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

Posts tagged ‘award’

Wow, what a week!

Well, this week has been rather hectic. I’ve been busy using a computer (something I don’t like that much) so when I get home, the last thing I want to do is any crafting, but some has been happening. And having the rota has been useful- I don’t need to think about what I want to work on!

Firstly, my ‘love is’ piece. I haven’t quite finished all the stitching, but I’ve started the backstitch, so here’s a photo of it

loveisThe ‘love in’ pieces all have a saying with it, and this one is ‘love is… a healthy baby’. I’m going to change that, so it’ll read ‘love is…[details of baby], and put it in a double picture frame, so there can be a photo of the new baby as well πŸ™‚ So when I finish all the stitching, just need to wait for the baby!

And I also did some work on my butterfly piece, over the weekend.

butterfly3Almost done all the stitching I had to frog *mutter mutter*. But shouldn’t be much longer now! I can hardly wait πŸ™‚


Also this week I finished and sent off my item for a swap with squarebird. I love what she made me- handprinted covers for a notebook.

swap3 swap4Isn’t that deer gorgeous! I love his tines- he looks quite young (in my opinion, anyway!) but still rather proud. I'[m totally over the moon about this swap πŸ™‚

And this is what I made for the swap:

swap2I got the inspiration for the bird from an embroidered piece very similar to it- an embroidered bird with a feather as a tail, and then found a suitable quote. I’m pretty please with it, all in all πŸ™‚ And I can’t wait to make another one, with something else in the middle πŸ™‚

And, finally. A few days ago, theunfinishedcrafter was nominated for the Liebster award (totally deserved, you should go and check out her blog).

The rules for this particular award are to answer the 11 questions given, then ask 11 questions of your own, and nominate 11 blogs to also receive this award. So here goes with the questions I have to answer:

1) What is your favourite craft and why?

Right now, I’m doing more cross stitch than anything else, but knitting is my favorite. It’s the one I learnt first, it’s got a wonderful range of complexity, from intricate cables when you need to have something to concentrate fully on, to basic socks for when you’re distracted and just need something to keep your hands busy.

2) Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Early bird, hands down. Naturally I work on a 23.5 hour day, which is really annoying- I have to force myself to stay awake until a suitable time for bed, and the alarm on my phone is predominantly so I stay asleep until that time (otherwise I wake up in a panic that I’ve forgotten something important…)

3) What’s your guilty pleasure?

Crafting. It sounds cliche, but while I used to have others (reading, and sweets), I’ve kinda grown out of them recently. Crafting is the one thing that keeps me awake at night, and is the main distraction from the work I should be doing.

4) What did you want to be when you grew up?

A professional mathematician. When I was 11, I heard a talk from someone who said that she grew up wanting to be professional geographer, but didn’t really know what that meant, and ever since then, I wanted to be a professionalΒ  mathematician. It’s only recently, when I went to Uni for my under-grad that I understood that was a lecturer, who researches new maths when they’re not teaching.

5) What’s your dream job now?

Something involving problem solving. Either a lecturer, and discovering new maths, or working for a company like IBM, which ‘solves problems’ their clients give them. For example, it’s IBM who designed the board for all the stats at Wimbledon.

6) If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

The UK. For all that I moan about the weather, I’m British born ‘n’ bred πŸ™‚

7) What’s your favourite season: winter, spring, summer or winter?

Summer. I love the heat (even if I do get close to heatstroke at times…). Although the autumn is also pretty cool, with all the different colours for the leaves.

8) What book are you currently reading/What is the last book you read?

I am currently reading Malice, by John Gwynne. I haven’t gotten far enough into it to tell you what it’s about though πŸ™‚

9) If you won the lottery, what would you do/spend it on?

I would buy a house on a large area of land, so my parents could live in a summerhouse, and I could have a crafting room πŸ™‚ I wouldn’t quit my job though, even if I had enough to live comfortably- I need the discipline and structure a job provides.

10) If you could time travel, would you go back in to the past, or forwards into the future?

Umm, how far? I’d quite like to go back to the 1800s, so be able to meet Riemann (a famous mathematician). Otherwise, the future. My own personal history I’d rather leave alone.

11) Do you have a favourite thing you’ve made?

Frederick the literate cat πŸ™‚ Fred8I have plans to make more of these- I made this for my next door neighbours, and they love it. I’d quite like to have one myself, too :).

And now, my questions:

1) Do you make gifts of your crafts for other people, and if so, how do you keep working on something you don’t like for a deadline?

1) What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given with regards for your craft of choice (for those who do multiple crafts, do you have different advice for different crafts)?

3) How do you overcome the feeling that what you’ve made isn’t that good, even if everyone else says that it’s great?

