Knitting · Uncategorized · Updates

End of Year Reflection 2017

So this year I learnt an important lesson – raising a small person is actually really bloody hard work. Equally, it’s also one of the most rewarding things I’ve done! Lily is getting so big and really developing into her character now. It’s so much fun to watch.

I’ve also learnt to not overestimate myself so much. Part of my problems  this year were caused by me trying to pack in way to much. There is logic in all things – and I seem to get more done when I make sure I have time to unwind and relax. I don’t have to be superwomen – I’m also pretty awesome at my go-slow pace!

2018 is going to be about listening to myself and making sure I just enjoy what’s happening.

So here’s the response to the letter I wrote to myself this time last year – how naive I was!

Dear a probably very tired me,

At least I got that bit right!!!

You’re now the mother of a nearly 1 year old bubs and you’re at the end of what was probably the most challenging and rewarding year of your life. Fingers crossed you managed to not lose bubs anywhere… in which case win! Honestly, if bubs is happy and healthy by this point then this has been successful year. Bubs should have also had most of the Harry Potter series read to bubs already 🙂

Cannot believe how quickly the last year has gone! I did manage not to lose her – she’s currently having a cuddle and a nap with Grandad (that’s both of them!). She’s giggling now – almost without fail now if I crawl towards her going “mummy’s going to get you!”. Harry Potter hasn’t happened – way to many words for a small person. However, we have fostered a love of books and she enjoys passing books to us so we can read them to her. So I’m very pleased about that – even though I know some of those books off by heart now!!

Hopefully by next year the blog will have also grown. In 2016 we hit the 100 followers milestone, the plan is to double that by the end of 2017. If we can get there then that would be awesome. With the arrival of bubs I would like to start earning a little bit of money off the blog so that I can start funding advertising and get the blog it’s own URL. With bubs there is unlikely to be any money to self fund much. The hope is that I can do some guest blogging and potentially get some paid gigs out of it. If I am funding my own craft habit by the end of 2017 then the other half will reward with serious brownie points 🙂

Rather than growing, the blog has had to take a bit of a back seat. As much as I would love to be able to write more, there is to many other priorities at the moment. While I love writing and it’s a fantastic record of my progress as a knitter – helped by the encouragement of my lovely readers – that’s what it is going to have to stay as for the minute. There is a chance I might be setting up an Etsy store – so I can sell off the things I make because Lily just has to many clothes and I love knitting so much!

So on the job front: the plan is to start back at work around the end of March/ beginning of April time line. By then bubs will be about 3 months old and should hopefully be sleeping through the night (fingers crossed). The plan is then to start hunting out a promotion at work by about the middle of the year. My plan is to have a career, being a working mum is going to be really hard, but I know it’ll be worth it in the long run.

Going back to work plan did go as expected. But it was much harder (for both me and my husband!) than I ever expected it to be. It was a long time before I found I was getting any time to relax and unwind. Promotion didn’t happen either – but I did do a lot of self development and I have learnt a lot about myself and what I am able to do this year. Have some very exciting plans in place for 2018.

By the time you’re reading this, that book will be finished and actually published on Amazon. Because this is getting seriously ridiculously stupid if not as if this is still not done by now you have definitely need to take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror. This has now been in editing for half a decade and it needs to be published.

Not quite…. opps….

On the other hand my Grandad has now come on board as an editor and so he’s editing my edited copy as a final edit. So I have high hopes that he will keep me on track for this year! But I have definitely made progress on this during the year.

I don’t have any massive hopes for my knitting this year (I’m pretty sure that in my sleep induced haze I’ll be struggling to count rows and stitches). But if I can get in a few cute knits for bubs then all will be well. The plan is also to really improve my sock knitting – I’m thinking by now I’ll have knitted at least 12 pairs (1 a month on average). They’ll have been good sized travelling companions this year and I will hopefully have a few cute pairs of pretty socks. Recently I heard of a woman who donated a load of blankets she’s knitting to the Salvation Army, so that would be cool if I could have some spare knits by now to donate.

