Keep calm, everything is under control

Current WIP count: 10

It may look like things are getting out of hand with my ever-growing WIP list, but I know what I’m doing. Honest.

One of the new makes is a bracelet, so that won’t take me long at all.

Lookit these gorgeous beads!

The cupcake hat just needs a pompom and that’ll be off the list.

I’m about 3/4 done with the first sleeve of baby Flax Light.

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Yes, the top section is thinner than the rest because 1. I’m a dingbat and used the smaller needles I had lying out ready for ribbing, and 2. I was NOT tinking back 4 inches to fix it. I’m just going to block the hell out of that top part and tell myself babies don’t get to wear clothes for long before outgrowing them anyway, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

The blue hat is chugging along. I’m using the Hubby Hat pattern, but decided that was just the wrong side of boring for me, so I’ve added in a wee garter stripe.

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This is my easy peasy mindless knit that I’ve been working on before bed to help me switch off. It’s great!

There’s also been a tiny bit of action on my running hat, because I just needed some crochet in my life. When did I become a knitter?

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The big day is coming up fast; how is everyone doing?

Hannah

xXx

WIPs, WIPs everywhere

Current WIP count: 8

Ah, Christmas. That time of year when my WIP list runs out of control and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Actually that’s not true; I exerted some control this year by deciding to only make presents for a select few people. It would be lovely if I had the time and resources to make for everyone, but I somehow skipped half of October and November, and I have a full-time job that takes up far too much of my day, so that’s just not happening.

I compromised a little for my other friends, and raided Etsy for handmade-but-not-by-me gifts. This way everyone I love gets something special, I don’t end up having to pull all-nighters from now til Christmas Eve, and a few Etsy sellers get to do a happy dance. Wins all round!

As for the pressies I am making, obviously baby Flax Light is now going to be a Christmas rather than birthday present, as I only have this much of one sleeve done:

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There’s also a hat present in the works (thank you, Alissa, for bringing this gorgeous yarn to my attention months ago):

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And I decided the cupcake hat will also be a gift, as I have a couple of friends who love bright colours as much as I do. I just need to work out how to attach a pompom so it stays put.

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Considering there are only 3 weeks until the big day, I’m feeling pretty calm and in control about Christmas this year. Probably because I’m not thinking about all the Christmas cards I want to make!

Hannah

xXx

October Review – where did it go?

What on earth happened to October? Seriously, I must have lost a fortnight somewhere. I’d blame the new job, but I’m enjoying it too much to start laying blame on it already. It’s so nice to discover that existential dread isn’t actually a standard part of Sunday afternoon/evenings…

Anyway, I want to say “on to craft talk”, but there really isn’t much to talk about for this month. I did finish Changing Staircases and it’s kept me warm a few times.

And I made some progress with my baby Flax Light, but then stalled with re-doing the same 10 rounds over and over to fix mistakes.

And that’s it. I’ve no idea what I’ve been doing for the last 31 days, but apparently it wasn’t making things!

Things never slow down in the run up to Christmas, so I’m setting more of a process goal for November rather than a results goal: I will do some form of crafting every day for the next 30 days. Even if it’s just one stitch or sticking a peel-off on one card, I will do something.

Today’s crafting was some knitting on the way to and from work so that’s day one – done!

Hannah

xXx

All befuddled

Current WIP count: 6

I have made it through the first week of a brand new job! While I’m not as exhausted as I expected after all the newness and strangers to deal with, my brain has gone a bit mushy. It’s showing in my attempt to make another Flax Light.

Firstly, I either forgot how garter stitch works or just got hyper-focussed on purl stitches: round 1 starts with some purls, and I couldn’t for the life of me work out how to do a kfb for round 2. “But it’s a purl stitch!” I kept saying to myself, more times than I care to admit.

After a few days in the naughty corner (the knitting, not me) I picked it up and suddenly my brain was working again.

Or so I thought. The next challenge was placing stitch markers and, considering they’re labelled ‘raglan markers’ in the pattern, it should be pretty obvious that they’re to mark the raglan increases. But nooo, this dingbat got it into her head that they marked the beginning and end of the garter sections.

I was a few rounds in by the time it twigged, I tried to fix it and ended up making more of a mess, so I frogged the lot.

