I’m sensing a spirally theme

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Somehow my daily happy things journal (which I was using to properly keep track of my 15 in 15 goals) has fallen a little bit by the way side. It was recently found under a pile of knitting that had fallen off the couch!

So I’m taking a wild guess and thinking that these are finished objects 12 & 13 for the year.

The hat is a pattern I made up. It was a cast-on 84 stitches, do a brim, increase row then knit until it needed some decreases. It’s very slouchy. Really I could have started the decreases about an inch earlier but it’s still super cute.



The yarn is from the Fiberista Club. I went on a bit of a club binge earlier this year and signed up for another YarnvsZombies club, the Fiberista club, and also the Fandom of the Month club.

It’s LYDIA Sock in colourway ‘Watermelon Wine Cooler’. I think it matches my hair quite well.

(Yes this is a selfie while I’m outside the pub waiting for a taxi. There are still ends that need weaving in….) 

The wibbly wobbly 10th Doctor shawl has been on the needles for aaaagggeessssss. At least a year or more. Mostly due to me not being able to count and running out of yarn. Then I couldn’t remember what the pattern was or where I was up to.

Eventually I figured it out (it was the Canyonlands Shawl which is perfectly wibbly wobbly) and got stuck in again and finished it on the weekend while watching season 4 of Scandal.

Yes you’re all getting to see my dirty laundry AGAIN but there’s no other place to block a shawl with 2 kittens who think that my blocking mats are their scratching post.

I thought that I would have to block it rather aggressively to get it to curve like the picture, but I just wet it and once I pinned out the top edge it smoothed out into those gorgeous wobbly edges.
  

And because last time I forgot to tell HWF that there was a shawl blocking in the bathroom and he opened the door on itand nearly feell over, this one came with a warning sign.

Now if it would just hurry up and dry I’ll be able to take some dodgy shawl selfies!!!
2015

Things I’ve learnt recently 

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Dont start to dye yarn when there’s a strong chance you’ll nod off and leave it on the stove. 

  

But do dye some more once you’ve finished your nap. 

   
 
Cats like photobombing yarn pictures. 

  
Cats snuggling while playing Mass Effect is the best way to spend a Saturday morning. 

(Jane Shepherd is amazing and I love her and want to be her!)

   

Although it’s difficult when they’re climbing all over you and being adorable.

   
Bright pink hair makes me happy. As do polkadot shirts and dark lippy. 

  
  

Happy days. 

I want to put something witty here but it’s too much effort. 

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So I have been knitting and doing stuff other than working long hours, curating the @we_love_aural Twitter account, working more, and posting cat pictures to the Internet! 

For starters I finished Mass Effect. (Wooo!) I’ve now started Mass Effect 2 and my aim is to have finished all 3 before 4 comes out. I am nothing if not a high achiever. 

Also I’ve taken the leap and opened a new shop. 

So far it’s been friendlier than etsy, but with higher overheads. Plus I can make more listings. 

Tell all your friends to visit shop.polkadotsandsparkles.com !!! 

On the knitting front I just finished a pair of arm warmers/fingerless gloves. 

The yarn I dyed myself and I made up a pattern. But they’re warm and I love them. I even braved the cold to take some pictures outside. 

   
   
There has also been some stamping and new listings for the shop. Plus I’ve ordered some new stamping blanks which I’m excited about. 

It feels like I’ve been very busy with not a lot to show for it. The only other news /life update is I got (what I thought was a normal-ish) haircut. But I’ve been getting compliments from my local chemist, pubs, bottle shops as well as coworkers! 

I’m feeling pretty hot right now!  

 

Because I always need another hat (FO11)

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The yarn is from yarnvszombies.

The pattern is Tramontane from yarnvszombies

And it’s really really cute!

I love the short row brim and will definitely have fun experimenting with different ways to wear it. I’m also considering blocking it (or just wear it outside – it’s pretty rainy at the moment) to stretch out the lace. 

The lace was really quite simple. It was over 6 rows and I had to keep the pattern in front of me but I don’t think I made any massive mistakes. This is HUGE for me and lace patterns. 

It will go quite nicely with the snakeld scarf in the same colourway. 

   

  

   

**Once again I have to reiterate that I received no sponsorship from yarnvszombies, I’m merely doing my part to put Kiki’s cats through college.

A wippy shawl 

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To celebrate the arrival of KnitPicks in Australia I bought some yarn (gun to my head, hand over your bank details!).
I ordered some bare yarn for dyeing, and picked up my promotional free ball of Chroma fingering in the Carnival colourway.

