All these (and more) at the shop.
Have a good weekend.
(The postcard set is from here.)
I had the frames, I had the prints, I had the mat board, and I had a mat cutter, but they sat in a cupboard for about two and a half years gathering dust because I was scared I wasn’t going to do it well enough.
And then, about three weeks ago, I was tired of the images on the wall by my desk, and decided I should cut the mat for one of the prints and hang it up. And so I did. And in about ten minutes it was done, and I was pleased, and I wanted to do the other three in the set. Unfortunately I ran out of mat board and CP cracked one of the panes of glass so I still have the fourth one waiting in the wings until I sort out more glass, (I’ve already bought more mat board).
Spurred on by that success I decided to pick up some frames for some more images I’ve been wanting to frame and put up, and last week I got on and cut the mats for the postcards I bought I about two years ago, (and which have been sitting in their packaging ever since.)
It… well it didn’t go as well. Probably because had to cut smaller mats, with multiple holes. Having done some more reading since, I realise that the green cutting board I have is too hard, and I would be better putting a layer of cardboard on top, which I will try next time. Probably I should have waiting till the children weren’t around, but that time is really limited right now, and I would have probably made a worse job in an evening.
It’s not terrible. It’s just not my best work.
I admit I was disappointed, and for a moment I didn’t know really what to do next.
So I hung them any way.
Why not? They were hidden away for ages and if I can’t change the walls of our house right now (which I can’t), then I can at least put things on them that are meaningful to me. And I can always cut better mats in the future.
So I hung them, and actually, they are fine. Not perfect, but not noticeably bad. If I get up really close, I can see the wobbles. But when I pass them, having just come in the front door, or down the stairs, what I actually see are the beautiful felt mice, the clever details, the actual images, rather than the card around them.
(You can find my kiri shawl on Ravelry.)
This project started with a random trip to Oxford Fiberworks, where I fell a bit in love with a couple of skeins of Malabrigo Rios in the ‘Marte’ colour way. I think originally I was planning for them to be long mitts, which then morphed into a shrug (which I actually cast on for) before deciding I needed some shawl knitting back in my life.
Back in 2007 the Oxford Bluestockings had a Kiri knit-along and Abbi knit her’s in a chunky weight and I was amazing. I’ve had it on my to-do list to make one ever since, and I realised that this was a prime opportunity. Kiri is just diverting enough a pattern, and knit up on 7mm needles it should have been a quick knit. However four birthdays and Christmas got in the way of completing it, until last week when I decided I couldn’t start my birthday sock blank until the shawl was finished and blocked.
Blocking in a house full of small children is a pain to be honest, and I just have to bite the bullet, shut the door and do it. Luckily it only took about a day and a half to dry. And today I’m wearing it.
I have to say – I’m really pleased with it. I love the stripes (Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, and some Alpaca handspun). I love how they balance the differences between the two skeins of Rios. I love how squooshy and warm, and big it is. I love the stitch size, and the drape and basically I’m really happy with it.
Plus it goes with my ‘Troy and Abed in the Morning’ tee.
I think we can chalk this one up as a success. *big grin*
I’m just sneaking in under the wire to have a look at what on the needles in February compared to last month, and I have to say, knowing this post was coming up was motivation to get some projects finally finished.
The Kiri shawl is done and blocking upstairs as I write this – finished on a long car trip to see granny at the weekend (including cast off in the gloom on the way home. I pretty much got away with it.) Assuming I can keep the pins in it while it dries (CR is carefully re-arranging them every chance she can get), I’ll blog about that later in the week.
The cowl for CR took much longer than it should of, mostly because there hasn’t been any uninterrupted knitting time to be had recently, and any attempts to work on it were punctuated by two small people wanted to sit on my lap. But now it is done, still in time for the proper chilly weather we’ve been having here recently, and frankly doesn’t really need a block because I want to keep it as squooshy as possible.
It was a fluke, but it goes really well with the body warmer CP got for Christmas. (Why yes, that her most requested ‘coat’ despite it being February – can you tell she’s about to be 2?)
Of course if she ever gets sick of it, it turns out it’s a really good fit for me too… 😉
The socks from last month are no further on but there are next on my list of things to work on. (Pretty much…)
They still look great though.
