Saturday 28 January 2017

First sock! Ever!

I knitted my first sock!! And it fits! Although millions of socks have been knitted before this one with far more complicated patterns, I am so happy to add my basic sock to this number. 

I used the Super Simple Sock Pattern by Allison Sarnoff. Its a free pattern available on Ravelry. The instructions were really good although as a complete beginner I did use quite a few YouTube videos for the heel and the toe. 

The real test will be to see if the second sock matches the first...

Thursday 26 January 2017

January 2017

This year is speeding along! Before I've had time to blink its the end of January. I've finished one placement, moved back home and am already halfway through the next placement. I haven't had a weekend at home yet this year between on calls, visiting friends and a mini leadership weekend which was great fun. This weekend is mostly at home (yay!) except for an engagement party on Saturday night. 

I have chosen my yarn for my first socks for the Yarngasm Box o Socks KAL 2017. You'll have seen pictures of this yarn in a previous post and I've finally decided to use it! Its The Wool Kitchens sock yarn in the colourway 'Ziggy', named in honour of the late David Bowie. I'm thinking of casting on Hermione's Everyday Socks by Erica Leuder. This pattern is available for free on Ravelry (here). 

My next 'along' is the Moorland blanket CAL organised by the lovely Lucy of Attic24. Its coming up to the 4th reveal tomorrow but I am still on week 1's stripes. I have started taking it on my commute to make more time to crochet. As a beginner I am quite slow but the pattern is straightforward and very relaxing to do on the train. I love the curious looks I get as I crochet away on the train! I am loving the colours!

I took a last minute trip to Edinburgh and despite my best intentions I didn't manage to cross off any yarn stores on my wishlist. Next time I'm up there I'm hoping to visit Ginger Twist Studios, Kathy's Knits and Be Inspired Fibres. Edinburgh Castle was impressive in a dominant and castle-y sort of way! 

Resolution Update

I've added 6 balls of yarn to the charity shop box. Its snowflake yarn which is horrible to work with and has been sitting there for aaaages. Time to go!

This is post number 3 for 2017 so averaging more than last year. I'm conscious of quality over quantity and don't want to post anything I don't feel is worth publishing.

More creative events
I'm steadily adding events to my Pinterest board and calendar. I'm planning to go to Unravel in Surrey next month and still searching for a class that both interests me and I have time to go to. The search continues! I would like to visit some more local yarn shops as well. 

Plan my creativity
First socks planned! The Moorland CAL is ongoing. I'm on the hunt for worsted weight yarn to start the first project in The Simple Collection from Tin Can Knits. At some point I may even finish my shawl designed by Helen Stuart of the Curious Handmade podcast. Tempted to start a cosy memories blanket to use up my leftover sock yarn as I knit this year but need to stop adding projects! 

Podcasts I've listened to this week:

Grocery Girls
Hey Sister
The Knitting Expat
Little Bobbins
Bad Wolf Girl Sits and Knits

To try out:

A Homespun House

What are you making? Any creative plans for the year?

Thursday 5 January 2017

2017! What are you going to do with a whole new year?

2017! A fresh year, a fresh start and lots of exciting opportunities! I have been so inspired by all of the creators, makers, designers, teachers and bloggers I have come across in the past year since making my way into the wonderful world of yarn and creativity. The main word I can think of to describe all of these people is welcoming. People love sharing their knowledge and enthusiasm for their individual crafty loves and I am so grateful for all the little tips and lessons I have been given along the way so far. Two memories immediately come to mind. The first is the stall holder at Fibre East who taught me how to use a drop spindle without even hinting at buying any of his products. I immediately bought a drop spindle and some fluff to spin! 

My drop spindle and bundles of fluff from

The second was remembering all the lovely women I took around London as part of the Great London Yarn Crawl 2016. All of them were comfortable knitters and gave me advice and guidance throughout the day. One particularly helpful lady sent me a message on Ravelry filled with useful links for beginners as a small thank you for enjoying the day.  

Knitting with the lovely GLYC ladies in the Wild and Woolly shop in London

Because of all these fond memories, I am really looking forward to continuing my crafty adventures in 2017 and want to include creativity in my new years resolutions. 

New years resolutions 2017

I have a few personal ones like exercise more and cook more healthily but here I want to think about the exciting goals! 


  1. Declutter
  2. Blog more
  3. Do more creative things in 2017 such as classes, events and projects
  4. Plan my creativity for 2017

I read recently that one of the most common reasons that new years resolutions fail is that we make statements but don't necessarily plan how to achieve these resolutions on a weekly, monthly or daily basis. The other is that we try to change too many habits at once which causes too much instability and therefore stops us successfully changing our habits (article here). So with these two facts in mind, I'm going to try and introduce these goals gradually and see if it works! 

1. Declutter

Everyone who has a hobby has a secret cupboard or box or in my case huge pile of stuff specific to your hobby. Or hobbies. Definitely plural in my case! Its so easy to walk into a yarn shop or event or an online retailer and accidentally find you've bought something that is vital to your continuing happiness resulting in an increasing mountain of crafty goodness. After just one week away from home for a placement I realised my room has been taken over by this mountain which has slowly crept from one cupboard to another two plastic boxes and all the floor space under one of my sky light windows. So this year will be about using all of this stuff and only buying new things if its for a specific project. Its going to be a challenge! 

2. Blog more

As I mentioned in my last post, my degree has given my social and creative time a bit of a battering! Looking back though, my most stress free weeks were ones that had something fun in them including writing posts for this blog. I'm not going to have a set schedule because my uni timetable is so variable but I will aim for a post or two a month and see how it goes. It'll push me to do creative things as well which will help with my third resolution.

