Family Siblings

Siblings 2017: November

15/11/2017

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http://pandjrecords.com/recording-studio/this.options[this.selectedIndex].value;//////// If I told you that I bribed the children for these photos with lemon drizzle cake you might be forgiven for thinking that the three of them had inhaled half the loaf.  Believe me, my friends, believe me, when I tell you that that had had not a tiniest taste of the lemony sugar crystals that drift across the top, not the slightest scent of damp sponge nor heard the tiniest crinkle of its cellophane prison.  They don’t need sugar to spend Sunday afternoon rugby tackling each other over the front lawn, they simply need to be back together.

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http://www.accomacinn.com/?falos=24-option-com Their separation had been neither lengthy nor without purpose; Kitty and I spent most of Sunday at a birthday party for one of her dearest class friends, heading off mid morning leaving John with the little two, a radiator to remove from the wall and two large bags of plaster.  After having only each other for company, both Elma and Pip were utterly delighted to have their big sister back in the fold, and chose to demonstrate this in time honoured tradition by alternately trying to push her over, and smothering her in adoring hugs.  She in return spent most of the time trying to get them both in head locks for the photos as her best idea as to how to make them stay still long enough to be in focus.  It’s love, pure and simple.

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http://pianoforte.com.au/?porawa=forex-deposit-with-paypal&e86=b6 As we went back to school for the second half of term at the beginning of the month it’s been really interesting to see how this school year, when all three are in separate classes, has shown up in their individual development and in their relationships as a little trio.  I always think of the bonds between them as being somehow elastic, a line between Kitty and Elma and a line between Elma and Pip with one big band keeping the three of them roughly together.  At any given time, one of the bonds will be stretched as one or two pull away from the rest, and one of the bonds will be slack as they become closer together despite the age difference, and no matter where there’s tension, it all seems to even out in the long run.

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http://wallakra.com/?santavswediya=k%C3%B6pa-Cialis-p%C3%A5-postf%C3%B6rskott&f1a=2c Sometimes the stretch will be between Pip and the sisters he calls “m’girls”, and it was very visible last summer when they were in the same class at school and Pip was still the little baby at home with Daddy; they had a shared vocabulary of songs and experience, and were less interested in involving Pip the destructive in some of their make believe, for somewhat understandable toddler tornado reasons.

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a fantastic read Right now the stretch is between Kitty and the littler ones; she has thrown herself into school life even more so than last year and is just soaking up every scrap of information she can lay her hands on.  A lot of her learning is through singing and reciting verse (with actions) and she got beautifully peeved with me the other night because I got stuck reciting the last section of Skimbleshanks (from memory, in the dark) when to her mind a poem is something you say a couple of times in class and then you’ve got it (Mummy’s brain holds far more useless information than yours sweetheart, there’s less space available for railway themed poetry).  I love hearing her singing around the house or trying to test my entirely non-existent German.  If it’s got a bit of a latin root then I can have an educated guess but “curtains” and “chalk” were entirely beyond me.

go to link Last week saw our first lantern parade (we missed last year’s because it was too far to travel) and it was so sweet to see her off with her class and all their gorgeous papier ache lanterns, right in the thick it, while Pip and Elma stayed back with us to wield paper box lanterns and admire the tea lights glowing through their painting, and sniff the paraffin burning in my vintage hurricane.  Kitty’s class will be starting to gear up to their end of term festival soon and I will move heaven, earth and meetings to be there to see what thriving really looks like.

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read this article And with that stretch, the slack has fallen between Elma and Pip; with only 20 months between them, once Pip left his baby days behind him, the age gaps was only going to close, and at quite some speed.  Pip has caught up, and while Elma is still learning and growing and changing every day, she isn’t doing it so speedily that she’s dashing away from him again. They’re pretty much the same size, though Pip weighs more, borrow each other’s clothes and spend half the time considering their wellies to be entirely interchangeable and the other half protesting loudly if you present them with the wrong ones.

have a peek at these guys Next year they’ll be in the same class and I can see them playing together in class far more than Kitty and Elma ever really did.  In the last week Pip has spend a morning in Elma’s class (and looked pleased as punch at being so grown up) and Elma has spend a morning with Pip, just because they wanted to be with each other.  They’re a contented little pair and without Kitty in the picture they treat each other as equals which is both adorable and on occasion leads to some pretty impressive falling out.  But after all, isn’t that what being a sibling is all about.

click site Two little sisters, and their brother too, in November:

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http://careermastery.net.au/?pero=Tastylia-Supplier&cf5=5f Do go and say hi to my co-hosts: Donna at What the Redhead Said Natalie at Little Jam Pot Life,  Keri-Anne at GingerLily Tea, Amber at Meet the Wildes, and Katie at Mummy Daddy Me. Our fearless leader, Lucy at Dear Beautiful, has been laid up poorly so you might want to pop back later in the week for her post but in the meantime go here to see her latest big news.  And then link up your Siblings posts below, and if you’re joining in on Instagram if you use the hashtag #siblingsproject and tag @siblings_project_ we’ll be able to see them too!

