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.

Mini Monday: Success and Failure.

Today I feel I have failed at many things. I have not done any of the clothes washing, which is necessary now I only have 4 outfits suitable for work. I manage to rip one of the dresses straight down the side last week and repairing it would make it too small even with the most tiny of seam allowances. My house still looks like the scene of a burglary or small disaster movie. I haven’t even bother to make the bed.

I have done no exercise even though the extent of me getting dressed was to put on exercise clothes rather than stay in pyjamas.

I have only eaten nachos and a packet of M&Ms, the diet of a student (well kinda student).

I didn’t even start to make the dress that I have been planning to make to make up for the one that was ripped.

However I did bring out my longest WIP (8 years, 5 months and counting) and did about 5 hours work on it.

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Today has been successful.

Stitching Sunday: Happy KIP Day/Week

Hello everybody!

I’ve been trying to celebrate Knitting in Public day/week but busy, busy week again. I feel like I’m constantly busy and want to share all of it with all of you but I just don’t have the time.

But back to KIP! Have you been KIPing? I’ve been trying…

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However they don’t really feel like knitting in public just because I’ve been trying to squeeze in minute whilst on lunch, which either means it’s at my desk, in the park or at a costa and I knit at all of these places anyway. Does it count if they are your regular knitting places?

Yesterday I did visit Texere for the first time in Bradford and bought some great bargains. The staff were also so lovely and helpful. I shall be definitely be going back again (maybe not spending quite so much money next time though). All the lovely goodies deserve a post of there own so hopefully I will get time to post them up on Instagram and here tomorrow.

I also don’t know if I have mentioned in the past but I am on Instagram as baztheblonde. Come and follow, I love finding new knitting related pictures (although I often post about tea and my Dalmatian as well).

As I mentioned last week I had the urge to pick up smaller needles and crack in with some cross stitch. Unfortunately again I haven’t had the time, and this urge is now been joined by a other to crack out the sewing machine and work on all the lovely fabrics that I’ve had in my ottoman for at least 5 months. Such a bad, bad crafter letting real life things like work, friends, family and sleeping get in the way of creativity. Oh and the little thing called HOLIDAY!

Oh yes dear readers for the next couple of weeks I shall be once again doing special posts from Corfu. This called a small spanner with a couple of things. One, I heard they had allowed knitting needles on flights again only to find out that this was not true for the airline I was flying with. Major disappointment. Secondly, our luggage is already very close to weight limit so I’m not sure about the amount of craft supplies I can take with me. Dilemma! What do I take? What don’t I take? Start removing clothes? I’ve just been on a spending spree but the majority is going to have to stay at home! (I know this is very melodramatic, could be #firstworldproblems and also #crafterproblems but this is important to me). I let you know what I decided when I get there, I have a feeling I might still be packing the hour before we set off for the flight.

I also have to blog about all the other things I’ve done such as the several trips to the theatre, the gig reviews and random moments of excitement. So much to blog, so little time.

HAVE A GREAT WEEK EVERYBODY!

KNN Thursday: Hayfever, coughs and a pesky little frog!

The hayfever is me, the cough is the husband. I’m vaguely controlling my hayfever but the tree pollen count has been a little high recently so it’s felt like an uphill battle. The husband is not doing so good. This cough seems to have come from nowhere and it’s knocked him for six. Unfortunately this means I will get another broken night of sleep. We will battle the hideous symptoms together.

However tonight is Thursday so I did visit all the lovely people at KNN even with my hideous hayfever! One unexpected guest turned up again though – Mr Frog! I started to repair the frogging I did to Little Vine only to have to undo it all again! AGAIN! I need to find this little froggy and teach him a lesson. Or pay more attention when I’m knitting. One of the two.

I’ve also been feeling the urge to pick up a smaller needle the last day or two. Hopefully this means that Tut will get some work (have just realised he hasn’t had an update since this post in February, this makes me feel very bad). Even though beloved Tut hasn’t had any work I have also had my eye turned by this beauty. I am a huge fan of all Heaven and Earth Designs but am a little daunted by their size. As the husband often says my stash is for retirement so maybe they can be added to my retirement fund!

Hopefully my motivation to pick up a smaller needle will result in a few more update posts. If not I’m hoping for a craft shop browse tomorrow so maybe there will be stash enhancement retirement find pictures.

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.