Thursday, 31 January 2013

Absent but with reason

So since my last post a lot has been happening. Both health and creatively. My being on the fodmap elimination diet feels like my gi system did a massive reboot. Absolutely brilliant except I'm getting quite bored of raspberries now. However gluten free brown bread is delicious and never gets boring for me. I've managed to gain more weight and my appetite has trebled at least. All good hey. Unfortunately my stomach is bloated by 11 inches over my normal healthy measurement so pj bottoms are now essential. I'm sure when everything has healed I will get a waist back. If not, who cares as long as I continue getting healthy right? There are more important things to worry about than going from a very athletic build to an apple shape.
I've been enrolling on lots of Craftsy courses and I really am enjoying it. Take a look for yourself.
I've now got a knitmeter which tells me how much knitting I do. Slightly scared by the honest amount this year so far. Almost 2000m of yarn just for january. Talk about stash busting or what! I set myself a rule that I had to finish a project before buying more yarn. Well I've been yarn shopping. Lots of Yummy yarn. Not huge amounts but enough to feel like I deserve the treat.

 My yarn that Sharon from arrived and its beautiful. Greens and purples on a stellina base 4ply. Happiness indeed. Yes it has a project lined up. I'll be knitting the Bayside pullover by Alana Dakos.
I knit a newborn baby sock and it is soooo cute!
The other will follow very soon. Second sock syndrome isn't remotely possibly when its so tiny.
I'll post images of all the fabric I've bought in a few days. One creative stash at a time hey!
So Keiras sparkly waterfall cardigan got turned into a snood. She loves it.
I finished a few more projects too.


Yeah, I dyed my hair bright pink!!!! Loving it. The chunky cowl was my present from my husband. It is a long cowl wrapped around twice, knitted in Malabrigo. Yey for softness.
The lilac bear is modelling a newborn cardigan I knitted for our friends. They had a baby boy and I couldn't resist the frog buttons.
Catch up part one done, more over the weekend my lovely people. Keep safe and do something to make yourself smile today. even if it's jumping in a puddle like a little kid when no one is looking.
Elspeth xx

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Golden Elephants

Hi all,
Todays post is very mixed, creative wise I mean, sewing, knitting, designing etc.
So first things first, probably a decade ago my older sister gave me the beginnings of a skirt asking if I'd like it, being twenty one I hastily accepted because of two reasons. One it was from my big sister ( we weren't that close back then because she's so much older than me ) and two, I wanted to prove I could make a skirt on my own, never having been taught how. My mum and I did make a dress "together" when I was twelve, which involved me helping pin the pattern pieces and pretty much just watched as my mum did everything. It was a lovely pink and blue floral sixties pattern original. I loved it right up until I became a Goth when I was 16. Still, I felt with the sewing machine my mum had given me I could make anything, the fabric world was all mine. Well note todays date.......I'm now a thirty one year old wife and mother who loves crafting. I've not touched it until now because everytime I've taken it out to start on I wasn't feeling brave enough. It had got four darts for shaping and a back seam only. It was for a size UK 16 and I'm a UK 6/8 depending on my health that week. I'd attached so much sentimental value and put all the pressure on myself to get it perfect it became a beautiful piece of dread. Well, I decided we have about 50% too much stuff in our house and we're having a huge clearout. It was make or recycle to a charity. I took the plunge and Made The Skirt is has been crying out to become. It fits beautifully, I used a zip and elastic to accomodate my rapid sudden size fluctuations. I sewed hundreds of tiny golden beads onto part of the pattern repeat around the edge. I pressed it perfectly. Now I have a new skirt with memories and that has been made with much care and longing for it to be perfect. Not for my sister who gave it to me originally, but for me because I realised I deserve a nice skirt just like anyone else.
Also I finally explored the world of Craftsy. Online courses with videos are a lot better than I'd realised. I've signed up for a few knitting and sewing ones. My daughter Kimberly is now 10 and we bought her a small sewing machine for her birthday. It's a full machine just smaller than mine. Her sister Keira bought her a Jelly Roll of fabric, so we're taking the free taster class on making draw string bags together as a bonding activity. It's so much fun yet nerve wracking because I have to let go of the reigns and allow her to grow up into the designer she so desperately wants to be by taking this first step of letting her sew for herself. She's made a few felt toys before but this is her first machine project. Photos of our bags will come I promise.
My husband forgot how to cast off, so in my own best interests (he's knitted me a present for Christmas too) I showed him how again. Well I decided to turn my mini lesson into a lovely pair of Forget-me-not earrings. They're so cute.
Knitting includes my Heartbeat jumper I started by Martin Storey, I'm up to mid armhole of the back.  A blue baby cardigan called Zoom which I put frog buttons on. Very nice simple cardigan to make, I had fun because it was a knit I could daydream along to.
I finished my friends Wings Cowl too, red with beads in purple and red.
I've been designing some shawls too. I say some because I keep dreaming up ideas but then have too many or I feel the patterns won't blend well together on one shawl so I write another pattern for that particular design feature. So I've currently got three shawls mid pattern that I'm trying to knit up alongside everything else too. There really aren't enough hours in the day. Either that or I'm just feeling cheated by evolution for the need to sleep on a regular basis. Who knows!
My hair will be a bright shade of pink with some lagoon blue by the next post. I'm starting the procedure of change today. The only reason I've held off for a couple of weeks is that I didn't want to clash with my knitwear. Daft, but who cares right? If I like it and it makes me feel good, then I'll just clash happily. Besides I have a few purple, pink and blue projects lined up for this year.
I'm sorry about the lack of pictures, I'm having a glitch. Lots next time ok.
Take care of yourselves, keep knitting and sewing etc
Elspeth x

