October Goals

I’m going to stick to crafty/ life goals for this post as I have MILLIONS (yes millions) of side hustle/ work goals and this post would rapidly turn into a 10,000 word book if I included those too!

Now that I’m reading over what I’ve written, I realise these are also autumn goals in general…it’s a lot for October and it’s already the 5th with no progress made!

1. Finish what I have started!

I have several projects on the hooks/ needles/ in the queue that have been on the go since the start of this year. I’m fed up of them to be quite frank. I want them off my needles before I cast on anything new.

Here’s what I have on the go at the moment:

  • Grey chunky knitted sweater
  • Grey Fisherman’s Rib knitted sweater
  • Green knitted tunic
  • Crocheted top
  • Halloween granny square blanket
  • Knitted blue baby cardigan
  • Chunky knitted hat in the round
  • Top down knitted sweater in natural fibres
  • Knitted lace cowl

And in my sewing queue are bags mostly…a few patterns and a few zipper bags. As well as another Tilly and the Buttons cardigan in a plain fabric.

So. What to focus on?

  • Halloween Blanket – 2 more balls of black yarn to use up for the border. It’s chunky weight yarn so will crochet up quite quickly.
  • Knitted baby blue cardigan – got the right front, sleeves and collar to do. Won’t take too long once I get started but it’s a lace pattern so I have to concentrate which is what’s been putting me off!
  • Green knitted tunic – I’m working in the round now, bottom up. Once I fix my tension problems, I’ll be able to go quite fast on this one.
  • Chunky knitted hat – Did about 6cm of this in the round at work one day! Shouldn’t take too long to finish.

And then we’ll see what happens after that!

I want those 4 things done at least this month!

2. Christmas Socks

I have 3 balls of Christmas sock yarn and ideally, I’d like at least one pair of socks for Christmas this year. The yarn is thin and takes ages for me to knit a sock, so we’ll see. But I want to make a pair of socks and before I can do that, I have to finish at least ONE THING on the list above.

There’s just no room for loads of project bags otherwise!

So, I would like to be casting on a pair of Christmas socks near the end of October, if possible!

3. Use up other crafty things

I have a leather handbag to sew up.

Another cotton bag to ice dye (cannot get plastic ice cube bags for love nor money locally).

Lots of recipes to try. Flours and other dry ingredients in the cupboard to use up!

Finish the last book on my shelf to read – The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. At least I can read the book in my breaks at work!

I think a general goal could be to just do a bit of some of the above! Start the book, sew a little bit, bake some bread…


So, there you go. Just some things I want to do this month.

You’d think that by writing this all down and putting it out into the world, that I’d be more accountable to myself and would ‘get shit done’.

Nope!

What usually happens is that I write a blog post like this, life happens and I need to change my plans and do something else instead!!

I get sick, I’m too tired, I do more hours/ different shifts at work…

For example, last week I did a night shift, so the next day I had planned to write a bit was completely out because I was sleeping! The week before I had the Monday off for the Queen’s funeral…I was so tired from health complications I did nothing!

So, life can almost get in the way sometimes. Of both side hustle and crafty plans…but at least by writing this in the first place, I’m trying to prioritise what’s most important/ urgent and get a little something done.

Hope you’re having a good Wednesday and talk soon x


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Organising My Crafty Life

In the past month or so I’ve suddenly got my knitting mojo back after about 3 or 4 months of not really being bothered.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that I have so much stuff that it’s getting me down! Too many knitting or crochet projects I started that I don’t love anymore and aren’t likely to get finished any time soon.

So, I did a ruthless thing and did a purge!

I threw out 2 projects I started ages ago and just haven’t had the motivation to get back into them; the knitted shawl in amazing lovely autumn colours and the knitted socks which I couldn’t even finish the ribbing for!

They’ve gone!

I frogged them and saved the yarn…but no more working on them ever again!!

And, looking through my photos for the 2 above, I realised I threw out another project too. A knitted blanket in squares, which I’d only knitted the first square.

I frogged that too and made a crochet blanket last week! Wool used up…great!

Why did I take a picture of this ages ago from the back again?!

I did a big clear out and got rid of half used skeins of wool, scraps of fabric and things like that, that I’ll never use! I have so much more room in my craft drawers now.

