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

I can smell summer

The weather is starting to warm up and it’s beautiful. I feel like a lizard who no longer needs to lie in the same to feel warm but suddenly there’s no longer ice in my veins and I start to become alive!

Maybe that’s a slight exaggeration but I do think I’ve been cold for the longest time and now that I can feel my fingers and toes when I wake up in the morning I can start to move and do.

Including doing some sewing. Yes sure my back hated me for a few days afterwards, but I had a pretty dress to take my mind off it.

I bought Tilly & the Button’s Love at First Stitch book and successfully made a Megan dress!!!!
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Look at me and my work elevator selfies.
Unfortunately this is the best photograph I took, and as the dress is currently on my floor-drobe in a pile and the fabric requires ironing, it may be the best photo there is for a while.

There are still some problems with it. The biggest one is that it’s made from fabric that you need to iron and ironing clothes isn’t high on my list of favourite tasks.
Secondly the way I’ve gathered the sleeves makes my shoulders look *really* wide and the high neckline makes my boobs look *huge*. The last thing I need is to look wider.
And thirdly I used the wrong type of stabiliser for the collar which makes it really scratchy and stiff. I may just cut that off to make it a bit more wearable.

But like anything these were opportunities for improvement and I have another Megan dress already cut out, in a different fabric, with a modification to the collar and sleeves.

So I’m looking forward to sewing that together and seeing if my “improvements” help the dress. I kinda freehanded the drafting of neckline….
Sewing needs a bit more precision than I usual have.

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Stop! Pajama time

It’s bloody cold here at the moment.
And that’s not just me saying that, a radio announcer said that exact quote last week.

So I figured that the first project from Tilly and the Buttons – Love at First Stitch would be the Margot Pajamas.

I wanted them to be warm so I stopped by the local grocery store and picked up some flannelette sheets (which were on special – $10 reduced from $25!)

Tracing the pattern onto baking paper was the hardest part. I tried 3 different types of tape and about 5 different pens before I found a combination that vaguely worked. Even then they look a bit mangled.

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Cutting out using Tillys instructions was almost easy!
Considering that’s the part which has tripped my up in my sewing adventures before that’s a win!

Then I diligently set about to sewing the pieces together. Even using the zigzag stitch to finish the edges which I’d never done before.

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Once I’d sewn the legs together I looked at the instructions for the crotch and realised I’d sewn the two fronts together and the two backs together.
I had to unpick and start again.

But I won’t be making that mistake again!!!!

After that they went off without a hitch.
Ta-da!!! Pajamas!!!!

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Good bye 2013

2013 was awesome in so many ways.

We bought a house, went to our 6th test match together, saw plenty of live music, holidayed on a houseboat, and I helped out with the Port Adelaide Football Club.

I’ve had green hair, pink hair, purple hair, red hair, and several different combinations.

I participated in the Knitting & Crochet Blog Week. I even made two youtube videos!

And I worked my way through 13 goals.

1. Open my little etsy shop. – Tick!

I opened a shop and closed it just as quickly. I didn’t enjoy knitting for strangers or the etsy fees.

2. Host a giveaway on my blog – Tick!
This was so much fun! And this is where I figured out the I like giving things away more than selling them.
The lesson to be learned is that postage is a killer. In the future small and light will be the way to go.

3. Finish Start the knitting crafting for my Pay It Forward post. – Tick!
Again this was ridiculously fun! And it was the beginning of embroidering fabric to go on a frame.
4. Knit 12 pairs of socks. – 8/12
I completed 8 and I currently have 3 on my needles. I didn’t quite get to 12 but maybe I was being a tad optimistic.

5. Sew 6 cushions.- 10/6 – Tick!

I caught the cushion making bug hard!
I even learnt how to sew an invisible zipper.

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6. Write a knitting pattern and post it on Ravelry.
I have started this one yet. I don’t know if I still want to.
Maybe if inspiration strikes I may be able to check this off my list.

7. Post a tutorial or a how-to guide. – Tick!
Seriously making a video was not what I had planned for this. But it turned out to be a really good experience. And now I have youtube subscribers. That’s a weird feeling for someone who only has two knitting videos.

8. Try a new craft, or 2, or 3.
I tried arm knitting, spinning, jewellery making, yarn dyeing. I’m looking forward to seeing what new crafts I can learn next year.

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9. Create an artwork for my apartment – Coming Soon!
I never showed you this one. But it did happen.

10. Embroider a whole song (lyrics) onto something.
This is totally my favourite embroidery ever!

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11. Sew a garment from a pattern, and wear it.
This is going on next years list.

12. Read a new book every month. (something I haven’t read before) 15/12
I joined goodreads to keep track of it all, so I realised I well and truly met this goal.

13. Crochet a granny square. – Tick!
2013 was the year that crochet and I finally understood each other. I still struggle with patterns and only have one loop on my needles, but the instant gratification is awesome.

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I’m currently deciding whether to do 14 in 2014 or, as I’m 30 next year, 30 before 30.
Either way 2014 is going to be awesome. I just know it.

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13 in 2013 update

At the beginning of the year I set myself a list of 13 things that I wanted to do this year. Now that August is finished and there’s only 4 months left in the year I thought that I would do a quick recap and reassess where I’m at.

1. Open my little etsy shop. – Tick!
Sometimes you think you know what you want but then actually when you do it you realise it’s not what you want at all.
I thought I wanted an etsy shop, but almost as soon as I opened it I realised that I didn’t.
I prefer to make things with a specific recipient in mind, rather than for a mass market. So I’ve closed my shop and chalked it up to experience.
Instead I will continue to make things and send them to friends. Even if they’re friends I have never met.

