Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Year of Projects Week 33

I'd just like to apologise for not updating much at all recently. I've just started my first ever clinical placement which is in parts amazing, terrifying and very, very tiring. It's the first time I've had to commute and I'm getting up at 6:30 every morning, something I haven't done since I was in school, and getting back quite late at night. I think it'll be easier to fit in the things I want to do once I've got settled into a routine, but for now it's all very new. I keep getting lost in the hospital which doesn't help!

But anyway, the Scarf of Doom (it now has a name, and it deserves those capitals). It's now 62 inches long (5 foot 2) and is just about to have the 10th ball of yarn added. I'm on the home stretch now, as I think it'll need to be about 7 feet long in the end.

No picture again, there didn't seem to be much point! Off to try catch up with some blog reading now! (and tidy the house, which is shamefully messy...)

Thursday, 23 February 2012

And the winner is!

 

Just-in!

Congratulations! I'll get in touch to let you know how to claim your prize!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Year of Projects Week 32

This is getting to be a bit repetitive now, but still working on the boy's scarf. I've attached balls 7 & 8 and it's definitely over half way there!
So here's my attempt at an artistic picture of a mostly black double knit scarf. It's now at 55 inches, and with 8 rows to an inch, and 110 stitches per row, that makes about 48,400 stitches so far. So I'm pretty impressed at how much I've done, even if it is taking forever, since it's like knitting the entire scarf in k1 p1 rib, but with 2 balls of yarn instead of one.

I've got the rest of the yarn I need now, so I'll just keep plugging along until it's finished. I've been focusing on this entirely because I can't wait for it to be done!
Oh, and don't forget the Giveaway!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Trampoline competition!

Don't forget the Giveaway!
Today was the biggest trampolining competition of the year, and we were the club that won the right to host it. There were major setbacks, but it turned out great in the end. I've been running round for weeks trying to organise this, and the last few days have been really hectic. It's also the first time in about 5 years that I have majorly lost my temper with someone. My co-host missed two alarms and 14 phone calls this morning, and arrived 2 and a half hours after the competition started, and it did not make me a happy bunny! Then the wireless network we were using to enter results went down, and it's a wonder I got on the trampoline at all. But I did:
video
 I was coming ninth after this round, but then this happened:
video
But I was happy I attempted the somersault, so that's all that counts. As a club we did really well, with 3 people (out of 10) qualifying for finals, in addition to the two who automatically qualify. And one of our member came first in her category.

In the end, the competition ran to time, all the problems were fixed and no one got hurt. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. Plus, my committee bought me a nice bottle of wine to say thank you for all the work I did, so everyone left happy.

Friday, 17 February 2012

FO Friday - Books

Well, I have no crafting FOs to share with you (again!), but I have read 3 (well actually it's more like 6, since one's an omnibus) books this week. When I get in the mood for reading, I just don't stop!

Before I start, don't forget to enter my giveaway - here

I thought I would share my thoughts on the books with you, since I really enjoyed them all in different ways.

The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries Omnibus 2 - Charlaine Harris

I think most people know Charlaine Harris due to her vampire series, which is the basis of the Tru Blood TV series. Although I have read her vampire books, I enjoy her crime novels just as much, if not more. Evidentally, I would recommend you start with the first book in the series, as this omnibus contains the last 4 books.

They follow a lady named Aurora Teagarden, who lives in the South of the USA and seems to have an extraordinary amount of murders occur near her. She is a very relatable character, and very well depicted by the author. These books are described as "cosy crime" by my local Waterstones, and I think that fits them perfectly. They are a typical mystery novel set up, and very easy reading. However, the stories are approached with black humour, and are well written enough to stand out from the crowd. I can definitely recommend them for a bit of light reading on a Sunday afternoon.

The Doctor Will See You Now - Max Pemberton

This is Max's third autobiographical book about life as a junior doctor in the NHS. I really enjoyed the first two, so my Mum send it to me as a present after I handed in my dissertation. You do not need to read the first books to enjoy this one, though I can recommend them anyway. This is an interesting read, part laugh out loud funny, part serious. It gives you insight into the NHS, and particularly care of elderly people without being in the least bit preachy or overbearing. Max has a real gift for comedy writing, which shines through, and his serious points give you pause to think.

I obviously really enjoy this as I am training to be a doctor, but I think it can be enjoyed by anyone, not just those who are involved in medicine or the NHS.

Call The Midwife - Jennifer Worth

I'm sure a lot of people will know that the BBC are doing an adaptation of this book at the moment, and I was sure I'd read the book, but I couldn't find it, so got a new copy on sale. It's again autobiographical, the story of a midwife who comes to the East End in the 50s to live in a convent and work with the families there. Parts of it are very amusing, parts touching, and parts sad. The life of those living in the East End is presented through the eyes of a young lady seeing it for the first time, it is a very frank account, but also very moving.

It is a glance at a time and place that doesn't exist any more, but is really brought to life through Jennifer's writing. Again, a book I can recommend.

If anyone wants to find me on Goodreads, I'm always looking out for book recommendations. Find me here

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Blogiversary/100th post giveaway!

Today is a very special day! Not only is it my blogiversary (1 year of blogging, never thought I'd get this far), this is also my 100th post (and yes, I have been putting off posting this week so the two occurred together!)

So I though, in celebration of this, I would hold my very first giveaway.

One lucky person will get:
2 balls of Rowan Sienna 4ply. This is a gorgeously silky cotton yarn, in a very pretty shade of blue. It's actually a slightly lighter blue than this photo shows, but because of the lovely sheen to the yarn, it's very hard to photograph.