This is now all I have to show for myself.I’m thinking I’ll aim for Christmas rather than baby’s first birthday at the beginning of December!

On the plus side, I think my new job is going to be really good, AND I can take the subway instead of driving so I can knit every day on my commute. It all balances out in the end.

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 04.01.19

It’s been a while (and also Christmas) so there’s quite a few FOs to share today.

I’ll start with my tastiest gift; a Baileys baked cheesecake.

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My friend is awesome and let me have a piece, and it was goooood if I do say so myself. Which is a huge relief, as I’ve never made a baked cheesecake before so there was always the possibility that it would be rubbish.

I finished up the ‘matching’ cushions for my parents. A robin for my mum

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And a hedgehog for my dad.

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Here’s the back before I attached it:

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My sister got a pair of modified frostvirka mittens, this time as fingerless gloves

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I used chunky yarn so not only were they quicker than the last pair, there were also fewer ends to sew in. Win!

And finally, to finish off the Sunrise Scarf I had to tag in a wee bit of my previous Twirl. It’s kind of a sudden jump in colour compared to the rest, but I think it just about works.

 

Not quite as many presents as I was hoping to make for Christmas, but considering how quickly the year ran past and the fact that I spent December facing redundancy it’s really not a bad show. How’s your new year going so far? Got any new FOs to share? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

18 for 2018 – end of year review

Welcome to 2019 everyone! I hope the holidays and new year were everything you hoped for.

It’s hard to believe a whole year has gone by since I decided on these goals – time just goes so quickly! But a year it has been so without further ado let’s get on with my final review.

1 New blog followed per week – 7/7 (yearly total 52/52) COMPLETE!

I made it!

 

2 New stitches/techniques learned per month – 1/2 (18/24)

This month I figured out how to do a long dc for my African Flower motifs.

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No met goal here, but I have learned a lot and developed more confidence with my knitting.

 

3 Instagram posts per week – 14/15 (147/156)

I was so sure I could meet this one, but Christmas and new year kind of knocked me off my game a bit. Still, I’m happy that I managed to post fairly regularly.

 

4 Exercise sessions per week – 22/18 (204/208)

Oooh so close!!

 

5 Blog posts written per week – 10/22 (161/260)

Wow, I really fell behind with this one. Even more than I thought.

 

6 Patterns written up – 5/6 (5/6)

I wrote up the pattern for my crochet crotchet, and then added on some bits to create a pattern for a pair of quavers.

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I’m pretty pleased that I managed to get to 5, considering at the beginning of the year I believed I just wasn’t made for pattern writing!

 

7 Areas in my flat sorted – 7/7 (7/7) COMPLETE!

I sorted my kitchen cupboards and got rid of quite a lot. Vitamins and supplements that I took for about a month and then forgot about, a frying pan that was so worn out it was starting to rust, plus some tea that I’d had for over 10 years.

I don’t know if tea can go off and be bad for you, but I figured if I haven’t used it in 10 years then I’m probably never going to!

 

8 Minutes of writing per day COMPLETE! 

 

9 pm bed time – 10/31 (103/365)

Well at least I met my mini goal of 100! Clearly I need to keep working on taking better care of my sleep.

 

10% of wages saved – 10/10 COMPLETE!

I managed this every month so now I’ve got a nice chunk of savings in the bank.

 

12 Hand-written letters – 13/12 COMPLETE!

A lot of things came up around Christmas time so I didn’t get to send all the cards and letters I was planning to. Still, this goal is definitely smashed!

 

13 New recipes tried – 14/13 COMPLETE!

An experiment with leftovers led to a really tasty casserole this month, just nudging me over the goal line.

 

14 Meet ups with friends – 14/14 COMPLETE! (stretch goal 31/25) DOUBLE COMPLETE!

We all knew Christmas would make this one easier, but I never expected to smash my stretch goal quite so much!  There was singing in various pubs, archery parties, cups of tea with friends, chips for breakfast, baby snuggles, and a cheeky Nandos. I’m ready for a wee break now!

