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Feeding the Stash- I will use it soon (promise!) edition

So, since it is getting near the end of the year (I may in denial about Christmas, but the end of the year has no such connotations, so that’s alright. The New Year is allowed!) I’m looking forward to 2019, but I’m also aware that I’m currently piling too much on my plate, and I should do something about it. (But not right now, everything I’ve started needs finishing!)

So, next year will be the year I (try to) pace myself, and not end up saying yes to too many things. For one thing, I think I might make it a no handmade (by me) Christmas present year… Other than maybe the socks for my mother. That feels kinda scary to write, and quite possibly I will have forgotten by then, but we shall see.

Some of you may remember that this year my word of the year was preparation. I feel like I do now prepare more for things (hello monthly plans, I intend on keeping you!), and (drumroll please!), this year I have chosen:

BREATHE! This is a custom kit from Etsy designer NogPepperMe. I am very much looking forward to starting this (hopefully before 2019, but we shall see…), but I need to finish the socks and elephant first *lesigh*.

This word is going to be a challenge for me. I like making things, and I want to make all the things *now* (because tomorrow I’ll have a new pile of things to make). Remembering to breathe and not do everything I want because there isn’t enough time will be hard, but hopefully it will also make me more focussed and mindful of what things are actually important to me. I don’t have the time to do everything, and I need to remember that. I will try to bring back the timing myself to see how many hours I spend on things to hopefully learn how many craft hours I have in a week. (I have this vague craft plan to make lollipop sticks with units of time on so I have a visual way of seeing things, but that involves making things, and I’m trying to not do that so much…)

If anyone has any suggestions of things they’ve tried and worked, or things they’ve tried and didn’t work, or books I can read about it, please *please* leave them in the comments. I think I’m gonna need the help with this. But next year, I have too many things on right now!

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Socktober- an update

So, we are now (almost) half way through Socktober, and I’m ahead of schedule! Woot! So I finished the first sock…Wednesday, I think it was. And it fits, and I love it, and it’s amazing and the pattern rocks.

Due to an inadvisibly busy social schedule however, I wasn’t able to start the second sock until yesterday, when I was so tired I defaulted to my usual toe and had to throw it out. I did start it again today at my spinning club, and got a decent chunk of the foot done (no pic because it’s dark now, but you can imagine really). IT’s a fun and engaging little knit, and I’ll definitely be doing this heel again if not the pattern (atm I don’t want to redo it, but in the future, we’ll see how things go).

Sock-it Sunday- test knit edition

So I got the sock pattern to test knit on Sunday, and I was very well behaved and didn’t start it until Monday. Then I dived right in, and didn’t really surface until today. It’s been a very strange feeling, following someone else’s pattern, with all their indiosyncrasies (John increases for the toe the other way around to literally every other person I know, which was weird and threw me for a loop (I didn’t)), but fascinating to see my own unconscious biases about the ‘correct’ or ‘wrong’ way to do things.

The pattern itself is cute and easily memorised (mostly). So much so, that I accidentally went past where I was supposed to start increasing and had to frog a few rows.

I was supposed to start at 3.25 inches from the back, here I am closer to 3.

And here I am with the heel turned!

I love this heel. It’s a gusset and short row heel, and I had to frog because apparently I am unable to count, but it only involves wraps (or the German replacement I use) on half of the heel, and the other half you just turn and work back again. I was very skeptical, but it works and I think I will continue to use this heel later on in other situations. 🙂 Just not in self-striping yarn bc I absolutely hate the random colour change that results from heels. I’ll keep sticking to afterthought/contrast heels for those.

If you click on the pic for a larger version of this, you’ll probably see the pattern a bit better. It’s a very subtle travelling cable thing. (Very precise, I know 😉 ). I love it, it’s simple enough to really get into it, but interesting enough to keep me entertained (think similar to Hermione’s every day socks).

The only thing I’m not very happy about is how little I’ve managed to do…I remember when I could bust out a pair of socks in a weekend, and here I am pootling along slowly. I kinda want to make these socks longer than normal too, which may involve increases for my thighs…*facepalm*

Ahh well, I’m off to go knit some more.

Let’s pretend it’s Wednesday and I’ll tell you about the elephant in the room

It is unfortunately nowhere near finished. Even if I hadn’t forgotten the week I spent away or the many weekends I was travelling rather than crocheting, I was also hit by a bad shoulder which meant no crochet for a (different) week 😦 I haven’t even finished the main head yet, for crying out loud!

Here’s where I’m up to, so far.

At least the front of the head is made, I guess! The tusks were really awkward to fit in, but I’m oretty happy with how it went.

I have a bit of a respite- the rest of my year plan for crafting looks like this:

October- test knit a pair of socks for John

November- do the writing NaNo (I write HP fanfiction)

December- knit my OLAS cardigan as a delayed NaNo project

(Then when January starts I’ll do most of that as the cross stitch NaNo and see how far into this wedding sampler I can get).

