No goals for 2018

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Mr Snail’s Wellie socks #2

This time last year I was just getting going with 17 for 2017 – a list of goals for the year. This year I’m having a goal-free year, but if I was ticking off last years list I’d be doing well – I’ve knitted a pair of socks, baked a couple of batches of biscuits, darned three pairs of socks and repaired the pocket of a pair of jeans. I’ve even managed to play a game of Scrabble – something that proved impossible to do when it was a ‘goal’ but easy when it’s just what we fancied doing!

A friend of mine mentioned today that her word for the year 2018 is ‘creativity’ and I think I’d like my year to be especially creative too. Since completing Sophie I haven’t done much crochet, but my knitting needles have been busy… not only the socks but good progress on the jumper with lacy side panels:

I’ve also started reviewing my WIPs. There are five main ones: the sofa cover, two lap blankets, a cardigan and the Beekeeper’s quilt. So far, I’ve looked at two of these. The sofa cover piece is currently 74 cm x the width of the sofa (the white measure in the photograph is 100cm long). This piece is destined to be draped over the back of the sofa… I just need to bite the bullet and finish it and then I can start on the two seat cushion covers, which will be much more interesting (NB the main cushion covers were finished two or three years ago).

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oh, those long rows!

And then there’s this lovely lap blanket, which I ran out of steam with.IMGP4938 Once I pick it up again I know I’ll enjoy making it and I have someone in mind to give it to. The centre is made from yarn that was given to me, but the edging is all scraps.

So, no goals for 2018, but plenty to get on with!

Toasty toes times two and a long-overdue project

All the lists are gone, all the targets swept away! New year – no resolutions except to embrace creative inspirations and see where they take me. In fact, I made a start on this in the final two days of 2017, meaning that by new year’s day I had completed a project that I’d been wanting to get to grips with for months.

Ages ago – a couple of years, perhaps – Kate (Tall tales from Chiconia) very kindly sent me some sheepskin slipper soles that she has no use for in her tropical home. At the time I had some perfectly serviceable crochet slippers, so I put the soles to one side for future use. Since then those original slippers have been much mended… new crochet soles, reinforced sides, darning, more darning… but finally I decided to retire them (i.e. put them in the compost… wool is a good slow-release fertilizer). So a new pair of slippers was required and the time had come. I used Berber carpet wool and improvised the pattern:

Many thanks, Kate, they are lovely and warm and comfy.

Whilst I was in the mood for using things that have been sitting around for ages, I decided the time had also come to seek out a pattern for some yarn that Mr Snail bought for me for my birthday last year (or possibly the year before). The wool (New Lanark Aran in bramble) was chosen with a particular pattern in mind that I then decided I didn’t want to use. So, a bit of hunting around and I found a beautiful sweater pattern that appealed. In order to maintain momentum, I got started on it straight away. I’m using the row counter and some of the stitch markers that Kim put in my stitching santa box, so her gifts really were just right for me:

I’m rather surprised that it’s so difficult to show the colour of the wool accurately – those pictures were taken in natural light about two minutes apart. It’s actually about half way between the two, but the lighter one does show the different colours that are in there.

The new year has also started with some sock knitting as I’ve promised Mr Snail a second pair of wellie socks… his choice of yarn (we went and bought it together):

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WYS Aran

 

Three Things Thursday: 28 December 2017

My weekly exercise in gratitude – three things that are making me smile – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog [or Twitter account or Facebook page or diary or life in general] with happiness.

First, crafty time. Although I have still had (paid) work to do over the festive period I’ve found time to do quite a bit of crafting … this always makes me happy. Here’s one of my completed projects:

Last completed socks of 2017

Second, unexpected beauty. Yesterday I went out to the compost bin and looked up to see this:

pretty in pink

I came in to get my camera and when I looked again, I realised this cloud was part of a beautiful skyscape:

looking skywards

Third, a perfect pudding. I’m always delighted when a steamed pudding comes out of its bowl intact and this one behaved very well:

Apple flapjack steamed pudding

So, that’s some of what’s been making me happy this week. How about you?

In fact, that’s it for Three Things Thursday as a weekly feature here on the blog…. it’s been a great thing to do and I’ll continue to think of my three things, but not necessarily to write a post. My plans are to direct my writing elsewhere in 2018. I want to thank Emily of Nerd in the Brain who originally created Three Things Thursday and I hope that you will continue to look for the positives in your life too.

17 for 2017 – November Update

November has been very quiet with respect to 17 for 2017. Here’s progress so far:

These were a real hit with Rachel who works in the Post Office

Seventeen… little random yarny/sewn gifts. Two this month and the remaining four all either done but not sent or in the planning stage.

Sixteen… batches of homemade biscuits. This goal is complete.

Fifteen… cheeses.  This goal was completed in October.

Fourteen… pairs of knickers. None this  month, so the total is still six, but I think that a concerted effort soon will see this one achieved before the end of the year.

