Star Wars Fabric Gift Bag

It’s my brother’s birthday today and I spent 20 minutes this morning making him a fabric zipper gift bag.

I was aiming for ‘eco-friendly’ as I didn’t want to use wrapping paper which would just get thrown away. At least he can reuse the bag.

And I haven’t sewn anything for a few months…I’m just chuffed I didn’t have to look up which way to place the fabric, I figured it out all by my little self!

My friend Lizzie bought me the fabric a few weeks ago (thank you!) and there is enough left to do something else with it.

The nerd in me loves the fact that Halloween Darth Vader is a skeleton…in Return of the Jedi you see him briefly as a skeleton when he gets electrocuted. That fabric was designed by a true believer…

I just did a basic bag and inside there is his card, a couple of books, a pack of posh cookies and some loose chocolates. He doesn’t read this blog so don’t panic!

It was good to get the sewing machine out again.

That was basically my only finished make of the week. I’ve also cast on a new knitted baby cardigan and made a pom pom for a baby hat I finished a few days ago. But it’s all been writing still…no time to craft anymore!

See you soon 🙂

Knitted Baby Hat Done!

I started knitting a baby hat a few nights ago and finished it last night. It just needs a pom pom on the top and then it’s completely finished!

I love the pattern, it was quick and easy to do, just rib and stocking stitch.

The pattern was number JB 010 by James C. Brett.

I bought the pattern from Deramores. You can buy it using this (affiliate) link here.

The wool was from Hobbycraft and is by The Women’s Institute. I loved the feel of it, but when I came to knit up with it, it knitted up really tight. So there isn’t much stretch with it.

I still like it, it just means with being so tight it’s a bit heavy and dense if that makes sense?

The perspective looks funny on the picture, but I did the hat in the 3rd size, which I think equates to 3 months old. I’m going to have a go at the cardigan above as it’s not a raglan and I could possibly finish it much quicker than the other one I finished a week or two ago.

Maybe I’ll see what yarn I have leftover from other projects, as I think this might be a bit heavy for a cardigan too. We’ll see!

All of the pieces in the pattern (a hat, a blanket and 2 cardigans) would all look good in Christmas colours.

So, that was a quick make that got done in 3 evenings. I’m pleased with the result, but I might have a look around for a lighter yarn with a bit more stretch…baby heads can be quite huge!!


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Ah, WordPress, How I Neglect Thee So!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted consistently here. I’ve got to say that writing on Medium has now taken over my life!

Just today I posted 2 posts over there, each about 1000 words. I’ve been posting there everyday and it’s shown in the stats and the payments.

But, I feel like I’m neglecting this lil blog a bit and I had this one before Medium! So, what else have I been up to?

Crafting

I’ve cast on a pink knitted baby hat and have done only about 6cm of the rib. I only started that last night, but it shouldn’t take me long and then next to cast on is a matching baby cardigan or jumper.

I’m still crocheting and knitting baby blankets and I haven’t done any more of my knitted socks! Too much writing happening that the knitting also takes a back seat!

I went through my fabric and wool drawers and boxes and have 2 bags of stuff I don’t want any more. I’m not sure what to do with them as a lot of charity shops can be funny about craft supplies. I might see if a local primary school wants any of it. There’s card blanks, paint brushes, fabric…all sorts.

And yet I still don’t seem to have any more room, after I got rid of 2 bags of craft supplies, 4 bags to the charity shop and 2 bags of paper recycling!

I was ruthless last week, going through all my old knitting magazines and patterns I’d pulled from magazines and put into my knitting folder. I threw out so much stuff that I realistically was never going to use.

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

Print on Demand

Not much done for RedBubble and Society 6, although I did update the shop banner yesterday. I made a sale on RedBubble yesterday (yay!) and that prompted me to have a look. I was excited for a moment as I thought I’d crossed the payment threshold, but nope! Still need another 20p haha!

I’m going to have to have a look this week at print on demand stuff, but it’s still fun. Just a bit neglected too at the moment.

Writing

Apart from Medium, I did set up an e-mail system but I just haven’t had chance to even look at that. I might do soon, but it’s 8pm now and I want to come off the computer soon! Tomorrow is Sunday, so I’ll see if I can send out an e-mail tomorrow.

I’ve also let Etsy and the Amazon book I was writing slide a bit…there is just not enough hours to write! I thought since I’m a fast typer that writing would be quick for me, but it’s been surprisingly time consuming. That’s without my second WordPress blog and my website which both need content.

Affiliates

On the plus side I have joined up and applied to join a few more affiliate schemes which is fun. I haven’t been using them in Medium posts as I submit them to publications and they each have their own rules about what links you can use. But I think I’ll try and do a few more in the near future!

I joined Cadbury’s affiliate scheme (you should be able to see a banner on the sidebar). Yay chocolate!