Let’s not talk about the rug (except to say that I bought one from Ikea that is in the front room and I’m really happy with it.)
…roll on Spring!
Today I’m 37 years old, so let’s have a Birthday Sale! 30% because I’m REALLY in the depths of my thirties now.
So for TODAY (21st February GMT), you can get 30% off anything in the shop with the code HAPPYBIRTHDAY.
Let’s make it a good one!
W is at home, doing maths, and lego and documentaries, and our reading programme with the children* and I am in the nearby coffee shop chopping up the next unit of said reading programme ready for next week, updating the blog, finishing some website work for a friend of mine (who’s books you should read), and doing the weekly shop online.
I should have got a second drink while it was quiet, and now there is a queue of people and I don’t want to leave my things unattended.
I didn’t even brush my hair this morning!
*Do to completely forseen circumstances that were still beyond our control (but that we were at least able to prepare for), W only has half a job at the moment. This is hard for us, but we are grateful for the half-job at least. And currently it means I have one day a week where he can be in charge at home, and I can get things-that-can’t-be-done-easily-around-the-children done. Which is nice, especially right now when a combination of cold weather, cold house, and small children who still need me at night, means that I am getting next to no evenings at the moment. However I’d give it up in a heartbeat for him to have a full time job.
Hopefully things will improve on all fronts later in the year. But right now we are trying to live as gently as we can.
Wow. That got a little more personal than usual.
Keep an eye on my twitter, or the blog on Saturday morning, for information about the 30% off Birthday Flash Sale.
(None of these links are affiliated – I just like this stuff.)
– I recently treated us to our second set of Stabilo Cappi pens. I like that we can keep them all together, and not loose the caps (though it does mean that when we use pens at friends houses, my three have to be reminded to put the lids on the ends of the pens or the lids go everywhere!)
– With the launch of her second book, I felt compelled to pull out Margaret Bloom‘s Making Peg Dolls, and pull out my precious collection of wood peg dolls I had brought over from the US by my father-in-law. We gobbled up the 25 dolls in two sessions. Luckily they are more widely available over here now, but I could easily spend way too much money on more. And I have plans for Easter that I probably should get started on as soon as this season of birthdays calms down.
(Wee Wonderful wrote a great review of both books here, and really it’s her fault that I grabbed it off my shelf. Not that I’m complaining. I completely agree with what she’s written. ps. Her book is fantastic too!)
– The mini Orchard game got pulled out of the cupboard when Granny came over on saturday, and the children taught her how to play it. In return she taught them clock patience, which I’m sure we’re going to be playing a lot more of, and I should hunt out some packs of cards and make them more available… (can you tell I’m now just talking to myself? I can’t be the only one who does that, right?)
– TV-wise I just finished watching Galavant, which was delightful. Who doesn’t love watching Magnitude from Community and Hugh Bonneville doing dance routines and singing about being land locked pirates?
– On Saturday I turn 37 (though I’m not very happy about it tbh.) so there will be a flash sale at the shop for 24 hours. But I’ll post more about that later.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve finished the year with Unravelling by Susannah Conway. I find it really interesting to go back at the end of the year and see how much I have written down has actually happened during the year. I’m sure writing it down settles it enough in my brain to actually start things happening. It’s become part of my Christmas ritual, and I think it’s well worth the time I put into it.
This year my word is Open – I want to say yes more to my children, I want to break out of some ruts that I have going on, I want to be more flexible, and less scrunched up in how I go about things.
I read a quote in the last couple of days that really resonated with me, because frankly I feel compelled to write it after that last paragraph:
One thing I’ve learned: when people end whatever they’re saying with “idk, I’m probably not making any sense,” it usually means they are telling you something very close and personal to them, something that’s such an integral part of their being that they have trouble putting it into words that do it justice.
I often feel compelled to write things like that. I like to tell myself that it’s ok, because I’m not a writer (while stuffing down my secret hopes that actually I could be, maybe?)
But hey, I’ll be honest here a little bit. I want to be open to – for example – breaking out of my jeans and a tee shirt uniform, without breaking the bank, and while keeping my ‘me-ness’.
