Sunday, 27 May 2012

Year of Projects Week 47

I'm very excited, I've hit 10,000 views on my blog (though I think most of those are on the Pug Washcloth)
I've finally finished a sock! Only one, but it's a start. It fits really well, though I do have to say that I had to reknit the heel three times, since I just couldn't get my head around the wrap and turn aspect of it. I really do love it, I think the yarn goes really well with the pattern, and reminds me of autumn, so it's very unseasonal at the moment!

We've been having gorgeous weather lately. I can't believe I'm sat here in a vest top and shorts, with the doors and windows open. I love the sunshine, it makes me so happy, so I'm really enjoying the heatwave. I hope it carries on!
It was mine and Connor's 3rd anniversary on Friday, and I came home from placement to this beautiful bunch of flowers. Isn't it gorgeous.

We went out for the most amazing meal.
 And then cocktails on the roof of one of the bars in the city centre.
It really was a lovely evening, and a great break from the stress of work which I'm spending a lot of my time on. I've been doing 45 minutes of work followed by 15 minutes of knitting on the socks, so my knitting is still progressing. I need to relax and I'm hopeful I can get the socks finished relatively soon

Monday, 21 May 2012

Sunday Spinning

I had the most amazing day on Sunday. My Dad wanted to buy me something I could keep forever for my 21st birthday (which is the beginning of June), and my Mum came across the most amazing shop one day. We travelled to a beautiful little Yorkshire village to visit this place:
This is Wingham Wool Work, in Wentworth, which is a very cute village, where every building looks like this. It may not look like much, but this is what's inside:
This is only a tiny selection of the shop, which also comprises 4 sheds behind the front building. They have 125 different colours of Merino fibre, as well as fibre from almost every breed of sheep in big bins. Along with that, they have pretty much any kind of fibre you can think of, custom blends (which they can make for you), handspun yarn, knitting needles, needle felting, dyes, and the reason I was there, spinning wheels and supplies:
I had my very first spinning lesson, on this Ashford Traveller. It was a great introduction to spinning wheels, and I came out with this.
After getting a good appreciation of how a spinning wheel works and the basics of use and care, the shop owner, Ruth, taught me how to control the thickness of my yarn, and we span a little bit of several different fleeces into singles, and then plied them.

And the best bit?
My own Ashford Traveller, Niddy Noddy, and the bags of fibre that came free with the spinning wheel. I was just let loose in the shop to grab £15 worth of whatever I liked to take home, which ended up being 500g of fibre.

3 bags of coloured Merino, a bag of Jacobs and a bag of Swaledale.

Of course, I don't actually get it until my birthday, and even then I won't be able to use it until after exams, but I'm really excited to sit down and practise when I can!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Year of Projects Week 46

There is a story behind the socks that I'm posting today.

First they were like this:
Then they were frogged, and looked like this:
Nope. Frogged again, went up a needle size, and got this:
Still no good. They went into time out. And after last week's advice, I decided to give up, frog again, and go up another needle size
So the picture isn't great, but the great news is:
It fits! After being frogged 3 times, and 3 different needle sizes, I think I've actually got it! I love this yarn, which I got on holiday in the Lake District, and which reminds me of what a great time I had. I think it looks perfect with this pattern, but I was so close to giving up on it. I'm glad I persevered, and now that it looks like it's going to fit, I actually want to work on it, which is a big plus!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Apologies, awards and absences

So the title isn't strictly true, but I ran out of "A" words. I know I've not been around much lately, and it's entirely due to this thing:

Yes, I know it looks very boring, but that is Connor's dissertation and it is fiiiiiinished! It took two weeks to redo the two weeks worth of work that he'd lost (surprisingly), but his supervisor was very supportive and gave him an extension, so he shouldn't be penalised for it being late.

I've been proofreader and coffee maker, and I have to say, I now know more than I ever wanted to about Roman law. At least I'm acknowledged though!

This is basically going to be all the posts that I wanted to make in the last week, but couldn't as I'd given up my computer, rolled into one. So moving on to what would have been WIP Wednesday:

I'm in the middle of a cross stitch test piece for someone on Ravelry, and I'm very annoyed with myself since apparently I can't count. I finished two petal on the second flower before I realised I was 10 stitches too close to the first flower, and therefore had to rip out both petals and start them again. It's annoying and to me it takes the joy out of working on the project until I get past the point I had to rip out. But hopefully, I can get past it this weekend and start enjoying stitching again.

That is, if I don't get distracted by this:
This is Ghostie Self Striping Yarn and I'm so excited by it. I've wanted some for over a year, and when I reached my goal weight, I decided to treat myself to some. The picture really doesn't do it justice, the colours are incredibly bright and vibrant, and it even come with a little witches hat and pumpkin stitch marker, which is the perfect touch. But after my rant about orange yarn, I can't believe I now have some in my stash!

The final bit of this post is awards. I've received two in the past few weeks, and I just want to say some big thanks!

I need to thank Shannon at A Life Flexible for this. She gave me this a few weeks ago, and I've only just got round to thanking her for it, so my deepest apologies! I'm really grateful =) I received this award before, so although I'm very touched to receive it again, I'm not going to give it out, but if you're interested you can see who I gave it to here.

