Uncategorized · Updates

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Uncategorized

Christmas gift knits – My lovely Mother in law

This is a blog written back in September. But (for obvious reasons) I couldn’t publish until now!

This is a gift knit for my mother in law. I had this set of wool I picked up from Lidls yonks ago.

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She is a great purple fan so I thought I would be perfect. The wool is also super soft and fluffy.

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Even in garter stitch, the texture makes this look really cute. Hope she likes it!

Got about 1/3rd way through to find I’d somehow added 5 stitches. It’s the first time I’ve knitted with such fluffy wool. So i removed the extra stitches and now I will surge on!

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Lots of other xmas knitting to do!

Happy knitting!

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Uncategorized · Updates

A Year in Review – Reviewing 2015 Resolutions

MY RESOLUTIONS FOR 2015

I spent some time thinking through resolutions for this year. It was easy to see that I was starting to get myself in a bit of a rut. Lots of things needed to change if I wanted to start pushing myself onwards and upwards.

Usually I start the year with lots of resolutions and try to do them all at once. That inevitably fails. I get disheartened and that is usually me done for another year.

So this year, I set myself up with a series of life challenges. I didn’t give myself a target for any of them. For me, just a positive step in the right direction will be a huge personal success.

For me, this concept has been much more successful as it has given me a real focus. They act as guiding points to help me keep my personal growth on track. Writing this blog has also been really helpful as I writing the posts gives me a chance to reflect and record my personal achievements.

The support from all of you (my very lovely and inspiring readers) has also really helped keep me motivated. So thank you so much for all of your advice, help and support this year. You have really helped increase how enjoyable the experience of blogging is.

Get Healthier. 

This has been on a bit of a pendulum. There has been a lot of changes with my home and job alterations, so the change of routines are something that I’m having to slowly adapt to.

Diet: Ranging. I am trying to consciously eat more fruit. My attempt to give up caffeine did last for a few months. But I have slipped back into caffeine with my new shift pattern (3:oopm until 10:30pm). If I want to get up at a reasonable time in the morning I am having to caffeinate myself. I also really enjoy coffee.

**Going to give up anything non-water for 10 days in June 2015 as part of the RNLI H2Only challenge. Check out my progress here **

Exercise: rather excitingly I have managed to actually become a bit of a runner. Although, I must admit that this has slipped a lot since starting my new job. But I plan to start swinging past the gym occasionally on route home for a run. The weather is a bit wet to run outside and there is a local gym that charges £19.99 with no contract. So that should get me through the winter!

** I took part in my first 5km run back in Sept 2015**
Reorganise. 

With continuous inspiration from The Minimalists I have been attempting to par down my stuff. Moving house this year has been an excellent excuse for a sort through, but that is a really slow process.

My main trouble is still the amount of stuff I am bringing into the house. This is something I really still need to work on.

**This has been something I have been tackling this May – through the use of the #minsgame. Check out my progress here.**

Do more crafts 

2014 was a lot of time spent dreaming and a lot less spent making. I knew that this had to change.

This has definitely changed this year. a lot more making has occurred and I’ve got to the point where I rarely leave the house without a knitting project in hand.

So I started with year with 2 projects:

  • A patchwork quilt: This has made some progress this year. It has grown to a point now where trying to take it anywhere is not practical. Need to get this project out after Christmas and get it finished. Looking forward to having this in either the bedroom or the craft room.

 

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  • Knitted scarf: This actually got finished this year. Which was really exciting. So my husband finally has a scarf for when his neck gets a bit chilly!

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I may have also started (and finished) a few more as well:

What I’m loving is the range of projects I’ve been getting up to this year. A lot of these were inspired by projects I’ve seen on other people’s blogs. It’s so fantastic to be part of such an inspirational community.

What I need to do this year – in addition to continuing to progress in my knitting – is get the long term projects finished. Some will be WIPs for a few more years I think. But I’m really enjoying all of the projects I’m doing at the moment.

Life is definitely happier when I’m crafting.
Do more reading

I’m not going to lie, this one hasn’t been particularly successful. In terms of absorbing stories, I have really moved onto audiobooks. This seems to fit in a lot better with my life-style. So I’ve tried to put a bit of a stop on book buying this year and there are books that have left the house.

