Sunday, 18 September 2016

Life Lately


Hello, all.  It's been a while.

Summer happened in a bit of a hazy whirlwind over here.  One minute I was snuggled in a giant scarf and the next I was sitting on the beach for the last time, knitting a woolly cardigan and accidentally letting the sun turn my legs a fierce shade of pink.  Despite having almost no plans all season, blog writing kind of fell by the wayside.  It seems ironic that when I actually had time to write, I had no notion whatsoever to do so.  Even now, I don't really miss blogging, but I suddenly felt the urge to return to this wee space and type things out properly, instead of fitting a couple of sentences around a snapshot on Instagram.  So, what's been going on?  I'll tell you!

My brother got married.  He has a WIFE.  It's still blowing my mind that one of us could be mature enough to take a life step as big as this one.  Weren't we just flinging Action Men around the garden and clinging onto my gran's perilously sloped driveway for dear life as we starred in our own live action version of Jumanji?  I think I might be old now.  Although, if I'm old, so is Michael.  The wedding itself was beautiful and took place on the hottest day of the year, so the plans for an outdoor ceremony extended to everything but dinner happening outside.  I wore vintage Laura Ashley, had a dance off with one of Mic's co-workers and was in the shower after midnight.  The groom fell asleep in the bath.  Breakfast the next morning was the best thing ever.

There were a lot of visits to castles and beaches and lighthouses.  A museum of lighthouses, in fact.  Tam and I went to Crovie, followed by many other places on the north-east coast, and probably used our Historic Scotland and National Trust passes more than on any other trip.  The close proximity to Sarah meant a lunch date could be squeezed in, so we hung out at the playpark with Matilda and ate donuts.  Good trip.

Lots of walking happened, but also lots of sitting.  My knitting productivity was higher than ever, but I still got to hang with lots of my favourite people (and dogs).  Tam's birthday scarf was knit in record time and I spent many mornings reading library books and many evenings binge watching whatever TV series took my fancy.  I listened to music - well, I listened to the same three songs over and over.  Standard.

Best of all, I got to hang out with my mum all summer.  It seemed like forever since we'd had any quality time together and, although I have lots of favourite people, she's my ultimate favourite, so it was good to be back in each others daily lives again.

And then I went and got myself a job.  In England.

Now, I'm not one of those Scottish people who hates the English and believes we must claim back our homeland blah blah blah, but I am very Scottish.  I'm all about the scenery and the local culture and telling everyone that Scotland is the best place on earth (we'll ignore the weather situation for now) and now I live in Newcastle.  So that's been a slight culture shock, although mostly because I've never lived anywhere before that I didn't already know pretty well, and I knew nothing about Newcastle before I arrived.  It's too soon for me to form an opinion on the area yet, but I do like my job.  I'm a film technician again, although back in a cinema and with a lot of extra skill requirements!  I've worked three shifts so far and I still can't understand people's accents through the work radio, but luckily I don't need to quite yet.  I can still turn a projector off and on but there's so much else to learn.  It's nice to feel my brain working again, I suppose!

So, that was summer.  How did everyone else's go?

(There's a chance things might remain sporadic over here but I'm on Instagram most days if anyone feels like joining me over there)

:)

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

FO - Sheep cushion

sheep cushion knitted bobble stitch finished knits purl soho pillow

This guy was on my 'to knit' list for a loooong time.  I'm a bit of a sheep fan - when I was a kid I collected anything sheep-shaped, from soft toys to ornaments to notebooks - and I'm also partial to a good pillow, so it seemed like an obvious choice for some selfish knitting (I use that terminology merely to illustrate that the knit in question was for me, not because I think knitting for oneself is selfish in any way.  It might even be the best form of crafting, in fact.)  It was a slightly bigger undertaking than I initially expected due to all the bobble stitch, which caused a bit of a strain on the wrists at points, but it was totally worth it.

sheep cushion knitted bobble stitch finished knits purl soho pillow

sheep cushion knitted bobble stitch finished knits purl soho pillow kitchener stitch

Pattern - Bobble Sheep Pillow by Purl Soho

Yarn - cream-coloured Aran found in a charity shop (just shy of 400g, held double) and charcoal-coloured Aran leftover from Tam's Christmas sweater (around 30g)

Needles - 10mm (body) and 6.5mm (head and ears)

Additional materials - 1.5 old cushions for the stuffing

Notes - Both of these yarns are the gifts that keep giving since I seem to have knit various projects with each and still have piles left!  There's nothing I love better than using up bits of my stash though, and this cushion was perfect for that.