The whole passive income side of things is slow going, but still fun. The amount of things I’ve learned this year has been unreal!

Christmas

I can’t believe I’ve bought my first Christmas present of the year already. For some people this is early, for others late.

I don’t like leaving it all to the last minute anymore and I NEVER buy anything on Christmas Eve – too last minute, rushed and busy!

I bought my brother a few books and ordered another one. And the fact that it was double points at Waterstones until today…well so much the better!

I’ve decided not to make any more decorations this year, either sewn or knitted as I have no room to store them! Maybe some people might get a mini knitted stocking or something like that, but I’m not doing big things. Need to focus on other crafty things!

Saying that though, I might make another hat or some mittens or myself if I have time. Socks and baby stuff come first though…

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Anyway, that was a bit of a ramble through my head and where I’m at right now.

Still plodding on with things, not as much crafting going on as I would like, but I’m sure I will make a lot of progress with things now that I finished my jumper a few weeks ago.

Hope you’re having a fun and productive weekend and I’ll try to get back into the swing of posting a bit more regularly. 🙂


Here’s a few popular posts I’ve written on Medium:

Knitted Baby Cardigan Done

I just finished knitting the button bands for a test pattern. I wanted to have a go at knitting a raglan cardigan for a friend who is having a baby in December.

It’s taken a while as I was finishing a jumper for myself, but now that huge project is over and down with, I can concentrate on other smaller projects.

This pattern was by James C. Brett and it’s pattern number JB012. I did the bottom cardigan in the picture, in the same yarn as the pattern but in a different colour way to what was suggested.

I mostly decided to do a test as I’ve only ever tried a raglan once and it didn’t work out well for me. I knitted a chunky jumper years ago which looked OK, but I hadn’t quite mastered mattress stitch back then. Also I messed up the pattern anyway…so I thought I’d see what the actual process of raglan knitting was like, but on a smaller scale.

In a previous post I wrote how I had some trouble with the back of this one as the raglan edges looked really wonky. Remember this pic below?

Well, I’m pleased to announce it was all an optical illusion! And even if it really is a bit wonky, at least you can’t tell when it’s all stitched together!

I think I’ve sewn the seams together quite well on this, I’m definitely improving on my mattress stitch.

This is the back of it:

And a close up of the front:

Obviously I have still got to add the buttons.

Here’s my thoughts about the pattern.

In general it was really easy. I had to adjust the second front side as I think the pattern didn’t take into account the mirror image part of the raglan decreases at the top, but I managed (I could have knitted it wrong, but I don’t think so).

Overall it was a simple pattern. The pattern is raised on the front but it’s smooth on the inside, which I like.

I’m not so sure about the arms in stocking stitch though. If you look at the jumper option in the first picture (the middle one) you’ll see that the main pattern is continued on the sleeves which I think looks better.

The neckline was simple to do.

What I have issues with is the button band. The white coloured button band was picked up and knitted perfectly. The other one, with the button holes looks a right mess. It’s because you had to decrease and increase in a rib pattern to make the button holes which I found so frustrating and difficult. It could have explained that part in a tiny bit more detail. So, I had to just make up part of it – some of the rib bits have only 1 stitch!

Also, when doing the neckline and the button bands, you picked up and knitted the stitches and then did a row of knitting before starting the rib which to me gives a bit of a raised and bulky line running between where you picked up stitches and the main pieces. Does that make sense? I don’t know, maybe only I can see it because I know it’s there!

But overall, it wasn’t too difficult to do and looks OK.

As it was a test knit, I only used what yarn I had. I don’t think it works well in a variegated yarn. I think if I did this pattern again I would use one colour all the way through.

But honestly, I’m not sure if I’ll do this pattern again. I have another leaflet with another cardigan in and I think I might try that instead. I could still donate this one or give it to a friend for her child’s dolls!

I believe I got the pattern from Deramores online shop if you wanted to try it yourself.

Current Knitting WIPs

After finishing my orange knitted jumper last week, I now have more time to concentrate on knitting other items. Here’s a list of what’s on my needles at the moment.

Sock Yarn Shawl

I’m doing a simple garter stitch shawl in 4ply sock yarn. I started this at the end of last year, and I’ve only just picked it up again, but honestly, there’s no rush for this, so it’s my ‘do a few rows here and there’ kind of project. I love the colours and I’ve only done about 30 rows. Slow going but fun going!

The yarn is by West Yorkshire Spinners (Passionfruit Cooler colour)and you can get it here from The Knitting Network:

https://tidd.ly/3F8P23Y

Socks

I cast on the first sock yesterday and I’ve just done a rows of ribbing so far. I hate using DPNs but I’m determined to get the hang of socks. I have so much sock yarn to use up!

