It’s a Go!

It’s been a little while in the making, but the day is here; I have an Etsy store!

Rather than complain about my plot in life, I’m seeking to change it.  With positivity, colour, and constructive action.

So, ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you:

Phancee Yarn.
Yarn with a love story.

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No positive 3 today, because this just takes the cake.

There’ll be some changes here on the blog over the next week or so, as this will be the new home of Phancee Yarn.

Watch this space!
I’m really excited.

Spin Me Right ‘Round; Day 21

I like the number 21.  It’s not only my birthday, but it’s divisible by 3 and by 7 and it’s not an even number.  Don’t try and tell me that’s weird – it’s perfectly logical thank you very much.

Today was a busy day at work.  Not stressful, frantic busy – just full, working lunch kind of busy.  I like those days, though I wish I had actually accomplished more.

This evening has been a crafty one and that makes me pretty happy.

Two of my top 3 points from today are fibre related;

  1. I’m making great progress on my brother’s beanie.  He requested one and needs it for warmth so I’m knitting it with a NZ possum / nylon blend.  Very warm, even if the colour blends in seamlessly with my blue/gray couch.
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    Pattern is my own – it’s just a simple garter rib.  I don’t think I’ll release it as a pattern but I’ll have a look on Ravelry and if there isn’t a similar one I might write up a recipe and release it for free…
  2. I pulled out my electronic spinning wheel (Ashford e-Spinner, if you’re curious) and spun up some of the 100% merino roving I dyed up a little while ago.
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    I’m very much a novice spinner and the consistency of my singles leaves a lot to be desired, but I think tonight’s efforts went well.  They’re also the thinnest I’ve spun to date, so I’m hoping they’ll make a useable fingering/sport weight three ply (I plan to chain ply).
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  3. An exciting piece of life admin; I’ve set up Skype on my laptop so that I can video call with The Boyfriend without having to worry about propping up my phone.  This is great news, even if only in my head.  Funnily enough, that’s the whole point of this list so it counts.

Tomorrow will be an equally good (or, perhaps even better?) day.  Onwards!

Tough Stuff; Day 17

Yay!  Friday!  And we have three days off in a row.  I’m really looking forward to it.

I stumbled this picture on our intranet at work today and thought it would be a good one to share.  I read it and identified with a lot of the traits, and spotted a couple I’m already trying work on.

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What about you?  Which traits do you really identify with?  Or, really don’t identify with…?

A week and a half on from The Really Sucky Day, I think I’m coping well.  Mentally strong.  The lead up to the day was an emotional rollercoaster – the kind that makes you just want to vomit all over the ride attendant in protest.  Being left behind had some finality to it. He was not going to change his mind.  Hurtful or not, it was happening and I just had to get over it.  Move on (see the first point in the picture?  There was a point!)

So, I’m taking control of myself and embracing change.  I know I won’t be happy all the time (because I’m human), but I’m going to keep up my 3 positive observations every day and stay optimistic.

Part of that optimism is working on my career, my business, and my own personal health.  There’s more to me than my relationships and it’s important to remind myself of this often.  I find it really empowering to think that way.

I am empowered.

And on that note… today’s top 3 positives:

  1. Finding the above picture today gave me a nice mental boost in the afternoon – I have the ability to be a mentally strong person… I’m a large part of the way there, now I have to work on my consistency.  I can do that.
  2. More dyeing!  More colour!  I can’t wait to share photos of all the beautiful colours… just waiting for them to dry at this stage.
  3. The sleeves on the Professor Cardigan I’m knitting are finally done.  Not a fan of knitting sleeves, but the cardigan is looking very cute with the key structural elements now complete.  Only the shawl collar left to knit before I can do the finishing work.  Should have a FO this weekend, all going well…

Blue Hands; Day 16

Wow, have kept up these 3 positive points a day for over 2 weeks now.  Sure, I missed one – but that was planned and intentional.  I’m claiming this first fortnight a success.  Here’s to more to come!

It’s Thursday night Friday Eve, so I’m mentally preparing for the weekend.  Monday is a public holiday here (Queen’s Birthday weekend), so it’s a long weekend!  I’m hoping to get plenty of workouts, socialising and yarny goodness in there.

