Aims for 2017

Well 2016 has rollercoaster of a year. I am looking forward to 2017 and will be doing the jar filled with sticky notes of good things as well as aiming for more creativity. Sewing has really fallen by the wayside in 2016 and in the coming year I will be sewing a minimum of 4 hours every week. This will be put in my calender as a normal appointment and I plan on treating it as a work date so cannot be cancelled unless I am away.

I only managed a couple of handmade christmas presents. A knitted hat for my son in law and a project bag for my best friend. I had lots of items cut out and prepped but I just ran out of time. I haven’t been updating much but a friend encouraged me to use Instagram and I have been doing at least one most a week. This I have found quite inspiring. I am flickchickknits on Instagram if you wish to follow me

This year I am determined to get the fabric stash down and to make at least an item a week. I will doing more upcycling and making lots for my wonderful granddaughter Evalyn. The blog has been a bit neglected this year so I want to update this more and again have added a calendar reminder to ensure I do it.

I would like to wish all of my followers a fabulous, happy, healthy and crafty 2017.

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Doing things in reverse Part 1

After abstaining for a few years, I finally succumbed to my friends request to go to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace, more commonly known as Ally Pally. Regular readers will know I have been trying to down size my craft stash for a few years. The yarn stash has halved but the fabric stash doesn’t seem to be moving at all.

Anyways,back to Ally Pally. We started the day with a lovely breakfast before the show opened so we were raring to go when the doors opened. We had a plan, to start at the far end and walk up and down each aisle. I was prepared, I had a short shopping list, I fell at the first aisle. The Lovliest Yarn Company had a lovely shawl in the, most, gorgeous, soft yarn, Juniper Moon Farm Herriot. It was love at first touch, 100% baby alpaca, so soft, so scrumptious, my will power went and I purchased the yarn to knit the shawl. The shawl on display was in green and I almost bought that colour but decided against it and went with……. red.

I was okay for a while and concentrated on hunting for the items on my list, I found the bobbins for my sewing machine , then it was the hunt for boys patterns, Harry’s red yarn and magazine subscriptions. If I am going to subscribe to a magazine, I prefer to do it at one of the shows. The price is generally a bit better and normally the free gift is much better than getting it through an offer in the magazine. Unfortunately most of them were doing three issues for a pound or six pound and then a rolling quarterly subscription which I don’t want. I prefer to pay for an annual subscription with a one off payment , so if I don’t require it after the year , there’s nothing to do, it just ends. Knitting magazine however were doing a fabulous deal. They gave you the current issue, a ten ball yarn pack, out of a choice of two and a years subscription of 13 issues for £50. My yarn choice was the mixed colour Stylecraft Super Chunky Special XL. This is destined to be hats and scarves for various family members.It also came with six pattern books, which I gave to a friend.


Harry yarn was next on the list. When I told Harry I was going to the knitting and stitching show, he asked me to get him some red yarn to knit him a sweater. As I have loads in the stash, I didn’t want to pay too much and I pounced on a bag of King Cole Galaxy chunky at Black Sheep yarns, it was only when photographing the yarn tonight, I realised I have made a boo boo. The yarn has sequins in it. Doh, I guess this is now Evalyns.


I have already started the Touch Me shawl pattern which is a free pattern on Ravelry, if  you want an easy shawl, relaxing to knit and looks good, knit this, I cannot praise this pattern enough. This is where I am doing things in reverse. I am planning on making and using the yarn and fabrics I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show instead of adding it to the stash and using the stash first.  There are still some bits from stash on the needles but I need to use these new bits first.

Work Ethic

Its been a tough year but I am just about holding it all together. I am quite self aware and I do recognise my faults and try and work on some aspects of them .

On the whole I am quite easy going and very tolerant. It has come to my attention recently that there is one are where I have very high standards and am some what intolerant. What is this I hear you wonder? It’s the work ethic. I just don’t understand how people who have a good job, can’t respect their other team members and  ensure they share the load or use their common sense to ensure one person is not left holding the baby so to speak. I have been thinking back over the years and luckily I have only experienced this in two of my job roles.
In one role one of my colleagues stole my ideas and sold them as their own, they also played the victim card, so would break down in tears if any one asked her about how they came up with the ideas. This same person would also take things off the shelf to do work for their other role and prep this stuff at work.

