Wednesday, 17 November 2010

WIP Wednesday {Fetchings Improved}

So the hat from last week is now finished (and I love it!) but I still haven't had chance to take photos... a bit of a blogging fail I know but I'll blame an extra busy schedule and increasingly short dull days. Soon though I promise!

So of course I know have another small project on the needles, this time it's a stash busting project with some yarn I've had for ages and I'm actually revisiting a pattern I knitted some time ago, the incredibly popular Fetchings.

Please excuse the poor photo, but it's pitch black here, so good photos just aren't an option during the week anymore.

I've changed this pattern in several ways, it's longer both at the cuff and the top with an extra cable repeat and has a proper thumb gusset rather than an after thought thumb. The first one is finished and I'm half way through the second one and I definitely like them better with the modifications. I'll post full details when I've finished.

Now I'm off to try and catch up on my commenting and check out all the other What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday posts, and the new Work In Progress Wednesday; a spin off for knitters!

As I'm a little behind on my commenting and also short of time tonight, I promise to catch up on my commenting soon (tomorrow!) as I know there'll be so many fabulous posts I won't have time to check them all out tonight!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

WIP Wednesday {Don't Slouch Stripey Hat}

A couple of weekends ago I made a trip for the first time to a new yarn shop that has opened in Manchester called Purl City. I've been excited about this yarn ever since I found out it was opening... it's the first yarn shop that is within easy driving distance that sells lots of beautiful harder to find yarns. The shop was lovely, definitely worth a trip with lots and lots of beautiful yarns. Unsurprisingly I didn't come home empty handed!

However what was surprising was that Mark took me (of his own back!) and treated me to my pick of yarn! Well I wasn't going to say no and after much debate got these two lovely skeins of Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky, a yarn that really does live up to it's name as it's a scrumptious mix of 45% silk, 55% merino wool.

I couldn't make my mind up between these two colours... they were both beautiful and would both work as the hat I had in my mind that I wanted to make with them. Mark suggested I buy both and knit a stripey hat.... I wasn't going to say no!!!

So after some hunting on Ravelry I found a pattern I was happy with that was for a slouchy hat, and after some slight tweaks to the pattern it's knitting up just as I wanted it too!

Although, the hat is actually practically finished now (unlike the photo above that was taken at the weekend when I had some daylight to take the photo) and I love it. I just need some more daylight to take a finished photo, although sadly that will have to wait until the weekend.

And now I'm off to see what everyone else has been up to on this What's On Your Work Desk Wednesday (Or in my Case Work In Progress Wednesday - a new spin off that I've just discovered for knitters!).

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Finished Object {Snowboarder Hat}

Despite the fact I've been knitting for over a year now, up until now I haven't knit anything for Mark. I think the reason for this is threefold... I value my knitting time as I don't have much of it and so only want to knit things that people will appreciate. I have lots and lots of things that I want to knit for myself (and again not enough time to knit them all). Mark is very particular about his clothing and up until now hadn't expressed any interest in me knitting something for him.

So when he hinted he might like a hat, I sat down with him and asked him to pick a pattern from Ravelry.

He picked a hat that is knitted entirely in 1x1 twisted rib. Now don't get me wrong it's not a difficult pattern... but any of you knitters out there will know what I mean when I say it takes forever and is incredibly boring. This must have taken more than twice the length of time it would have taken me in plain knit stitch. But Mark likes it, so I'm happy - you could call it a labour of love! If you're interested it's a free pattern available on Ravelry here.

Today we went for a walk round a local Nature Reserve... Mere Sands Wood in Rufford if you're local and it's a lovely trip out. If you're lucky you might spot both Kingfishers and Red Squirrels there. No Red Squirrels today, but we did get a fleeting glimpse of a Kingfisher (although sadly too fleeting for a photograph).

However it did give us the perfect chance for Mark to wear his new hat (and me to get some photos of him in it).

It was a lovely way to spend a Sunday morning as it was a beautiful sunny crisp Autumn day and it was nice to get out and about before we got on with the inevitable task of decorating (as always!). However on a positive note the room we are now starting will become my craft room... ok so Mark calls it the Study, I call it my craft room ha!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Finished Objects {Hooded Things}

It's that time of year again when there's no getting away from the fact that Summer is over. Don't get me wrong I actually really love Autumn, but I can't help but be a little bit sad that Summer is over for another year.