Anyone who's familiar with the original pattern (or indeed, the basic structure of a sheep) might notice that I made a few changes.  Try as I might, the tail was not turning out to my liking, so I decided that sheep don't need tails after all.  The same goes for the legs - I didn't even realise the design included legs until I was part way through the body, so they were also deemed unnecessary.  There's a chance my cushion is a representation of a sheep rather than anything based on reality...

Another difference in my version was to hold the yarn double and use my biggest needles to get a super chunky sheep.  The original calls for chunky yarn and mine used two strands of Aran, so there wasn't a huge variation in size, but it did make the 'knit 3 together' sections a bit awkward!

In what turned out to be fantastic timing, my mum was getting rid of a couple of circular throw cushions.  One of them filled most of the sheep shape, then I tore a few handfuls of wadding from the other and one perfectly stuffed sheep appeared before me.  I've also saved the old zips and covers for other projects, so there was some extreme recycling going on!

sheep cushion knitted bobble stitch finished knits purl soho pillow

Has anyone made this cushion?  Or anything else sheep inspired?

(My sheep will not be going to any garage sale, contrary to what Tam's t-shirt might be telling you...)

Linking up to Ginny's Yarn Along.

:)

Monday, 13 June 2016

This Little Big Life

There's a new link up on the block.  Sarah of Sarah Rooftops and Louise of Squished Blueberries have created a fun photo sharing project documenting the little moments in a weekend that make up the bigger moments in life.  Since I've been feeling a bit uninspired with my Photo an Hour attempts recently, I thought I'd join in with this instead and see how things turned out.  Would I still remember to take pictures without the enforced regularity?  Read on to find out...

Saturday
morning knitting blanket charity blue moss stitch little big life

sheep pillow cushion knitted pirl soho free pattern bobble stitch black and white little big life

minion won arcade amusement crane machine toy stuffed little big life

on the floor picture taking socks football weekend little big life

funky fish fingers spaghetti hoops hash browns dinner weekend little big life

Tam came to visit and I set off to meet him at the train station, not anticipating much adventure and therefore not bothering to take my camera.  Oh, how foolish I was, not least because this happens on a regular basis.  We didn't do anything especially thrilling but we had a nice little wander and I would have liked to take nice little pictures of the places we went to.

There was lunch and ice cream cones, graveyards and 2p machines and another minion from another crane machine.  There was knitting and spaghetti hoops and lying on the living room floor, just to see what the view through the lens looked like from down there.  There were pictures taken for a post about a sheep, coming up later this week.  There was football.  Of course there was.

Sunday
seagulls attack seaside scotland couple little big life

lion statue yarn bombing knitted mouse tiny white scotland little big life

jar of beads upcycling reuse charity shop find little big life

On Sunday, we actually had options of which event to attend in my wee little hometown.  There was a food festival nearby, but we went for live music on the promenade - listeners got to make use of the deck chairs, after all.  The seagulls were particularly lively that day, especially when a naive couple tried to unwrap their chippy lunch.  It was a cloudy but calm day, my favourite type of weather.  We did some yarn bombing with a few crochet animals I had sitting around at home - the mouse joined a lion statue, the whale was hung from a tree by the harbour and the duck found a place on the railings by the boating pond.  I'm planning to walk around town again this week and see if any of them are still there!

After walking Tam to the station, I did a few sewing jobs, including de-beading this top I found recently.  I save all my crafty rejects for Tam's auntie (she does all the crafts) and my face cream was finished just in time to provide a good bead home.

There's more info on the link up here and anyone can join in on social media too.  I doubt I'll remember to capture every weekend but it's fun to see what everyone else is up to!

How was everyone's weekend?  Full of chances to get out and embrace the summer?

:) 
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