Somewhere I can let out my inner crafter without being labeled as even more insane.

July/August goals

Gah!!! How did July fly by??? (Don’t answer that, I know the answer). Life got crazy busy then for a while, and it’s going to stay busy in August too. Blah. Anyway. July’s goals were (slightly optimistic)

(Yes, this is wildly late. Life has been throwing a ton of stuff my way. Unfortunately, none of it is going anywhere until September. Then normal service can resume!)

  1. Knit a pair of socks before my mother’s birthday (they’re interesting so this should be doable)
    Done! Not as early as I had hoped, but they were gifted to her on her birthday and she loves them (even though it’s far too hot to wear them…)
  2. Get cockatoo brae to the yoke (the pattern is the other side of the room, but given how much zoomies I had on this last month, should be doable!)
    Haha, nope. Probably won’t even happen in August, given the number of trains I’m going on (as well as the issue I might be having with the gauge…)
  3. Finish the plastic canvas ‘Let it snow’ cross stitch ornament (probably the best way to stave off burnout on the wedding sampler is to finish something else…)
  4. Blog post about buttonbox mods (hopefully will start this after I finish cokcatoo brae, I need to be prepared!)
    Doneeeeeeeee!!!! How does the idea of starting buttonbox before I finish cockatoo brae sound? It might need frogging…
  5. Bonus: sew Kita’s pillowcase together…
    Nope. Blargh. I need to just sit down and do it at some point…
  6. Bonus: crochet the octopus
    Nope, and no motivation to do it either
  7. Bonus: Mildred’s socks
    Nearly! I just need to do the heel now, so naturally I’m procrastinating over it…



Ok, onto August goals. Easy, tame and relatively mindless are the words of this month. I have lots of train rides coming up, so yay for socks I guess!

  1. Finish Mildred’s socks. This is getting stupid now. They are also the last things (on the needles) to give other people, so double incentive to finish them!
  2. Sew Kita’s pillowcase together. The procrastination is wildly strong on this one…:/
  3. Work out what on Earth is going on with my cockatoo brae. If it is my gauge I’m going to be annoyed…
  4. Work out which socks have the most left to do that are mindless for all the train rides (4, or 5 if you count connections as separate trains) (If I finish the Mildred socks this is totally a good enough excuse to start new socks…)
  5. Bonus: get to the yoke of cockatoo brae, depending on what is going on with it.
  6. Bonus: work out what everyone’s getting for Christmas, and if it’s crafting work out a plan of attack for them…

Ok, hopefully they’re all easy enough to do. Unfortunately, I can’t take cockatoo brae on the train trips, I don’t have much space for yarny things in my luggage on each of them.

Ooh, remind me to do a blog post about my sponsored cycle ride…(preferably before I do the damn ride…)


More bird socks have been finished! And just in time too- they were finished last Sunday and given to my mother on..Wednesday, I think it was? I think I need a break from socks (oh wait, no I can’t, I have to finish the acrylic ones for my vegan friend…). Then I can have a break and concentrate on the cats cross stitch and my cardigans for a while. 🙂

Anyway, the latest bird socks!


Mostly made up pattern- 66 stitches, (German) short row heel,, purl the stitches when you’re about to use dark blue yarn (feel free ot fudge, it’s not supposed to be very precise, more of a bit of interest).  The mother likes them a lot, so score for that 🙂

And now I get to focus on meeeeeeee 🙂 I haven’t yet planned Christmas presents…so I get to have fun with what I want while I think up plans for that. It may well be that I buy things this year (shock horror!), and keep having fun myself with my projects for me 🙂 We shall see I guess.

I spy, with my little eye(s)…

This is Rumpelteazer, I have decided and the photo really doesn’t do it justice. Her eyes really seem to glow, it’s amazing. I don’t think it’s glow-in-the-dark thread, just really reflective. It’s amazing. I don’t want to stop working on them, but there are other things I need to do as well. Ahh well, the quicker I do them the quicker I can come back to this beauty 🙂

Ok, so…the modifications I’m making to buttonbox. If anyone has missed the reference: Buttonbox is a femme waistcoat, and I want a more masc one. However, this is the best starting point I’ve found. So, let’s have a go a modifying a pattern. The main changes I want to make are:

  • Add more length. My trousers hang lower on my body when I’m going masc, to hide my hips, and I want the waistcoat to reach the top of my trousers, plus maybe an inch or two (I might need more buttons with this bit)
  • Remove as much of the waist shaping as I can get away with. I’m not sure if I can get rid of all of it, given the massive difference between my hip and waist measurement (and I need to measure myself with my binder on to know how my masc bust fits into that madness)
  • Change the scoop neck to a v-neck and start the decreases earlier. Also do fewer decreases so the neckline is pulled in closer to my neck. This also then means I have to do more decreases at the shoulder side to keep the length of the shoulder seams (for want of a better descriptor) the same. I may have to fudge the back for this- someone suggested short rows, which won’t be necessary (I think) b/c I can put any extra necessary length into it after I split for the armholes
  • Keep the smaller shawl collar rather than the newer version with the larger shawl.
  • Put in a ticket pocket. They’re neat, and I do a lot of travelling by train, so it would actually be really useful
  • The classic put the buttons on the other side (assuming I don’t forget this when knitting the buttonband…)

If anyone has any other suggestions, either on these or completely different at all, feel free to suggest them in the comments 🙂

So…..for a variety of reasons the wedding sampler has been put away for the time being, and I decided to start something all for myself 😀 (I say that like it’s a good thing…)

The problem? It’s black aida. Black and shades of grey thread and quite a lot of blank space between all the stitches…

The good thing? No backstitch. And it’s going to look hella rad when it’s done. I just have to survive the black on black stitching first…

So, one of my aims for July was to finish a cross stitch ornament. I hadn’t quite realised how close to that goal I was, otherwise I might’ve added something else to it, but anyway, here we go- a finished (but not finish-finished) Christmas ornament for the Christmas tree.

The problem now is that I want to do a different larger cross stitch…*lesigh*. Although, I might be able to scratch that itch with the X from the wedding sampler, if I can just get through the S first.

So it occurred to me the other day that I hadn’t shared the latest finished section of the wedding sampler, so let’s have it here!

And because there isn’t a whole lot else to say about it, have a bonus pic of my scrap blanket as it currently is

I’m very happy to have reached the end of this current round. In future, I think I’ll start all four new rows at the same time, so I don’t get confused about which rows on which rounds I’ve done. I’m really liking this one, especially how it starts from the middle, and it’s still currently small enough to be workable even during this British heat wave (2 more weeks apparently, then we go back to the rain…)

June/July goals

Oh boy, we are now halfway through the year. Umm, yikes. It feels very strange to be writing that, but ok. Let’s ignore that bit for a second, and look through June’s goals.

  1. Knit another pair of bird socks. (This also involves choosing which pair to make, whcih I think will be the harder choice…)
    Haha, so nope. Different pattern chosen, let’s get this on the road this month!
  2. Finish Mildred’s second sock. It’s basically vanilla, with some striping. Easy peasy (And therefore I will totally procrastinate on it…)
    Umm, less nope, but still not done. I’m nearly at the cuff for this, so almost I guess!
  3. Crochet a flat preemie octopus to get the hang of it before I teach my aunt…That lesson will probably be happening on/around the 17th, so I should get a move on with this (when I go back to Salisbury and can get my crochet hooks…)
    Umm….well I crocheted enough of it to know what I was doing, but then my aunt was ill and so she didn’t turn up at the races, so I got the proverbial stay of execution. Next opportunity is probably Christmas
  4. Cross stitch Q-S of the wedding sampler (bonus: also start X)
    Nope (wow I failed at this this month!) I did Q, R and started S, but then came very close to burn out and so put it down. So a failure, but a deliberate one to make future months esaier on it…
  5. Do ‘some generic amount’ of cockatoo brae. Umm, I need a definite amount to knit, otherwise it won’t get done (it may not get done anyway, it’s just stocking stitch in the round now… Tedious much???) So…reach bust shaping? I’m knitting the third size, so that’s the set up round then 7 sets of 7 rows and the 9 lain rows between the waist shaping and the bust shaping. 59 rows. Hmm. Having had a very quick look at the other patterns, I don’t need to make it any longer. We shall see I guess…
    Well I blew this one out of the water. I did all this, and then started increasing for the bust.
  6. Bonus: Knit another 10 squares on my scrappy blanket. That will finish the complete ’round’
    I did 7 and a half, so not too shabby for a scrap project/bonus goal
  7. Bonus: blog posts about spinning, buttonbox mods and/or the afterthought pocket
    Well I did the one I planned to about spinning, so score for me!