However, a definite positive for me is that it's the perfect excuse to get knitting! I've been knitting a lot recently on various different things, I just keep forgetting to take photos when there's actually daylight. However this weekend I finally got round to taking shots of two of my latest finished objects.

First up is this fab cowl, a quick knit that is really easy in super bulky wool. Great for instant satisfaction!

I test knit this for the lovely (Dawn) aka Yarn Sellar on Ravelry, and the pattern available for you to buy here for just $2.99.

Next up, one of my favourite knits so far. A cabled hood! Seriously I am in love with this... I'm a bit funny when it comes to hats. I have a fairly large head and lots of hair so me and hats as a general rule have a bit of strained relationship. When I first saw this "Through the Woods" hood I was in love straight away. The original knitted up by the designer was in a gorgeous deep red and immediately made me think of little red riding hood. However, to go with my snowboarding jacket I knew I wanted to make mine in purple.

So I ended up with the "Little Red Riding Hood Hood That's Purple Actually"...


Seriously, I adore this. It's so cute, and will be getting a lot of use when we go to the Alps (both in a few weeks time - (yay) and next year for our proper snowboarding trip).

It's actually a fairly quick knit as it's bulky wool, and not too complicated as the only real skills you need are cabling and picking up stitches. It's actually been finished for quite a while, but I got distracted with other projects and it took me ages to get round to blocking it and sewing the buttons on. If you do decide to make it I really do recommend following the designers instructions for blocking (including the bowl!) as it made so much difference to my finished hood.

If you want to knit one for yourself you can buy the pattern here from Ravelry for just $5.00. A bargain for such a fab knit if you ask me!

Monday, 11 October 2010

Finished Object {It's all Fine & Dandy}

I don't know why I haven't blogged for so long, with all the best intentions in the world I seem to have struggled to find the time. Maybe it’s the crazy busy workload at work (which incidently I still love – despite how busy it is) or the increasingly dark evenings that have meant I’ve been struggling to find the time to photograph what I’ve been working on.

But that’s just it, despite my lack of blogging I have actually been really quite creative with several different projects… mostly finished and some really HUGE projects as well. But for now as a bit of an introduction into one of the several things I’ve been knitting here’s my fine & dandy scarf. I love this, it’s so soft (and was featured in its half knit state here) and I should hang my head in shame as it’s been finished for ages I just haven’t got round to photographing it until now.

But the beautiful weather we had this weekend finally gave me the chance to grab a few snap shots, although this morning there’s a bit of a nip in the air. I love this time of year, there’s something magical about Autumn and best of all it gives me the perfect opportunity to wear my various different scarves and hand warmers!

If you'd like to knit this pattern, it's called the Dandy Scarf by Dull Roar and is available on Ravelry to download for just $5.00.

It's a great pattern, and I knitted it as written apart from the fact I only put 2 tassels on rather than 3, but I seriously love this. And even better, Mark actually wants one! He tried to steal this as he thinks it's a great snowboarder scarf but then decided he'd rather have 1 in green. So watch this space, Mark in a hand knitted item coming up!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Beautiful Advert

The first Kindle advert I saw was ok, the song was pretty but I didn't think much of the people sat in the deckchairs. Then I saw this the other night on TV... so pretty, so beautiful... it makes me really happy whenever I see it.

We did this type of photography in college and I adore it, there's something so whimsical about it. {Sigh}


It almost makes me want one... but I'm sorry Kindle, I'd still rather have an Ipad!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Finished Object {Ruffles Scarf}

Sorry I've had a little absence again, I've been meaning to post for a while but life just seems to keep getting in the way. Work, the house, friend's weddings, family BBQ's, kniting with Jenny... the list goes on! Oh and my birthday!!!

I had a great time on my birthday, got some lovely presents and had a generally fabulous day as both me and Mark took the day off work and went shopping to Manchester where I got to spend my birthday pennies and Mark treated me to a few things as well. On the way back we stopped off at a fabulous woolshop The Black Sheep in Warrington and Mark let me loose with his money! I was actually very restrained considering I was buying with someone else's money, but more about that in another post soon.

So now onto another finished item, that I actually finished quite a while ago but just haven't had chance to show you yet.

My ruffles scarf.


I loved this pattern, it's very very simple and knits up really quickly. Great for TV knitting. The only slight down side is that you increase from 200 to 600 stitches in one row to create the ruffle which does take quite a while but it's worth it!

