Saturday 28 January 2012

Getting Organised = Getting Motivated

Good Afternoon, it's me again, I don't think I have blogged so regularly in ages!
The reason is, I have finally forced myself to be a bit more organised regarding this old blog, which means I am finding it much easier to type up posts and such, as I feel really motivated!

The best thing I have done this year is to catalogue all the post and projects I want to complete by making little labels for each and sticking them on my living room wall. I saw this Idea on Elsie's blog - A Beautiful Mess and loved it, I can confirm after spending the last few weeks writing labels and drawing pictures (which I really enjoyed) I am so happy that I did as it is working a treat!

One giant mosaic To-Do List
Normally I write a list of all the things I want to and HAVE to do, but it usually gets misplaced, or accidentally recycled, or tucked away somewhere when I can't face it anymore. So this is great as I can add to it and move it around as much as my fickle brain needs without having to write a new list. It also is so nice that I have finally got my thoughts and ideas in one place which means I feel much more relaxed about it than ever before, which in turn means I feel motivated enough to actually do some of the tasks I have set, and seeing them all together makes me realise I have more ideas and unfinished projects than I would have thought!

....the Completed side.
It's not going to be a permanent fixture but for now I am really enjoying it being there to remind me what I have to do and as it sits above my radiator the little notes wave at me while I'm sitting watching TV reminding me I should be being active rather than just vegging out in front of TOWIE (or Dog the Bounty Hunter :)).

Another great idea and one I am all for, as it will fit in nicely with my grand plans for this year, is from Miss Katie over at The Little Red Squirrel. She has come up with The UFO/Stash busting Project which means cataloguing all your Stashed fabrics, yarn and UFO's (..I've gotta lotta those!) and working towards...well busting them, into something new or finished! If you want to join in then hop on over click the link in my sidebar!

So I'm going to spend the remainder of the day cataloguing my fabric and yarn...sewing patterns and knitting patterns... and zips...and buttons....and trimmings...ooh and beads.....and...I could be gone some time:)

Have a great Saturday where ever you are!
Wendy x x

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Knit It - Knitting Bag

~ Knitting Bag ~

 This is a UFO.

But this is no ordinary UFO, oh no this is the mother of all UFO's.
This little-unfinished object has been hanging around since I took up knitting,
so...err...that would make it about 5 years old...eeek!

 You may be able to tell (though I doubt it!) from the above photo that is is the back of what is should have been a neat little 1940s tank top. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be, as by the time I had stopped (inches from the final cast off...lazy cow..I know!) I had no intention of ever knitting the front section. I had long since fallen out of love with it. So five years on I was all set to unravel this little blighter back to itty-bitty balls of yarn, when it struck me just how much this silly bit of knitting meant to me!

I love the stitch pattern (ignoring the wobbly blue bit at the bottom)...not so keen on the colour combination, as in real life it makes your eyes do that flickery thing they do when you look at one of those magic eye pictures!
  • It was my very first attempt at making something other than a scarf for myself.
  • It was a lot of hours of very slow knitting and It was on this very project, that I developed my hatred of the k1, p1.'s.
  • It was where (and clearly, why I never finished it) I decided to ignore the patterns instructions to A. Do a test swatch. B. use 4 ply wool. (I chose DK it was so too thick and stiff for the small needles especially with the slip stitch pattern it was very hard work).
It's a prime example of enthusiasm (and stupidity) over experience and therefore it was a massive failure. But even in failure this terrible bit of wonky knitting has taught me a lot, so for that, I am really grateful. How could I just rip it back to a nothingness?

I couldn't. So I was going to have to find a use for this awful, but highly sentimental bit of knitting. I umed and arred a bit, stuck it on me head and tried to fashion a hat...beret...ANYTHING...from it (I will not tell you what the BF said on witnessing weren't polite) Then it struck me that if folded it in half I could make a purse, and use the welt (ribbed bit) as the closing flap. Hurrah!!

 So I (finally) cast it off and folded it in half, turned over the cast off edge to flatten it down a bit and the sewed it into place. 

Stitched with black wool down both sides and then trimmed the fabric to about 0.5 cm from the sewn edge (the scary bit!). I then worked my way along the cut edge sewing over it and binding the cut stitches in place.

Lastly, I made a button loop by plaiting 3 strands of yarn together, then attached it to the front of the flap and secured a big chunky button on the front!

Now it's ready to hold my very next WIP (Soon to be a UFO), let's just hope it doesn't take me 5 years to not finish that one!
Wendy x

Saturday 21 January 2012

Things To Make & Do - Woolly Head Wrap

With it being a new year and all, I can't help but make countless lists of things I want to knit and sew in the following year. Also on this list are many unfinished objects that just need that final push to the finish line. So this year I have decided (foolishly or not, you decide) to pick a new thing or UFO from the list each week to start or finish (or at least try to) which I'll share with you all here in an attempt to keep me motivated with a virtual deadline!

So, to start with I have found a super quick knitting pattern that will keep out the wintry chills, looks great and is really easy to do!

~ It's A Cinch Head Wrap ~

(Stash Buster)

Created By: Elisa McLaughlin


A Pair of 5.5mm /US size 9 Knitting needles
50g Worsted Weight wool (or DK wool, use 2 strands at a time)
A Darning Needle

I chose this pattern as I needed something to keep my ears toasty warm whilst I wait for the bus to work. I wanted something a bit more individual than a bobble hat and let's face it bit more stylish too!

