New Years!!!

I’ve decided to set myself some 2016 goals for projects and learning. First and foremost; Knitting!!

This year I was pretty slow on the old knitting front. I have gotten on top of documenting my projects much more, but sadly haven’t gotten much done. In truth my health hasn’t been the best, but thats on the up and up, SO!

12 Socks, 12 Hats/Mittens and 12 Shawls in 2016. That’s my goal. I’m going to include projects already started, as long as they are less than half done (Which sadly doesn’t include the insanely tight gauge socks I nearly finished whilst binge watch HIMYM today).

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I Love this yarn; it’s Arne and Carlos Design Line. I’m well into the foot now but the lighting is pretty bad so I’ll save it for another day.

Also, after a successful Goodreads Challenge for the second year in a row. I’ve decided to go for a third, though I am going to decrease my target number to 50 this year. The goal is to make those numbers a bit more substantial in  their content though. I have a lot of Craft and Knitting History and Theory books I haven’t cracked yet, as well as a fair amount of Feminist Lit I’ve not gotten around to reading. I’m not going to include graphic novels in my numbers at all and I’m going to keep trying to read books by more diverse writers as I did this year. More on that for a future post.

I know it’s a cliche to set challenges and resolutions, but it is fun, isn’t it? To think that the beginning of a New Year can be the start of so many wonderful things. In truth that’s the only real resolution I want to firmly stick to this year; bring positivity into my life and the life of my family. We have been through a lot, but we’re alive and have a lot to be thankful for. Happy New Year everyone. xxxIMG_2356

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Knit update

I have been working on these FOREVER!!!

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72st 3×1 ribbed socks for man feet. I’m using 2.25’s which is one down from the usual 2.5 that I usually use, in an effort to make these last longer than the last pair I made. I have only really been working on these since Christmas week, but they are so repetitive that it feels like forever.

Last year was pretty much the year I discovered sock making. I had tried when I first learned, but for whatever reason didn’t get on with it. Along with my reading goals I actually have some knitting goals to go with.

1. To knit one pair of socks a month from yarn and patterns in my stash/library.

2. To knit a sweater for my mum.

This one is actually underway, I’m making Aureus by Michele Wang in Drops Lima.

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The colour is a lovely Deep Purple I know she’ll like. Her birthday is at the end of the month, so I probably won’t finish it by then, but there’s Mother’s Day, and if all else fails, Christmas?

3. To Finish my Antler Cardigan

That’s it for now. I don’t want to put too many rules in with the sock thing because I get bored so easily, but I’m definitely excited to see what this year brings.

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Goodbye 2014

I’ve been thinking about this blog a fair bit recently and I thought I should share some of that with you. It’s a bit of a Tldr. post, but I hope that if you’re interested, it might explain some of the new direction I’ll be going in on here coming into the new year.

This blog began mostly to show off some work I’d been doing at college, but to be honest that’s been too restrictive and I’ve been doing personal projects that don’t always have to do with knitting that I want to share here, so the posts are going to become a bit more varied. Part of the reason for that has been to do with a resolution I made last year to read more.

I promised myself I’d read a book a week and I smashed that target and ended up reading over 80! So this year I want to read at least 75, but to make it more interesting I’ve given myself some more specific targets.

1. No more than 10 of my total can be graphic novels.

That’s not to say they won’t be read, but I estimate that at least 20 of this years books read were graphic novels. I love reading them, but the point of setting myself a reading target was to challenge myself, and reading a graphic novel is just not challenging for me. I’m not going to apply the same restrictions to novella’s or anthologies, but we’ll see as time goes on.

2. At least 30 of my total to be authored by writers who identify as female.

27 of the books I read this year were by women, some I read more than one book by, like Susan Hill, Michelle Paver and Suzanne Collins. I discovered some authors I want to read more by, like Angela  Carter (one of my lecturers commented that she couldn’t believe I hadn’t read her, and after reading The Magic Toyshop I have to agree) and Joyce Carol Oates. I’d like to continue this trend.