It's available to download from Ravelry here for just $3.50.

So I now have yet another item to add to my winter wardrobe for work, as everyone keeps telling me how cold it is in Winter there.

I'll be back much sooner this time, to show you more craftiness... promise!

P.S Thank you for all the lovely comments on the last post, they really made my day. I've been meaning to take part in WIP for the last 2 weeks but I've been busy on both days. Next week definitely!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

WIP Wednesday

So here's me taking part in What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday for the very first time! But I don't really have a workdesk at the moment... However I do have a WIP!

So here's me taking part in WIP (Work In Progress) Wednesday!

A little while ago I visited Woolfest, a wool based crafting fair in the lake district. I came away with numerous different goodies, including this rather beautiful skein of Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend. A very very pretty wool, but one that requires a little work before you can knit with it.

Mark is becoming super skilled a holding these skeins up whilst a turn it into a ball, something that really does require two people otherwise you just get into a big tangle... or alternatively a skein holder, a device I do not own, yet! I say yet as I have a feeling Mark will probably buy one for me just to eliminate his role in this!

However, I do think they look really pretty... both as skeins and when they are wound into a ball.

So this weekend Mark helped me wind this skein into a ball, and I started to knit with it. And currently it looks like this... a very long thin scarf! It actually looks thinner than it is, as it's curling back in on itself and will continue to do until it's blocked. But I'm loving the colour combination of this variegated skein.

And if you're particularly interested you can see what this scarf will hopefully look like, and get the pattern from Ravelry here.

So that's what I'm currently working on, and now I'm off to check out all the other wonderful things everyone else taking part is making.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Doing it digitally... LSNED

Once upon a time I used to be a scrapbooker. Yes really! Although to read this blog of late you wouldn't have known!

Somewhere along the line I fell out of love with scrapbooking. I actually can't remember the last time I checked out a scrapbooking shop, or even thought about making a page.

However more recently, now that life has calmed down slightly (i.e. college is over, I'm slowly settling into the new job and the house is slowly but surely coming together) I've been thinking about what scrapbooking means to me.

I still want to document my life. I still want to record more than just the photos I take. I want to record the story behind the pictures. I've also come to realise that time is an important issue for me; in the fact that I don't have enough of it! I love knitting of the fact I can pick it up and put it down with so little hassle.


Several years ago I bought a class from Shimelle... Learn Something New Everyday. It happens every September and once you've bought it you get to take part every year for no extra cost, and over the last few days I've seen this come up and several different blogs and it got me thinking. Maybe I'd like to scrapbook again?

My first reaction to this? "I don't have to scrapbook!"

But actually maybe I do... digitally!

I have image editing software, I have a laptop, I have a digital camera... surely that's all I need! No sorting through boxes of supplies, no making a mess, no clearing up said mess. Maybe this is just what I need.

So I've treated myself to a full digital kit. I've never bought digital scrapbooking supplies before... I was always a paper scrapper. And I'm sure deep down I still am, but right now I need to fall back in love with scrapbooking and I do think digital is the way for me to do it.

So I'm commiting to complete Shimelle's Learn Something New Every Day class... digitally. Eeek! And when I've finished I'll print the book on Blurb (I printed a portfolio book for my college photography coursework and I was very very impressed!).

I love this kit, it's so pretty and everything I love right now. Plus it all coordinates, and for the lazy days there's even page templates... hurrah! Fingers crossed, I'll be a scrapbooker again before I know it.

I'd love to know if you're taking part too so please leave a comment and let me know. If you're not and would like to, you can find out more details about the class here.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Finished Object {Cafe au Lait Fingerless Gloves}

Finally (if a little later than originally planned) something crafty to show you!

I finished these over a week ago, but have only had chance to take some photographs today. I love these, and I learnt loads making them... including how to SSK (slip slip knit incase you really wanted to know!) and also how to M1 (how to create a new stitch - how I made the thumb gusset). A lovely pattern, and best of all it's free!

Cafe au Lait on Ravelry. They are also part of the August KAL (Knit Along) on the Fingerless Gloves Fanatics group along with a prize if you post a photograph of 2 finished mitts before the end of August.