I love the gradual colour changes and I wanted a shawl pattern that would show them off, but I could pick up and put down.

  
So I set to work and started designing.

After a few false starts this is where I’m up to at the moment. It will definitely require blocking! It was a monster to photograph and I had to enlist some human blocking pins to best show off the pattern.

You may be wondering why I’m choosing to share an unfinished pattern. Well in my inbox this morning I got an email to say for the month of July there is 30% off Chroma!!! So I’m making the pattern available now if you’re umming and ahhing about buying some chroma, you can ssee some of its potential!

So here is the pattern for my wippy shawl (working title!)

CO – 4 Stitches
Row 1: K3 (Place marker) YO K1
Row 2: KF&B Purl to marker K3
Row 3: K3 Knit to last stitch YO K1

Then you repeat row 2 & 3.
When it looks like you’re running out of yarn, make that difficult decision about when to start playing yarn chicken and bind off.
Note that I haven’t got to this point yet, but that is how I’m planning it!
There *may* be some weighing and maths involved, but the smart money is on me playing yarn chicken.

I may block the edging so its stretched into points. I also think perhaps the yarn overs at the end would be nice with beads. 

Endless possibilities and ideas.

   
  

 

Finished object 10 – soft squishy socks

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Just a vanilla pair of socks with a fish lips kiss heel. Easy football knitting or while waiting for your turn to present when you’ve heard the other 2 lectures before. Although in hindsight I would have liked the chance to ask the GM if he didn’t mind me knitting, but he came in late and it would have disrupted my lecture. 

I digress. That’s been what this week has been like. Awful and unable to focus on anything. Ooooh!!!!! Squirrell!!!!!!!!!

Back to the ordinary socks, the yarn is so smooshy and dyed beautifully it makes them extraordinary and lush. 

It was given to me in a ravelry group swap box and it is so beautiful. I’ve lost the label (I can’t find anything this week!!!) but I do know that it was a merino/nylon/cashmere blend. Swoon. 

These are the first socks off my Hiya-hiya 2.75s. What a delight to knit with. 

   
   

The variegated yarn makes them look good inside out as well. I like slightly oddway socks so I shall be wearing one sock inside out whenever I wear them methinks. 

I’m a but disappointed in my ribbing though. In hindsight I should have gone down a needle size because after one wear all the ribbing stretch is gone. Or maybe it’s because I did the ribbing with the knit stitches through the back loop. I might try blocking them. 

  
Still, they are a squishy, smooshy, warm pair of socks, just in time for some cold (for Australia) weather. 

I know my Canadian and Wisconsin are rolling their eyes as hard as I do when someone mentions a “30 degree heatwave” (30 degrees is my normal. A week of 40+ is a heatwave!) but I digress. 

A pair of socks off the needles and I still have 60grams to make something else pretty from that yarn. 

  
Tina-cat also seems to like them!!! 

All the FF7 Feelings

It was Christmas 1998*. My parents bought me and my two younger brothers a PlayStation and a game each. 

My youngest brother got A Bugs Life. My middle brother got Need for Speed game. 

I got Final Fantasy 7. It’s likely that my parents didn’t know anything about the game except that it won lots of awards and was a high seller. 

So I played it. And formed an emotional attachment to Cloud, and Barret, and Tifa, and Aeris. Oh Aeris. You are still my username on many different websites and I will always refuse to call you Aerith. I’m stubborn like that. 

I joined the Internet and found walkthroughs and discussions and other people who also played FF7. 

But I was at high school. I had homework to do, plus the PlayStation was a shared present. 

Eventually I clocked up about 140 hours, finished the story and started to play again. And then again. Exploring the world and exploring the characters. 

It didn’t matter about the graphics or some of the odd translations. It was still the game that I first loved.

I was at a new job, hardly knew anyone and I heard Cloud’s victory theme as someone’s ringtone. Instant friendship formed right there and then. 

Aeris’ theme is still one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. I’m tearing up a bit listening to it now. 

I wrote a Uni essay on the music of Nobuo Uematsu and how video game scores is the current standard outlet for classical composers. I still stand by my claim that this could be played on ABC Classic Radio and no listener would automatically assume it was from a video game soundtrack.  

I still have that PlayStation. And until a few years back I was playing FF7 on that console until the memory card broke and I realised I could play it on PS3. 

Then I bought some other games and still kept going back to FF7 (hint it looks almost playable on VITA – and terrible on a 48″ TV). I played Dragon Age and Mass Effect and Assasins Creed and found new characters and worlds to absorb myself into.

