Monday, 30 January 2012

New sports for the olympics

We headed out cross-country skiing again on Saturday. Except this time we went with a much more advanced skier, who was ambitious on our behalves.

Which means today I have bruises and aches in places I'm choosing not to share with the world. Suffice to say that I actually managed to get some housework done today, it was preferable to sitting down!

I managed to  attempt two new winter sports whilst out though. The first is tandem skiing - this arises when one skier is too scared to attempt slopes on his/her own, so allows a second skier to steady the way. As you can see from this video, Rune was a little nervous, so I bravely guided him down the hill.(Excuse the shaky camera work, Paul fell in a snow bank just before we set off, and did remarkably well to keep filming!).

Why am I screaming? Oh, I just wanted to ensure the path was clear of bears. Safety first and all that!

The second sport? Woodland walking, whilst carrying ski equipment. This sport is designed for those who have decided that if they fall consistently when travelling uphill, and fall consistently when travelling downhill, it might just be better if they bloody walk.

One more photo to share from our day out. A beautiful example of the differences between the sexes. On the right we have Mr. Hairy Woodpecker, sitting in the sunshine watching the world go by.
On the left we have Mrs. Hairy Woodpecker, working so damn hard she is just a blur of feathers.


Friday, 27 January 2012

11 in 2011 done!

Hoorah and huzzah, last years challenge is a little photo gallery of 10 out of the 11 (I've just realised I don't have piccies of the summery cardigan, and frankly its far too chilly to model it today!).

Number one: The plain and simple pullover. Love this pattern, and loved this top. Sadly it came to a sticky end when accidentally put in the wash.....fits me like a cropped top now which does not go well with my physique. Haven't decided whether to recycle it into a cushion or pass it on yet!
(Out of order now, getting blogger to upload these in the right order is far too much for my whisky addled brain to handle!).
The bramblewood vest, coincidentally I am wearing it as I write  - I love this top and am very tempted to make another one soon. Never thought I'd be a lime green kind of girl, but this yarn can make anyone fall in love with bright colours, its Punta Merisoft, my favourite!
Next up we have an Owls sweater, you can't quite see it in the photo but there are cabled owls all around the top. Designed by the fabulous and inspirational Kate Davies, this is another one that will almost definitely get made again.
Yummy yummy. This ones from a design called Irish Coffee, and has become another of my wardrobe staples. The colour is scrummy and it fits great too. I am very fond of several other of Thea Colman's designs - who'd have thought I'd have a soft sport for snuggly sweaters?!

(You may have noticed that all of my efforts have had short sleeves thus far - this is NOT cheating! Why? Because I said so!).
The first of the baby sweaters now - and look long sleeved!
This one hasn't been gifted yet, it was made with a little boy in mind, but sadly he was inconsiderate enough to keep growing while I was knitting - how rude! If anyone has a littl'un in need of a cotton baseball style stripey tee - let me know!
Dodgy quality photo, but this one was late getting to the post office so this had to do. It was my birthday present for my Mum last year, the pattern is the Sage Remedy Top, and (yet again) I quite want one for myself too!

Three more baby sized offerings: Dance of Robots for my nephew; a Sunnyside cardigan for my cousin's newborn and a Little sister dress for my niece. All great free patterns, well-written and with lots of scope for playing with colours.
And last, but definitely not least - number 11. This was a beast of a knit, cast on last May and finished on Tuesday this week. The pattern is Shalor by Penny Straker. And the finished sweater (if I do say so myself) is fabulous. I wore it to work on Tuesday just to pretend that it was mine, before handing it on to the lucky recipient. Obviously it can't possibly look as good on him, cos all sweaters look better on women (its a boob thing
!), but I think he'll love it nonetheless. He'd better!

And yes, those of you paying attention will have noticed that I none of my 11 were for Paul. No, he hasn't fallen out of favour......his new cardigan is number 12, and hopefully will be done before winter passes so he can get some use out of it.....

Right, back to the needles. Night all. x

PS. If someone can let blogger know that 'snuggly' and 'scrummy' are definitely valid words that don't require spell-checking that would be lovely.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Canal time.....

The lessons were worth it....

I have a long way to go, but there were no falls, no swearing and no tears. And lots and lots of giggling, so vast vast improvements on my previous two attempts at skating on the canal. I managed about 1.3km (from the start to the beaver tail cabin!), which is at least 10 times further than my last effort.
It is a grand thing indeed to be this proud of yourself at 31!

