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.

Stitching Sunday: Updates, WIPs and Yarndale!

Good Morning!

It was the end of which most people would class as an extra hour in bed but due to a horrible nights sleep I spent more time of the sofa and not really asleep. Oh well.

Onto the updates!

The that I posted about on Monday not looks like as a jumper.

I hoping this will be finished by Friday because it is going to form part of my Halloween costume. No I’m not going to be a pumpkin. If I get everything sorted I’m going to post pictures on Friday.

The jumper was actually a Yarndale purchase. Which believe it or not was actually 4 weeks ago. Doesn’t time fly when you’re working ridiculous hours having fun!

In fact when I saw the jumper it was a moment of pure love. I spotted it across the pens, a deep orange exactly like one I had been searching for, not knowing if it actually existed. And then when I held it, oh my giddy aunt, it was just so, so soft. was a shop I had never heard of before Yarndale but now I can’t recommend them enough. Even after spending about 15 minutes trying to make the payment I was still excited about the wool. Yarndale in general makes me happy but I felt like was walking on air by this point.

I also got several other Yarndale purchases;

Wool from Susan Crawford (possibly a knit for NaKniSwaMo, its only 5 days away people. She also reconised me from last year due to my awesome Lady and The Tramp jumper. Did I mention that she is my favourite designer??

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Cascade Jumper

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More badges.

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Wool from Baa Ram Ewe (my LYS)

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Toft (For a Giraffe! And other animals.)

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Originally I wasn’t going to get anything from Toft but then just three days before Yarndale Edward’s Menagerie landed on my doorstep and I just had to get started on it. And it was another case on when I felt the wool I fell in love. ITS SO FLUFFY!

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Totally what I act like.

Sparkleduck wool AND A DUCK!

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With some knick nacks.

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And so far I have been really good and only cast on the orange jumper because I wanted to make that for Halloween.

Last year Yarndale had some teething issues but they honestly seemed to be all ironed out this year. Yes you still had to queue to get in or to use the toilets but the cafes were much better and there was more choice in terms of stalls. Bring on an even bigger and better Yarndale 2015! If next year is more awesome I may combust from my squealing just so you are all aware.

Well as for my other WIPs I finally made a decision on the neck of the little boys jumper I’m making.

As I had enough yarn to make them with the hood and wouldn’t have had a clue what I would have made with the leftover wool (at the time, I’ve found a perfect stash buster) I decided to go with the hood. And I’m very impressed with the way they are looking. When I was having a bit of a blog tidy up I also realised that I never tracked the day of when I bought this yarn.

It was on Knit In Public Day and to celebrate a few of us from KNN made a journey to the next town over and made a visit to Texere. T was a great day out, I think we ended up spending about 2 hours there is the vast warehouse of a shop.

The yarn used to make the jumper was heavily discounted and I bought the two colour ways I am using for the jumper along with another two colour ways for other projects. One is for a Cardie for the goddaughter and the other I bought just because it was adorable and I couldn’t leave be last two balls looking sad and alone in the basket, so I bought them. Tell me honestly could you leave this all alone in a basket?

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So ok I had no idea what to make with it but then I’ve had a lot of friends announce they are pregnant and decided to have a bit of an experiment. And for a change it worked!

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Teeny Tiny Baby Socks! And my first successfully pair of sock (we are not talking about the socks in this post) In the future I can quickly see these becoming my go to project for quick, simple present and to use small leftover bits of yarn. Best of all it’s a free pattern of Ravelry.

Talking about patterns take a look at these I also got at Texere.

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And the large amount of yarn.

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I have also started to work on some of the poor neglected WIPs. Take George the bear. I don’t like sewing up. So I left him my needle bag for many months in many pieces but yesterday for no reason Ok that’s a lie I was fed up of the orange monster I decided to work on sewing him up.

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So he’s still not finished but he is looking more like a bear.