However they have also made me fall even more in love with expensive wool. These were knit with 100% Alpaca... not the easiest thing in the world to knit with but it's ridiculously soft. However it's not exactly cheap either!!! But it's worth it, as I don't have the time to be a hugely productive knitter I can afford to treat myself to luxury wool. However it does mean I have to knit with what I buy!!!

I am currently being very good and have been knitting up my stash of lovely yarn. I've got another finished object to show you (but you'll have to wait for another post for that) and I'm well on the way to my next one. All knitted with my stashed yarn, yay for me being good! Although is it terrible that I'm now considering what yarn I'd like to buy to make up for the dent in my stash haha!

Oh and just incase you think I've only knitted one mitt... here's the photo that proves I really did knit both of them!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Emma, Emma, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Garden Grow?

{Photo Heavy Post}

With Silver Bells
And Cockle Shells
And Pretty Maids All In A Row

I love having my own garden. Although I enjoyed the one in the house we rented, as it wasn't mine I never felt like I wanted to invest a lot of time or money making any drastic changes.

The garden we have now is pretty standard. A rectangle with grass in the middle and straight borders around the edge. Although it does also have a really cool bit that sticks out at the bottom that currently houses my greenhouse and very shortly will also be home to my chickens! But more about that in another post...

I knew straight away that one of the main things I wanted to achieve in my garden was something that was attractive to wildlife. It also needed to be pretty, but as a general rule those two things tend to go hand in hand!

So in my first few trips to the garden centres with the intention of buying plants I've been looking for plants with three main characteristics...
  1. Attractive to wildlife... ok so that's pretty much a given isn't it!
  2. Pretty hardy (I live in the north of England and to be honest can't be bothered with the hassle of moving things/fleecing them for the frosts)
  3. Minimum maintenance. Ok so I don't mind some pruning etc but the last thing I want is a plant that needs an awful lot of input from me once it's planted. I just don't have the time!

And so far it seems to be working. Everything that's flowered so far has attracted plenty of wildlife. This ornamental German Garlic is currently in full bloom and as you can see is much loved by all manner of insects.

I can't remember the name of this one, but yet another plant that is well loved by wildlife, especially the butterflies!

However, as I don't have endless money to spend at the garden centres I've been doing what I can to get plants in other ways. Mark's Mum Yvonne has been brilliant in supplying me with many different plants from her lovely garden. Yvonne loves growing and propergating plants (and is a lovely knowledgeable companion for a walk round a garden centre - great for a novice like me!).

I've also been taking cuttings where I can. These cuttings of a Buddleia taken from my Mum's garden several weeks ago are really starting to thrive and I potted them on into bigger pots at the weekend and was pleased to see they've developed a really healthy root system.

I also took some new cuttings from my own garden at the weekend. My lavender plants that I bought a few months ago have really taken off with loads of new growth so I took a few cuttings with the hope of having lots of lovely lavender plants to put in my garden next year. They are still relatively small (and new) and so I took six cuttings in total (two from each of my three current plants).
As well as cuttings, I also have started sowing seeds in preperation for next year. As I really do hope to fill my garden with lavender (I'm hoping to plant a lavender hedge in the front garden!) I've also sowed some lavender seeds in the seed tray at the front of this photo. Lets hope next time I show you this seed tray it's full of lots of lovely lavender seedlings!

The seed tray at the back of the photo has also been sown, this time with lupin seeds! I love lupins... but so do the slugs and snails so I'm hoping to plant plenty next year in the hope atleast some will survive! Continuing on from the theme of obtaining things for free from other people's gardens these seeds where collected as seed pods from my Mum's garden a few weeks ago!

I'm also loving having a greenhouse in the new garden, a luxury I've never had before. Not only is this brilliant for my cuttings and seeds (meaning I can get a headstart for next year) but I'm also having lots of success with my vegetables.

My two peppers plants (I did have three but I gave one away to my boss at work) are doing well and are covered in lots of chilli peppers. Think I'll look at ways of preserving these as we'll never use them all fresh!

My cucumbers have also been a real success... we've already had several HUGE cucumbers off them already and currently have loads of cucumbers growing on them in varying stages of growth.

But the real star of the show is the tomatoes. We grew tomatoes with varying degrees of success last year... but this year they are fantastic. I've got five plants in total and they are doing amazingly well.

These three were given to me by a neighbour of Mark's Mum & Dad who had grown loads from seed and didn't know what to do with them all! They are a medium sized tomato (bigger than they look in the photo - about 2 inches in diameter) and are really juicy and sweet.