I’ve also been trying to use up yarn that I’ve bought over the years without a project in mind. Such as these cute coloured pastel balls of yarn, but I never used because I don’t wear pastel garments!

So…I made a couple of baby hats, I’m knitting a baby cardigan with funky dark green and pink yarn and I started a shawl with the baby pastel yarn I had lying around.

And then with yarn leftover from those projects, I started a granny square cushion!

So, I’ve started a few projects lately with the aim of using up my stash.

A lot of my stash is acrylic and I want to start getting away from that. Acrylic is plastic basically, isn’t it? I want to use more natural fibres, but I don’t just want to chuck out everything I have…so I’m going to use it all up first.

I do love the colours of this yarn – the pics don’t do it justice and it is so soft and snuggly. But I only bought 1 or 2 balls of each colourway, so the projects are small that I’m doing to use it up!

It’s Baby Twinkle Prints DK by James C. Brett. You can grab it here from The Knitting Network if you want to have a look. I like The Knitting Network as they use paper not plastic packaging!


I’ve made a little bit of room so far…although I have about 10 tote bags with my knitting and crochet projects in them lying about!

I have 4 knitted jumpers and 1 crochet top I’m working on, with the yarn for a summer cotton vest (which won’t get finished before the winter comes lol!) and a lot of sock yarn still to work on. I also have 9 balls (!) of DK yarn to use up for a jumper as it was on offer!

And then there’s a few odd aran weight balls which I thought to make a baby blanket from, some cream and pink yarn for a jumper, and some chunky yarn for a cowl.

So, even when I finish the current projects, I have enough yarn to be using up until the end of this year without buying anything new!!

I’m gong Cold Sheep for the time being!

Well, I’m going to try to anyway!!!


This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click the link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Crochet Blanket Finished

I haven’t done much crafting in the past few weeks. I’ve been busy doing other things!

But, I finally managed to get something off my hook. It was the easiest pattern I had on the go as I didn’t need to look at a pattern, being only a simple Granny Square Blanket. I didn’t have to think about what I was doing, I just carried on crocheting!

I used up spare yarn, 1 x blue ball and 2 x pink balls of STYLECRAFT SPECIAL DK, which you can get here from The Knitting Network, if you’re so inclined. I used 2 x 1435 Bright Pink and I can’t remember the blue colour (but it was a nice bright, almost neon shade).

It’s not huge and I still have a bit of each colour left, I just didn’t think there was enough to go another round in each colour!

So, those scraps have now been added to my scraps bag and I’m almost at the point where I’ll have enough DK weight yarn to make a blanket completely out of scraps. Yay!

Not sure what to do with this one, maybe I’ll donate it again to Knit For Peace or a similar charity once I have a few to go in a box together.

The colours look all blown out with the lighting, but they are actually quite bright in real life.

I agree, it’s not very big! But it can be a pram blanket or even a doll’s blanket!

I can’t help thinking how gorgeous this would look as a cushion…maybe I’ll have to look into that!

Hope you’re having a crafty weekend x


This post contains affiliate links. That means if you click the link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Yarn Acquisitions

I’ve bought so much yarn this month or so.

It’s like an explosion of wool in my house…I wanted to use up what I had first, but no such luck!

I’ve been inspired by colours and by other crafters. There’s a couple of YouTubers I’ve seen either mentioning a yarn or working on a pattern or type of garment and I’ve thought to myself something along the lines of “That looks good!”.

So, I thought I’d show you a few of my recent purchases and what I have planned for them.


First up is Lettlopi

I’ve heard of this Icelandic wool for a few months now and heard good things about it.

It’s rustic and natural and surprisingly affordable. It’s also supposed to be very warm and whilst it’s very rustic and stiff when you first buy it, I believe it’s also supposed to soften in the wash as you wear it.

It feels matte. I don’t know how to describe it other than it’s not smooth.

I’m looking forward to trying this, and of course as it’s Icelandic wool it’s got to be knitted up into a jumper. I just HAVE to!

Since I only bought 2 balls to see what it was like, I’m going to wait until I finish a few projects before casting anything on as I’m running out of room to put all the project bags (and the projects) that I’m currently working on!

Next is Cotton

I don’t normally knit or crochet with cotton as I find it too slippery and it makes my hands ache a bit trying to get the perfect tension.

