Jewellery for knitting

I’ve been putting off knitting Parcel for the silliest of reasons. The stitch markers I had were annoying,
A while ago, inspired by knitnrun4sanity’s; jewellery making adventures, I bought some supplies.
It was a half baked scheme which was concocted whilst in Spotlight. Ideas that happen whilst in the shop are usually half baked which means that I don’t actually know what I need, but I want to buy stuff now and not wait to research it properly.

So I bought a starter kit, a plier kit, and some pretty things that caught my eye. My first attempt was so unsuccessful that I gave up.

Now I’ve joined My Sisters Knitter’s knitalong to finish off all those pesky unfinished objects I figured I needed to do something about my stitch marker situation.

So I had a look in my big craft book which wasn’t much help. Well I didn’t have the right tools. The Internet was more useful with this tutorial on stitch markers.

I modified it slightly but I ended up with some stitch markers.

Now I have no excuses not to knit parcel.

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Look at me playing wire and stuff.
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I may have got a little carried away. I had only planned to make as many as I needed. Instead I used all the round things I had.
I think these mean that I can put Jewelry making basics on my new crafts to try list.
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Pay it Forward presents!!!

When I posted the Pay It Forward challenge a year or so ago I thought it would be easy.
Make something for the first three people to comment on a post. Bonus because only 2 people commented.

What I underestimated was just how difficult finding the right pattern and yarn was going to be.
The two people who commented Keri and Caitlyn are two of my knitting idols.
They were two of the first knitting blogs I followed and introduced me to ravelry, patterns, yarns, and turned me from someone who had just learnt to knit, into a knitter.

The more I thought about how much I admired these two ladies, the more daunted I was to knit for them.

So I procrastinated. And procrastinated some more.
Until it struck me, in the middle of the night I scrambled to check the rules of the pay it forward post.
I didn’t specify it had to be knitted, just hand made. Hurrah!

After that the idea came quickly. Embroidered cushions.

Then I thought about cushions being expensive and difficult to post.
So I thought about glueing some embroidery to a canvas.
I was onto a winner!
Then it was a matter of finding the right quotes.

Keri is the one who held a gun to my head gently persuaded me to finally watch Buffy. So I felt a Buffy quote would be quite apt.

Caitlyn had the domain 25dancer for a reason – she’s a dancer.
And late one night I was watching Black Books with commentary and found a great quote.

And so the plan was complete.

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And some behind the scenes shots.
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And just so no one thinks I’m making these quotes up.

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**** it was only finding evidence of both quote I’ve realised I’ve misquoted both of them!!!! Whoops!!!! And I’ve waited until the recipients have received it to put up this post so it’s well and truly past the point of correction.
Eep!
Consider my hand well and truly slapped!
Note to self – always double check before stitching

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Whatever Wednesday – heartbreak

Every Wednesday/Thursday I’ll be blogging about the topic that comes through my email courtesy of Shay & Alissa.

biggest heartbreak

I thought about this long and hard. I have had my heart broken a few times. Ex boyfriends, ex bestfriends, people that I though had my back but when it came to it they didn’t actually.

But there was only one heartbreak that I look back on and wish was different.

And that is something I don’t want to share with the interwebs. So instead I’m going to talk about the last time my heart ached.

I had a day off on Monday. My body needed sleep and it got it. In that state of ‘really don’t want to leave the covers of the bed’ I turned on Netflix to see what I could watch.

I clicked on Orange is the new Black thinking that I’d give it until I got sick of it. That’s my usual plan when watching something I know nothing about.

Half an hour into the 13th episode I fell asleep because I just could stay up any longer.

I was absolutely gripped.
If you know nothing about the series, it’s a Netflix original based on a memoir of the same name. I have since read the memoir and it is very very loosely based. In many ways this makes it a better series because one of the things that I liked most about the TV series that wasn’t in the book, was the many and varied stories that were shown.
It’s set in a women’s prison, with the main character being a pretty white girl whose girlfriend was involved in drug smuggling and she helped out. She then moves on with her life, but 7 years later the case is brought to trial and she is sent to a minimum security prison.
But as dry as the original premise is, the ensemble cast of fully fleshed out characters is the real strength.
Episode 3 was where it really got me. I’m not going to be all spoilery, but these are bad people. They’re all in prison for a reason. But they’re also women, mothers, daughters, friends, lovers, and enemies.
And their stories made my heart ache because for every story there was pain.
I am well aware that these are fictional characters, made up for the screen loosely based on reality. But for me it wasn’t a stretch to think that these were real people and real experiences and my heart aches for every single person who is facing that life. Not the prison life, but the life that led them their in the first place.
Because every episode focuses on a different inmate so we get to see her story, the decisions that were made, what led them to prison and who they are as a character.

