Saturday, 31 December 2011

2012 - The year of the purposeful loss

2011 was the year of sad losses. I lost my beloved Grandmother very suddenly in May. I lost my good mental health as a result, but an amazing counsellor and being kind to myself brought me back.

But I gained a fabric stash and a sewing machine from my talented Grandmother. My sewing skills went from non-existent to being able to make my own project bags and purses :) Thus I gained a new skill and a new stash to buy things for :)

2012 will be the year of intentional, purposeful losses.
I have the old cliche of losing weight. Bad mental health equalled mass comfort eating!
My knitting stash has grown and needs reducing a little.
I have no focussed knitting goals, I just want to make what I want to make. But I would like to make myself a pair of socks at some point :)

On an unrelated note, I also want to buy less cheap clothes (Primark has been my best friend) and start investing in more expensive, classic pieces which are hopefully more ethical, while saving me wardrobe space!

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Coming out of the reusable sanpro closet!

Ok, so it had to happen sooner or later. I confess; I use cloth pads and I love them! They have a bit of a crunchy granola, fundamental christian, home-schooling reputation but I buck that trend. I have no kids and I work at a a school and I'm an atheist :) I care about my body and about the environment so I decided to invest in some beautiful cloth pads. They are quite pricey compared to their plasticky throw-away counterparts so I thought I'd try to make my own before buying more.

I have tried to make some of my own before but didn't have great results due to me being a completely noob seamstress who didn't really understand seam allowances! Today I had another try with some fabric that was RAK'ed to me and has a holiday theme which made me smile. I'm chuffed with the result and have since made a couple more!

That's fleece on the back and cotton flannel on top, with a cotton terry and pul core.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Making Mondays - Another string to my bow

I went to my friend Luci's house today for a crafting afternoon. While there, I finally mastered wire! The key is good tools. My pound shop pliers were just not cutting it (literally!). But Luci has a whole set of pliers which actually worked brilliantly.

Luci wants to start an Etsy shop but I'm worried that it's too competitive and that we need really original stuff to carve a niche for ourselves.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

My First Sewing FO!

So I inherited a Bernina sewing machine from my Granny. I have been meaning to use it for the last couple of months but the summer holidays were over too quickly. Plus DH was hogging the conservatory where the sewing machine lives because it has the best natural light.

I was given Sew What! Bags by Lexie Barnes for my birthday and decided to make the zippered wristlet from this book. After a disastrous first attempt, I realised that this project was a 'pro' project rather than a 'newbie' project. Trust me to rush in!

I threw my little disaster across the room in disgust and started again from scratch, this time I had a lot more success except that I got my lining and exterior fabric mixed up so my finished wristlet is not I envisioned but hey I did it! :)

Tuesday, 28 June 2011


My clear out has gone really well. The local charity shops and the people on freecycle are loving me right now!

Giving to charity makes me happy, so I have decided to set myself a new knitting challenge! Knit 100 hats for Innocent Drinks THE BIG KNIT 2011 in aid of Age UK

That's 100 hats by October, easy peasy..........erm yeah. It's a challenge.

I am going to Knit Nation in a couple of weeks and have been very good and not bought any yarn for 2 months so I can save up and buy some wollmeise there (and hopefully discover some other gorgeous indie dyers).

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Major Spring Clean

I've been really upset about my Granny over the last few weeks. But one good thing that has happened is that it's made me want to clear out our house big time! Clearing out her house is going to be a huge job, everything she owns seems to be beautiful or functional though. Something I aspire to, and I want my house to be lovely and tidy and fit for the things I have inherited from her to live in!

The amount of 'stuff' that people accumulate over their lifetime is mad, and we have so much stuff that our house is never ever tidy and I'm ashamed to have people over.

So the huge declutter begins and this time it's personal! I've tried this many times before but now I'm being really ruthless :)

Any tips? xx

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Nobody knows but you, my dear

My granny passed away on Monday 9th May at approx 11pm. It was a huge shock and I'm so upset about it, it's hard to type this.

The above phrase is what she used to say if you answered "I don't know" to her questions :)

The funeral is on Monday 23rd May, I'll have missed almost 3 weeks off work but will try to go in after the funeral to show my face before half term!

I had been telling her about the BSJ because she had a cutting of it from a knitting magazine. The magazine must have been from the 80s or 90s. I was going to knit it and see if she could work out how to make it into a sweater :) I finished it but can't bring myself to seam it up just yet. I'm thinking of taking it with me to the funeral home to show her.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

I've also been photographing some old FOs and some stash to fill in those big white gaps on Ravelry.

AAaaaaah that's better :)

2 FOs!

Today I've been sitting in the conservatory doing some seaming and weaving in ends. Oh so boring but so satisfying when you have something completely finished :)

Baby Sophisticate II and Sophie's Summer Sweater are finished. Yay!

The Baby Sophisticate was great, as was the first as I used the same yarn. I will probably make more in the future when the need arises.

Sophie's Summer sweater was pretty boring to knit, all st st with a few eyelets in there. The yarn was Sirdar Juicy and very splitty (bamboo-cotton mix with about 12 plies). Near impossible to seam up the sweater using the yarn because the plies would separate and bunch up when I tried to pull the needle through. So I had to resort to thread to seam it up which worked quite well.