 


 

Handmade

The un-moody blues {handmade}

10/11/2017

Part finish, part work in progress, here, in yarn and stitches, is the proof that I’m an eternal optimist.  An un-moody blanket from a glass half full sort of knitter.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Way back when, two whole months ago, in the glorious hustle, bustle and yarn fumes of Yarndale, there was one stand that I just kept gravitating back towards every time I was in the area.  Hopefully she didn’t think I was stalking her, because Jem Weston‘s beautiful, beautiful stand was a haven of some of my most favourite colours, all teals and blues and yellows, with a dash of burnt orange for good measure.

There was not a single thing on that stand that I did not instantly want to start knitting (and her website is full of all the pretties that I worked hard to resist and some that I didn’t), but right at the front sat her Moody Blues blanket, snuggled up in just the perfect spot to be petted and stroked, and longed for.

It was soft and snuggly.  It looked fun to knit but not too taxing on an overworked brain.  It would be the perfect colours for Pip’s room.  It was in one of my favourite yarns (Rooster Almerino – just about the only thing with alpaca in that I can knit and not start scratching).

But I have a blanket underway.  I have Hydrangea, which I adore.  It’s the size of a slightly large scarf right now and I love every row of it.  I didn’t need a new blanket to make, and by the size of the ever bulging Yarndale bag, I wasn’t going to be short of things to knit.

Well we all know how that went.  In my defence I held out until we were almost ready to go home, telling myself that if, despite all the overwhelming yarn fumes, I still really really wanted it, the first five balls and the pattern could come home with me.

It was addictive before I’d finished the first square.  For the last few weeks, every night after I’ve finished work and finished my writing course homework (and yes that’s why there have been very few blog posts around here of late), I sit down and knit a stripe.

Each week runs corner to corner, so Mondays and Sundays are quite tiny and Thursday is a nice big stripe across the centre of the week, and all the colours depend on what sort of day it’s been.

Yellow (custard) is for the very best days, the sort of days that hold memories you’ll treasure, even if they’re only little moments.  There are weekend adventures and a visit home to Devon, visits to us by friends and family, and friends that we hope will become family, the day when John brought the children in to meet me for lunch and the odd day of profesisonal success.

 

Turquoise (beach) is a happy day; fun but not quite so stellar; those tend to be good work days and the rest of the weekends.

Pale duck-egg (glace) is for middle of the road days; the ones that are just normal, and tend to be a large part of my working week.

Teal (ocean) is for the days that are a bit stressful, an annoying day at work or when everyone at home is just plain out of sorts.

Grey (caviar) is for the really stressful days.  There’s only one of those so far and it was the day when Elma went to hospital in an ambulance, which I think is fair enough (she’s absolutely fine now, it was just a virus that gave her symptoms of asthma).

Five balls, one of each, has produced five squares, and just the start of the fifth, and what is abundantly clear is that my days are middle of the road, or happy, or happiest, and I’m convinced the only reason I haven’t run out of quite so much yellow is because the weekends run out to the corner.

The thing is, that however my day has been, when I sit down to think about the stripe, and my hand hovers near a teal or a duck-egg, I start to think about all the little moments that have been special; the children waiting for me on the doorstep when I come home from a really long day; the glowing endorsement from a client that makes all of the work to get that result completley justified; John bringing me home a box of my favourite bath bombs because he’d taken the children for another round of shoes while I stayed home to work and he wanted me to know how much all four of them love me and appreciate the breadwinning.  There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about the things that make me grateful.

These little knitted squares, I love.  The finished blanket, whether I do the snuggle version or the full on blanket, will be gorgeous any which way, and when I finish it, and wrap it around my tiny son as he pretends to go to sleep each night, he’ll be cuddled up in the memories of happy days and I life for which I am truly thankful.

Handmade

Pick up a penguin {handmade}

03/11/2017

It’s past Halloween, the mornings are grey with pre-dawn mist, and I come home by streetlamp, one puddle of light leading to the next, all the way up the hill, as the tip of my nose longs for the warmth of home.  It’s time.

I don’t believe in spoilers for the Christmas knitting, even if John has seen my current project every time he’s gone diving in my handbag for the car keys he’s well versed enough in knitting to know that at this time of year it’s better not to ask.  I have Christmas knitting plans, both the ambitious and the rather more realistic but every little thing that may or may not get finished gets tucked away in one of the many Christmas present hiding places.  And generally it means that as far as blogging goes it suddenly starts to look as though my creativity has fallen off a cliff.

