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October 2010



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Oct. 22nd, 2010

The Last Week of The Bump

I have always wanted a bump, and often imagined what I'd look like with one. I never knew that they came with so many aches and pains, weird twinges and difficulties in maneuvering, but I am still going to miss it enormously. I don't think I have ever loved my body so much or felt as comfortable with it.

In honour of that, I wanted some good photos of it at it's fullest, and Lloyd and I took some this morning. They were taken in my bedroom on my not-very-great camera, but I love them still because of the experience that they represent, and they seem like a good way of celebrating the end of this phase of both my life and Sprog's life, and the beginning of a new one. NSFW, but lovely, nonetheless...Collapse )NSFW, but lovely, nonetheless...Collapse )

See you soon :-) xxxx

Oct. 19th, 2010

It's the final countdown...

There is a baby in my belly - and they will be out in the world far sooner than expected :-)

Between all the making of things and shopping for bits and bobs that seems to go with getting ready for a new person to come along, I have had time to itch incessantly, see the doctor (thinking it was nothing major) and then be told that I have a weird liver thing (obstetric cholestasis, if you wanted to know). This means that instead of my lavender oil/candles/birth pool hippy homebirth, I will be going into hospital early to be induced so that Sprog gets here safely. So on the 28th of October I am going in to be admitted, and all things being equal, Sprog will be skinside on or before November the 1st.

Cue hurried, last-minute preparations!

One of the many things I intended to do and thought I would never get around to, is to make a giant batch of lactation cookies from this recipe. Incredibly, I managed it! They're in the oven now, smelling tasty. Well, six of them are - the rest of the dough is in the fridge so that I can slice it into individual cookies and then freeze them, ready for vital breastfeeding snack moments.

Now, if, like me, the whole cup thing makes no sense to you at all, help is at hand! I spent ages converting the recipe, and in the spirit of encouraging people to eat more biscuits, and potentially lactate more, I thought I'd post it here. This is the ingredients list from the original blog post, for the rest of the instructions and a great explanation of the reasons behind the ingredients, please read the whole post.

225g whole wheat flour
175g oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
185g almond butter or peanut butter
112g butter, softened
125g flax
3 tbsp brewer's yeast
1/2 mug of water*
1 tsp cinnamon
112g sugar
112g brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
350g chocolate chips
175g chopped nuts of your choice

*I couldn't find a conversion for water, so I just added the right amount to make the dough what seemed a reasonable consistency. It came out quite stiffly, and didn't splurge in the oven in the manner that I usually associate with cookies. In the interests of helping you out, I will scronch one now and tell you how it is.

Bloody lovely, that's the answer:-D

Oh! Progress with our housing co-op is going brilliantly, but I shan't tell you about it here. Instead you should most definitely head over to our blog and read about it there instead!

I'm off for a meeting of said co-op now, but I shall back with more pictures of lovely home made things soon, before disappearing for a bit to produce a human being from my nethers :-)

Hannah xxx

Oct. 12th, 2010

Busy Hands Make For Infrequent Blogposts....

Also, I am just a bit crap ;-)

Gentle readers, I have been away for two months! I am now made painfully aware of this as I am part of another blog (for our housing co-op - you know you want to have a look!) which follows this one, and pointedly subtitles the blog name with "2 months ago". So, with such subtle nagging propelling me forwards, here I am :-)

I have most definitely not been idle, though, you will be pleased to hear. Or depressed (not too much, anyway), which is a relief. I have mostly been making things and growing a baby - noble pursuits, both.

So, without further ado, here's a rundown of my recent activities...

Read more...Collapse )
Much love to you all,
Hannah xxxx

Aug. 7th, 2010

This is what happens when the internet eats your blog post...

... You become too depressed by the notion of re-writing it all, that you decide to just post the pictures with brief descriptions instead. I will try to come back and flesh it out when I am feeling less disdain for Dreamwidth. Sorry peeps:-(

My first homemade nappy. Recycled fabrics.

Freezer paper stencilling with bleach.

Washable wipes for Emily.

Another soaker in home-dyed merino.

Project bags made variously for me, Joe, and the Random Acts of Kindness group on Ravelry.

Home-dyed wool used for my first shawl and a small cardigan for Sprog.

The cardigan is still on the needles so no pictures of that yet, but here's part of the shawl. I still don't have a good picture of the whole thing.

A ballet shoe bag made as a Random Act of Kindness for a Rav user's daughter.

And the big news is that Lloyd and I have finally made an EP. It was all recorded, mixed, designed and printed at home, and we're very pleased with it indeed. There are two tracks on our MySpace and you can buy the CD from me, should you so wish, for a mere £3 (or £4 posted in the UK). I'm particularly pleased with the cover artwork: Lloyd drew the leaves and I carved them from lino, then we put the image into the computer and added the text. I love graphic design:-)

I'll try to come and sort out this post at a later date. I think I'll nip off now and improve my mood with some knitting though;-)

Much love xxxx

Jul. 9th, 2010

Bad Blogger, No Bone!