4) How much time a day/week (on average) do you spend on crafting?

5) What was your biggest crafting disaster (pics if you’ve got them)?

6) How did you recover from your biggest disaster?

7) How long have you been crafting?

8)Why did you start crafting?

9) How do you store your stash(not WIPs)? Pics?

10) When crafting, do you do anything else (e.g. reading/watching TV)?

11) What craft(s) do you think more people should take up? (Bonus points for links to tutorials/introductions)

And now we get to the part I really dislike (and usually don’t do)- nominating other blogs. The thing is though, with this, I already know some of the answers to these for most of the blogs that I follow…Β  And anyway, if I nominate blogs, I always miss off some of them that I feel deserve it- there are just too many blogs.

So, this is what I think: I want all the bloggers who follow me to consider themselves nominated πŸ™‚ I would love to read what all your answers are to these questions, and then drop me a comment so I can have a look at what you’re like and drop you a follow (if I’m not already following you!) πŸ™‚

Hello February!

So, one month of the year has been and gone. While I am trying to be more organised (my word of the year, if anyone has forgotten), it’s really quite hard work. So far, all I’ve really managed to do is a meal plan, which makes food shopping much easier πŸ™‚

I bought a weekly plan from paperchase at the start of the year- this is what it looks like

weeklyplanAs well as my meal plan, it’s got any important appointments for the week, as well as a section for general notes. It’s quite useful, but I’m still getting to grips with having 3 different calenders (online one with most of my Uni appointments, a small paper one for out and about appointments, and my weekly planner.) Now that I’ve got to grips with this, in February, I’m going to start organising my craft stash. It’s going to take more than a month (I’m not sure how I’ll be doing it yet…), but I can at least make a start. How do other people organise their stash? I don’t particularly want to use ravelry for my yarn, but I might end up using it anyway. Are there similar things for different crafts? I’ve got cross stitch stuff to organise, and a bit of fabric as well. Any tips would be wonderful πŸ™‚

I haven’t done much this week in the way of actual crafts, my PhD work at York kept me busy, but I did win another award! Yay me! Carolyn recently won the Versatile Blog award, and was kind enough to include me in the list of nominated blogs! Thanks Carolyn!

The rules of the award are:

  1. Show the award on your blog
  2. Thank the person who nominated you
  3. Share seven facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 blogs
  5. Link your nominees blogs and let them know

versatile-blogger-awardIt will also be going on the strip down the right of this blog (the sidebar?), along with my other awards.

Seven facts about myself… I’ll try to keep them different from the other facts I’ve done, but no promises!

1. I get distracted easily. I have some blocks on my laptop to limit what websites I can access at times (no hotmail, facebook, etc during work time) otherwise I would never get anything done, as I much prefer looking for inspiration than doing my work. Slippery slope! This is why I don’t have a pintrest account,but as I can also limit my time on any particular website, it might be an idea.

2. I want to do any craft I see. And more really, but after seeing any craft being done, I want to give it a try. I refuse to try spinning (again), it’s too long winded. Although then I see other people spinning, or the gorgeous fibre you can get, and I want to try it. *sighs*. Everything else, I’m completely game for.

3. I hate my imagination sometimes. I swear, I could forget half the things I want to make, and still have enough plans to last me 10 years, or more. Ahh well, it’s easier to just get on making things than moaning about it!

4. It takes me a while to get into things. After I started this blog, it took a long time before I branched out into commenting on other peoples blogs. The same thing happened at York, when I came up here to do my PhD. Now that I’ve been here a while, I go to events- knitsoc and jugglesoc which I didn’t go to in my first year.

5. I name things. My future dressmakers dummy will be called Susan, and my embroidery hoop on its stand is called Lark. Also, my bike is called 21st century horse πŸ˜›

6. Every time I read a book, I get inundated with inspiration for fanart for that book. (See 3 and 4). I’m currently working on knitting a pair of socks for all the main characters for a book called Sugar Glass. So far I’ve done the main character, and I’m now working on her girlfriend’s pair. It’s a good book πŸ™‚

7. Rather than have New Year Resolutions, I decided to do something similar for my birthday. Because I am now 22, I wrote a list of ’23 things before 23′, of 23 things I want to do before I turn 23.


