Current Knitting WIP

I made a list of the things I wanted to make this year. Things I wanted to knit and sew and I was pretty specific with the projects I had in mind.

And then, in true me style, I threw that out the window and decided to start something else completely.

I opened one of my recent-ish knitting magazines, saw a pattern and thought ‘I’m doing that!’. I bought the wool for it a few days ago!

Here is a pic of what I have in mind…

The pattern can be found in issue 180 Feb 2022 of Let’s Knit magazine. It’s by Susie Johns and is on page 22.

I’m using a forest green DK weight yarn by Stylecraft. It’s Highland Heathers shade 7228.

You can get it here from The Knitting Network.

You knit the bottom parts of the back and the front and then you join them to knit in the round before splitting again for the the front and back yokes, which I think is really interesting. I’ve never tried a jumper in the round before so this is a good in-between project!

It looks ‘easy’ and seems to be one of those projects where you can just knit without having to look at the pattern instructions every five minutes.

I’ve got all the bits and bobs ready, I’ve marked the sizing on the pattern. I’m all ready to go!

This will be the 3rd jumper I’ve ever knitted after my first 2 last year.

I’ve almost lost my knitting mojo recently, so this feels good to be planning and almost casting on a completely brand new project! I wrote this yesterday and as of today, I’ve just cast on the stitches for it…but it’s getting late, so I’ll have to continue with it tomorrow!

So, I make that to be a jumper (sweater? I never know whether to use UK or US terms on here…) and a pair of socks on the go. Along with a sock yarn shawl which will take literal YEARS to finish at this rate!!

3 knitting WIPS is kind of manageable I think!

Have a crafty day x


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2022 Knitting/ Crafting Goals

I thought I’d write my crafty goals for the year here.

To be honest, it’s mostly going to be knitting for now. Yes, there’ll be the odd crochet or sewing project too, but I have a little list of knitting projects to get out of the way first (or at the very least, started!).

Sock Yarn Shawl

This is an ongoing project with no particular urgency, but it’s the project I cast on before all of the others on this list, so it gets first place! It’s a 4ply yarn by West Yorkshire Spinners in a GORGEOUS colour way (you can get it here from The Knitting Network if you want it in your stash!).

It’s going to take a while to finish it, but there’s no rush!

Socks!

I have only ever knitted one sock. As in, ONE. Not a pair…but one!

I threw it away last year as it was all twisted and would never be worn!

Socks are my knitting nemesis. They take ages and they seem so slow to make any progress with at all. I’m a bit impatient!

So, this year, I’m going to focus on socks. I’ve cast on and knitted a couple of rows before Christmas, and then I put it aside. It’s time to pick it up again.

I just find DPNs so fiddly and no, I’m going to try any other methods like the magic loop anytime soon as I think it will be just the same amount of fiddliness!!

Fair Isle Top Down Sweater

I have the aran wool all ready for this. I have the book all ready to look at. I don’t have a pattern!

I’m going to have a go at designing one myself, which means I need to measure myself, design a Fair Isle Yoke motif (I’m thinking trees) and then write up the pattern itself for me to follow.

I’ve never designed a sweater before, I’ve only ever knitted 2 in my life in fact. Last year.

But, it’s a huge project I’m really looking forward to!

Miscellaneous Bits

I have wool for the following projects:

  • A soft grey hat
  • A neon cowl
  • A baby blanket from scraps
  • Aran wool for a tank top (sweater vest)
  • About 20 random single hanks/ balls of yarn that I have NO IDEA what to do with!

And I’m currently crocheting a scraps blanket which I’ll donate somewhere that accepts baby knitted items.

Sewing

  • Christmas fat quarters
  • Denim fabric – maybe a skirt or a bag?
  • Grey wool fabric into a draught excluder?
  • Fix a pair of shorts I made last year!

I also bought 3 metres of some striped fabric, with the intention of making either a dress or top. I’m thinking a t-shirt, which isn’t my first choice of garment for sewing…but it’s something I’ve never done before and will give me good practice with pattern matching. I could make it into a mix of t-shirt and dress by doing a long tunic type top.

We’ll see!

And finally, I’m going to finish a leather handbag I started last year…it’s all dyed red and green, it just needs to be sewn up. I’ll have to refresh saddle stitch, but it should be no problem once I get into it!

That just needs a big chunk of time to focus on it!

Well, that’s it. All my crafty projects for the year.

There is not a lot on here really, I feel like I finished a lot of the bigger projects last year so I’m almost starting with a clean slate this year. And that feels pretty good. 🙂


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Little Catch Up

It’s been a while since I last posted on here.

Happy New Year to you all!

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and managed to get a lot of crafting in. I haven’t managed to get much crafting done at all lately.

Christmas kind of takes over everything, but I’ve also started a new job in the last month and since that was in retail…well, you can imagine how manic that got over December!

Honestly, I simply haven’t had the inclination to sit down and knit and it’s been kind of nice to step back away from the crafty side of things for a little while.


I’ve been doing some reading lately. With all the books I’ve been buying people I racked up 10 stamps at Waterstones which means a free book! I chose The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix.