Ok, and now we’re halfway through the year, let’s have another look at my yearly goals:

Still to do:

  1. 2 and a bit cardigans
    I’m on track for this, one is done and the current one is the sock yarn one which will take longer.
  2. Socks for the mother
    So I majorly scaled this plan back, rather than attempting to knit them all this year, it’s now three per gift-giving session. Hopefully I’ll hit this one, then I can work on building up a surpless of them (there’s a different present for Christmas)
  3. This wedding sampler
    It’s coming along slowly, and probably won’t get finished this year, but I currently have no deadline and I’d rather truck along slowly than risk burnout
  4. The pillow covers
    Kita’s *still* needs sewing onto her pillowcase… *whistles innocently*
  5. Blankets for me
    Umm, yeah….I bought the yarn for Persian Tiles, but I haven’t started it yet. I’m thinking that next year (or decade) will probably be the year/decade of blankets, so I’m not too fussed about ditching this goal

Ok, this doesn’t seem too bad. (Why is my life so on track rn????). So, with all this in mind, July’s goals:

  1. Knit a pair of socks before my mother’s birthday (they’re interesting so this should be doable)
  2. Get cockatoo brae to the yoke (the pattern is the other side of the room, but given how much zoomies I had on this last month, should be doable!)
  3. Finish the plastic canvas ‘Let it snow’ cross stitch ornament (probably the best way to stave off burnout on the wedding sampler is to finish something else…)
  4. Blog post about buttonbox mods (hopefully will start this after I finish cokcatoo brae, I need to be prepared!)
  5. Bonus: sew Kita’s pillowcase together…
  6. Bonus: crochet the octopus
  7. Bonus: Mildred’s socks

Project birdsocks, for people who are new to this blog, is my attempt to knit my mother socks so whe will stop borrowing mine… WestYorkshireSpinners released a range of 9 self-striping socks inspired by various birds, and for each one, they also suggested a solid colour which would work for (e.g) constrasting toes, heels and cuffs. So here I am knitting 18 pairs of socks for my mother.

Two pairs have already been finished and are awaiting her birthday, I aim to have a third pair finished (I figure three pairs of socks makes a good sized present).

The third pair of socks, I duly cast on at the start of June, and then prompty ignored them…*facepalm*. The problem was that I had chosen this wonderful entrelac pattern to really hightlight the colour changes, but I had forgotten how to knit backwards, and with 5 stitches a go the turning of the work was constant, and irritating. Anyway, having gotton around that problem by relearning how to knit backwads, after a few rows, another problem became evident. The thrice-cursed thing wouldn’t fit over my ankle, which was rather irritating, since I love the idea of this sock for scrap yarn. I may try again with an extra stitch in each square and see whether that solves the problem or not.

So, here I was with part of a sock done (uselessly)(it may or may not get frogged, more likely it’ll just go in the rubbish), and a time limit starting to breathe down my neck (my mum’s birthday is near the end of July). What is a person to do??? The answer: take a leaf from ym friend Jon’s book (he’s doing a pair of socks a month this year, in a bid to reduce his sock yarn stash), and knit something relatively vanilla, but with a bit more interest than that.

So here we have the main points about these socks:

toe up, short row heel, predominantly vanilla in a self-striping yarn. Looking at what other people have done with this yarn (very little), there is a narrow band of two colour yarn between all the other bands of colour. So I decided to purl the dark blue bits of that. I.e. when the yarn about to get wrapped around the needle is dark blue (intuitive rules about when it changes colour part way through the stitch), it will get purled rather than knitted. Having done a few sections, it might have been better to purl when the stitch on the left needle is dark blue, but it works perfectly well this way 🙂

Before we start- the answer to the question I previously posed about what the picture of Q is…broken plates! I asked on a cross stitch group I’m in, and someone came out with that. So there we go. Mystery solved 🙂

So, onto the knitting! One of my projects which has been getting more attention these days is my scrappy blanket. It’s a very nice mindless thing I can pick up without too much thought (even less thought than socks, which are currently at the increase stage of the toe, annoyingly…). Anyway, in this heat it’s too hard to think of anything else. So this easy project it is.

This is coming along well, although I doubt I’ll hit the goal I mentioned at the start of the month. It’s difficult to tell, but I am currently working on a square in the top left (left of the blue one which is left of the deep red one). After that I’ll have the three squares along the bottom half of the left edge to do to finish the round. But no rush, it’s a lovely little piece and still too small at the moment to cause me to overheat while I work on it 🙂

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