my weekend in numbers – FO 25

12 – the number of sleeps remaining in our apartment.

2 – the number of invisible zips I sewed
1 – pair of shorts I successfully shortened
1 – curtain I was meant to sew up but that is lost somewhere in the abyss that it the spare room.
4 – the amount of times I couldn’t find where I left the scissors
5 – how many pairs of scissors I put away after I had finished.

48 – the number of stitches to cast on with DK weight yarn on
3.25 – mm needles for a pair of socks
3 – days it took these socks from start to finish
8 – the number of times I oohed and ahhed at the way the hand dyed yarn was knitting up
20billion – the actual number of times I marveled at my hand dyed yarn.

5 – the number of fat quarters I bought at Spotlight
0 – how many balls of yarn I didn’t buy because none of it took my fancy

2 – the number of friends who have birthdays in the next 2 weeks
2 – the number of presents I have finished for said birthdays

16* – the number of Bobs Burger episodes I watched on the weekend
7* – the number of Leverage episodes I watched
6* – the number of Parks & Recreation episodes watched.

3 – the number of bands I saw on Friday night
1 – the number of songs that I knew well enough to sing along to.

4 – the number of tacos I ate last night
0 – the number of tacos I made for myself

3 – the number of mosquito bites that I can’t stop scratching.

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*I don’t know exactly how many episodes I watched. These numbers are estimated guesses.

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My week in a picture a day

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Nothing to me says cozy like a couch with cushions and a blanket to snuggle under.

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It’s that time of the year when it’s not blisteringly hot just yet, however the seasons have changed enough that you can sit outside in the sunshine and feel the sun’s warmth on bare legs.

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My hand dyed yarn, chock full of many wonderful colours.

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Tea. It gives me strength. (And also the word strength is on the box – inspiration came first and then the justification)

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When you spend all day in an office, and then go home to a smallish apartment sometimes looking up at the sky is the only sense of space there is.

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Not only is this more hand dyed (which I didn’t think I was able to do) but watching 4 needles come together and produce a circle still fascinates and impresses me.

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Nothing quite says relax like sunshine, a good book, biscuits, dip, and a cold beer.

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the spreadsheets have a calming influence

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’d know that hewhofishes and I are buying a house and are moving in 21 days (and counting).

This is all very exciting and wonderful and lovely to have a mortgage to call our own, but that comes with bills.
And the crippling fear of ‘have we made a terrible mistake, how can we possible afford a house and an investment property when I’m not even 30 and all gen Ys are terrible with money and can’t get into the housing market, which must be true because there’s a news article every week about how bad everything is for me, and we’re doomed and all it will take is for one of us to lose our job and we’ll start fighting, have to sell our kidneys and be alone out on the street begging, whilst sleeping in a pile of yarn that is all I have left because I couldn’t bear to part with the indigo dragonfly because it’s so pretty and it’s yarny punny goodness!!!”

Fortunately there are two steps to cure this particular brand of insanity.
Step 1 is burying your face in indigo dragonfly (or any pretty yarn will substitute). Let the yarn fumes calmly explain to you that you haven’t made a terrible mistake.
Step 2 is a spreadsheet.

Before we even went looking for houses I started making spreadsheets.
I have a whole collection of spreadsheets of ‘lets buy a house’ spreadsheets which made damn sure that we have most contingencies covered, including pay cuts / interest rate rises / illness etc so really this insanity was mostly unfounded.
So I reviseted those original spreadsheets and realised what caused this crippling fear was ALL OF THE BILLS!!

I am hopeless at remembering when bills are due and combined with a deep hatred of late fees I’ve been trying to find a solution for this for ages.

I’ve tried putting them on the fridge, putting reminders in my phone, writing down everything in a book, remembering that because I had my last car accident in August the insurance renewall will always be in August, but I still wake up in the middle of the night wondering whether or not my phone bill is coming out of the account on the 12th or the 15th.

I searched the web for an answer to my problems and couldn’t find what I was looking for so I made it myself.

If you also suffer from an inability to remember when your bills are due, then this spreadsheet may also help you.

I get paid fortnightly whereas Hewhofishes gets paid weekly.
Some bills are monthly, bi monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Some always fall on the same day, others are always the same date.
There are direct debits, paper bills, and electronic bills.
And I need to know when they all happen or else I get hasty and put all my money into savings only to transfer it back again two days later.

The calendar part is for the monthly bills. Bold indicates that they’re on the same day each month, normal means that it’s the same every date.
Then each month I create a new tab and transfer any yearly bills into the calendar that month.

I can then see from paycheck to paycheck, how much is needed in the account so that I can pay all the bills.

Google drive also has the added benefit of being available on my iphone. So when I (hypothetically) know that I’m buying tickets to The National on Monday morning, I’ve put that into the ‘extras’ column for Monday and I know that I need that money available.

As long as we each stick to our weekly living allowance I know we will always have money in the bank to pay all of the bills.
(And yes there was also a spreadsheet to figure out what our weekly living allowance needed to be)

If a spreadsheet says its possible, I am calm (er).

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my blog is a toddler

this little blog’o’mine turned 3 last week!!!

I know right!
I can hardly believe that I’ve managed to talk about myself for that long. But you know what, if I’ve learnt anything from my month off, it’s that blogging is really important to me and helps keep me a semi-productive member of society.

If it wasn’t for this blog I probably would never have learnt how to knit, dabbled with coding, photography and design, figured out who I am as a writer (a mediocre one), and most importantly I wouldn’t have made so many awesome friends.