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


Wednesday 2nd January 2013

Podcasts I'm listening to are: Books on the Nighstand, 2 Knit Lit Chicks, Cast on, Commuter Knitter Podcast, Electric Sheep, Knit Picks Podcast, The Knit wits, Knitmoregirl's podcast, Knitting Brooklyn, Knitting Rose Podcast, Robinznest, Subway Knits, TheKnitGirllls, The Yarniacs. I also listened to another one recently but haven't decided yet if it's a keeper yet. The rest above are all available on iTunes for free and are a lot of fun to listen to, but I did discover that I cannot work on anything with cables in while listening to 2 Knit Lit Chicks because I laugh too much and forget which way I'm cabling ha ha.

Audio books for me are brilliant. I love reading on my Kindle while I knit simple repeats etc but I find listening to books is great for when I'm needing to watch every row on lace etc. Right now I'm listening to 'The Wolf Gift' by Anne Rice. I have all her books, some as duplicates in paperback and hardcover, some collectible 1st editions. So I feel justified listening to her work too. I do have another nine or ten audiobooks to listen to at some point too. I'm letting them stock up so I can just choose one at random and my monthly subscription downloads from my wish list on Audible.

Right this minute wips include: Panache (pictured below) Vintage, which is a blanket I'm making for my friends who are expecting a son at the beginning of April. I've made a few hats already. Baby boy cardigan in blue worsted / aran weight yarn for some other friends whose son is due on 1st February. This afternoon I plan on casting on Hearty. It's a big mega chunky sweaty by Martin Storey. I'll be using this yarn plus some leftover green for the heart.

The Christmas gifts I received this year were amazing. My husband gave me not just the Addi Art Swarovski needles, he also gave me the new iPod Nano in purple with 'One stitch at a time...' engraved on the back. So chuffed!!! My oldest daughter Kimberly bought me 4mm Signature circular needles, my middle daughter Keira bought me a collection of comical miniature sheep on a display, hilarious. My youngest daughter Niamh bought me a Signature cable needle and a skein of Flamboyance Meteor Yarn, Sparkly purple! which of course was wound straight away and I cast on Panache. A shawl pattern Niamh chose on Ravelry. I was spoilt and it felt amazing.

Hangers on from Christmas are pretty much going to keep until next winter I feel. I gave other gifts in leau don't worry I'm not mean. It just became a chore and not so much fun. My girls loved their gifts though.

I've also signed up for a few Craftsy courses for this year too.

12 in 2013 Projects is a group I joined on Ravelry. You make a list of 12 projects you want to create this year and work your way through in any order you like and chat about it with your fellow Ravelers. It's a very supportive bunch and I'm really excited to be a part of it. My list didn't stop at 12 though, it's actually 23 projects. I couldn't choose between them. I have all the yarn in my stash ( which makes qualification) for all the projects so I can just pick and choose. My hubby Dave helped me piut each projects' yarn, pattern etc into bags, then into clear tubs. That way I can see what I'll be creating without having to constantly rummage.
I'll post photos as I knit along. So much fun.

Plus this year is my year. As a family we agreed that I will be designing and creating a range of knitted pieces and working on my books for children, to that end, we upgraded the techy stuff in our home so I can just work my noodle off :-) ( I love smileys)
I've done a little charity knitting too this year,

Health update, well now, um big pile of negatives for GI really, new though is that I have a partially deflated left lung again due to my tear re-tearing when we were sorting through things on boxing day. OWCH!!!

Anyway, I have one wish for you all this year, be happy with yourself and remove negativity as much as possible. Yes we all have bills to pay etc but I mean for example, I had pink hair for a few years because the colour helped with my depression, so in a weeks time it'll be pink and pale blue for fun and to be happier. Have a think of something simple, very cheap or free and safe and have fun.
Take care Elspeth x
P.s I finished my socks