Monday, 8 May 2017

One pair of socks

 You would think that with all that time away I would have at least something to show for it. Alas no. All my WIPs remain WIPs with very little added to them. Oh and one more to the pile. A few weeks ago I decided to brush the dust off my sock needles. I've been itching to knit some socks but couldn't justify it. I should really finish something. Well, that will power disappeared after I received my fibreshare parcel and I knitted up these socks for my sister. Just the basic sock pattern as I wanted to knit them quickly and to show off the yarn.

I'm afraid that the yarn didn't come with a label so I have no idea who it's by. I just know it's pretty and nice to knit with. I liked the colours too. Was nice to knit with something pretty and pink. There were a lot of goodies in that fibreshare box which I am dying to show you. Plan for that on Friday. It was supposed to be today but I was so pleased I had actually finished something.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Bullet Journaling

This is one of those posts which I promised you before I took a hiatis. Bullet Journaling or BuJo (I suggest you don't use the second term in a google search. I came across this method of organising via pinterest but I didn't actually try it until I saw how creative you could be with it. That was about October last year. The initial idea of bullet journaling was begun by Ryder Carroll and it's grown arms and legs from there. It was actually from watching his videos on his website which got me into it in the first place. It may look a little different from what you have seen around. It's the most basic which is what I love about it. It can be as basic or as creative as you want it to be.

So here are the basic tools. All you really need is a notebook and a pen. I've also added in a ruler. This is all I use for my work BuJo. I combine it with my studies since it's work related and I find it quite useful. The notebook above is actually my pharmacology study book. My work BuJo is a little worse for wear and covered in post its. It's well used.

The official notebook is the Leuchtturm 1917 which is a grid notebook designed by the BuJo founder. These are extremely popular however, they might be hard to get/or expensive to order in to the UK .I happened across these ones in Ryeman's last week. I picked them up to put away for work and the cost about the same as a moleskine which is my usual go to notebook. This process can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be. I know of people who spend a fortune on pens, stickers, stencils and washi tapes. I advice you start with a notebook you like and go from there.

I don't go all out for buying all the extras. The above is what I use for my personal BuJo. A square papered notebook from paperchase. My favourite pen, my favourite colour of ink pen, a ruler and arrowed washi tape. That's it.

This is actually my second notebook. My first was unlined paper and I didn't like working with it so I recently changed to squared. This first one allowed me to learn what I like and what I don't like so it wasn't a complete waste which is how I have managed to simplify it. I started with an index as recommended. This is quite good when you are looking for notes which I use quite a bit (especially in my work one).

At the start of each month I create the above. I mainly use it to keep a note of my shifts. I list some goals for the month which I do add to as the month goes on (and don't always complete but that's okay). I then have a wee section to list anything that might be coming up the following month as a reminder.

Each week I then create a grid of what's coming up and what my goals are. A lot of people would stop there but I then  do a daily spread too which gives more room to add things as the week goes on.

I quite like it too because I used to be (many moons ago) a journaler and this gives the space to jot a few notes about the week. That's a relatively new thing that I've been doing. There are people out there that completely illustrate their spread but those little leafs are about as illustrative as it gets. I add that little touch of colour and that lifts it out the page. I like the simplicity of it.

Collections are another part of Bullet Journaling. In my work Bujo it takes the form of scribbled notes from training days, lists of things I want to look up, etc. In my personal it's mainly lists. My to read pile is one example. This list I travelled from another notebook. Then it was over two pages and when I moved it to this one I left out the books I've read. I just add to it as I buy a new book.

I also have my 'read' list and a washi arrow at the bottom to indicate that it will spread onto the next page.

My WIP page. I put some yarn stickers on there but I don't actually like it. Lesson learned that I just like the basics. I also have a page to track savings, flat decorating ideas, holiday planning, etc.

There are a few tutorial sites that are good which I will link for you here and on my craft tutorial page. Here is what I have learned about BuJo.

1. Go with what works with you and play about until you find out what that is
2. Don't worry if you walk away from it and then go back to it. It's not like a planner where you will end up with endless blank pages.
3. Do a week at a time so that you don't end up with lots of blank pages
4. Use the suggested key. It does actually work and stops list guilt (the guilt of not completing your tasks).
5. If you really don't like a page you are working on then just seal it away with some washi tape or stick something in there to cover it.
 6. Have fun.

