On a hat binge

I just can’t stop making hats at the moment.

The current one is an attempt to use up a big multipack of yarn I can’t remember why I bought. Each skein is 200g and for some reason I got four of them, so there’s a lot to work with!

It’s plain blue and I can only deal with boring in one aspect of my crafting, so I decided to add a wee bit of texture into this hat. After the ribbing I’ve started a 7-stitch repeat over a number that doesn’t divide by seven evenly, in the hope that it will offset and create a subtle spiral pattern.

20200214_150103.jpg
Not quite pictured: unicorn stitch marker

I’ll see if it works out soon enough.

 

The thought has just occurred that I could use some of this stuff to make a Flax for myself. It would be much quicker than the Flax Light (yay for thick yarn!) so I’m seriously tempted…

Hannah

xXx

Fingerless gloves

Current WIP count: 6

A request! I haven’t had a request for ages, and this one is for the boyfriend so I’m even happier.

He wants some fingerless gloves, nothing too fancy, preferably multi-coloured – No problem. I’ve been looking for an excuse to try out this pattern from Midnight Knitter, and we all know I have no shortage of variegated yarn to choose from.

I picked out a few likely skeins and let the bf choose his favourite. He went for Caron Simply Soft Camo, and I cast on straight away because I’m impatient like that.

As you can see, I’ve not got very far yet (DPN cast on is FIDDLY), but I’m already enjoying it. I can’t wait to see how the colours play out – will there be any pooling? Will there be stripes? Will it be completely random? Let’s find out!

I know, I know. Simple things please simple minds.

Hannah

xXx

The longest January ever

I don’t know how a month can feel like it’s never-ending and still go by in a flash, but January just managed it. Right now I simultaneously can’t believe it’s February already and don’t understand how it’s not at least 2025 yet.  Isn’t time funny?

There wasn’t a huge amount of making for me last month, but I’m happy that the majority of it was for charity.

I also finished off my baby Flax Light and made some progress with Roses for Grandma.

The reason I didn’t get much making done is because a lot of craft time was spent trying to get my flat into some sort of order. You may remember the hugenormous pile of yarn:

20200122_185530.jpg

That turned out to be around 400 skeins of yarn.

400!

I Marie Kondo-d that mountain and got rid of all the old, nasty acrylic that squeaks when you use it, any colours I wasn’t in love with, and odd bits of leftover skeins I knew I would never do anything with. That left me with 355.5 total. Yes I counted some as half skeins, not to make the total look better, but to give a more realistic idea of what I’ve used up. No using little 25g balls and patting myself on the back for clearing out whole skeins.

So another goal for this year is to make my stash less ridiculous and use up as much as I can. Even though January wasn’t particularly crafty I still managed to knit and crochet two skeins, one into charity hats and one into Roses for Grandma, leaving me with 353.5 to go.

Wish me luck!

Hannah

xXx

Self-care for a Monday

Karen shared another quiz, this time a wee quick one about self-care. It was actually quite interesting to think about so maybe give it a go yourself.

  • Do you practice self-care? Is it a term you use or is it a foreign concept?

I don’t think I’ve ever used the term specifically, I usually call it introvert time, but the idea is very important to me. I can get easily overwhelmed by too much ‘input’ or spending too long around people, so my main self care is staying aware of my energy/overwhelm levels, getting out of situations when they become too much, and having non-negotiable alone time throughout the week to recharge.

At the moment I’m working on the more difficult self-care of doing hard things to make life better, i.e. sorting and decluttering my entire flat. It’s hard work (and a bit stressful), but I know when it’s done my mind will be clearer and it will lift some weight off my shoulders.

 

  • How do you practice self-care in a physical way? Do you put make up on or get your hair done? Maybe get a massage? Go for a run?

Mainly powerlifting at the gym (although that’s been a bit overwhelming itself recently, what with being chock full of newbies), and running is also good when I need to get out of my own head.

They help me stay as healthy as I can, with the added bonus that everything feels and tastes AMAZING afterwards. Having a shower and putting on my big, cosy jumper straight after the gym feels like being hugged by my 10 favourite people all at once.

 

  • How do you practice self-care in a mental way? Do you meditate? Do you pray? Do you sit quietly and empty your mind?

Running kind of covers this as well – if I get stuck in an over-thinking loop I go out for a run and focus on timing my breath with my footsteps, and everything else goes quiet.

Journalling can also help, as I deal better with written words than the noise in my mind, and everyone knows how good crochet and knitting are for your health.

 

  • Do you consider time alone to be self-care? Or time with family? Or time with friends?

All of the above, in some ways. I miss my friends and family when I don’t see them, and visiting them makes me happy so that’s a kind of care. But alone time is definitely the number one priority for me.

I work in an open-plan office for 40 hours a week, and I have a lot of hobbies that involve other people; I NEED my alone time to recharge so I can be a decent human being. I can get really snappy when I’m burnt out.

 

What do you think?

Hannah

xXx

Helpful FOs

You’ve got to love the crafting community. The Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild (link here) has received so many donations for Australia that there’s currently a stop on sending any more, to give them time to take stock and work out what’s still needed. What an excellent ‘problem’ to have!

So there’s been no crafting for Australia for me just yet, and I’ve been finishing up my other charity projects instead.

I now have four bears to go to Simba.

20200119_213229.jpg

Still not looking like twinsies.

And two hats to go to Knit For Peace.

I was going to block both hats, but I tried on the rolled one and I actually really like the look of it so that’s staying as it is.

