Finished Objects · Natter

Monthly round up – January & February

It happened again. I even had a reminder set on my calendar for 1st Feb to do the January round up, and I’ve been ignoring it for almost a month, so I may as well do two together. Whatever.

I have one small FO this month, although as you’ll see I have another one pretty close (which is good, because I want to wear it at EYF)! I decided to include it here as it’s a small quick project, so an FO post for it would have been pretty short.

Settle in, grab yourself a brew or a tipple of choice, and a craft project, and read on to hear what I’ve been up to!

What’s been going on?

January was a bit eventful – as I mentioned in my last post, I got the flu that was doing the rounds, which basically wiped me out for almost 2 weeks, and it’s taken until the last week or two for my voice to be anything close to normal. Not fun. I also went on an away day with work to look at the bigger picture and help to plan strategy for the next few years, which was more interesting than it sounds, I promise!

My Fiance and I also took a day trip out to Spurn Point in the East Riding of Yorkshire so I could practice with my new-to-me DSLR camera (Nikon D80, for the interested), which was rather exciting. Here’s a small selection of the better photos I took:

I still have a lot of learning to do with it, but I’m enjoying the process.

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The other fun bit in January was going to the pantomime at the York Theatre Royal, which has been done by basically the same cast for the last 35 years or so, and is consistently brilliant and random. This year it was (loosely) Jack and the Beanstalk, but included an Abba dance routine done by stormtroopers (Super Trooper, obviously!), and several more ‘what?’ type moments that were glorious! The two main actors in it (Berwick Kaler and Martin Barrass) have both had fairly major health issues over the last two years so it was really good to see them both bouncing around the stage again. The panto doesn’t have any ‘celebrities’ in it (in the conventional sense of the word), but the cast are all pretty famous locally, and I think York will be bereft when they eventually stop. Next year will be Berwick Kaler’s 40th, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he chooses to stop after that.

February saw catch ups with a few friends that were long overdue, babysitting for some friends’ kids (I’m not sure who needed the luck more that night, but we all survived and had fun), getting my hair re-coloured, and most notably, falling over. Yup. I’m a 30-something year old who still trips and falls like a child. What can I say? I was rushing across a dark shadowy car park, didn’t see the kerb, tripped and went down like a sack of spuds. I scraped up both knees in spectacular fashion, and (briefly) dislocated my knee. I have hypermobility so I do dislocate things more easily than most people, but the combination of the scrapes and the dislocation, plus one of the knees then getting infected meant lots of hobbling about for a while. I’ll spare you the pictures of that, because it’s been pretty nasty!

So far 2018 has been pretty mean to me health wise, so I’d appreciate positive thoughts for a healthier time in the rest of the year!

What’s coming up in March?

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The main thing happening for me in March is Edinburgh Yarn Festival, which I’m very excited about! I’m staying in an AirBnB flat with two of my friends, and I have lots of plans to meet up with other friends while I’m there, both at the festival and elsewhere (as Edinburgh is where I went to uni, so I still have friends there). I’ll be there on Friday and Saturday, so if you see me, please say hi! I’m starting to plan my purchases, and will be doing a blog about EYF (like I did for Yarndale last year) when I get back.

Other than that, I’m hoping for a fairly quiet month… A girl can hope, right?

What’s on my needles/hooks/sewing desk and other crafty things?

My Half Moon Oracle is still chugging along nicely – I’m so close to finishing now! Just a few more rows of lace, and an epic icord bind off, and it’ll be done, hopefully in time for EYF, as the designer (Kristen Lehrer of Voolenvine Yarns and the Yarngasm podcast) is going to be there, and I want to fangirl, and get her to take a pic with me and it! Here it is in its current state, slightly scrunched up on the needles, but you can get the idea:

It’s knit from RiverKnits Splendiferous Sock blend (70% Superwash Blue Faced Leicester, 20% Silk, 10% Cashmere) which is just dreamy to knit with, on 4.5mm KnitPro interchangeable needles. The colourways are Starry Night, Harecastle, and Blisworth. This was my Christmas Eve Cast On, so I’m pleased with how quickly I’ve got it done.

I’ve also been working on my rainbow stripy socks that I mentioned last month. These haven’t grown as much as you might expect, because of a new cast on that I’ll tell you about in a minute, but they are almost at the heel flap (two more stripes to go). The pattern for these is The Best Self Striping Ribbed Socks In The World by Nathan Taylor, who I’m also hoping to see at EYF, although chances of me getting a photo with my socks is less likely. You never know though, he is usually up for a laugh (just watch his podcast and count how many times he giggles!).

The yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply in colourway 822 Rum Paradise, and are knit on 2.25mm KnitPro Symfonie needles, as per my usual MO. I’m knitting the biggest size (72 stitches).

My other WIPs from last month haven’t seen the light of day, so no point in updating you on those.

I do have a new cast on though! A little while ago I offered to test knit Zoe Carter’s new sock design, and it came through earlier in February. Zoe needed a quick turnaround on it, so it was a case of dropping everything else for a week or two and knitting like fury! The pattern has now been released and is the Curses Socks, inspired by Harry Potter and his lightening bolt shaped scar, and I think it’s lovely! It’s a very instinctive pattern to knit without being boring, which is the gold standard as far as I’m concerned! I have mentioned Zoe many times here – she is also known as PinsandNeedles around the yarny world, and does a fabulous podcast which you should all watch.

I knit the largest size (72 stitches) on 2.25mm KnitPro Symfonie needles (I’m nothing if not predictable!), and the yarn is Debonnaire Soft Sock (80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon) in colourway Plum. I bought this yarn at EYF in 2015 for my best friend who was battling cancer at the time, and unfortunately she didn’t get chance to use it before she passed away, so her Fiance gave it back to me to knit up. I’ve been saving it for a perfect pattern, and given that she was a massive nerd like me, this one felt right. Debonnaire don’t have a yarn called Soft Sock anymore, but they do have one called Plush that looks like it might be the same blend.

As you can see, I’ve only done one sock so far – I’m staving off second sock syndrome by going back to the stripy socks to do #2 there first, before doing #2 of this pair.

My FO is one that was cast on and finished in a couple of days while I was off sick in January, and is a hat! I haven’t knit myself a hat in a really long time, so when I was starting to feel a bit better I decided to go stash diving for something suitably luxurious, and cast on! I wanted a quick win, so I found some chunky yarn that I had won a few months ago (from the thread in Ravelry where I mostly hang out) and I think you’ll agree it turned out rather well.

The pattern is Truffle Hat by mu tricote la vie and the yarn is Malabrigo Mecha (100% superwash merino single ply) in colourway 141 Dewberry, which I knit up on size 5.5 & 7mm needles. The pattern was really easy to follow – the bobble stitches were new to me, but the instructions were clear so it was no problem, and I finally found a reason to use the pompom maker that I had been given a year or so ago! Overall I’m pretty chuffed with it, and it gave me a nice snuggly warm hat to wear on the beach at Spurn Point!

What craft stash have I been acquiring?

Nothing! Absolutely nothing! It’s a miracle!

I’m trying to cold sheep as much as possible this year (with the exception of EYF!), as my stash is getting fairly ridiculous and a bit out of control, so there will probably often be nothing in this section (hopefully anyway!), so instead I’m going to add in a new section…

Who’s been keeping me company?

This new section is where I’m going to talk about the various audio and video podcasts that I like to catch up on when I get chance. I have a few favourites that I mention a lot (all three have been mentioned already – PinsandNeedles, Yarngasm, and Sockmatician), but I always enjoy finding new ones, and this month I wanted to highlight a brand new one that I really enjoyed.

It’s the String Theory Podcast which is being done by two lovely ladies who are local to me, Alice and Kayleigh! Kayleigh runs my favourite LYS, The York Makery, and they have started their podcast this year. There’s only one episode up so far, but according to their social media, they have just recorded another, so there should be a second one very soon!

What music has happened and is coming up?

Not enormous amounts, but some! I had to drop out of the Latin Vespers for Candlemas that I mentioned last month – I was still coughing and spluttering post-flu, which would have sounded terrible! I did sing in the Morning Service at the Unitarian Chapel in York though, which was really lovely. The service was based around a theme of Love, so all our music was linked accordingly to various types of love (romantic, spiritual, transcendent, etc), and included Alleluya Psallat by Aston, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring by Bach, Durufle’s Ubi Caritas, My Spirit Sang All Day by Finzi, and The Deer’s Cry by Part. Lots to sing, but it was nice.

Coming up I’m singing at a Holy Week service at All Saints’ church in Bubwith, with music including Haydn’s Kleine Orgelmesse and The Greatest of These by Marshall.

That’s my only performance over the next couple of months (the Clerkes of All Saints are doing others, including Palm Sunday and Good Friday services at All Saints North Street, and a wedding fair, but I’m not available for those unfortunately).


I think that’s about it for this month – hopefully I’ll be back very soon with an FO post for the Half Moon Oracle, and an EYF round up post, so keep on crafting and I’ll see you soon 🙂

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