Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Busy, busy!

The days seem to fly by at the moment.  Whilst so much time seems to be taken up with almost daily nurse/doctor appointments for the husbeast, with the added bonus of confirmed diabetes last week, we have managed to squeeze in some fun!

On Thursday, we were treated to a trip to Twycross Zoo by the husbeasts mum.  With temperatures in the thirties and me rocking a kidney infection, we were super excited regardless.  Twycross is only half an hour up the road yet we haven't been for years.  With a car laden with lots of drinks, a picnic and the 7 of us, including MIL, we set off.  As most schools hadn't broken up for holidays it was still fairly quiet but boy, it was hot, especially as I was babywearing! 

A great time was had by all and in a hugely generous gesture, MIL has got us all an annual membership so be prepared for many more zoo pics!!

I also had the opportunity to have another play with my wheel.  I decided to spin some more Whitefaced Woodland I had dyed and actually achieved a small plied skein which I am super happy with!

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A bit of a new look!

I've been having a play and swapped my banner hearts for balls of yarn which seemed slightly more appropriate!!  I'm wibbling between changing my blog title to something more yarn/craft related but since I have *no* imagination in these things (hence why my user name online is always my real name!) plus I have a while before my domain expires it shall just have to stay the same for now!!

Ooo you can now also Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, 14 July 2013

In a spin

About 8 years ago, I started using wool nappy wraps and longies over Harrison's cloth nappies. I very quickly fell in love with hand dyed yarn and WAHM knitted items. It took me several more years to finally decide to take the plunge and learn to knit again after much lusting over gorgeous yarn, handspun and pretty KnitPro needles. My yarn and needle stash has come a looooong way since then but it took me until earlier this year to buy myself a spinning wheel, knowing full well I was unlikely to find time to learn to spin for a while.
Today I finally grabbed a few minutes to myself and dusted off my Kiwi. I dyed some Whitefaced Woodland back in February which, after a very naff few first attempts actually became more than green fluff!

Much more practice required at, well, all of it but squeeeee at the prospect that I might be able to produce handspun yarn one day!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

July! How did that happen?!?

I am still desperately in search of an extra 48 hours in a day.  Or maybe just an hour to do "me" stuff that doesn't requite me to sneak out of bed at 3am!  

Life has been hectically busy, as usual.  I've been frantically trying to get a host of DIY bits done around the house and after finally having new kitchen and bathroom floors laid I have spent a few sweaty, horrible days scrubbing years of previous tenants grime from every surface of the kitchen.  Vast amounts of chemicals and elbow grease, some new cupboard handles, blinds and lights and I'm finally loving the kitchen (and can almost override my desire to rip out the hideous tiled worktops!) 

Whilst we were ripping up disgusting carpet from the kitchen, the hallway got the same treatment to reveal the lovely original tiles which just need a good clean up.

I'm also midway through overhauling the front room which currently serves as a dining room, study and playroom.  My old rickety desk has been ditched in favour of a more compact desk for the kids PC and I have new wooden venetian blinds for the bay window still to go up to replace to the awful plastic curtain rail and kitten-clawed curtains!  A new coat of white paint should finish it all off nicely although I'm still tempted to go with a feature colour on the chimney wall.

The garden is still very much a work in progress with the bramble jungle growing hugely in the recent wet weather!!  At least it's now usable and a lovely place to enjoy a cuppa in between being shot with water pistols and run over by scooters...

Kid wise, we've had our home ed group sports day last week and Sunday was Vaughan's 5th birthday with his Mario plush collection increasing substantially!

Not surprisingly my crafting has been very much on the back burner and my three WIP's (Koi Garden Shawlette, Plum Island Big Baby Blanket and Helix Socks) are sadly very neglected.  Off to find those extra 48 hours a day...

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

4KCBWDAY3 Infographic

4KCBWDAY3  Infographic
"Make your own infogaphic (no fancy imaging software needed, you can draw it on paper and photograph it if you want) to convey any element of your craft(s). It can be just for fun or a thoroughly researched presentation of an idea/finding"

Ooo heck!  The only thing I could think of sums up pretty much my life at the moment...

You can substitute crafting with pretty much everything <sigh>!! 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

4KCBWDAY2 Monkey Mascot

The first thing I thought as I read this was "but I don't want to make a monkey !" hehe.  I figured I'd find a pattern with Monkey in the name that I liked the look of, since this is pretty much how I choose all my projects and/or stash - anything that catches my eye, whether it be a colour, pattern or technique I like.  

The first pattern that immediately sprang to mind was Monkey socks by Cookie A.


They encompass everything I like in a pattern, not too plain, lace, gorgeous design.  Sadly though, whilst one of my current WIP's is a pair of socks, I don't actually wear socks and honestly don't think I'll knit (or finish, for that matter) a pair!!

