The start of a big week

I’ve been hiding away from the blog a bit lately for fear of not having much knitting to talk about, but then I remember that it is nice sometimes to just write generally about stuff, even if there’s no knitting  (that I can show) to discuss. I could talk about my test knitting, but it’s plodding along with not a lot to report; I could talk about the shawl where I ran out of yarn in the cast off, but I’m too sad to go there right now.

Instead, I’ll focus on what’s ahead.

It’s a big week, not least of all because, as mentioned previously,  I’m going to Bendigo on Wednesday, meeting up with DrK at Melbourne airport for what will no doubt be a huge, thrilling and at times overwhelming trip. And not just because of all the shopping I p lan to do!

I’m really looking forward to meeting up with people, those I’ve met before and those I’ve known about, read or interacted with online for a long time. Those sorts of experiences are often as draining as they are fun for me. I can have the best intentions of being highly sociable, only to find myself feeling quite shy and unsure what to say but I’m sure that’s the case for lots of us. But as scary as it sounds to spend several days around loads of people, I just know I wouldn’t miss it for anything. I just have a lot to do between now and when my sister drops me at the airport on Wednesday morning.

Also, this week, it’s my birthday and today kicked off the Festival of Bells, as Sean has been known to call it. I don’t mean to spread out the birthday celebrations into a week long party, but it does tend to go that way when I try and fit in various friends and family for catching up. Beginning with a full on afternoon at a local German brewery with a group of friends, among which were several other birthdays occurring this week, I have a few different engagements planned. One of the nicest will be morning tea with my sister and Miss Alice in the morning. For my last birthday, Alice was still a tiny girl in a pram. This year she’ll probably upstage anything I could possibly do and make the morning about her, and why not?

Speaking of Alice, remember how I made Elijah the Elephant for her? Well  he’s still around. He tends to show up mostly in her bag when she comes to stay. I’ll zip open her overnight or visiting bag and he’ll be there on top. He came with us yesterday to keep Alice company while she had her first big girl hair cut.

cuddling Stampy

She was such a good girl (except for when she got bits of snipped hair in her eyes and she got upset, but who wouldn’t?). Speaking of eyes, look at Elijah. Or Stampy as he’s otherwise known. No eyes. They fell out and I’m unsure what to do. I didn’t do a great job in the first place because making the little french knots for eyes is really hard when you can’t actually get your hand into the back of the fabric. Any suggestions?

Here’s one last shot of the moment Alice discovered herself in the hair salon mirror. I think she was a bit taken with the image of herself and her hair being snipped. Later I stood her in front of the mirror and she planted great big kisses on her reflection. It’s good to have a healthy self-esteem isn’t it?

Seeing herself in the mirror



33 thoughts on “The start of a big week

  1. A big girl’s hair cut! Wow! I think my daughter will be 3 before we get to that…!

    Re Elijah’s eyes – I’d be inclined to go with a satin stitch type finish using a doll needle (extra long) and stitching both eyes at the same time, kind of as if you were attaching buttons for eyes you’d do them both at once stitching from one side to the other. Is any sense being made here right now!?! I’d be wary of felt just because my 19 month old would pick or chew them right off and probably eat them!

    Have a lovely time in Bendigo – socialise when you want to and take time out if you like as well. I completely get the shy/reserved/introvert factor. Even when you have the best intentions to meet lots of new people, it can be completely exhausting!

  2. happy birthday Bells – hope you can spin it out for as long as possible. and alice looks so cute with her haircut, sounds like she was so very good to sit still that long. i can’t imagine my girls would be that cooperative. have fun at bendigo!

  3. It is completely unnerving how much Alice looks like Madeleine did at that age. Will now have to dig around for a photo of Madeleine’s first haircut. Goodness me.

  4. I have yet to go to any of the knitting/fiber festivals. I too get shy and I get very tongue-tied. I really would like to meet some of the people I communicate with online. I hope you enjoy yourself, and just relax. Most of the time people take us as we are and are just as nice in person as they are on the computer.

  5. I had the same concerns about using french knots for Elijah’s eyes, so I opted for embroidered rectangles, which seem a little bit sturdier. They might change Stampy’s look a bit too much for Alice’s liking though. It’s so sweet that he’s become a close friend.

    Hope I can catch up with you in Bendigo on Saturday!

  6. Happy Birthday! I hope you have a wonderful week of celebrations too. Bendigo will be lots of fun. I havent been for a few years now but I am hoping I can make it on the weekend!

  7. That is an awesome pic of Alice gazing at her reflection in the mirror. Such a beauty. And NEVER apologize for a post that is only vaguely about knitting. We are all waiting with bated breath for your next update. ;^)

  8. Thank you so much for an Alice post! As much as I love your knitting, I must admit posts featuring Alice are among my favorites. Have fun at your get together!