Thirteen… mends. Target reached in May.

Twelve… letters to friends. Target reached in June.

Eleven… new items in my Etsy shop. Complete and more than exceeded now that I’ve got into the habit of doing this. And I’m delighted to say that sales are slowly increasing too.

Ten... plants given to good homes. Target reached in May.

Nine… we don’t talk about nine

Eight… meals using only our own produce. Target reached in September.

Seven… visits to see “social media” friends. Target reached in September

What do you think, Sam?

Six… Pairs of socks knitted, using at least three different patterns. One pair completed this month and the final pair well on it’s way.

Five… book chapters written. None yet, but I have a plan for next year.

Four… blankets for charity; knitted or crocheted. Target reached in February.

Three… sessions in the loft, sorting out some of the accumulated ‘stuff’ up there. Still two. I’ve spent time sorting more things out and now all the glassware is in the new cupboard in the kitchen and sorted, so I consider this one achieved.

Two… patterns published and on sale. I failed to get on with the second pattern again this month, so still just one.

 One… gardening apron. Completed in April.
 So that’s it for now. If you have a 17 for 2017 blog post or an update on your progress, do leave a link in the comments.

Working Wednesday #10

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue). This week there has been a little sock knitting; mostly undertaken in waiting rooms – dentist and optician.

Very slow progress on this

There’s also been another breast prosthesis – this combines knitting and crochet and I’ve used some organic cotton yarn that was given to me, I think, by ItwasJudith (thank you G.) over at Wee Story Book.

So much more comfortable than silicone

But mainly it’s been Sophie. She’s getting bigger and there’s now a row of flowers with leaves, plus the big flowers are nearly done on the “short sides” (which will soon be longer than the “long sides”, but that’s the terminology used in the pattern). I have not yet completed half of the rounds, so there’s load more work to do yet.

So, that’s my progress this week. What have you been up to?

And finally, please do take a moment to leave a comment on my 1001 post before the end of Friday (1 December 2017) so you can be entered into my give-away draw… no specific prize, it will be something tailored to you personally if I know you (come on regular posters, don’t be shy) or something that I think will make you smile if I don’t really know you (new readers also don’t be shy – random acts of kindness are especially rewarding when you don’t know the recipient).

 

Working Wednesday #8

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue). In fact this week it mostly isn’t ‘stash’ because nearly all the wool that I worked with was bought relatively recently and for specific projects. Nevertheless, it’s nice to see wool from my store (however long it’s been there) becoming “things”.

I completed Mr Snail’s wellie socks and they have been inspected and approved by Sam. There’s enough yarn left over to make a matching hat, which I’ll get round to in due course…

I also make a quick pair of fingerless mittens (mentioned in last week’s Three Things Thursday), which I still haven’t delivered to the intended recipient.IMGP4505 (2)I shared much of the work on “Sophie” on Sunday, but I have done more since then, when she was a circle. The corner flowers turned out to be rather complicated, with the work layered so that sometimes you work in front of previous stitches and sometimes behind. As a result, progress has been quite slow. The back (first and third pictures) is quite tidy, but gives an idea of the complexity.

It’s entirely possible that the whole month of November is going to be about Sophie, but I do have another knitted breast prosthesis to make and a pair of socks to finish, so there may be a little variety.

So, that’s my progress this week… and there was no blue in it! Have you completed any projects? Are you working on anything interesting?

Working Wednesday #7

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue). I have only worked on two projects this week, both socks, and one of those did require some more yarn to be purchased:

I have completed one of Mr Snail’s wellie socks and the other one is progressing very nicely. In the end I had to order the yarn from the manufacturers and it looks like I bought a ball too many (even though I got the amount suggested on the pattern). I might, therefore, make a matching hat and/or fingerless mittens  to go with the socks.

The stripy sock (for me) I was working on last week has also grown, and I have turned the heel. This is the first of the pair.

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I’m loving these colours

Once both these pairs are done I will have completed my target of making six pairs of socks this year… although I’m very likely to make one more before we reach 2018 as I’d like another thick pair of socks for myself and I want to have another a go at a Norwegian design with the remaining Norwegian wool in my collection (I made a pair a while back).

So, that’s my progress this week. Have you completed any projects? Are you working on anything interesting?

 

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17 for 2017 – October Update

Debbie loved her surprise gift

October has seen several of my 17 for 2017 goals achieved, but one that I had hoped to complete has not got done and one has been entirely abandoned. Anyway, here’s progress so far:

Seventeen… Love Rocks or other little random yarny/sewn gifts. Two this month and one in the offing, so the current total is 10.

Sixteen… batches of homemade biscuits. This goal is complete.

Fifteen… cheeses.  With my training course and the five cheeses that I brought home and am maturing in various ways now, this goal is complete.

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so many cheeses this month

Fourteen… pairs of knickers. None this  month, so the total is still six.

