Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Sari Basket

 So one of the yarn clubs I joined is called My Secret Yarn Stash by Fibre Lounge (formerly known as Komod Krafts). There are different size options but the point is that each month you are surprised. with the yarn you receive. It's to promote independent indie dyers. Funnily enough my first package contained yarn from my lovely friend over at For The Love of Yarn. Each month I receive one indie dyed sock yarn and another from a more main stream company. There is usually a theme and there are some goodies to go with them. This months theme was lust. The indie dyed yarn is beautiful but that wasn't what I used first. That basket above is made from Sari yarn. I crocheted it up in an hour. It's not huge but it is sweet and fairly easy to follow. The pattern is from Darn Good Yarns (who happen to sell Sari yarn in the US.

This yarn however is distributed here in the UK and comes from Yarn Yarn. It's a company which specialises in ethical yarns. In this case the Sari yarn is literally made from Sari's. Women in India recycle Sari's into balls of yarn. There are lots of lovely colours to chose from. The edges are a little frayed as you would expect but it adds to the texture of the end result. I found it to be a little fragile in places. Particularly where the ends of strips were joined. However, the end result is sturdy. I would definitely work with it again. In fact there is a matt which is knitted with the usual yarn fibres but contains strips of the Sari yarn which I have my eye on. I recommend it if you like bright colours, a sturdy end product and something just a little bit different.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

2018 - The Year of Colour

This colour circle is based on my instagram photo's from 2017. How can someone who loves colour so much have so much brown? Let's ignore the fact that I seem to take a lot of photo's of my drinks which just happen to be brown on tables that are also brown. It still gave me quite the surprise but again I also think that's been due to the lack of yarn images too. This year I am determined that this circle of colour will look very different. I want it to show lots of bright colours and hopefully with my determination to be more creative this year this will happen. If you are interested to see what your circle of colour will look like head over to Year of Colour. Probably better that you do it through your phone since you need to connect your instagram. I have to say that I am liking the little pops of brights in there the more that I look at it.

This is also the year of WIP. I say this every year and on occasion I have been successful (last year not so much). Thanks to not managing this last year and thanks to starting several new projects and not finishing them I have got quite the challenge this year. I am setting myself what I think is reasonable goals. Each month I work on an old project in between the new. That way I am not just working on WIP and become bored and unmotivated. This month I am working on my For The Love of Yarn blanket club from last year. I don't think I will finish it this month but I do seem to be working through it at a fair pace. Here I had five months of boxes done and I am now almost finished month 8.

This is also the year that I want to try to de-stash and the new projects will help with this. Last year I signed myself up for quite a few mystery knit alongs. Only a few of them were started but I have all the yarn for them. As you know I also have been building up quite a collection of yarn from my monthly subscriptions which is grown exponentially thanks to my little crafting. This year I have some projects in mind which will help me de-stash. I have a few ways of tracking it too and I hope to share you some of my knitting/crochet bullet journal trackers with you. This also means I am on a yarn ban. I may even cut down some of my monthly subscriptions. Do any of you have any de-stash ideas?

This is also the year of self care. I am sure most of you have heard this bandied about over the last year. I personally think it's a good one, especially after last year. It's about learning to not feel guilty about finding time for yourself. I like it because it is individual to everyone. So this is my year of self care and I plan to post more on that later.

Lastly this is also the year of the cat. My sister and I got a at in December there. Her name is Molly and she lives with me with my sister caring for her while I'm at work. She is very cute, lots of fun and a big bit mischievous. Most people who know me know that I am not a cat person. I have never been a cat person but that has changed with Molly. This flat would be a very dull place without her. While I don't plan to bore you all with constant stories and photo's of her you should still expect her to pop up every now and then. If you are interested she has her own twitter account (she's very bright for a 5month old kitten) and you can follow her there @MollySime.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

2017 - Year of Study

A boring year deserves a boring photograph. I have been MIA for about 7/8 months now. Mainly because I have been studying. In September I finished my Palliative care course. It was a bit of a slog. A good slog as I enjoyed it. A slog nonetheless. Working full time and studying bites into your creativity time never mind your ability to document it. It was all worthwhile though I not only passed, I was awarded a medal for the highest grades. Not sure how that happened but I'm quite proud and I'm already wondering what I'm going to study next.

