Spring

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I am so glad spring is here…the light has returned.

 

 

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As well as trying to bring a breath of spring air into our home, I’ve been doing a lot of knitting lately. Another sweater finished, and a new one on the go straight away…really enjoying the pleasure of simple stitching.

Sunday

 

White

 

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Stash busting

Hello peeps, I know it’s been a while again. Not sure what happened, other than just life stuff really. Actually I think what happened is that I have been trying to finish off 2 fairly big knitting projects in the last month or so, and have therefore spent all my spare minutes knitting rather than blogging.

Anyways, today I am having an organising sort of day. Stash busting in a sense. Not in the sense of actually using up my stash, but organising it, so that hopefully at some future date it is more likely to be used. I have been naughty lately and have been rather yarn-splurgy. So I’m taking myself to task now and making my self do some serious planning for usage of the results of said splurge.

I mentioned in a previous post that over Christmas I’d organised all my stash into tubs according to weight. Well, I decided today that I am now ready for the next phase of this organisational drive, which is to enter my stash into Ravelry so that I can start to look for patterns that will match it. This I feel will be the end-game for my bulging stash, yes indeed.

I’ve been a Raveler for many years now, but have never made the best use of the stash sorting function. I can see that this function has potential though, potential for suggesting patterns which can be made with what I already have stored under the bed.

Enough about my grand stash organisation plans…maybe you’d like to see the two projects I have finished!

The first is a cardigan, Nanook, by Heidi Kirrmaier. This was an easy and pretty quick knit, being Aran weight. I used MillaMia Naturally Soft Aran in a sort of soft grey – I think the actual shade name was Cloud Grey.

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I’m quite pleased with the finished result. The pattern is worked top down, pretty much in one piece. It was very easy to follow, and a good one to try if you’re like me and have mainly worked garments flat previously.

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My only bug-bear with it is that because the sleeves are knitted flat and seamed before picking up and knitting for the body, the ended up with some little gaps under my arms. As it’s an open front cardi, and is not a fitted style, I think picking up an knitting some extra stitches underneath the sleeves would have prevented this from being an issue, and I wish I’d done that. Number of stitches around the body is not crucial for the fit of the final garment so an extra 2 on each side wouldn’t have made the finished object too big.

The second project was my second Boxy sweater, pattern by Joji Locatelli. I loved the first so much that I had to make another in a different colour. I also wanted to make the sleeves slightly longer, which I did and am very happy with. I picked up some additional stitches around the neckline to give a wider neck too, and again I am glad I did.

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I love these sweaters and will wear them a lot – they’re the perfect garment for slouchy-glam, which is really what I want at the weekend. I can see myself making another couple next winter – I rather rancy one in grey!

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A typography walk

January is a good time to try something new. It was completely unplanned, but this weekend I’ve managed to try two new things – pretty good going!

The first was a new magazine, Breathe, which jumped off the shelf and into my hand whilst browsing the magazine rack in a supermarket on Saturday morning.

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I am a bit of a magazine addict. The Simple Things is one of my favourites, and probably the only one that I get every month without fail. I tend to gravitate away from the traditional ‘women’s lifestyle’ magazines – you know the kind that are full of make-up tips and fashion spreads – those aren’t really my thing. To be honest I’ve been feeling a bit fed up with homes and interiors magazines lately too – they always seem to have the same spreads of all white houses. Magazines like The Simple Things which mix features that I actually want to read, recipes, craft and travel items are much more my cup of tea these days. Breathe seems to be after this pattern, and I’ll be looking out for it from now on. I haven’t had a chance to read much of it yet, but it looks really good, with lovely photography, interesting features and ideas for things to do.

So, buying Breathe led me to try my second new thing of the weekend as one of the short features in this issue suggested a typography walk as something fun to do. This is exactly what it sounds like – grab your camera, head out side and find and snap as many interesting examples of typography and signs as you can. I love to take photos and I do like interesting signage and typography, so this seemed perfect. So, when S and I headed out for lunch today I brought along my camera. I wasn’t really expecting to find much just in our local area, but I found about 10 good examples of typography within a short distance of our flat.

 

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This was really good fun (well to me it is anyway!), and I think is a great way to be a little more observant of your everyday surroundings, including the kinds of places you see week after week and don’t pay much attention to.

Stay cosy x

 

Little hexies

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One of my tasks for the New Year were to go through and organise my yarn stash. A truly herculean task involving pulling out several different boxes and bags of yarn that I have stashed in random different places around the flat – under the bed, on top of the wardrobe, in the living room. I really have way to much already to be buying it as often as I do!

I always start the New Year with a stash-busting resolution and then fall of the wagon by February. I suspect that this year will be no different, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t try! So, my stash re-organisation was in aid of this years busting effort. Also I was inspired by some lovely blankets I saw in Green Letter Day’s Instagram feed over the holidays and suddenly felt an urge to use my own odds and ends of things like Madeline Tosh yarn.

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I decided that maybe I could help myself to be more efficient in my use of said stash if I had things organised by weight. That way, I could easily pull out a box that contained all the bits and pieces of, for example, DK weight, and see exactly what, and how much I had that I could potentially combine together in to some sort of project.

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So off I went hauling boxes into the living room, empyting the contents out and sorting. Fortunately S was off paiting a wall elsewhere in the flat at the time, so didn’t witness the full magnitude of the stash spread out on the floor. I think I might have been in serious trouble if he had!

