WIP Wednesday: New starts and Christmas gifts

I know, I know I’m still mentioning the ‘C’ word (no not the rude one, I mean Christmas) but for good reason. I haven’t shown you what Santa has brought me yet.

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Yes I know that doesn’t look like much but look inside….

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They are the special edition Rosewood KnitPros that I asked for very, very nicely! I must have been awfully good this year to get such a lovely present.

And normally with such a special present I wouldn’t expect to get anything else but did get a few of very special presents from the husband. And even more brownie points for him because they are craft related!

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So I got Monty and Mabel (go YouTube the John Lewis advert if you haven’t seen it and you will understand (additional brackets to say I love “Real Love” as sung by Tom Odell in the advert)) and the giraffe is Melvin.

Now Melvin is just like Monty, he just wanted love for Christmas. When my husband saw “giraffe” in John Lewis all by himself, no other giraffes to be friends with in the menagerie he knew he had to come home with him for Christmas and join my ever growing collection of giraffes. You might even notice in the picture behind him are Gerald and Gertrude. He now has a permanent home next to our tv, protecting my knitting basket from the perils of the world.

And the Liberty book! Well Mr Stitches deserves real credit for that. I may have spent a good three hours pouring over the details with a biscuit (or 12) and a cup of tea devouring the details. It’s also made me desperate for a good look around Liberty, mainly for inspiration!

Back to my main picture and you will notice that a pair of my needles are missing already. Well actually they are not missing they are been used. Yes another year and another start for me! I’ve convinced myself that as I have completed 3 projects in December that I can treat myself to a new start. Plus I couldn’t leave my new needles feeling neglected.

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The pattern is called A New Season and it’s free on Ravelry. The name spoke to me as the perfect New Year Knit. I’ve just started the second repeat of the main body and I think it’s coming along great. As for the yarn unfortunately all I know is that I bought it at Yarndale 2013 from a tiny stall with lots of other brightly coloured, variegated wool. My memory even tells me that it didn’t come with a tag. If anyone does have the name please do let me know.

Happy Knitting!

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: Welcome to Corfu (nearly!)

I’m writing this in the plane, 35,000 feet in the air and just above Germany, and writing this offline to post when I land even though that will be about 8pm England time, 10pm Greek time, bedtime for Me. That may be a slight exaggeration but me and the husband have had a few late nights and many early mornings.

So first things first, the luggage saga. You know last post I moaned how we were well overweight and I still had packed any crafts? Well I weighed the cases again, swearing that they felt lighter than last year, ripped out more “heavy” items (my second pair of shoes, the husbands jean shorts) and they were still over. So I decided to borrow my mums luggage scales because I knew her were accurate and I was really beginning to not trust our new pair. What to know what was wrong? We were reading the weight in pounds rather than kilograms. This is very typical for me, I most definitely live up to the blonde stereotype. However husband, he’s very technically able so I genuinely don’t know how he made the same mistake. As a result we were not just under the weight limit we were less than half our allowance. So what did I do?

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You guessed right, I packed loads of wool. Maybe a bit too much. Hopefully though this means I will have lots of updates over the next two weeks and actually, you know, blog, not this sporadic excuse for blogging I’ve been doing the last couple of months.

It’s also been crazy busy again even I three days; we went to see The Eagles on Monday (full gig review to follow) and yesterday was crazy busy.

We were flying from a London airport so we (husband and I, it’s always husband and I when I say we, unless it’s a Thursday then I might mean the knitting group) decided to travel down the day before and see a friend who lived in the capital. This was great even if it did have a couple of hiccups. We were knackered from not getting in until 1am Tuesday morning from The Eagles and we were up again at 6am to do last minute packing and catch the train. When we finally arrived at London out friend was suppose to meet us but got stuck at work so we spent a couple of hours at Kings Cross. Which would be fine but the husband works at Kings Cross so doesn’t really like spending time there, there not really much to do and we were lugging round two suitcases which was a bit of a hindrance.

When we left the suitcases at our friends house we decided to go shopping. We went to a place called Westfields, which I have since discovered they have more than one of in London. It was amazing. We ended up about spending about 4 hours in there in the end. And a majority of that was me in John Lewis looking in the haberdashery. I know I had just spent money on the previous Saturday on lots of lovely things (which I still have to post about) but I had to go have a look. Yes, I still ended up buying a couple if things but with perfectly valid reasons. Firstly on the train I was working on the Hearts and Flowers jumper when the stopper end of my needle disappeared. As it was there one second and then I looked again and it was gone. Although it did create the amusing sight of me crawling on the train trying to find the end, but to no avail. So I bought myself a pair of new 3mm so my stitches don’t all slide off the end. And the husband bought the other 5 pairs and the lovely wrap to hold them. I also bought one more pattern for the mountain of yarn I bought the previous Saturday. So not a huge spending spree. I wish I had pictures but alas again I don’t.

