Being Frank…

Accepting my failings


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Congratulations Vicki Kate !!!!

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Vicki Kate is expecting an addition to her family…soon…very soon…in fact possibly sooner than originally expected….and following some plotting by Annabelle a number of us conspired to welcome this new bundle of Joy to the world

So congratulations Vicki Kate and family and wishing you every happiness as your family of 3 becomes a family of 4…

So what is it that snowy dog wants to send to you Vicki Kate ?  Well this time Tuesday it looked like this:

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I sort of ran out of time… not because there was a suggestion that the happy event might be earlier than thought but more because when I tried to take photos last Saturday I decided it was too small, so I ripped out the last 2 rows and added another 2 stripes…at the outer edges there were so many stitches on the needle that each row was taking 15 minutes.

I cast off again Tuesday night and gave it a very quick wash. The reverse side currently looks like this:

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But the right side, although still a work in progress looks like this:

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Pattern:  OpArt

Yarn:  Sirdar Snuggly DK

Needles: 4mm

New/Learned: To leave more time for completion

Many Congratulations again Vicki Kate, wishing you every happiness as a family…

For those who want to see the other conspirators please check out

Thread Carefully

Dotty Doodle

Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Gingermakes

Symon Sez

Annabellebumps


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What would you do with 2 hours extra a day ?

If suddenly you had 2 hours extra per day, 2 hours that had previously been taken up with something unavoidable but dull…such as commuting…what would you do with it ?

Clean the house more ? (or even at all)

Cook ?

Knit ?

Veg in front of the television ?

Read a book ? (Read lots of books !)

Sew ?

Spend time with your family ?

Exercise away the excess fat that comes with a years comfort eating and drinking plus being over 40 ?

All of the above ?


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FO: Pikkuveli

I love Pikkuveli…I’ve loved Pikkuveli since the first time I saw it almost 5 years ago…unfortunately I forgot children grow and I almost missed my chance because I a) couldn’t decide on what colours to use b) was waiting for the right yarn…

Last summer I bit the bullet, bought some cascade, cast on one wet weekend in Brussels and pretty much kept knitting until it was finished… but then spent too long chosing buttons…

I’m not going to say anymore, I’m just going to let Pikkuveli and Spider  say it all

pikkuveli 1

 

pikkuveli 3

pikkuveli 4

pikkuveli 5

 

pikkuveli 2

 

Pattern  Pikkuveli by Suvi Simola

Yarn  Cascade  220 in grey, navy and bright light blue (can I just say I love love love this yarn…it is a pleasure to knit with)

New:  Can’t remember as I finished this August 2012…possibly the Icord buttonhole band…not the slip stitch sleeve  honeycomb pattern as that was used in an Ysolda Teague pattern, possibly cain…

Unfortunately Spider is almost too long/tall to wear it…however his handknit jumpers have a long life as pretty much every boy in the street ends up having them passed down to them…I feel that my knitting is loved !

 

 


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Yehaaaaaaaaaa! It’s the WIP roundup…

I’m hoping towards the end of this week to start putting photographs on the blog again having now sorted out my technological issues…in the meantime a status report…

This month the emphasis has been on decluttering rather than making,  so not much stash busting but little purchasing so I guess I end the month on a win

WIP’s first since I am feeling quite pleased with myself… you see I’ve finished my Mum’s cardigan…ok so when I say finished I mean I’ve stopped knitting, Mum is unfortunately still waiting for the finished article as it needs ends sewn in, sewing up washing blocking.  Pikkuveli on the other hand now has buttons and is in the cupboard waiting for winter

Myrna is on the naughty step but Liam and Catkin have both been examined, detangled and places found in the pattern

Everything else remains untouched or unphotograph or both

In sewing Hollyburn has been recut and is waiting resewing…nothing else resolved…I was too busy getting through second sleeve syndrome

Stash

Yarn –I ended July with 5556 grams and have ended August with 5756 having purchased 2 balls of sock yarn whilst on holiday (from a German supermarket) – I have however run out of hat sized bits of leftovers and have donated lots of ends of balls to an organisation in Nottingham who amongst other things are knitting poppies 

Material     Stash end of July 9959cm  Stash at end of August 9809cm

I made 2 Mabel’s this month although I counted 1 of them in the last round up. Both need hemming…neither of which are likely to be hemmed this side of Christmas (not even the one that was the right side) as I have it on good authority that the Mabel is not for me!

