Sunday, 15 November 2009

Its been a long time!

Finally we are settled into our new home. The last month has been spent organsing and unpacking boxes, in between settling Nathan & Nyah into Nursery, swimming lessons and play dates.

There has not been much time for knitting or indeed anything else. So it was with a sigh of relief that I finally sorted out the guest room this week. I took a long overdue trip to the hairdressers and finally I began to knit again. I must say feeling very inspired by the stash management that I had just completed in the guest room. Needless to say if we have any house guests and they open the wardrobe and cupboards they will be greeted with balls of yarn and no empty shelves for their clothing.

Nathan & Nyah have started Nursery School at the Childrens Garden and they just love it. It is just across the road from the house and we walk to and from school. A luxury here in Dubai. They attend three mornings a week and have swimming on the other two so their lives are very busy. Next year they will be taught 50% in French or German and 50% English as it is a truly Multilingual school. Time for me and Rich to brush up on our language skills.

I have posted a photo of my latest finished object Blueberry Pie on Cloud nine. A pair of the most cozy soft socks. I just love them and look forward to the winter to wear them. I am making a scarf to match with srtipes of Blueberry Pie and Posh yarn Sylvia it is looking very pretty.

Monday, 31 August 2009


I can hardly believe that it is three months since my last post. So Much has happened in such a short time. The most memorable of which was my seven week trip back to Northern Ireland with Nathan & Nyah.

It was wonderful for them to get to know all their family and our friends. Everyone made us so welcome.

The highlight of the trip for me was the trip to the Giants Causeway on the Steam train were Nathan actually believed that he was on Thomas the tank engine! His little face was priceless and a memory I will hold dear for a long long time.

When we first arrived tired after our long journey a large welcome party greeted us. My sister had just arrived the day before from Australia and this was the first time the whole family were together in 16 years. My other sister, her twin,was also there with her kids. Mum & Dad were so pleased and proud. The cousins all got all great and the older ones were soon looking after Nathan & Nyah.

We finally got to bed tired but happy, only to be woken by the jetlag at 4.30am, thank goodness for Tractor Tom on the Itouch!

We settled in well and Nathan & Nyah just loved the rural life at my parents the cows,sheep & horses in the fields beside my parents, but most of all the two Donkeys that they fed every day weather permitting. The donkeys got so attached to the kids that they would come running when Nathan & Nyah called them.

A great couple of weeks followed with trips to the park to use the payground and feed the ducks. They also got to use a bucket and spade on the beach dodging the rain showers!

I had a wonderful afternoon in Holywood where I met the local knitting group. We were lucky enough to have the pleasure of the company of Debbie Orr AKA Skein Queen. She brought along my lovely custom dyed yarn. We had a marvelous afternooon and as usual it felt that we had know each other for ever!

When Daddy arrived we then headed off with all the Byford family, parents and cousins up the Antrim coast for a few days trip. This was a great family time and there were a lot of late nights and fun in the old Byford family haunts.

We returned to Mums and started to catch up with Friends, whilst I was on my own I caught up with my old girlfriends and work colleagues. We also went to Richards Dad's to watch the Retreat of the Tall ships from Belfast harbour on their way to their next destination. We watched this from the comfort of Nevilles Balcony with a fabulous lunch provided by Sandra,complete with drinks and the company of their old friends Victor & Joan.

We then moved house to stay with Richards sister Wendy who had lined up an impressive social calender for us! We had some fun days and nights at the Lyster household, eating and drinking far too much. It was great to catch up with everyone again and meet some new faces as well.

Daddy then left and I moved back to Mum & Dads and we headed out to the old family haunts around Strangford Lough, the photo of the cottage is the one where I spent most of my childhood summers and many weekends as we rented this for many years as a holiday home. It has fallen into disrepair now, but it still brought back happy memories.

Before we knew it , it was time to go and where did the seven weeks go?

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Silly me I forgot to add the photos!!!

Here is Nathan in the dreaded Jacket!!! and modeling Bodhi's Owl vest.

I am about to start Nyah's cardi so watch this space.

I have two wonderful projects on my needles at the moment. The Ishbel scarf/shawl which I finally decided to make in my Malabrigo Persia Sock Yarn. A wonderful choice as the colours are "so cool" as described today by Hala. This colourway and yarn was inspired by an Austrian friend on Ravelry who completed this project using this colourway and yarn. I was instantly drawn to her work on the projects page,therefore the yarn in my stash found its vocation! The stockinette portion has allowed me to watch Greys Anatomy and knit. I love it!

The other project on my needles is the Grown up bootees by Ysolda again! These are great, I am making mine in Blue Moon Fibre Arts L Silk that Jhocy gave me! I love you Jhocy.These will keep my feet so warm on my trip home. I also intend to make a few as pressies for both Norn Iron & Melbourne climates!!!