I also had to pause briefly on my Fair Isle top. As much as I wanted this to be completed by September I had an accident on the train that resulted in the needle been snapped. Now I’m not completely blaming to woman who rammed into me as the cause of the snapping but I totally am. Whilst it would be classed as murder it is definitely manslaughter! For an equally disastrous needle story read my friends blog here.

Finally had any one been watching the celebrity version of Great British Sewing Bee!? I think it has been marvellous and of course it is all in aid of a great charity. I think I am most certainly adding Pam Ferris to my list of people I would like to have a tea and Craft afternoon with, even if she did scare me half to death as Miss Trunchbill in Matilda when I was little (Shotput, Javelin, Hammerthrow)

Congratulations if you got to the end of his post, you also deserve a tea and craft afternoon.

Stitching Sunday: Updates!

Look updates!

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This is the sleeve of a jumper I started on holiday. I’m actually going to be making two nearly identical versions of this for two little boys in my family. So far I have one back, two sleeves and the beginning of a front. I have a bit of a dilemma of which version I want to do though, with or without a hood. As the only changes have to be made to the front neck to decide with or without a good I still have time to decide but it’s not really good to make a decision as knitting as I have discovered in the past. I think I have asked everyone in real life that I know which they prefer and most have informed me it’s my decision to make. NO! I can’t make this decision. Anyone want to help me?

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Also next look, pretty fair isle! This is the back of the nearly never ending jumper. I have just another 2cm of the plain stocking stitch in the dusky pink to go on the front before I start the fair isle on that. Whilst this project feels like it has been going forever I apparently only started it sometime in March. Hopefully at this rate it will be ready for autumn.

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Whilst the Fair Isle jumper may feel like it’s taken forever this really is taking forever. What you see is actually all I have done on it. This is the back panel of what I call Aran for Aaron. It’s a silly word play but makes me smile. I don’t think this will be completed in time for this winter.

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I also got round I washing the fabric I bought for some summer dresses. Yes summer may be coming to an end but I may get to wear something I make before the end of September. However I have learnt that drying several meters of fabric in a tiny flat is not very practical. My sudden interest in trying to get back on the dressmaking wagon is four fold:-

1. I have so much fabric I should really use some of it soon.

2. My wardrobe really needs updating. I can count on one hand the amount of outfits I own that fit, are fashionable and suitable for work on one hand. Then again I can probably do the same for my out of work clothes too.

3. I have a new sewing machine that needs to be used for more than cushion covers.

4. Look at my new friend…

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She is just begging to be draped in fabric even if she does look amazing in the nude, so to speak.

She is another of my charity shops finds. I saw her standing in the window and had to look at her in more detail. It was only when I got into the shop I realised she was for sale. As it was a case of love at first sight I didn’t care what her price was I just had to buy her. Turns out she didn’t break the bank balance at £20! In fact I think she was a bargain. Yes she has a little bit of damage around her base and she is old enough to be called vintage but to me is perfect. I’m hoping we have many happy hours together.

WIP Wednesday: Look at all the goodies!

So this is less of an update on what’s in progress and more of a look at all the pretty things I’ve bought.

As I mentioned yesterday a parcel got delivered. My husband said it was about the size and weight of a five year old. I didn’t quite believe him. Until I saw itself that is.

It was huge.

Wanna look at all the pretties?

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I’ve already nicknamed this one my ice cream. Sound daft but it just remind me of summer and it would make a great little vintage style summer dress.

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This is to make some Christmas decoration for me and my Mam. I will show then when they are completed.

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I think it’s fair to say I have a little obsession with these colours.

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And these will hopefully make some lovely blouses.

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And this shall be a basic dress with WOW! Made from a pattern from these lovelies!

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How really, really spoilt am I? (And on a side note how amazing was last nights Bee?)

Then in Scarborough I got these goodies!

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So much! I am one very lucky girl!

There was also an amazing little shop just on the Main Street where I got this.

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Go visit them. The whole shop is a treasure trove. They even have a working antique singer which is divine.

Finally, it still isn’t block but I’ve decided I just can’t wait to show it off any longer. Here is the "hideous pink cardie" as I have nicknamed it.