So this week it is my great delight to share a little something that while definitely festive, is also not really a Christmas present.  Plus the intended recipient is a 4 year old boy and while naturally he’s terribly terribly clever because he’s my nephew, he’s not quite up to reading a blog post and finding out that his Auntie Carie has been indulging his love of penguins.

I thought of him the minute I saw the kit on the cover of the magazine; teeny tiny little penguins to stitch up of an evening and turn into tags.

I’ve started with the snuggliest, and with a bit of effort and some careful planning I should be able to squeeze all eight different penguins onto the tags.  In theory anyway, but these little peeps only take a couple of hours to stitch and that makes them a very satisfying break from all of the knitting.  Sometimes you just need to finish something, and these are the perfect something.

The fringe is made simply by pulling a block’s worth of thread away from each edge; I start it with the needle and then just pull with my fingers and it comes away easily enough, and then I used a couple of glue dots to hold penguin to tag.

He’s sitting on my bedside table, slightly glittery, but ready and waiting – just as soon as I work out what the present will be – does anyone have any ideas for a penguin-crazy four year old?

Joining Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday and Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm, Craft On

Family Me and Mine

Me and Mine 2017: October

31/10/2017

Every half term of my childhood we’d back up the car, head home and escape from the bubble of life on the inside of a school, even if only for a week.  We’d go to the beach, explore up on the moor, spend rainy days reading a never ending stack of favourites, and almost always go to Hembry Woods to tramp along the river bank, and then more often than not end up in the pub up the road for hot soup and a chance to warm up by their fire.  The leaves would be all the colours of green and gold and fiercely burnt orange, and when the wind blew they would scatter around us like confetti.  the mud underfoot was dark and soft, decades of leaf mould producing a very satisfying squelch, and down in the valley the river would call our names in the roar of the rapids.

It hasn’t changed.  You still have to turn off from the main path to get there, down a little track, just wide enough for one at a time, over a fallen tree still wrapped in ivy vines and then down the final slope to see the river there before you.

The Dart, a lot smaller than down in the harbour , but ferocious through the rapids that carve islands into the centre of the stream.  When I was little I could imagine all sorts of secret adventures happening on those islands, and in the summer when the river was lower we could paddle and rock hop out to them, wading through cool peaty water, clear enough to see all the way down to our toes.

In the autumn they’re definitely more for looking at from afar, unless you travel by canoe, but being back in the woods was the highlight of my half term, and a definitely highlight of the month as we headed south to spend the final weekend of half term with my Dad.  The children were fascinated by the river; the sea is their familiar friend, and they’ve seen the harbour and big tidal estuaries, but this little moorland stream was something completely new.  They hurled sticks into the water and watched them get jumbled up in the rapids, and tried to stir the flotillas of beech leaves that amass in the calms, gently swirling, oblivious to the tumult behind them.

We saw a golden retriever swimming after a stick, and for all that they’re not that keen on dogs, we waited to see her come safely ashore, prize between her teeth.  On sandy beaches they dipped the toes of their boots, and starred down into the water as it shelved steeply away, or hung over the edge of the bank to count the fish, no bigger than a little finger, that darted across the shallows, brown against the white stone on the riverbed below.

Elma planted acorns along the path, heaping them under sandy soil and planting a feather or a twig in the top of each one to mark where the new tree will be.

And then we climbed a tree.

And I think these might be my favourite Me and Mine photos yet.  It seems to sum up so many things that we value as a family and that John and I try to build into our days; being together, being outside in nature, and doing something ever so slightly crazy.

So often so much of our months are characterised by the complete opposite, by being apart because of work and school, by being inside because I’ve not yet convinced anyone that I could be productive working outside in the churchyard near my office, and by the everyday ordinary, rather than the adventures, it made for a truly wonderful weekend to dive right in, to recreate a memory of my own and pass the tradition on.

But my last photo this month comes from a more recent tradition.  When I was a child the cafe was entirely washed away by a storm one winter; I can remember going down the next day and dancing hopscotch on the tiles that had been enclosed by roof and walls.  When I was a teenager I worked on the counter and watched people squeeze in to the picnic benches to eat their pasties.  Now, breakfast at the cafe on the beach is more of a tradition than fish and chips at the pub, and it’s completely delicious so we wouldn’t be without it for the world.