But oooo, the same pattern converted to Fingerless Mitts by Michelle Johnson - yes please!  I adore fingerless mitts and am always on the lookout for more to make! 

These may not embrace the Monkey House by way of a new challenge or technique but they aren't a scary sock monkey knit so I'm happy!!

Monday, 22 April 2013

4KCBWDAY1 Just Monkeying Around!

The start of the 4th Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week is marked by house selection. Of the four houses available I'd most definitely add myself to The House of Monkey!
"The House of Monkey: Intelligent and with a fun loving side, Monkeys like to be challenged with every project presenting them with something new and interesting"
Since I started knitting again in 2009 I have consistently stretched my skills (generally with much swearing!) My first couple of WIP's from only knowing basic garter stitch were a hat knit in the round followed by a lace shawl for a Craft Fairy.
From trying new challenges, from simple lace and cables to taking a continental knitting course earlier this year, colourwork and two at a time toe-up socks, I have expanded both my knowledge and my love for not just knitting, but the tools and techniques involved.
But most of all, I love that the learning never stops; there is always a new technique or style or pattern begging to tried, with this years challenges set at entrelac, double knitting and crochet!


Sunday, 21 April 2013

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013

Tomorrow the 4th Annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013 starts and in an attempt to blog more frequently I've decided to take part eeeeep!  So look forward to an entire week of waffle from me!

Blog/Life Musing

This month marks three years of my blogging journey.  I had a previous blog which I started in a mid life crisis moment just prior to my 30th birthday.  Then, like now, it was full of intermittent knitting and craft waffle, dieting woes as I started my weight loss journey (lack of dieting woes on here signifies the distinct lack of dieting!) and pictures of the kids. 

Three years on, I still want to blog more, yet find the 26th hour day elusive!  I'm still rather mid life crisis-y with my current present for my birthday on Thursday from DH being a new piercing (hmm labret I think...maybe...)  I now harbour pipe dreams of taking my crafting further and opening a shop now I am no longer running Bums N Roses.  My knitting has definitely advanced and I at least own a spinning wheel now (I may finally find time to spin in the next year).

On a personal level, I now have four kids (and boy, is Oliver hard work!) and a husband who is here sharing life with us instead of at work 24/7.  Life continues to hand us lemons by the truck load but we are surviving.  Life is most definitely too short and I am much more confident (albeit still not 100% happy!) with myself.  Heck, I even post pictures of myself LOL

So, I guess we shall see where life takes me this year!!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

You can never have enough shawls...

Despite my list of planned projects and the WIP's, I cast on a sneaky shawl last week and cast off at 3am this morning, in bed by the light of my iPhone!! 

This rather lovely skein of DyeSpinKnitUK Handspun:

quickly became this lovely Graceful Curve shawl!

The pattern is fabulous and I can very much see me casting this on again, probably in a solid colour silky yarn!

I'm just about to cast on my next WIP with the excuse I am waiting for a pair of extreme needles to knit the rest the blanket since knitting on 15mm interchangables was playing havoc with my CTS and tendinitis.  The small one is suffering from a severe case of teething/snots/growth spurt so my knitting time is rather lacking but I'm hoping to squeeze in half an hour or so later...

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Planning Projects

I have always been the kind of knitter (and crafter as a whole) that buys pretty yarn and then plans projects, usually then requiring more yarn LOL!  Hence why I have quite a lot of yarn in my stash :">

I also have a bad habit of doubting my own abilities hence why this year I was/am determined to tackle new things.  So far on the knitting front that means I have mastered magic loop; as a DPN lover I was very resistant to magic looping but now love it, started (but as yet not finished as I am finding them a tad boring!) a pair of two at a time toe up socks and learnt to knit continental style.  The rest of my goals are mainly spinning related but since I have still not managed more than 5 minutes playing they may take longer to achieve!

I have had several patterns queued on Ravelry for a loooong time, some of which I have never had the confidence to knit.  Well, I'm sat here matching my favourite stashed yarn to those patterns and am determined to complete them in 2013...if nothing else I need more shawls desperately!

My plans include:

StarLight Shawl in Wollmeise Pure "True Love" and "WD Versuch (Schwartz)"
Double Knitting which I've never attemped!

Koi Garden Shawlette in Kauni Effektgarn EQ
Entrelec, which I have again never attempted!

I also have several skeins of purchased handspun I'm attempting to find projects for and a gorgeous skein of Gradiance Yarns Silver Sparkle in Tropics which is destined to be a semi circular shawl methinks!

But for now, I really should finish my current WIP's...

Friday, 8 March 2013

Being Organised!

The last week or so have been busy!  A few afternoons of gardening, a new home ed science club last Thursday, we were invited to visit a home ed group on Tuesday and an Art In Empty Shops weaving workshop on Wednesday...lots of early mornings for me and the small ones so we have really appreciated the last two days of relaxing at home, especially given the miserable weather.

