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Saturday, 10 December 2016

Wooligans on tour - Oslo Strikke Festival 2016

So a bit of back blogging going on here due to a period of various illnesses for both me and the toddler. Still, better late than never right?

Back at the beginning of November I had the opportunity to leave husband and child at home and indulge in the pure pleasure of yarn tourism together with some lovely like-minded ladies. And in Oslo no less, somewhere I'd always wanted to visit.

Held mainly in the Oslo public library, the proceedings kicked off with a evening of music and cabaret. The music of course being in some way or another knitting/sewing/fibre related and the cabaret billed as a sort of knit burlesque. A great way to start our trip, although I think there might have been a slight flaw in the plan as the bar only opened AFTER the burlesque show and judging by some of the audience reactions, they could probably have done with a stiff drink beforehand..

The next morning we had signed up to a 'giant knitted clutch bags' class which saw us wield enormous knitting needles (think sharpened rolling pins) and tame huge chunky yarn into something resembling a bag. Lots of fun, although possibly not the most practical knitted item I've ever produced.

After a break knitting in the wonderful children's department in the library, we hit up the yarn market and I picked up a couple of choice items that I just couldn't resist. I may also have recruited P to pick me up a tiny mitten kit on her way to the library...

So what do you do in the afternoon of a kitting festival? Watch a film about yarn of course! We packed into the little library cinema and knitted our way through 'Yarn'. Actually very entertaining.

After that there *may* have been some cheeky school-girl behaviour in sneaking gin and tonic into the library for some surreptitious drinks out of disposable coffee mugs. Because that's how we roll.

The next day we ventured a little further into Oslo to the last leg of the knitting festival which had moved to the another, smaller library in the hipster area of Grunerlokka. It was also conveniently within walking distance of Pickles yarn shop, where of course more essential purchases were had.

We also found some interesting yarn samples chosen to complement different eye-colours.

Fortuitously we also found a flea market nearby which offered some vintage knit bargains, as well as more modern knitted socks in retro designs. Unfortunately the cold was somewhat getting to us by then, so we had to quickly decamp to the library again to warm up.

And all too soon we found ourselves heading back to the airport for a short jaunt back to London. All in all a wonderful weekend - thanks for the memories ladies!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Noodolled up

This shopping extravaganza was actually brought to my attention through Instagram. Being rather an Insta-noob I was pleasantly surprised by a nice message from a friend suggesting I might go along to Noodoll Pound Town. Said friend is actually in Sweden so I felt it was only right for me to go along so that she might experience the sale vicariously. Totally selfless right?

I'm actually not too familiar with Noodoll, although I did recognise some of the characters, especially Ricepapa who is the dapper moustacheoed hamster. They are cute! They are colourful! Right up my street.

The sale took place at their teeny tiny creative studio which I totally managed to walk past, despite the obvious signage.

Right-ho then..

Cute mini shop by the lift:

So maybe I did go a *little* crazy with my purchases, but most of them will be Christmas gifts (promise).

Below is the loot: Cuddly Ricepapa, some notebooks, zippy cases and wide masking tape.

I also got a couple of posters for P's room:

I actually bought enough stuff to qualify for a free tote - bonus!

Phew, quite impressed with myself for starting Christmas shopping early. Although when there are cute bargain on offer it's really not that hard.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Princess Sparkle Horn, Princess Tassel Toes & Gary

Once in a while you stumble across something so special that you just can't help yourself. That was the case with Gary. 

I mean, just look at him. How could I resist:

Although I was still something of a crochet rookie, I simply *had* to have a go at making him. Mainly under the pretence that my son would love a unicorn toy. In reality poor Gary has mainly taken a lot of abuse from my spirited toddler, but he does get the odd cuddle so I like to think that this kind of makes up for it.

As I was happily showing off introducing Gary to a friend of mine a while ago, she asked very nicely if I might consider making a couple of additional unicorns for her daughters - well of course!

It took a little longer than planned, but behold Princess Sparkle Horn and Princess Tassel Toes:

The lady-corns were handed over last weekend and I think it's safe to say that they were well received with lots of squeals and thank yous.

Last I heard, they were happily tucked up in bed with their new owners. Just don't tell Gary, he might be jealous..

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

The Twits

Last Friday we had the pleasure of attending a fantastically disgusting dinner at The Vaults near Waterloo, hosted by the gruesome twosome Mr and Mrs Twit

If you an unfamiliar with the Roald Dahl characters, I would recommend reading up on them. They really are quite vile, so as soon as I heard about this experiential dinner/theatre mash-up AND that Bompas & Parr were to be involved, I was sold. The Bompas & Parr 'History of Food' is still one of my favourite experiential things that we have done in London.

So we arrived at The Vaults, and it's fair to say that expectations were pretty high.

On check-in we were handed a small plastic bag with a (fake) worm inside. This was to be redeemed in the bar for a cocktail of your choice - although, as it turned out NOT the prosecco cocktail complete with tube of 'Hugtite Glue' in cherry or peach flavour to be squeezed into the bubbly. Either way we were happy with our Aperol based drink (apparently used by Mrs Twit to clean her glass eye - yum).

Next we were shown into the 'ghastly garden' and invited to forage for our canapes amongst compost, in bird feeders, inside potting sheds and plucked off nails hammered into large branches.
We were also offered such delights as 'burnt' sausages (covered in poppy seeds) and chicken's hearts in bloody Mary sauce by the vintage circus styled monkey servants. 
I did give it all a go, but slightly regretted the chicken heart as soon as it passed my lips. Tasted a bit like how it smells in the meat section of supermarkets.. *gag* Oh well, it's all part of the experience. 