I’m doing a basic vanilla sock yarn pattern by Winwick Mum and it’s going well so far.

I’ve done a lone, single sock before many years ago. That took me 3 weeks to do and put me off doing the other one! So, I’m starting all over again, with a different pattern and yarn and we’ll try and make it to 2 socks this time, shall we?!

Baby Cardigan Test Knit

A friend is having a baby in December and I wanted to try a raglan cardigan pattern. I really hate raglan patterns, but I like the look of the finished object! I tried to knit myself a raglan jumper a few years ago and struggled with sewing it together as I found the sleeves really awkward!

This is just a quick knit in a newborn size and so far I’ve done the fronts and back pieces and 1 sleeve, with the 2nd sleeve rib done and now I’m working on the main part of it. Then I just need to sew it all together and do the button bands and neck edgings.

If I like the look of it and think it wasn’t too bad to sew up, then I’ll cast on another one in a different colour yarn! With matching hat, mitts and bootees of course!

Baby Blanket

I think quite a few posts ago I said I wanted to knit the same friend an entrelac blanket. Well, that’s been changed slightly as I think that would take me AGES to make and 2 months isn’t enough time! So, I’m doing a different lace pattern blanket and that’s going to be quite small, so ideal for a pram. And I’m also making a squishy crochet blanket (see below) which will be bigger and have more uses.

I chose a dark pink and purple held double as I’m sure she’ll be getting a lot of baby pink items (for a girl) and I thought this was a different option to stand out. We’ll see what it looks like finished.

I tried to hold it up against the light so you could see the pattern, not sure if you can but it looks good so far.

Crochet Baby Blanket

A simple corner to corner crochet blanket. I have 3 balls of chunky yarn, I might see if I can do 2 for the increases and 2 for the decreases (obviously I need to get another ball of yarn).

So, that’s it for now.

Christmas is coming up and I wanted to knit a few small baubles and things, but honestly, I knitted so much Christmas stuff last year, that it isn’t even a priority right now. The baby things first and then I might see if I can cast on a tank top (sweater vest) for my Dad…I might get it started before Christmas, but I probably won’t get it finished!

And Christmas socks for me with Christmas sock yarn…and I have lots of spare DK yarn, so something to do with that…and neon yarn…

So many things I want to start, but I have 5 things on the go for definite now!

I think that’s enough to be getting on with…


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Knitted Orange Jumper Finally Finished!

It is the post you’ve all been desperately waiting on tenterhooks for! Don’t panic for it is here!

The Knitted Orange Jumper…is DONE!

Several years, 2 summers and mentioned in almost every blog post as that orange knitted jumper. I can’t believe it’s finally getting crossed off the list!

I still need to block it, which I’ll do this week sometime, but it looks like it is supposed to…which if you’ve ever seen some of my other attempts at following patterns, then you’ll know that’s not always a foregone conclusion.

And although I made a couple of silly mistakes on the back piece, the front is perfect and overall, there isn’t much actually wrong with the finished piece. I’ve actually sewn it together quite well too.

Can you tell how happy I am to have this finally finished?!

It fits, it’s snug and tight for a few reasons. Mainly I chose my size from the options instead of measuring myself. I think in future I’ll knit up a size or two as I prefer baggy/ slouchy sweaters to tighter fitting ones. It’s also a little shorter than I thought it would be when finished but again, I know for next time. But overall, it’s a success!

The pictures below show the neckline, the sleeve edging and the side seam, which I did using mattress stitch. I’ve always struggled with seaming and sewing items up neatly, but I’m chuffed with this! And the neckline I picked up in the right way so it all looks neat! 🙂

The pattern was from a magazine compendium and it was by Pat Menchini. Possibly called Cinnamon Spice, but I’m not sure.

I used 4 1/2 balls of wool. I bought 7, even though it suggested 5 or 6 balls. So, I have 2 1/2 leftover for another project later.

And the wool was really cheap from my local yarn shop. I used a different yarn to the pattern (in a similar shade) as my local yarn shop didn’t stock the one from the pattern and I was impatient!

I used King Cole Big Value Tweed DK in shade Rust (3029).

You can buy it here from Deramores if you like the look of it:

So…yeah, I’m pleased it’s finally ticked off my list! That makes 2 jumpers completed this year (my first 2 ever!). I’m moving onto other things now, but next year a knitting goal is to try a top down sweater. I’m knitting baby clothes and blankets now, as well as a sock yarn shawl for me and I just cast on a pair of socks yesterday.

I’ll make a post with all my current WIPs together as I actually just took some photos today in the right light!

Hope you’re all having a happy and productive Monday! 🙂


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Argh…Orange Jumper Is In One Piece Now!

After almost a year of writing variations of “...and still on the list is the Knitted Orange Jumper” I can now say that the front AND back are done and…wait for it…no, still wait for it…

THEY’RE IN ONE PIECE NOW!

YAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYY!

Progress has finally been made, I’ve made a bit of a mega push lately to try and get it done and yesterday I FINALLY managed to finish the front.

Today I’ve sewn up the left shoulder and done the ribbing for the neckband, hopefully I’ll be able to sew up the right shoulder tonight (it’s almost 9pm now) and then do the sleeve edges and finish sewing up the sides tomorrow, and then it’s done.

The sleeve bits might take a day or two longer, but I’m so pleased to be able to say that the end is most definitely in sight.

I’ve had a bad cold over the weekend, I couldn’t stand the thought of sitting at a computer and writing, but sitting in bed and knitting? That I could do!

I started this on 2018!!! Did a few rows of ribbing and put it down until summer last year when I picked it up and did the back. I picked it up in August this year and have basically spent 2 months on and off working on the front.

I took the picture below yesterday before I finished the front. I’ll wait until tomorrow for more pics but yay! It’s almost done!

Updates and Life Stuff

This post has the F word in your face, so if you’re a sensitive soul then look away now!

It has been a week or two since I’ve been on WordPress. I feel a bit like a traitor…I’ve jumped ship, so to speak!

Writing

I’ve been writing so much on Medium lately, that it’s kind of taken over my writing life. There’s no more words leftover for on here! I’ve written over 10,000 words since Friday, they are literally pouring out of me. LITERALLY.

And it’s been my best month for stories, stats and earnings. Mostly because I’ve been submitting to publications on there and getting the hang of how to write, if not viral pieces, then at least pieces that hook people in and make them want to read on.

It’s been fun! This piece was published in Writer’s Blokke publication on Medium yesterday. It’s now my second most viewed story of all time! No surprises why when you read the title – How Medium Has Turned Into Lord Voldemort!

And this one just got published into Fuck Niches publication…

Screenshot by me of a publication I submitted that valuable, information-rich article to!!

Because apparently I just had to write about Jedi Force Farts…


Knitting

Anyway, enough about Medium, I’ve been trying to get more progress done on my orange knitted jumper. I’m kind of sad to say only about 12 rows or so since the last update. But it’s hard to find the time to concentrate on knitting at the moment when it’s all about the writing!

Last night for example, everyone else in the house had gone to bed and I was busy trying to type quietly at my computer as a ‘great’ story idea popped into my head and I just HAD to write it down! I came off the loud keyboard and onto my iPad and used the app to continue writing until almost midnight. And then sleepy time.

So when is there time to knit?!

But so far, I haven’t made any mistakes in the main pattern. It’s not a difficult pattern as long as you pay attention to what you’re knitting. When I did the back last year I made a few silly booboos which only I can see because I know they’re there. But this time round…perfect!

The front of my orange knitted jumper

I’ve also done a few more rows of my Sock Yarn Shawl…but since it’s really thin wool, you can’t really tell!

It’s September and it’s been so sunny and warm lately. I think I might go for a walk and try to get away from the computer desk…even though I don’t want to!

Banana Bread Recipe

I made a banana bread loaf on Saturday to use up some old bananas. I used a recipe by Kirsty Allsopp, let me see if I can find it.

Ah! Here we go…

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-4841032/Kirstie-s-Real-Kitchen-Banana-cake.html

I didn’t add the salt or vanilla as I have it written down somewhere and I obviously didn’t copy all if it! Also I think there are several versions of this floating around the inter webs. I wouldn’t add vanilla to something like this anyway so…it’s optional, I guess!

But it’s quite yummy!

The only thing I would say would be to use less than 4 bananas…maybe 3 medium sized ones. But it depends on how banana-ry you want it!


Tweet A Bookshop!

Getting used to using Twitter, I decided to Tweet Waterstones (a bookshop chain here in the UK) to see if they could recommend any books about writing (for writer’s). Here’s what they had to say:

Screenshot by me!

They recommended On Writing by Stephen King, On Writers and Writing by Margaret Atwood and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

I’ve got and read the first 2, but not the 3rd. I’m going to ask for it for either my Birthday or Christmas

Still getting my head around Twitter…but I’m getting there!

What else?

A lot, but this post is taking me so long to write that I’m going to have to go and get a drink and run a few errands now!

Hope you had a great weekend and are on the way to a fun and productive week. As for me, you won’t be surprised to hear I’m going to try and write a bit more today and maybe, if there’s time do a bit of knitting…:)


Sign up to join Medium here (if you sign up using my referral link I’ll receive a portion of your membership fee at no extra cost to you).

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Christmas Crochet Blanket Done!

Christmas Crochet Blanket

A finished object – woo hoo!

It is done. Finished. Completed. All the ends woven in and everything!

