Late to the podcast party

I’ve just discovered that I can listen to podcasts at work! Well rather, I’ve discovered Stitcher which means I don’t have to plug my phone into my computer.
This technology has apparently been around for a while because I’ve lost a bit of geek cred thinking this was a new concept.

Pod With No Name is the reason I discovered this ‘new’ technology. The fabulous @sebsharp has been plugging this podcast for ages and for good reason. It was an entertaining half hour of Australian accents and hilarity.

After that I thought about what to listen to next. So I typed in Doctor Who.
I checked out a few different podcasts, giving them a 2 minute chance to impress, but only listened to Doctor Who: Radio Free Skaro all the way through.
I liked the way it felt like I was hanging out with people who talked the way I did and loved doctor who the same way I do.
In real life I only have one person who I can chat with about all things who and that’s my little brother. Who is very awesome but it’s nice to have more than one opinion on things.

(On a side note I am superduper excited to be seeing Doctor Who at the cinema on Saturday night!!!!)

So then I thought I’d see what popped up when I typed in knitting.
There is a heap of knitting podcasts which again I gave the 2 minute test to.
I listened to Jane and Jen knit funny, which was quite entertaining.

And then I found Electric Sheep.
If you haven’t listened to her podcast before I cannot recommend it highly enough.

I have listened to all the back catalogue that stitcher will allow. She has a wicked sense of humour and I have snorted my tea once or twice whilst listening.

I have messaged my boyfriend about a pub next to a yarn store that we need to go when we’re in Europe next year from her recommendation.
I’ve been inspired to make infused gin again. (I have made lavender infused gin before but I don’t think I posted about it, nevertheless it was delicious.)
I have now made a cardigan which she spoke about which was going to be today’s blog post, but I’ve blabbed on about podcasts for long enough already.

My partner got home from work while I was sitting on the couch listening to her Christmas Panto and I was laughing so hard he thought I was broken or drunk or both.

So if you have never listened to a podcast before, or have never listened to Electric Sheep, both have the Beks Stamp of Approval.

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Everything is almost right with the world

I have now completely my first ever provisional cast on.

I’m not sure it should have taken me 45 minutes and involved scissors, swearing, and cider.

So I have the toe of the sock completed and I’ve learnt something.
If you’re going to try a new technique don’t start with fingering weight.

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So I’ve now starting on the foot part of the sock and immediately I feel calmer.
Like there was a something missing before.
This sock was chosen as my Team Bee mascot project. I am loving the pattern. It has one tricky row, and the rest is straight forward, I’ve finished one repeat and have got it down pat.

I am loving this yarn. It’s from yarn vs zombies and it is a dream to work with. It’s flying quickly through my fingers and I have to stop myself from pressing it against my face.

I’m no sure I’m loving the two together though.
I think the pattern is getting lost in the colours.
So I’m not sure what to do.
Do I start again with another yarn?
Do I give the provisional cast on another try?
Do I keep going and wait and see if I fall in love with the complete sock?

So everything is right with the world because I have socks on my needle, but I can’t shake this feeling that it’s not quite the right socks.

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A tale of 4 cowls

My best friend has the misfortune of supporting a football team with terrible colours.
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Its also difficult to find nice options in the predominantly male clothing options (or icky t-shirts) available.
So I was thinking about this and made a drunken yarn purchase.
I found this yarn on etsy and just had to!

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So now I’m trying to find the perfect pattern.

I’ve narrowed it down to the following. Clicking the photo will take you to it’s ravelry page.

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Weeble-wobble cowl.
This has interesting construction and I’m interested to see how it’s made.

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Stratosphere Cowl
This one has an interesting zig zag part but would show off the different colours really well.

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Chevron Sunshine
I’ve not done chevrons before and think that this pattern would also show off the brown & gold nicely.

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Woodstack
I really like the lace on this. It would be a bit of a challenge but I still think its elegant without being too much.

Ultimately the decision will be made by the recipient, but tell me what your favourite is.
Is there a pattern you’d recommend? Is the perfect pattern not in my shortlist?

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#4KCBWDAY3 – Infographic

I have a thing for flow charts and process mapping.
It’s something that I really enjoy and I’ve always think I’ve been good at finding ways to make things more efficient and (I’m trying not to say cutting out non-value adding tasks but I think I’ve outed myself as a bit of a geek anyway so hell) removing non-value adding tasks.
I like to say laziness is the mother of all invention.

So putting together a flowchart to illustrate my knitting project decision making process seemed like a no brainier.

And I’ve now rambled on which probably defeats the purpose of creating an Infographic.

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It’s a wonder I get anything done at all!!!

If I was doing a process analysis on that one I think there’s a lot of non-value added activity there.
But that’s half the fun.
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Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – Day 1 #4KCBWDAY1

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This year I’m not on holiday (boo) like I was during last year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week so I get to participate (yay!).

I am so excited to be participating in the fantastic initiative which is Knitting and Crochet Blogging Week.
For those who don’t know what’s going on (like I did last year, I had no idea it was even a thing until I noticed knitting bloggers mysteriously blogging about the same thing at the same time) Knitting and Crochet Blog Week is a week of posting, where every day is about a different topic. The topics are decided here, and some of them are taking me out of my comfort zone, as well as making me think creatively about knitting.
I still think the best part is reading what other people have to say on the same subject.

Day 1 (4KCBWDAY1) is deciding which of the 4 houses I fit in to.
I could quite easily be a peacock because, well, look at my hair, clearly I’m attracted to bright colours. I drool over brightly coloured yarns on etsy, and day dream about tardis blue, pale sunshine yellow, and every shade of pink.

My Manatee side is me relaxed whilst taking comfort in what I’m creating. Its curling up on the couch with my favourite crocheted blanket, needles gently clicking in my hands.