It’s set in the early 80’s (in an alternate 80’s) and is about the coexistence of the Old World and the New. Our heroine Susan is caught up in an adventure after witnessing Merlin, who is a Left-handed fighting bookseller, kill a crime boss with a silver hatpin…

I really can’t explain it anymore than that! I enjoyed the book as a fiction read that wasn’t a science fiction book by Isaac Asimov (which feels like all I’ve read over the past 3 years!) and it was an interesting concept.

The writing style was almost a little too simplistic. And the heroine was mostly swept up in things rather than participating in a lot of it. I guess it felt more reactive than active until the very end.

Some things could have been explained or detailed a bit more. And the relationship between Merlin and Susan could have been expanded upon.

But overall, a good read.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they turned this into a film…

I’m currently reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott...it’s about the art of writing. Some writing and life advice. It was going OK, until she started mentioning God every 3 pages and made a comment about France losing the war! I can’t get that throwaway comment out of my mind and it’s coloured the whole book now, haha!

So, we’ll see if I can finish it!


I thought I’d show you some of the crafty bits and bobs I got for Christmas…

I got some fabric. Denim in dark blue and yellow/ gold. I’m thinking a bag or a skirt. Not sure yet!

You can just see the yellow and blue denim in the background below…I couldn’t get the other pics to upload, internet just went funny at the crucial moment!

I also got a set of gorgeous dark red Christmas fat quarters. The colours are a lot darker in real life. I’m saving them for next year as the desire to make ANYTHING festive has completely left me.

My brother bought me a wool winder and since I’ve treated myself to 3 new balls of wool today and all of them are in hanks and not balls…well, that’s going to come in useful!

And the wool I bought?

Some 100% British Wool by West Yorkshire Spinners (Jacob in Aran weight) on the right of the pic below. I bought 2 balls of that, thinking it would be good for a hat or as part of a Fair Isle yoke for a jumper I have in mind to start soon.

And I also bought just the one ball of Washted Malabrigo (684 Chameleon colour).

You can get that one here from Wool Warehouse if you like the look of it(the one on the left). It’s really squishy and soft!

And for Christmas I got some more wool by West Yorkshire Spinners in brown and cream colours for the jumper I just mentioned above…so I’m all ready to start measuring and designing my first ever top down jumper!

And these are natural fleece colours…no nasty chemicals or fixatives, just pure wool as it came off the sheep! So…an eco-friendly option!


And finally…

The next post will be looking at my 2022 crafting goals. And then, hopefully back to blogging with a vengeance in January and beyond.

Last year in February I did a 30 day blogging challenge and I’m thinking of doing that again this year. Last year was about crafting, not sure what the topic/ theme could be for this year. Maybe a specific craft like knitting or crochet?

I was almost thinking of sharing a small business or a pattern I’ve enjoyed every day…something like that? Not sure! What do you think?!


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Knitting Updates

Last week I sent another box of knitted goodies to charity. It’s great for me as I have more room to make more stuff now!

Do you remember some of these below from previous posts this year? All gone now as well as more blankets that I forgot to take pictures of!

I loved the Christmas blankie so much…but there comes a point when you have to say to yourself “Actually, I have ENOUGH knitted blankets now!”.

I have a few projects on the go which are:

  • Knitted baby cardigan
  • Knitted sock yarn shawl
  • Knitted socks
  • Orange granny square blanket using up scraps from a jumper I made earlier in the year

That’s enough to be getting on with now. I have a few ideas for future projects which is basically, a top down sweater and more socks! Also a tank top and a neon fair isle cowl.

Since I got rid of a lot of scrap fabric the other day, I don’t have a lot of sewing projects planned. Although I did buy a couple of cute Christmas fat quarters from a local sewing shop a couple of days ago…I couldn’t help myself!

Just look at the traditional Christmas colours on the fat quarter on the right!

I never go for weird Christmas colours…I remember as a teenager in the early 2000’s when they bought out black Christmas trees for the first time, as well as purple and silver as a festive colour combo…I hated them! What was wrong with golds, red and greens?

Anyway…I have NO IDEA what I’m going to make with them…probably zipper bags as they are my absolute favourite sewing make!

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.

You can buy it from The Knitting Network here (affiliate link) if you want.

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. 🙂


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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 The Knitting Network if you like the look of it (they might not have the exact shade but the other shades are pretty good too!). 🙂

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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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…:)


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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

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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:

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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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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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Knitted Jumper Progress

I sat down and knitted over the weekend. Now that the cross stitch project and the Christmas crochet blanket are all but finished apart from sewing in ends and some last stitches, I’ve focussed on my knitted orange jumper.

And I’ve managed to complete over 70 rows! I’m making a note of the rows as it’s a 24 row pattern repeat, so I’ve done 3 and a bit repeats since Friday…the most I’ve done in one go so far!

I just started the shoulder shaping so it’s going quite fast now that I’ve decided to work on it.

I did most of it this time last year, then basically stopped to knit a load of Christmas things. I actually started the jumper in 2018!!!! But I only did a few rows of the rib and shoved it in my wardrobe until lockdown last year forced me to do some more of it. I did the back last year and started the rib of the front. Now I’m about a third of the way done with the front.

The sleeves aren’t very long and even though the pattern panels have lace and cables, the pattern is actually really easy to follow.

Here’s what I have so far:

This weekend I’ve done from roughly where the blue cable needle is.

I’m glad it’s going a bit faster now. Hopefully by the end of this week I’ll have the main part done and be working on the neckline.