I started this at the end of last year with the last scraps of 2020’s Christmas knits.

Typically, there wasn’t quite enough to finish it in one go, so I waited until now to buy a couple more balls of yarn to finish it off.

It’s not the biggest blanket I’ve ever made, but it’s certainly one of the prettier ones! And so festive!

It’s a simple Granny Square pattern. The old ones are the best!

I really like the colours of this one. But, as I have loads of homemade blankets already, I think I’m going to donate this one to charity somewhere. I’ve already donated to Knit For Peace in the past, so this time I think I’ll have a look at Woolly Hugs.

They send blankets to UK hospitals, both to maternity wards and for older children and teenagers too.

Here is what it looks like as a finished object.

It’s difficult to get an idea of the true size, but I’d say it was just over a metre squared.

I really love it and it’s not immediately obvious that I used two different kinds of red yarn!

You can get the yarn from The Knitting Network here:

https://tidd.ly/2Wsp5Ls


[This post contains affiliate links which means if you click the link and make a purchase, I get a small commission of that purchase at no extra cost to you!]


Some of my latest posts on Medium this week:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/does-it-matter-when-you-post-an-article-8703739844d2

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/redbubble-vs-society-6-f164509c276a

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/what-youtube-has-taught-me-about-homesteading-in-the-usa-f821d0e2c728

Sign up to join Medium here (if you use this link I’ll receive a portion of your membership fee at no extra cost to you).


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9 Months Blogging

Tempus Fugit when you’re having fun!

Fun writing, that is!

This blog has grown little by little since launching it in January, I’ve gone off on several tangents and there isn’t really a particular niche other than Show And Tell about stuff I’ve been making, but it’s still fun!

I’m working on my own self hosted website and have another little free blog almost ready to go, all I need is a few actual posts!

As of writing (9 Sept) I have 2965 views in total.

I haven’t blogged every day or even logged onto WordPress everyday so it could be higher if I pushed, but that’s OK. I think I’ll hit over 3000 this week.

In fact I’m certain of it. How? Because any post with stats in does well…lol! And if that sounded tacky, well, it’s understandable. People want to see where other people are so they can judge their own level of success…or just be plain nosy. It’s human nature!

So, what else has happened as a result of writing this blog?

I joined and write on Medium and any post over there about writing or Medium itself does well. How meta to write about writing because people like to read about writing and then write about what they’ve read…about writing!

Did you know I’ve made money from this tiny WordPress blog? Not much, not even enough for a cup of tea but it goes to show it IS possible if you have the inclination and the know-how.

I’ve added a few affiliate links here and there and why not if I’m linking to places anyway?!

I’ve opened several print on demand stores, the one I’ve talked about the most is my RedBubble store but I’ve started to upload to Society 6 and Spoonflower this week too after opening accounts and putting them to the side.

Society 6 is a pain to upload to as there are so many different HUGE file sizes needed and Spoonflower is awkward getting the right ratios for patterns…if I upload a pattern will it turn out gigantic or minuscule? I can’t figure it out yet!

The Substack e-mail newsletter has been created but honestly put aside for a fortnight as I wasn’t well. That’s going to start up properly soon.

I’ve joined Pinterest and Twitter (only just yesterday for the latter) and Instagram, but I don’t think I want to focus on that at the moment. Pinterest has 1.9K views a month, up from 23 at the start of August. That’s progress!

And uploaded a few notebooks to Amazon KDP, but that needs a LOT of work.

I’ve opened but not yet launched an Etsy shop. Still working on things. And I’m writing a book too.

All from one little blog. Things can snowball if you let them!

One more Quarter to go before the year is out. Let’s see what I mange to do before then!


Sign up to Medium with my referral link here (if you use this link then I’ll receive a portion of your Medium fees at no extra cost to you)

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/membership


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5 Things This Week

I’ve been a bit quiet over here this week but I’ve been busy beavering away at other things. Even managed to get in a spot of crafting or two.

This week in general has been a week of little but long errands, like yesterday was my car’s MOT, but I went to a new place so had to drive a bit further than usual, so it was a little but long errand!

And there have been more appointments for people and picking up and that sort of thing, which leaves you feeling you only have half a day to do stuff.

Anyway, this is what I’ve been up to this week:


1. I joined Twitter!

I had such a busy day yesterday with the errands, writing 3 articles for Medium, picking up people, doing household chores etc. that I decided to join a new social media platform too. I used to have a personal account years ago, in fact I only joined it then because I was forced to for a university project. I’ve never understood it much or loved it in all honesty, but I’m trying to be more social and business minded on the internet.

Which means that Pinterest just isn’t enough! Whilst I do have an Instagram account for Woolly Orbit, I only have 3 crappy posts on there, I’m beginning to hate Instagram with all the videos and I don’t use Facebook. Which is what I’ll have to eventually do if I want to progress with the sharing and marketing side of things, but anyway back to Twitter.

