Saturday, 30 March 2013

Of packing and weddings

I realised today that I hadn't posted in a while. I've mostly been busy with wedding and house moving preparations, so have not had much time to do anything creative to post about!

Bridesmaid shoes for the girls
Wedding make up
The start of the packing

Most of the RSVPs have come back for the wedding now, so we are almost ready to make our table plan and finalise details with the caterer. Bridesmaid outfits are almost complete, all I need to get them now are cardigans which is proving harder than you'd think, as very few shops sell the same clothes in age 6 and age 13! Luckily I managed to find shoes in John Lewis that came in both a child 12 and an adult 4, otherwise they'd have been in different shoes too.

I had a free makeover at the bareMinerals counter in John Lewis too, and treated myself to the full set of makeup. Now all I have to do is practice and learn how to put it on myself. I was never much of a girly girl when I was younger, so was too busy climbing mountains and riding my bike through the woods to bother with things like learning how to wear makeup and style my hair. I've just bought myself a new curling wand too, so will spend some time between now and the wedding practicing with that too, to save on the cost of a hairdresser.

The house move is rushing up closer than the wedding, though, as we are moving out on the 10th April! We've hired a removal company this time, as we couldn't ask our friends to help move us again, not after last time. Last weekend we made a small start on the packing, and we are taking advantage of the long Easter weekend to get the bulk of it done. All of the books, DVDs, CDs and computer games are now packed away, and the mountain of boxes in the living room is growing.

I've also packed away all of my yarn and craft things.

It worries me slightly that last year when we moved, everything fit into one box (the same size as the one above), but today when I packed it all up, I filled two of them! There's more yarn, to be sure, but also more books, magazines and general hobby accessories. I've packed everything apart from my current three WIPs, although I'm not sure how much time I will have between now and the move to work on them all. I'd rather have the option though, than be sat here with some free time wanting to knit and not being able to.

My obnoxious socks, which I am knitting two at a time
on two sets of DPNs

I also kept back some books from the boxes, as I started re-reading A Song of Ice and Fire last week. As I finish each book, I put them back on the pile for packing. If that wasn't enough, we've also held back one DVD from the boxes too:

There's a theme here, do you see it?

As season three of Game of Thrones starts on Monday, we decided to get the first two seasons and watch them through so we can remind ourselves where we got to. I will admit, it is a little confusing, watching the TV series and reading the books at the same time (well, not exactly at the same time, that would be too weird). I'm already far ahead of the TV series in the books again, but it's been interesting to see just what HBO have changed and tweaked and left out.

I suspect my blogging will remain infrequent until the move has occurred and internet has been restored, which may not be for a couple of weeks after we move as we are upgrading to fibre broadband and have to wait until the 20th for the engineer to come and install it. When I do come back though, I will be back with a vengeance as the lovely Eskimimi has announced the dates of this year's annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, which is perfectly timed for the week I should be back online and back to normal!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Adventures in jewellery making

I have hardly knitted a stitch this past week. However, that doesn't mean that I haven't been crafting! For once, I have been indulging in the other crafts I profess to enjoy, the ones that knitting has pushed to one side  for the last couple of years.

I broke out my shiny new jewellery making supplies, and finally got around to making the necklace for the wedding. I had already decided that the earrings I will be wearing on the day will be my oldest pair of earrings, Swarovski crystal hearts that my Gran bought me after I got my ears pierced (I was probably seven or eight at the time). When I found similar Swarovski crystals on sale at Blue Streak Beads, I decided to make myself a necklace to match.

The crystal is so pretty, the colour changes from pale pink through to a darker purple, depending on the angle you look at it. I've paired it up with some clear round beads, and cream coloured pearls. It was very much a trial and error experiment, but it came together very quickly.

This is the best photo I could get of it. I can't wait till the end of April, when I pick up my dress and can finally try on all the elements of my outfit together!

Once I'd done that, I wanted to carry on and make something else. Before I knew it, I had these:

By this point, I was keen to carry on with the jewellery theme, but was rapidly running out of pretty beads! I went stash diving through my craft supplies, and pulled out my bag of felt and some embroidery floss. Which became this brooch:

It's a good thing I'd dismantled the dining table to make space for the hen night, otherwise I'd have got my sewing machine out as well!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Cake or death?

It was my hen do this weekend. Really brings it home how close the wedding is now! Two months to go! The lads all disappeared down to a rented cottage on the Welsh border, so my girlies and I gathered at my house for tea and cake.

This is just some of the cake. There was more. A lot more.

It was really, genuinely lovely to have [most] of my favourite ladies in the same place, chilling out, chatting, drinking Kir Royale and nibbling on a variety of cakes and sweet treats.

One of my friends brought me these beautiful flowers.

It was extremely civilised; not a plastic willy or feather boa in sight! In the evening we ventured into town, and ate dinner at an absolutely fabulous restaurant called Cosmo. It's an all you can eat buffet, but with cuisine from all over the world. I had crispy duck pancakes, lasagne and Yorkshire puddings, chicken korma and chips. Best of all was the dessert bar.

Neopolitan ice cream cone, dipped in a chocolate fountain

Haribo! For dessert! In a restaurant! Unbelievable.

It was the perfect choice of restaurant, as everyone could eat whatever kind of food they wanted, and a single priced, all you can eat buffet made totting up the bill afterwards so simple.

There was no raucous evening, and nothing embarrassing happened at all. In fact, I was in bed by half twelve!

The left over cake

There was so much cake, I have a mountain of leftovers. They will be coming into the office with me today, where I think I will have to spread them across several departments in order to make sure they all get eaten!

Friday, 1 March 2013

Weekend plans

I have the house to myself this weekend, as Jamie is off Wales to visit his parents. As I have no pressing engagements, I plan to spend most of the weekend knitting. And what better knitting than casting on for Eskimimi's Mrs Tumnus KAL!

Knowing I wanted to cast on straight away, I spent some time during the week winding my yarn and swatching.

I didn't hang around after bringing this lovely Skein Queen Blush home from Unravel last weekend. I got it straight on my swift and wound into a gorgeous, squishy cake.

As this is sport weight, not fingering, I felt it was important to swatch for this pattern, particularly as I only have one needle with a 100cm cable and if that turned out to be the wrong size....

I knit two swatches, one on 5mm and one on 5.5mm. I hit gauge (mostly) on the larger needles, but prefer the fabric of the smaller needles, so will knit my Mrs Tumnus on 5mm needles. Even though this was the needle I already had in the right length, I decided to buy myself a new one. There's nothing wrong with my Milward circulars, but ever since I bought my little Addi Turbos for the colourwork projects I did before Christmas, I've been hankering after needles of the posher kind. I want to try out all the different options before I splurge on a full set though, so decided to get something different to Addis for this project.

I'm starting to find I have a preference for knitting with metal tipped circulars, but wooden dpns. So I opted this time for a Knit Pro Nova needle. It has a purple cable! I can't wait to get started, although I am a little daunted that the first instruction in the pattern is to cast on over 400 stitches!
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