2. Host a giveaway on my blog – Tick!
This was so much fun! And this is where I figured out the I like giving things away more than selling them.
The lesson to be learned is that postage is a killer. In the future small and light will be the way to go.

3. Finish Start the knitting crafting for my Pay It Forward post. – Tick!
Again this was rediculously fun! And it was the beginning of embroidering fabric to go on a frame.
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4. Knit 12 pairs of socks. – 6/12
I’m halfway through this one. I have two pairs of socks on the needles at the moment. One which I like and one which I don’t.
After seeing Jesse’s finished socks from this week I have the sock knitting bug again.

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5. Sew 6 cushions.- 6/6 – Tick!
Woo all 6 cushions are completed! And I have one side of another one. This cushion making lark is fun. (Jazzical if you’re reading this I haven’t forgotten you, this whole buying a house lark is time consuming.)

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6. Write a knitting pattern and post it on Ravelry.
I have started this one yet. I don’t know if I still want to.
Maybe if inspiration strikes I may be able to check this off my list.

7. Post a tutorial or a how-to guide. – Tick!
Seriously making a video was not what I had planned for this. But it turned out to be a really good experience. And now I have youtube subscribers. That’s a weird feeling for someone who only has two knitting videos.

8. Try a new craft, or 2, or 3.
So I tried arm knitting which was interesting.
The jewellery making was something that I had wanted to do for ages. I can definitely see more of that in my future.
Spinning definitely counts as my third new craft. I’m still not too good at it, but I can only improve right?
I recently bought a weaving kit so that’s going to be my fourth new craft so I’ll be interested to see how that goes.

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9. Create an artwork for my apartment – Coming Soon!
This has been done but I haven’t blogged about it yet. I’m now waiting until we get in our new house. Or maybe I’ll show you it and then show you it again in our new house. I haven’t decided yet.

10. Embroider a whole song (lyrics) onto something.
I’m changing the parameters on this one. The intent was to stretch my embroidery skills and do a long project. Well instead of a song I chose a story from Black Books. Embroidery skill level ‘ 3 stitches learnt’ achieved!

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11. Sew a garment from a pattern, and wear it.
I’m going to wait until we’re in a house before I attempt this. If I’ve learnt anything from making 6 cushions this year it’s that I don’t have enough room to cut out cushions let alone a pattern. Since the fish came along this year I have lost my kitchen table.

12. Read a new book every month. (something I haven’t read before) 11/12
This has been fun. I’ve learnt to knit and read at the same time which has helped.
I’m currently half way through a new book so I should well and truly achieve this.

13. Crochet a granny square. – Tick!
I thought that a granny square would be a great way to ease into crochet and it was. I’ve now completed two rugs, many granny squares and a cushion. I’m about to attempt a chevron rug. Wish me luck!

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Some more cushions

I finished these a while ago but hadn’t posted about them.

The first is my attempt at a crochet cushion cover. I had no pattern and no actual plan, but it turned out ok.

I didn’t weave in the ends properly and so it’s started to fall apart. So it’s out of action until I can fix it.

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The second new cushion is made out a band shirt.
I saw placebo when they played at soundwave festival a few years ago.
Black market music was on of those seminal albums of my youth.
So I couldn’t not buy a tshirt.
Only problem was they only had sizes that were too small. I bought it anyway as I had planned to lose weight. 4 years later and it still doesn’t fit and will probably never fit, so it got transformed into a cushion.
It was trickier than I thought mostly because it wasn’t a proper square to begin with.

I somehow managed to wrangle it into a square and sewed up the top. I hand sewed the bottom up in lieu of sewing a zip.

I have so many band shirts that don’t fit me any more, so this will be a great way to display them and put them to good use.

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This is cushion 4 & 5 of my 13 in 2013 challenge.

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Pockets!!!

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Unlike Donna Noble I always try to have pockets.
I don’t like not having my phone on me at all times (I was in a fire drill once for an hour without my phone. Never. Again.)
So I sewed some pockets in my work skirt.

I measured out the fabric, folded it in half and then sewed it together.
I then sewed it to my skirt.
I used embroidery thread to reinforce it.
It’s not elegant but it works.

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While I was at it, I did the same thing in my new bag.
I’ve become a bag lady. I fell in lust at first sight with a green beauty but my keys and phone kept getting lost.

So I did exactly the same thing except I sewed the one piece of material in half.

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Now I can always find my keys and I never have to be without my phone.

Pockets!!!

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I knew I kept things for a reason

I’ve had these jeans for ages. After a month of wear they developed a tear in the crotch.
And yet for some reason I kept them.
It’s a family trait. We don’t like wasting things and so reusing scraps or repurposing material was something I was brought up to do.

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Obviously these pants were waiting for me to have a really stiff neck. I was lieing away, trying to sleep when the idea came to me.
The pant leg is the perfect size for a heat bag, long enough to drape around my neck but not fall off.

The finished product isn’t exactly pretty or well finished, but it is practical.

First start by draping the pant leg around your neck to determine the optimal length.
Cut the pants.

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Sew up the leg on one end. Sew about half way along the other opening. You need enough room so you can turn it inside out.
Using a funnel, start filling the tube.

Fill it a bit and then sew it up to create segments. I divided mine into 3 (so I did this bit twice).
Using the sewing machine with rice already in it was tricky, but it did work.

Once it’s all full, sew up the end

I had a great idea to use contrast embroidery thread, before remembering that my hand stitching is pretty terrible.

So it’s not going to win any beauty pageants. But it does the job.
Put it in the microwave for 2 minutes and put on neck.
Heat packs are wonderful things.

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