Monday, 31 December 2012

New Years Resolutions

Hi There,

It's here again, that horrid cold feeling in the pit of my stomach that another year has flown by without me noticing and I am here again on the brink of  a New Year. Last New Year I was having a lot of stresses. I look back to last New Years Eve, I was desperately trying to get a job and pay the bills, whilst planning a wedding and everything else, I felt like I had a lot on my plate and had had a pretty hard time. The only thing that got me through that year had been learning to knit. So on New Years Eve I wrote a list to focus on what I wanted to achieve in the year ahead , what I wanted to do in 2012. I also wrote a list of all the traditions I had to do in order to get good luck. These included opening all the windows and doors at midnight to let the new year in, and leaving a basket outside, and letting a dark haired man come into the house first. (I did know the dark haired man so that wasn't a problem!) But from that list I  desperately made last New Years Eve I have a come a long way. I got a job, I pay my bills, I got married and had a lovely wedding, I moved house and I improved my knitting and I started this blog. So in a time honoured tradition I wanted to share with you my new list for New Years. This time I don't feel as low or blue, this time I feel optimistic and happy with my life, so here are my resolutions and they are not as bad as last year.

  1. I have been given a brand spanking new sewing machine for Christmas. (It was love at first sight and it has been named Kirsty, after Kirsty Allsopp who inspired me to ask for a sewing machine.) 2013 will hopefully see me mastering this machine and producing some sewn items which are not too wonky or unravelled. I hope to learn to quilt and to use applique, I would like to make cushions and maybe even establish a little dressmaking ability?
  2. In order to do this, I will have to find my confidence again and go to some new classes, I would like to join a class in sewing machines but also in applique, quilting and free embroidery. This I must force upon myself.
  3. I would like to improve my knitting. Knitting is my first love and I am so glad I learnt this skill as it is sometimes all that keeps me sane! I would love to master knitting socks in the round and cable knitting so I can make some interesting patterns in the knit but I would also just like to continue knitting and improve that way with new patterns and projects. 
  4. I am already in the process of completing my first knitted jumper, (but I won't mention the ribbing on the back as it is just awful! who knew my downfall for a jumper would be the first bit of ribbing?) so I would like to finish my jumper and be able to wear one of my own first knitted garments. I would like to improve on this and make other knitted garments.
  5. I will work on my blog, and I will strive to update it more than I do now, with my current projects. I am afraid a lot of my Christmas projects have been and gone without their recording on here so I would like to improve on that so I don't lose anything.
  6. I will work on my Etsy shop and learn to make more 'sell-able' things and also learn to price my knitted objects rather than just asking people to pay how they feel. But I will also not let the shop/price of things get in the way of making the object. The minute something becomes a chore I will move on, I knit because I love it, not because I have to.
  7. This is a more personal wish- I am looking for a new house again and cannot wait to move from where I am now back to be near my friends and family, I would like to see them more and spend more time doing things in the evenings and weekends instead of collapsing on the sofa and sulking about my day.
  8. I will also strive to be more proactive in my day to day life, which includes cleaning dishes and ironing clothes and keeping the house tidier, clean house clean mind and all that, even though it is horrendously boring.
  9. I will not allow others to assume that because I am a crafter, that I am a boring old woman, I am not. and I haven't met any other crafters who are boring, we take delight in simple things and they are some of the most talented and creative people I have ever met.
  10. I will find my nearest antique/vintage/junkyard and will explore 'Up-cycling' (Love you Kirsty!)
So there we have it, my focus for 2013 set out in stone, or in blog, who knows what will happen to me in 2013, so much has happened in 2012, that a quiet year may do me good. But then I have never been very good at being quiet.

Happy New Year,

Lots of Love
Bomo Knitting

Monday, 17 December 2012

Knitted Mitts

Hi there,

I have been knitting up a storm in the past few weeks ready for Christmas. I could use this as an excuse not for keeping my blog up to date but I have been so busy and have really enjoyed getting stuck into my knitting and doing some proper projects!

I have always loved having a matching set of gloves and hat when it gets colder. This year I found some wool that I had bought ages ago but I had just ignored as I thought it was too gaudy to use. This wool was bright pinks, yellows and turquoises. I decided to give it another chance and experiment with this wool to find something to make that would make the most of the bright colours.

I have seen a lot of knitted headwarmers/headbands in shops so instead of buying one I decided to make one for myself. As my friend said it means you get something totally unique. I wanted to keep it simple to show the colours in the wool off and although I love following patterns in my many knitting books it was nice to make something up and over the weekend I got stuck in to some simple knitting.

Using my favourite 4mm needles and 2x2 rib I simply knitted a long strip that was wide enough to cover my head and stitched the ends together. I finished it with a little knitted flower which is so easy to make and I discovered them this year. What you do is stocking stitch a few rows and increase it to the size you want then twist it on the needle to make the petals. I really love my finished headband, the colours are really cheery and it is so cosy.
To go with my headband I decided to make some mittens. Now I do still need a few lessons on knitting in the round because frankly I am awful at it so I googled knitted mitten patterns on 2 needles. I read a few patterns and then made my own little pattern up as best I could. I am still learning.

I made the cuffs using 2x2 rows to match the headband and knitted about 20 rows. Then using stocking stitch I increased either side to get more give on the glove and then simply knitted the rows to the size of my hand and decreased the end and then I pulled the end through the stitches to make the ends round.
The hardest part for me was adding the thumbs. Picking up stitches worked on the first glove but the second did become a hammer toe lookalike. And I had to pull the whole thumb apart and start from scratch which every knitter knows is heart breaking but is always worth it in the end.

It is nice to have some very very bright cosy mittens I made myself that shows off the colourful wool I had discarded originally so I'm really pleased. and you can tell the difference technically from the very basic chunky hand warmers I made last winter, so I can only hope I continue to improve my mitten making skills as I get older and become a more established knitter.

I'm so excited at the moment I really feel like I've made headway with my knitting and I'm hoping to learn some new crafts in the New Year and finally master knitting in the round! I'm hoping to go along to some classes to meet other crafters and learn new skills. I do intend to keep my resolutions and do some up-cycling!

Lots of love