I have only just noticed that I make these enormously long posts with tonnes of pictures and never cut them. My epic, super failsome bad:-/ I promise from now on to be a better blogger and to appear with much more trim entries on my friends' friends pages.

Jul. 8th, 2010

Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack Click Clack:-)

Yes lovelies, I'm still knitting! I seem to be getting into a real rhythm with it now, and feel quite bereft when there's nothing on my needles. It's so satisfying, do portable, and so squishy once it's done. How can a girl resist? ;-)

There's been more dyeing too, a brief foray into patchwork, and the completion of an extremely long winded project-for-trade, which, after all of this time with it in my WIPs box, only took a few hours to finish.

Less preamble, more pictures!Collapse )

Jun. 10th, 2010

Busy Bee-ism

Hello pretties!

I may have been away for a couple of weeks, but at least I have a bumper list of things to share with you today. Since the scan my bump has been developing nicely, although some people still think it is eating-all-the-pies induced rather than being caused by a bun-in-the-oven:-/ I don't mind though, as I know they're in there! Sven and I heard the heartbeat the other week too, which was completely magical, although when we got back home and told everyone about it, Lloyd was grumpy that we hadn't recorded it for him to sample and turn into crazy prog jazz stuff (to listen to some of which, click here). We'll do better next time:-)

Anyway, the growing realisation that things are going well and that in all probability I will be holding a baby in my arms - a baby that I am hugely responsible for - I have been trying to prepare in the only way I know how: making things. This last few weeks have been a haze of buying wool, dyeing it and trying to knit it into useful things. The dyeing bit was an unexpected detour, but through the extremely useful forum at Cloth Nappy Tree, I have learnt how to dye protein fibres (wool, alpaca, silk - anything that started life on an animal) with food colouring and vinegar. It's so easy I almost still can't believe it, despite having dyed everything in sight! Have a Google if you fancy giving it a go - there are enormous numbers of websites which give tutorials.

So, here are some of latest crafty voyages. As I say, they are all on a woolly theme, but I'm currently working on some patchwork so my next post should be a little more varied.

Firstly, here are some of those yarns dyed with food colouring...

This is a kettle-dyed peacock themed yarn which is dyed over a mid-grey 4-ply. I've started booties in this but got bored after one, so will have to revisit them in the future.

This next one is a deliciously dip-dyed superwash wool which you can see knitted up a bit later in this post. I'd say this is my biggest success so far.

The third one is one I did for a dye-along on a brilliant Ravelry group called 'What A Kool Way To Dye'. No, they're not suicidal knitters, but in the US you can use powdered Kool Aid (a very acidic soft drink) to dye wool. As it's not available over here, I've been using food colouring instead though.

The theme was "Fairy Lights" so I dug out my lovely 'Good Faeries/Bad Faeries' book by Brian Froud (thank you Lloyd!) and picked one I liked. It turned out to be the Slippery Faery, responsible for both dropping things, and Freudian slips. There she is on the right.

I have knitted it up into half of a little ribbed vest, but I don't like how the colours are pooling, so will have to undo it and find a more suitable pattern.

I've dyed much more yarn than this, but I shall spare you all the details! Between dyeing bursts (it really doesn't take long) I've been knitting things like a fiend, and Sprog's stash is already growing mightily. As they're going to be born in winter I am worried they'll be cold, so it feels like a great reason to be knitting. Also, I love the speed at which baby clothes come into being - for an impatient person like me it's a definite bonus.

A lovely hat in Noro, that went slightly wrong and will probably not fit them until they're 2 or 3.

A pair of stay-on baby booties from a pattern on Ravelry - and apparently they really do work±

A fetching little beanie knitted from home-dyed wool Sirdar Eco Wool. Lovely and cosy:-)

Another hat in an alpaca blend. It's very soft and light, but feels like it will keep the winter winds out.

A soaker (for going over cloth nappies) knitted from the home-dyed blue/green skeins above. I loved knitting this, the colours came out beautifully, it's useful AND it's cute. What more could you ask?

The second picture shows the colours more accurately. I really like them, and hopefully will make Sprog a lot of lovely soakers. I'm quite determined on the cloth nappy front, but I will never say never to disposables. If my sanity depends on it at any point, I'll use them if needs be, though I must say that part of the appeal of cloth nappies (and they have many appealing points) is that I can make them, and thus unmake them, if necessary, and you definitely can't say that about disposables.

Although I'm sure there are other bits I've made (in fact, I know there are) that's all you're getting for now. I'll try to be back soon with news of my busy hands, but I'm away with Lloyd visiting my parents next week, and visiting Sven's parents the weekend after, so I'm not sure how much I'll get done.

Stay busy, lovely people, and enjoy the summer:-)


P.S. I forgot to mention, I got a merit for Foundation! Although I wasn't happy with my final piece, to have got a merit having done the majority of the course on a part-time basis feels really good. I miss uni already, but am trying to engineer reasons to pop back in next year.

May. 22nd, 2010

My Secret's Out!

So I can finally tell you my secret project, and my, it's a big one! I have wanted to be a mum for as long as I can remember, and now, finally, it looks like I am going to be. Yesterday I hit 14 weeks, and I had the first scan last Tuesday and everything was fine. Although I won't really believe it until I'm holding this little one in my arms, it is all starting to seem remarkably real.