First of all I recommend the tutorial by the creator which I linked at the top of the page. It's very basic as he originally intended and shows you that it can be as simple as you like. Boho Berry was the next tutorial I stumbled across. She is quite artistic with hers and she goes all out for collecting supplies. She also has a lot of random collections that aren't to my personal taste. Having said that I still enjoyed her videos. Tiny Ray of Sunshine is another very similar to Boho Berry but more to the practical side. If you want to see some of the more arty pages (and it won't put you off yours) head over to pinterest where there are lots of examples.

Monday, 1 May 2017

I'm Back Giveaway

Yes, I am back. One course is finished and the other will be finishing in three months. In three months I will be study free. Now that's a lie. I'm always studying and my work BF and I have given ourselves extra study by coming up with a new project. All work related and nursey which will probably be boring (and a little sad given that we have done this too ourselves and are excited about it) so I won't share.

However, I have missed my creative outlet. I have tried to live precariously through my avid Instagram watching (stalking). I have had no finishes. I have had little very time to create. What time I did I have I unwisely used to start new projects. I need to get this under control. Oh, and let's not even mention the fact that my sock yarn stash has probably doubled in size since last we spoke.

I am so excited to be back but I am reducing my blogging posts from 3 to 2 per week. I have no exciting plans either. Other than to get back into it. Although, if you like Bullet Journals or want to get into them then you'll like my post on Thursday.

In the meantime I have a cheeky giveaway. I say cheeky because in the last few months I have changed the colour scheme of my living room. The red has gone (what very little of it there was). I struggled to find the shades of blue I liked with the red without having the place look like it was attacked by a British flag or a certain foodball team. It also made the room darker than I wanted. Therefore I am giving away the yarn I was using to make a blanket. If you are a fan of stylecraft I have two white, two aqua and one crimson going. All you need to do is comment below and I will draw the winner on the 1st June. If you are on Instagram you can alternative leave a comment there.

Lastly, here is what I was using it for, in case you need inspiration of what to do or not to do.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

I'll Be Back!

Apologies for the month long silence. My New Year posts are all planned out and my plans for 2017 too. Each week I have been saying to myself that I will start my regular posting and it just doesn't happen. I have signed myself up to a second university course. I am also doing more things at work and doing more shifts at work. The result is I can't do everything and something has to give no matter how much I don't want it to. So I am taking a little break from blogging. One course finishes in April and the second module of the first course finishes then too. So I hope to be back mid April/early May.

I am still crafting (although infrequently) and I am reading lots. If you want to see what I am up to you can follow me on Instagram and twitter. I might also post every now and then to my facebook page.

In the meantime I hope you are all crafting away and I will try not to get too jealous while I have the books out. See you soon.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Happy New Year!

The plan was to post all of this years knitted socks as my last post of 2016. My next post would then be about some of my plans for 2017. Last night though I had a chat with my sister about a project and got too excited not to share it. So my planned posts went right out the window.

As you know I treated myself to two advent calendars. Yarny advent calendars. The one from Lisa of For the Love of Yarn I used to crochet up a granny square lap blanket or  lapghan.

My sister has been loving watching the blanket. She loves colour and loves unusual combinations. Including combinations that has me questioning her tastes. I think she is just more playful and open to colour than I am and that's probably helpful considering what she does for a living. So she has been enjoying this blanket as I work on it. I have too I confess. It's given me the opportunity to let go of my controlling nature or rather need for order.

I gave my sister a choice last night. I offered her this blanket once finished or the chance to have her own but done in a granny stripe. I warned her that this would take a while as I have other things I want to do so it was up to her. She opted for the striped blanket. I pulled out all of my mini skeins from Lisa's mini skein club which I have yet to use for anything other than admiring. I thought she would want to pick out random colours much like the laphan. She started with a beautiful turquoise and went from there. The results are that first image of blues and purples. I can't wait to get started on it. I think it's going to make a beautiful blanket. Any mini skeins I receive in the future which will fit in I will automatically add to the pile. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

In the mean time, I picked out left over yarn from my socks and have added them to the blanket. I am almost finished the pink and have just one left after that. It's made a fairly decent sized lapblanket. Not looking forward to sewing in all the ends but I am looking forward to seeing it finished.