Actually the knitting has gone pretty well this year – surprisingly. I’ve also got a lot faster this year. I’ve also joined 2 knitting circles which I try and alternate week by week and made some lovely friends through that. They’re also a great support network!

#Edit to knitting plan (Caused by my addiction to buying yarn!)

– Finish the Red/Blue Pram Blanket

This happened early this year and came with us to Disneyland Paris in November.

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– Finish the knitted patchwork blanket

This also happened 🙂 Was very pleased with myself for getting this one done.

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– 12 pairs of socks

12 was actually 1… to small for Lily to wear… This was definitely more of a blanket than socks year.

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– This jumper for bubs. It’s mainly ribbing and stocking stitch – so not a massive stretch of the imagination to get this finished!

I actually cast this on a couple of days ago. It’s coming together pretty quickly – so I’m hoping this might be done before the new year comes around. The yarn looks awesome and is really nicely!

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– Get started on this pattern for bubs

This one is one of the next on my list to be done. It’ll be a nice one to have for Spring.

By now you should have actually completed your first 10K race. After having to put the first one off from April 2016 (turns out that exhaustion was due to bubs!) you should now have got your fitness up enough to be able to run 10K again. If not then I am very disappointed as I feel like the exercise will help keep the stress levels to a minimum and keep some sort of sanity together. You’ll also be going climbing at least twice a month in an attempt to tone up some core muscles again – and climbing is super fun.

#Edited Run Plan:

June/July = 5K Race – Need to Book

August = 10K race – Need to book

End Sept = Half Marathon – Need to book, but would like to do the New Forest one

Nov/Dec Time = Marathon – Need to book

Running happened in the form of a 5K race at the beginning of the year. But then it just became something I’ve just not had the time to do. What I need to is look after myself better this year. I’m  thinking about signing up to a yoga class near our house – both as a health/exercise and a mindfulness  exercise.

Financially I would really like to reduce how much I spend. If I could do that then we could save a lot more. So hopefully by the time I’m reading this I will have some savings and reduced how much I’ve been spending. But fingers crossed… I might have even be able to siphon some off for yarn…

This actually has happened this year. My husband took on this task and we’ve really worked on budgeting. As a result we’re managing to focus our resources on saving for holidays and we’re hoping to get some travelling in before Lily starts school. So that’s definitely progress on this point. As part of this we give ourselves ‘pocket money’ – a respectable proportion of mine has been spent on yarn and some yummy patterns!

So future me, I hope you’ve managed to at least meet most some of the above. With bubs keeping you busy I imagine you’ve had some sort of serious adjusting to do. But fingers crossed you’ve managed to stay on top of most of it!

I was correct – some of the above was achieved. Lots of adjusting has occurred and I’ve learnt lots about myself. It’s been a year of lots of ups and downs – including the car being written off when someone drove into the back of the car while we were waiting at a roundabout. Thankfully we managed to get it back on the road – but it was added stress I definitely did not need this year!

Bye me and I hope you’ve had an exciting 2017!

It has been an exciting year overall. I have a lovely husband and daughter. My family and friends have been incredibly supportive and I can only thank them – I couldn’t have managed it without you all.

Love to you all and hope you all had an amazing 2017 and here’s to an even more amazing 2018!

MrsKirstyHoll

x

 

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Knitting · My Finished Objects (F.O) · Updates

An Update from Me and Change of Purpose

So it appears that most of you were right a few months back when you said I was doing way to much.

I was actually on route to a burn out and got diagnosed with depression in August. It’s been a tough couple of months. But we’re on the up now. For anyone wondering – apparently taking on way to much can be a symptom  (the opposite end is not wanting to do anything at all).

I’ve still been knitting though – it’s amazing how much it can do for your mental health. The amount of focus it takes is great for helping things calm down and putting it all in perspective. Where I’m not putting so much pressure on myself to get blog posts written, I am probably knitting more.

I finished this Shawl for my Nan. She’s just come back home from hospital and I’m hoping it keeps her nice and snuggly.

