Sunday, January 20, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

At last!

It’s taken me a while, but I’ve finally finished my cabled sweater.


Pattern: Folklore Cables and Twists by Sublime Yarns
Yarn: Sublime Yarns Chunky Merino Tweed – dusky pink (0240 Dilly)
Needle: 5mm and 6mm
Modifications: I picked up the cast on and knitted 2 inches of ribbing at the bottom of the sweater. I knit the sleeves two at a time, and I reversed the cables on one sleeve.
Verdict: I’m pleased! I knitted the smallest size and even though I got gauge, it’s still a bit looser than I would usually go for in a jumper. However, that’s pretty fashionable right now!

I started it in October, and if I’d concentrated on knitting the sweater rather than the other knitting, and if I hadn’t lost my knitting mojo as a result of changes at work, it might have been finished sooner. But, it’s here now just in time for the snow. So I can’t complain. It’s been nice to knit, the yarn really helps as it’s so soft and springy, a delight to work with. It is a little splitty in places due to being a single ply, but the softness makes up for it!

The question is: what next?

I’ve been considering my position with Nerd Wars. At the end of December I thought I wouldn’t sign up for the new tournament. Then I watched Firefly and Serenity, and I thought maybe I could spend a tournament with the Browncoats. But then I would need to change my Patrick Stewart ravatar, and I’m not sure I’m prepared to do that yet. So maybe I’ll stay in Space Alliance.

So, I think I’m going to play again, I can’t imagine not. I’m not going to do a dissertation because I just don’t get on with them – maybe eventually I will go back to it.

I’m finishing up some socks for Hubby, which should be done before the end of the month, and there’s still the rug I’ve been designing. And some spinning that I started back during the Olympics!

I do have plans for my holiday crafting though, some nice crochet – pretty and portable, and also something I can take on the plane.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


You may have realised that I knit quite a lot.
A side effect of this is that I collect yarn. I have a large amount of yarn (and fibre) in my craft room. It's at the point where there isn't actually room for any more in there. It's full.

I have over 54500 yards of yarn in my stash, including more than 11 sweater-sized amounts.

So, I am participating in what is known as Stashdown 2013.

Rules are personal to this challenge, as everyone has a different stash and different crafting needs.
My rules are as follows:

I will knit from Stash
I will spin from Stash
non-knitting - I will bead and papercraft from stash too.
if there is a specific gift project I need to make and I don’t have the yarn
if I go to Woolfest this year, then I may only buy using the money I save up (and if that’s none, then I don’t go)

The first step to this goal for me, is to finish knitting the things I currently have on the needles, and spin what's currently on the wheel.

I don't have a target of how much stash I want to use up during 2013, and the reason for this is twofold.
If I met the target early I would probably just buy more yarn/fibre.
I don't want to make knitting, crocheting, weaving or spinning into a chore I must do, but rather keep it as a fun hobby.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Four Weeks to a Beach Body?

On Saturday I embarked upon my mad-scramble to get beach ready in earnest!
The previous Wednesday was weigh-in at Slimming World. Over the festive period I put on 4lbs. It’s more than I would have liked to put on, and perhaps I should have been a little more conscious of what I was eating. However, I can’t un-eat what I have eaten, so instead I have to get back on the plan.

Anyway, I’ve been sticking to the plan since Thursday, and with the help of those syns, I’m sticking to it well! However, I feel like I need an extra boost, something to give me some tone as well as aiding that weight loss. So I picked up my copy of New Rules of Lifting for Women, and set to.
We have a pretty nifty set-up in the garage, the only thing we don’t have is a cable column. I’ve been able to do all of the exercises called for in the program with the exception of lateral pull-downs, which are easily replaced with pullovers.
I’ve tried this regime before, though it was back before I started going to Slimming World, when I was a stone-and-a-half heavier than I am now. I was disheartened when I couldn’t see visible improvement. I was stronger than I have ever been, but all the muscle was hidden under a layer of fat. I am hopeful that this time, because I have already lost a lot of the weight I want to lose, I will see the results more clearly. This will hopefully boost my confidence, inspiring me to work out more, and thus begins a cycle. I hope.

As I said, I started on Saturday. It’s now Monday. I have therefore done two workouts, one each of workout A and workout B.
Both workouts are intended to be full body workouts, and I can certainly confirm that my full body feels like it’s been worked hard. I’ve pushed myself on all of the exercises. I was only able to manage 5 full push-ups, but I did my full second set by doing knee-push-ups (also known as “ladies” push-ups.)
I also opted to do regular crunches rather than ball-crunches, and after falling off the ball several times I also went for crunches rather than ball jack-knife.

My next workout will be on Wednesday morning, and then in the evening I will be weighing in at Slimming World for my first post-regime-change weigh in.
Fingers crossed, it’ll be good news.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

2012 - A Look Back

In a year that saw the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics in London, there have been some highlights for me too.

January saw the beginning of my first year growing vegetables in the garden here. I started out with tomatoes and potatoes, and also tried chard, beans, chilli, squash and onions. Some were more successful than others, the tomatoes did very well in the end!

April saw my sister's wedding, my first wedding anniversary (which I didn't blog about, shame on me)

October was a packed month too, we redecorated the kitchen and I met Patrick Stewart at Star Trek London!

In crafting, I've crocheted...

2012 Crochet


Hats, Gloves and Scarves 2012 Other Knitting 2012
Tops 2012

...including socks...

IMG_1188 Illyria Socks

...and shawls...

Ravellenic Shawl

...I've woven...

woven bags tea wallet?

...and spun...

Singles Yarn Scrappy Spinning Spinning

...and knitted a scarf for hubby...

Hubby Scarf

I blame Nerd Wars for the large number of projects I've completed this year, and while I'm considering taking a break from it for a while, it's certainly been useful in getting some crafting done!

Happy 2013 everyone, let's hope it's as productive!