To say I was eager to do a bit knitting last night was a little bit of an understatement. Unfortunately I didn’t get chance as by the time we had eaten and got back to our friends house it was about midnight. Another late night. This morning wasn’t too bad as we got up at 7 but it was still earlier than I wanted. And it meant I couldn’t do any knitting. As we were also on the way to the airport I couldn’t take my knitting out of the suitcases to spend any time on it as the rule about no knitting needles was correct.

Only to get to the airport and be hit with a 4 hour delay. Thanks French air staff who decided to strike today. I respect anyone’s right to strike but on very little sleep I was grumpy at the situation. I wish I had my needles as I would have got loads of progress done and would have had loads of pictures.

The result is I am now overtired and writing this blog just to occupy myself.

Also to the WIP of this post: sorry there are none to report really. I just like to tag all my posts on the same day with the same tags. I am a little weird like that.

From 35,000 feet with horrible turbulence, Captain Stitches signing off.

PS. I now realise that I am posting this on Friday which makes the day rule even more weird. Unfortunately (or fortunately, you decide) I have been unable to access any wifi since landing. So here is a very late post. Expect a spam as I use all the free wifi in the bar I can muster.

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.

WIP Wednesday: The happiness continues….

So after been a grumpy gloom on Monday and happy (Easter) bunny yesterday I’m once again in a happy bouncy mood today.

I think the nice weather has helped again.

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Yes I am once agin writing this at my local train station but look at that sky! After several years of absolutely terrible weather regardless of the month it’s great to have some nice weather. And, fingers crossed, it means we should on track for a fantastic Summer.

In crafty news I haven’t really made much progress the last couple of weeks or so. The Hearts and Flowers Top is coming along but after thinking that the twisted rib on it was taking forever I know think the same about the stocking stitch.

I’m also making another from The Knitter in Little Vine.. However I made a mistake with this. I’m making it in Sirdar Snuggly White Whispers which is one of my bargains I picked up in Scarborough. It’s a lovely smooth yarn and I’m loving working with it but I started to pattern on metal needles which in reflection are just too slippery. Most people would just change to bamboo needles but I find my tension changes depending on which needles I use. So I’m sticking with the metal.

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I’ve not got far but you can really see the pattern start to form.

I’m also going to see a knitting friend from Thursday Night Knit and Natter tonight so hopefully will progress a bit further for next weeks updates.

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: Simplicity K2250

Good Morning, WordPressers! Yes it may only be 8:15 but it is a wonderful morning and I am in good spirits. Ok so it’s actually a really really foggy morning but it’s not putting a dampener on my mood.

I finally seemed to shift the cold I’d gained from my lovely new colleagues and had a good nights sleep. I’ve still got a little cough but no longer a bright red nose or sound really hoarse. When I woke up this morning I even did my exercise DVD and home of the household chores that had built up. But most excitedly I got to work on my sewing machine.

Have I introduced my brother?

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Yes he’s basic but I love him all the same. He was a gift for my 21st birthday and like the traditional gifts of a 21st I will keep him forever.

So onto the pattern. I know I gave what was a little sneak peek photo the other day but I suppose I should start with the pattern.

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Sorry for the poor quality photo.

I’m not making the dress but the jacket. There are a couple of reasons for this. The jacket has no buttonholes or zippers to insert making my life easier. This is the first time I’m using my sewing machine in about 18 months and I want to just remember the basics again. Also the dress has a beautiful yet complicated wrap to the front and back. And finally I somehow ended up with two copies of this pattern so even if I completely mess this up I still have a spare, which is lucky because looking at the Simplicity Website it looks like the pattern is discontinued.

So onto the sewing.

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Yes my darts are wonky. Yes the left one in the photo, but the right hand side of the jacket, is deeper than the right. Yes it looks like I’ve somehow not managed to match the two sides at all, even the colour looks different! But I don’t care because I’m genuinely having fun.

I did decided to do something a little easier for the next stage though and make the belt.

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All 240cm of it. The picture does not do it justice. And it was sewing the right sides together and then turning it inside out. I think i over estimated how much I could complete in half hour.

As they say in the stitching world, I think I’ve found my bug!

Lent Updates: 7 days down, 33 to go. I’m not really craving coca cola and the moment and found an fantastic lunchtime alternative in Iced Tea. Yummy but less calories and not carbonated.

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.