Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy Blogday to me......

Hurray,.... it's been 2 years and so much has happened. I haven't been great at documenting the passing of time but I'm going to make more of an effort going forward. To celebrate, I made yet another cake from this book which was given to me by a vegetarian friend hoping to turn me over to the 'green' side. Most of the cakes I've made from this book have turned out fab which has made me more open to their savory stuff and that's been pretty good too. It's a good thing I'm working on my fitness given all the cake I've been making and eating!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Fabrications

I stumbled upon this book whilst surfing through blogsphere and bought it specifically to make the alphabet sorter - it's for a dear friend's little boy who is turning 3. She and I were housemates at university and I have been meaning to make him something for quite some time. (He has inspired the start of many projects but none of which have actually reached completion - oops!). We don't see each other very often but I have many fond memories of the late night chats we used to have in each other's rooms.

I have given up on garments as my projects for him tend to languish for too long in relation to his rate of growth. Hence the sorter - this book by the way is full of lovely things with pretty simple instructions.

My mastery of the sewing machine is still an on-going battle and I disliked the way the applique stitches came out. So I decided to go down the labour-intensive route of handsewing all the letters which has been fun but SLOW. My friend is the crafty type though so she will appreciate the effort.

I tried different types of edgings to give it some variety.

At least he won't grow out of it and will be able to use it for a good many years to come.

My typing is a little slow today due to an achey right arm which makes blogging a bit painful. It's not from excessive knitting but from yesterday's tennis session. I used to play loads when I was young but have not picked up a racket for a very long time. I walked the 3 miles to the tennis center, played 90 minutes of tennis and then walked back again. It's part of my new fitness regime to combat the inertia of too much crafting on my couch. But yesterday's spurt of exercise wiped me out so much I was in bed by 10!

When the membership lady at the leisure center asked me if I was working or a student, I said I was unemployed and she must have seen my crestfallen face because she gave me a huge concession without asking for proof. Hurray!! Right, I'm heading off to the pool now - I may blog-in on Sunday with a spinning update but in the meantime, have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Twist in the Tale

The slow creeping darkness into our days has sparked off a severe case of startitis in me. Perhaps it's the realisation that winter will soon be upon us that's made me want to rush into knitting overdrive. I started 3 new projects in the last week but can't say that I feel guilty about this one (given that it will go towards finishing a UFO) - do you remember it?

Yes, the infamous boob tube! I started this last year and had a few problems with the pattern. When I was next at Liberty's I asked the lovely Rowan lady about the decreases, she was also confused and remarked that I was the first person she knew who was knitting it. Although it is essentially a boob tube, I was seduced by the cables and the model made it look so chic. Hmmm, we shall see! It's coming along nicely and I've forgotten how addictive cables can be. Ended up having to frog the first 18 rows because I discovered that one cable was twisting the wrong way and my anal self was unwilling to let it rest.

There has also been some sock knitting, my 7th pair this summer but what's there not to like about socks? The gratification's quite instant and best of all there's no finishing involved or nasty sleeves which is 10 times worse than second sock syndrome in my book.

I had also made a vow to use up something from last year's Ally Pally haul before going to this years. Started out doing the Monkey pattern which is quite easy once you get over the initial fear factor but it was a little too busy for this yarn. Opted for the straight-forward Crusoe instead which is quite a fast knit. Apologies for the upside-down shot...

Before I go though, I thought I'd give you a quick update on how my orchids are doing...

Haaaannnng on.... WTF is that??

My little plant seems to have attracted a massive butterfly, is it some science experiment gone wrong, an alien insect from outer space or are my windows just very dirty?

It is in fact made from denim and a very clever, crafty ad from a well-known jeans company. I love living opposite a billboard but this one really took me by surprise - I guess it could serve as inspiration for my sewing tomorrow.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

BakerRooney on the West End

What excuse can I give for being such a slack blogger? Absolutely none. My new thespian life has led to large swathes of unstructured time disappearing into some black hole. These days, just getting the washing up done counts as a major accomplishment. Strange to think that a couple of months back, I was busy dealing with banking issues, stressed-out analysts and monitoring reviews. It hasn't helped that I put Radio 4 on the minute I wake up - it is pretty hard to listen and write at the same time! There's almost always some excellent programme on that I get passively absorbed in.

But I really must blog more, in fact I need blogging even more now that I've lost the daily human interactions the office brings, no matter how trite the office talk was it still meant you were communicating regularly with people other than your partner.

Aside from intermittently sedate moments this month, I had quite possibly THE most exciting week of my life. You see, when I was growing up in the far east, my sister and I along with our circle of friends were obsessed with musicals. Cats, Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera... we lapped them all up with a passion that only pre-pubescents can demonstrate. Our favourite musical though, the one we dreamed about staging was Les Miserables, we got our sweaty, tropical hands on the full libretto, practised playing them (very badly I might add) on our piano and sang the songs with vigor tearing round the garden. Yes, I know - we were SO uncool! And we had just discovered pop music too.

Last week though, my dormant, inner musical-geek finally got the chance to step out of the shadows when I got an audition for a musical and got to sing one of my favourite Les Mis songs on an actual West End stage. I was so excited to just be there that I belted out my song to the last row of the balcony and promptly got a croakey voice for quite some days after. It turned out to be a crazy week as I had 3 other auditions which meant that I was running around town like a headless chicken. Given that it's been such a looooooong time since i've sung properly, I had to go for singing boot camp which meant missing the iknit day. But my little return to singing has made me want to put in more practise and work as I would bloody love to be in a West End musical some day. My poor long-suffering neighbour and Gruff have tolerated hours of my singing exercises with unconditional grace so I may have to thank them with cake.

Yes, I have been baking on a weekly basis and scoffing the results so quickly that there have not been any photo opportunities. No evidence therefore remains of the 2 carrot cakes I made for various birthdays, the walnut sandwich cake for our spinning afternoon at Lucy's, the lemon drizzle for Helen's sewing workshop, the ginger treacle or Gruff's birthday banana cake. I have only just learnt to keep my gluttony in check and can proudly show you the last of the mascarpone mango cake I made for Tuesday's sewing day with Pauline and Gail.

My next post will be a knitting update I promise! I have also been sewing, oh yes!