Monday, June 28, 2010

Shoes, Shawl and Such

I have been eyeing up some shoes for a while.
They're designer (Kurt Geiger) and they looked (on screen) perfect.
I found a KG shop in Cambridge.
They didn't have the turquoise shoes in stock.
They let me try them in coral.
I loved them (I'm tempted to buy them in coral too!)
I decided to buy the turquoise ones online.
They didn't have them in my size online.
So I called the KG concession in Fenwicks in York.
They were very helpful and ordered them.
They came and were perfect.
And on sale.
So I ordered the matching bag.

No, I'm not showing you. You'll have to wait til next April for the photos! :P

I have also cast on for a shawl in the "dragonfly" yarn I got a while back. dragonfly yarn

And we're in negotiation about the house, which is scary and weird. We've had an offer, but not as high as we'd like, so we're not able to offer as much as we'd like for the house we want... ho hum. We will see.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Cakes and Flowers

Warning: Wedding Heavy Post!
Note: All these pictures have been taken from Google Image Search, I hope I haven’t infringed any copyrights.

I bought a recent guide to wedding cake and flowers. it claimed to be the “ultimate” guide, but with less than 10 pages on each flowers and cake, I think not.
It did have some pretty things in it, and has led me to consider my options further.
Fiancé and I are not especially fussed about having a massive cake. For some reason (a bit like my odd reasoning about heel heights I guess) I prefer cakes with three tiers. We’ve only discussed it a little, as we wouldn’t need to order the cake until around October (6 months prior) and I am still not sure whether I want to go high-end or not.
The cost of wedding cakes is quite high, considering what the constituent parts are, and considering how simple a shape, style and colour I prefer. I think I’d like a plain, smooth, round, three tier cake, white iced with (possibly) blue bands of the same fabric as the dresses.
I’ve seen some nicely dressed cakes with a few small flowers on them, which is something I would consider.

This brings me nicely on to flowers. We have visited a florist. I couldn’t breathe properly in there, my eyes were streaming and my head hurt, my nose was running. Basically, I had a very strong allergic reaction to the florists! I suspected that it might happen, but it really did confirm for me that I want silk flowers for the wedding. I’m not the only one in the party with allergies, and I didn’t think my allergies were that strong either!
There are other benefits of silk flowers. One of the benefits being that they last! I have an idea for the wedding flowers; I want to have the three bouquets (mine and the two bridesmaids’) made into arrangements. One is for my house, in a nice vase, as a memento of the day; the other to be made into a small arrangement to be placed on my Nanna’s grave. This might sound a little maudlin to some, but it’s something I want to do. I hope that there will be chance for me to go and put it there myself.
I don’t know what we’ll do with the buttonholes. I am sure we can think of something.
Finally the table centrepieces, these are going to be reasonably small – I’m not into ostentatious table decoration – I like to be able to see who is opposite me, and I assume that others do too! I’ve been collecting pictures from Google of those too.
I like the simplicity of some of the single flower in a glass type of arrangements, but it would need to be a big glass, or several glasses, in the centre of a round table. Though it might be nice for at home too! (I’d like to be able to use some of these at home, or give them to wedding helpers as a gift)
I’m also a fan of these fishbowl things. Simple, self-contained and attractive; these are nice and could be a variety of sizes I’d think.
Or there’s the usual vase-based stuff, with a squat vase this could be fine for what I’m interested in.

Of course, I will be discussing this with my fiancé, and probably posting several more witters for you here about it too!

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Training, and not knitting!

This morning I was at the gym again. (I know, that’s no excuse for the chocolate I’ve eaten today. Diet is something I need to work on!) I have been working through the programme that I’ve been given by my Personal Trainer. It starts with some high-intensity low-weight cables. I like that; it gets my heart rate up. Once I’ve done that I do squats (I’m using a 15kg bar right now, aiming to get the form before I up the weight – do it light, get it right!) and dead lifts (also 15kg) and then clean-and-press (10kg) which isn’t the same exercise as the one we do in body pump. Then I have around 30 minutes of cardio work, which takes about 40 minutes including travel between machines and stopping to breathe so I don’t die.

I’m getting on okay with the cardio. It’s something I really don’t like doing which makes it a challenge. Even when I was doing quite a bit of running, I never liked that. I spend time on each of the static bike, treadmill and cross trainer. I don’t really like any of them, but I know that I need to get my cardio fitness up.

Still, at least I’m doing something in the gym, and it really does make me feel better for the rest of the day!
Well, until the aching sets in! I’m looking forward to a nice long hot bath!

On the knitting front, I haven’t been! I know – it’s a shocker. I bought a big bunch of new yarn recently – the pictures I took of it are rubbish!
Some of the yarn has plans. The bamboo is being made into a bag (as mentioned before), the Noro Silk Garden Sock is going to become a shrug, all being well. I need to do a bit of planning on that one, like deciding whether to knit it in stockinette or in garter – or something else! I don’t want to do any fancy patterns; Noro SGS is beautiful enough on its own.
The other Noro, I don’t know what I’ll do with that. I’ve been toying with the idea of some sort of felted thing, although it’s expensive yarn for felting with! Failing that, perhaps something smallish – a vest top or a shrug maybe. I have 5 balls, which is about 500yds I think. should be enough for a vest – especially if there’s openwork/lace somewhere on it.

