Thursday, 31 December 2009

2009 in Review

Another year is looming, so I thought it would be nice to have a quick look back at all the knitted goodness I've managed to produce in the last 12 months. If 2008 was the year of scrapbooking (and how!), then 2009 was definitely the year of knitting - I've done a quick count, and managed to complete the following:
- 16 hats

- 5 pairs of gloves

- 5 scarves / neckwarmers / cowls
- 3 shawls

- 14 pairs of socks

see that last pair of red socks - I finished them just last night in time for the New Year :-)

- and a whole load of various bits and pieces for the house and for Little Miss A
Now, given that at the beginning of this year, I had a) never used double-pointed needles, b) never used circular needles, c) never knitted a pair of socks and d) never done any lace knitting, I have to say that I am pretty impressed with myself!

So, what will 2020 hold on the crafty / knitting front? Well, I'm hoping to get back into scrapbooking, before I forget all the details of certain key occasions (so much as happened with Little Miss A this year, it would be a great pity to not take the time to record it as much as possible). I'm also hoping to get some of the many jewellery designs that currently reside inside my head 'out into the open' so to speak.
As for knitting? Well, the first thing will be that much more of the knitting will be for selfish purposes (I might have finished 14 pairs of socks this year, but I only kept 4 pairs for myself - there's something definitely not right about that....). I've signed up to knit 10 Shawls in 2010 - not sure how I'll do on that, but I am determined at the very least to make a Gail shawl (using Dream in Color Stardust, which has sparkly threads wound through it!) for my 40th.....oh yes, that's coming next year too! I'm also setting myself a personal challenge to knit 24 pairs of socks in 2010 - that's 2 pairs a month. Then I have a few cardigans & jumpers I want to make for Little Miss A. Of course, given the fact that my leisure / knitting time will be seriously curtailed next year (gotta go earn those pennies, don't I?), these goals are probably insane - but I figure it's better to start from a high point :-)
I wish you all a fabulous New Year - may 2010 bring lots of laughter, good times, adventures and good experiences to you and your loved ones.

Now I have to go and try to get the little one in bed before it is actually 2010.......

Monday, 28 December 2009

We made it!

Way back in the distant mists of time (beginning of November?), when my sister and I were sorting out our travel plans to go and spend Christmas in Brussels with my parents, we thought: "sure, travelling on Christmas Eve? No problem!"

Ha ha ha - that was without counting on the total and utter chaos that a certain heavy snowfall in northern France the week before Christmas would cause......let's just say that I was not a very chilled-out bunny rabbit for most of last week. However, we did thankfully make it over (pretty much as planned) and had a lovely time, with lots of good company, lovely food and oooooodles of presents (seriously, the pile was quite disgusting really). Little Miss A couldn't quite get her head around it all - in fact, she didn't even open all her presents (I'm now keeping them back to give to her for her birthday in March as she has more than enough to be getting on with for now).

We are now back, equally safe and sound, and looking forward to a few quiet days at home (the weather is not exactly conducive to venturing outdoors) before we all (and yes, I mean ALL of us!) return to normal, gainful activities.

I'll leave you with this gem which epitomises the lovely couple of days we've just had....a non-stop love fest between Little Miss A and her doting Grandad :-)

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Une petite douceur......

....saw this on Ravelry on Friday and just had to whip up this little snuggly for Miss A (she's only two cms away from being a whole metre tall now, so I figured it's time to drop the 'Little')

How I love crochet for it's power to let you finish a 'proper' piece of clothing (as opposed to a hat or pair of gloves) in only two evenings!

Monday, 14 December 2009

Welcome to Bollywood!

Way back in the foggy distance of time (i.e. in about March of this year), I discovered the wonderful yarns produced by the Knitting Goddess. My first order from her included this wonderful skein, called Bollywood

- beautifully saturated shades of vibrant purple, hot pink, olive green, a touch of lilac - seriously scrummy and very aptly named

Other members of the Knitting Goddess group on Ravelry have transformed their skeins into the most amazing shawls and such like. For some reason, though, I was unable to come up with a pattern that wanted to be made from this.......until now that is! The trick: hold it double and use a pattern that called for double-knit yarn.

I give you my new hat, christenend Bollywood Belle.

Pattern: Scalloped Lace Beret by Nina Duke-Howard
Needles: 4.5mm circular needles
Modifications: I added two pattern repeats to ensure sufficient 'slouch'

It is currently blocking, but will try to remember to take pictures of my actually wearing it in the next few days (if the light holds out - it's been a nightmare taking pictures recently....)

Thursday, 10 December 2009


Look what my lovely postman brought me the other day:

Yes folks, it's lots (and lots!) of lovely, squishy yarn!

From left to right there is two lots of Claudia Handpainted Fingering in Maple Leaf and Just Plum, then four skeins of Dream in Color Smooshy (Beach Fog, Some Summer Sky, Petal Shower and Visual Purple). Arranged at the top is a skein of Pagewood Farm Alyeska in Lavender Field and two skeins of Shibui Knits Sock in Pebble. Swoooon!

And the reason for all this bounty? Well, after many long months of searching, I have finally found myself a new job! Starting on 4 January, I will be gainfully re-employed as a Higher Executive Officer (don't be fooled by the job title) at a local Job Centre until late November 2010. Yep - I'll be a civil servant....I will be completely honest with you , and admit that it is far from being my dream job. However, on the positive side, the pay is good, so are the hours, and it's only a 15-minute commute from home / nursery. I will also be gaining some new skills (customer service anyone?) and I will definitely be gaining greater social awareness (that might prove to be an understatement!). It's going to be a massive learning curve - let's just hope I don't get too frustrated with some of the 'customers' and start doing my 'posh lady' act........

And if that wasn't enough yarn for you, remember those lovely matching socks I made for myself and Little Miss A back in October for the Through The Loops Socktober KAL? Well, they won a prize!! Wheeee - I never win things, so this is just extra icing on the cake - they were such a joy to knit, that would have been more than enough. My prize arrived today:

A one-off colourway of Schaefer Nichole - it's such a limited edition colourway, it doesn't even have a name :-)

Lovely rich copper, smokey grey and peacock green - I'm thinking some kind of scarf, but haven't decided yet......

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

All knitted out........

It's been seriously crazy around here recently (well, from a knitting point of view anyway). Since the last update, I have managed to finish two cowls (or neck-warmers if you prefer):

this one is a bit of a self-invention, using the same modified herringbone stitch I used for my Mum's scarf back in February (seems like ages ago!)

this one was a lovely quick crochet pleasure - holding the Twilleys Freedom Spirit double and using a 6mm crochet hook - started and finished in one day :-)

and lastly, all the girlies and female relations will be getting one of these - little knitted hearts made from scraps of sock yarn (held double and using 3.75mm needles) and then stuffed with the most potent lavender I've ever smelled......mmmmm!


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