I want to be open enough to honour my children’s learning explorations, even when they feel overwhelming. I want to say yes, not just put off their requests to some point in the future.
I’m still trying to figure out how to hold myself accountable for the changes I want to make. Maybe I need to break them down more into do-able steps? Maybe I need to review the things I want to do regularly and work out what is working and what is not working?
I’m sorry this isn’t a ’10 steps doing doing whatever’ post. (I love those posts too.) It’s more a ‘here I am in the midst of it all, trying to work out how to do it too.’
Right now I’m using a habit tracking ap on my phone. This way I don’t have to keep everything in my head. (I talked about Bullet Journalling here – I’m getting better at getting things out of my head, and it definitely helps me get more stuff actually done, rather than just dreamed about.) I always have my phone in my pocket (except for right now, when FB is using it to listen to an audio book, while he plays with his lego), so I can go through my list several times a day, and use little pockets of time to get things ticked off before the end of the day.
I try to build in some slack though – I want to be able to count doing something 5 times a week a win, rather than reaching for 7, not being able to achieve it, and having to concede the win for the week. Doing something (taking my vitamins for example) 5 times a week, is better than quitting and not taking them at all, and the improvement I get (in my own head at least) of reaching high enough, without insisting on perfection), is better for it.
Again. I hope this makes sense.
So after a year of Brave (2013) and a year of Nourish (2014) comes a year of being Open.
It’s up to me to make it a good one.
Kiri – This languished over the first part of the winter as I got on with Christmas things, but it’s Malabrigo, and I’m probably only about three pattern repeats from the end. The problem is that every time I try to knit it, someone wants to sit on my lap. But I just need to get it done, so that I can actually wear it while it’s still cold. And it’s mostly still cold. Especially when the wind is blowing as hard as it has been recently.
Sock – I bought myself some Regia for my Christmas Stocking this year, and promptly started a sock on Christmas day. This is my out and about sock, but for some reason I actually haven’t been working on it much in the last couple of weeks.
CP’s Cowl – I knit LR a cowl (to replace the one she snipped into last year – yeah it’s was pretty horrifying, but she was 3), in a single session while I was in bed ill, watching Leverage. W was adventuring at the University Museum. It was heaven and just what I needed. I started CP’s cowl straight after, because although she will probably only agree to wear it when it’s REALLY COLD (and who knows if it will get REALLY COLD this year?) but I wanted to have it done, then it’s done and then all three have cowls that will work for the next few years. And now I’ve stalled (because it’s not REALLY COLD and she is nearly 2 and probably will scream blue murder when I try to put it on her.) But I need to get it done.
Stripey Swatch – The BFF destashed and I got the goodies, which is great because I can’t afford to buy garments worth of yarn right now. This was potentially going to be a stripey Effervescence Cardigan (assuming the swatch worked out) but the swatch was too stiff on the suggested needles, so now I think it’s probably going to be it’s own thing. I need to try the stitch pattern, with the striping to see if it’s really bad or not, and then go from there. (Yeah, I’m not sure what I’m doing, but the colours look really wearable, and I’m looking forward to another go-to cardigan for next autumn.
The rug – I stalled. Mostly because having a toddler around it a bit like having a cat around, when it comes to having a box full of actively-being-used yarn around. But it’s good fun knitting something this big, and it will look great when it’s done, and most of the yarn is sitting there waiting to be knit up. So mostly it’s about getting my evenings back to work on it.
(Also – wow there is a theme there isn’t there, now that I can see all the photos together.)
I wonder what I can get finished before my ‘What’s on the needles February 2015?’ post next month?
What’s on your needles right now?
Wow. So Christmas happened! We had the usual lurgy filled early December, but W had holiday to finish up from work, so there were often the two of us around, which was novel.
Since the new year we have been to the Panto (which was particularly good this year), and now we are back to our day to day lives of work, learning and trying to get the washing dry.
I have high hopes for 2015, but before I tuck 2014 to bed, here are the things I found that really stuck with me last year:
So there you go. Thanks 2014. You were a tough year in many respects, but there was some really good stuff there too.
In 2015 I’m planning more dyeing, more patterns (VAT be damned!), and more writing here.
What lit you up last year?