As before, I’m not going to nominate any other bloggers. Everyone I follow I would love to nominate, so rather than nominate a set number, if anyone else would like to carry this on, I would love to read about it πŸ™‚

Right, that’s all from me. I’m off to do some more thinking about a secret project, and then maybe think about organising my stash πŸ™‚


What I’ve learned from my sweater

Don’t get me wrong, I love it. But there are definitely things to remember for my next attempt (or rather, the one after that as I’ve already started my next one…)

  • Look at the finished sweater size, not just how big it’s supposed to be. Mine feels very tight, particularly under the arms. I think it’s because my colourwork basically has no give whatsoever, and so I should’ve gone up an(other) needle size for it.
  • Think about all the different techniques in the jumper. Just because my stocking stitch one colour gauge is telling me one thing, I certainly shouldn’t take it as gospel for the whole sweater! Particularly colour-work, I *need* to go up at least one needle size. At some pointβ„’ I’m going to check whether one needle size does it, or I should do a standard 2 needles now…
  • Stocking stitch (particularly in the round) is boring. It still needs doing. My jumper is (quite) a bit on the short side, so looks a bit strange when paired with a long top. I may get around to frogging the ribbing, and adding some length, but it’ll take a while to get around to it.
  • I need to get better at darning in ends. I’ve had a couple of ends come loose on me, and one of them was a ridiculously short thing I had to tie (shock horror!) It might have split from somewhere (we are talking about galaxy after all!) but still… Next time darn in for longer. Much longer!

I think that’s everything! Not bad really, I think. Does anyone else have any words of wisdom about sweater making to share?

So, on to what else I’ve been up to. I mentioned last week that I want to knit lots of socks this month, and therefore I needed to go yarn shopping. Well, that was a resounding success! I have an extra 6 pairs of socks worth of yarn, and I can’t wait to get started πŸ™‚

We have:




I’ve also made a start on actually knitting socks. I had a pair on the needles (back from September) which I have now finished, so here they are

Cardiff2And, naturally, I have cast on my next pair of socks. I got this yarn back in August(!) when I was at Loncon, and I’m only now getting around to knitting it πŸ™‚

Because this yarn has such awesome stitch definition, the obvious choice is something with cables (or rather, mock cables, this is a sock after all!) so I’m doing this pattern (ravelry link)

IMGP0116There isn’t really anything much to see so far, there are only a couple of rows after the toe…

And finally, we’re now in December, and therefore the latest (and last!) block for the OUAT SAL has come out. So, for the last time, have some clues for what is going on (I’ll probably wrap this up earlier than usual, so I can figure out who gets the giveaway stuff and sort all that out while I’m in Salisbury and can raid the much better shops there!)

So, December’s fairy tale

It’s a Brother’s Grim story (and yes, it is just dark and depressing… it includes cannibalism…), and has also been converted into an opera and a stop-motion film.

As ever, the wicked step-mother is intent on being, well, wicked, despite her husband’s wishes to not abandon his family.

Let’s see how you get on with that…

Oh oh oh, I nearly forgot… Polo got nominated for the One Lovely Blogger Award (totally justified, everyone should go over there and check out the blog πŸ™‚ )

And then they nominated me! I was totally floored by this, I just generally see these as excuses to look up other blogs I might find interesting, so when I absent-mindedly clicked on the links, I was rather surprised to see my own blog… that’ll teach me to read links before clicking on them! But anyway, I am so incredibly grateful for this (thanks ever so much, Polo)!

So here are the rules of the One Lovely Blog Award:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you
  2. List the rules and display the award
  3. Include seven facts about yourself
  4. Nominate around 10-15 other bloggers and let them know about the award (their About page is a good place!)
  5. Follow the blogger who nominated you, if not already. (Optional!)

So here’s the award picture:


Hmm, 7 facts about myself

  1. I dislike fuss being made over me, particularly for my birthday. In fact, I regularly tell people that it’s on the 31st June, and laugh insanely until they realise that June only has 30 days (it’s ridiculously funny!)
  2. Whenever I read a book, my mind gets inundated with crafty things I want to make inspired by that book. I really want to figure out how to live on less sleep, so that I actually have a chance to do half of them!
  3. I’m studying for a PhD in mathematics. This frequently leads to arguments between my maths side and my crafty side, about which one is more important (hint: it’s the one that’s going to provide me with a paycheck…the maths). My crafty side responds by insisting I get on with something (usually socks).
  4. I love knitting socks. I’ve currently got 11 pairs I regularly wear, and clearly this isn’t enough (you may have noticed all that sock yarn I’ve just bought…)
  5. Next year I’ll be moving out of my current student house and into a flat with just one other student. I’m *really* looking forward to this, as although I’ll only have a tiny bedroom, it’s fine because the sitting room is masquerading as my office, and I’ll have a chest of drawers just for my crafty things. This is a step up from crates under my bed. It’s almost like having my own crafty room!
  6. I also like knitted hand warmers. I’ve got 3 pairs on my table next to me, in case my hands get cold (not likely, this jumper of mine is WARM!)
  7. I regularly bite off more than I can (or really should) chew! I’m doing another 2 pairs of socks this month, and I’ve got my OUAT sampler to finish, and my Stained Glass to catch up on, and, and, and… I love it πŸ™‚ It’s definitely better to be busy than bored! However, I do wish that I could finish more! (Probably a common problem…and really, I’ve finished my jumper, and a pair of socks in pretty much a week, I can’t complain!)


