Friday, 31 August 2012

Star Power

During my blogging sabbatical, I managed to cast off 3 projects *grins*

This was excellent news, as I was really starting to get sick of the things I was working on ;) I'm not going to pet them all at once though, just in case I have no finishes next week *laughs* so today I am showcasing my Starpower Socks...


I love them *grins*

Yarn: Cephalopod yarns Skinny Bugga in the colour way Ghost Moth

Pattern: Starflower Socks

Modifications: I did the socks over 64 stitches, my usual amount. They fit, but the pattern doesn't have much stretch, so I'd probably advise an additional repeat all around.


The yarn is gorgeous, I love the colours, even though they are a lot more muted than I normally go for with socks!


I think the yarn really matches up well with the pattern too...




Thursday, 30 August 2012

My Process

When I posted about my Wingspan yesterday, I realised that it didn't follow the same process I usually have for starting projects.

The usual process:

  1. Have lots of projects on the needles but daydream about what I want to cast on next
  2. Study my queue 
  3. Look at stashed yarn
  4. Decide if anything matches
  5. Decide if the yarn I feel like knitting with is suitable for the pattern I feel like knitting
  6. Daydream some more
  7. Repeat steps 2-5 a few more times
  8. Eventually make a decision and cast on
It sounds pretty laborious doesn't it *laughs* To be fair, most of it happens while I'm working on other things and not planning to cast anything new on straight away, so by the time I am ready to cast on I actually have a pretty good idea of what I want.

Sometimes step 8 involves an entirely different yarn or pattern (or both) than considered previously during steps 1-7, because I was in a completely different mood at the time it came to cast on. 

Somehow, though, Wingspan cut through all of that. I cast off 3 projects in fairly quick succession and wanted to cast on something new as a reward. I picked up my new yarn, decided it matched the pattern, and just got on with it. Not much thought at all.

This might be a good plan, because I am loving the project completely *laughs*

So, how do you plan what to knit/crochet/craft next?

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Now with Knitting Content

It feels like absolutely ages since I participated in WIP Wednesdays and Yarn Along! I took a break from blogging for a little while, but I'm back now *smiles*

So, what did I get up to while I was gone?

  • Well, I read a lot of books:

  • Finished 3 of my WIPs (no pictures until Friday though!)

  • And cast on a new project...

I'm using the Norwegian sock yarn to make a Wingspan. I've loved the look of the pattern for ages but didn't have any suitable yarn. I wanted something with long colour repeats, as I like the look of them in this pattern, then I realised that the yarn I had bought in Bergen fit the bill *grins*

I love the range of colours, and the yarn is gorgeous to work with. I was torn between making socks or this shawl but as I haven't yet got around to making socks with my Vegas yarn, I decided to go with the shawl *laughs*

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Woo Hoo!

Ok, today gets a very quick post before I dive back into blogging about the usual stuff, because I am too excited not to share...

I passed my driving test!

I know 28 is quite late to start driving, but for years I had no desire to learn, and then I'd got pretty comfortable getting around using public transport. But it was about time I got on with it, so I did, and this morning I passed my test.

I was shaking like a leaf, and so not expecting to pass, and I'm still on a bit of a high *laughs*

I bought a car a little while ago, so I could practice driving under the supervision of cunning boyfriend, and now I can burn those L plates and roam around under my own steam.

Watch out those of you in the UK, I might pop round for a cuppa now that I can ;)

Friday, 24 August 2012

Hi Again

Hey everyone, I'm back *grins*

It's been a few weeks since I posted and I was going to wait until Monday as I don't post at the weekends, but I've missed blogging and this morning really had the motivation to post. So here I am ;)

So, what have I been up to? Well, I went to Norway for a week with cunning boyfriend. I've read a lot of books, finished 3 of my WIPs and generally tried to relax, reduce pressure and be kind to myself.

I was surprised to have finished 3 projects, as I have not been pressurising myself to knit at all (something that came from taking a blogging break I think). Some days I haven't picked up the needles at all and that's been good. And taking off that pressure gave me back the enjoyment of knitting and suddenly all sorts of progress was made (including finishing boyfriend's second sock, that he has been waiting for since February!)

I haven't got round to taking pictures of them yet, I'll save them up for a few weeks worth of FO Fridays I think *laughs*

In the meantime, here are some pictures from my trip (I have some much better ones that boyfriend took, but I'm waiting for him to watermark them before I share!) Also, I found a yarn store in Bergen and purchased some Norwegian yarn. More about that next week *laughs*




Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Wednesday Progress

Before I start I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who commented, shared their stories, sent me emails and messages, etc, following my post yesterday. Every single comment means the world to me and I was overwhelmed by the support and encouragement. Thank you. Sincerely.

So, on to WIPW and Yarn Along...

Sorry for the crappy picture, the rain soaked lighting was not conducive to getting a good shot!

As expected, I added a couple more inches to my cowl during a couple of train journeys at the weekend. It looks massively long for a cowl, I know, but the way it stretches means it needs to be even longer.

The little white knitting is going to be a nerd wars project. I wanted some garter stitch, across a few stitches so that progress is made quickly ;)

The book is technically a sequel to one I read a little while ago, but I think sequel is the wrong word. It takes place at the same sort of time as Autumn, but follows different characters and gives a little bit more information about the zombie apocalypse that wasn't in the first book. I'm enjoying it :)

As ever, if you want more lovely knitting and yarn along content, head to Tami's and Ginny's *smiles*

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Difficult Post

I think that most people who read blogs, especially those like this one, know that what you read is only a small snapshot of the blogger's life. I tend to write about the crafty, happy, fun things that I have going on. But that's only a small part of the story really.