I probably would never have got around to watching Buffy or Angel but Keri!) gave me the slightest of nudges and and my life is infinitely better because I did.

There are so many amazing people on the internet that I just wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for this blog and for that I am very grateful. I count every one who takes the time to comment on my blog a friend (except when they’re clearly not an actual person and are convincing me I need SEO to be a better person).

And so I am going to say thank you the only way I (currently) know how.
With a cushion.
And what makes a cushion more than just extra padding for couches? Pop culture references.

So please leave a comment with a quote or phrase that you would like embroidered on a cushion.
I’ll choose one at random, and then at some point (I’m deliberately giving myself an open timeframe, and because you’re a friend you’ll understand) I’ll make it and send it to you.
It will require some assembly (ie the cushion filling part) at your end – actual cushions are freakin expensive to post so you will receive a cushion cover.

There are no rules, just get quoting.
Write it down, send me a pintrest / tumblr / picture link, a youtube link if it’s a song lyric – anything goes.
(“I said no rules not anything goes!”)

I’ll choose a comment at random next Tuesday November 5th or when I remember.

And whilst Jack Davenport is not my boyfriend, the below video explains why I’m not allowed any more cushions for myself.

And here’s a cushion I wanted to keep but was sent off to a new and loving home last week.

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update

Clareio – I will be emailing you shortly about your cushion.

Everyone else – please continue to leave quotes. The world can always use more people quoting.

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Of Skyrim and Villagers

There’s been a lot of paper-rock-scissors in out household recently.

Grand Theft Auto 5, Skyrim, and Final Fantasy XIII-2 have recently come into our possession. I still haven’t finished Final Fantasy XIII and I also know that there’s a new Gran Turismo coming out soon. So playstation time is in high demand.

One night when HeWhoFishes was (wait for it) out fishing, I spent a Friday night playing Skyrim and listening to Villagers.

And something about this song in particular reminds me of the that game.
Like the two fit together somehow if that makes any sense at all.

I like games with quests and dragons and adventure and somehow Villagers has captured all that with a song.

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Hulloooo!!!!!!

What. A. Month!

It’s not quite all over, it’s still a really busy time at work and we haven’t moved house yet, but I’ve started to think like a blogger again.

Just as I fall asleep imagining my hands knitting the last knitting pattern I was working on, I’ve started to think in blog posts. Which means by brain is bored and I need to start writing again.

So what’s been going on? Plenty!

Most of the stuff for our new house is done! Except the whole moving in part. We’ve signed our life away several times and have started putting our life into boxes.

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Even though the weather is being a bit of a tease, it does feel like spring is on it’s way and there has been a hint of sunshine.
Look! Bare legs!

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We finally cleaned up enough of an area for me to sew a cushion cover (with an invisible zip!).

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And we found enough space for some blocking mats.

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Not much space, but enough.

With any luck I’ll now be back to my usual schedule.
I have so much more to show you all!
But will leave it here for now.

xx
beks
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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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Home

We are now one step closer to a new home, which means leaving the apartment I’ve lived in for 4 years (1.5 of them all by myself) to an actual house.
I have been dreaming about living in my own house for so long I almost can’t believe it.

Of course the first thing I’ve done is make lots of lists. The majority are pretty boring like ‘people we need tell our new address to’ or ‘new house budget’ or ‘services we need to reconnect’.
But there’s also…

Things I won’t miss about living in an apartment.
– Hearing other people’s toilets during the night
– Hearing other people’s TVs / arguments / pigs making noise
– Being so close to other people
– Climbing over hewhofishes to get out of bed every morning
– The spare room being a combination laundry/shed/sewing room/office
– Tripping over the tools in the hall way
– People looking into our living room
– The cold, cold tiles
– Stepping over things to get in the front door
– Moving the bins when we have to answer the back door
– Every single photo having shadows in them and the terrible lighting

Things I will miss about living in an apartment.
– Being able to (accurately) throw rubbish into the bins in the kitchen from the living room
– The rail over the bath that I use as a spare laundry
– Being 400 meters away from a train station
– Being so close to MidniteMoose. We’ll have to have a MooseRoom again. Or maybe a tram service between our two places.
– My silver CD wall
– Knowing that if we lose something it has to be in one of three rooms.
– Scribbling on the walls whenever I feel like it

Things I will be able to do now that we’re buying a house.
– Have enough space to trace and cut a pattern
– Recycle
– Play ‘Test Match Cricket – The Board Game’
– Send hewhofishes outside to potter in the garden
– Decorate!
– Walk to a decent local pub (not the best local pub, but still better than our current local pub which has naked ladies on the walls and its food menu is toasted sandwiches)
– Have a chaise lounge
– Have more than 3 people over at any one time.
– Sit on the balcony in a deck chair
– See the Australia day fireworks without leaving the house
– Have kitchen appliances specifically a mix master
– Take nice photos of my knitting

Things that probably won’t change
– Me being able to find scissors
– The frequency that I wash the floors
– Being sober enough to see the Australia day fireworks
– Not having enough space for all my doctor who merch
– All the clutter

There’s still plenty of time for the deal to fall apart, but a girl can dream.

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FO#21 – it’s a blanket!

I only have two WIPs left!!
And I’m up to the sleeves on one of them!

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But I have two left (not including a pair of socks that I intend to frog) because I finished off this beauty.

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I even made my bed for the occasion. (Slightly more difficult as HeWhoFishes and I both aren’t good at sharing a blanket. So we have one each. Which pretty much throws the whole making the bed thing out the window. At least it does in my head.)

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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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