Thirteen… mends. Target reached in May.

Twelve… letters to friends. Target reached in June.

Eleven… new items in my Etsy shop. Complete and more than exceeded now that I’ve got into the habit of doing this. And I’m delighted to say that sales are slowly increasing too.

Ten... plants given to good homes. Target reached in May.

Nine… has been abandoned… Forced enjoyment just wasn’t working for me!

Eight… meals using only our own produce. Target reached in September.

Seven… visits to see “social media” friends. Target reached in September

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 finished near the beginning of the month

Six… Pairs of socks knitted, using at least three different patterns. One pair completed earlier this month, plus two pairs in progress, so the total is 4 plus two on the go… and I have used three different patterns.

Five… book chapters written. None yet, and I really don’t think I’m feeling sufficiently motivated about this at the moment. I just don’t seem to have enough dedicated time to settle down to make plans and get writing as other things keep being more urgent.

Four… blankets for charity; knitted or crocheted. Target reached in February.

Three… sessions in the loft, sorting out some of the accumulated ‘stuff’ up there. Still two. Although I have been up there and done some more sorting I can’t really describe it as a dedicated ‘session’.

Two… patterns published and on sale. I failed to get on with the second pattern in the past few weeks, although there really isn’t much more to do. The total, therefore is still 1.

 One… gardening apron. Completed in April.
 So that’s it for now. If you have a 17 for 2017 blog post or an update on your progress, do leave a link in the comments.

Working Wednesday #4

This is my weekly post as I work through the yarn in my “collection” (not stash – thank you Sue) . This is the current state of play with the projects I’ve worked on this week:

  • Golden spikes jumper: completed. But the unseasonably warm weather means it’s too warm to wear it yet! I’m a little unsure about the rather tight sleeves, but until it has been worn for a while, I won’t know whether I need to make some adjustments (i.e. knit new, wider sleeves).
  • The 4-ply Skeleton hat: completed. Pattern needs to be typed up.
  • Honeycomb cables socks: completed (and on my feet). An interesting project, but not one I will be repeating.
  • A snailvaark is underway. This is a gift that I have been intending to make for a few weeks. I’ve done the knitting for the shell, but it needs grafting. The body is not yet started.
  • I’ve been asked to make a turtle, but apart from finding a suitable pattern, I haven’t actually started on it yet.

Next week: a different colour?

So that’s my progress this week. Have you completed any projects? Are you working on anything interesting?

 

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17 for 2017 – August Update

My August 17 for 2017 achievements are mainly sock-related. Since sock-knitting is a rather time-consuming activity, lots has been done, but not many things crossed off the list:

It’s crafty – just not me doing the craft

Seventeen… Love Rocks or other little random yarny/sewn gifts. One more this month, although it was actually a case of giving someone else a ball of yarn from my stash because I know how much she would enjoy making something herself. In the parcel I also put tea, biscuits and a ball of string… essentials for a happy crafter! Total 8.

Sixteen… batches of homemade biscuits. This goal is complete.

Fifteen… cheeses.  I  didn’t make any this month because of a disruption to the milk supply. The total is currently ten, there will be more next month.

Fourteen… pairs of knickers. None this  month, so the total is still six.

Thirteen… mends. Target reached in May.

Twelve… letters to friends. Target reached in June.

Eleven… new items in my Etsy shop. None this month. The total is still eight. In fact I’ve sold several things, so I really do need to restock.

Ten... plants given to good homes. Target reached in May.

Nine… games of Scrabble. Still none yet.

Tapas-style meal

Eight… meals using only our own produce. I have to confess that I have rather lost count of this because so many meals just get made and eaten without really thinking about the source of the ingredients. As a result I also forget to photograph them, so here’s one that’s mostly home-produced. However, I know that there have been at least five this month, which takes the total to seven.

Seven… visits to see “social media” friends. None this month, as I had to postpone the one that was planned. The total is, therefore, still six.

One of this month’s two completed

Six… Pairs of socks knitted, using at least three different patterns. This is the biggie this month: two pairs completed using my standard pattern and the first of another pair underway using a very different pattern. So the total is three completed and one in progress.

Five… book chapters written. None yet, but some planning has happened for a different book that I’m going to co-author.

Four… blankets for charity; knitted or crocheted. Target reached in February.

Three… sessions in the loft, sorting out some of the accumulated ‘stuff’ up there. I’ve done a bit more sorting, but it hasn’t really been a concerted effort, so I can still only claim one “session”.

Two… patterns published and on sale. No new pattern this month, so just the one published in January. Actually, this was the thing I had planned to do this month and somehow, yet again, it didn’t happen – really because I got distracted by the socks.

 One… gardening apron. Completed in April. Worn a lot this month!
 So that’s it for now. If you have a 17 for 2017 blog post or an update on your progress, do leave a link in the comments.
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