3. To review some of the books I read.

I love reading, and I’m so glad I made the effort to do more of it, as it opened some doors for me this year that I didn’t expect. I’m already going to be writing some reviews this year, but I’d like to write some here, for this blog. Especially some of the knitting books I read as I feel like reading a review of a knitting book might help me to decide what to buy. I also need to develop my skills in ‘opinion forming’ for lack of a better expression.

So that’s my reading targets. As for the rest of the stuff it essentially boils down to making this blog more of a personal space, for adventures in sewing, knitting and reading. I’m starting a weight management programme on the NHS really soon, so I need a space that’s mine right now.

I’ll still be blogging my work, but primarily as images through tumblr @http://mamatyphooknits.tumblr.com/

Thanks for reading, and I hope this year brings great things:)

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Fixing a Mistake :(

So… I was wrong. Ignoring that fact that people probably shouldn’t give advice unless they really know the answer, I realised the day after I posted that my Vikkel Braid was wrong. I put the shawl on the naughty step, and took a couple of days to convince myself that fixing it was the right thing to do, and here it is:

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It’s not a huge difference, but I would have hated to leave it and carry on. Never mind, I think it looks great now, and I’m loving how some of the others are turning out too.

I haven’t got any more Seadragonus to show you, (though I have finished turning the heel and decreasing) but I am working on a little something else which is quite exciting; two pattern tests! Just a sneak peek for today:)

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Stitch marker tutorial

I’ve got an update for later, but I HAD to share this excellent stitch marker tutorial with you all. Even for jewellery making newbs like myself this makes the process look pretty easy!

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Stitch markers 125Before I started knitting I used to make jewellery. Pretty rudimentary stuff – nothing complicated. In the same way that I love the colours and textures of yarn, I love the colours and textures of beads too and amassed a small-ish stash. In a recent post I shared photos of my stitch markers.

Stitch markers 161These stitch markers are really straight forward to make and give you pretty much instant gratification. Above you can see how I set up my work station (coffee table) before getting started. Clockwise from top left I have my crimping pliers, a selection of beads that I want to use, tigertail wire, a bowl for the finished markers, a bowl for the ends to be discarded and a wire cutter, which in this case is a flat nosed pliers with a wire cutter.

I actually bought the tigertail wire a few years ago without realising what it…

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Quickie Update

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The Seadragonus Sock was released two days ago, and though I’m joining in with the KAL, starting in September, I decided to get a head start on the first pair, as I’m making matching ones for me and Litt’lun. I got this far tonight, and hope to finish the first one tomorrow. Sorry about the picture quality, the light is awful in here (which is incidentally also the reason I’ve stopped knitting it for the night). Check out the designers blog post (and much nicer pictures) Here.

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*Spoiler Alert!* Clue 1 of Family Tree Shawl

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Clue One Completed! I am loving the look so far, and I’m really pleased with the colour choice, they grey is a nice cool complement to the variegated pinky purples, and I’m sure it’s going to work well together as long as I keep my tension under control. The main ting to watch out for is that the Noro is very curly with little bounce and the Drops Baby Merino is super bouncy. So far though the fluffy property that the baby merino has (which is common in a lot of cheaper merino yarns) actually complements the Noro as I hoped it might. So that’s all good.

A couple of things I will say as far as the pattern is concerned:

The Vikkel Braid instructions are a bit confusing. You are directed to an online video and from the webpage, it’s not actually super clear which video you are meant to watch, but the one I watched indicated that you should knit each colour into the same colour from the braid set-up. From reading the KAL thread, I gathered that you are actually meant to knit into the alternating colours. This isn’t clear on the pattern sadly.

Also, I was very confused by the colour descriptions, as the pattern refers to MC and CC and also Background Colour, Colour A and Colour B. It’s fairly intuitive, but I do like these things to be really clear in patterns or I worry that I’ve gotten them the wrong way around.

All in all, I’m really enjoying the pattern so far, and my niggles are fairly small, bearing in mind that all my questions were answered in the KAL thread. I’m really looking forward to Friday!

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