But I’ve seen a few people using plant based fibres and I realised I’ve mostly used acrylic and other man made fibres with the odd mix of wool thrown in too.

There’s a YouTube channel called We Grow Wild that I follow. The lady is living in Italy and she is currently using plant based fibres such as cotton and bamboo etc. to make some pretty beautiful garments. One thing she made was a bralette which I thought looked good for the summer and another was a white leaf top (which I am amazed she made so quickly).

Now, I’m not a bralette kind of person. I’m a plus-sized woman who doesn’t get her belly button out ever. EVER! But you can make them longer into camisole type tops and I think I’ve found the perfect pattern!

Sirdar have released a new cotton and acrylic mix yarn called Stories and they’ve released quite a few summer patterns to go with it. I bought 2 from Wool Warehouse (the paper versions as I like to write on them sometimes!).

I bought a camisole type top and a vest top to be made in cotton yarn. I haven’t started either yet but they are in my queue!

So, I have 2 balls of Sirdar Stories to try and 3 balls of James C. Brett 100% Cotton as well. I’m thinking the yellow colour for the camisole top and the pink for the vest…but the vest can use a variety of colours as it’s striped or I could just make up the stripes or colours as I go along.

And Finally Another Jumper!

I got these 4 balls (2 pink and 2 cream) on impulse from a garden centre of all places!

They are by Robin and are 100g DK weight. I think the pink and cream are going to look pretty awesome together!

I don’t have a pattern lined up except for wanting to make another jumper. But again I need to finish one of the five I already have on the go before I cast on any more!


I finished the majority of this post…and then I bought myself 2 balls of cotton yarn in burnt orange (the same make as the yellow cotton above) and another pattern for a summer vest.

Let’s not mention the 9 balls of DK dark green yarn that were on sale for £1 each…or the expensive ball of aran weight hand-dyed yarn I got from a local yarn store.

I have just had an explosion of cast ons and purchases in spring after a winter of not much crafting.

But that’s how it is sometimes, you go phases.

Recently I haven’t been crafting that much even though I’ve casted on a lot and been really inspired by patterns and people. I’ve been reading lots. Trying to get through some unfinished books.

Too bad I can’t knit and read at the same time!!


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!

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 – 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!

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.

You can get the same ball of wool from The Knitting Network here. I like The Knitting Network as they ship in eco-friendly packaging!


[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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I Made A Newsletter!

I just did a thing! I made a Substack newsletter, yay!

Another day, another writing platform. This time an e-mail newsletter platform.

I’m thinking of using this site (Substack) as a cross between what I write here and on Medium. But we’ll see how that goes…I have a funny feeling I might have to narrow down the niche a bit, but that’s OK, all good things in time!

I’m thinking of doing 2 e-mails a week, maybe one longer one and one shorter roundup one with links to what I’ve been reading on the internet and watching on Youtube…that kind of thing.

This might change too, in time!

I’m excited to have another outlet for writing! While Substack does have an option for a paid newsletter, I’ve opted to keep it all free as I’m just learning the ropes right now. Not just with the e-mail sign ups but with all of it in general really. I’ve only been blogging here since January of this year, and on Medium since May, although I only took it seriously at the end of July!

So, it’s all new. And exciting!

I’m also thinking that once I properly open my Etsy shop, then there’ll be special offers and discounts here too. And in the future, maybe giveaways as well. I literally just created it today, so it’ll take a bit to get used to it, but it’s fun finding another platform to play around with.

Click the button below to sign up for the newsletter…it’s free!

Cross Stitch and Vintage Autumn Music!

I didn’t post anything yesterday or possibly the day before because I was getting a bit sick of staring at a screen to be honest. I’ve been writing and scheduling so much on Medium lately that doing the same over here felt a bit too much!

So, posting every day in August has a day or two missing!

I’ve been doing lots of cross stitch. I would say I’m 2/3 done with the piece I’m working on and it seems to be going much faster nearer the end!

Since I’m too tired to post much, I will leave you with this random piece from Youtube:

1 Hour Of Vintage Autumn Music

That’s all I got! Have a great weekend!


Here are a few of my more recent articles on Medium if you want to have a look:

These 2 were fun to write!