Well here she is after an agonising six attempts at the sleeve lace line up, I gave up and made a cap sleeve version with a garter stitch border modification. I love it, the pattern did me a favour and I just cannot take this baby off! I am going to make a few more, it is perfect for the Dubai heat and the A/C chill. The yarn mix is so good, the cashmere wool & silk blend working perfectly in this wonderful Ysolda Teague Pattern.

I also forgot to post photos of the last few finished items, so Nathan shall appear as my model for the baby Owl vest which is too small for him as it was made for a baby one year younger! Also his dreaded jacket that he cries everytime I put it on. I bet he will not cry when he has it put on when we get back to Belfast in the summer!

I have finally made a decision about my flights and go straight after the Keane concert in July, I was booked to leave earlier but my love of music caused me to postpone my flight. I intend to come back around the 28th August. Yeah Yeah Yeah, nearly two months of family, friends, coolness, greenery and most of all, getting to clean your teeth in cold water!!!!! (and maybe a pint of Guinness in Ned's & a curry in the Ganges)

Last week we had a busy Friday I had the monthly get together of the UAE Dubai knitters at Debbies beautiful home, here we had a bit of craic, bubbles and a good look at the highlights of Debbie's stash! It was a wonderful day. I only wish I could have stayed a little longer, but we had a dinner to attend in the evening. When I left around 5.30pm everyone was still in full swing. The food was awesome, everyone making or bringing a dish, we got to sample South African Lasagne, Lebanese & Sri Lankan dishes. Then of course there was Louiseluvsyarn's wonderful Delia Smith lemon & lime summer cake!!!!

I think we almost converted DebinDubai's sister to knitting! We are all looking forward to World Knit in public day in the capital Abu Dhabi on the 13th June.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday Nathan & Nyah & 48th Sierra Leone Independence day

Things as usual have been pretty busy round here. No excuse really for not posting sooner.

It is really hard to believe that Nathan & Nyah have turned two. Where has the last year gone?

We decided to celebrate with a party, to not only honour their birthday, but the 48th Anniversary of Sierra Leone becoming independent, know as Independance day.

So we all got together on a hot Friday, dressed in our African finest and everyone cooked an African dish. The food was excellent and we all had a great time, especially all the kids.

Of course, as we were celebrating a kiddies birthday there was cake, a jungle cake, which was made with the Sierra Leone National flag colours. It was really delicious. Nathan & Nyah just loved it. We still have the lion in a tuperware dish as mummy cannot bear to part with it!

I have managed some knitting since my last post, I have completed my first ever pair of socks, finally getting past the dreaded second sock syndrome! They fit so well and they will be well worn when I return home in the summer. The Claudias Handpainted sock yarn is SO soft.

We also had a lunch this month with some fellow ravellers at the Noodle House, it was a long lunch lasting about 3.5 hours! I guess this is what happens when you get a few crazy knitters together. I reckon if some people did not have to get back to work we would still be there!

I also completed Nathans hoody, unfortunately I ran out of yarn for the hood, which I modified to become a Jacket. One of the problems living here where there is no LYS to nip into to get that required skein to finish a project. I think the jacket looks well anyway. Nathan hates it! Every time I put it on him, he crys and trys to pull it off.

I also completed an Owl baby vest and bibs for my friends little boy. So at the moment I only have one work in progress Liesl. It is an easy nice knit, the pattern is written really well and very easy to follow. I hope to have some photos of it finished soon.

Friday, 1 May 2009

A February Lady In April!

Yeah she is done and finished. My first ever top down project of which there will be many many more! No mattress stitch I love it!

I would model this lady, although it is now 40c plus here and the thought of 100 percent merino wool, soft as it is, makes me feel queasy. So she will have to wait until my impending trip back to Belfast in the summer. I loved this knit and the Malabrigo yarn was just so yummy!

Life is ticking along well here, the kids are growing every week and their new abilities astound me, they are like little sponges, absorbing everything around them. I am busy this week preparing for our 2nd birthday party next weekend and also Sierra Leone National day. Richard is travelling so I have to make all the preparations myself. Including his African costume. Oh the possibilities are endless!

The party will entail some usual kiddies party food and birthday cake etc, but everyone dresses up in African gear and brings a dish. So we get to sample lots of yummy fair. I will post a blog after the event.

We had a busy week last. We had dinner with Chris & some friends at Bussola on the beach on Sunday, the Golf club annual members party Tuesday and the highlight of the week, the boys birthday bash at the Exchange grill at the Fairmont. What a meal and a restuarant I definitely want to visit again.

I can hardly believe that a year has passed today since we got the call to travel to Sierra Leone to finalise the adoption of Nathan & Nyah. I have very fond memories of Jodie's Sierra Leone National Day party this day last year, when we got the call to travel. It truly has been the most wonderful year!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Long time no speak!!

Sorry it has taken me so long to post again. I have been so busy of late. We had the family holiday in Al Aqah. I have to say my best holiday so far and there have been a Few!