Art In Empty Shops Weaving Workshop

As a means to being more organised I now have my super fantastic Roterfaden Taschenbegleiter!  I was rather awkward when it came to the configuration as I wanted to keep both my iPad mini *and* Kindle Paperwhite in it as well as having room for notebooks etc.  It arrived this week and I am completely in love with it <3

I also have fabulous new skins for both my iPad mini and Kindle - both designs from the amazing Valentina Ramos, who's artwork I adore!

Unfortunately, the dieting has been rather screwed up the last few days with being out so much, we're all laden with colds and I haven't managed anything remotely crafty all week. Not all bad though as I do have some new yarn and am planning a purge of the stash and a future WIP planning session tomorrow!

Monday, 25 February 2013

Squeeeee! My new Kiwi is finished

My supplies finally arrived at the end of last week so this weekend I stole a few hours to finish my wheel.

A lot of wax, sore wrists and lime green paint/clear varnish later and voilĂ ...

I haven't managed more than a few minutes playing yet as Oliver seems intent on helping.  I have dyed a bit more fibre though (and have a kg or so more of various breeds to dye!)

Spring Green Whitefaced Woodland
Fuchsia/Purple/Black Whitefaced Woodland

In other none spinning news, I am now completely loving continental knitting...even the Norwegian Purl that originally vexed me!  I sadly haven't done much of my current WIP's but I hope to get more knitting done this week.

It's a week today since I started my diet *again*  This time I have the added joy of the additional weight I put on whilst pregnant plus the more significant amount I put on whilst grieving!  A not too shoddy 8lbs done and many many more to go.  Just before I got pregnant I was down a huge 56.6lbs from my top weight.  I'm now down 25.4lbs from my heaviest and determined to achieve my goals this year!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Fibre...tis good for you!

For several years I have lusted over spinning as a new hobby.  On numerous occasions I have saved for a wheel and then chickened out last minute.  I have so little time for my crafting as it is and dislike spending money on myself (and hey, what if I suck at it!)

I have finally taken the plunge though and after deciding to go for the lowest in price of the few wheels I was coveting, just in case and to ease my conscience,  I got a huge box delivered from Wingham Wool Work.

An Ashford Kiwi 2, which sadly is STILL boxed as I am waiting the last of the supplies to finish it.  The plan is to wax all the beech and paint the wheel a kiwi green colour :-)

In the meantime, Carla and I finally dyed the merino we got together today.  My half was hand painted in a trio of Jacquard Acid Dye in Hot Fuchsia, Teal and Chartreuse.   Looks fabulous and hopefully will look equally as great spun.

In other craft related news, I've started the Yarn Addicts Continental Knitting with Norwegian Purl online course this week and am loving the new techniques.  I've learnt most of my knitting techniques via online video's so I'm finding the tuition fantastic.

Monday, 11 February 2013

A cold start to the week

I hate Monday's with a passion!  Today started at 5am with snow and three of the cats playing with the plug chain in the bath...never a good omen for the day!  However, despite the cold and my ever increasing hatred for Club Penguin, the small ones are happily drawing, the baby is asleep on my knee and I have a huge cup of tea so it's not all bad (I haven't forgiven the cats yet though!)

I've managed to sneak in a couple of rows of knitting on my Helix socks today which I haven't picked up for ages.  I started them as part of the lovely Crafts from the Cwtch #NSSkal as socks have always been a bit of nemesis project of mine.  I actually don't wear socks (ever!!) but have always wanted to knit some so decided on a toe up, two at a time pattern to test my new found magic looping skills.  Add in trying Judy's Magic Cast On for the first time and I expected to be completely confuddled but in reality, it's all ridiculously easy!! 

Helix socks in Posh Yarn Elinor Sock Angel Eyes

My other WIP at the moment is a tad larger...a huge sofa throw in super chunky yarn!  A bit of a dream since seeing a cable knit lime green throw last year, I decided it was a essential for our newly redecorated/refurbished living room with the current cold weather (although it'll probably be next winter before it's finished!)

Plum Island Big Baby in Cygnet Seriously Chunky Meadow Green

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Knitting FO Update

Since the blog is one of the places I like to keep track of my knitting disasters  achievements, here's the last few months FO's in once place.

Cristata Shawl by Susanna IC in Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend in Baltic 7330
(Birthday gift for Carla)

(Christmas gift for Daphne)

Capucine by Adela Illichmanova in Noro Kogarashi 01
(for me!)

Alisha Mitts by Erin Birnel in Noro Cash Iroha 113
(a gift for Kerry)

Untangled My Way ~ a simple icord in scrap yarn to keep my earphones untangled

(for Oliver & Vaughan)