I also bought two different types of vine tomatoes as I love love love cherry tomatoes and buy them every week when we go shopping. It's lovely to not have to at the moment!

One plant produces typical vines of beautiful super sweet cherry tomatoes. They really are delicious!

The other one still produces cherry tomatoes, but in more of a bunch. Infact I think they almost look like a bunch of grapes!

If you're still with me after that marathon post well done! I'm loving my new found passion for gardening (even if Mark does laugh at me for buying gardening magazines and the fact I've put Gardener's World on series link!). However, as I'm sure you can imagine my garden combined with all the work on the actual house is taking up a huge amount of my time!

Oh and I promise the next post will be craft related, including a catch up with how I got on with my list last week.

Sneak Peak

The sweet peas, one of the first things I planted in the garden this year, are finally coming into their own with an abundance of flowers. I love how you can dot tiny little vases of flowers all over the house.

However, as I was taking this photo I realised I was actually giving you a bit of a sneak peak of our living room. It's still far from finished. Well, actually the room is pretty much decorated but as Mark is making new furniture for it we've still got a lot of old stuff from the old house in it at the moment.

So, for now I can't share the whole room... but I can share our newly completed fireplace.

When we bought the house it looked like this.

Which, to sum it up, is not our taste at all. In any way what so ever!!! Although, if you want to be specific, neither was the awful carpet & curtains, the embossed wall paper, naff plug sockets, chipped scuffed skirting boards... ok I think you get the point? LOL!

So, as with every other room we ripped everything out. When we moved in, we lived with a hole in the chimney breast for a while as Mark was making the fireplace. But now, it's finally in.

And I love it!

The fire isn't fitted yet, Mark's mate is coming to do it at the start of the week as the gas & electric work is the only thing Mark hasn't done himself. That also answers why the stones aren't in it yet.

However I really do love the fireplace. And it makes me realise just how talented Mark is... it's made out of solid surface (a man-made stone) and looks just like marble. The photo really doesn't do it justice at all.

You can also just about see our new real oak flooring. A bit of an improvement on the minging green carpet don't you think?!?! I'm quite chuffed with myself on this as I helped Mark fit it, and even laid some of the boards myself.

As I mentioned before though, the room isn't finished. We've got a temporary TV cabinet as the one from the old house is currently in Mark's workshop being modified. We are also getting a new coffee table, storage that matches the TV cabinet for the other side of the alcove and some little tables/boxes to go at either end of the couch that can have clutter put in them (like my wool!). So... as you can tell there's still quite a few bits of furniture to make yet!

I also haven't found a wallpaper yet. I've looked at loads, but haven't found one I like enough yet. I'm thinking horizontal stripes but haven't quite found "the one" at the moment. However that may well be subject to change!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Demolition - Of the Home Making Variety {Part 1}

I'm not going to lie to you. Buying our first home has been (and still is!) hard work. Our house is particularly old, but neither is it a brand new sparkly new ready to move into home. It's about 40 years old; and when we bought it, it hadn't been touched for about 20 years.

This meant some drastic action before we could even think about moving in. When we got the keys, we had a big decision to make. Did we move into the house as it was and do it bit by bit, room by room?

Or did we take the plunge, hire a HUGE (actually it turned out to be several huge) skip and rip everything out?

We decided on the second option. And when I say everything, I mean everything. We ripped out the entire bathroom, the entire kitchen, all of the carpets, all of the skirting boards, doors and architraves, the window sills. The entire central heating and all the water pipes were ripped out, along with the old boiler.

And the wall paper all had to come off... this might seem like the least of the jobs I've mentioned, surely demolishing an entire kitchen and bathroom has got to be harder that stripping wall paper?

You have no idea! I think I'm still traumatised now thinking about it. Every wall and ceiling had wall paper on it. Layer, after layer of wall paper. It appears that prior to us no one had bothered to strip the previous wall paper and had simply paper over the top. The top layer (again including on the ceilings!) was an incredibly think embossed vinyl that at some point had been painted white with a really thick gloupy paint.


It was a complete nightmare to get off and the task of wall paper stripping seemed to go on and on forever. As we were doing most of the work ourselves, the task of wall paper stripping was mainly up to me, while Mark got on with the more technical task of removing and replacing the central heating system and other similar complicated things!