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/10-ways-to-make-money-with-your-knitting-online-e0316f1a4876

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/why-side-hustles-and-the-environment-dont-always-go-together-44f8414356ca

The Easiest Victoria Sponge Recipe You Will Ever Need!

Different places (and ages) use different measuring systems.

In the US it’s cups. Here in the UK it’s technically grams, but I’ve never liked grams. They have such random and arbitrary amounts for recipes…674g of flour…238g of sugar…nope! I’m not big on grams.

But I do love pounds and ounces. We used to use that here in the UK when my parents were younger and then we changed to the metric system.

But in my opinion, pounds and ounces are so much easier to remember than random gram numbers!

For example, all you need to remember for the perfect sponge cake is this:

6 and 3

or

4 and 2

That’s it!

You need 6 ounces of sugar, butter and flour. And 3 eggs.

or

You need 4 ounces of sugar, butter and flour. And 2 eggs.

Simple!

Why the 2 amounts? It depends on the size of your round cake tins! No, I don’t have measurements for tins, I’m not that kind of baker!

If I want a bigger cake (usually I do!) then I’ll use the 6 and 3 amount. It’s up to you! And if you use the 6 and 3 and you have some batter left over, you can always just make a few extra tiny individual cakes with it!

This is what my mum taught me from what she learned at school so there is no linkable recipe source for this recipe!

Here’s the simple method if you’re interested.

Victoria Sponge Cake

Ingredients

6oz Caster Sugar

6oz Butter

6oz Self-Raising Flour

3 Eggs

Method

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat the 3 eggs together and mix in a little at a time until they’re combined with the butter and sugar.

Sift the flour into the mixture a bit at a time and fold into the cake mix. Make sure you’re folding the flour in so you can get as much air in as possible. Keep adding flour a bit at a time until it’s all combined.

If you want to add any extras here like cocoa powder or chocolate chips you can. I prefer to add a bit of cocoa powder straight into the batter, but some people like to substitute the amount of cocoa powder for a bit of the flour (so you still have 6oz with the cocoa powder included). It’s up to you. Experiment and see what you prefer.

Tip into 2 greased round cake tins.

Cook in the oven about 180C for 20-30 mins until you insert a skewer and it comes out clean and the cake is golden and firm to the touch. It might take a bit less or more depending on your own oven.

Tip out on a rack and let cool.

Once cool add jam between the layers and either icing or buttercream frosting on the top. Or, if you’re doing a chocolate cake, add chocolate buttercream in between the layers as well as on top.

It’s so easy!

Also, you can use this recipe for fairy cakes/ buns/ butterfly cakes. I like to use the 6 and 3 amount for butterfly cakes as they rise a bit more and it’s easier to cut out the tops.

Another thing I like to do is use the 6 and 3 amounts to make fairy cakes with both white and milk chocolate chips…yum!

When all you have to remember is 6 and 3 or 4 and 2, you’ll never need a cook book for a Victoria Sponge Cake again!

Also, there’s no picture because we had an orange flan with this recipe last night and we still have some left…so I’m not going to make any cakes today, but I wanted to share the recipe!


Latest Posts:

The Writer’s Life

Photo by Judit Peter on Pexels.com

I’m blogging here every day in August.

I’m also blogging every day on Medium in August.

Although it may end up averaging out to 30 posts or so on Medium as some days I post 3 stories and some none, whereas over here it’s just one every day!

In the past week I’ve written thousands of words. Sometimes before noon!

The writing has just whooshed out of me, in part because I’m getting the hang of Medium a bit more and actually trying to write better pieces!

And it’s paid off…after earning just 4 cents in my first month of May, nothing in June and 6 cents in July…I’m currently on 38 cents in August. Woohoo! I’m rich! But it proves what I’m doing is working!

And just from writing a few blog posts!


When I joined Medium in either May or June, I didn’t understand that it wasn’t a blogging platform like WordPress. Here I can share my day, share some links to places I’ve found and like – maybe some small businesses or what I’ve been reading or watching etc.

I can share crappy photos of my wonky makes and enjoy being around crafty minded people!

It’s not like that on Medium.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

First of all, you don’t really pick a niche! You write about everything.

It’s not so important to just write about making money online, but you also need to write about writing and productivity and creativity…and pets!

People follow you because they like your writing and not because they like your niche so much. It’s a a strange but interesting concept.

