Overwhelmed at Home

I was going to journal this. But I thought that it might be interesting to share – as I can’t imagine I’m the only one.

So I’ve managed to get my life to a point where I am really enjoying work, my hobbies, friends and family. Currently the only things that seem to be being neglected are my husband and my house (including the gerbils – but they tend not to complain unless their addiction to pumpkin seeds goes unsatisfied).

With my change of hours at work my husband has had to cope with me going from an early bird to someone who gets up around 9:30ish most days. We’re also working hours that sometimes means the only time we get to see each other is an hour at lunch. To combat this we have decided to really start putting time and money aside to go out on at least one proper date night each month. We have both managed to bring down our spending and we are finding there is more money free for these much more fun excursions (while not going in the red!). Although, there is something to be said about not seeing him as much as I did. I think I actually now consciously appreciate the time I do spend with him more.

This month we made use of this buy a gift voucher for a 2 for 1 spa day at a Marriot Hotel. We have one locally in Bournemouth that we’ve been to before. It was a really lovely morning and it really put me on a high for the rest of the week. The other major plus was being able to chill together without the constant distractions of our phones, work, home and other general life issues.

The house is currently another matter entirely….

What I was trying to do last year was bring the amount of stuff I owned down to more manageable amount. The trouble I have now is that my mindset has changed to a point where I look at my stuff and it just stresses me out. Because it is literally everywhere and I can’t find anything. I’ve reached a realisation that I prefer spaces with less stuff in it – like cafe’s etc. They make me feel so much calmer. This has now reached a point that I would rather spend money in the local cafe than have a coffee at home.

The sign: I really need another sort through in this house. Stuff has to leave it. Another sign: I really need to focus on getting rid of distractions that stop me getting important stuff done. Netflix and Iplayer need to start being regulated to a time where I’m knitting or crafting/washing up.

Another thing I have also done is turning off notifications from apps on my phone. Including messages. This might sound absolutely nuts. But the other day I managed to leave my phone at my nans (I didn’t even know exactly where it was for about 10 hours). What really surprised me is that I didn’t really care. Yes, it would have been a bit of a pain having to organise a new phone and set it up. But it was also really freeing not to have it on me.

In all honesty, if it wasn’t for the fact that the data allows it to be a really useful hotspot and I can blog on it, I would consider downgrading. I might still downgrade as I’m pretty sure some of the lower end phones still have this function now. I have managed to find a way of fixing my old Nexus 7 that stopped charging 18 months ago. The laptop fixers on a local highstreet have quoted me about £50 to get it working again. Which is about £200 less than buying a new tablet! So combining that with a lower end phone would be a great cost saver.

In a more positive note, I’ve reacquainted myself with one of my favourite childhood CD’s this week. I originally had it on tape, then brought the CD a few years back. Here’s a playlist I found on YouTube of the album. It makes me feel so happy and so calm when I listen to it. So, if you’re having some stuff going on at the moment that is stressing you out – I invite you to have a listen…

Anyway, I now need to start sorting out some of this stuff. The quicker that’s done, the quicker I can get back to knitting 🙂 (the second bootie is nearly knitted – so an F.O post should be up within the week!!)

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Happy Knitting

MrsKirstyHoll

x

 

W.I.P – Booties in Blue

So this week I  wanted to get a started on a little project. After the size of the jumper project, a more handbag friendly option seemed like a good break before I pick-up one of my WIPs.

As promised, this project came from a stash ball of wool. The project is small and rated intermediate in difficulty. So it should be interesting.

Preview shot

Not entirely sure what I’ll be doing with the F.O. But I think they’ll be very cute – especially in this wool 🙂

WIP

I’m loving the use of self striping wool and it is also lovely and soft to the touch. It’s also coming together pretty quickly. What I will probably do is knit both of the set and then sew them up later.

In other news, I won a Facebook competition for a box of a new variety of Kettle Crisps – Mozzeralla and Pesto flavour. I love pesto so I’m finding these very more-ish. But they’re notionally a bit healthier than normal crisps and I’ve been to the gym twice this week. They also mean that I don’t need to buy a snack at work. So that’s a win.

 

Bites

What’s everyone else got on the needles at the moment?

Happy knitting

x

 

Wading Through Fields and Stashes

So my girls and I decided that we would head out for a lovely walk in the countryside.

Yep… a lovely dry walk in the sunshine…

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This was meant to be a field….

I have never loved these Wellington boots so much. At it’s highest, the water was about 2 inches from the top of my wellies.

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Yes it was muddy and yes it was very, very wet, but it was so much fun. However, I felt so happy and so content. It was really nice just bringing myself back to nature again. With this horrible, cold weather, I’ve definitely spent way to much time indoors.

 

Time to start planning more walks. I live in a beautiful part of the country and I really don’t appreciate it enough.

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Now to head home and serious start sorting through my yarn stash.

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I need to start sorting out what yarn can be matched with which project.

Anyone else have a feeling that this could take a while?

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Happy knitting

x

F.O. – A Pink Jumper with Very Long Arms

I have some very exciting news! The Pink Jumper is very much finished.

Although that wasn’t the case on Sunday…. My arm sleeves were very uneven…. After measuring I realised that the right arm was a entire 11 inches longer than the left. Apparently I got a little carried away with the knitting….

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You may also notice that it is entirely missing a hood. This was due to me following the instructions of ‘sew the jumper together’ without a diagram. The sleeves got sewn on a  bit wrong and there was not space at the top with which to attach the hood. After realising, I couldn’t unpick it as I couldn’t be sure what I was cutting…..

Another thing I had to worry about was shortening my very uneven sleeves. It was my granddad that suggested shortening from the bottom of the knitting. I didn’t think this was possible.

But, intrigued, I took to Google and I found this life-saver of a tutorial. It was a really easy tutorial to follow.