Then I received the Sunshine Award from figknits, so thank you so much! I have to say, this is the perfect award, since I like my blog (and my life) to be a happy sunshiny place. Plus my friends tell me that they're sure I photosynthesise, put me out in the sunshine and I perk right up get all happy and bubbly

Sunshine Award Rules
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Answer the 10 questions on your favourite things.
3. Nominate 10 blogs to receive the Sunshine Award and let them know they've been nominated.
My Ten Favourites
  1. Favourite animal: This is a hard one... I love cats, dogs and horses, plus any number of wild animals... Even when I was a child I couldn't answer this question.
  2. Favourite number: 5, not sure why, I just like it
  3. Favourite non-alcoholic drink: Orange juice and coffee (not together), my standard breakfast and both things I can't live without
  4. Facebook or Twitter: I like Facebook for keeping up with school and uni friends, and twitter for yarny friends!
  5. My passion: Making things
  6. Getting or giving: I can't deny I like getting things (who doesn't?) but you can't beat the warm fuzzy feeling giving gives you.
  7. Favourite Pattern:I can't really say I have one, in fact, I don't think I've ever thought about it...
  8. Favourite day of the week: Saturday, as there's nothing that has to be done, and there's still one day of the weekend left
  9. Favourite flower: Those little blue ones that look like licorice allsorts (no idea what they're called), or maybe bluebells
  10. Favourite country: I can't just pick one, that would be mean to all the other countries! I've loved most places I've visited.

So, 10 blogs that deserve this award (and that you should go read):

These are all blogs that make me smile and bring a bit of sunshine to life, and they definitely deserve this award!

And finally absences. My first clinical exams are in a month's time, so I probably won't be updating this blog very often.  I'll try to keep up to date with my year of projects posts, but no guarantees even of that. So if you don't hear from me, you'll know why.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Year of Projects Week 45

I really haven't had much time for crafting this week, as we've been working on Connor's dissertation at every free moment, so I've done a lot of reading and rereading. But I did get a zip in the post for my Pudsey Park Hoodie, so it's finally finished!

Excuse the accidentally sexy pose in the second picture! It fits really well and it's really warm and comfy, so I think I'll get a lot of wear out of it! The funniest thing about it is that the zip I ordered is slightly too long, so if I do it all the way up, it looks like this
I was impressed at how well the sewing for the zip blended into the button band, since I've never actually inserted one before.

Very short update today, and the weird thing is that I now have only one WIP on the needles. It's my Make up Socks and I'm not inspired to work on them, as I've already restarted them 3 times, and my gauge is still off, so I think I might need to go up a needle size and start them again. Not looking forward to doing that, so they're back in Time Out

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Year of Projects Week 44

I so very, very nearly had an FO to share with you this week. I finished knitting the button band on my Pudsey Park Hoodie yesterday, and my plan for today was to buy and sew in a zip, then it would be entirely finished. After two separate shops at opposite ends of the city, and an hour and a half, I though I had found the perfect zip. I got home and sat down to sew it in, and realised I had bought a closed rather than open ended zip. I hadn't even thought about the difference!

So now I have a useless long grey zip, and I've had to order a replacement off ebay. But I decided to put on the hoodie and take some pictures anyway, or this would be a very boring post. (Excuse the uncut grass, my landlord is supposed to do it, as we don't have a lawnmower, so it gets done about every 6 months)
I love it. It's so warm and snuggly, and it fits perfectly. I've really pleased that my botched attempt at sizing with the wrong gauge worked out so well, as I used the stitch count for a 40" with the lengths of a 36" size. I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of it. Plus, it's my first ever adult garment!

Friday, 4 May 2012

FO Friday - Lace Love

Since my swap parcel has now been received, I can share the Sooper Secrit Swap Projects I was working on earlier this year.

I've been wanting to knit something lacy for ages, but I know full well I'm not a shawl kind of person, so I haven't really had any opportunity to. But my swap partner does like shawls, so I figured this would be a perfect time to try out lace and make something really nice. The pattern is the Ashton Shawlette which is designed for new lace knitters as an introduction to lace. It's an ordinary pattern, but then has several pages of really detailed instructions on how to read lace charts, which were really useful as a first time lace knitter.

The yarn is Spud and Chloe Fine which was in the parcel Renee from Confessions of a Yarn Addict sent me last year. It's gorgeous yarn, and the silk content makes it drape really nicely. I have quite a bit left, so I'll probably pair it with another yarn to make stripy socks, since I absolutely love it!

Lacy close up! I think this went really well, and more lace is definitely in my future

I also made a cross stitch card to go with it. And what better card to send in a knitting swap than a sheep?
I have about 8 patterns of different sheep from this magazine, and I think they're so cute. My plan is to someday make a sampler out of them.

For more FOs, check out Tami's Amis

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Parcels and Dancing

So I had a very stressful night on Tuesday... I ended up in A&E (the ER to all you Americans), thanks to Connor. I came home from training to find that he’d fallen over his air compressor, which he’d left at the top of the stairs, knocked himself out and managed to stab himself in the leg with a cheese knife. In the process, he’d smashed his laptop with the only copy of his dissertation on, which was due in today.

He’s fine, no lasting damage, though with a bump the size of an egg, minor concussion and an interesting story to tell his tutor. We got home at 2am, though luckily he did managed to get an extension to his deadline and found an old copy of the dissertation on a memory stick, he has a lot of work to redo, and it was very stressful!

So I was very happy to get this in the post the next day.
I took part in an LSG swap on Ravelry, and this was the parcel I got! It's very silly, with a "look and feel like a Canadian" breath spray, and a pack of "have a smaller penis" gum. There was also some local handmade soap, a locally made notebook and some Hello Kitty sweeties. The best bit, though, has to be the yarn.

It's gorgeous! It's Fleece Artist River which is a Canadian yarn, and it's so soft and squishy. It's 40% Alpaca, 30% Merino and 30% Silk so it's absolutely luscious. Tomcat loves it, as his favourite yarn type is Merino.

I also had a lovely night last night. I was our Athletics Union ball, and a fair few from my club went. It was a really fun night, with a delicious meal and although we didn't win any awards, we had a great time. The free wine helped too. =P