Monday, 12 May 2014

Orange is the new Black

Or it is for me!
I may have had a long break from blogging but I've kept going with my crafting. I've got back into knitting again after many years. I used to knit a lot when my girls were small but I kind of lost the enthusiasm for it along the way. So a quick catch up of some of my finished projects (yes, I've actually finished some) and an explanation of the blog post title.
In the last month I've completed 2 projects in orange. One is this wonderfully cute baby dress. The pattern is called Ellis dress and can be found here. I used Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk. This yarn is now discontinued but if you can get your hands on some I would highly recommend it. It feels wonderfully soft and knits like a dream. I made it for a friend of my youngest DD who is expecting her baby girl within the next couple of weeks! I had to make some adjustments to the pattern to make it small enough but it looks OK.

Ravelry is a dangerous place. Whilst browsing innocently, minding my own business, I got mugged by the wonder that is Hitofude. If you see the amount of projects you can see I'm not the only one. I wanted to make it a light summer cardi so chose cotton yarn. It also helps it was heavily discounted on eBay. Apologies for the not brilliant photo but I'm waiting to block it so this is a quick snap as I hung it on the back of the chair.
I have to say on reading the pattern I was completely confused. How on Earth does this work? I followed the advise of many and just started knitting and it suddenly became a cardi. No joining or nothing!

I crocheted 2 baby blankets but didn't take photos. I hate when I do that. I like to look back and see what I've made.

Other bits in brief.....
My first socks
Lara's Hat (Susan Ashcroft)

Lara's hat is one of 6 patterns I've made from the very talented Susan Ashcroft. She, and her designs, can be found on Ravelry too.
Paint Boxes Cowl (Susan Ashcroft)

The ever popular Clapotis by Kate Gilbert.......
Plus a few other bits and pieces!

I have 2 current projects, both are Rowan patterns. I'm making Eldora by Marie Wallin. This is a pattern from the current Spring/Summer Rowan magazine.

I'm calling mine Rose Garden. I've chosen shades of green, cream and coral.

The other WIP is the Rowan Mystery Afghan KAL. I've started a little late but have almost finished clue 2. Clue 4 is being released tomorrow so I hope to be caught up by clue 5.

We wont mention the mammoth expansion of my stash. No! Best not to, really!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Change for the better

First blog post of the new year so I suppose I should recap on 2013.

2013 was a bit of a wakeup call for me. After hubby had his heart attack in 2012 we concentrated on him and his health so to realise that my own health was suffering was a bit of a blow.
I have always been a 'big girl' but my health has been fine. Blood pressure and all tests were normal. As I've gotten older my weight has increased drastically and with it my health has declined. My knees were grinding when I went up and down stairs. My hips would hurt when I woke up in the morning because of the weight stresses on them and more frightening was the very regular prolonged heart palpitations and chest pain I was getting.
In May 2013 I decided enough was enough. I was only in my early 40's and I felt like I was in my 80's. I knew if I didn't lose weight soon I was probably going to die in the not-to-distant future. I spoke to my youngest daughter and she wanted to support me in any way she could so we joined Slimming World.
I have to admit I find the new Slimming World plan incredibly easy to follow and stick to. The weight is coming off and as of todays date both myself and my daughter have lost just over 3 stone each. I'm so proud of her (and me!) She looks fantastic. My eldest daughter  decided to join in the fun and she has so far also lost over 3 stone as well!  My weight loss is beginning to show and I've gone down 3 dress sizes. My weight loss journey has a very long way to go yet but I'm so determined to get there. My goals are small, but obtainable. I want to lose another 3 stone this year (hopefully more but I'm not setting myself up to fail) DD will be at goal before the end of the year. Another incentive (as if I need any more) is that I've just be diagnosed with Gall stones and will need an op. I've been told I cant have one until I lose more weight. As it's unbelievably painful I might need to up my game plan!

I also concentrated on my crafting last year and plan to continue. My job can really stress me out so this is my de-stress time.
Here's a few picture highlights from 2013....

Feb 2013. DD won hubby and I a 5* weekend away to Jersey for our anniversary. This is a view from the hotel window.

March 2013: Eltham Palace

Amethyst and Copper tree of life pendant. made in Spring 2013

June 2013: DD and I went to visit Bristol, Bath and Cheddar Gorge.