There are a few books I’ve managed to read this year. But the reading challenge didn’t really work and I don’t really have the reviews as a priority, so I’m putting those on permanent stop. I’ll keep people updated of any reading I’m doing on my Instagram account.

A discovery of Witches. Deborah Harkness – Check out my review here

A Games of Thrones. George R. R. Martin – Check out my review here.

Complete the NCJT Diploma I signed up for in 2013

Hahaha….. well this has officially made 0% progress. There is never any cash prioritised to pay for the exams. I also never get time to study for it. It is safe to say that I don’t think this is getting done! I’m keeping the books through. They will hopefully be useful for improving my blog content.

Do more writing 

I have been writing a lot more  this year. This has included journalling, blogging and an attempt at a first draft of a new novel. I’m hoping to get on with some more of this over the Christmas period.

My other writing includes:

  • My currently mostly unedited debut novel. I can’t promise exactly when this will be finished. It feels a bit like decided whether a child is ready to leave the nest yet.
  • Another part written novel.
  • My various Fanfiction stories. All Harry Potter. All need editing and most need finishing. University unfortunately had to take precedence. However, I still read the fan fiction (check out fanfiction.net) and so it would be nice to write my own again. It’s a great way to get feedback on your writing style.
  • Writing this Blog. This year has been really exciting. It’s been so fun to watch this blog grow and if my following gets big enough I would like to upgrade the blog to have my own URL.
Reduce time spent on time wasting
For the large part, I’ve managed to keep games off my phone. My main trouble at the moment is things like Facebook. It’s actually becoming a bit of a go-to pacifier. Such a killer of time and I would like to find a way of blocking it from downloading on my phone.
I’ve really enjoyed this year though. There are still some things I would really like to get sorted in my life, but those are some things to focus on for next year.
Did you have any resolutions that are similar? What do you think of mine? Please post below.
Knitting · My WIP Projects · Uncategorized

WIP – Knitting – Soft Yoga Top

So this I have officially progressed onto my first project with sleeves. The knitting itself is currently pretty easy – stocking stitch for the most part. But I am sure it will get a little more difficult as I have to shape for the sleeves/hood etc.

This is what the final finished project is supposed to look like. I’m hoping to be able to use it when I want something light over my arms – when it’s chilly by not cold enough for a jumper.

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[Image Copyright Art Of Knitting]

It was also the largest ball of wool I’ve ever needed for a project. 400g of Aran wool looks huge.

Aran 1

[Image Copyright MrsKirstyHoll]

This project is coming to work and back with me every day. I feel actually quite eccentric carrying this around at work…. I do get a few enquiring looks…

 

Aran 2

[Image Copyright MrsKirstyHoll]

For those of you who follow me on Instagram (check out the tab above if you don’t) I am posting all of my progress to there. Currently, I am knitting the first piece. The back is about half finished at the moment. I’m hoping to have the entire thing finished by Christmas.

This is the latest progress shot from about 20 minutes ago.

Aran 3

[Image Copyright MrsKirstyHoll]

What do you guys think? I’m really enjoying the project.

What are you all up to at the moment?

 

My Finished Objects (F.O) · sewing

F.O. – Home crafts – Net Curtains.

So I finally have my craft room up and running. It’s (creative) chaos with candles and fairy lights.

Spent the last few weeks getting a birthday/Christmas knit done. That has now been safely delivered and opened. So pictures to follow soon.

Today’s job is to get started on the net curtains for my craft room.

The old ones have made it off the window. They have holes and paint splatters!

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The new ones will be made out of fabric from my top table backdrop at my wedding. The mirrored butterflies were all hand sewn on by my grandmother in law.

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This is a close up shot of the new fabric. It isn’t as wide as the old fabric. But its more than twice as long as it needs to be. So i’m going to half it and have 2 pieces.

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So I have spent the evening with a needle and thread with Netflix 🙂 I am totally obsessed with Homeland at the moment…..

Hand sewing took a good few hours. But very pleased with the final result!

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What do you think? I think that I could save myself so much time by learning how to use a sewing machine!!