Review of the Year: 2014

Hello 2015! (Yes I know I’m a couple of days late but I’ve been busy dammit)

This year has been crazy in a good way. Holidays and gigs and time with family and time to myself. Which pretty much sums up some of my resolutions for last year. So to review last years resolutions:-

1. Keep this Blog going. Yes. Well it’s still here. Not really successfully by still here. This may turn into a “try again this year” resolution.

2. Lose the Cheese weight Well this was a fail. But not a complete fail because whilst I’ve not lost weight at least I’ve not had a gain. I’m also no any healthier which was another part of this goal but I can also file this again under “try again this year”.

In another part of my mind I have a little voice saying “Eat the Cheese”

3. Read More! Erm, no. The only book I read last year was “The Last Days of Richard III and the Fate of his DNA” by John Ashdown-Hill. It was a great read but the honest truth is I don’t fell like I have time to read everything I want to read anymore with the time I spend on other things I wasn’t to do. The other option is to timetable in time to read but then it just feels like a chore. This resolution may be missing from this years list.

4Refresh my language courses Another No. I think this one may end up not only been given up but the actual books been given to the charity shop.

5. Enjoy my university course Meh, enjoy may have been optimistic. I am working on it and looking forward to the end result but hard work is hard work and it’s very rarely fun.

6. Go to More Gigs I’ve definitely managed this one. The complete list is:- Rizzle Kicks, The Eagles, Manic Street Preachers, The Beautiful South, The Searchers and Katy Perry. I also went to the theatre quite a lot; Avenue Q, The Perfect Murder, Evita, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Beyond The Barricade, Les Miserables and Mamma Mia. This year should be just as busy I hope with one trip to the theatre and one gig already booked. (I also realise I still have reviews to do for some of these)

7. Make the hubby a jumper Well I started one, does that get me half a point?

8. Actually make something for me! I did!

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Ok it did end up been for a fancy dress but it is still completed and the warmest jumper in the world. Thanks again to Mrs Moon for the inspiration.

I also have my Fair Isle jumper which is complete but that baby deserves its own post.

9. Have more nights out I really did, and the best was most certainly Halloween, which the above jumper was made for. Whilst I’m not going to keep this resolution exactly the same I want to have just as many awesome nights out this year.

10. Learn a new skill Erm, no again. I may just pretend this doesn’t exist.

11. Continue with my crafty time I most certainly did, crafty time is the only thing that stops me from going crazy! It also gave me some lovely end results.

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12. Stop biting my Nails Well yes and no.

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My nails can look like this. However I do still bite them. And sometimes they look…well disgusting. So more consistency in my nails is next years resolution.

13. Complete Tut No. However he did get more time than the last year so I’m counting this as a success.

14 Make time for me Yes. And I plan to carry this on as well.

And for this year, well carrying on from last year I will have 15 resolutions:

1. Keep the Blog Going.
2. Stay Healthy.
3. Keep going on CLC and do the best I can.
4. Go to as many Gigs as possible.
5. Go to the theatre as much as possible.
6. Finish the Husbands jumper.
7. Complete more things for me.
8. Keep my social life busy.
9. Keep my nails healthy.
10. Complete Tut.
11. Spend more time with my sewing machine.
12. Spend more time baking.
13. Travel more, even if it’s just in the UK.
14. Discover new music.
15. Keep time for me.

All in all, last year was amazing, but I have a feeling this year is going to be even better.

WIP Wednesday: Halloween, Bonfire and Christmas, Oh My!

Oh my giddy Aunt! Where has the time gone? I did actually write a blog all about Halloween but somehow it got eaten by my phone before it was posted.

The only reason I’m getting round to writing this is because I’ve ended up on a detour on my way home and have no knitting/crochet/craft of any description! Disaster! However it does give me time to blog.

So Halloween. The jumper I made was finished. Yes I was making it on October 30th but it was finished by Halloween. I wore it pretty much all day at work and most of the time on my night out. Want to see a picture? Well unfortunately WordPress is not been my friend today so I will have to paint you a word picture. It was the brightest Orange, with large puffy sleeves and a snuggle polo neck. Tonight Matthew I’m going to be Velma from Scooby Doo! (If you don’t get that reference go google old episodes of Stars in Their Eyes. It will be he best thing you do all week. I occasionally watch the old episodes on the channel Challenge, it makes me thankful I avoided most of the 80’s, that went off topic quickly….) Edit: WordPress is my friend again and is letting me post pictures but the chat about Stars in Their Eyes was too good to be edited out

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So yeah Velma! It was awesome I think I lost a stone in sweat One of the best nights out ever how I did not pass out I do not know My jumper got a million lovely comment bloody hope so too the effort I put into it However as great as the night out was its unlikely I will wear this jumper on a day to day basis, it was just too warm! You know those jumpers you wear on days at home when it’s cold and a little drizzly? Well it’s become my stay at home jumper.

