Saturday, August 30, 2008

And we're back!

Ravelry has been unblocked here in the U.A.E!

Yay, yay and triple yay!

See you there!

I love visitors!

Having visitors is great! It revitalises the soul. Especially living over here with no family and friends living close by.

Last weekend, my cousin Judith, her husband Darin, and their two kids Joshua (ten) and Isabella (eight) came to stay with us on their way to Germany. Darin has some family living in Germany and is also planning to run the Berlin marathon, as you do!

We took them to see all the sights of Abu Dhabi, and a few in Dubai. Here's some photos.

At the camel farm during our desert safari.

Me with Mrs Camel.

A camel kiss for Joshua!

Desert sunset.

Fun in the sand.

Camel ride for Isabella and Josh.

At the Grand Mosque, only recently opened for visitors.

Josh on the big carpet.

Us inside the Grand Mosque (yes, that is me on the right!).

Isabella and her Henna Tattoo (don't worry, it's temporary!)

Joshua and Isabella are such good kids and they really seemed to enjoy the cultural stuff as well as things like the camels and dune bashing. We had such a fun time. I hope they are having a great time over in Europe.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It's my birthday and I'll buy if I want to!

There's been a few shopping confessions of late in the blogging world. This one in particular made me want to fess up to my own recent indulgences.

First there was the book sale at Knit Picks. 40% off everything! Knitting books in bookstores are basically non-existent here so online shopping is my only outlet to feed my knitting book addiction. Here's what I got.

You'll notice that two of these books are actually crochet books. I have the other Lucinda Guy books, and I just love looking at them, so I had (HAD!) to buy that one. Also, since I finished the Tetris blanket, I have all this left over worsted weight yarn in a multitude of colours just begging to be crocheted in to Amigurumi. The pattern called for two balls of each colour, so I bought three balls of each, not wanting to run out (you understand) and for all of the colours except those I used on the border, I only used one ball. That's a lot of left over yarn!

The crochet books (and my desire to learn how to crochet) lead me to realise that I don't own crochet hooks! So online I went and before I knew it I had bought a complete set of hooks. During this process two Berocco Norah Gaugan booklets managed to also hop into my shopping cart. Whoops! I'm now waiting (impatiently!) for this package arrive. I love parcels!

The third online shopping expedition come about when I got an email from the people at sKNITches saying that they had new yarn in store. I have looked dreamily at their online wares before (hand dyed sock yarns in luscious colourways and interesting yarn blends) but had always been disappointed by the lack of stock. So this time I had to get in quick (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it). This little shopping trip ended up being a big shopping trip and the result is that my stash of sock yarn grew by six balls, each ball being enough for one pair of socks. "But you don't knit socks Charmaine!" I hear you say. That, my friends is a minor point indeed. This package also has still not arrived. I'll be sure to show it off when it does. Did I mention that I love parcels?

So I was thinking about all of this indulgence and how it made be feel. Of course I was having fun, but did I feel any shopping guilt? I decided that the answer was a resolute NO! For starters, it's my birthday this month so I think I am entitled to buy myself a few birthday pressies. Secondly, I work hard and I earn my own money, so if I want to buy myself something every now and then, I bloody well will!

Having said all of that, I have decided that I should tighten my belt for the time being and make sure I use some of these books and yarn that I have bought. Let's see how long I can last!

Speaking of knitting from my stash, I finally have some photos of the finished Seascape. Here it is artfully draped around my shoulders.....

.... and here it is artfully draped over the ironing board!!

Pattern: Seascape by Kieran Foley on Knitty
Yarn: KnitPicks Shadow (100% Merino) in Grape Jelly (One and a bit balls)
Modifications: None, other than I did nine repeats of the central chart rather than the recommended six, to give a longer scarf/stole.

This will get packaged up to go to my Aunt Didi as soon as I finish knitting some socks for my Grandmother. Both will be belated birthday presents. Yes, you heard me right, I am knitting socks. Photos of those soon.