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The Mini Christmas elf is also done. This was the first toy knit I’ve done for a while and I really enjoyed making it 🙂 I chickened out of the face though. My sewing skills are naf,

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I also finally finished backing this Starwars Scarf! I was initially going to sew something on the back. However, I’ve been picking up crochet skills this year and finally figured out how to back it! Combo of yellow and black DK yarn.

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crochet back star wars

I don’t want to stop blogging in its entirety. I love writing, but with a small person it’s not something I can fully focus on making work. Work is also super exciting at the moment, so I’m plowing a lot of energy into that. So I need my hobbies to relax me and help me chill out. The blog will continue to be, but more as an online documentation of what I’ve done in the world of knitting. It will be a place of my knitting ideas and inspiration. It will be a place where I keep my (ever growing) To-Do list of knitting projects. It will be a place of my list of my completed projects and a place of my writing as I continue to edit my book (I will get that damn thing finished one day!!).

So thanks for being patient with me. I’ve been told I need to clear some stuff off my plate and I know that pressuring myself to do this regularly is just on thing to many at the moment. I need to back off and make this fun again.

Love to you all and Happy Knitting

MrsKirstyHoll

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Knitting · Updates

Weekend Update

So this weekend was fun!

Friday night I went out with my very lovely colleagues for some drinks – our local pub apparently sells bottles of bubbles for £9.95 on a Friday… So I was happy. Hence the late post of chapter 2 – sorry guys! This was my first proper night since Lily was born I didn’t have to worry to much as Dan didn’t have work in the morning and she’s now in her own cot.

SATURDAY

Not so much on Saturday morning… But Dan dragged us out to the local charity shops where I found a dress for my brother-in-laws wedding. A bargin at £7.99!

I also found a silvery shawl and a bag to add to the outfit – also charity shop finds. So this outfit is set to be complete for under £20. Really just need shoes and a head piece. I have until the end of the month so fingers crossed.

Needless to say I did feel a lot better after a coffee! Not entirely sure why Lily decided that lying on the table was a comfortable position.

Managed to get those socks finished Saturday night! Only 11 pairs of my 12 aim to go.

Sunday

Sunday started at around 6:30am. This consisted on Lily needing her usually easy nappy change and feed. It then proceeded in a massive tantrum because she was tired and did not want to go to sleep again. At about 9am I give in for the first time and strapped her in a car seat and literally just drove until she fell asleep.

Once she was asleep I sat with an energy drink on one side and a ball of yarn in the other and knitted a few rows of the terribly simple shawl – thanking my lucky stars it wasn’t more complex as I could not have handled that!

So this was a DIY day. We had collected a huge number of odd jobs around the house. Turns out we have no idea how to do any of them and my husbands very lovely parents came and helped. The black out blind I brought about a month ago is finally up in Lily’s room, new bath taps (one was falling apart) and the bath seal is a WIP.

The Dumbledore quote and dreaming and oceans that I brought about 4 months ago is also finally up in her room- OMG that was a fiddle. The pictures have Command Strips, but do require actually putting up still. But definitely progress!

I’ve also painted some DIY letters for her door. So that will be appearing in a blog soon!

That’s all from me today, off to do some learning while Lily’s asleep!

Love to you all and happy knitting!

MrsKirstyHoll

x

Knitting · Updates

Random Thursday – Knitted Bicycle Seat

Yes you read that right.

So I went for a wonder around a local charity shop and found this….

No, I did not return home with a kit to knit a bike seat cover. Who would want a knitted bike seat cover? If that person is you then you prayers have been answered.

Anyhow, just a short one today while I wonder the whys and hows behind this odd find….

Love to you all and happy knitting

Mrskirstyholl

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Knitting · Updates

What I did at the Weekend

Friday

So this weekend I treated myself to a days holiday and had Friday off too. Happy days 🙂

I’ve recently gained an English Heritage membership through work, so I thought I’d make some use of it and go exploring.