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Lent Update: no idea what day I’m on. No longer craving coke. Been a little easier than I thought.

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WIP Wednesday: 1st day of Lent

Remember my good intentions to give you all a full update today? Well it will have to wait.

I did get a little bit done on my sewing pattern but I don’t have the details to hand so I think it will have to be another day.

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It was a glorious day on Monday though so I just had to share this photo.

Also after all the pancake goodness yesterday Lent has started. At first I was like “Maybe I can give up buying yarn” but then I saw this…

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Yeah that’s me.

And I also had a very dear friend as me to make Feathers McGraw (link to ravelry). I had a bit of suitable yarn in my stash but not enough so really I have to go wool shopping!

So what else could I give up for Lent? Well I thought about bagels because they are responsible for my bagel belly but they are my favourite breakfast meal. Then I considered the internet but I need it for work. And my baby sister has just gone to The Dark Side (Warrington, Did I mention previously I’m a proud Yorkshire woman?) so we now use the internet/skype/Facebook to talk so I wouldn’t want to give it up at the moment.

So in the end I choose coke cola. My biggest weakness and only vice.

Day 1: No coke. No cravings as yet but is only 9am.

Wish me luck.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Celebrity Knitters (And One who Doesn’t)

To follow on from this post I’m now making a list of people in the public eye who knit.

10. Bill Bailey

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Ok so I don’t actually know if he knits but the picture was just too good not to add. (He’s not the one who doesn’t, he’s a maybe he knits)

9. Scarlet Johansson

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I’ve just watched Lost In Translation for the first time last week and I’ll admit I completely and utterly fell in love. And it wasn’t just because her character is a knitter. (I am a bit of a sucker for May/December Romances, yet this was like no other romance I have ever seen. I’ll stop before this turns into a gush about how I love this film)

8. David Arquette

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I’ll be honest I had to do a bit of research for this piece. But this was one name that came up again and again. And you know what, I’m kinda glad it did. I never knew that he knitted and yet he seems to approach it like most other knitters. He learnt from his Grandmother , seems to employ it as a stress relief technique and has used it to help Charity. I’d love to invite him over for a knit and natter.

7. Geri Hariwell

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Go Girl Power (Although this article saying her as celebrity fan has helped wool sales is a bit far fetched in my opinion)

6. Uma Thurman

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This woman is amazing too. I can’t help but love Kill Bill but it think I got it wrong because the ending made me cry more than any rom-com or oscar drama.

5. Kate Moss

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I said in my review of the year I was never going to look like Kate Moss but maybe I can knit like her. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any images of her knitting but apparently keeps her knitting in a Chanel bag. Oh maybe I’m never going to be like Kate Moss, my kitting lives in a satchel.

4. Meryl Streep

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Not the best picture of the ever youthful Meryl Streep but she made that awesome cape! Another actress I would love to have a knit and natter afternoon with.

3. Ryan Gosling

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The image I want to give you: Remember when everyone wanted him to be Mr Grey. Yeah I think that dominant man likes to knit.

2. The British Royal Family.

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If you haven’t guessed by now I’m British and more than a little proud of it. Whilst not a royalist I’m not blind, they are one of the biggest tourist attractions and bring more in revenue than we could accurately measure. They also do some amazing things for charity. And they also look like an amazing family of knitters. The above photo was released for the Diamond Jubilee and shows the Queen Mother, The Queen and Princess Margaret knitting. The Queen Mother has had a guild named in her honour and in WW2 knitted for the troops.

And even Kate has now given her support. (even if she admits she’s not very good)

1. Amanda Seyfried

Just go watch this to see her enthusiasm.

I don’t want to have a knit and natter with her I want her to be my best friend. And can you imagine what the set of Mamma Mia was like with her and Meryl Streep (plus Julie Walters who I imagine is fantastic too) Knitting heaven on a Greek Island.

Plus one who can’t knit: Wil Wheaton

He openly admits he can’t knit but likes looking at knitting patterns on the internet.

Plus look at this adorable photo.

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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

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

Time to cast on 197 stitches again.