I’m still hooked on the charity-crafting thing so now I’m making a pair of large bears for Simba. Once they’re finished that will be a full set of sizes and hopefully my crojo will let me get on with some of these WIPs that have been lying around for months.

Hannah

xXx

Charity begins at home

Current WIP count: 8

It’s quite addictive, this making for charity thing. I’m onto a second pair of bears for Simba (small this time).

20200115_080333.jpg

And a second hat to send to Knit for Peace.

20200115_080630.jpg

20200115_083538.jpg

Plus there’s been a call for knitted and crocheted items to help animals that have been injured in the fires in Australia. My boyfriend lived in Australia for a chunk of his life so the whole thing is hitting him pretty hard, and that makes it personal to me. I’m hoping to get a few things made up over the weekend so he can take them to the Post Office on Monday.

I just love the double joy of making something and knowing it will help someone (or an animal) to feel better.

Hannah

xXx

 

An FO and a big “NOPE” to magic loop

Only one month late, the baby Flax Light is finally finished and blocking!

20200108_194341.jpg

Thankfully, baby is on the petite side so she hasn’t already outgrown it before it even gets to her.

Now, those sleeves.

20200110_101727.jpg

I tried. I really tried. But magic loop (the knitting version) is just not for me. I don’t understand the argument that it’s easier/better than using DPNs, with all the to-ing and fro-ing of the cable, dealing with two massive ladders in your work, or constantly changing where the cable pops out to avoid said ladders. So. much. FAFF!

It’s good to know what my strengths and weaknesses are though, and it’s much better to not use magic loop because I don’t like it rather than because I’m scared of it, as used to be the case.  I’ll take that sort-of-win.

I should hopefully see my friend at some point this month so fingers crossed for some photos of baby wearing her new jumper. I hope she likes it!

Hannah

xXx

Make nine challenge 2020

I’m very late to the Make Nine Challenge (it seems to have started in 2015), but that’s nothing new.

Unlike a lot of posts I’ve seen on Instagram, I’m not aiming for nine specific things I want to make. It’s mainly skills I want to learn, with a couple of specific items thrown in there.

  1. Learn brioche knitting
  2. Knit a pair of socks
  3. Make a jumper/cardigan using the super chunky yarn I bought at a craft fair last year
  4. Learn double knitting
  5. Make something using colourwork
  6. Knit something using this book I got for Christmas: Book
  7. Make a Belladonna dress
  8. Make a Strange Signs blanket Strange
  9. Knit some selbu mittens

I’d say that’s enough to be getting on with for one year, especially considering what a slow knitter I am. Being realistic, let’s say I want to start these 9 things this year and any finishes will be a bonus.

Hannah

xXx

2019 review

Well look at that, another whole year gone by. Once again I’m so glad I have my blog to remind me of all I’ve achieved over the last 365 days.

For a start, there were a lot more FOs than I thought.

Baby poncho x2

Kalinda shawl

Caron cupcake hat x2

Caron cake folded bag (I’ve still got this lying around. I really must give it away)

The teeny tiny llama, and a somewhat creepy amigurumi tooth

There were a few bits and pieces for myself

Flax Light for me

A scrappy neck warmer

Changing Staircases

But I think I’m most pleased with my blanket output this year.

Not one, but two full-sized Lego blankets!

Changing Tides, my first ever CAL

A baby Lego blanket with spare bricks

The super chunky green and purple baby blanket

A more traditionally coloured baby blanket

There was also a Mothers day card with crochet elements, which I know I can do better this year.

Outside of knitting and crochet, I tried my hand at both needle felting and beading.

Then for christmas I whipped up my Dad’s hat and a final headband.

That’s 24 total FOs, which I’m pretty darn pleased with.

With all these projects I also learned a thing or two:

Continental knitting

Foundation crochet stitches

Magic loop for knitting

Stretchy bind off

Needle felting

Crochet loop stitch

So I’ve had a great year and I’m hoping to make 2020 just as good, if not better!

I’m determined that this will be the year I finally jump in to sock knitting. I’m also planning to make a big dent in my stash and make a bit of a difference in the world by focussing on some charity yarnery.

I hope everyone had a lovely new years eve, and that 2020 is so much better to you than 2019 was (whatever kind of year you had).

Hannah

xXx

One week to go!

Current WIP count: 12

I’m not panicking, why would I be panicking, are you panicking?

My Dad’s hat just needs 3 more centimetres before I start decreasing. And it looks like I’ll have to get the train down to my parents rather than driving so I’ll have plenty of time to finish it.

I hit a slight snag with the bracelets when the covering kept unwinding from the elastic, making it too wide to fit through the bead holes, but I gave the ends a quick coat in clear nail varnish and now I’m rolling. These will be done in a couple of hours, max.

There’s been a slight reprieve with baby Flax Light. My friend hasn’t had chance to sort all her Christmas shopping, so we’re having a meet up in the new year to exchange presents instead of making this week more stressful than it needs to be. So I now have an extra week or two to get these sleeves finished and I can focus on other presents, yay!

My running hat now looks like this, and I’m trying to decide whether to give it ribbing or not. Thoughts?

Also, I’m a glutton for punishment and started ANOTHER gift. In black. The yarn is Paintbox Simply Chunky so it should work up pretty quick. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Hannah

xXx

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.

20191211_081450-1.jpg

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.

20191211_081130-1.jpg

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?

20191211_084126.jpg

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

Hannah

xXx