My friend, her daughter, Lily and I found ourselves at 11am on Friday morning driving to Dorchester to find The Nine Stones. These are essentially 9 large rocks in a circle type arrangement that were placed there about 4000 years ago. No idea why, but there are only 4 of them that can be found in Dorset, UK. Lily was strapped into the harness (the meadow walk to get there was not pushchair friendly). She seemed to enjoy the trip…

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My friend also found a 4 leaf clover – which was pretty cool! I’d never seen one before.

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Also published my first chapter of A Game of Life and DeathSo that was pretty cool 🙂

Saturday

Saturday was a very busy day. Lily and I got up at 7ish, then went to swimming at 9am. She’s really getting the hang of putting her face in the water – they encourage them to copy us so she’s moving at her own pace with this one which is nice.

From swimming we went into Poole to meet a friend, which was lovely. Then we went straight from Poole into Bournemouth to meet some other friends for lunch at The Real Greek. We’re a huge fan of high chairs in restaurants. Lily is also starting to develop a habit of studying menus…

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We’ve also developed an attachment to a travel sized version of “I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet…” which she now pretends to read and studies the pictures. So cute!

In the evening we then went to a friend’s engagement party, which was lovely 🙂 Lily was absolutely fascinated by the disco lights and promptly fell asleep in a faster manner than she does at home. How does that work exactly?

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Sunday

Was just a day of chilling, knitting and wine. Which I completed needed after the last couple of days!

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I’m going to give this very yummy bottle of wine from Lidl (on offer at £2.99) the credit for giving me the courage to finally learn DPN knitting.

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So that’s all from me for today 🙂 what did you guys get up to this weekend?

Love to you all and happy knitting!

MrsKirstyHoll

x

Knitting · My WIP Projects · Updates

New Wip – Socks 1/12

Hello all – my name is Kirsty and I am addicted to knitting….

So, in all fairness, I’ve started another WIP because I needed a change from the shawl (garter stitch gets boring after a while) and I have finished the first yarn ball.

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This is currently on hiatus while I jump to my first sock knit of the year.

As it’s my first project on DPNs I thought it might be best to start off on something small and easyish.

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In all honesty, it took me a good 6 rows in to actually get the hang of this. It took ripping the first attempt apart and restarting to work out what on earth I needed the 5th needle for. Once I got started though the length soon started adding up.

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By about row 5 it was feeling a lot less awkward knitting with about a zillion needles. Getting used to it now.

So my main yarn is Crofter 4ply baby fair isle effect from Sidar Snuggly (super soft). The pattern also wants some contrasting yarn for the heel – so we’re swapping to Regia 4ply verigated for that. We’ll see how these go. They might be for Lily if they fit, or they’ll be donated if they don’t. I can use this knit though to work out how much larger Lily will need it to be.

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We tried Lily on orange and lemon yesterday – each slice was quickly demolished. She is quickly becoming a citrus lover! Now just to try her on some lime…

Love to you all and happy knitting

MrsKirstyHoll

x

Crochet · My WIP Projects · Updates

Work in Progress Update – Pikachu

Just a quick update tonight 🙂 I just wanted to share with you my progress on the Pikachu I am crocheting from Sunshine Sugar n’ Cream Aran weight cotton yarn.

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To be honest, it’s looking larger that I thought it would – which isn’t a bad thing. It will make the toy more substantial (it’s a Christmas present for Lily). The Sunshine yellow shade also looks fantastic – I’m also going to have to order some more off Amazon before I can progress any further though as this used up a lot more yarn than I thought I would.

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The shaping of the body looks good. There is a distinctive head and body shape to it, which will hopefully become more pronounced as I add the features. Those are the next job when the yarn arrives!

That’s all from me at the minute. Trying to prep for the launch of Chapter one of my Novel tomorrow!

For participating in the 7th Annual Charleston Sports FestGiven this day 13th of June in the year 2020.

What are you all making at the moment? Would love to see your current favourite WIP – post in the comments below 🙂

Love to you all and happy knitting!

MrsKirstyHoll

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