Fabric used 1.5 metres, 0.5 metres from stash…

However, none purchased… not sure I will be saying that next month as the weather is turning and thoughts are turning to thicker fabrics…of which I seem to own few…


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PJS for Spider – 3 different pairs, 3 different sewing finishes

One of my favourite photographs of Spider is one of him asleep age 1 wearing proper button up PJ’s. I love my boy in PJ’s, it gets me deep inside where my maternal instinct is submerged…unfortunately my heart-strings don’t get tugged very much these days as he has decided that big boys don’t wear PJ’s and either sleeps in a pair of pants or in the altogether like his Dad and step brothers

However he is not averse to the occasional funky pair of PJ bottoms, especially on a Sunday morning when he refuses to get dressed at all but will “lounge” in a pair of Mum made cotton trousers

In the first week of January I tried to get my sewjo back and whipped up 3 pairs of McCalls 4103 for my boy

The first was a quick and dirty pair dashed off to try to get an idea of fit as he has grown a lot since I last made anything for him

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Squeezed out of just over a metre of end of the roll polka dots (I think it is a Hill Berg)  from Fabricland.  The cost was just over  £4… they may  have been party to a washing accident as in some lights they look vaguely like pink dots. I made no real effort with the seaming and just pinked the seams…

The  next pairs came from material  specially  purchased for Spiders PJ’s.. but count as stash busting as they have been in the cupboard for over 9 months.

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The skulls were meant to be an exercise in getting French seams right and not ending up with a raw seam on the outside. Just after cutting the first leg out I also decided I should try to get the lines of skulls to be level all around… which I pretty much  succeeded with…but then  overcompensated on the French seams due to concentrating too much on getting the skulls level  so the seams seem wider than planned 😦

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Fabric :   not sure  who the manufacture is but I bought 1.5 metres from Mo’s in Rugby for about  £8

New: Nothing, except perhaps print matching

The final pair are  summer inspired… camper vans are an important part of this family

PJ1

Fabric   is from Fabric land (and who doesn’t like camper vans ?) Possibly Hill Berg again and I used 1.5 metres at £3.99 I think

New  Serged ! Yes these  babies were made with an overlocker

The aim of the exercise here  though was to simply get the overlocker out of its box, threaded and with the motor running…  MISSION ACCOMPLISHED AND OVERACHIEVED !!!

Am not scared of threading my overlocker…But I am having issues with “grin through” and can’t seem to be able to get the tension right on the needle… shortly after these PJ’s through I ran scared from the overlocker after I had 2 needles break one after the other…

Hardest bit of this make ? Getting photographs of the PJ’s in action

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It’s not you…it’s me…oh alright it really is you

When things go wrong there are 2 ways of dealing with it…the first is to press on through, keep on keeping on until you manage to work out what you are doing wrong, sort it out… get through it and come out on the otherside a stronger person having learned and conquered… and hopefully also with a new piece of handmade clothing/accessory/thing

The second way is to toss the offending item in a corner (time out on the naughty step) moving on to something else…hopefully something that isn’t going to kick ones backside in the same way…if it does then maybe give the sewing machine/yarn stash some space and a bit of me time !

Guess which option I go for… yep I opt for the thrill of the new crafting liaison every time.

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Unfortunately I am not capable of wiping the slate clean and just forgetting the affair ever happened…I hang on to the baggage and it haunts me…in fact the UFO box taunts me every time I open the cupboard…

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Let me tell you about the bag that broke me…and possibly Gary (my brother PS31).

Now I was no stranger to this bag…I had made it twice before and admittedly neither had been the fastest of makes purely because I dislike making 5cm bias binding but both bags had turned out well…so when I decided to make a project bag for a friend and work colleague JJ I turned to the Reversible bucket bag pattern from Lisa Lam.

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It’s a good pattern. It’s well written and, when complete the bag is quite impressive, especially if you get your fabric choice right. Get your fabric choice wrong and you will hate the entire process and it will take forever…as aside from the bias binding there are quite a lot of steps involved before you can step back smiling to take your “happy project” photograph… not so much a labour of love as the road to hell (and possibly divorce from your sewing machine).

Gary as I have mentioned before does not like tough fabric – so what  possessed me to use the leftovers from the trousers of doom heaven only knows…and a reversible bag needs two outside fabrics…so I ensured that this project was not going to end happily ever after by choosing a similar fabric in pink for the second outside

I was hoping to have the bag finished in time for the Knitting and Stitching show at Ally Pally…the one I went to with JJ in October 2012…but the experience of sewing even part of it left me so drained that the bag spent an eternity on the naughty step…I finally finished it in September 2013…and it has then taken a further year for me to face photographing it.