I’m not going to nominate any other bloggers- I realised the other day that these are basically a pyramid scheme, and that meant I don’t feel too guilty about it, and right now I’m up to my eyeballs in work (end of term has just hit) and I can’t spend the time (unfortunately) to really think about my choices so I’m just not going to try (the blog has to be the first thing to suffer when life gets busy!)

So, on that rather disappointing end, I’m off to cook a turkey!




STOP PRESS: So, apparently I’m ‘very inspiring’ :D

I’m floored, really! When I (re)started this blog, I didn’t really expect to stick with it. And here I am now, just over 2 years later, getting nominated for an award!


So, first off, a very big thank you to fallfromgrace who nominated me, but also for dragging me out of my lurker shell and got me to actually start commenting on other peoples blogs!


Here’s the rules:

1. Thank and link to the person who nominated you.

2. List the rules and display the award.

3. Share seven facts about yourself.

4. Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know that they are nominated.

5. Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger that nominated you.


So, 7 things about me…

1. I’m both a mathematician and a crafter. These two sides of me hate each other, and I find it near impossible to just ‘go with the flow’ because my mathematical side wants everything laid out before I start. It’s really annoying, but I wouldn’t get rid of either part for the world.

2. I have a really bad track record of finishing Christmas presents after Christmas… I think this stems from the fact we rarely do Christmas on Christmas any more, but I still need to sort it out, especially now it’s spread to birthday presents!

3. According to my maths mind, 3 is blue

4. And red is 4

5. One of my friends has written a book about a prostitute, which people keep comparing to me. I think it’s a brilliant book (The Red Mage), and I am planning on making some things inspired by it

6. I still sleep with a teddy bear (well, it’s more of a dog). Otherwise, I just feel that the double bed I’m in is too big

7. You know how 3+4=7. Well, since 3 is blue, and 4 is red, it makes sense for 7(my favorite number) is purple (my favorite colour!)

Phew, that was hard work!

Second part: nominate 15 other blogs…this might be beyond me, but I’ll give it a try (I’m going to stick to 10, I think! Finding the last 5 would take forever, and I want to get on with my cross stitch!)

1. I’m renominating fallfromgrace! This isn’t just a get out clause for me, I think it’s a brilliant blog (although I do very much doubt she’ll do another post!), and want to convince her that’s it’s totally deserved. (But yeah, I am being a bit cheeky!)

2. Hugs are fun. I just love everything about this blog, especially the wide range of crafts attempted- from crochet through EPP into cross stitch and embroidary

3.Wild Olive. Everything is so much cuter when it has a face, and everything at the Wild Olive gets a face. This is the site I got the inspiration for decorating some of my floss bobbins

4. Susan Anderson. This is one for the knitters, a blogger who seems to churn out new socks (singly, and in pairs) by the bucketload! As well as getting lots of yarny goodies to give away.

5. Carina’s craftblog. I know, she says on her blog that she generally doesn’t accept these, but still, it’s an amazing blog. She sells embroidery designs, as well as making her own mixed media hoop decorations. So brilliant! Whenever I see her blog, I really wish I didn’t need to sleep!

6. Attic24. Although predominantly a crochet blog, this blogger also has stunning photographs of the view out her window and other outdoorsy things, like their walks and flowers. So much colour, as well!

7. that bald guy knits. Another sock knitting blog, this guy creates his own patterns (there was recently one in knitty, which is how I found him) and is currently posting several really useful guides to modifying a chart so the sock fits you better. So very brilliant!

8. tryllacraft. A blogger who also manages several crafts, varying from knitting to (again) EPP. Some day I have got to try it, after seeing all the lovely things made with it!

For my last two, I’m also copying fallfromgrace again, and nominating

9. prettylittlethingsinabox. Never one to say no to a challenge, she recently finished a ‘shadow work’ centerpiece which looks like shed been doing this craft for years!

and finally

10. crosstichery.Β  A cross stitching blog, with some lovely designs. Also posts about other things, most recently about slowing down and enjoying the journey of making something, rather than wanting to reach the destination of a finished item so quickly.

Phew, that was hard work!

Ok, so the other part of that is easy enough to do, and the final one (to display the logo) is going to take some jiggery-pokery, so we’ll have to see how that goes! I’ll certainly do my best!

So, all that is left is to thank fallfromgrace again (really, I’m very honoured πŸ™‚ ) and sign off so I can try and figure out the logo thing!




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