A friend of mine kindly provided me with another herb! Yey! Now I have another variety of mint, Apple mint. It’s lovely, and was the other one I considered getting at Yorkshire Lavender.

So, it’s all good.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Lacey Fingerless Mittens

I’m having some bizarre issues with my Macbook, so I’ve been unable to post. Normally I wouldn’t worry, but I’ve been waiting to tell you all about my latest pattern!

Lacy Knitted Mittens Pattern:Lacey Fingerless Mitts by Tsuki (download now)
Sizes Available: S, M and L (though from feedback the small runs more like XS, the other sizes are about right)
Yarn:Violet Green, Sappho (70% merino 30% silk, colour pink ruby); yardage just over 150yds (140m) for the medium size.
Needles:2.25mm circs long enough to do magic loop, or 2.25mm dpns.
Other:you’ll need two pairs and one odd stitch marker, and a darning needle for weaving in the ends.
I enjoyed knitting these, and I hope you will too. Do let me know if you knit them – and if you like to knit for friends for Christmas these would make a lovely gift. Just click here to download the pattern and you’re away!
Thank you for reading!

Any feedback about the pattern (including errata) is very welcome, please leave a comment, or come find me on Ravelry – I’m Tsuki. Fingerless Mitts for Testing

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

In which I get Personal...

Yes, that’s right, I have a personal trainer. How wicked is that?

Originally I had organised to join a fitness class; 10 weeks, including nutrition and fitness advice, a programme to work to and group work. Sadly, there weren’t enough people interested in the evening class, so it was cancelled, but the trainer offered me 6 hours of personal training as a replacement. One to one personal training is not cheap, and this is bargain basement cost, so I decided to go for it.

I had my first session on Monday, where the PT checked out what I can actually do. He’s pleased with the weight lifting, but (unsurprisingly) wants me to up my cardio rather a lot. Well, from nothing to about 20-30 minutes for this first fortnight.
It’s not so bad when you have someone telling you what to do, how fast to run, when to stop. I’ll see how easy that is when I’m doing it on my own. I need to do the program he’s set me at least 5 times before I next see him. Given that we’re off to visit fiancé’s folks over one of the weekends in between, that’s going to be hard – but not impossible – to fit in.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

More about that...

As I posted yesterday, I’ve bought some new herbs. I don’t know where this desire comes from, but I love having plants, growing things in my garden is so interesting, so much fun, and the results are beautiful and tasty!
Herb Garden
Last year, I bought a collection of herbs from B&Q. this consisted of (as seen in the green tub picture, left to right) chives, sage, parsely, oregano, coriander (which is an annual and died over winter) and Thyme.
Now I also have Dill and Coriander (both annuals), lemon thyme, oregano and French Tarragon, and basil (in the green pot, because he lives indoors) – these were all from B&Q too, and three (yes, three!) varieties of mint. I have peppermint, spearmint and garden mint. I am considering getting some apple mint too, which I really like. I love mint; it’s a great smelling herb, and pretty to look at too. I’m trying to learn the difference between the types of mint in looks, as well as smell (from the smell it’s easier!)
Fiancé’s mum picked up some chocolate mint, which she tells me chickens are meant to like. That has the most amazing mint-chocolate smell to it! She also bought some lavender. I quite like lavender, especially as it is a nice strong smell which can be used to mask the wool smell in a house full of wool!

I’m quite excited at the prospect of having a proper garden to grow things in. I like vegetables and salads and fruit – and I love the idea of growing my own! I could spend hours in the grow-your-own section in B&Q, or perusing in a garden centre.
I’m also looking forward to having space (and hopefully time!) for chickens. I will probably wait until we’ve settled in properly before introducing chickens – perhaps after the wedding (though we’ll see, I’m not usually that patient!). The main thing I’m worried about is being able to find someone to look after them when we go away, and as that would be for three weeks after the wedding, that’s quite an ask.
Chickens need to be let out in the morning, and shut away in the evening.

The crochet I flashed up yesterday is a new bag I’m making, Inga's Haekelbeutel (in German) (Rav link) – it’s a cleverly constructed bag made from granny squares crocheted together. since I quite like making granny squares, I thought this would be a great item for me to make. as usual, I’m not using the yarn called for. I’m not even using the weight of yarn called for! I might end up having to line the bag, which I might have to do 1) before I make it up and 2) by hand.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. My sewing machine, threads and most of my fabric stash never made it to storage (friends’ house – many thanks guys, you know who you are) so I should be able to line the bag without too many problems – though it might be as easy to do it by hand, though I detest sewing by hand, so I have to consider that thoroughly!
I have noticed that my newer squares are a bit tighter – I’m not sure if I’m crocheting tighter, or what. hopefully I can block them all to approximately the same size, prior to crocheting them together. I just have to decide what order to do that in, once I finish making the squares. I’m on 5 of 8 in the blue-then-brown pattern, I’m doing 8 others in brown-then-blue.