 

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So, armed with my now shortened sleeve, I sewed up the trial bits of wool and I have myself an unpolished – but finished – jumper.

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It’s massively oversized and actually really comfy. It is not perfect, but it’s my first project with sleeves and it has not been a complete disaster. So I’m rather pleased with myself 🙂

Now onto my next WIP 🙂

Happy Knitting

x

Personal Challenges for 2016

Well we are now nearly half way through the first month of 2016! Where the heck did the time go?

So I recently found the playlist ‘Try Living with Lucie’ – where she has lots of personal week long challenges. They are really interesting to watch if you’re hunting for some yourself.

Based on this (and significant input from The Minimalists) I’ve come up with a few challenges of my own.

  1. From February I will be attempting to not drink any more alcohol for the rest of the year (I write this while crying into my glass of red wine). This is harking back to last year where I gave up everything apart from water for 10 days. It felt really good and I’m actually annoyed at myself for reducing my water intake so much. The reason for Feb is this then puts it at a start of a new month and gives me a chance to finish what is left in the house without drinking it too quickly….. (That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!)
  2. I will not buy something brand new unless it is absolutely essential (e.g. replaying a frying pan, I need new underwear or specific equipment for a craft project I am just about to start).
  3. I will not buy any more yarn until I have managed to use up my current stash. I can currently not shut the box the yarn is in….. Yep…. Need to plan some projects from the stash!
  4. Go to the gym at least once a week. Need to build my fitness back up again. Hoping this will be easier as we get closer to spring and I want to actually leave the house!

Well that’s me all challenged for the year. Need to finish the glass of red to recover 🙂

Has anyone else challenged themselves this year? Feel free to post links below 🙂

Happy knitting

x

Listing Points of Now

I spotted this cute idea on a blog idea from Nicnax. I thought I’d give it a go as well 🙂

Making: Plans about future craft projects.
Cooking: A little, but need to find some more interesting meals I can freeze to take to work.
Drinking: Lots of Herbal Tea. Just discovered Twining Camomile & Spiced Apple.
Reading: The Queen by Andrew Marr.
Wanting: Warm weather so that I can start to use the bench in the front garden. A great sun trap.
Looking: forward to the possibilities that 2016 holds.
Remembering: good times from the past.
Annoying: My husband with lack of control over my craft den.
Playing: Law and Order on Channel 5 on Demand.
Wasting: Too much time on housework. Spending too much time cleaning and not enough knitting.
Sewing: My patchwork quilt.
Wishing: For my crafting time.
Paying: Off my credit card and store cards. Once they are clear there ain’t nothing else being spent on them. Looking forward to clearing my (relatively tiny) debt and having more time to chill out.
Enjoying: Discovering new knitting techniques and developing them.
Liking: Wine and Gin mixes.
Loving: Having my own crafting space. Have some alone time space really helps keep me chilled.
Fixing: my new/old Singer sewing machine.
Hoping: To get the house and garden finished this year.
Needing: More yarn (who isn’t?!??!?!?)
Smelling: The vanilla candles I have burning.
Wearing: Red Jeggings, Slipper UGG style boots, a minion T-shirt and a long shop-brought knitted cardigan.
Feeling: Really optimistic about 2016.
Bookmarking: Online info I’m finding on restoring the Singer machine.
Giggling about: A joke my Grandad shared with me which he found on Facebook 🙂

Happy Knitting

x

Another Long Term Project – Singer Restoration

About 6 months ago (i.e. before the move!) I headed down to a local market. As usual, this was a dangerous idea. But I did come home with this beautiful old Singer sewing machine – an absolute bargain at only £5. What I would really like to do is bring a bit of life to this machine and hopefully get it use-able again. It would be nice to use it for a few small sewing projects. But otherwise, I would love to spruce it up to just be able to have something beautiful and steeped in history.

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However, there was a reason for the rock bottom price. The poor little diamond in the rough is not usable right from go. There is a little bit of rust on the metal parts and as you can see half the footplate is missing. However, in spite of that is has some really beautiful detailing.

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Singer 4

In addition to these details added visual interest to this beautiful piece of history, I have also been able to use the number plate to find out a little more about the machine. To me, it looks hand punched, which I find really adds to the overall charm of this old lady.

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My first bit of luck when I finally sat down to research this beauty was stumbling onto the blog ‘Our Handmade Home‘. I definitely plan on spending a bit more time over at this blog, but for the minute Ann’s post has provided me with some really helpful info which has allowed me to identify my machine.

One of her links brought me over to ismacs.net. They have put together a database of the Singer serial numbers and their year of manufacturer. As my Singer has no letters in it’s serial number, I had to head over to this page.  Based on this site, because of the serial number, the approximate date of manufacture is 1893! Which, to me, makes it even more beautiful.

1,339,000 11,913,499 1893

Now knowing the date, I headed over to Google to try and find a way of ID’ing the model – info that will be essential for my hunt for spare parts. I came across www.sandman-collectibles.com (an absolute gem of a website) and this provided me with a fantastic quiz that ID’d the machine for me. Apparently, I am to proud owner of the 28K model. So this will be super useful info – I’ve already been able to locate an instruction manual. I initially found a site that wanted to charge me for it, I but returned to Google an managed to find the PDF online (Win!).

In addition to this, I also did some discovery of the machine itself. Check out the video below or click here to watch it on Youtube. 

This won’t be a project I will finish quickly. It’s going to be a bit of a treasure hunt looking for the spare parts and researching how to restore and clean it up properly. But, however long it takes, it is a project I’m really looking forward to carrying out.

Any maintenance or restoration hints and tips that you can share below will be very welcome. Because currently I have no idea. But the plan is definitely to do a lot of careful research before I do anything else.

Happy Knitting

x