I haven't forgotten the socks I have been knitting with my Bluebell yarns advent calendar. I may finish those this weekend.

Meanwhile, I hope that you all have a lovely Hogmanay and that 2017 is a yarntastic year for you.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Christmas Crafting Goodies

I hope the rest of you were as lucky as I was. Failing that, I hope that you all had a nice relaxing Christmas. I came off night shift and was ran round after by my dad and my sister. I even managed to win a game of monopoly in my fatigued state without stealing from the bank (which I would obviously never ever do).  It was a nice few days and I am now finishing off another week of night shift before I get to have time off for Hogmanay.

As every year, I was spoiled rotten but I got a lot of crafting goodies. It was extra special because they were picked out by people who clearly put a lot of thought into it. This first was not a Christmas gift. In the countdown to Christmas Homemaker Magazine were hosting daily giveaways of books that won their Arts and Crafts book awards 2016. When I see these things I always put my name down with absolutely no expectation of winning and usually forget I have even done it. So I was pleasantly surprised when Homemaker got in touch via twitter to say that I had won. I am now the proud owner of this lovely embroidery book. As you know I love a craft book and I can't wait to read through it on my time off. I promise to review it for you soon. They also sent me this months Homemaker which was very kind of them. I already have this edition so I will pass it on to my sister.

My sister's gift was mainly yarny related. Lorraine, as you know, is an artist and while she has tried her hand at yarn crafts it's not her thing. She picked out this lovely merino wool by DMC because it matched my room. The yarn is lovely and soft and I can't wait to work with it. I have plans for a cushion and I think I'll try out the pattern I learned from the hook role kit. Or I might use bobbles, I haven't 100% decided.

Now I have talked about Wool and the Gang before and how much I would love to try their product. I follow the company on Instagram and Facebook and I am always salivating (lovely image for you) over their images. Lorraine was completely unaware of this and she not only got me two balls of their cotton yarn but she got them in my favourite colours. Very generous of her as these yarns can be expensive. I can't wait to work with them.

She also noticed that I have been doing a lot of crochet of late and so I also got this lovely little book. It has some lovely quick crochet projects in it. I have earmarked the wool and the gang yarn for one of the hats within it.  This will be another book for me to review for you.

My dad also got my sister and I a colouring book. This was a surprise as I didn't think he approved of spending time colouring. I love Johanna Basford colouring books and I don't have this one. I have a thing for greens and blues and the moment and I plan to go made with them in this.

I equally got my sister some creative gifts in the form of art supplies. I got her some water colour pens that I knew she had never tried before and some lovely travel sketch books and pastels. I actually had a little gift envy as I picked them out for her. Can't wait to see what she does with them and I will encourage her to blow the cobwebs off her blog with a post on it.

I hope that you all were able to have some creative outlets in the festive period and I hope that you enjoy your New Year. I am planning on a final post for 2016 but if I don't manage all the best for 2017.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Sister's Birthday Diamond Socks

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and that you got some lovely crafting goodies. I did and can't wait to show them to you. In the meantime I thought I would show you some socks that I designed for my sister's birthday. I meant to get some photo's of her wearing them but we were too busy enjoying her day and I didn't want to wait until the new year until I posted this.

I decided on a basic diamond pattern for her socks which I think you can see here. My sister loves her ankle books and likes her socks to have a ruffle hanging over them. I attempted that here and I think it worked although I would really like to see them on. It took a few attempts to get that right but I am fairly happy with it now. I think that when I get round to publishing the pattern I will give it a picot cuff rather than a ruffle. It will make my sister's birthday socks that little bit more special.

I did it again. I assumed I had a photo of the yarn on it's own before I photographed it. It was part of a surprise bundle I bought from Lisa of For The Love of Yarn. As soon as I saw the pink I knew I would be using it for my sister. It's a lovely deep pink with a bit of a sparkle. Lovely to knit with as always and Lorraine loved it.

I was still knitting these the day before my sister's birthday but since they are ankle socks and my sister has tiny feet I managed to finish them on time. I'm glad they worked out and my sister loved them.

Next year I am hoping to try my hand at more designs and to make the two that I have done this year available.