It was just wonderful to get away with the kids, relax ,and spend such great quality time together as a family. We had so much fun, cartoons in bed, italian meals, arabic buffets and of course the pool.

As I had what I thought was tendonitis I only managed a small amount of knitting, the ruffle tank from the best of Interweave knits in the lovely Euroflax linen, however it was to be frogged as I was not happy with the slipped stitch edge on one side. One was perfect tight and neat the other loopy and like an elongated chain. I brought my manuals with me and despite a few attempts at other techniques this was not to be. If I decide to reknit this one I will just do a garter edge.

Just finished a few baby pressies that have taken all my knitting time. I am starting to think about my trip home for the summer months. As the temperature rises I am looking forward to it more and more and getting some projects done for us all.

By the way I forgot to mention that I have completed my life long knitting dream and completed my first ever sock! I have always been so scared of these mammas. But thanks to the UAE knitters sock KAL I finally plucked up the courage to cast on with some of that beautiful yarn in my stash. I choose Antique jeans Claudia Handpainted sock yarn, bought from Purlescence in January, on my trip back to N Ireland. Robyn was so helpful, as I had a sleepless night about the yarns that I saw in the sale. Then I decide to order(the day before I leave). This yarn arrived an hour before I left for the airport, talk about cutting it fine! Anyway it is the most soft and wonderfully dyed yarn. All this yarn I ordered I just love so glad I lost sleep over it. Only you fellow knitters will understand.

Anyway enough rambling until next time.

Thursday, 2 April 2009


Well at last I get back to reality, our holiday was just wonderful, we all came back rested and happy. This euphoric feeling has lasted until this week when the stresses of normal life have begun to kick back in.

Good News I do not have tendonitis!!!! Yeah as that was going to mean a 6 week splint and cortisone injections and most painful of all NO MORE KNITTING. I have a minor bone injury. I started physio today and hopefully will be able to resume knitting some time soon.

Meanwhile my first pair of socks is growing well. I started these at the UAE knitters KAL at Dubai Mall last Friday. I am loving my beautiful plain yet lovely, Basic Supersocks Dubai Style! I am using one of my first Handpainted yarns, Claudia Handpainted Antique Jeans, it is so beautiful it does not require a large amount of stitch pattern so it has proved a good choice for my first basic pair.

I have really enjoyed the construction of these socks and look forward to many more pairs.

Last weekend was really busy Thursday eve was the Cirque De Soliel, Friday Knitting and Saturday Coldplay. A perfect weekend.

This weekend has UAE knitters tomorrow and a lot of rest. I have promised Miffy to rest my hand for two days so no sneaky knitting!!! Just a lot of planning.

Thursday, 12 March 2009


Well I think I might have gone and overdone the knitting. I have been diagnosed with the dreaded tendonitis.

This may have been aggravated by my friend Debs. After breaking her wrist, she had to wait over 40 minutes for an ambulance . Debs was in a lot of pain and whilst she was conscious was holding on to my hand for grim death!

Anyway the knitting has been put away for a while. It is killing me as I am going cold turkey. It is also very dangerous, as planning for new projects, means shopping for new yarn.

As I am on a yarn diet this is a very difficult period. I have managed to resist so far.

I am hoping that my tendons will have eased enough to take my knitting with me next week on holiday. I may sneak a few rows though anyway, otherwise I will go crazy.

Last Friday we had our Dubai meeting in Caribou Coffee Festival city. There were four of us there and it was great to meet yet more like minded people and of course to look at what projects everyone else has on the needles. Jocelyn was sadly missed.See you next time though!

My visitors are all away back home now and the house is very quiet. I have posted a few photos of Nathan & Nyah with Ricky & Tracy on their recent visit,as most of you said that you wished to see some photos of them.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

At Last I have managed to create an english blog

Great I have finally worked out how to change this thing from Arabic to English.

I am taking a break from mums beautiful Phiaro, as the braiding is proving harder than the knitting! That was a piece of cake. Need to speak to a few fellow Phiaro makers as to how they got all the ends the same length and tied a neat knot. I thought that I was an expert Braider doing Nyah's Hair all the time but I guess that I have a lot to learn. I think with hair it is a lot less exact.

But I still love this project, it is one for the mindless knitting days when you just want to knit and not think. Great for days with the kids in the garden.

I am about to cast on number two for my best friend Tracy, she is here in UAE at the moment, but she is staying in AL AQAH for a few nights. I want her to chose her colour but I think to get this finished with the braids I should make a decision today and just cast on!

We are all loving the weather at last , as today was wonderful about 28c and we took the kids to the pool and they loved it . Hard to imagine but the water was warmer than the air as they keep it at 31c so when you come out you are cold!!!

Not quite like our days in Donegal when we had to run in and out with blue feet to get used to the freezing cold temperature of the Atlantic ocean. We did not seem to mind! We so wanted to get in there always.