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Anyways, I am part way through turning all this gorgeous scrummy yarn into a cushion cover made of little 2 round hexagons stitched together. I think it may take a while, especially as it’s now been displaced while I have a temporary burst of enthusiam for returning to my second version of Joji Locatelli’s Boxy sweater. I don’t think I have a shown a completed picture of my first Boxy, which I finished ages ago in October, and made from Madeline Tosh Merino Light in Log Cabin. This second version is a sea-green version, made in Fyberspates Vivacious 4 ply, and I plan to make the sleeves 3/4 length rather than half for extra cosiness. Maybe I will get to showing the progress on this next time.

Happy Sunday all.

 

January 2017

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January. It’s all about planning…

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……….getting into new habits (keeping a journal)

Thinkning about new hobbies and skills to learn – doing more sewing and embroidery for me this year…

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But not forgetting the old faithful stand-bys that get me through the days – knitting, crochet, and lots of tea!

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Speaking of autumn…

The cosy season is upon us. At least that’s the way I see it! I truly love Autumn, I’ve probably said that before.

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As I said last time, I find this time of year tends to make thoughts turn inward, to home and hearth. That’s certainly where my thoughts have been the last few weeks. I’ve set about autumn-ifying the house. To me this means just little things like changing up the cushion covers from their pale summer colours to darker autumn colours, rearranging my bits and pieces and nick-nacks so that I have things which I think have a more autumnal vibe on display. I have an obsession with plum and berry colours at the moment, which a shot of mossy green here and there. I know, I know – liking plum and berry colours is not at all cliched at this time of year! But who cares, right? If you ask me, if you love a colour work it in, whether someone else thinks it’s passe or not!

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I have some lovely plum coloured pot pourri in a big bowl in the living room at the moment – picked up on sale from Sainsbury’s. I think it’s fig and something…it smells gorgeous anyway. I did wonder when I bought it, ‘Is pot pourri even allowed anymore, or it is considered too terminally un-cool?…but then as I said, who cares? If you love it…

I’ve been busily crafting away, but due to multiple projects, some of which are quite big I have nothing finished at the moment…except for this little guy…

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My Amineko cat. He even has his own little metal chair by the fireplace. Actually the cat came about because of the chair. I saw this little chair in an interiors shop in Richmond during the summer, and it just tickled me, so I snapped it up. Then of course I needed someone to sit in the chair…so, Amineko. I think he’s pretty happy there. Although he does look kinda surly.

As part of my autumn-ifying of the house, I did have a little bit of a shop. Just a few cheap and cheerful bits and pieces to spread the autumn love around the house. The new cushion covers that I mentioned came from H&M home. I particularly love this charcoal quilted velvet version…

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Also some new tea light holders. I picked up the glass tealight holder in the shot below from John Lewis -just from their basic ‘home range’ for just a few pounds. The label actually said it the tealight holder was black, but I thought from looking at it in the shop that I could see purple glints in the glass which meant that it would probably look more of a plum colour with a lit candle inside…and I was gratified to get them home (I bought 2) and discover I was right!

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So I’ve been enjoying primping my home up. I think I’m done with purchases for now though – the rest will be home made (though it will probably be spring before I finish – but never mind).

Speaking of interiors, has anyone come across Selina Lake’s new book, Winter Living yet? I like Selina Lake’s books and have copies of a couple of her previous publications. I happened across a copy of her latest in a bookshop yesterday and had a flick through. In contrast to the kind of over styled interiors you usually see in home decor mags, I found what I saw of this book very re-freshing. The vibe was more stick with what you’ve got and chuck in a couple of extra throws in some bright colours…maybe stitch on a few pom poms or tassels – rather than completely redecorate. Now an interior update that involves pom poms is definitely something that I can get on board with….I think maybe I need to pick up a copy of this for further crafty inspiration!

Taking stock

Autumn is the time of year when we all tend to turn our thoughts inwards – to our homes, our jobs and our studies. It’s back to school, back to work…back to being a bit more serious after the slightly more relaxed atmosphere of summer.

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I’ve certainly been feeling that. There has been a lot of life stuff going on, which is partly why things have been quiet here for the last few weeks. But this isn’t really a place where I want to talk about that kind of thing. There are times when I’m afraid to say things out loud because I can’t believe them – can’t believe my luck. This is one of those times, so I’ll keep my lips sealed on the life-stuff for the time being. To be honest it probably wouldn’t seem that big a deal to a lot of people, but to me it is. Anyway, enough said.

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Apart from dealing with the life-stuff I’ve been taking stock of my crafty life. I seem to have amassed masses or yarn suddenly. This time last year I felt I wasn’t doing too bad as I’d made a few things which had used up some of my stash. Well, like ivy growing up a tree, the yarn stash seems to have returned with a vengeance. Of course I admit no responsibility for this fact…

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So I’ve been trying to weed through it all. I’m not chucking any out, but I’m determined to use at least some of the stuff which I feel like I have had hanging around for ages. I’m going to try and be better at planning – plan a few projects ahead so that I don’t finish one project and then end up casting around for something new, not having time to sort through my stash to use some of what I already have and then yet again buying new stuff that I really, really don’t need.

Trouble is, I seem to have quite a few odd skeins knocking around. I’m not very good at making things from odd skeins. With knitting I tend to gravitate towards garments and scarves, which at least take 3 skeins or 6 balls. So having 1 skein kinda creates an issue for me. However, I have been mulling it over and I think hats may be one solution to this. Either that or trying to come up with creative projects that combine things in different weights.

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I’m trying to use my Ravelry profile to help me with this, for once really using the stash and favourites facility to help me remember what I have, and remind of patterns I have seen and would like to make.

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I have at least finished by Ashburn shawl – hurrah! Now just need the weather to wear it. I am sure it will be along soon!