Sunday, 22 October 2017

Sunday chilling

After a weekend of doing absolutely nothing and a Friday off I think I'm getting back to my normal self. I'm less full of cold, I've caught up on sleep and have just spent time relaxing which is not something that happens often. I think its very easy to forget how important it is to pause and re-evaluate how you spend your time. This weekend was full of eating yummy food, bits of knitting and watching lots of tv with Will. I think both of us feel ready to take on just about anything now! Harvey slept a lot as well but that's pretty typical for him.

So what's been happening recently?

Just before my cycling weekend in the Cotswolds with Will (post here), my yarn kit for the latest Stephen West MKAL arrived. I ordered it about two days before the first clue came out and I was amazed and grateful at how quickly the yarn arrived. The whole kit is from For the Love of Yarn which is based in Glasgow in Scotland and is gorgeous. You can find her shop here. Although I'm slowly adding to my yarn stash I don't have enough to stash dive for a project and these colours were perfect:

Harvey wanted it all for himself. Or he's hungry. Probably hungry... Right food first and then the rest of the post.

Ok Harvey is fed and asleep on the bed so I'm back:

We've had some very stormy and grey weather here so the lighting has been challenging for photos. The colours really pop in real life and make me pause whenever I spot them in my room. Fitting when the MKAL is called Speckle and Pop!

Now I've had to pause this knit for a little while. I'm really enjoying it except for one slight problem. I don't own a swift or a ball winder. I know! Hence the messy ball of pink yarn above. I had to get a bit inventive to hand wind 400m of yarn. 400 metres. By hand. It took aaaaages! It felt like I was on an episode of Blue Peter. Now children, take one vitamin bottle and tape the end of a skein to it:

Drape the skein around a chair

And after what feels like hours you will get... a messy ball of yarn!! I think I've earned my Blue Peter badge, don't you? For those outside the UK, Blue Peter was a childrens program which amongst other things had a crafting section. The running joke was that the show could make anything with some toilet rolls and a bit of papier maché. I wonder if there's anything like that on tv now?

It was worth it to be able to start the mystery knitalong. This is how far I got:

And then re-read the pattern and realised I would need to wind ALL of the skeins in the kit for the first clue. Well that was that really. My birthday is at the end of November and I have very subtly suggested a swift and ball winder might be nice. (Subtle meaning I've emailed Amazon links to Mum and Will entitled Birthday Gifts.)

So until then the now not so mysterious mystery knitalong will have to wait. And yes I won't even pretend I haven't looked at other peoples projects. Which were ah-mazing. If you've made a version - well done!!

In the Cotswolds I finished my first ever jumper:

This is the Flax jumper in Aran weight yarn, designed by Tin Can Knits. I used the free Caron Cake I received from Knit Now magazine for subscribing (post here). Its a free pattern and part of their learn to knit series called the Simple Collection. You can find it on Ravelry or just Google Tin Can Knits Simple Collection. Alternatively just follow this link. Each pattern has great tutorials attached on their website which made this incredibly easy. It was also part of my year goals for 2017 (see here). I'll be reviewing my 2017 goals later this year around December time. I can safely say I may have over aimed slightly! I have a project page for it on Ravelry which will be updated properly soon.

Then this week came the uber cold! Or that's how it felt anyway. Cue sitting in bed watching stuff and knitting.

If you haven't come across this podcast before, I cannot recommend it enough. This is Inside Number 23 hosted by Katie. She's really chatty and fun. She mainly talks about knitting and sewing with bits of life chat thrown in. It was definitely one of the highlights of last Friday when I was getting very grumpy about being ill!

And last but certainly not least - I have a new-ish cast on! I started this on Thursday and I'm flying through it.

Yes, you guessed it. It's another flax! This time for my cousins little girl. Is that a second cousin? I can never work it out. Answers on a postcard or below! My only slight tweak to the pattern is that I'm not doing the garter panel down the sleeves. This is for two reasons: 1. I kept forgetting to do it on the first jumper so its a little bit variable and 2. I really didn't enjoy knitting the panels. So instead I'm happy to knit a simple raglan jumper. If you've never knit a jumper before I would say this one is perfect for beginners to try as I'm a beginner myself but also it comes in sizes 0-6 months all the way up to XXL men's and the tutorials are very helpful. 

And to prove how much I love this jumper, I'm making one for myself as well! 

It's in slightly more muted colours with subtle specks. Its currently on hold while I tackle a few Christmas gift ideas (Christmas 2018 at this rate). Although three is a bit excessive, it has meant that I've gained confidence with garment knitting. Especially understanding gauge, tension and and how each part is created with different stitches. 

So what are you knitting this week? And how do you relax when everything has got too busy?

Hope you have a wonderful week x

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