I have a few tweets and I’m just getting started, so stuff will change in the future, especially when I finally sort out branding and everything!

I’m @woollyorbit if you want to come say hello and help me figure out the platform!!

It also means I can do this here:


2. I’ve started to upload to my Society 6 shop

I joined a few months ago, but have been focussing on RedBubble. This week I looked at both Spoonflower and Society 6. Spoonflower needs a lot before I launch patterns as I need to order samples and so I’m going to wait until I have a lot of designs uploaded and ready to go.

But as of today, I have 5 designs live on Society 6. And OMG what a pain to get the file sizes! I’m glad I kept the Photoshop subscription as some of the file sizes are HUGE. And you need different dimensions – square, vertical, horizontal etc.

BUT I like the products they have over there…they have bar stools and deckchairs and yoga mats. They have a credenza! I’d never even heard of that before…but I can stick a simple design on one!

Screenshot (I can do those now) of a credenza on Society 6

I like the furniture they have on Society 6, although not so much the prices, but you know – furniture!

So, I’m going to keep going with that, even though it takes me a lot longer to upload each design onto the platform.

https://society6.com/woollyorbit

So that’s fun!


3. Medium – Publications and More

I won’t go into the details on here, but if you want to get your stuff read on Medium, you have to submit to publications. Which I haven’t been doing because I’ve been focussing on my writing. Also, the submitting and signing up process scares me!

Anyone on Medium can create a publication. They are just another part of the platform.

Imagine if you could create a group blogging section on WordPress and invite other bloggers or accept articles on relevant topics to your group. That’s kind of like what the publications are like on Medium, except the bigger ones get thousands of views and followers, and so your post is more likely to get seen and therefore read by more people. Hope that makes sense!

Anyway, not only did I write 3 posts on there yesterday, but I also left an add me as a writer comment on my first publication which might take a while to get accepted (he does say on the submission guidelines he only checks it once or twice a month). In the meantime, I’m making a list of potential publications that could work for me and I’m going to try and submit a few articles to them in the coming days and weeks.

First I need to spend a bit of time actually writing a REALLY good article!

I do have my own publication which is called Woolly Orbit Passive Income (no surprises there!) but I’m not doing much with it. Maybe now I have Twitter I can promote the publication itself on there as well as the articles themselves?

So, that’s another side of Medium I’ve been looking at.

If you want to follow my writing on Medium, you can subscribe via e-mail here:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/subscribe

Or, if you want to join Medium you can use my referral link here (if you use this link then I’ll receive a portion of your Medium fees at no extra cost to you)

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/membership


4. I’ve been watching…

Simple Living Alaska

Skeindeer Knits

This Is Kachi


5. Finishing Miscellaneous Craft Bits And Bobs

A bit of crafting done this week but not much ‘big’ progress!

I’m just sewing in the ends of my Christmas Crochet Blanket right now and then I need to decide what to do with it. Where to donate it.

I love it, I love the colours and the fact it’s a Christmas blanket…but I have 5 blankets already and they’re just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. So, to charity with this one!

I’m also doing one more round of black cross stitch for the placemat I finished last week. I might see how much thread is left and do another round after that…but there’s not much black left. I just thought it would be easier to sew up if there was a bit of wriggle room when sewing the edges.

I’ve done about 10 rows on my knitted orange jumper. I am getting sick of writing that phrase on here…knitted orange jumper, knitted orange jumper! It doesn’t even have a pattern name, I don’t think! I’m on the home stretch for it now though.

Here’s a previous post about it.

And I’m about to cast on a pair of vanilla socks by Winwick Mum.

There’s no photos because they don’t look all that much different from previous posts for everything here…and I’ve been writing at the computer for hours today and I want a break!!


So, that’s pretty much it for now. It’s been another week of half days.

And a heatwave…29 degrees celsius yesterday and the day before. I thought summer was over, in fact I was getting ready to put all my summer clothes away!

I’ll try and post a bit more over here, but you know, I get carried away writing!


Two of my most recent posts on Medium:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/what-youtube-has-taught-me-about-homesteading-in-the-usa-f821d0e2c728

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/how-to-update-your-redbubble-store-ed8085fea436

LATEST POSTS:

Hand Salve

I had a few ingredients to use up so I thought I’d make a new hand salve/ cuticle balm.

A lotion bar type thing…except I pour it into tiny plastic pots which saves on a lot of the mess and you can wash out and reuse when they’re empty.

I’m not an expert at this kind of thing, but I do like to have a play around and it’s really easy to do.

Basically I used equal parts of beeswax, runny oil and a hard oil or butter. If you want it softer, add more runny oil or take out some of the beeswax. If you like it really hard, make sure you have more beeswax or use harder butters.

