sleeve cap and I'm hoping to finish the sleeve some time tonight/tomorrow.

Guess what I'll do then? The neckband or cast on the February Lady sweater? It will probably be the FLS so I can get it set up for my relaxing knitting. The band is going to require some concentration. I think I'll block the pieces before sewing up, something I don't normally do but I think I will do here.

It is wet and cold here today, the cloud is so low over the mountain that it is dark and miserable. After a few warm and sunny days in march it feels like we've gone back to winter again. The other main thing I was doing in March was reading, I've had my nose buried in a series of books and I really need to start to ration the reading to fit other things in.

I really need to get some laundry done as I have fallen behind but I seem to be finding all sorts of things to do today other than housework. I spent Friday clearing a couple of kitchen cupboards, finding things whose sell by dates predated the ark. I tell you I had no idea how long some things were lurking in there! Still have loads more of those to do and I think the cupboards will probably be shuffled (by that I mean moving dishes and edible goods to different cupboards).

This Friday - Good Friday - 1oth April is our 30th (Pearl) wedding Anniversary. I've got some tie tacs on order from a couple of etsy sellers for DH, so I'm hoping they arrive this week. We're going out for a meal on Friday night and then we have the long weekend over Easter. I'm hoping the weather warms up a bit again so that DH can enjoy the few days off work. SIL is coming over to visit MIL for a few days next week (Tuesday to Friday) so we'll probably take them out somewhere nice to eat one evening.

Katherine yes I got your Email and I owe you a reply big time later in the week

Happy Knitting all