You can write articles with the personal touch and with personal anecdotes, yet no-one wants to see what you’re up to in real life!

Because how readers consume content is different!

Here, you want to nosy at people’s posts. Take it slow with a cup of coffee and read about your hobbies at your leisure and be inspired. Get some ideas for your next knitted make. Find an interesting recipe.

None of that on Medium!

A lot of the writers are professional writers and Medium is just another writing platform. The people who read the stories (what they call blog posts over there) are looking for shorter articles to read on their mobile phones on the commuter train in the morning or they want longer form articles they can sink their teeth into…also on their mobile phones on the commuter train in the morning!

Any pictures you put up on Medium have to have the source (i.e. Photo courtesy of the author) in the caption…which I didn’t realise when I first started. If you don’t then it ruins your chances of getting curated, which means the platform’s editors won’t distribute your work.

And other things affect that too, like how you format your post, what links you put in…all sorts.

I didn’t do enough research before I joined, because if I had, I would have joined and started off on that platform in a much better position!

Lesson well and truly learned there!

I also think, with the amount of writing I’ve been doing over there, that my writing has vastly improved!

I’m trying not to write listicle articles all the time but it’s very difficult as they are such an easy format to write.

As with any part of writing, the trick is knowing what to share and what to keep private, but I think I might start writing a few more personal articles over there as well as ones focussed on creativity and productivity.

I’ve absolutely loved the amount of writing I’ve been doing lately. Have I said that enough? I don’t think I have…it’s just not a chore!

I’m even seriously looking at Substack to write E-mail newsletters. And Fiverr.

It’s funny how something comes along and suddenly consumes every moment of your waking life! Like a massive fork that the path you were on before seems so tiny and insignificant now.

Oh the places we’ll go!


Here are a few of my more recent articles on Medium if you want to have a look:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/the-tv-is-down-and-its-great-6e73557ba734

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/grammar-your-my-favourite-thing-9bcbe7b0d666

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/professional-development-for-writers-64ac2229049b


If you want to sign up for a membership with Medium then you can find a way to do that here with my link:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/membership

OR

If you want to subscribe to receive my Medium posts by e-mail, you can sign up here:

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/subscribe

These links are a new feature that Medium just introduced this week, in fact, where if you sign up for a Medium account using the Medium Writer’s referral links, then the writer will get a percentage of that sign up fee.

I use Medium and am starting to make money on it (not millions of pounds obviously!) so of course I’m going to recommend it. It’s got some good stuff even just as a reader and not as a writer. It’s worth having a look into if nothing else! 🙂


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

Tuesday Chat

This is a rambly one, because that’s what I feel like writing! Let’s just have a chat!

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

After such a productive week last week, I’m slowing down for a bit now.

I had my second vaccine on Saturday, so at least that’s one thing out of the way. And other medical appointments yesterday. All of which I had to travel a bit for, which is kind of annoying but how it is sometimes.

So, it’s been busy with errands the last few days.

I posted yesterday that I’d made some progress with my cross stitch project. I’ve done a bit more, but because it’s all random lines, it doesn’t look like I have!

I’ve also cast on the right front for the knitted baby cardigan and done a tiny bit more on my knitted orange jumper.

So, not a lot of crafting, but at least it’s a little bit of progress.

As for the work stuff…

I did a heck of a lot of writing last week, as well as uploading to RedBubble, joining affiliate schemes, trying out uploading a book to Amazon KDP (just a lined notebook, but I think I did the cover slightly wonky…so I’m waiting for the author copy to arrive, which I just ordered 2 minutes ago).

I will probably delete this listing, but I’ll still have a notebook that I not just designed the cover for, but drew the flowers in the Procreate app. So, we’ll see what it looks like and go from there.

I only did 100 pages of lined paper, so it might need a few more. I know a lot of people do 120 pages, but I did the lines on Canva and the limit on there is 100 pages. So, we’ll see. Either way it will get used!

I’m still chugging away at the main paperback book. A book with photocopiable sheets to fill in, but progress has slightly stalled with that.

I also want to make another blog! Argh, so many things I want to try!


A big thing I want to do is lose a little bit of weight. I don’t want to turn this blog into a ‘My Weight loss Journey‘ type blog – yuk!

But, I might start posting a few recipes I like that are healthy and yummy. And maybe some that are not too!