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 (I dislike this bag so much I can’t be bothered to photograph it in daylight)

I hated it so much and had made so many basic errors that I couldn’t bring myself to give it to JJ…so I’ve kept it…and it is currently acting as project bag for my latest UFO… Liam which is a jumper for Spider which I love in theory….but the reality of knitting it is dragging me down…and yes when faced with the option of knitting on Liam or casting on something new guess what I choose.

The bag that broke me was only finished as a result of a day off and extreme carrot and stick technique… Carrot and stick involves doing some of something you hate with the reward of something you like doing. Extreme carrot and stick involves doing something you hate (cleaning the oven) for an hour and then doing something you also don’t want to do, but hate marginally less for an hour…and keep going until you finish both activities…

Sometimes you have to be tough with baggage…you can’t let it hang over you forever draining the pleasure out of what is meant to be done because you enjoy it…you either finish it or fling it where UFO’s belong, outer space….

space

(Image borrowed from the  Telegraph.co.uk)


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Round up the WIPs and then Stash Down !

I had planned to add some photos to this post but having been awake since 5.30am and spending 2 hours sneezing my head off I’ve decided just to post it as is and retire to the sofa… it may  be odd to have a duvet day on a Saturday but I am, the housework can go hang…

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  I am not, as I have mentioned very good with “to do lists” or routines, timetables etc outside of work. This is why I don’t tend to join in with sewalongs or knitalongs as I get stressed about it and it takes the pleasure out of the act of creating.

BUT I get equally stressed over clutter and having too many things on the go at once…or too much housework/DIY/Gardening… or too much material or yarn that has yet to be turned into garments  (that’s a guilt thing, it feels wasteful and profligate to have it hanging around)

So sometimes it is easier to man up and project manage the clutter – to set out goals and aims, rules such as “you can’t do that, until you have done this..” and have carrots to go with the sticks  BUT importantly…no formal deadlines…

So  I’m turning my Stash Down into more of a monthly audit and am adding in the Works in Progress…as long as I do “something” on each then I get brownie points…enough brownie points…or even a finished object then I can start something new (carrot).

Stash

Yarn – I ended June with 5956 grams and ended July with 5556 grams. A reduction of about 400g. Most of this was Myrna though 175grams but I then (see below) frogged most of what I had knit. I made a lot of hats but most of these were m leftovers which don’t count in the stash total (life is too short to weigh leftovers)… There were however 100g of Debbie Bliss Prime and 25g of a very old pure wool aran, picked up in a charity shop.

Yarn purchased – none

 

Material

Stash end of June 13,959cm   Stash end of July 9959cm  reduction of 400cm

All of this was accounted for by Gabriola, but it wasn’t stash…and Gabriola went horribly wrong and ended up in the WIP pile…

Fabric purchased – none

 

WIPS

Myrna – pretty much finished the body…and then ripped part of it back…fortunately it’s a quick knit

Catkin – stalled and haven’t been able to face it for over 6 months…needs slipping off the needles, trying it on and then working out some alterations…and then slogging my way up over the bust…this is not a quick knit !

Long Line Cardigan – this is Mum’s Christmas present…will be finished by September, I have hit second sleeve syndrome.

Liam – Jumper for Spider… slogging my way up the front with 16 tiny balls of yarn. This month I have untangled it all and wound the yarn onto small bobbins…I fear Spider may have outgrown it already

Pikkuvuli – needs 2 buttons. Been stalled whilst I find where I put them

Flower Pin – not touched – keep losing all the bits before I get chance to sew them up

Lego Man – not touched in months, keep losing the pattern and the needles and I made a mess of embroidering on the face…

League of Justice – meant to finish these for Spider’s birthday…missed the deadline so stalled. All they need is sewing up

Alan Dart Owls – knitting done, just needs sewing up – I hate making up toys

Of the sewing

Hollyburn – needs unstitching, the side seams recutting and then sewing up again

Gabriola –  unpicked the yoke, this needs recutting

Tirimisu – Need to reassess pattern size and possibly recut the bits that stretched

Kimono – Needs neck binding removed and reattached

Mable – hem

Pink Straight Skirt – hem

On the plus side I have just sewed the ends in on a whole stack of hats and things. Just need to photograph them, block them… but not sure there are any brownie points earned…. unless completley redecorating Spider’s room counts…and believe me that is worth a picture…maybe when I’ve stopped malingering on the sofa…