Thankfully we had help. From quite a few different people (all of which was gratefully received!) but none more so than Mark's cousin Craig who came to stay with us for quite a while to help us with the house. Without him helping me, I genuinely think the task of wallpaper stripping might have driven me mad!

However, it's amazing how quickly things change. Looking back at these photos (and the ones I took when we first bought it), it's hard to imagine now that it used to look like that. I'll be back soon with a post that shows a room from the start, through the work that took place and then finally the end result!

P.S. In other news I've done some more knitting on my shawl and have nearly finished my first hand warmer... so I'm certainly on the way to completely my "list"!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Summer - Where did June & July go?

Was it really mid way through May when I last made a blog update? That's 2 and a half months ago... how did that happen? Well really it's not all that surprising considering in that time I've completed my final year at night school, moved house and started a new job!!!

But 1 at a time...

The new job is fantastic. Definately by far and away one of the best things I've ever done with my life.

Day trips out are normal, chatting is encouraged and it's quite common to find us in the pub for one reason or another having a "working lunch". Such a change for me! Recently we visited one of our Nature Reserves near the coast for a day out, and it was gorgeous weather. The purpose of the day? It was a team building day out for the conservation team (which includes me now, eeekk!) and we just went for a look round.


Can you see the rabbits in this picture? They just ran out of the bushes by chance as I went to take the photo!

Love how we all have backpacks with our packed lunches in... we really were like kids on a school trip haha!

I'm actually happy at work these days, which is a far cry from how it used to be. But I won't bleat on and on about my work life on here... except from to say once more how much I love it!!! I had a job I hated for a long time, so right now it's amazing to get up in the morning and not dread going to work.

While I've got loads to share, I won't bore you all with a huge post about everything I've been up to for the last 2 and a half months though. Instead, I'm going to steal a fab idea from my dear from Jenny and write myself a list of goals for the coming week (and hopefully encourage me to blog a bit more)....

1. Blog at least twice... to update you with everything that's been going on with the house!!!

2. Finish knitting the first skein of my lace shawl... it's grown a bit since this photo was taken and in total will take 2 skeins to complete. I'd like it to be 50% complete by the end of the week.

3. Make a start on some hand warmers with the amazingly soft 100% alpaca wool I bought in the Lake District at the weekend. I've been given a heads up my office can be cold in the winter so I'm already thinking ahead!

4. Get myself back to Stitch & Bitch... again with the aforementioned Jenny!!! The combination of everything that's been going on meant I just haven't had time for it, but I can't wait to go back.

As I'm not at work tomorrow, hopefully I'll back soon with some progress. XXX

Friday, 14 May 2010

Changes

I've been a rather absent blogger of late but I'm sure after this blog post you'll forgive me. Life has been getting rather hectic of late. Infact that's an understatement to say the least as some major changes have been happening in my life.

Firstly, remember the house I've been talking about? Well it's officially ours (and has been for a while but maybe that explains my absence from the online world!).

We've been gutting it and are finally at a point where we are beginning to put things back in, instead of just ripping it all out. However, there's still an awful lot to do and at the moment looks more like a building site than a home. The fact we are moving in less than 2 weeks doesn't exactly fill me with confidence either... but one way or another it will be done to a point that we can live in it. Decorating may come later, a functioning kitchen and bathroom and boiler/heating system are far more important as it the moment it has none of these after we ripped the old ones out (along with all the wallpaper, floor coverings, internal woodwork etc etc - you get the point right?)

So erm to say we have a lot of work to do is an understatement! Ha.

But that's not my only news. The huge big announcement that I'm super excited to make is that....

I'VE GOT A NEW JOB!!!!

Some of you will know I've not exactly been happy at Sainsburys for a while. Whilst I don't mind HR, it wasn't for me and I've now got a job with The Wildlife Trust.
Yes really. Could I be any more excited? No probably not although it is all a little surreal right now. I handed my notice in yesterday and in a little over 3 weeks time will be starting my new job. I seriously cannot wait, not only is it working for an amazing organisation but the terms and conditions are far better too.

So I'm sure you can understand why I've not got much time for anything at the moment. Crafting has taken a back seat and I've not touched a thing for well over 2 weeks now. Life is just too busy and now we've got the house every minute of my spare time when I'm not at work or doing my college work is spent at the new house.
So please bear with me, I will be back soon and I'll hopefully do a post with some updates (and photos!) of the house soon. It'll be great when it's done, but there's so much to do!