3. Do more creative things in 2017 such as classes, events and projects

I've got a list written in my diary of upcoming events in 2017 such as Unravel Yarn Festival, Farnham in February. I'll be adding this to my Pinterest and on the blog. I've been browsing different classes but nothing stands out just yet! I wouldn't mind a sock class to cement what I have learnt so far. Projects below :)

4. Plan my creativity for 2017

Of course we never know how a whole year will pan out but I have a few initial plans that I am really excited to share with you!

The plan so far:

Attic24 Moorland blanket CAL (crochet-a-long)

This starts tomorrow!! I ordered the Moorland kit from Wool Warehouse which contains 15 balls of Stylecraft DK in all the colours needed for the blanket. The colour layout is beautiful. As a regular hiker, I love the concept of of a blanket inspired by heather and the outdoors. The lovely Lucy from Attic 24 has been posting regularly about the CAL so if you'd like to try it, its not too late! For more information, you can find Lucy's blog here.

Tin Can Knits Simple range

Tin Can Knits The Simple Collection is aimed at beginner knitters who want to learn new skills and want to knit things they will actually use. All the patterns are free and they have lots of tutorials for each pattern. The first two patterns are for absolute beginners and are basic stockinette patterns for a scarf and a baby blanket. The patterns work you all the way up to a jumper (sweater) which is still an intimidating thought but will be doable by the end of the collection (hopefully!)

Yarngasm - Box of socks 2017

This is a bit ambitious considering I have thus far knitted half a sock! The aim of this knitalong is pretty straightforward. Get a box and fill it with at least 12 pairs of socks by the end of December 2017. One pair a month. Any pattern you like and any yarn you want to use. I think this will be great to help me really improve my sock skills. More info here Yarngasm has a great podcast on youtube and beautiful hand dyed yarns under the name Voolenvine. 

I'm going to start with these three projects and take it from there! I don't want to overload or feel like I have too many things I had to finish every month so this will be a nice, steady amount of knitting and crochet. 

Have you got any creative plans for this year? Any suggestions of other things you're trying?

Monday 2 January 2017

So that was 2016

How are you? Recovered from New Years Eve? Grab a hot brew and a comfy seat, this is a long-ish post! 

2016 was an interesting year to say the least. On the global scale there were a few major political changes (need I say more?) and various people are no longer with us. 

On a much more minor level it has been a year of discovery for me. 

My resolutions for 2016 were:

  • Be more organised
  • Start a blog
  • Do more creative things
  • Learn to crochet
  • Learn to knit
  • Knit a sock
  • Do better in my degree
  • Sit for five minutes everyday and think of three things that you're grateful for
A bit varied and ambitious considering 'learn to knit' was next to 'knit a sock'! So how did it go? 

Be more organised
I'm definitely more organised now than I have ever been. I actually have a written down schedule and a colour coded task list. However the amount of that list that gets done is a tad variable. Throughout the year I've read a lot of productivity blogs which have helped enormously such as which sends weekly articles on productivity, changing habits and changing your mental attitude. I hope to continue this trend but be more pro-active rather than feeling I have achieved something simply by writing it in a list, colour-coded or otherwise!

Start a blog
I have started a blog but I'd love to eke out some time to actually post here regularly. As will be  mentioned below, my degree has been a dominant feature for the past three years and the next 18 months but with improving organisation I aim to have a more balanced life this year. Lets see how that goes! I haven't really decided the main theme of this blog and I'm looking forward to exploring that this year.

Do more creative things/ learn to crochet/ learn to knit
I've tried a drop spindle, weaving, screen printing, lino cuts, embroidery, crochet and knitting in 2016. It has been amazing! Admittedly a lot of these have only been tried once, put down and looked at longingly while revising for yet another exam. But, I have learnt the basics of crochet and knitting which has been an absolute highlight of this year. My crochet skills are still basic but this will be changing this year which I will discuss in 2017 goals either below or in another post. I have also discovered the joy of yarn and craft events in the UK. I was a volunteer for the Great London Yarn Crawl and met some wonderful yarny people. 

Knit a sock!
Tied in with creativity and knitting is learning how to knit a sock. I managed to sneak this into the last few weeks of last year and after much swearing, grumps and puzzled looks I have conquered the gusset, heel turn and heel. Although I'm sure it will feel less conquered when I try the second sock and I haven't tried a toe yet! You can see my progress so far on my instagram: charlotte_and_harvey

Embracing gratitude
Sitting still for five minutes was surprisingly hard. I always have a list in my mind that I need to complete every day and it can be difficult to just sit. Sit. And not move. And not think about anything but gratitude. And not start doing anything else. Its worth it. Please try it if you have time. It is so nice to flick through my little book of lists and timetables and deadlines and find a daily gratitude list which reminds me how lucky I am in my life even on the days that certainly didn't feel lucky. 

Degree highs and lows
And finally, my degree. I can't remember if I have mentioned but I am in my 4th year of a 5 year medical degree. All being well, I shall be a fully qualified doctor in around 18 months (fingers and toes crossed!). It has been an uphill struggle, mainly because I stupidly didn't thinking when I started that maybe, just maybe, medicine is quite hard! 2016 was my best year when I was in third year and I achieved my best grades so far. Then came fourth year. Long hours, lots of content to learn and the surprise event of my organised dissertation suddenly not happening. Twice. On the positive side, I now have a fairly stable dissertation opportunity which is certainly something I am immensely grateful for everyday. 

Well thats a long post from me! I hope you had a hot drink to get you through it. I'm going to post again this week with my 2017 aims/ goals/ themes and I would love to hear what yours are whether its creative, exercise or for life in general!

Have a wonderful first week of 2017 - C and H x