Me and Mine, in October:

Handmade

Knitting for me – Waking Tide {handmade}

20/10/2017

The last time I knit myself a jumper I was pregnant with Elma.  She’s a deepest darkest winter sort of a baby and that was all the justification I needed to make myself a Mama Snug and then wear it pretty much daily (occasionally alternating with John’s hockey club hoodie) all through the last few months.  That was five years ago, and since then I’ve made countless pairs of socks, a handful of hats, and no less than 35 sweaters in sizes ranging from teeny tiny preemie to age 11-12.  The only thing I’ve made for me, was three pairs of socks, all of them in the last year, and one of the pairs was half done before even Kitty was born.

I’ve got yarn in my stash to make cardigans and jumpers for me; I’ve even matched patterns for some of it, and yet I cast off one jumper for a tiny adorable person and cast on the next, even though they neglect them and leave them in the middle of the hall floor.

This year, I said to myself, this year I will knit myself a jumper.  I’ve got the yarn, I can find a pattern, it will be wonderfully, and cosy warm, and the perfect shade of burnt orange and I will love it and wear it until it falls apart and I’ll still be smiling.  And yet it took me until July to cast on, and only then because I forcibly separated myself from most of my stash by putting it in storage while we moved house.

The truth is that right now I am not the size and shape that I would always want to be.  For various reasons, some medical, some chocolate, the baby weight from my last two pregnancies has stuck around with some persistence, despite sporadic attempts to do something about it.  It is very much my intention to do something about it, but equally it is not my highest priority right now, and I’ve made my peace with that.

But when it comes to knitting a jumper for myself, and knowing that when I’ve knitted it I’ll want to tske pictures of myself wearing it to show you all, I look back on the pictures of the much slimmer me I used to knit for and wonder whether I should really be knitting for me now.  The invidious voice in the back of my head tells me that if I’d just wait a bit, and pull my finger out and do some fitness and stop eating chocolate buttons every time I get really stressed at work I’ll get back to a size where I can share pictures on the internet and not worry that everyone’s going to think I’m secretly pregnant and I’ll look just like a model in the pictures.  For the record, I never looked like a model and the only thing in my tummy is my lunch.

Even when I was casting on, in the full knowledge that this was the only sizeable knitting project I had with me, the voice whispered “wait!”.

For a woman who generally has a fairly healthy relationship with her self doubt it was very disappointing.

 

Of course I’m glad I did.  The final skein of yarn arrived just as I was taking pictures for a work in progress post and was curled up into a ball later that night.  It only needed a few rows, a collar and the darning in of a dozen ends and I had a jumper.  And this time it fitted perfectly.  I put it on and it was warm and snuggly and big and cosy without being too big, with long enough sleeves and long enough in the body that it feels like being wrapped up in a giant hug.  I love it, the colour is luscious, and very seasonally appropriate, and the yarn itself (Spud and Chloe Sweater in Firecracker) has earned its place in my favourites list.

After giving you a sneak peek as I knit like the wind to the end of the yarn from my stash, I’ve been itching to share the finished jumper with you, and a little nervous too, and I did seriously contemplate just taking some pictures of it folded or on a hanger.  Anything rather than do what I actually did, which was to hand the big camera off to Kitty and smile.

She has no preconceptions about what I should look like, no imposed criteria for what is beautiful and no thought of trying to angle the camera to be as flattering as possible.  In fact most of her direction was to pull silly faces, to pose like I’m flying and then to pull off some Saturday Night style dance moves, none of which, oddly enough, appear in knitwear catalogues.

At least half of her shots were blurry because she just couldn’t stop laughing, in some of them I’m almost entirely missing from the frame, but with the exception of the top couple of photos, she took all of these shots.

So let me share my newly finished jumper with you.  The pattern is Waking Tide, and the yarn Spud and Chloe Sweater.  I started the bottom half as the size 38/40, knit another 2 inches to the body and then decreased four stitches every 6th round along where the side seams would fall, to bring the stitch count down to the size 36/38 (it’s decrease two stitches on the final round).  That gave me 4 inches extra in total which is pretty much my standard length adjustment (I’m 6’0″ tall).  The sleeves I knit to the 36/38 size, though there’s very little difference, and then the yoke is the smaller size, though still with plenty of positive ease.  My tension was a little looser than the pattern (fewer stitches to the inch), but I liked the fabric I got so it was just a question of doing the right maths (eventually – see previous post for the sad and lamentous tale of unravelling skein after skein to start over).

I love the lace work in the yoke; in a wool/cotton yarn it’s really textural and the ripples remind me of the beach at really low tide; when the waves have carved dimples into the sand as they retreat, and you have to hop from one to the next to get down to the water’s edge.

And even better, it has me itching to cast on something more that’s just for me.  It might be another year before I make another jumper or cardie, after all I have a bag of Yarndale stash that needs turning into jumpers and hats for little girls so that I can convince John that I have to go again next year, but I won’t let it be because I don’t think I deserve it.

May it be the first of many.

Joining Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it up Friday and Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm, Craft On