The curious part of me which wanted to learn knitting in the first place is definitely House Monkey. My Monkey side also keeps me learning new things, trying new patterns, and taking me out of my comfort zone.

But they’re all just parts of me. I’m a Peacock in the Summer, a Manatee in the Winter, and a Monkey when restlessness strikes. I’m always a Bee.

I feel unproductive whenever I don’t have needles in my hand, and I often drift off to sleep visualising the last stitch pattern I was working on. (If you were wondering, rib stitch is particularly calming to visualise, more so than actually knitting it.)
I’ve demonstrated that I’m poly-WIP-erous on many occasions, just as a Bee should be.

Knitting is a way to improve my patience and attention span. Though I still gravitate to quick projects, particularly if one gets too boring.

So I’m proud to be Team Bee!

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the post i meant to write

So this is the post I wanted to write last night before my lovely new yarn became horribly tangled and I spent all last night trying to untangle it. And it’s still tangled!

I bought a new toy!

I am now the proud owner of a ball winder.

Spotlight has a 30% off everything sale at the moment, so I went down on Saturday to pick up some more yarn for my hitchhiker (as I had underestimated its requirements). I managed to nab the last ball of that colour (hurrah!) before buying two more colourways for more hitchhikers. I’m really enjoying that pattern.

Then on Sunday, my Bloke needed to pick up a part for a fishing reel and the fishing store just happened to be right next door to a Spotlight! Not being the usual store I go to I had more of a poke round at the different range, and happened to spot the ball winder.
My usual store doesn’t stock these so I hadn’t seen them before. I couldn’t resist. The price tag was $50, but with the sale and being a club member it came in at half price. Bargain!
I also dreamt up a plan for another blanket with pretty ocean colours. Now I need to find a pattern to suit.

I practiced winding the colours for my planned blanket, and thought that I was doing pretty well. Well enough to try the lovely skein from Ladybug Fiber which came in the mail a few days ago (with a bonus ladybug stitch marker) which is in the exact colours of my football team.

The back of the chair method of ball winding worked well until the final stages. I then tried to use my hands like they do in movies, but it quickly spiralled out of control.

I’ll chalk this one up to experience. Although if anyone has any tips I’ll be grateful.

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Hitchhiker

I may be the last knitter around to cast on Hitchhiker going by the project page on ravelry. But last year I told my mum I would knit her a pattern of her choosing and that’s what she chose.
She has been grateful for some truly awful knitted gifts from when I first started, and I’m trying to even the score.

So I cast on Hitchhiker with a bamboo viscose yarn, which is really nice to knit with.

So far I’ve ripped it back 3 times. Only a knitter knows just how difficult counting to 6 can be.

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Ps. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway

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Summer Sky Mitts – FO 7

I finished off the mitts for my grandma in law. And I’m pleased with the way the turned out.
I’m always a little nervous adapting a sock pattern to mittens, but it worked.

After some trial and error the magic number to cast on was 50.
The summer sky pattern is over 21 stitches so I added a border of 4 knit stitches.

I kept trying them on, and when they were about ready for the thumb hole I worked back and forth slipping the first stitch. Then when I could close them up around my thumb I starting working in the round again.

Two at a time, magic loop makes sure the they’re exactly the same. One of the reasons I use it for almost everything that comes in pairs.

I almost wish they weren’t a gift.

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Giveaway Time!!!! with Piccadilly Lilly!!!!

I’d like to introduce you to Piccadilly Lilly.
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Lilly has a knack for finding cute fabrics and making them into pretty bows, hearts, and all sorts of lovely creations which you just want to adopt.
And somehow she found the most perfect fabric to suit my hair from the opposite side of the world!
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So to celebrate the grand opening of my etsy shop, I’ve paired up with Picadilly Lily to bring you a bow-themed giveaway!

If you’re the lucky winner you will receive
– 2 ravioli bows (from Lilly)
– 1 bow cup cozy (from Me)
+ 1 felt ring (made by Lilly for good luck)

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(No wine was harmed in the photoshoot for this post.)

So here’s how you enter.
Please leave a comment for each entry.

Go to my brand spanking new etsy shop Sparkles Knits and favourite me.

Go to Piccadilly Lilly’s lovely shop and favourite her.

Plus you can also
Follow me on facebook
Follow me on twitter

Please comment if you’re already following me. I don’t want to penalise anyone just because you’re trend setters and ahead of the curve.

A random number generator will pick the winner from the comments!
Please make sure when you comment that you leave me a way to contact you.
And it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, I will ship internationally.
This giveaway will close on April 7th, and then I’ll draw the winner!

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I want to knit all the things!

I have so many different projects on my needles at the moment.

I have a meerkat which is all ready to sew together, but I just don’t want to. Sewing up is my least favourite part of knitting.

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I have a pair of fingerless gloves for my grandma in law. She lives down south where it’s colder, and reads on her kindle at night. So she needs something to keep her hands warm, but allows her to read. She is also one of the most amazingly creative souls I know. She is an sculptor, a sewer, a painter and makes some wonderful multi-textured artworks which I really ought to show you some time.
So she will really appreciate the work put into handmade gloves.
I don’t mind knitting for people who love my gifts.

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I’m still plodding away at Parcel. This week hasn’t been conducive to cables.
At some point it will all click again and I’ll spend a whole week knitting it, but this week was not that week.

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I also have my 10 stitch blanket and mini-mania on the go. Plus some other top-secret non-knitting projects (stay tuned!!)
All of this wants me to cast on something new!
But I’m resisting the temptation.

(This is typically the time when CaityRosey does one of her amazing posts showcasing all the pretty patterns she’s found this week – but I will resist. Just looking at all the pretty knitted dresses is testing my resolve)

Happy Knitting!!!

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