So this is why I am not returning to my beloved uni course next year, and also why I no longer have to work this summer (as my job involves lots of lifting I have been suspended from work) and why I have been being mysterious. As a woman who clearly loves making things, it feels a natural part of my creative urge to want to make a person and to help them to become a fabulous human being, and as such I am planning to be a full-time, stay-at-home mum as much is possible. I can't wait.

Here, for your perusal, is my current major work-in-progress:-)

I have been doing lots of knitting in preparation (already!) but I will save posting them until I have better photos.

Much love to everyone, and I hope you enjoy the sunshine:-) xxx

May. 16th, 2010

Stuff and Things

Hello lovelies -

Life has been busy, in that sort of unbusy-yet-seemingly-hectic-somehow way in which I appear to specialise. Uni is going at a huge pace for most people, but I am sitting back and not getting much done. I will be the first to admit that my work has not been up to scratch for this project, but I am in the odd position of having something else so important and all-consuming that nothing else seems able to grab my attention, and the bad news is, I *still* can't tell you what it is. It was never meant to take this long to be public knowledge, but there we are - some things just need to happen in their own time.

Anyway, I have not been idle, and have produced a couple of things at uni to show you, and a couple of things at home. My uni project is still about the same thing (remember the thing I can't tell you about. I do. I think about it all the time. Argh!) but I haven't actually produced much work on it, it has to be said. The first one I have to show you is another lino, this time a much larger one, again in the soft cut lino. It was meant to be quick and very free. I started with one element and let everything else develop on the lino, which was really interesting and has certainly come up with something that doesn't resemble my previous work. For your perusal, here it is...

The quote is from the Khalil Gibran book 'The Prophet'. The quote runs further than that but that felt like the most appropriate bit. I know it from Sweet Honey In The Rock's beautiful version, well worth a listen if you appreciate beautiful acapella singing.

I'm pleased with this piece, but it's a bit mad, and I feel somehow cheated, yet liberated, by the absence of miniscule chisel cuts. It still took me two days though, as the little people on the earth were quite fiddly.

The second piece is my finished work for the exhibition. I really love it, but it has things in it that I didn't get right, and the exposure was not sharp enough to blow up beyond A2, which is half the size I planned it at. Because of that it's a much more intimate work than I had imagined, but that quite suits the image. I know it's not ambitious enough to get a good mark, but at the moment I just want uni to be over so that I can concentrate on that other thing, so I am letting my annoyance at my lack of effort slide.

It's called 'The Welcome Party'. I'll let you figure out what you think it's about. NB: it should be seen much bigger than this really, but such are the limitations of computer screens. It's gorgeous, honest ;-)

Now that's uni done with, I shall move on to my current passion: knitting small things for small people. They're so ickle, things get done quicker and test my impatience less. It can only be good for me to learning new things (stretchy bind off, provisional cast-on, etc) and there will always be small humans to give things to/put things on. It's proving very helpful and therapeutic anyway, and what with the combined forces of Ravelry and my massive wool stash, there seems little reason not to indulge.

Firstly here's a beautiful vest for a 3 month old (ish). The pattern is from Ravelry, of course, and the wool is some stuff I bought about 6 years ago to make a fair isle hat for Wig, before I realised I had not the patience for fair isle. I'll get back to it one day though.

It has a rather beautiful cable in it called Arran braid, which I've never seen before, but would like to incorporate into other things in the future.

I knitted that on my last shift at work, and today I've been chilling with my lovely housemates (and Mattie, a future one) and knitting some rather fetching booties. They're in the same red sock wool as Squidge's body, but knitted singly this time. Tiny needles, particularly DPNS, are my nemesi (and yes, that is the plural of nemesis, in this house at least). This is why I like aran weight wool and nothing thinner than a 5mm needle. Mental note for future projects.

I'll take better photos when there are two, and a small human to model them, which could take some time. You definitely can't whip up a pair of them in an afternoon.

I'm off to watch House and maybe knit some more. Tomorrow we scrub and paint the whole foundation department. I get to help out, but not be doing my work, and as a bonus I get to do it in a boiler suit. Joy:-)

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Apr. 23rd, 2010

A Flying Visit!

Lovely ones, I have been away for ages! Some of it is due to the fabulous holiday I went on, (so many Squidge pictures!), and the rest is work of both the paid and unpaid sort.

Anyway, in the hope that you wouldn't think I'd forgotten you entirely, I have popped in to share my most recent lino, which is more of a sketch than a full blown epic like the Medusa ones. It's also my first go with soft cut lino, which is some kind of weird rubber. I found it hard to steer through and quite tricky at first, but I think it might be quite good for sketch-type linos, which I don't usually do because of the toughness of proper lino. Food for thought, most certainly.

The thinking behind this lino, and indeed, my final project, will have to remain a mystery for now. I promise I'll explain soon though (if you don't guess first!).

Rather than give you empty promises of more frequent updates, I'll just say that I will post something when I have something exciting to post. That seems fairer to us both...

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