I have real trouble getting motivated to exercise and eat healthily. Last year, I started going to the gym and yoga and pilates…then the pandemic hit and I cancelled my gym subscription and got out of the habit of moving around. I sit at my computer a lot at home.

So, I’ve decided I’m going to be more motivated about losing weight.

I will NEVER DIET! I have never, nor will I ever go on a diet! That kind of thinking is very detrimental to your state of mind, in my opinion.

Instead, I’m going to make a conscious decision to stop eating so much chocolate and cakes, stop drinking so much coke and start doing 30 minutes of exercise every day. Just 30 minutes…or a full Yoga DVD.

I bought the exercise bike into the house from the garage, so I might be tempted to ACTUALLY use it! And I do have some dumbbells and a kettlebell that I got last year, so I’ll have to dust them off (and find them).


I’ve been creating some pins today and uploading them to Pinterest for my RedBubble store. Trying out some new styles and using SEO so we’ll see how they do.

Pinterest likes long pins 1000 x 1500 pixels, I think that’s the measurement off the top of my head! And when you link directly from RedBubble they are square, not rectangle pins.

So, I’ve been designing some of my own. I think they look OK. What do you think?!

I’m doing a lot on Pinterest and it kind of seems like a waste of time. I’m going to try and upload a pin everyday. At least one and pin at least 10 other pins. Not sure if that is a sound strategy, but I know you are supposed to pin more of other people’s than your own. Seems crazy…but that’s the algorithm for you!


I’ve been catching up with a blog called Meet Me At Mikes, a blog I’ve followed on a off for years, but hadn’t caught up with for a long time.

And another one I looked up lately was A Beautiful Mess, which I hadn’t looked at for a while.

Those 2, as well as Soulemama and Posy Gets Cozy were the first 4 blogs that I ever followed with any consistency. All of them inspiring with their words and images.

They are the big ones in the craft/ home section of blogging, I know Soulemama doesn’t blog as often as she used to (or at all) now and it’s interesting to see how the others have changed. Do you have any favourite blogs you keep checking in with?

I like watching YouTube videos, but there is something about the written word that is a lot easier to digest for me. I remember what I read a lot more than what I watch!


Anyway, I’m going to sign off here from this little ramble and get down to work! See you tomorrow x

Knitted Baby Cardigan…What Did I Do Wrong?!

I’m trying out a pattern for a knitted baby cardigan. The baby isn’t due until December so I have time to trial a few things before deciding on a ‘final’ pattern.

I want to try it first because I haven’t knitted that many jumpers or cardigans, even though I would consider myself an intermediate knitter. I’ve knitted a baby jumper and cardigan last year, and I did learn a lot from those to things, but this time I want it to be perfect!

What I struggle with in patterns like these is when it says decrease at the beginning and end of each row. And it doesn’t specifically tell you what decreases to do…that really annoys me!

This is what I had figured out last year…

BUT

When I did this, the right side looked a different angle to the left as you can see on the photo below.

It’s not an optical illusion!

I was knitting the back piece first. And that is all I have done so far. It’s a raglan pattern if that makes any difference? Honestly, I stay away from raglans because I hate them! I tried knitting a raglan jumper a couple of years ago and it failed miserably (but I did the pattern wrong for that one haha!).

I just did some research and I was right with what I did! K2TOG and SSK are decreases usually used for raglans. Hmmm…

I’ll do the rest of it and maybe it will all fit together better once it’s all sewn up! I’m doing the bottom one in the picture – a newborn cardigan.

But for the life of me, I can’t figure out what I did wrong!

The pattern and yarn I’m using I bought from an online shop called Deramores and it’s by James C. Brett, Pattern Number JB 012.


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Find my latest post on Medium below. This one is my Progress Report for this week which is a new series I’m starting. At the end of every week I’m going to write about what I have done to work towards creating Passive Income Streams.

https://woollyorbit.medium.com/progress-report-1-july-476e32e5c1ee

Back to Sewing

It’s been almost half a year since I last sewed anything and now, with the house to myself for a few days I’ve smashed through a few projects that have been on my to do list.

I’ve been working on a denim rucksack for a few days. It’s a lot more complicated than I thought it would be, especially the pockets, both inside and out. I wish I’d left them off but oh, well…it’s a learning experience, right?!

