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.

Magic loops and toe-up challenges

Social media is a funny old place – we show off our successes and hide our failures and attempts, so the world sees a very skewed picture of our lives. I am trying to rectify this with some honest blogs posts (it all began here).

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the most recently completed pair

When you read my posts you might be forgiven for thinking that I am an expert with yarn, creating whatever garment I desire with ease and flair. You would be wrong, though. I quite often post pictures of socks I have made or am making and these always draw admiring comments. However, in general, I always follow the same pattern… actually I don’t follow a pattern, I just know how to make them one way and almost always choose that path of least resistance and do what I know.

 

One of the ideas behind 17 for 2017 was to set myself some challenges to do different things – one of which was “knit six pairs of socks including three using patterns I’ve never tried before“. Just yesterday I completed pair number three, but all had been made using my standard design. Today, therefore, I’m learning a whole new way of kitting socks: from the toe up (I usually knit from the top down). And not only that, I’ve abandoned my trusty double pointed needles and am having a go at using a technique called “magic loop”, which employs a circular needle (i.e. a stick on each and with a flexible wire joining them). Plus, I’m going to knit a pattern into the sock in the form of little cables rather than using a self-striping yarn. It is possible that I should have started with a simpler challenge, but if you are going to make changes, why not make really big changes?

The pattern I selected  is by Louise Tilbrook, a sock designer I admire very much, and it’s called Honeycomb Cables (pattern available here). Now, I am not guaranteeing that I will be successful, but so far I have managed to cast on, using a whole new technique called Judy’s magic cast-on (thank you You Tube, I couldn’t have done it without you) and done a few rounds without throwing it out of the window. There is definitely at least one mistake in there, but I’m hoping no one will ever notice as it will be inside my shoe when I wear the sock.

It’s early days yet, but at least 17 for 2017 has encouraged me out of my comfort zone to try something different.

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I’m following the advice on the mug

Stash not scraps

It’s the fifteenth of the month, which would usually mean a ScrapHappy post, but not this month. You’ve already seen my latest scrap creation, in the form of this blanket:

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a big blanket of scraps

For the next few months, my plan is not to use scraps (although it might happen on the side), but to work my way through my slightly out of control wool stash and complete some WIPs*. Whilst I have been busy using up scrap wool for charity blankets, I have worked on relatively few other knitting or crochet projects, but I have continued to add to my yarn stash.  I’ve decided that the time has come to address this imbalance and to make use of some of the lovely wool currently squirrelled away in draws and cupboards.

So, my first (small) stash-busting project is a pair of socks (which will also contribute to one of my 17 for 2017 targets). This wool came in my 2016 sock yarn club subscription from The Knitting Goddess. The theme was The Discworld and the colour combination is called Distressed Pudding**. Personally, it makes me think of Neapolitan ice cream.

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scrummy yarn

There were six stripy colour combinations that came in the 2016 subscription and this is the third that I have used. I subscribed to another club this year with more subtle colourways, but since I have not knitted up any of those yet, there will be no 2018 subscription… I really have to reduce the amount of wool, not increase it.

As someone who bangs on a lot about excessive consumerism, I’m feeling a bit guilty about having this lot, especially since this is by no means all my stash. It’s time to enjoy using rather than accumulating I think.

-oOo-

* WIP = Work In Progress

** If you are not a Terry Pratchett fan, just accept this and don’t worry about what it all means.

Three Things Thursday: 16 March 2017

*three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy*

Inspired by Emily of Nerd in the Brain here are my Three Things Thursday.

First, home-made muffins.

Mmmmm… muffins

These were part of a very long Sunday brunch shared with friends (the segregation is lactose-free vs. those with a little lactose).

Second, finished socks.

Aren’t they bright?!

Third, sharing. My friend Ann needed some lace for a project she’s working on: she’s making an album for her wedding memories. I hadn’t got round to giving her a wedding present, so was very happy to send her this from my collection:

Lovely lace

So, those are three things making me smile and for which I am grateful this week – what about you?

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