Yesterday Twitter exploded on me. I’m not a huge game nerd who pays attention to the goings on and game releases. I figure if it’s good enough Meg or Marnie or another one of my Twitter lovelies will tell me what I need to play. 

But yesterday E3 announced Final Fantasy 7 is getting a remake and it is taking all of my strength to not post this in all caps right now. All of my feelings, my childhood game…..

  
The characters I escaped into are now being remade into high definition. 

This makes me unbelievably excited and scared at the same time. 

I love this story, I love these characters and part of me loves them just the way they are. But there’s another part that is so excited. 

I want to see this remake. I want to see how these characters are taken and remade and updated. 

I am excited. The most exited I’ve ever been about a trailer in my life. 

As soon as I saw South Edge on the train map I had suspicions and then as soon as I saw the slide just outside of Sector 7 I just knew. 

I don’t know when it’s due for release, but be prewarned that I’ll be hibernating for a little while. 


*dates may not be 100% correct. It was 1998 and I didn’t historically document what Christmas presents I got at 13. 

Where did my mojo go…

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Well I know quite a bit of it went to a really heavy and stressful work week which went really well and I got a stack of compliments and work cried for it but it was still a lot of hard work and energy. 

Then there was the 100+ hours I put into dragon age inquisition on PS4 (I got it for my birthday!!!! Second best birthday present after the gorgeous scrapbook my mum made me with photos of all the important moments of my life. Seriously an amazing mum!)

Even though I’ve just finished dragon age inquisition (for the second time!) I feel the need to immediately play as a different character. And then I’ve also got The Witcher 3 and Bloodborne to play, as well as finishing Mass Effect and Dragon Age Origins plus the free PS+ games I got last month. 

And then!!!! I get a Netflix email saying there’s new Orange is the New Black, Scandal and Greys Anatomy. Everything is conspiring to make me hibernate for the winter. 

Nothing I’m knitting can compete. 

I just finished Snakeld. Which was fun. It needs blocking but I haven’t got around to it. 

 

I’m working on another one of my lovely ruffly shawl. It’s now up to rev 1.1 because I realised I couldn’t count and had the row counts all wrong. 

   
 

So far it’s had over 500 unique downloads!!!!!! Which is just amazing. 

And I finished a pair of socks. But then realised a picot cast off didn’t work. So I un-finished them and they’re back on the needles. 

   

I literally jumped for joy at a piece of timber that’s going to become a piece for my spinning wheel.  

 But still no knitting mojo. 

Hopefully reading my new purchase  will bring a little bit back. It came highly recommended by the lovely enabling Megan!

So I guess I should stop complaining and just find something I want to knit or make. 

Or maybe I could just watch some more Orange is the New Black and have a little nap. 

Like a girl. 

I am a girl. I was born a girl and I identify as a girl. 

Over the weekend there were a couple of notable events in the AFL. 

The first involved Adam Goodes an indigenous spokesperson who made a statement on the weekend which as I’m not indigenous myself, I don’t feel qualified to comment on (except to mention a couple of tweets about how excited their kids got when seeing Adam Goodes seeing their tribal dance on TV which I thought was really cool – every kid should grow up seeing themselves in at least one person on TV.)

The second was Ollie Wines (who plays for my beloved Port Adelaide) making a statement at quarter time saying that “we’re playing like a bunch of girls.”

Firstly I want to say that I’m not offended by this. I don’t wake up on a Sunday morning, read the paper and wonder what to be offended about today. But I am frustrated and pissed off. 

I hear this type of comment way too often to not be annoyed by it. 

BEING A GIRL IS NOT A BAD THING!
And I continue to ponder how is being like a girl an insult?
So why, when watching a game of football does ‘oh you’re playing like a girl’ get said so often. 

Mythbusters has proven that “throw like a girl” has no scientific merit. 

I doubt there is a single category of thing where you could have everyone in the world in a row from best to worst and there would be a distinctive line between men and woman (and this who identify as neither). 

I confronted a male friend about this last weekend and eventually said “if you use being a girl as an insult then we can’t be friends.” 

Because we can’t. If you think that my gender is inferior to yours then no we can’t be friends. That’s a deal breaker to me. 

But interestingly no one had ever called him on it before. No one had ever pointed out that by calling a football players lack of commitment ‘girly’ he was saying that being a girl was somehow worse than being a boy. 

I love being a girl. Sometimes it sucks (eg finding the right hormonal birth control), but you know what? being a girl is awesome. And no worse than being a boy. 

So stop saying ‘girl’ as though it’s an insult or somehow worse than being a boy. Because it’s not.