Then it’s the husbands birthday and Bonfire Night! And almost on schedule I got a horrible chest infection and end up on a nebuliser. This is both horrible and good. Bad; I don’t like been ill and off work; Good; I get to knit more!

I even managed to complete a couple of small projects. I made some very bright, rainbow coloured socks for the newest member of the family. She is uber adorable and her mum, my cousin, was ecstatic for something not pink! Gender colours are something that is actually mentioned quite a lot at KNN on Thursday and while I think it’s occasionally nice to see a girl in a pretty pink dress the sheer amount of pink that I was confronted with when I went to buy an outfit for new member of family was overwhelming. Eventually I found a little denim dress with a yellow t shirt and tights but it was very difficult. And from the excitement of my cousin when she finally received something not pink I’m going to try and not stick to gender colours for any new arrivals.

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I have also almost finished my hearts and flowers top. The shoulders have been seamed and buttons bought. However at this late stage I don’t want to show half a seamed top so the next photos will be of it finished and on my and Bernadette (yes my dummy is going to wear it as well)

So for the husbands birthday (and before the terrible Chest Infection of 2014) we went to the theatre to see a musical performance, a full review will happen at some point in a Fun Friday post. We have also managed another musical performance and a gig since I posted so they will be getting posts soon as well, as well as the long overdue reviews for The Eagles and The Perfect Murder.

And now, well it’s only 4 weeks til Christmas you lucky, lucky people. Is Santa bringing you fruit or coal this year? I think he is bringing me yarn. Well I’m hoping for yarn. He also brought me an early Christmas present in the form of the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show. I didn’t actually spend that much, my biggest purchase been MillaMia Country Escape Booklet and the yarn for the striped pattern. I also treated my Toyota sewing machine to a cosy new bag.

The husband was my partner in crime for my day in Harrogate and convinced me to buy this pattern and the yarn for the adult jumpers. He’s hoping I will have at least one done by Christmas!

I’ve also been neglecting my sewing for the longest time so treated myself to some fabrics to make my sister an apron for Christmas (the chances of her reading this and finding out are minimal so I can reveal all on here) and a Gorguss cross stitch, which I was so eager for I’ve actually started work on it last Sunday during a film marathon (it was the Tinkerbell films, I’m both ashamed and not ashamed by that fact)

I also treated myself to a workshop, Make a Vintage Clutch Bag. Whilst I do have a bag it is not photo worthy. In the slightest. Maybe one day I will pluck up the courage to show the world but that day is not today. I did really enjoy my time on the sewing machine and it gave me another pattern to work with that I know I will be confident to do, just needing a little more than two hours to complete it in.

And that just about brings me up to date. Work is mental again at the moment as half the staff are on holiday (again, we always seem to plan our holidays together) but next week so am I. Hopefully by then WordPress will be my friend again and I will be able to update with lots of pictures and blogs of my adventures.

WIP Wednesday: I WANT TO START A NEW PROJECT!

And the bad thing is I don’t even know where all my current projects are.

Off the top of my head I have Vine Cardie, Aaron’s Hayfield jumper, Feathers McGraw, My Hearts and Flowers Jumper, Dennis the Menance Socks, lacy shawl, the Baa Ram Ewe Cowl, the extra tiny leg warmers, poor old Tut’, Art of Crochet blanket, a couple of other cross stitch (Cleo and a wedding sampler), beaded bag and…..no wait that’s it. I think. Maybe.

And yet I want to start something new.

Maybe it’s because my plan on Monday was to have a wool, craft, fun day! Yes it went a bit awry but I did buy some goodies. I bought some Scrumptious 4 ply by Fyberspates that at the moment is just for stroking. Seriously I’m say here petting it like a silky little animal.

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Plus it matches my nails at the moment.

I also found mountains of white wool in the charity shops in Headingly and decided to try kool aid dying again. Except I forgot the bit about only animal fibres. Now I know why they say animal fibres only. Luckily I only used a small amount so I still have yards and yards of white wool in various weights just itching to be used. More for me to cast on. More temptation.

So, I have decided I should finish at least one thing before anymore is cast on. Also my limited needle supply demands this happens. But what to finish? Well I’ve mostly been working on Little Vine (with the silly slippery needle), Heart and Flowers (Just starting Fair Isle section so not practical as a travel piece anymore) and Feathers McGraw (Stupid toy in a thousand pieces, on tiny needles, it’s a good job the friend I’m making it for is such a very good friend because I’ve been tempted to throw it in the bin at points). So these are going slow because I’m grumpy. As to where the others are I have no ideas.