Today’s top 3 are what I love about weeknights:

  1. A whole lot of naked, undyed yarn that I had ordered arrived today so I spent the evening dying beautiful yarn in bright, vibrant colours.  They’re drying now and I just want to get in there and play with them!  My hands are currently blue, though.  That’s not ideal… hopefully it’ll be clear before I have to go to work tomorrow.
  2. A good snuggle-in-on-the-couch phone call with Mum.  Because a girl just needs those kinds of chats with her Mum sometimes.
  3. I’ve got tickets to this year’s World of WearableArt (WOW) show!  I’ve never been before and always hear good things about it.  I’m looking forward to checking it out and having a night of glamour and arty goodness.  Bring on October.

Feeling Loved; Day 7

It started off really, really sucky, but the day really turned around and I ended up really enjoying myself.  This morning at 4.30am we waved goodbye to The Boyfriend as he went off through the international departures gate.  Destination; Rome.  Eventually… London.  For two years.  Two years.

That’s literally the other side of the planet.  12 hour time difference.  Northern hemisphere to my southern hemisphere.

And it sucks.

But all is not lost, and wallowing does not help!  So, I have 3 awesome, positive things to focus on instead;

  1. I don’t have a lot of friends, but the friends I do have are amazing, loving, totally-there-for-me people.  Quality over quantity, people!  I love them dearly.
  2. Phone calls with my mum, over a glass of wine, on a cold rainy evening.  Comforting and good for the soul.
  3. Dyeing yarn makes me smile.  Tonight I dyed some yarn in greens and browns for a handsome young man’s woollen sweater (and cast on for his little brother’s cardigan while the yarn dries!).

(For those wondering what happened to Day 6, I briefly mentioned in my last post that I wouldn’t be posting.  It was my last day with The Boyfriend, so he got all my attention.  You know, priorities)

Upcoming Project: Looking Forward on my Looking Back

Once my Drachenfels is off the needles, I’m casting on my next sweater project; Looking Back by Joji Locatelli.  This is a seamless cardigan that buttons up down the back and has a lace panel down the front.

I’ve never knit one of Joji’s patterns before, but I hear good things.  I’ve had a read of the pattern, and I think it’s going to be a good mix of thinking and mindless stockinette knitting.  Perfect.

I wanted to extend my dyeing experience, too.  So last weekend I did some dyeing.  A sweater load of dyeing!

And I’m really happy with the results:IMG_7816

An experiment of greens!  These are bright, deep colours which hopefully won’t pool on the sweater.

There’s 600g of this yarn – DK weight.  I should have plenty left over, so I can play around with shifting the place of the skein I’m working from if pooling becomes an issue.

Like most hand-dyed yarn, there’s a bit of variation between the skeins (there’s 3 of 200g each), so I will be alternating skeins.

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This was my first attempt at using powdered acid dyes – until now I’ve just been using food colouring – which was a pretty ballsy move… I’m not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t liked the results.  I’ll be doing some more single-skein experiments at some point so I can get wild with the colour experiments.  Because socks in any colour are always awesome.

All swatched and ready to cast on.  The yarn is superwash which will be helpful once it’s finished and, you know, life happens.  There’s still quite a bit of dye that runs out when washing, though… so it’ll be a handwash (and black underclothes…) until that’s all gone.

You live and you learn.

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I can’t wait to see how the final cardigan turns out!

On My Needles: My Aunt Doris

This is one work in progress that I’m really excited to share with the world.  A quick knit that I am desperately trying to slow down.  To delay the cast off, and savour every stitch.

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I’m knitting this with yarn I dyed myself.  It’s a reddish pick with splashes of purple and flecks of orange, just when you thought it couldn’t get any better.

This yarn is the star of the project.  None of these photos have been edited – these colours are captured perfectly already (at least, on my computer…)

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The pattern is beautiful; a very sweet knit for a very sweet little girl.  It’s  My Aunt Doris, by Kelly Brooker of pekapeka design studio.  There are 3 versions of the pattern, depending on the weight of yarn you’ve got – fingering, sport or DK.

This project is fingering weight, but I bought the ebook with all three weights because I plan to knit this over, and over, and over again.

Lace on the front and plain stocking stitch on the back – this is a fantastic compromise of pretty and practical.   It shows off the colours in the yarn, and keeps enough interest in the patterning to be fancy.

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This particular cardigan is going to my niece, Lilith, for her first birthday.

If I can bear to part with it, of course.   (I kid. I think).