2011

Happy New Year! Did you have a good night?

2011’s not been quite as up and down as 2010; there’s still been a few shitty moments that I shan’t be sad to say goodbye to, but we did have a beautiful new addition to the family, so I shouldn’t complain too much.

I really didn’t manage to fulfill any of my resolutions for 2011, which was a bit of a downer. I have set myself just a few for 2012, but I think (I hope!) they are a bit more attainable (and less vague than “Be happier”)

  • Get in shape – I miss the gym so much!
  • Reach 30 books read on my book list – currently 25.
  • Visit 2 foreign countries – bonus if I haven’t been there before, extra bonus if I live there.

I know they sound daft, but I find it quite important to have something to aim for 🙂 Have you got any resolutions for 2012?

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Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – day 7

Day seven: 3rd April. Your knitting and crochet time.
Write about your typical crafting time. When it is that you are likely to craft – alone or in more social environments, when watching TV or whilst taking bus journeys. What items do you like to surround yourself with whilst you twirl your hook like a majorette’s baton or work those needles like a skilled set of samurai swords. Do you always have snacks to hand, or are you a strictly ‘no crumbs near my yarn!’ kind of knitter.

When I think of my crafting time, there’s generally three things that happen. I’m either…

A) Slouched over my desk, knitting detritus spread around my room, watching TV or listening to podcasts (OK, listening to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Film Reviews in particular – highly recommended for the lolz)

B) Curled up on the sofa, knitting detritus spread around the lounge, watching TV or chatting to my mum.

C) Huddled on a train/bus desperately trying to keep my knitting detritus close at hand, listening to whatever’s on my iPod.

However, I don’t get much travel knitting time these days – now I’m not commuting to uni from home every day, my travel time each day has been cut by 2 hours, and the tube is normally so packed there’s not enough room to breathe, let alone sit down and get a knitting bag out.

Having said all this, there’s not been a great deal of knitting time going on at all over the last few months. I don’t even know why, which is the frustrating thing. But I’ve finished lectures for the year, and I have a month until exams, so I’m sure I’ll find plenty of knitting to do to avoid revising…

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Thank you to Eskimimi for organising KCBW again this year – I was too late to join the party last year but I’ve enjoyed taking part this time, and I’m pleased with myself that I actually managed to finish it! I’ve really enjoyed discovering new blogs (will update my blog list ASAP!) and I’ve certainly pondered the nature of blogging, for better and worse.



Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – day 6

Day six: 2nd April. Something to aspire to.
Is there a pattern or skill that you don’t yet feel ready to tackle but which you hope to (or think you can only dream of) tackling in the future, near or distant? Is there a skill or project that makes your mind boggle at the sheer time, dedication and mastery of the craft? Maybe the skill or pattern is one that you don’t even personally want to make but can stand back and admire those that do. Maybe it is something you think you will never be bothered to actually make but can admire the result of those that have.

There are so many projects and skills I wish I could do! Socks, Fair Isle, steeking (haha, just kidding), items bigger than baby jackets, entrelac, complicated lace… I’ve certainly gained a lot of skills since I’ve been knitting, but there’s a LOT still for me to learn; however I think I often run for the hills if there’s a skill involved in a project that I’ve yet to conquer. A lack of confidence and patience plays a big part in my knitting, which I wish wasn’t the case! I’ve had a project in mind that I’ve wanted to knit for weeks now – I bought all the yarn, I’ve got the needles, I found a pattern, but I haven’t started it yet because I’m worried it won’t turn out exactly how I pictured it. Stupid, innit?

In terms of things I admire but wouldn’t necessarily make myself, I’d probably choose projects like Fair Isle mittens – I can appreciate the skill that goes into them, and some of the patterns (like this one) really catch my eye, but I couldn’t see myself making or wearing anything like that.

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Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – day 5

Day Five: 1st April. And now for something completely different!
This is an experimental blogging day to try and push your creativity in blogging to the same level that you perhaps push your creativity in the items you create. There are no rules of a topic to blog about (though some suggestions are given below) but this post should look at a different way to present content on your blog.

I thought today’s prompt was really cool when I first saw it, weeks ago. I really liked the idea of trying a stop-motion animation, as I’ve never done one before and I’ve seen some really amazing ones (this is the first one that springs to mind). But alas, here day 5 is and lo and behold, I’ve not made anything 🙁

So as a bit of a last minute, cobbled-together post, I thought I’d post a few things from my Flickr photostream that I never got round to posting at the time (I will say now, though, that most of them are horrible quality, taken long before I got my DSLR!)