On the other hand I did a bit of mathematics yesterday during a quiet 5 minutes at work. According to my library on Ravelry I have 1,155 patterns. So if I was to retire at 65 but wanted to knit everything in my library before then what would be the time scales? Well I would have about 2 weeks per project and I would complete them all before my 65 birthday, just. I think this proves I need to add more projects, I mean I need to plan retirement pieces as well.

EDIT: I went hunting. Tut is behind the chair, and I’m thinking he might be unfinished forever more. The small leg warmers are in the ottoman. Aaron’s jumper is in a bag on the door handle in the small bedroom/craft room/ study. The socks were in my blue satchel. The Vine Cardie was in my black satchel that I had taken to work today. The Dennis socks and shawl were under the small bedroom bed, but the pattern is lost for the shawl. This may mean I may have to frog the shale if the pattern is not found. The Art of Crochet blanket is in the pink box by the computer in the living room. Feathers McGraw is under the side table in the living room. The random cross stitch and beaded bad are in the really useful boxes in the storage cupboard. I have no idea where the Baa Ram Ewe cowl is. I’ve searched hard and it’s not in any of the usual places. However the husband may have a point when he says my craft stuff takes over the house. Makes me more determined to finish off some projects and give them a good home.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 ways to get a good nights Sleep.

I’m not an expert or anything. This post just popped into my mind last night whilst trying to get to sleep.

10. Don’t eat Cheese

They say it’s an old wife’s tale but just to be sure.

9. Have a warm bath

Light some candles, play some nice music, feel those muscles unwind, just don’t actually fall asleep in the bath.

8. Have a hot chocolate

With marshmallows and cream. Yum!

7. Actually just have any hot beverage

except coffee. No coffee

6. Set up a regular bedtime

Parents are always talking about the importance of this for children so surely it should work for adult too. Except we are adults and don’t have a bedtime. And I can’t go to bed until all the chores are done. Remember the time we all wanted to be grown up because we had a bedtime.

5. And breath out

And in. And back out for two.

Ok so for a time I did do a wind down yoga session before bed but then I grew up and had a job and that thing called spare time just disappeared.

4. Put fresh sheets on the bed

And freshly washed pyjamas on the radiator! Isn’t it jut the best when it’s new bedding night? I want to come to bed early.

3. Settle down with a good book

You can guarantee when I start reading in bed I will wake up in the middle of the night been smothered by said book.

2. Banish the snoring partner

I share a bed with an adult male. This means I regularly have to deal with snoring. The best way to get a good nights sleep? Make him sleep in the spare bed, or before that make him sleep on the sofa.

1. Counting Sheep

A little old fashion I may admit but it works. If you want to make it more interesting start naming the sheep breeds.

Blue Leciester.

Wensleydale.

Welsh Rarebit.

Wait I’m just naming food?

In that case if all else fails go raid the fridge and have a midnight snack.

Just remember to avoid the cheese!

WIP Wednesday: Brrrrrrr…..

After the constant rain of the last two weeks we had snow last night! It was lovely at the time but it didn’t last long. Now the whole of Leeds has a dusting of frost and patches of ice. There is one advantage; opportunity to wear all my new woollies.

Back to Sunday and I was having a stock take. This means I’ve got a better idea of items I have.

Firstly back in August (!) I was making a sweet cardie in the sunshine of Corfu. When I got home I realised the shaping of the shoulders were wrong. Anyway I found this piece in my clean up and actually reshape a the shoulders and sewed it all up together. It’s missing a ribbon now but I was planning on giving it another wash first before I take some pictures for here.

Talking about Corfu I’ve just booked to go back this year! Exciting. However that does mean I have to go to the post office in my lunch hour today. Not the most pleasant way to spend a lunch.

Then remember when I was talking about my Ravenclaw Scarf? Well I really didn’t have enough yarn for the pattern I was attempting. So I’ve pulled it app back and have two lovely balls! I still desperately want to make a scarf from it but unsure how I’m going to do it yet.

I’ve also finished one sock of the ones that have been nicknamed Dennis!

I wish I could share more but have to go to work now. Oh well it pays for wool and holidays to Corfu.

Stitching Saturday: The yearly spring clean.

Oh My Giddy Aunt!

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Once every 6 months or so I decide that I need to have tidy reorganisation oh who am I kidding it’s a stocktake of my crafty supplies.

Does anybody else do this? Or is it just me?

I’ll update tomorrow with the hidden gems I forgot about as they got buried under new purchases.

EDIT: This is my 100th post! Double Oh My Giddy Aunt!

Review of The Year 2013

Hello 2014!

But before that a couple of reflections on 2013. It was busy, I started two new jobs, made some fantastic friends, celebrated my first wedding anniversary and got very, very fat.

