Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Speeding On By - January's almost over

January 2017 didn't seem to want to slow down and now I find myself at the end of the month looking back to see what has been achieved and looking forward to what direction I'd like to take.

The start of the year brought some very unhappy times for me and I really drew strength from my knitting and crafting projects which allow me a few hours to let my mind be peaceful.

On Christmas Eve in December last year I joined Dani of Little Bobbins Knits podcast for the annual Christmas Eve Sock Cast On.

I chose a simple lace pattern Lacy Anklets by Melissa Morgan-Oakes and a lovely yarn from Elm Tree Yarns called Fezziwig's Party who is, as you know, a delightful character from Dickens' wonderful Christmas novella, A Christmas Carol.

These socks have a lovely cuff which reminds me of the dancing from Fezziwig's Party.  I chose an ivory sparkle yarn to make some contrasts on the cuff and toes.

My next knit-a-long is another one of Dani's for February and it will also be a pair of socks, this time Love Along by Amy Meeks. I have chosen to abandon a pair of mittens from way back in 2012 and to use the yarn for these socks. The yarn was the truly beautiful Angel Sock and is a Sport/ 5 ply 70% Alpaca, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere goat 350 meters/100 grams by The Natural Dye Studio.

I knitted a cute little Christmas mouse called Snowball Buddies by Susan Claudino which I saw on Jooles of Sew Sweet Violet's podcast. I do love both the podcasts mentioned and have noticed lots of new ones appearing which I am hoping to have a look at.

I have been having a lot of fun with my sewing and have been making progress on two quilts and a quilted Christmas table runner.

I've also made myself a project bag which was a first for me and I am quite pleased with the outcome but there are areas which could be improved next time I make one. I need to make sure that both layers of seams are sewn together which is difficult on a project like this.

Another craft I've been enjoying a revival of interest in is cross-stitch and I was delighted to work on this very deep stash project and must now think about getting it framed. It is a sampler called Oyster Catcher and I bought it many years ago at The Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexander Palace.

In the garden I have been very lucky in having a new greenhouse put up and it has really become my 'baby' keeping me very busy.

I painted the old potting table and have had a lot of fun planning what to plant and growing some vegetables through the late winter months.

I sowed some Autumn sweet peas and planted a lot of paper white narcissi as well as some tulips and for vegetables I have parsley and a couple of spring cabbages which I just pick a few leaves at a time. My most satisfying grow was two bags of potatoes which were so tasty. I also had some beautiful chrysanthemums in pots to enjoy.

So the things I plan to achieve this year are:

  • to continue to enjoy cross-stitching
  • to learn a new craft (I have in mind wool punch work)
  • to use up stash where possible
  • to sort out and re-organize my work space
  • to expand my blog to include my other creative interests
  • to continue to enjoy sharing my projects on social media and to take part in a-longs relevant to the season
  • to watch and learn from new podcasts
  • to finish as many already started projects as I can.
That will keep me very busy but having a lot of fun too. 

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