2017 was also the year of the Bullet Journal. I already posted about that.  However, I also joined a facebook group that was organising a travel bullet journal. We were organised into groups and the idea was that we would send our journals round our group and then swap with a group in America. Sadly the organiser had to take time out and things seemed to fall apart after that. Our little group is still going and we will soon send our journals round again. It's been fun and I have learned a lot from them. Gotten lots of ideas. More than that we have become friends. There isn't a week goes by when we aren't sending messages or sharing photographs (usually of snow). I can't remember whose journal is photographed above but I did this when I went to Arran.

My own bullet journal did take a back seat whenever I worked on the travel ones but I still enjoy it. I now have my own cover. I had envy when I saw my friends Lisa and I immediately ordered one for myself. If you are looking for a travellers notebook a highly recommend DaCasca.  She makes them from cork and felt. She custom makes them (shockingly I chose all blues) and she has lots of different styles to chose from, which she is always expanding. Mine holds two LT notebooks and two inserts which is perfect for my needs. I have my bullet journal, a journal for crafts, an insert for book notes and an insert for blog notes. My work notes are kept separately.

I did do some knitting. I knitted some socks. All for other people. All of which I forgot to photograph (oops). I also did a lot of baby knitting. I knitted three blankets and two jumpers. Yes! I said jumpers! You have no idea how proud I am. I have tried to knit jumpers and cardigans so many times over the years. I always end up giving in. I was a little nervous as I didn't have my mum to help bit I actually managed it. Don't get me wrong, there are a few mistakes in there but this looks like it would fit a baby and not Quasimodo. I'm classing it as a win and my friend liked it. I think my mum would be proud of me too.

For a few months my sister and I also went back to life drawing which we enjoyed as we always do. We stopped in December there because of my off duty. We haven't managed it back yet but we will.

Hopefully that's me back to blogging and crafting. I have lots of plans this year and I'm looking forward to it. Meanwhile I hope that 2017 was more creative for you and would love to hear what your crafting goals are for 2018.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Christmas Advent Socks

Over Christmas I had two yarn advent calendars. The second was by Bluebell Yarns. I could have added these yarns to the blanket I was making with the other advent calendar. However, this yarn had a completely different texture to it. It felt a little tougher and so I decided to use them for scrap socks. Each new yarn would be added to the socks as I opened them so that I wouldn't know the outcome until that last yarn is opened. I managed to make two pairs from them. One for myself and one for my sister.

Mine came first. Only a few of these colours I would actually pick out for myself. It forced me to experiment with colour and I actually quite like them. The colours are muted enough that they don't really clash with each other.

My favourite pair is actually my sister's. I love the colours that came out for her. The mustard is my least favourite colour. However, it adds pop to the socks and is one of my favourite things about this pair.

This is also a good way of using up scrap sock yarns. I highly recommend it. The downside is all the ends you have to sew in. Part of the joy of knitting socks is that there are so few. However, you have two ends with every change of colour. This is what took me so long to pull them out of my WIP back to finish. Persevere though as it is wort it.

The last parcel produced 50g of this lovely green yarn. I plan to get some cream sock yarn and use them together. And yes, for another pair of socks. I'll finish some more projects before I do that though.

I would definitely get another yarn advent calendar. It's a lot of fun. I have actually signed up for one for this year although it's a little different from last years and starts 16th Decemember rather than the 1st. You'll have to wait for that one though.

Friday, 7 July 2017

My stash June/July

A bit of a cross over for this post. One item is from July and it arrived this week. First of all I signed up for an exclusive with Owl About Yarn. She did a special set based on Wonder Woman. With it I got two hanks of Wonder Woman inspired sock yarn (sparkly sock yarn), a gorgeous Wonder Woman project bag which has a little hook with matching stitch markers, some post its (love me some post its, badges and a cute sticker. Although I haven't been to see the film yet I love Wonder Woman. I used to watch it when I was little. I had a pair of sunglasses that I wore while watching it and I was convinced that this turned me into my idol. Therefore I could not pass this by.