I have a huge tub of shea butter that I wanted to use up and I had exactly 1 1/2 cups of beeswax left, so that’s why everything is this amount! That makes a lot of mixture, but at least I got rid of a few bottles of oil!

The only ingredients I have left now apart from essential oils are shea butter and a bottle of sweet almond oil so I’ll have to find a recipe to use those up in the future.

The shea butter and beeswax I bought from an Etsy shop called Classikool (in the UK). They do food and body related ingredients with minimal packaging and I’ve bought from them several times in the past. They’ve always had fast shipping and their products have always been great. I’ve bought cocoa butter and other oils like Carrot Tissue, St John’s Wort and more.

Here’s the affiliate link to their shop below if you want to have a look:

https://tidd.ly/3n8aJLc


Here’s what I did:

First of all I melted the beeswax and shea butter in a double boiler (if you don’t have a double boiler you can do what I did, which is to use a jug for your ingredients in a pan of hot water).

Once they are all melted I added the runny oils, in this case Sweet Almond Oil and Jojoba Oil and mixed it all together until it’s all melted and clear.

I took it off the heat for a few minutes to cool down slightly before I added the Lemon, Rosemary and Bergamot essential oils.

You need to be careful with some essential oils as to the ratio/amount you put in, but I’ve done this before quite a few times, so I had a good idea when to stop!

Stir it all together and if you want to add any colouring to it, do it now. I like mine to look natural so I didn’t add any colouring.

I then poured the mixture into little plastic pots and left them to solidify at room temperature for the rest of the afternoon and got on with other stuff!

All done!

To use, just scrape/ scoop a bit out of the pot with your finger, and it should melt a bit on your fingers or your palm, just rub it into your hands.

I wouldn’t use this on my face, but it’s good for cuticles, hands and areas of rough skin. It’s really good for elbows and cracked heels…just put it on at night when you’re sitting down to give it a chance to sink in a bit!


These make really sweet and useful Christmas or Birthday gifts for people and they are SO easy to make! And they’re handmade in re-usable packaging!

I thought I’d try a stocking mould I’ve had for a while and never used…it came out quite good if I say so myself! But I didn’t have a tin big enough for it, so it’s in a plastic bag for now.

It goes without saying that you need to double check your ingredients and recipes for this kind of thing. This isn’t really an in depth tutorial kind of post.

For essential oils there are guidelines for use with children (basically use less!) and about how much you use in each recipe. Some essential oils can only be used in small amounts as they can react with the sun on your skin…so be careful!


Recent posts on Medium:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/bestsellers-i-didnt-like-but-everyone-else-loved-31aad1fe4394

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/my-autumn-knitting-projects-c5d6e57e6c13

If you want to sign up for Medium, you can use my referral link here below. If you use this link then I get a part of your membership fee each month at no extra cost to you.

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/membership


[This post contains affiliate links which means if you click the link and make a purchase, I get a small commission of that purchase at no extra cost to you!]


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Turning One Thing Into Another

I finished the stitching part of my latest cross stitch project last week (I just need to sew it all up).

And I thought I would have a go at adding it to my RedBubble store, just to see what it looked like. It looks pretty funky on the cushions I think!

The piece was stitched out of fabric and threads I already had and had no other use for. So, I turned things that were likely to be thrown away into a future piece of ‘art’. It’s going to be a placemat/ trivet type thing once I get around to sewing it up.

I then turned that into other products by taking a picture of it and uploading it onto RedBubble.

You could do this with knitting and crochet projects too. I’ve seen some funky designs with pictures of patchwork quilts that have been added to places like RedBubble.

So, you can make a little bit of extra pocket money from a project you’ve already sewn/ knitted/ stitched etc. I mean, even if you took pictures of things you made for other people, you could still make money!

Just a quick idea to turn your projects into cash without much extra work!

You can find my RedBubble store here if you’re interested. I’m in the process of sorting it out and updating collections and banners etc. for the autumn.

WoollyOrbit2000.redbubble.com


Other recent RedBubble designs below:

Follow me on Pinterest @woollyorbit

Knitting Everything!

Knitting WIPs and Acquisitions

I am on fire!

I’ve got the knitting bug again after focussing on cross stitch and crochet for the past month or two. I’m still going strong with my orange knitted jumper, still got about half of the front to do on that.

But today I sorted out a sock pattern and got the pieces all in a bag together – the pattern, yarn and needles. I’ve only ever done one sock in my life before (a literal ONE sock!) and I haven’t really been bothered about them since!

But, I have 5 balls of socks yarn to use up…which by my reckoning is 5 pairs of socks!

I’m going to try a simple vanilla sock pattern by Winwick Mum which you can find here:

https://www.winwickmum.co.uk/sockalong

It’s all in the project bag and ready to go once I make lots more progress or even finish my jumper!