In another role I had a colleague who was consistently late and when you tried to speak to them, they had a don’t care attitude. You knew the time you started when you took the role. Why do think it’s okay for you to be late and others not? They were quite happy to go off the floor numerous times for cigarette breaks not caring if there was anyone left in the department or not. As long as their needs were met that’s all that mattered in their eyes.

In both these examples I guess it’s down to bad management. If you let someone continuously get away with things they will never think they are accountable and will continue their bad behaviour. Some one said to me recently that I should accept that people have different work ethics to me, which I guess is one way to look at it, but why shouldn’t everyone in a good job, at the same level have a good work ethic?

Ravellenics

 

 

 

 

 

 

I thought I would take part in this years Ravellenics. For those of you not in the know, Ravellenics is a knitting competition on the fabulous Ravelry. timed to tie in with the Olympic games. We cast on during the opening ceremony and finish before the end of the closing one. There are numerous events for us to take part in and laurels to be won. These include WIP Wrestling, Scarf Hockey and Bag Backstroke, full list below with how many competing in each category. For each event we wish to enter we set up a project page with tags for the relevant event. I am in Team Tea Yarn 2016

Ravellenic Summer Games 2016 Events

Afghan Marathon 174 entries 1%
Bag Backstroke 118 entries 7%
Cowl Jump 352 entries 1%
Frogging Trampoline 764 entries 43%
Garment Polo 148 entries 7%
Hat Dash 721 entries 5%
Household Heptathalon 331 entries 9%
Mitten Medley 255 entries 2%
Scarf Hockey 261 entries 2%
Shawl Sailing 842 entries 0%
Sock-Put 541 entries 1%
Sweater Triathalon 617 entries 0%
Synchronized Spinning 135 entries 8%
Toy Toss 310 entries 7%
WIPs Wrestling 2953 entries 3%
The other projects I plan on knitting are Zauberlehring a nice easy scarf to do whenever I have time but can’t concentrate on something more difficult, Daughter of Eve fingerless mitts and  Back hand Hitch fingerless mittens for Harry or Evalyn as I can’t decide on which yarn to use. The final project I entered was this years Mystery Blanket from Debbie Abrahams. I am behind with my squares so I have set myself the target to finish the ones up to August as well. I made my self a chart so I can track how much I have do and how much I have done.
 I am really looking forward to all this knitting , once it’s all done I can get back to some sewing.

My Babies

My grandchildren aren’t really babies anymore. As you know little miss Evalyn loves the blue fabric with spots and carries her blanket everywhere with her. I thought I would make her a bunny in the fabric. Unfortunately it didn’t go down very well, when I first have it to her. The reason we discovered, was , that she thought I had taken her blanket and turned it into the bunny. Harry after seeing Evalyns said he would like one, I had already promised to knit him one , but as this is quicker, I readily agreed. I brought one of the boxes of fabric down and he repeatedly chose the Liberty Tana Lawn Zoo print fabric. I readily agreed and as you can see in the end they both love their rabbits.

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Pen Flushing

I promised earlier that I would write a more detailed post about maintaining your fountain pens. I have been writing with fountain pens for decades . There is a serene pleasure writing with a fountain pen. Over the years I would rinse my pens out  with varying degrees of success, when they wouldn’t write properly. Recently I have been made aware that one should be flushing your pens every 6- 8 weeks or when you change the brand of ink you are using. 

STEP 1:

Rinse the nib of pen and place nib in a beaker of water, just enough to cover the nib piece. Leave for 24 hours.

  
If there is a lot of ink in the water you can replace the water after an hour and then leave until e 24 hours are up.

  
After 24 hours place nib in an empty container with a piece of kitchen roll or blotting paper and leave until it has dryed fully

   
  I have been having issues uploading posts lately so will add more pictures at a later date.

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone.

this week I found a couple of old fountain pens that weren’t working very well. I was going to throw them away but decided to try and clean them. Apparently there is a product you can buy to flush them out but I searched the whole of Bluewater and couldn’t find any. Apparently you should give your fountain pen a flush every six to eight weeks or when you change inks. I asked the lovely people in the Mont Blanc store and they suggested I put the nib in a small beaker of water, just enough to cover it and leave it overnight. I followed the steps and my pens worked immediately. I am so happy and will be flushing my pens regularly. I will update with photos at a later date.