2015 in numbers 

6 books in ‘currently reading’ list
2 books in handbag (not on ‘currently reading’ list
7 books on bed side table (some are ‘currently reading’)
37 Books read.
 

15 levels on Fallout 4 completed
32 levels on Skyrim The Elder Scrolls completed
3 consoles I can play Dragon Age Inquisition on
5 Dragon Age Inquisition playthroughs created but not finished
1 playthrough of the Trespasser DLC completed
1 extra Dragon Age Inquisition playthrough created because I made bad Thedas-life choices
number redacted shreiks resulting from Uncharted 2 having two Dragon Age voice actors in it.
number redacted tears shed at the end of Mass Effect 3.
1 pair of N7 tights purchased
8 gold PS trophies, 47 silver and 277 bronze (all time – not just this year)
2020 xbox gamerscore
10 video games completed to credits (not including finishing dragon age inquisition on two different platforms because apparently that doesn’t count)
  

9 levels of German on Duolingo learnt 

15 hours watching new Doctor Who
20 hours watching Peaky Blinders (twice)
2 days 21 hours watching 3rd Rock from the Sun (thanks netflix viewing history – i guess…..)
5 days 10 hours and 34 minutes spent watching Supernatural (with cats)
 
30 years on earth achieved  

2 kittens became cats (look at how much Tina’s grown!)
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~17 finished objects knitted or crocheted
2 months of not writing in my daily ‘good things’ journal which kept track of finished items
1 resolution to keep better track of projects next year.
1 Frankie diary to help keep that resolution
  
1 amazing awesome care package received
16 Christmas Cards sent along with various other care packages and letters throughout the year.

  
28 cuffs stamped (plus 1 wallet and 3 necklaces)
19 etsy sales
5 patterns published on Ravelry
1451 unique pattern downloads!!! (seriously that is awesome! Thanks so much guys!!)
actual amount redacted skeins of yarn added to stash
9 skeins of yarn dyed 
  

6014 spotify tracks listened to
104 songs added to my 2015 playlist

9 of my favourite selfies all with slightly different hair!!

  

Thanks for sticking around with me during 2015! See you all in 2016!

2015

Things I’ve learnt recently 

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. 

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!  

 

Finished object 8&9 – nurmilintu 

Remember that shawl that I posted without taking a good picture of first? 

Well I have my photo! 

 
Isn’t it just lovely??? Megs of course but also my shawl!!! 

The pattern is nurmilintu and I just finished another, this time for myself and also in my own hand dyed yarn. 

   
Blocking it made such a difference. But blocking with cats? When they’ve taken one of your blocking mats to be their new scratching post? Not fun. 

At one point Tina ran off with a pin in her mouth and I had to chase her through the house so she didn’t hurt herself. In the end I locked them in their room (formerly the spare room) pinned it all out and then put it outside and once it got dark then put it into our bedroom and closed the door. 

That’s the problem with open plan houses. No place to block your shawl with two nosy kittens. 

   

  

 

I’m still not entirely convinced that the lace panels are correct. Either due to me not being able to count or the chart being wrong, but I don’t really care.

It’s colourful and warm and soft and it won’t leave my neck for at least until I finish the picot scarf that’s nearly off my needles. 

We may be able to work it out, but just in case we can’t I wouldn’t get your hopes up

It started off so well.

– The colour is beautiful (why thank you I dyed it myself),
– The cat photobombing is freakin adorable
– The mindless garter is perfect watching all of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt in one night,

and then came the lace……. (use your most ominous tone. I suggest the voice of Cecil Baldwin)

The pattern is Nurmilintu by Heidi Alandar and it’s lovely. The pattern is well set out, the finished pictures look great, and even the finished items from other people look great.

So why oh why am I having so much trouble with this?

There’s only one answer I can come up with.
I can’t count.

Maybe my pre-primary teacher felt sorry for me and passed me instead of holding me back.

Perhaps by the time I was in high school doing calculus my parents had written letters to my teachers warning them to not shatter my illusions of being able to count.

Is this like my colour vision and I’m just suddenly realising that actually there is no such number as the number 7 and it’s all a figment of my imagination?

I honestly believed I could count, but for some bizarre unknown reason whenever I do any kind of counting in this pattern it doesn’t add up. (Pun well and truly intended.)

I counted 3 times (if there even is a number three) that I had the correct number of stitches before starting the first lace part.

Even after the first row I had the right number of stitches left and followed the chart exactly.
But the lace section just does not look right. It’s nothing like the pictures and I can’t work out how.

Then (and this is some seriously wack shit…. ) I counted the number of stitches I had AFTER completely the lace section and I had LESS than what the pattern said I should have had BEFORE I started the lace section?? But I still have increased the pattern????? (All my twitter followers have just had a collective moment of ‘OHHH!!! That’s what Bek was yelling about last night!”)

I just don’t know. I really don’t. I’m flummoxed.

It’s definitely not getting frogged. In spite of my inability to count I’m still in love with it already.
I shall call it a design feature and flaunt it.

Here’s hoping that we can work it out for the second repeat!

  

finished object 5 with 100% more ratbags

Well it’s actually finished object 6 but as finished object 5 is currently winging its way overseas and I stupidly don’t have any proper photos of it, I’m calling this finished object 5.

 

It will need a good blocking but my blocking mats are currently play toys for the two (yes two) kitten shaped ratbags that have decided they now own our house.

Say hello to Snow.

 

He and Tina are sort of playing nicely with each other. Currently they’re both resting at my feet while I’m writing this in between trying to defeat a boss in Dragon Age 2.  (Which hell yes I just beat!! Last quest and I’ve been battling this Blood Mage, a Pride Demon and a fuckton of Shades for what seems like hours but yeh I finally beat them!!!)

Tina just blends in with everything in our house. But trust me she is there.

So there are plenty of kitty hugs to go round at the moment.

I wound my cling wrap dyed yarn into a ball and it looks just as gorgeous as it did in the skein.

 

However both kitten shaped ratbags were utterly captivated by the swift and ball winder. Plus Snow photo bombed my yarn shot.

I think I can expect more of that in the future!!! As a friend said, I’ve just invited two cats into a yarn palace!!! What have I done.

So much yarn so little time

I feel like I’m trying to knit everything all at once!!!

I have my Sunshine Shawl making good progress after watching Australia beat England and India beat Pakistan over the weekend.

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Then I am so close to finishing my crickety cricket scarf it’s just beckoning for me to finish it, even if that means staying up all night (which I am vehemently resisting but a girl is only so strong!)
I’m definitely on the home stretch.

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Then there are my spirally socks. I’ve just turned the heel which means that these are also nearly finished. I’ve already planned the next project for my sock needles.

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Then this shawl has gone missing and I’m systematically turning the house upside down looking for it.

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And then there’s also this yarn that I dyed and just can’t stop petting.

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More about that later…. When I have time!!!!

There’s still Dragon Age 2 that I’m trying to finish, and Mass Effect 3 which I’m really starting to get hooked on, plus the desire to play Dragon Age Inquisition which I have played until the final quest but there is still so much I need to do!
And so many feelings!!!!

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Plus you know a full time job, plotting for birthday presents & surprise mail, and some big ideas for my blog.

I need a nap just thinking about it.

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FO2 – my summer sky slouch

Who can go past a bit of alliteration when naming a pattern.
Yeh that’s right I’ve ‘written’ a pattern!

The inverted commas are because I’m not sure how much credit one can take for taking an existing cable pattern and translating it into a hat.

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The yarn is my own hand dye and the base is a fingering weight superwash merino. It’s so soft and squishy.

I designed it so that it’s really a few hats all in one depending on how it’s angled. There’s a cable section, a rib section, a garter section and two stockinette sections.

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I have plans to write it up properly rather than scribbles in a notebook and then put it up on ravelry. But at the moment they’re still just plans. I’m still not really happy with the decrease section, so I think I’ll have to knit at least one more before I actually publish it.

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Work it Eeyore!!!!

2015

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15 in 2015

This has become a bit of a tradition now. I did 14 in 2014 and 13 in 2013

Something a bit like resolutions but I prefer to call them goals.

Last year got a bit waylaid with the whole ‘spinal nerve damage’ thing, so I’ve made this year a little bit more achievable.

2015

knit 15 finished items
read 15 books I already own & 15 books that are new
dye 15 skeins of yarn
stamp 15 new cuffs
send 15 postcards/unexpected snail mail for unsuspecting friends**

I think this should be simple and achieveable.

What are your plans for 2015???

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**If you would like to be an unsuspecting friend send me an email bekswhoknits [at] gmail [dot] com

Stained glass – more adventures in dyeing

I can’t actually believe that I made this.

This is a mystery skein from the lovely and fabulous MsGusset (who quite rightly is a finalist in the Australian Etsy Design Awards – go vote for her here)

It’s dyed using food colouring and set with vinegar and heat still using the same technique as my first attempts at dyeing. I got a little bit experimental with a coat hanger to dye different parts different colours, particularly as black is a bit tricky to work with.

The ‘What a kool way to dye’ group on ravelry’s October Dye-along challenge was stained glass.
I think my submission meets that criteria. But I’ll let pictures do the talking.

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Also I made a video thing where I also gush about MsGusset and YarnvsZombies and The Golden Skein

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