  9. Happy Birthday, Bells! And how fun to spend part of the Festival of Bells at Bendigo…(love the alliteration, too!) One of these days I’ll make it to the Bendigo show. Can’t wait to see/hear all about the goodies you score there and the old and new friends you meet.

    And Alice’s haircut turned out to be really wonderful, didn’t it? She looks SO grown-up!

  10. That Alice just gets cuter by the day! I hope she always feel so good about herself.

    Thanks for being so honest about feeling a bit awkward at times. I often feel like I’m the only one who struggles with that!

  11. Have a great Festival of Bells! Sounds like an amazing week coming up – Happy Birthday!

    And love the haircut pics! Just wait till she’s older – that realization about her reflection is adorable – – if we’re somewhere and my daughter spies herself, she talks to you, while looking over your shoulder. We mock her for it, and she denies. Never met a mirror she didn’t like…

  12. Counting down to the 13th!! Hope the Festival of Bells is nothing short of spectacular. Alice is an angel and her little bob just suits her to a tee. And the felt solution sounds perfect for Elijah. Aren’t you glad he’s turned out to be so beloved? Just what every toy knitter hopes for.

    I’m so with you on the social scene. Sometimes it’s effortless, other times I get a headache just trying to keep away from the dreaded “Awkward Silence.” My only tip is that everyone loves talking about themselves, so when I just cannot muster the energy to hold up my end of the conversation, I ask a lot of leading questions and let the other people handle the talking. 😉 I know you’re going to have a marvelous time. How could you not surrounded by all that wonderful wool!?!?

  13. Have a lovely week and a really nice birthday. I know what you mean about social situations being quite tireing but it will be great to meet those online people!
    I sewed my Elijahs eyes just as overlapping straight stitches and they are still on, which is good considering the abuse he gets from his 2 year old owner!

  14. Stampy is obviously a very helpful and comforting elephant. Since he dowsn’t have eyes, maybe she could tell him what’s going on. Then you could listen in on her view of the world.

  15. Happy birthday!! And have a fabulous time at Bendigo, and then come back and blog it so we can live vicariously through you. 😉

    I won’t have Grace’s hair cut yet. Nope. No way. But Alice was very patient!!

    I like the felt idea for eyes. I was going to suggest buttons, if you feel Alice is beyond the stage where she’ll try to pull them off and eat them. I wouldn’t do buttons for a baby but I’d probably be comfortable with them for Grace–it depends upon the child, too.

  16. Look at all that hair Alice has (well, had)! She looks cute with it cut.

    I used to celebrate my birthday for almost the whole month. One of my best friends had a birthday at the end of the month and mine was in the beginning so we’d just claim the entire month as our own.

    I’d go with either the felt idea or just use some embroidery thread and a curved needle to give Stampy some new eyes. Or ask Alice what she thinks. I’ll bet she has some definite ideas.

    I know what you mean about knitting content. Sometimes I think everyone will just scream if I describe my life one more time but it turns out that’s what people like to hear. Knitting is just a bonus.

    Have a Happy Birthday! (and I’m right with you there in spirit as you meet new people. It always makes me feel unsure and shy, too. )

  17. Now why would you think all this great stuff wasn’t blog-worthy?! The awkwardness of meeting bloggy friends live alone is a great topic, as is running out of yarn on the cast off… and eyelessness… and Alice, of course! Those are cute pics, and a great story. And hellooooo? Birthday! Happy happy one, Helen! I hope it’s a great week!

  18. The festival of Shazmina lasts two weeks, but it really is dependent on what day your actually falls on. It could include two or three weekends and two weeks. And if it is a BIG number birthday it could last for months!!

    I love Stampy, but not so sure about the haircut……… but only because I think it should never be cut!!!

  19. Happy Birthday! My rag doll when I was small had circles of felt as well for all the features. My Grandma sewed them on, but when they eventually fell off my mum glued them on and that kind of ruined the face. Don’t let glue go anywhere near Elijah/Stampy.

    Enjoy your festival!

  20. Congrats on the upcoming festival! That picture of Alice squeezing Elijjah/Stampy is adorable. Maybe you could do satin stitch eyes? It might be easier to do now that he’s all sewn up.

  21. I have spent most of today planning my projects to take, and projects to spend for, but have yet to figure out what clothes to pack! Very much looking forward to celebrating the festival of wool and of Bells with you!

  22. Heh heh, she’s thinking “who is that gorgeous blond girl I can see right near me?”

    Nice to see Elijah Stampy is well loved! I know how hard it is to sew eyes/features onto stuffed toys once they are stuffed. If I were you, I either wouldn’t bother replacing the eyes or I would sew them back on but not as french knots, but rather as small running stitches done over the tops of each other.

    mmmm Bendi – what a great way to end the festival of Bells!

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