Raindrops keep falling on my head… (But that doesn’t mean that I am dead)

A Peacock butterfly

A random flag I liked the look of at V Festival 2008…

Amanda Palmer, 2009

The OXO Tower, on a walk along the South Bank

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Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – day 4

Day Four: 31st March. Where are they now?
Whatever happened to your __________?
Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.
There are a lot of different aspects to look at when looking back at a knitting project and it can make for interesting blogging, as much of the time we blog about items recently completed, new and freshly completed. It is not so often that we look back at what has happened to these items after they have been around for a while…

Oh this question brings back memories…!

These were my very first pair of mittens. And the first thing I’ve knitted myself that I’ve gone and lost. Somewhere between getting on a train, and leaving the station at the other end, these went AWOL, never to be seen again 🙁 I really was quite down about it, not least because it was probably the coldest day of the year and I thus had to suffer very cold hands. They were cashmerino and everything!

BUT, they were succeeded by a very similar, but slightly better pair. Neat decreases meant they fit better, and discovering that knitting an extra stitch on each needle of a set of DPNs means no nasty needle gaps made them look that bit neater. All in all, a (slightly harsh) learning curve.

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Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – day 3

Day Three: 30th March. Tidy mind, tidy stitches.
How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins. However, if you are organised, blog about an aspect of that organisation process, whether that be a particularly neat and tidy knitting bag, a decorative display of your crochet hooks, your organised stash or your project and stash pages on Ravelry.

Well. I wish I could provide pictures of my main stash, but it’s at home and I’m not 🙁 Some of it lives in Benno CD towers from Ikea, and some of it lives in *ahem*plastic bags*cough*. In London, I don’t have much of a stash at all (perhaps with the exception of this little stashette).

But I do like to be organised (ha!) and to display bits and pieces…

… and I can happily spend an hour a day updating my Ravelry stash page. I like to regularly update my project pages during a project too; I find it rather pleasing to see that “percentage completed” bar filling up 🙂

But anyone whow knows me can attest to the fact that I can organise ’til the cows come home, but it’s not often I actually do – something I am trying to beat (I shall post more on this matter after Blog Week is over!)

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Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – day 2

Day Two: 29th March. Skill + 1UP
Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. Have you learned any new skills or forms of knitting/crochet (can you crochet cable stitches now where you didn’t even know such things existed last year? Have you recently put a foot in the tiled world of entrelac? Had you even picked up a pair of needles or crochet hook this time last year?

I think my skills have definitely improved a bit in the last year.


Ishbel

I discovered I really quite like lace (and that I’m not too bad at knitting it)…


Star-Crossed Slouchy Beret

… and that cables really can be simple yet lovely.

I’ve also learned how to do provisional cast ons, invisible seaming, picking up stitches well (although I’m still scared of having to do it) and how to knit socks (albeit baby ones – not ready to jump into the terrifying world of adult-sized socks just yet) amongst other things.

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Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – day 1

Day One: 28th March. A Tale of Two Yarns.
Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

I’ve decided to choose one yarn I love and one I really don’t, because I have yarns that immediately spring to mind for both.


Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

I’ve chosen Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino as a favourite yarn because it is such a pleasure to knit with. It’s soft and smooth, it doesn’t shed, it doesn’t split, it wears well and it produces a beautifully defined stitch; pretty much everything I look for in a yarn. And it comes in such lovely colourways – there’s the traditional “baby colours” but also some that are less traditional but still really lovely.


Adriafil Llama

For the yarn that I really didn’t get on with, I’ve chosen Adriafil Llama. I had high hopes for this, but I found it really difficult to knit with. I did finish the project I was using it for (Snug baby jacket) but I didn’t enjoy knitting it as much as I should have. The yarn was VERY sheddy, and there were numerous points where the yarn completely fell apart and I had to smoosh it back together to carry on. It also wasn’t as soft as I thought it was, either. I’m really hoping it wears well and doesn’t turn out to be at all scratchy (certainly not what you want with baby clothes!) so I’ll just have to wait and see.

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2010

How did it get to be 2011 already?! Happy New Year to you all 🙂

2010’s been an odd one for me. There’s been wonderful news and awful news, weddings, funerals, triumphs and failures.


A few photos I’ve taken over the last year

2011 is hopefully going to bring some big changes for me, and it’s both terrifying and incredibly exciting. I’m aiming (not making resolutions – no-one ever keeps those) to do more this year, to throw caution to the wind and go for it. This will hopefully involve not only moving (back) to London, but also to a different country (told you it was scary).

I’d also like to make a couple of blogging r… aims. I’m going to try and blog at least once a week, and I’m going to try to do something creative once a week – whether it’s knitting, sewing, spinning, I want to do a project a week (or finish old, long-forgotten projects, of which there are many).

Have you got any New Year aims?

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