I don't know why, but today I wanted to talk about a few things that I don't really mention. Fair warning, this will be pretty different to my usual posting style, and is definitely not a carefree post.

Regular readers might have picked up on the fact that my dad passed away a couple of years ago. It's not something I talk about on here, but it has obviously had a huge impact on my life. He was very young, only 47, and we were extremely close. In fact, I didn't start knitting until after he died, so this whole blog is a part of me he never really knew, which breaks my heart.

Since then, I have struggled with depression. Again, not something I talk about, as this is a happy place. But it is a part of my life and I decided this morning to come out of the closet, as it were. There is still some stigma attached to mental health issues, and I feel a little strange talking about it, but it is not something I am ashamed of. I'm working on getting better, but it is a slow process. Anyway, this will probably be my last post on the subject, I genuinely do prefer this to be a happy blog and I write about the things that I want to share and remember. But I also want to pull back the curtain just a little. Wow, that sounds over dramatic, doesn't it?!

At its heart, depression is an insidious liar. It makes it difficult to find the joy in things - which is why having this blog is awesome, because I have an outlet for the little things that make me feel good. Sometimes I read back though my old posts to remind myself of that, and the comments on those posts mean the world to me.

Sometimes I find it hard to post, which is why my usual 5 day a week schedule has been lacking for a little while. Sometimes I find it hard to reply to comments, for which I am sorry. I like to acknowledge every comment I get because they all mean a lot to me, but one of the things depression does is make it difficult to reach out to others, and difficult to get the energy to do very much at all. Which is also why I have been pretty lax about commenting on the blogs I read and love every day - something else I am sorry for.

Depression is believed to affect at least 1 in 10 people over the course of their life. That's a pretty huge number, yet it is something that doesn't get talked about. I get why, it sucks and I hate that it is part of my life right now, but not talking about it perpetuates some of the misconceptions people have. There is a huge difference between being a bit low, and being depressed. When I'm low, knitting perks me up. When I'm depressed, even looking at my knitting makes me feel like a failure because it's just sitting there not getting done and I convince myself that I'll only mess it up anyway.

I honestly don't know what the purpose of this post is, I just know that it has been on my mind for a little while and I wanted to get it out there. I have read some famous bloggers talking about their own struggles with depression, and seen that it has helped people to know that it can affect anyone. I'm obviously not a famous blogger (I wish!) but if this post helps or informs a single reader then I feel good.

Like I said, this is probably my last post on the subject. However, I am completely open and happy to answer any questions people have. I don't have a problem in talking about it - in fact, the more I do talk about it, the less power it has to keep me in the dark, alone. So if you have questions, let me know (if you don't want to post them in the comments, email me nat.howells @ gmail . com, or PM on me on ravelry, I'm pinkundine there)

I have a post planned for tomorrow and then I'm going to take a short break. Mainly because it coincides with some time off from work, but also because I think it might relieve some of the pressure I put on myself to blog, and the disappointment I feel when I can't think of anything to say.

If you read this far, thanks! I know it's a long and serious post, but it feels good to have got it out there.

Monday, 6 August 2012


This weekend I spent a few days with my mum - we haven't seen each other in a while so it was great to have a proper weekend together.

One thing we did was go to the hairdresser... Something I haven't done in about 13 years *laughs* I tend to just trim my hair myself, which means I have had pretty much the same style for that entire time. So, time for a change!

Then we bought mum an iPad - hurtling her into the 21st Century *grins* We had quite a lot of fun setting that up and face-timing with my brother.

And, talking of iPads and my brother - check out this awesome pneumatic stand he made:

You use a little switch to make it change angle. I think I need one of these for my iPad now (not that I'm hinting at all!) I love how versatile lego is - it's not just for kids people *laughs*

And one final update, in my slightly scattered thoughts this morning... You remember the steampunk iron man I made based on a tutorial from Jen at Epbot? Well, I sent her a picture and she posted about it on her blog *huge grin* He's just over halfway down the page.

Anyway, that's enough rambling from me. Hope everyone had a great weekend :)

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Some Knitting

So, although most of my crafting has been of the paper variety this last week (check out Steampunk Iron Man and my cute robot), I have done some knitting too ;)

Due to their awesomeness, I have been working on my Starpower Socks, although I am sort of dragging them out a bit because I love the yarn. I'm torn between wanting to finish and get them on my feet, and wanting to keep knitting them forever *laughs*

I have cast on for the first front of my Concur Cardigan. It hasn't got very far yet, but at least it is on the needles!

My gorgeous green cowl gets a few rows here and there when I want something simple to knit. I think it is probably about halfway there now, and I have a couple of train journeys coming up this weekend, so I should make some decent progress *grins*

And, just because I like showing off the yarn (because it was dyed by cunning boyfriend and I love it *soppy grin*), here's a close up

I'm now on the third book in Scott Westerfield's Midnighters trilogy. I have to say, it's not the best young adult series I've read, but I'm enjoying it nonetheless.

As ever, if you want more lovely knitting and yarn along content, head to Tami's and Ginny's *smiles*