On a positive note, this seaming experience gave me the push I needed to make me book a finishing class at Knit Nation in July! :) I'm very scared because I'm really quite shy but I've been assured that all knitters are lovely and welcoming so I'm sure I will have a great time.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

On the Needles

I am currently working on a second Baby Sophisticate because I just love the pattern and the construction, too many baby patterns are seamed.

On something that small do we have to weave in a million ends AND seam?! I can see lots of pattern tweaking in my future.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Gardening for exercise?


I got back from the charity shop and listened to a podcast, then I decided to weed the middle flower bed. It needs doing and it's exercise right? It didn't seem like hard work while I was doing it but I was sweating when I was finished!

Charity by any other name

I dropped off two bags of stuff to the charity shop today. They didn't seem that happy, maybe they're over-run with donations because everyone's been spring-cleaning over the Easter holidays?

Yarn diet, cold sheeping, whatever you call it - I must do it!

I've bought 46 balls of yarn this month. 46!!! I am supposed to be destashing. It seems I've had my little rebellion but now I vow not to buy any yarn whatsoever until 2012. I was thinking about banning myself from swaps too but I think that might be too harsh. I'll have to reduce my swapping activities though and see how it goes. The yarn diet is non-negotiable :)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Card-making Marathon

I've been making cards for the last 3 days. It's been fun after about a year of not making any at all. Have a little look :)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Is Charity Knitting Lame?

I thought it was until I actually started researching it a bit more. Instead of just making random things and donating them to charity shops, targeting specific causes who have specific needs means that hopefully my charity knitting won't be lame and will actually help someone out there! I have made seven 8 inch squares for Knit a Square. I'm looking through some baby FOs to give to a friend who donates to a womens' refuge. I'm planning to knit a square or 3 for Sian O'Callaghan's healing blanket. see this Rav group for more info:

Friday, 25 March 2011

Big Hit at the Baby Shower

I forgot to mention that R loved the baby sophisticate :) as did everyone else at the baby shower. They thought it was very cute.

Her sister said it was lovely and "neutral without being insipid". I take that as a compliment :)

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Charity Knitting!

My Something Red/Teal is on the back burner for now.

I've decided to do some charity knitting which is great for destashing and helping others obviously!

There don't seem to be many charities accepting knitted items at the moment. I'm sure charity shops would accept knitted toys and knitted baby clothes but they sell them very cheaply. I don't want to spend hours on something just for it to be sold for a pound or two. I'd rather make something that I know will be of use to someone.

So for my first foray into charity knitting I've decided to knit blanket squares for

I've made 2 so far and am on my third!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Score at Sainsbury's!

I spent £1.00 at Sainsbury's in the reduced section and got a pack of Xmas paperchains, some red silicon utensils and a 1.5 litre bottle of Volvic.

I'm chuffed about the utensils because I've been lusting after the free silicon spatula and silicon brush on the front of the new baking magazine that just came out. The magazine costs £2.99 and I would have bought it for the utensils but I got 3 utensils for 50p and no guilt at not using the mag!

Long Awaited Cowl

I've been wanting to knit a cowl for about 4 months now! I finally started it (now that it's getting warmer!) yesterday using some chunky yarn and 7mm needles.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Something Teal

I have decided to frog my Teal FLS. It's way too big for me. But too small for my mum.

I've decided to make Something Red instead. It looks like a nice, slimming pattern and hopefully I'll actually be able to wear it instead of just hanging it in the wardrobe and feeling regret every time I see it!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

FO - Baby Sophisticate

This used 3 balls of Patons Washed Haze Aran, 150g, 303 yards. Finished in plenty of time to give to R next Saturday :)

Friday, 11 March 2011

Destashing's the fashion!

I have 4 boxes of yarn, 19XL boxes, which I think means they're 19 litres. Plus a large grey bin of cottons which must be about 50 litres. So I have about 150 litres of yarn!!!

I'd really like to destash and at least get it down to about 100 litres.

I'm just wondering what the best way to sell some would be....ebay and Ravelry seem the best bets. I think the difficult part will be deciding what to part with!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

A New Start

Everyone has a blog nowadays.

I have a decluttering blog which is basically a numbered list of items, not exactly riveting stuff! Don't get your hopes up, this probably won't be either. It will just be my witterings about knitting, card-making and my humdrum life :)

OTN (on the needles) : Baby Sophisticate

I'm knitting this for my friend R, who is due to give birth in April. They don't know the gender so I'm making it in a rather fetching racing green. I hate pastels, I don't see why we should inflict them on babies!

R was born prematurely and is very tall and thin, with very slim feet. I had no idea that premature babies were any different from full-term babies, just that they needed extra medical help for the first few months of life. I was very wrong. But R's baby is going to be full-term at this rate, although mum-to-be is suffering terribly from SPD due to her wonky gait. Her baby shower is on the 19th, I've not been to one before, very excited :)

I'm known as the knitter so I have to knit something for the baby! I was going to make a hoodie but all the seaming put me off, and I couldn't make yet ANOTHER tomten! I hope she likes the baby sophisticate sweater, I'm worried it's too boyish. But then a lot of baby patterns I like are girly, plus she's hoping for a boy so it should all work out.........fingers crossed.