I enjoyed this series so much that I watch it all (bar 30 minutes) in one day.

If you have Netflix it carries the Beks Stamp of Approval.

(And because I also read the book I’m totally including it in my books read list)

The theme is by Regina Spektor and was specially written for the show.

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FO#15 – Frankie’s 10 Stitch Blanket

Ive finished my 10 stitch blanket. I know I was saying a couple of weeks ago it will probably take me a few more years to finish but it’s done.

The secret? Make it smaller.

Now this isn’t just pure laziness. The idea came to me when I was cold at the office. I am always cold. I do have a heater, but I don’t like using it all the time. So I was using a cardigan as a lap blanket and my wheely chair kept running over the sleeves. I started thinking about patterns and what I could quickly whip up when I remembered my 10 stitch blanket was just about big enough.

I worked on that steadily over the weekend and finished it. Just in time too. The circular needle broke with about 15 rows to go.

I also made a video about it. Particularly how I do the corners. It’s a bit different to how the pattern says but I think it’s easier. Special thanks has to go to HeWhoFishes for being a lighting and camera man. I couldn’t have got the close up shots of my hands without him. Also as a non-knitter he said he understood what I was doing, so I think I did an alright job of explaining myself.

Making a tutorial was one of the goals I set myself for 2013, but I never imagined I would film a video.

To finish off the blanket I added a simple crochet edge.
I’m really pleased with it. But I don’t think I’ll be making another one soon. And certainly not one in sock yarn!

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FO #11 – British Morning Socks the sequel

A while ago now I made some bed socks for my most favourite girl in the world.

Since then they have been well loved. As they were so well loved I had no issues with making another pair.

Only problem was I don’t quite know where that pattern book is. Maybe under the couch somewhere, but it’s lost at the moment.
So I did a bit of research and found nothing I really liked.

I did find a really cute mitten pattern which is only in Swedish but I thought I could figure it out and make it into some socks.

Using size 7 needles and Moda Vera Jet bulky yarn I cast on 8 stitches using Judy’s magic cast on
Then increased every second row until it fit my foot.
Then I switched colours and did a few rows of purling, switched colours and did a few rows of knitting.
There was no heel so I just kept trying it on until they were long enough.

Alternating the colours whilst doing two at a time is something I like doing a) because it creates odd socks that match and b) because it means you don’t have to wind the yarn into two balls. You just start with each colour and then swap. You do end up with a lot of ends though.

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I’m hoping that with use the heel will magically appear and they’ll look less like woolen condoms. 20130510-084105.jpg

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Nose in a book

As long as I can remember I’ve been a bookworm.
My school holiday highlight was going to the local library to get as many books as I could carry and I always had difficulties in only picking 10 to take home.

Frequently bed time reading time would include the phrases “just one more chapter” and “don’t turn the light out yet!”

So yesterday when I bumped into something in the kitchen and my partner said “why don’t you get your nose out of that book and watch where you’re going”, I immediately replied “yes Mum” out of habit.

I took advantage of knitters block and spent almost all weekend with my nose in 3 books, read in quick succession.

Diary Of A Young Girl or The Diary Of Anne Frank has been on my to read list for a long time.
With the announcement this week that Neutral Milk Hotel are reforming (and coming to Australia squee!!!) it rekindled my original interest in the book.
It has been well documented that their album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea could be based around Anne Frank’s writing. I had Holland, 1945 swirling around my head whilst I was reading.

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After reading it I spent the next few hours looking at Wikipedia articles about the same topic.
I am the first to admit that my knowledge of history is pretty terrible so I am trying to rectify that with my reading this year.

What struck me most was how well she wrote and how well she knew herself.
I don’t think I was that mature and self aware until I was much, much older.

Still on that vein I went looking for more to read on that subject and I found Adolescence in Auschwitz by Regina Frankel

Although not as well known as Anne Frank, her recollections and experiences have been documented and exist now as a gruesome memoir. It was a challenging read even with some details being left out, but I felt it was important to finish it.

I was particularly struck by one quote by Joseph Stalin “The death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.”

I’m not going to say too much more about these two books mostly because its very difficult, conflicting, and I need to be a better writer to articulate my feelings clearly enough to do these events justice.

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After those two I needed something a little lighter so my dreams wouldn’t be haunted by the experiences of those two remarkable women.

I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella fit the bill nicely.
It’s an easy to read story about a girl who loses her engagement ring, and then finds a mobile phone which becomes her lifeline.
It’s the sort of book I usually read, and I do own a lot of her novels.
It’s a bit formulaic but her characters are relatable and fun.

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Now to decide what to read next?

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FO#10 – Summer sky half socks

It was pointed out to me once that calling these ‘socks’ was a bit misleading.

Calling them yoga socks is also misleading because I’ve never done yoga.

So I’m calling them half socks.

These half socks come in really handy with my tiled floor.
I am a clumsy girl. I usually have unexplained bruises. My bed frame in particular attacks me.
I have sustained injuries from hair ties, cereal boxes, and Nutella jars. (The Nutella jar incident required 8 staples. I still eat Nutella though. I’m such a trooper.)
So walking around my house in slippery socks is a recipe for disaster.
I also have cold feet all the time so I need socks.

These are an OK answer. They still don’t stop my toes getting cold, but it’s better than no socks at all.

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I’m counting these as sock 4 in my 13 in 2013 project.
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Stuck in my head – The National (now with cushions)

If you watched my video from last week you may have noticed I showed you a finished object that I hadn’t blogged about yet.
So this is a little cushion with two different lyrics from The National on either side.
It’s not a standard shape, mostly because I didn’t realise I was going to make it into a cushion when I was embroidering those song lyrics onto scrap fabric.
Fortunately the scraps were big enough and I could turn them into a cushion.

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This is cushion #3 in my 13 in 2013 project.
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Welcome!!!

Welcome to my little corner of the internet.

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Please make a cup of tea, and find a cozy place because today I thought I’d show you around my blog and point you to my favourite posts which you’d probably never see otherwise.

My blog is very dear to me. I consider everyone who follows and comments as a friend.
I treat my blog as a diary, where I keep track of what I’ve made, where I’ve been, and what I do. I find that if it’s public then I’m more accountable and I’m more likely to document events, take photos, and take the time to look back at what I’ve done.
Its proven itself quite useful over time, as a reason to get me out of my comfort zone, but also as a record of what I’ve done. I quite often search my own blog to look at the details of a knitting pattern or what recipe I used (most often it’s to find my mum’s zucchini slice recipe).

About 2 years ago I sat down with two pointy sticks, a ball of cheap acrylic, and the Lord Of The Rings boxset and taught myself to knit. I don’t think it would be a understatement to say it changed my life.
It’s been a steadying influence and is now a constant companion.
Since then I’ve made socks, scarves, hats, minions, cats, and a blanket.

About a month ago I decided it was time to learn crochet and am slowly but surely getting used to the hook.

I have a sewing machine which I’m learning how to use, mostly to make cushions and basic skirts. I have a thing for quotes so embroidery has been quite fun.

Apart from crafty pursuits I watch a lot of football. My team is Port Adelaide Power and their colours are teal, black, and silver. My best friend is a Hawthorn Hawks supporter and their colours are Brown and Gold. I think I have a better deal. My Partner is an Adelaide Crows supporter and his colours are red, blue, and yellow. So those colours pop up in my knitting for no other reason but football. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the most important people in my life are also football mad.

We like to go camping and get out of the city from time to time.

I love to read, and have made a concerted effort to read more this year. More than just my favourite books which I re-read all the time.

I also love live music and spend a fair chunk of time and money going to gigs and buying cds.
Every Wednesday I pick a song to represent the week. Sometimes it’s a band I’ve just seen or about to see, others it’ a new song which I can’t stop listening to.
At the end of the year I have a nostalgic playlist.

I’m also working towards 13 in 2013.
At the beginning of the year I made 13 goals, some internet based, some project based, some just for fun.
And so I’ve been working towards them and having a lot of fun along the way.

I hope you’ll stick around. And please introduce yourself to me, I’d love to make your acquaintance.

To make it easier for you, I’d like to know the answer to the following question.

What is the first thing that pops into your head when you read the word “Sparkles”?
(hint: there are no wrong answers)

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FO 8 – Granny Square

So this ticks off number 13 in my 13 in 2013 challenge – crochet a granny square.

If I’m honest, this wasn’t exactly the outcome I expected.
Actually I’m surprised I kept this quiet for so long.

This is my granny square.

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For reference, that’s our queen size bed that its resting on!

So I can add ‘can do the triple crochet stitch’ to my list of skills.

There were a few smaller granny squares that I did before starting a giant blanket sized one, I may share them at some point.
But for now I’m just going to sit back and feel impressed with myself.

Seriously I made this!
This is by far the biggest item I have made.
I feel accomplished.

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