But that's not all! They will also get:
Sarah Hatton's 10 Simple Cosy Projects book, full of quick and easy knits, but stylish, knits using mainly chunky yarn. This book also has a knitting journal (unused) at the end, to keep track of your projects when you are away from your computer and Ravelry. And even better, it's signed by the author!
So the rules:

Leave a comment on this post to enter. Entries will close at 22:00 GMT on Thursday 23rd February, and I will draw a winner using a random number generator. This is open to everyone, I will ship internationally!

Good luck!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Year of Projects Week 31

I'm still plugging away at the boy's scarf. It's now 43 inches long, and I'm just about to attach another ball of yarn, which will be a very exciting moment! I'm waiting for the rest of the yarn that I've bought to arrive so I can finish it up. I'm not taking any more pictures of it, there doesn't seem to be any point. It's black double knitting. And since this is a very boring blog post, here's some gratuitous cat pictures:
Look at that little face!
Smiling Tom cat!

Friday, 10 February 2012

A recap of my aims for the year

I thought, since a month had passed, that I would go back and look at how I was doing on my 2012 goals:
  1. Finish my dissertation
    Well it's done! It was stressful but I'm happy with it. I have my viva (where I have to discuss it for an hour or so) on the 22nd Feb, then after that it's finished with forever

  2. Lose weight
    I've lost 20 pounds since I started in October, and am under 10 stone for the first time that I can remember. I've gone down a whole clothes size, and I'm so much happier with how I look. My stomach is pretty much flat. Going to lose another 1/2 to 1 stone but that's it.So well on the way!

  3. Go to the gym 3 times a week
    Yup done, I've been exercising about 6 times a week (trampoline and running) so I'm very happy and I think it's definitely contributed to my weight loss success. I feel so much happier, healthier and have more energy.

  4. Knit an adult sized garment
    Nope, not started yet. My half finished jumper is still in its bag by the sofa...

  5. No buying yarn
    Well, I did fail on this since I've had to buy more to finish some projects. But it's ok, my stash hasn't increased too much, and I haven't bought any that will just go straight into stash.

  6. Learn to spin
    Done! I just span up the last of my kit last night, and it's getting so much better! This is only 18 yards, as it's what's left of the single I had, but it's about DK weight and so much more even than the yarn I spun when I first started. I still have a way to go, but I'm getting there.

  7. Write more blog posts
    I wrote 10 last month, which is about average really. I do need to write more, but I need to actually have something to write about! It's going alright though, I'm sticking with the blog.
So all in all, 4 good successes, 2 that have been partial successes and 1 that I haven't tackled yet. And it's only February, so not too bad!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Free Pattern - First Handspun Tablet/eBook Reader Case

I've finally done the maths to publish my pattern for the tablet/eBook reader case. This is perfect for small amount of frist handspun. It's desined to show off thick and thin yarn, and the soft super bulky first handspun is perfect to protect your tablet or eBook reader.

Click here to download

It is available for:


Samsung Galaxy 7.0”, 7.7”, 8.9”, 10.1”
iPad, iPad 2
Kindle original, 2, 3, 4, DX 2, Touch, Fire
Nook 1st edition, Simple touch, Colour, Tablet

Yarn: 40 - 100 yards bulky or superbulky (thick and thin yarn is perfect for this)
Needles: 8mm DPNs 

Please let me know if there are any problems with the pattern, including the sizing, either here on on Ravelry.

Year of Projects Week 30

There's no point in me putting up a picture this week, as I've been working on the boy's double knit scarf, and there are only so many ways you can artistically take a picture of black stockinette stitch. It's grown a fair few inches (OK, about 3...) and I've attached a new ball of yarn (a very exciting moment.)

I also think I've found someone on Ravelry with the same dye lot who might be willing to sell me some of her stash, which means I might actually be able to finish this!

I'm doing lots of knitting on it today, since I'm in bed feeling very rotten and sorry for myself. I blame the burger yesterday, I thought it tasted funny...

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Snow!

The view from our bedroom/living room. I love snow!

Snow update:
About a foot. And to all my American readers, yes this is enough to stop all traffic!

Friday, 3 February 2012

FO Friday - Gifts

Since these have now been recieved I can post them up. Renee Anne over at Confessions of a Yarn Addict sent me a large parcel of yarn last year, and I wanted to send her a little something to say thank you
A little hand stitched thank you card, which I really enjoyed making. I don't feel like I've cross stitched for ages! I sent a couple of gifts, a pattern, a LARGE bar of chocolate and a hat for her son, Little Man:
The pattern is Nottingham by Melissa Mall, which come in sizes toddler to adult, and I thought it was very appropriate since it's the city I live in (and I managed to send Renee my parent's address rather than mine to post the parcel to, meaning I was very delayed in recieving the package). The yarn is Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran, and it was gorgeous to knit with, really soft and yummy, and I can highly recommend it! That hat does actually fit as you can see here!

For more FOs, head over to Tami's Amis

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Rise to the Challenge - Knitting

The final part of this January challenge is finished just in time!

This time, I took this:









And came out with this:
It's a cover for my galaxy tablet (currently unblocked so I could enter this in time!). This is another first, the first pattern I designed which had to be a certain size. I wanted something that wouldn't take much yarn to knit, but would be a nice way to show off a first handspun. This is perfect, as the yarn is soft and thick, so will protect and cushion the tablet whilst it's in my bag, and I love the look of it with the thick and thin yarn. Plus, this is my first time doing any sort of stranded colourwork, even if it's just stripes!

I did have to cast on 4 times, to get the correct number of stitches, and I frogged the flap once as well. It was definitely trial and error designing, but I'm really happy with the design now. The pattern will be available soon, I'm just calculating the number of stitches needed for different sizes of tablets. I was thinking of doing it for galaxy and iPad, though I can do others (maybe iPhone or Kindle) what do you think?

I can believe I have spun, dyed, designed and knitted this project myself, with so many firsts, and I'm really proud of it!