Am I slightly insane for thinking this is all feasible? Almost certainly. Am I going to learn from this if/when it all fails spectacularly. Probably not. And most importantly- what is the repite I was talking about?

Well, this comes in two parts.

A-I can easily knit a sock in less than a month, so I have quite a lot of October to also finish this elephant. (Also, the knitting group at Uni has started again so I have even more time to make things)

B- the pattern for the socks I’m test knitting hasn’t arrived yet, so even if I wanted to start work on it, I can’t. (John, please keep procrastinating…)

Right, I’m off to keep crocheting! Wish me luck on this deadline!

Let’s pretend it’s Frida, because I have some finishes!!!

Two, to be precise.

Firstly, I finally got around to doing the heel on the socks! Go me!

I can now give them to my friend on Tuesday, (assuming she’s there…) If not, they’ll keep I guess. No idea what to do with the left-over yarn, maybe list it for destash on ravelry. I don’t mind it (but it is a bit splitty), but it’s completely different to the rest of my sock yarn so I don’t think it’ll really fit into any of the scrapy blankets I’m doing.

The other project I’m calling done is the pocket.

Peacock feather! But rather than the blue and green normally associated with them I decided to do the whole thing in silver and gold. There was a bit of an explosion with the silver glitter but I sorted it out. It’s also shedding glitter everywhere, but hey ho. That’s what glitter does really 🙂 Now, hopefully I don’t lose my scissors any more…

A finish, an almost finish and a new start

Firstly: the finish. I finished the seagull! It isn’t finish-finished yet- no doubt it’ll be added to my pile of Christmas things to deal with later. Unfortunately, the other cross stitch I brough to do is my mother’s, so either I start that and kinda ruin the surprise (she’s the only one here who would notice, so clearly I’m a double muppet at times).

Secondly: the almost finish. I decided to make a pocket hoop to store my scissors, which have this really irritating habit of going missing…So I cut up a pair of jeans I can’t wear any more (I wore out the inseam horrifically…) and stuck that in a hoop with superglue. It’s good enough as it is, but I’m pondering two things

1-what embroidery do I want to do on the pocket? I think it needs brightening up somehow, but I have no idea what. Any suggestions??? I’m thinking sparkly- glitter or beads….or both?

2- do I need to do anything on the back? At the moment it’s bare and I feel as though I should do something, but I’m not sure what. Again, suggestions? Note to self- don’t do the back until you’ve finished the front

And thirdly: the new start. After finishing the seagull I wanted something that wasn’t on plastic canvas and didn’t involve beads. So I rummaged around in my small stash here and pulled out a very small house cross stitch I acquired at Yarndale many moons ago. Stitching on 18 count without a hoop is very fiddly (and there’s so much brown…)

 

This is what it will look like when it’s finished. It’s going to be tiny!Oh, and a bonus thing! I bought some more sock yarn- for a good cause, I swear! One of my friends (tumblr account) is dipping his foot into designing, and therefore needs a sock test knitting. How could I say no? Well, except that the design he made really wants a solid coloured yarn…hmm… new yarn shopping! I was very good and only bought one ball in this purple-grey-blue-brown yarn. Pretty enough for me, solid enough for the socks 🙂

Salisbury WIPs

So, in the interests of actually blogging (with pictures…) before even more time passes, I’m officially ignoring what day of the week it is (I’ve been turned around so many times the only way I now know what day it is is because I’m dogsitting).

I also forgot to take crafting pictures before I left Bristol, so instead you’re all going to get my Salisbury crafts.

Starting with this giant blanket. I tend not to do anything straight when I can help it, so this is deliberately knit diagonally (or as close to diagonally I can get without turning it into mitred squares).

This has been a WIP for a long long time (I’m avoiding checking ravelry to see how long) because a) it’s in Salisbury, where I’m not most of the time, and b) when I’m in Salisbury I’m usually working on something else. I just fancied pulling it out today. Don’t worry, I have more scraps than what’s left in that WW bag, I’m not about to run out 🙂

The other main WIP I have here is the butterfly fairy.

I’m working this right to left because the pattern is too wide for the scroll rods. It’s going to take agessss to finish (see reasons above). But it’s kinda hard to mind enough to actually move this to Bristol because it’s so big and would still take ages to finish. This way I get to pretend to myself that it would get finished earlier if I actually worked on it…Please note that isn’t actually the bottom yet…this thing is BIG.

And those are my two WIPs in Salisbury. Quite often I bring other projects (like the cross stitch seagull I brought this time), but they really *live* in Bristol and travel with me, whereas these two stay in Salisbury all the time. Next time while I’m still here I might show off what stash is here as a reference for myself!