This months Little Box of Crochet is very cute and very summer inspired. It contains everything you need to crochet a little phone cover and keyring. It has a little rose motif which I love and will be a challenge for me to do as I have never done anything like that before. My mum would have loved it so I need to make an attempt. It also came with a cute rose stitch marker and a strawberry shopper bag.

I received two of my West Knits KAL parcels since my last post. June's was a yarn by Qing Fibre. It's beautifully soft and is a little thicker than some sock yarns. I can't wait to knit with it. It came with a cute little needle guide.

July's parcel arrived today. I have yet to download the ravelry pattern but I love the yarn. These colours make a nice contrast. The yarn is by Undercover Otter and again is super soft. It came with these badges and patch. I have just one more parcel to receive and I look forward to discovering another new yarn. I will get round to knitting with it.

I also received by parcels from the lovely Lisa of For the Love of Yarn. She is busy preparing for shows and still found the time to send out her club parcels. I am loving this months speckle yarn. Beautiful colours. It came with a sparkly wax melt which gives me all the excuse I need to bring out my candle burner.

I won't be showing off the blanket club yarns. I want to catch up and give it a post of it's own. However, here are this months mini skein club yarns. I love these colours. I think they would make a lovely pair of summer socks.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Christmas Stocking Blanket!

Last week I hunted out my WIP bag. I had a few projects in there that needed very little to complete and it has been bothering. Although not enough to do anything about until now. One of them is this lap blanket. All I actually needed to do was sew in the ends which I finally did. Actually didn't take long at all. I just hate sewing in ends. Most boring part of any craft.

This blanket was actually started at Christmas. You might remember that I purchased two yarn advent calendars. One of those was by For the Love of Yarn. Lisa provided a shawl pattern but I quite fancied the idea of a small blanket. Perfect for over the lap while working on a project.

I love the fact that I didn't know what the next colour was going to be. Despite my lack of will power I was actually very good and didn't open them in advance. Not like me at all. As I wanted to make the blanket slightly bigger I used leftover sock yarn. I chose a slightly thicker sock yarn for the edging to give it a nice drape and used my favourite fan pattern.

It's sitting in my living room for now but I might eventually move it to my little book nook. Can't wait for next years calendar.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Spiral Socks!

I promised my sister that I would knit her some socks for when she stays over at mine. I pulled out all of my sock yarn (of which there is far more than I thought) and got her to pick out the yarn. In the end she couldn't decide between two so I said I would knit both and she could pick which she wanted for home and which she wanted at mine. In my head she had picked yarn from the same dyers and I thought it would be a good idea to use a pattern to compare them. First pair of socks done and then I realised the yarn was from different dyers.

The first pair is yarn by For the Love of Yarn and is a merino tencel blend. It makes for a silky soft yarn. The pattern I used is one that I have knitted up many times before. It's the purl spiral socks from Big Book of Socks. I was working on them between essay writing so an easy pattern was perfect. Having said that I kind of wish that I had just done the basic sock pattern as I feel that the spiral pattern takes away from the striping of the yarn. Lorraine likes them though and that's the main thing.

I do like the heel of the socks. I did the short row heel which this pattern recommends. It creates a lovely stripe so that you can see how the yarn is supposed to look. I think the yarn is too busy for the pattern.

The second yarn is by Mothy and the Squid and is called Luna Moth. It's a merino nylon blend and makes for a sturdier sock.  The stripe of this yarn is better for the spiral pattern. I think that's because of the larger stripes of green. I love the little splashes of yellow.

I did cast on the socks at the same point and yet it still didn't quite work out the same. I either did the cuff a row shorter in one sock or the yellow and purple stripe was a little longer. Either way, one heel is purple and the other is green. Lorraine likes them like that though and it does make them look a little unique so I am far for disappointed.

As much as I want to cast on another pair of socks I have held back. Today I got out my bag filled with WIP and I am determined to get at least a few of them finished before I start anything new.