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Because everyone else is doing it...

I don't have an i phone. I have a HTC phone instead and so sadly the number of apps available for it are sadly lacking. Currently everyone seems to raving about the Hipstamatic App, which adds cool funky retro layers onto the photos you take.

Well, despite my best effort Mark didn't seem all to enthusiastic about downloading it for his i phone... "What's the point? You can do that in photoshop anyway?"

And you know what, he's right! We went to one of our favourite places for a walk round today, Bowland Wild Boar Park and of course I took my camera and managed to get a few snaps. So this evening, with the aid of photoshop and some fake TTV textures from Flickr the photos from this afternoon have been magically turned into cool, retro snapshots.




OK so it's not so cool, but until I can convince Mark to give me his i phone and get another on contract (I'm working on it) it'll have to do!
I know I promised a crafty post next but it was just too nice to stay inside this weekend, fingers crossed with the lighter evenings I'll be able to be back with a crafty post very soon.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

The Made From {Apple/Orange/Grapefruit/Lemon/Kiwi/Pear} Pear!

I don't normally share photos for my college portfolios on my blog but I couldn't resist with this one. Probably because this afternoon when I took a step back for a moment and thought about what I was doing with my time on my day off from work it really did make me worry about myself... I was cutting up bits of fruit to make it look like other types of fruit.

Confused?

Here is my made from an {apple/orange/grapefruit/lemon/kiwi/pear} pear!

I can't really take credit for this idea, you'll find lots of these types of photos knocking around on the internet but I did it as part of my log book and creative thought process for my actual portfolio photographs. I did take a lot of other photos today too, that will hopefully feature in the final portfolio but I'll wait until it's finalised before I share them.

Again, I'm producing two portfolios this year: All Creatures Great & Small (which is actually finished I just need to decide how to present it) and the other one is about fruit (and possible veg as well). The title is still a work in progress as I don't want to just call it Fruit, or Fruit & Veg as the case may be. Any suggestions anyone?

Oh and don't worry, I'll be back with a {slightly} more normal {and crafty} post soon!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Evolution of a Knitter

You may remember that some time back I decided that I wanted to learn to knit and posted this list of things I'd love to be able to create.

Well learn to knit I did! Mostly with the help of my trusty friend youtube but also with the invaluable help of my Mum (who actually recently corrected my casting on method meaning I now never cast on too tight hurrah!).

My first real project was a scarf, but after that with the small amount of confidence I'd gained I decided to try some handwarmers. They were very very simple but I was hugely proud of them when I'd completed them and once again I had the satisfaction of actually finishing something and being able to wear them.




Spurred on with the success of my first handwarmers I decided to try again. This time I got a little bit braver and decided to try something that I loved but also scared me... cables! Once again, with the help of good old youtube I learnt to cable and made these.


Seriously, I love these so much. Again, these were relatively simple as they are essenitally just rectangles that are seamed up the side with a gap for the thumb. I always have cold hands and these have been worn a lot!

Sadly I forgot to take a photo when they were all shiny and new and this photo of was taken when they were starting to look a little bit worse for wear.

So, I decided to try something new for my latest pair of handwarmers. Knitting in the round! I've tried DPN's (double pointed needles) and hated them. I felt like I was trying to knit with a million legged spider and the final straw came when I dropped my working needle and all my stitches fell off. I gave up!

However, you can also knit in the round using circular needles (basically two normal needles with a plastic cable connecting them) and I decided to have a go using the magic loop method. So I looked it up on youtube (you can see a bit of a pattern emerging here can't you?) and had a go and finally I made something from my original knitting list... Fetchings!

I finished these today and I love them. It's the most popular pattern on Ravelry and best of all it's free!

And these were not only knit in the round (so no seaming hurrah!) but they also have little thumbs. I'm really rather proud of myself!
I'm still working away on a cardigan that is coming along nicely but I needed a quick fix project that I could actually finish for some much needed instant gratification and also to use up some of my existing stash that is all early impulse buys with no particular project in mind. Mark would be proud!!!

Friday, 2 April 2010

Happy Easter

I'll be back soon with some crafty goodness to share. In the mean time, Happy Easter to everyone whatever you're doing this weekend.

All images from weheartit.com