Having amused our bouches for long enough we were shown through to the dining room to begin the feasting in earnest. It started earlier than expected for M, who was forced to down a glass of wine by Mr Twit and then fed coleslaw sprinkled with dried mealworms and crickets by Mrs Twit. He did say that the unexpected alcohol kick did help him to get in the mood for the whole event though..

The main course emerged dramatically in a cloud of smoke aboard an impressive trolley, and the monkey staff busily set about serving up the piece de resistance: bird pie complete with foot sticking out of the top. Actually very tasty! Especially when paired with the bubbling green slime (parsley sauce) from a mini cauldron on the table.

From then on the scene turned more sinister as the servants confided in us that they were not real monkeys, but humans kidnapped and made to perform to satisfy the terrible and bloody-thirsty whims of the Twits. And worse still, we were next! Oh no!!

So through various deceptive tactics involving presents, pheromones and giant puppets the Twits ultimately saw their demise at the beak of the enormous and slightly malevolent-looking Roly Poly Bird.

Once the dinner and performance were over, we were escorted to another bar where we could once again enjoy some cocktails. My one tasted of bubble gum and came complete with tiny helium balloons - just how I like it!

Some could argue that the whole thing was a bit pricey, but considering that you do get both an experiential show and an interesting dinner I thought it was well worth it. Read more about the event here.

Only problem is that now I'll be very disappointed when future cocktails arrive without a mini balloon garnish.

Monday, 10 October 2016

So it's been a while..

Two years and a toddler later I feel, for various reasons, that it's time to put on my blogging hat again. Rest assured that I have not been idle on the creative front these last couple of years. In fact I am proud of the fact that I can now add crochet to my list of craft skills, mainly thanks to this book. I can make amigurumis!!

So how better to kick off than a round up of my creative output since September 2014?

First the knits:

This toasty hat wasn't actually for my own little dragon, but I managed to convince him to model it for the purpose of checking fit (not at all for fun. At all.)

Mittens for all the NCT kittens! I believe I used a pattern from this book and just played with the colour variations.

I couldn't resist this hat for my own little one - although the dorsal shark fin was a little floppy..

One of my fave Rebecca Danger patterns of all time! This one was for me and my little monster.

Emotional, but without the sap. This was a recent Birthday present for my other half.

Then the crochets:

Foxy! My first proper crochet project. Unfortunately in all the excitement I forgot which pattern this is. Will update if I find it in my pile of pattern print-outs.

Monkichi and Pochacco from Hello Kitty Crochet. Words cannot quite describe how much I love this book.

Getting a bit more adventurous and created this beastie for a friend's little one.

Frog feet for a new baby.

Some crochet Hello Kittys created in time for a visit to the Cutter & Squidge Hello Kitty afternoon tea pop-up.

Frenchie bunny for a friend's baby shower.

Deery-Lou and Keroppi for M's nephew and niece.

Norman the narhahl for a friend.

Oh and one of my faves; Batman! And yes, you can remove his super-pants incase you were wondering..

So there you go. That's a quick recap of (most) stuff I've been up to creatively. Hoping that more posts will follow soon..

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Tiny knitting

Since learning that I was expecting a little one of my own, I may have gone a *little* to excess on the knitting front. So far booties and tops have been the order of the day, although I do hope to add some random cuddly toys to the mix too.

Now these actually are winging their way to P in the US for her new little boy:

This was really just an excuse to use some pretty butterfly buttons which had been hanging around:

Ok, so this came out a little large.. Still, should fit by the time he's, um, 3 or so.

Hardly the most practical with all those buttons, but hopefully the sheer cuteness will prevail, at least for a couple of wears.

Oh and this fabulous baby blanket and even more fabulous octopus is from the very talented G:

Octavia (the octopus) will hopefully be joined by a couple of buddies soon. Currently I'm particularly keen on a three-toed sloth and narwhal

Also in the pipeline is the endless quilt which has been going for just a little bit too long. Only downside is the at the %(^&*$&^%* sewing machine has just chosen to give up, despite all coaxing. At some point I will just have to accept that it won't fix itself and make an effort to sort..

Monday, 14 July 2014

Time to Unwind

Brighton! It's been such as long time since I was there. It holds some particularly fond memories for me, so really I don't need much of a reason to visit - especially as I've now discovered that it's only about 45 minutes train journey from Clapham Junction! Only 45 minutes to a mini seaside holiday..
And the only thing better than a mini seaside holiday? A mini seaside holiday with YARN!

Unwind Brighton featured masses of the stuff, along with informative talks and lessons on all manner of knitterly topics. They also sold very pretty bags:

Being something of an Iceland-o-phile, I chose a talk by the inspiring Ragga on Icelandic knitting. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but even with technical challenges (screen was not Mac friendly) Ragga proved a true professional and wowed us all with her knitting passion as well as dropping in some unusual snippets to keep us entertained. For example: did you know that she's also Iceland's premier sex educator and has a book coming out on the subject? The woman has many talents..

After a quick visit to the 'marketplace' I'm pleased to say that I managed to keep to my pre-planned list of requirements, rather than going crazy on random pretty yarn (this may have happened in the past).

The only stall I allowed myself to go a little greedy on was buttons. Yes, I love buttons. Especially when they are as cute as these:

Here's the rest of the haul which will in turn become a couple of baby cardigans and baby scarf/hat set. Note the magazine which was a freebie bonus - always worth hanging around until the very end ;)

Also worth a big mention is Helen's winning shawl design Pebble Beach, modelled here by yours truly (thanks for the pic Helen!):

In addition to the honour and a small prize, Pebble Beach was also featured in the Unwind programme:

A worthy winner indeed! Read more on Curious Handmade or nab the pattern on Ravelry from today!

Ah Brighton, we may be seeing each other again very soon..