Ok, what happened to August??? (August/September goals…)

Umm, August happened already, what is going on??? Let’s have a look at what was supposed to happen…

  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!
    Umm, nope. September maybe???
  2. Sew Kita’s pillowcase together. The procrastination is wildly strong on this one…:/
    Yes!!!!!! I finally did the thing! And it can now be posted as their new place
  3. Work out what on Earth is going on with my cockatoo brae. If it is my gauge I’m going to be annoyed…
    Nope. The nope is strong on this one…I have bigger fish to fry right now. This will probably get looked at after Christmas at the rate of things at the moment…
  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…)
    Nope. I decided to do cross stitch Mill Hill kits, which is definitely a good thing. Now I just need to order some more…
  5. Bonus: get to the yoke of cockatoo brae, depending on what is going on with it.
    Hahahahahaha nope. See above
  6. Bonus: work out what everyone’s getting for Christmas, and if it’s crafting work out a plan of attack for them…
    Yes! So I now have revised plans for the rest of the year!

 

Ok, so we’re now 2/3 of the way through the year, and I’m throwing out my original plans for the year. Christmas somehow snuck up on me (as if it wasn’t the same time every year…). So, new goals:

  1. Crochet this elephant for my aunt. This is the only Christmas present I’m making this year (unless I decide to make something for my brother-in-law. I have no idea on what to get him. Any suggestions???)
  2. See how much of this wedding sampler I can get done. I’ve finished S, so I now have A-H,J-N, T-Z as well as the names, dates and beads. So 20 small sections, beads and backstitching. Arguably z should count as 2-4 sections, but let’s count it as one and plan on doing bits of it while technically working on other sections. 2 sections a month is probably the minimum to keep on track with this, but let’s aim for 3.
  3. Finish Mildred’s socks. (This is starting to feel a bit silly. All I have left to do is one afterthought heel… I think I’m stuck on picking the stitches up for it, and the fact that the project is at work, and knitting club doesn’t meet during the summer…so that needs to come home to get done.)

 

 

So, September goals and a plan of attack:

  1. Three sections of the wedding sampler. W, X and Y I suppose.
  2. Bring home Mildred’s socks and pick up the stitches for the heel (baby steps…as soon as I do this the rest of it will just fall into place…)
  3. Get gauge on the elephant??? IDK, I’m having a mental block on how to deal with the sampler and the elephant goals….halp???

Or should I do two bits for the wedding sampler, and two weeks on the elephant??? Advice please, peoples! Or do I just concentrate on the elephant and see if I can crochet it in a month??? (Actually, I really like that idea… Yeah, let’s go with that one)

Change of plan:

  1. Finish Mildred’s socks. Just…just do it already.
  2. Crochet all the bits of the elephant.
  3. Order Christmas stocking mill hill kits (as in, the Mill Hill kits I think people would like), and make a start on them. There’s 5, and the seagull is one of them. This is one of thse spontaneous plans which is always more trouble than it’s worth, but always just works out for me so I never learn from them…

WIP Wednesday- seagull edition

So, the bike ride was delightful, but completely exhausting. I had packed this little mill hill kit to work on in the evenings (there is nothing worse than sitting around with nothing to do…). This is how far I got

*lesigh*. I decided to bead as I went so I could ditch the threads I’d used (none of the beads on the bottom half use the lightest grey, and there’s only the main bling to secure with the white, so I kept a small length of that).

As it was, this was all done at the b&b I stayed at the night before the trip actually started. And to think that I was thinking that I was racing through it and might run out before the end of the trip. *facepalm*

Yeah…I had no free time on this cycle trip. In between reaching the venue we were sleeping in, showering, eating dinner, setting up my bed for the night and actually falling asleep…to waking up early, getting dressed, helping make breakfast, eating breakfast, packing everything up for the bike ride and getting going, free time was completely nonexistant. So this kit will get to remind unfinished for a while as I work on other things. Although I have more trips planned soon, so it might not be unfinished for long… Which is a good thing as it might end up in someone’s stocking at Christmas…if I can justify making others for everyone else…

FO Friday- pillowcase edition

I finally finished the thing!!!!!! Go me!!!!

So, I was sitting around having knitted another square on my blanket, and stitched another section on my cross stitch cats, wondering what else I could finish (I get in a finishing mood after conferences. It helps me feel productive 🙂 ), and my eye was caught by the pillowcase sitting innocently on my yarn bowl (I really wish I had a use for the thing, it’s so pretty 😦 ), and my first thought was ‘urgh, really?’, my second thought was ‘ok, let’s get the thing finished’. My third thought was ‘how?’, and I’m going to stop rambling like this now. I worked out how to centre it (put the knitting upsidedown on the bed, then it’s easy), and started stitching. I stayed up wayyyyy too late, but it’s now done 😀

It’s so smooshy, it’s amazing. I really want one now, but I kinda used up all my scraps on this one, so I should finish some socks first. Although I have no serious plans to finish them beyond the pair I’m giving as a gift. Oh well, what a wonderful problem to have 😀

Kinda hard to part with, but I know that the recipient will love it very much (and hopefully remember to turn it inside out to wash…)

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