I gave up yesterday afternoon and I unpicked what I did wrong last night. So, I’m all set for today…I managed to get the front pocket done yesterday. I just need to actually start sewing it all together now.

Honestly, I don’t think the rucksack is going to work…but I’ve come this far and I’m going to stick with it!

I had the lining leftover from a previous project and it goes with the dark denim I think.

But what I made yesterday that I was really pleased with was a denim tote bag.

I used up the last of the denim fabric I had (apart from some little bits that I might use in patchwork) and used a bit more leftover fabric I had for the lining. In fact, all of the project was made from leftovers including the webbing!

I didn’t quite have enough denim in one piece for both the front and the back, so I added a front panel from the lining fabric and I think the tote looks better with this. The back part is just plain denim.

I had a bit of trouble stitching the webbing straight (and I should have used a lighter colour to match) and I wasn’t keen on the top part where I joined the lining and main body. But overall, I’m really pleased with the result. It was the first ever tote bag I’ve made and it looks alright!

I guess with anything you make, whether that is sewing, knitting, whatever, there is only one question you need to ask yourself to know if it’s any good. But is it usable?!! And, yes, I can use this in the way it is supposed to be used, so that’s a success!

I usually have trouble with box bottoms…I can never get them to match 100%…but this was PERFECT! I’ve no idea how I did that!!!

I left off the clasp so I can use it as a shopping bag.

I also made a couple of zipper bags with the fat quarter I bought a few months ago. Mostly to use up some of the zips I had in my sewing box.

I did have a go at a linen top I had all ready to go, but alas it was not meant to be. My sewing machine didn’t like the linen, it kept chewing it up and I realised I’d cut the fabric too short anyway..I was following the pattern but I don’t wear fitted clothing generally. I like a bit of ease and a bit of length and the trouble with the free patterns in magazines, is that the tops are usually a bit on the short side.

All the patterns I’m using are from magazines.

The tote bag was from Simply Sewing Magazine and was called The Anna Tote designed by Anna Alicia.

I’ve even managed to clear out some things too, like my sewing box has been tidied, as have my fabric drawers (looking emptier now!).

Next on my list is a leather handbag to finish sewing up. I went on a workshop last year about 2 weeks before lockdown and made a handbag and then got some materials and tools to make my own at home.

So far I’ve cut the pieces, dyed them, bevelled and burnished the edges, added a buckle and now I just need to sew it all together. I might need to watch a few Youtube videos to refresh my saddle stitch skills. But I might as well spread out a bit in the evening if there’s just me in the house!

I bought the ingredients to make myself a veggie curry/dhal something tonight. I’m going to make it up as I go along – cauliflower, red lentils, butternut squash, use up some sweet potato or normal potato, some courgettes (zucchini) are nearly bad so I might add them. I bought both coconut milk and cream, I’m not sure what I’ll add. And just whatever herbs and spices I can get my hands on. I got some coriander to add, it’s my favourite herb and reminds me of living in Thailand!

And I got some cooking apples…might make a one (let’s face it a 2) person apple crumble tonight because I’ve been so good with my diet lately and I just want a treat!

So, I’ll be creating something tonight!

Crafty Updates

I’m feeling a lot better this weekend than I have for a while, so much so that I even managed a walk around Hobbycraft (a UK craft shop chain which has a bit of everything)!

I bought 4 balls of wool to knit some baby clothes as a friend is having a baby girl in December (I love it when people tell you what the sex is so you can plan your makes!) and I got a sewing pattern to make a baby dress and hat, maybe a pair of diaper covers/ shorts but we’ll see!

The 4 balls I got were in 2 gorgeous wine/ plum colours by The Women’s Institute. They do some really nice yarn and I can only seem to get it at Hobbycraft. I thought I’d stay away from the traditional baby pink colours which I think she’ll be getting lots of things in that colour and maybe try for a more muted and darker colour for the jumper/ cardigan.

And the sewing pattern is by Simplicity, number 1447. I’ll make the dress without the ric-rac.

So, there’s some baby clothes to make a start on in the near future. I already have a few balls of white chunky wool to make a baby blanket, so I might start that soon. I think I might crochet the blanket, knit either a cardigan or a jumper (and maybe a hat/ mittens/ bootees etc) and then sew some clothes like a dress or a sunhat.