This is a total beginners project and really quick to knit up if you can do a knit stitch your sorted!  I'm a slooow knitter, I know I've said it before but this took me only 4 hours to knit and sew together and to be really honest some of that time was also spent randomly Goggling things on my phone...honestly I have the attention span of a itchy goldfish.

As I didn't have any worsted weight wool I used DK and doubled up to make it nice and thick which means warmth! I chose to make mine in Royal Blue to match my coat though I Just wish I had enough yarn left to make a scarf and gloves as mine are black and it bugs me they don't match but I guess I will just have to make another in black and with a pattern this simple It would be silly not to really!

Finished just in time for the first actual cold day of winter!

1. You could knit the wrap a double the length so that you can tie it in a knot at the top of your, head to create a very simple 1940s style turban.

2. To make it a bit different you could knit up a little flower to cover the knot - I used my Rambling Rose Pattern, on 3mm needles with DK wool to make it a bit smaller.

So there you go one project down Just 51 to go I guess! 

Have a great weekend!
Wendy x

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Happy New Year!

Before I launch head first into my waffling post, I just wanted to say a big Thank You to all the lovelies that commented on my last post! It means a lot that you took the time to so thank you very much indeed!

Well, it's well and truly 2012, I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas time and are enjoying the new year so far. I must confess to being struggling to get back into my pre-Christmas routine, of getting up at 5.45 each morning to get to work, after a week off and loads of lovely lie-ins!

So, back to Christmas, belated as this post is! Would you believe me if I said that in the real world I hate being late, I'm the kind of gal who turns up and hour early to an appointment rather than be a minute late yet in the blog- O-sphere I'm always running to catch up?!  Anyway, I travelled up to Liverpool to my parents for my Christmas holidays and had a really lovely and relaxing time, this has to have been the first year in a while that I have not been sick so I actually got to enjoy it!
My Folks Christmas Tree
One of the many windowsill snow scenes my Mum creates each year (Can you guess which little girl had a Sylvainain habit?!) We don't do understated decorating in our house!
We ate lots of fabulous food all cooked by Mum (I did offer to help!) Ate way too many chocolates and Worcester sauce flavour Twiglets (I have missed these) we also took our yearly family photo... of which my brother usually picks the one he looks best in and we look shocking then posts it on his Facebook page in a folder called "You can't Choose your family" Charming!! No different this year but at least I can post my favourite here!

Dad, The Brother, Me and Mum all of us looking vaguely respectable!
On Christmas eve my mum donated me a fabulous 40s style maxi dress which she made herself back in the 70s, it is such a lovely green with red and pink roses all over it, I was rather relieved that I fitted into it, as back then my mum was much more svelte than I am now, but luckily it was the perfect fit, and I have to confess I was much more excited about wearing said dress on Christmas day, than I was about opening my gifts!

....then we go and spoil it all!
So on to the gifts...

My brother gave me my very favourite album on vinyl and signed no less (eBay does it again) and an utterly fabulous Ukulele which I can't wait to have a proper go at playing.
My parents gave me some money (shall show you what I bought soon) and Land Girls on DVD! My Boyfriend gave me The Big Bang theory box-set (loove this show a bit too much!
and this amazing vintage-styled record player (which also plays mp3s and Cd's.) Finally, I can listen to all of the records I have been buying in the Charity shops!
Though I was not really at home for Christmas I still made an effort to decorate our little place, as The Boyfriend was staying behind to work. I went a bit wild making loads of paper snowflakes, my they are seriously addictive!
Just a few of the many snowflakes which adorned our home / Christmas Tree with Christmas Ted (A birthday gift from a few years ago lovingly made by Mum)
My Nan's old mirror looks great above a very 70s fireplace / My Mum made me this fabulous Angel Christmas sock for my Birthday!
I spent New years back home in London, oops Essex, with my lovely mum who came back down with me to spend New years together, we saw in the new year with Snowballs in very large glasses many more chocolates and then promptly went to straight to bed worn out from all the excess! (rock and roll I know!)

The only resolution I made was a bit different to the gym joining, salad-eating, nail-not-biting resolutions I usually make and never keep. This year I want to try and like myself a bit more and enjoy what already have, rather than looking inwardly for places to improve. Early last year I had counselling for my ongoing problems with panic attacks, one of the questions my counsellor put to me was " Give me three (positive) words that describe you?". Now I never realised before just how negatively I felt about myself, It genuinely took 20 mins for me to think of anything - Organised, generous and polite, in case you were wondering, still it's a pretty pathetic offering for 20 mins soul searching & ceiling gazing. It really made me think; it is so very easy to list your bad traits, we do it all the time, but listing the positives is hard and it really shouldn't be!

So for me this year it's going to be about appreciating the positives, what I do have rather than over analysing what I am lacking, and try to make each day a little bit special.  I loved this post by Retro Chick it really struck a chord, my lovely dad had major heart surgery last year which really shook our whole family. As trite as it sounds, it was a wake up call for us all to make more of an effort to spend time with each other and to enjoy every moment that we do, even the arguments, and it being my family there are always going to be plenty of those!

I could think of no better way to end this post than to leave you with Louis Armstrong, and a song which has been going around in my head on a loop whilst writing this!

Wendy x