 

15 Birthdays on time – 15/15 COMPLETE!

The present for my friend in Germany went out super early this month and then my two friends with birthdays on new year’s eve pushed me over the finish line. I’m so glad I met this one; I always feel like a terrible human being when I miss people’s birthdays, so although I didn’t quite manage them all I’m still feeling good that I got so many on time.

 

16 Christmas cards made – 18/16 COMPLETE!

Done and done.

 

17 Birthday cards made – 9/17

Just one this month for my friend in Germany, although I forgot to take a photo of it.

 

18 Items decluttered – 18/18 COMPLETE!

My frying pan, tea, and bottles of old vitamins bring the total up to 18. I’m definitely going to keep on decluttering as and when the need comes up, I just love the freed-up space and the feeling of achievement that comes with it.

 

That’s 10 goals met, and a couple very nearly met, which is honestly much better than I expected of myself. It was good to have some goals to work toward and something to focus on, but I’ve got a lot of stressors going on in my life right now so I’ve decided not to do this again for 2019.  For now I shall just be all smug and enjoy my success over the last year!

 

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 21.12.18

I’m getting there, two Christmas presents done and dusted this week.

During the weekend away in October I had a somewhat tipsy conversation with our Musical Director about how various musical notes would look in 3D rather than written on a page. At my current skill level and with the limited time left, I could only manage a simple crotchet, but I hope he’ll like it.

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Although I rather hope he doesn’t like it too much and ask for a whole set. Black yarn is not my friend! 

I also finished off the drake I started aaaaaages ago, feeling very glad that I’d binned the wings. There were already far too many pieces to sew together without them.

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If I make another one I’m definitely using safety eyes because I am pants at sewing details on my amigurumi. SO unimpressed with these eyes.

I can’t believe Christmas is on Tuesday! This weekend is going to be busy busy with frantic crochet finishes. How’s everyone else getting on? *hugses* for anyone else feeling that last-minute panic!

Hannah

xXx

Basic baubles

My dad works at a school that has a laser cutter in the technology department, so he asked me to design some zentangle Christmas baubles for him to etch out with the machine.

Zentangle baubles featured quite a bit on my Christmas cards last year, but somehow when I came to do them this year I just couldn’t get into the flow of it. I tried some old favourites, threw in some new ones, combined some together, every last one feeling like a struggle. Eventually I got 6 different designs, but I’m not especially pleased with any of them.

Even my favourite tangle doesn’t fill me with joy.

But I sent them off to dad anyway and hopefully he can make some pretty decorations from them. Who knows, maybe I’ll like them better in plastic than on paper.

What do you think of my baubles? Am I being too harsh (be honest)? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

52 card pick up

For my birthday this year I received this cardmaking kit:

It was a very thoughtful present. I do love making cards and I got it in plenty of time to make them for this Christmas.

But.

I didn’t really like it.

My aesthetic is vivid colours, simple lines, and minimalist embellishments.

But this kit has busy, busy papers in quite muted colours, and the embellishments contain possibly my least favourite thing ever: cutesy vintage.

No judgement, I know there are people in the world who find these adorable. I’m just not one of them.

Now, I’ve written before about Jess Crafts videos where she uses one paper pad to make lots of cards. Example here. After watching a few of those I had the thought that if I whack out cards like that, I can use up the kit and maybe sell the end results. Because it’s a birthday present so I can’t just give it away unused.

So I chopped all the papers into backgrounds, squares, and strips

Then went to it, churning out cards like I never have before. It’s quite freeing having all those pieces ready to assemble, and not having to think and plan a unique card every time. And it turns out I actually quite like some of them!

Another life lesson for me; don’t dismiss something outright just because you don’t like some aspects of it.

Hannah

xXx

FO Friday 02.11.18

Happy Friday everyone! Is it me or has this been a really long week?

I finished the final robin for my mum and here’s the full set. With pompoms!

The one in the blue hat has been adjusted; I just didn’t like the way the eyes looked so I moved them a bit closer together.

20181102_154511-1.jpgIt’s been a long while since I mentioned them, but I did finish the baby blanket and matching bootees for my friend having a baby.

 

I’m pretty proud of them. Plus I took them to choir to hand over, and got 2 crochet orders from other choir members! Total win.

That’s what I’ve done this week. Anyone else got FOs to share? Any fun plans for the weekend? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx