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

Adventures with Doug.

Agggges ago (this post has been sitting in the draft pile for a while now) I took myself to visit the country. A specific part of the country where two friends currently call home.

It was Midnite Moose’s birthday and so I had to personally deliver a pair of socks that I had made for her.

   

 They’re made with Knit Picks Felici which I admit that I LURVE knitting with. Compared with Moda Vera’s sock yarn which was my previous go-to (non-indie dyed) sock yarn it is an absolute delight. The self striping colour ways are lovely and the merino/nylon blend is so soft and squishy.

The pattern is ampersand and I used a fish lips kiss heel as I didn’t have specific feet measurements.
I only used 50gms of Felici and played a bit of yarn chicken towards the end. I really wasn’t sure that I’d make it but I did.
They were delivered along with a punny card written on the back of a Cider carton box. I was totally unprepared and had to borrow some wrapping paper from my lovely hostess Amanda.

  
My lovely hostess also has a fantastic book collection which I put to good use. Yes I went for a 4 day trip to the country and I read a lot of books. I finished Morris Gleitzman’s series Once, Then, After, Now which was thoroughly interesting and a story I’d never heard before. I preferred the stories set in WW2 to the one in present day but they were all a good read and I may have cried a tear or 4. Fortunately this fluff ball was around to cuddle. Here is actually a do in amongst all that fluff. 

 This entire trip wouldn’t have been possible without the loan of my Dear Ol’ Dad’s car Doug.
I feel obliged to point out that I nicknamed my Dad’s car. He is not the type to name a car.
Doug has cruise control, an ipod cable, and felt a lot more stable and safe than my ’97 Mazda. Doug is a baby car compared to my old car.
I was slightly nervous while parking it as the last time I injured a car was the day after I got a new one and I underestimated just how long it was. There was some over cautious parking and there was absolutely NO chance of me driving Doug over the speed limit for fear of a speeding ticket turning up at my Parents house.
It was a constant fear running through my head of getting pulled over and having to explain I was a 30 year old borrowing their parents car. I don’t why that would be a bad thing? But nevertheless it was something I wanted to avoid. Fortunately I did. Doug was returned in one piece with more fuel than when I borrowed him and just slightly dirtier.
We had a grand old time together and now I *almost* want a new car, just so I can open the car boot with a button.

   
   
Overall it was just nice to escape the city for a while and get away from work demands. I didn’t check my work emails for an entire week! Mostly because there was no phone reception but a little bit of that is willpower and not having my work phone charged :S

Thanks for having me.

So like a man – a water bottle cosy

Whoever designed the stand up meeting must have been a man. 

If you don’t understand my slightly obscure Miss Cornelia reference, read the last 2 books of the Anne of Green Gables series and then get back to me- just like a man.  

Standing meetings must have been made up by a man because they have no problems holding everything. 

I’ll back track slightly. At my work we have a weekly meeting which involves standing, with a pen and paper, water bottle (+phones etc) for an hour. 

Sure it looks reasonable on paper but in reality almost every woman who works on my floor has had to make changes for this meeting. Mostly it’s wearing different shoes for the day, or leaving their phones to ring, out loud, on their desks if they get a call during the meeting.  (Which drives me bonkers! Open plan office means phones on silent please and thank you.)

Already in these meetings I have had two incidents where I dropped and dented my water bottle. I’ve also had sores muscles for 2 days from holding an A4 notebook which I couldn’t write in anyway because my hands were busy holding things. My Physio was also quite perplexed one day when I saw her after work one day and I had pen marks all down my back from a failed attempt at using my bra strap to hold a pen and notebook. 

So I solved the problem the cosiest way I know how. I crocheted the problem away. 

(Alternatively I could dedicate my life to buying nice work clothes that have pockets, but we all know they are rare and almost mythical creatures!)

   
    
   

I didn’t really have a pattern. It was mostly improvised out of necessity. Fortunately it’s a cute crocheted pocket replacement. 

I also procured a pocket notebook which I can easily hold and write with. All of a sudden I can focus on the content of the meeting and not trying to juggle everything and not cause another scene by spilling water everywhere. 

Yes this is a pretty elaborate way to say that I even solve work place problems with crafty solutions!!!!

(Although if anyone does have good recommendations for pretty work appropriate dresses that have pockets I am ALL EARS!!!!
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A Pi shawlette 

On the car ride down to camping I cast on an Elizabeth Zimmerman Pi shawl

I followed the instructions to the letter and enjoyed all the stockinette. Perfect camping knitting. 

When I got home though I quickly realised I didn’t want an all stockinette shawl and I wanted something more like the shawls designed for the EZ 100th Anniversary
So I reached an increase milestone and slowly but surely I felt that it was time to cast off so I would have enough of the same yarn to make a lacy shawl. 
As luck would have it, when I cast off I ended up with a shrug / shawlette or my personal favourite description – a cape! The kind of cape a knitting superhero would wear. (If only there was a knitting superhero who goes around fixing knitter’s gauge, those errors you tell yourself you don’t care enough to fix but actually once it’s too late to fix you wish you had, and made sure that you never lost at yarn chicken… *sighs wistfully*)

It’s just big enough to fit across my shoulders but the circle shape is still pretty and functional   
I seriously love this shawlette and its positively gorgeous with the knitting cardigan pins I bought from Kate Gabrielle.  

    
 

Camping time!!! Good for the mind, not so good for the body

It was a long weekend last weekend so we took off to the south all set for a camping weekend. 

It was glorious. Sure there were idiots with their generator on til 2am, dogs not on leashes running amuck, loud music and general disruptive behaviour but we were away from the city in the great outdoors and it wasn’t going to spoil those 3 night we planned at Logue Brook Dam (about 2 hours drive from home).
We didn’t stay in the Tourist Park area (too touristy!), but instead drove to the other side of the lake and camped in the National Park. It was more our style of camping.

   
    

It’s not quite ‘glamping’ but we do make camping less stressful by having good equipment . We have a pop-up tent and a gazebo for shade, stretcher beds and self inflating mattresses for sleeping, and a solid set of camping chairs and table. The new addition this holiday was a hammock which was lovely and relaxing until the wind started to howl. 

   
   

 

I spent my time wisely and finished 3 books and started a 4th. 

I finished The Book Thief and tried not to cry. It was gorgeously written, very poignant but ultimately tears were shed. 

Wedding Night was on my iPad so it got read while I was working on my knitting. I’d read it before and it was a good bit of fluff to follow a WW2 novel. 

I also finished Rilla of Ingleside for the upteenth time. I found new covers for the series on Book Depository which I had to buy. 

And I started Shadow Scale (sequel to Seraphina which I raced through and loved!) but I only got about a third of the way through

(This brings my total read books for this year up to 24 meaning I’m likely to meet my challenge of 30 new books. The 24 doesn’t include any books I re-read.)

  
 The Nightvale-esque eye bag is my new knitting project bag.  It was purchased in a Cotton On sale where everything I bought (new work shoes, a floppy hat, some more shoes, cat socks, more shoes) was $5.

I googled ‘camping knitting’ before I left. I didn’t really have anything on the needles that I could knit without thinking. I needed the type of knitting that takes your mind off carsickness, can still be done around a campfire, in between scrabble moves, and which isn’t going to result in frogging the next morning. 

Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Pi shawl has all the stockinette a camper could ask for.  The chapter of the Knitters Almanac with the Pi Shawl recipe has an entire section on camping knitting which put me right in the mood. I have since bought a hard copy of the book, but I found the pattern in an online preview which I print screened and took along with me.

  
  

I also finished off a pair of slippers that I needed the foot model to try on. They went to a very happy grandma. 

 
Unfortunately no fish were caught (although not for lack of trying.)
But the early morning trips to the dam weren’t entirely wasted with my brother-in-law doing a spectacular slip into the water. I didn’t see it but apparently it rivalled my less than graceful entry into the hammock the day before. 

   
   
   

Ultimately it was a fantastic 4 days, after which I felt relaxed, inspired, and like I’d had a week’s peace and quiet. It has been followed up by a week of Physio appointments and a bucket load of pain killers for my back, but sometimes getting away from it all it totally worth it. 

  

Ahh the serenity….

  
 
  
2015

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!  

 

Because I always need another hat (FO11)

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.

Finished object 10 – soft squishy socks

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!!! 

Where did my mojo go…

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. 

You can now knit some of my original designs!!

I have now got a pattern shop!

I designed some patterns for my week as the Cut Out and Keep Superstar and yesterday I loaded them into ravelry on a bit of a whim really.

Well I published them and already this morning I have 5 comments (yes 5 individual people who are not members of my family or my twitter friends*) from people liking my shawl pattern!!!! I’m just a little gobsmacked

Please let me officially present the first (hopefully of many) Rebekah Liddicoat Designs**
Lovely Ruffly Shawl

download now

My Summer Sky Slouch
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A Chevron PomPom Bookmark
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download now

A cabled tea cozy (with cable tutorial)

download now

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download now

*A special shoutout to Shay who is not a knitter, but still retweets and comments on all of my knitting posts. I appreciate the support mate 🙂

**Just a note for those curious about my Designer Name. That is not my real name, however Ravelry requires me to have a credible sounding First & Last name so I chose one that I know is unique and does’t appear anywhere else on the internet (except for birth records from the 1800s).