Think I’m over exaggerating on the fat thing? Not. A. Chance. Me and my scales have had very very firm words the last couple of weeks so I’m going to have to do some thing drastic. Like make new year resolutions.

Now last years resolutions were very simple. Keep this blog and don’t let it become one of the many unloved ones that happens when people start them with good intentions. Now I’m the first to admit it went all a bit pear shaped the last month of the year but today is another year and it’s off to a good start. I’m here and blogging. So as it’s 2014 I’ve decided I’m going to make 2014 resolutions…..Joking I’m not actually that mental. Instead I think 14 should be a nice amount. So here goes:-

1. Keep this Blog going. Yes it’s not a famous one and honk only about 3 people read it (thankfully none of them my mother) but it’s my little love letter to the world.

2. Lose the Cheese weight You know above I mentioned I had firm words with my scales? My scales replied you know it’s only because of huge cheese. It’s not so much I need to drastically lose weight but I need to tone up, slim down a little and get healthier. I’m never going to look like Kate Moss, or Lily Cole or even Michelle Keegan, who is supposedly a “girl next door”, because I have small boobs and a massive arse, a typical pear. I’m not going to go all Bridget Jones on you but be warned a couple of “updates on my weight goal” posts in the future. And talking about Bridget…..

3. Read More! I have some books on my shelves that I’ve never even got round to reading and just have to.

4Refresh my language courses I also have some language course on my shelves that are getting a little dusty. Especially my German ones….in fact the only phrase I can think of is “uber de brocher” and I don’t think I’ve spelt that right.

5. Enjoy my university course Oh yes I forgot to mention I’m doing another course. This is a bit more of a long term goal but within 3 years I plan to have my CLC qualification and be a qualified Conveyancer.

6. Go to More Gigs I’ve had so much fun this year listening to new music, old music and live music in general. I know me and the hubby have got tickets to the eagles in July but hopefully I will also get round to seeing rizzle kicks this year as well.

7. Make the hubby a jumper he’s been asking for one for so long and I always seem to be on a deadline for something else. On the other hand….

8. Actually make something for me! What happened to the NaMoSwaMo dress I hear you all cry? Well unfortunately I read the pattern wrong, the second time I cast on and actually got the edge right I read the rest of it as 1×1 ribbing when it should have actually been moss/seed stitch. D’oh. So hopefully this year I will complete the dress.

9. Have more nights out For far too long I’ve been acting like an adult. And to quote one of my favourite people

What’s the point in been a grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes?

It lovely to go out sometimes and act a bit wild. Me and the hubby went out on the weekend between Christmas and New Year and it was a great night out.

10. Learn a new skill I have a lace making kit around here somewhere….. (Then again I always threaten to learn the violin)

11. Continue with my crafty time it fell a bit to the wayside especially as everything I seemed to be making was on a deadline but I’m going to relish the challenges of deadlines this year.

12. Stop biting my Nails I vaguely make this resolution every year….

13. Complete Tut Tut, my darling Tut, it’s been 6 and a half years, 4 houses, one kitten and one wedding. I promise this year, this marvellous year, you shall be COMPLETED!

*ahem* moving on….

14 Make time for me Sometimes I just need to sit back and let the world move round me. Need time to stop worrying. Need to be more spontaneous. Need to care less what people think.

This will be my year.

Mini Monday – One step forward, Two steps back

So I was extra excited yesterday. And for good reason. Frankenstein was even better than expected, 60’s Gold was great and had a extra treat when we went to see Thor 2.

And this morning was lovely too. The husband loved his presents and (as I planned) he wanted to play on his PC games, which meant I got time to do some knitting.

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As promised here’s the godsons jumper. The bottom piece will be the front and the top piece is the beginning of the sleeve. However as the title suggest not so much plain sailing. When I read the pattern I didn’t care so much for the colours shown so decided I would replace them. It said it was a four strip pattern. So went to Yarndale and bought myself 4 beautiful, complimentary colours. Except I got it wrong. There is four colours in the strip and then a base colour so I actually needed 5 different colours. So I can’t go any further at the moment except maybe to start the other sleeve and the back.

Knowing this I decided to work on NaKniSwaMo dress. The next row was described as

Fold hem at picot edge, pick up cast on sts and purl them together with live sts one by one to create a folded hem

Not that difficult. The effect it was creating was lovely. And the I realised I was showing the wrong side having folded the edge the wrong way. So I started to unpick but unfortunately ended up dropping about 10 stitches right down to the cast in edge. I had to unravel the whole thing.

Result: NaKniSwaMo total – 0

😦

Repeat after me, tomorrow is another day, tomorrow is another day, tomorrow is another day.

Time to cast on 197 stitches again.