I’m not great at toys and things like that, but I was thinking about some bricks, maybe a playmate and some simple things like that. But we’ll see about time (and skill!).

I have done a bit more on my orange jumper (2 rows to be exact). I’ve lost the mojo again. This time last year I was making a big push and got the back done, then I got bored and moved onto Christmas makes in September and didnt really pick up the orange jumper again. I’ve got about half the bottom ribbing done, need to finish that and then start on the actual pattern, which is a really simple one.

I think the problem last year was I got all knitted out and then went onto sewing. Then got all sewn out and have struggled to finish any of the projects I had on the go. And what with being sick lately, I haven’t really felt the crafting urge. But I’m starting to now!

I have the orange jumper and a simple garter stitch sock yarn shawl on the go. I want to start the crochet baby blanket and start looking for easy baby patterns to knit as well as look at practice fabric to have a try with the dress pattern before I do it for real!

I also have some neon Double Knitting yarn leftover from my Fair Isle bag project, so I might have a go at an entrelac cowl as I’ve never done entrelac before. I’m also thinking if I like the technique I could do another larger entrelac blanket for my friend and give her two…one a fluffy, smaller pram or cot blanket and another a larger, more durable heirloom type blanket.

I haven’t quite decided but it’s fun getting back into the decision making process. Maybe the problem is I’m fed up with my current projects?

I did start a knitted toy dog 6 months ago but I can’t find it!

I had a sweet idea for a present for my cousin’s little 1 year old boy. I have a couple of pattern books our gran gave me, one has knitted toys like dolls and teddies and a panda and the other pattern book is to knit dolls clothes and Barbie/ Action Man clothes (in REALLY 60’s/ 70’s colours and patterns!).

I was thinking I might have a go at the panda or one of the teddies and then it’s something that’s sort of from gran (who died almost 20 years ago). But that might take me a long time and again, I’m not great with toys, but it’s a sweet idea for when I have a chunk of time to knit on that and only that!

I have sock yarn in 2 different colours and I would like to try knitted socks again.

Oh, I’m feeling the craftiness coming back just writing this!

OK, so I have some decisions to make about which project to cast on next! I think I’m going to try to do more jumper this week and start the crochet baby blanket (I’m thinking a corner to corner one would look great).

What A Fortnight!

What a terrible couple of weeks it has been! I think I can safely say that NONE of my goals or plans for June will be met by the end of the month!

All I’m going to say is that I’m on the waiting list for an operation and today is the first day in over two weeks I have felt well enough, not just to sit at a computer, but to sit up full stop! It’s nothing really major, however it has been agony and the medication which has made me drowsy and dizzy hasn’t helped at all.

So, I’ve been trying to go easy on myself. I know that health comes first, but I had such a long list of things to do this month!

Things like opening my Etsy shop and publishing my first book on Amazon will just have to wait a month or so.

I’m going to try not to beat myself up about that, but there isn’t much I can do about it, so, really, why worry about that which I can’t change?!

I did a bit of cross stitch last night and that’s all the crafting I’ve done lately! I might see if I can do some more orange knitted jumper today. It’s so hot and muggy though that I might just read a book! [Spoiler alert: I did NOTHING!!]

For the craft goals, there aren’t really any majorly urgent things to get done…it’s more the writing and computer work I wanted to focus on this month. Oh well, that’s how it goes sometimes isn’t it?

On the plus side…I’ve lost 8 pounds in the last 2 weeks, yay! That might be too much to lose in a healthy way, but I don’t care, it’s a plus to me!

I managed to get into town on Friday, have a quick haircut (my first proper one since September – we will NOT mention my mother cutting the back part with her kitchen scissors!). I had it cut really short in September and it won’t be long before it’s the same level!

Anyway, this is turning into a weird waffle meander…

I guess the point of this is reminding myself that sometimes you have to do a complete 180 and drop what you planned to do something else. I’m lucky that I can do that right now and focus on my health, and even though it’s a horrible operation I know this will sort out a lot of the problems I’ve been having lately.

Focus on the little wins!

Today little wins = I managed to apply for an affiliate scheme, sort out an app, write this post and check a few things online…with minimal nap time!!

Have a nice weekend and I’ll be back with regular programming soon…