The orange jumper!

I also picked up a sock yarn shawl which I started last year and is a really easy pattern but it’s sock yarn. Which is really thin and therefore takes an age to get anywhere fast with it.

The colours are gorgeous and autumnal and I got these two balls of yarn from a trip to London a few years ago, from John Lewis. The only department store left in the country with a decent haberdashery section haha!

Haberdashery. I love that word. Did any of you ever read the book Truckers by Terry Pratchett? In the 90’s there was a TV show about it, maybe stop motion? About gnomes who move from the countryside into a department store…I remember asking mum what haberdashery meant!

Also, going off on a tangent now, if you want to exclaim anything in shock or horror, try either ‘Bargain’s Galore!’ or ‘Prices Slashed!’…it’s what the gnomes say who were raised in the department store.

Anyway…back to knitting! The shawl is in easy reach now!


So, projects on the go are:

  • Knitted orange jumper
  • Sock Yarn Shawl
  • Practise knitted baby cardigan

And soon to be cast on are:

  • Socks
  • Entrelac baby blanket

Maybe a few Christmas baubles too – I still have some spare Christmas yarn to use up…I want it out of my stash!


I also bought a huge ball of wool from Deramores – 400g! I’m going to try and knit my Dad something if I get everything finished quickly. I doubt I’ll finish it before Christmas as I’m not a super fast knitter but I’ll try!

It’s a tank top pattern (I had to google that as I couldn’t remember what we called a sweater vest here in the UK!). It’s got 3 rows of cables and is something I would wear! I’ve no idea about men’s sizes so unfortunately there’s no way I get his size surreptitiously…I’d have to be obvious and ask him for it!

I managed to get it £5 off as I’m signed up to their mailing list and I fell for their promotional offer where you spun a wheel every day for rewards. The yarn is 80% acrylic and 20% wool so it’s nice and warm! I got it in the Forge colourway which is a medium grey.

If you want to have a look at the wool here’s the link:


[This post contains affiliate links which means if you click the link and make a purchase, I get a small commission of that purchase at no extra cost to you!]

Follow me on Pinterest @woollyorbit

August Goals Update

Craft goals:

  1. Try and get the front of my orange jumper finished, or at the very least a lot of progress made.
  2. Try and finish the sample baby cardigan I’m knitting. So far got the back and one side done.
  3. Do a few more rows on my sock yarn shawl.
  4. Do more on crochet baby blanket.
  5. Cast on large heirloom knitted blanket, I think I’m going to go for entrelac! :O
  6. Finish sewing together fabric baby dress.
  7. Find a simple sock pattern for beginners and cast on.

The only one of those I’ve made much progress with is the first one. I’ve done so much with the orange jumper, only about 10cm to go before I start to shape the neckline. But I also picked up another crochet project not listed here and worked on that this month as well as finishing a cross stitch project.

And I sorted my craft boxes out yesterday…I had a big hoover and clear out and did a spring clean. Which meant I found my sock yarn shawl and did a few more rows.

The picture below is an old one from January, but it shows the yarn which is my favourite colour way EVER in yarn! It’s West Yorkshire Spinners I think. Sock yarn in wool and nylon so it’s not soft and snuggly, but it’ll feel better once it’s a lot bigger. I’ve only done about 10 more rows after what I have here…oh dear!

So, 1 and 3 had a bit more work done on them but that was pretty much it. There was crafting, just not the stuff I put on the list!


Work goals:

  1. I am opening my Etsy shop this month regardless of how many listings there are.
  2. I am publishing my book regardless of how finished it is!!!
  3. I want to post an article on Medium every day. Make a push for it!
  4. Join Fiverr.
  5. Join Substack.
  6. Spoonflower have 10 designs up.

These were my August goals.

I did manage to get about 20 posts written and published on Medium. And I joined Substack. But, the last week or 2 I’ve felt a bit bleurgh so I’ve slowed down with creating and uploading content and writing and everything.

I’ve uploaded several notebook designs to Amazon KDP. And to RedBubble too.

There are a few Halloween-ish black and orange designs on RedBubble and a few Back To School ones. I need to re-do the branding of the shop as it’s a bit random at the moment!

I love the chalk font for this simple design!

But I haven’t done much on RedBubble in the last two weeks to be honest.

WoollyOrbit2000.redbubble.com

Most importantly with work stuff, I’ve started work on the printables book again. And although the Etsy shop isn’t open, it soon will be!


So, there has been progress, just not the sort that I can actually show a lot of here!

I guess what I didn’t manage here will roll over to September. But it’s Q4 nearly…gotta think about Halloween, Autumn, Christmas, New Year…

I might make a September goals post in a few days once I’ve had time to think about priorities for this month.


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