Oh, and for those of you interested, the language test apparently went well, despite the three pints devoured with lunch prior to the speaking test. When asked to talk about a historic building, he chose The Trip to Jerusalem, a pub in Nottingham. Can't think what brought that to mind!

Saturday, 21 January 2012


I've just waved Paul off. He's sitting exams today. No, not laser exams -  Language exams. As part of our Permanent Residency application we have to prove that we can speak, write, listen and read ENGLISH!

Yes, he is English. Yes, he did attend schools in England for his entire academic career and yes, he does have a PHD from an English University. (OK, to be fair, I can not vouch for how much of his thesis is written in English, it all seems like a foreign language to me. The pictures are pretty though!).

Anyway, in the interests of fairness everyone has to sit the same exam. So I waved him off this morning, having sharpened his pencils for him (with his lucky Niagara Falls pencil sharpener), and provided him with a list of words and phrases he should attempt to shoehorn into the written and spoken parts of the test. I wonder how many of these he'll manage:

  • A parliament of owls.  (Bonus marks for any collective nouns he can invent and drop in).
  • Knitting.
  • Jasper. (Preferably as an invented best friend, who is to talk of in human form, not as our dog).
  • Inauspicious.
  • Boardwalk.
  • Jessica Fletcher.
  • As is tradition.
  • The correct use of the words 'pants' and 'trousers'.
 I'm hoping he gets assigned a writing task where he has to write a letter of complaint. This should open the field for an elaborate and hilarious story about a mix-up with a trouser-press in a hotel in Cabot Cove, where an inauspicious character named Jasper, seen knitting on the boardwalk kidnaps a Parliament of Owls and is hunted down my Jessica Fletcher. As is tradition.

Yes, it would be easier (and more fun) if I took the test! But, sadly as a 'dependent' it matters not whether I can speak, listen, read or write, as I have my big strong man to do it for me. In my case, when faced with a fifteen minute speaking test where he has to make small talk with a strange woman, my big strong man would probably rather rewrite his thesis. In French.

While I'm here, for those of you interested in the knitting/crafting side of my personality (and if you aren't, I'd be interested to know what other facets you do find interesting!) there is a new blogging adventure happening here: knitters rumble.
with my friends Julianna and Emily. I wasn't going to share until I'd taken the lead in our little competition, but that's taking longer than expected, so I'd best garner support now!

Have a great weekend everyone. x

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


When the temperature drops to -23 or below, it may be tempting to hunker under a duvet and watch the frozen world from the safety and snuggery of the sofa.

Don't do it!!!! Follow the snowy trails on your skis, bask in the blue.....

Then go and find a restaurant where the only other vehicles in the car park are skiddoos. It is sure to be a sign of a fine meal ahead!

Monday, 9 January 2012


I stumbled upon the 'British' section in the supermarket the other day, in the 'ethnic' aisle. Now much of what you would expect to find has been integrated in with the 'Canadian' items. Marmite is in the baking section, 'English Salad cream' mingles with the mayonnaise. Chocolate bars are in the 'candy' aisle, although the chocolate isn't right obviously.

So whats left in the 'so British we can't possibly confuse people by putting it elsewhere' section?
Ribena, Horlicks and Ovaltine. We are a rock and roll nation of warm drinks before bedtime.

That makes me very happy. x

Monday, 2 January 2012

A sweater review....

Some of you will remember that I set myself the ridiculous goal of knitting 11 sweaters in 2011.

Unsurprisingly I didn't manage it. I was close, in fact if I sewed together the pieces from the two I have on the needles into some Frankenstein inspired monstrosity then I'd be there......

When I finally get number 11 done, I'll share some piccies, but for now I'll share some of the knitting/crocheting I did when I should have been working on sweaters:

Ugly bunny

Star Trek potholder

Query Shawl

Paul's mittens

Cornet the House Hippo

Angry birds

A clanger

An epic Mario blanket

Divine hat for me

Neon the duck billed plaidypus

Fish hat for Sarah Sarah

A scarf for N

A whale for Jochen

Kevin Keegan the Lion

Socks for Stuart

Socks for Steve

And finally a skirt for me:

A productive year all in all!
Lets see what 2012 holds.....