My Finished Objects (F.O) · My WIP Projects · Updates

Finished Object – Baby Cardi and WIP progress

Hi all!

Sorry I’ve been majorly quiet lately. Lily has done some serious growing and is not less baby and more toddler. Where on earth did the time go???? She’s also now found the stairs and 90% of the time refuses to nap unless its a power nap in the car. So I have zero blogging time because…

Any spare time is going into finishing ‘A Game of Life and Death’. This is the novel I penned while I was at uni. It has spent the last 5 years being occasionally dusted off for an attempt before being abandoned. What’s changed? My grandad wants to read it and has fuelled a new motivation to get it done – he’s also amazing and is proofreading for me. It’s now 2/3rds edited. Currently re-writing the final section – the original ending was not completely working with me. The plan is to publish through Amazon. So will update you when this is done!

 

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Pattern? Stylecraft Lullaby 8912. Chosen because it was a longer cardi design – which I hadn’t seen in many baby patterns, the textured patterning and the adorable addition of the ears on the hood.

So what did I learn from this knit? Look more closely at the yardage when swapping for another yarn than the pattern suggest. I’m not kidding when I say I’ve probably got enough yarn to knit this cardi again – and I knitted the largest size!!! In addition, it was also the first time I’d knitted button holes – thanks Youtube! The instructions for them didn’t come across that easily for a beginner, but the video instructions helped make sense of it all.

What yarn was it? Stylecraft Special for Babies. Really lovely to knit with. This cardi hasn’t been washed yet, so not sure how well it’s going to wash. But it knitted up relatively quickly and feels lovely and soft. Will have to find another pretty pattern to finish off the rest of the stash.

lily cardi

Other WIPS on my needles:

  • A SS draping cardi for me (for when I just need to zone out infront of the telly)
  • A small gift for my cousin’s new baby
  • A colourwork scarf that a friend’s claimed
  • A dementia muff

These WIPs aren’t in my range of focus until the book is done. But I have found that doing some simple knitting before bed does help me settle. So I try and get about 30 minutes in before heading up for the night.

That’s my update currently. Any news from you guys? Please leave updates in the comments below!

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Knitting · Updates

Stash Post Part 2

With the yarn show in London next week I thought I better finish working out what I still had in my stash…

Promise to try and be good….

1. Natura Just cotton

2x Yellow

1x Crimson (a pretty pinky red)

1x black

2. Turqoise green yarn. Unknown make. Found in charity shop… Aran weight/thick dk.

3. Pink Aran yarn. Unknown yarn

4. Cotton Prints Dk Sirdar

5. Jaeger Monte Cristo Cool crepe dk 50g

3 x black

6. Red sequin dk yarn. 50g

7. Black sequin DK yarn.

50g x 2

8. New Arrival DK. 100g

9. multi coloured sock yarn

3 x 50g pink mix

10. multi coloured sock yarn.

100g mixed blue

11. Green cygnet chunky. 100g.

12. mixed DK

13. Black fluffy DK

250g black.

14. Green sparkly yarn

15. Linen Shadow DK. 50g

That’s the second installment. Now to wade through all the scraps and the bottom of the stash box!…

…and some bags of yarn hidden in Lily’s room….

Need to start figuring out what to do with it all. It’s taken a few hours to sort through… but it’s been really fun re-finding everything!

Anyone have any idea on where I should start?

love to you all and happy knitting

mrskirstyholl

x

Knitting · Updates

My stash – part 1

I’m going to put all my stash into a page so I can use it to plan my knits!

Hope you enjoy the nose through 🙂

1. Mixed bag of DK left from art of knitting knitted blanket.

2. Sirdar Snuggly – baby bamboo dk. 50g x 2

3. DK blue verigated

4. Crofter Baby fair isle dk blue verigated. Sirdar snuggly.

5. Sirdar Funky fur. 50g

6. Tinsel yarn

7. Random brown yarn. Feels a bit like tweed?

8. lily sugar n cream assorted. Aran weight. cotton yarn

9. Assorted Patons cotton DK yarn. (light pink = x2)

10. Patons Merino extrafine DK. 1 x blue and 1 x red

11. Sirdar snowflake. 6 x 25g red. 6 x 25g white.

12. 100g mixed colour sock yarn

13. mixed verigated dk

14. mary maxim scrub it.50g. cotton.

15. dk yellow x 3

that’s all from me for now… early start and need to go to bed!!!

love to you all and happy knitting

mrskirstyholl

x

photography · Updates

Dragged out with camera….

So last Sunday my husband dragged me out for a walk. My replacement camera (he accidently broke the last one about 2 years ago) arrived in the post from CEX a couple of weeks ago and so I brought it out with us.

I’ve missed having super macro! The colours and the wood was beautiful – but very muddy and I will bring wellies next time!

These are some of my favourites from the day…

Love to you all and happy knitting

MrsKirstyHoll

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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!

Jumper Wip - Day 2

 

– 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

 

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.

shawl

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,

xmas elf

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

x

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

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