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…

Winter is Coming; Day 11

It’s a wet, cold moody day here in our part of the Southern Hemisphere.  Winter is most definitely coming.  And that’s not a bad thing – it means I can wear more of my hand knits!

Which leads me to my three positive things for today:

  1. I got to wear my Don’t be a D*ck gloves a lot today (pic below) – I haven’t really had a chance to wear them since I finished them last month, so that made me smile!
  2. Puppy cuddles!
  3. Have made an overnight trip to mum’s and dad’s over in the Wairarapa.  The weather is equally bad over here, but it’s meant good company and plenty to do all day!

For those who are curious… these are my gloves:

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Hump Day; Day 8

It’s Wednesday.  Hump Day.  But that doesn’t mean I let it go to waste!

My three things are easy today;

  1. I rocked a quick workout at the gym after work.  It was the first time I’ve been in a wee while so I didn’t go too hard, but the endorphins are pumping regardless!
  2. Lunch out with a friend today, catching up on gossip and talking about our feelings.  Cathartic and tasty.  The only way it could’ve been a better use of a lunch hour is if it were sunny and we were on the waterfront soaking up the rays (we weren’t.  We’re facing thunderstorms and power cuts here at the moment…)
  3. I’ve settled on the couch now with a glass of red wine, the latest episode of Outlander and the beginning of a cardigan for another friend’s son.

Now that’s what I’m talking about.

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The cardigan I am making is the Professor Sweater by Rae Blackledge.  I’m knitting it in a real wools wool.  It still smells like the sheep.   The body is going to be a natural, undyed oatmeal colour, with stripes of a dark green.   Complete with the cute arm patches.

It screams out for a little red bowtie accessory… so cute!

Smells Delicious; Day 4

Today’s 3 things are easy;

  1. My bathroom is squeaky clean and shiny to boot.  While the cleaning wasn’t exactly a highlight… there’s something about a job well done that feels really good.

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  2. I baked bread today.  And it makes my apartment smell amazing.  The kind of amazing that makes your eyes roll to the back of your head and your jaw jut out as you say it. It was delicious, too.  So tasty.
  3. I released my sock pattern on Ravelry; the Fidget Socks – and it’s a free pattern.  If you’re interested, you can download it here.

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All round, it was a really, really productive day.

On My Needles: Lotsa WIPs

My name is Amy and I have startitis.  Honestly, I’m fine with that.  It’s not a real problem.

But, it means I have a lot of WIPs.

Curious?  You should be!

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1. Hitofude swatched and ready to go.

I’m knitting this cardigan as part of the Tea House Knits Light KAL.  I’ve already knit a Starshower cowl (photos to come).

Hitofude is a lace cardigan knit in one piece.  Designed by Hiroko Fukatsu.  It’s very popular – 3,208 projects on Ravelry as I type this.  That’s… a lot.

So I’m joining in!  Knitting with Ice Yarns extrafine merino in a nice, classy grey.

It’s perfect timing, too.  We’ve just booked tickets to Japan in August, so hopefully I’ll have this cast off and ready to wear then! (Noting that August is the middle of summer and according to the internet the min temp that I can expect is as high as our max days here in Wellington.  Excellent).

I’ve already swatched (and blocked it…) and I’m comfortable that I’ve got gauge (Yay!).  That makes things easier.

Expect to see more on this one soon.

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2. Rosebud Socks – for something a little bit fancy. 

Last night I cast on for Wendy D. Johnson’s Rosebud Socks.  I love the lace pattern (you can see a better shot of it here), but I was drawn to them initially for the name.

As a child, my great-Aunt nicknamed me ‘Rosebud’ for my English Rose complexion.  So, love the name.

I’m knitting these in Happy Go Knitty alpaca/merino/nylon (60%/20%/20%) on 2.00mm needles (US 0).

First time I’m knitting on 2.00mm needles – I usually knit on 2.25mm (US 1), but my gauge is getting looser.  So far, I’m really liking the fabric.

Toe up (as the photo suggests…) and one at a time.  Not too sure what heel I’ll use yet.  The pattern uses a gusset and heel flap, but I think I’ll opt for the fish lips kiss heel – I tried this the other day with some vanilla cashmere gradient socks and it fits really well.

No deadline for these babies, but they’ll be finished eventually.

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3.  Jumping on the Sockhead bandwagon.

Have you heard of the Sockhead hat pattern?  It’s been knit a couple of times.  Only 7,014 and counting.  Yowzer!

If you can knit and purl, and have a skein of fingering weight yarn, you can knit this.

It’s beautiful in its simplicity – an excellent way to showcase your special skein of luxury yarn.

I’m knitting in a mystery yarn.  I got it in a swap, and it came without a tag.  The colours are gorgeous (I’m a sucker for green), and as I’m knitting I’m trying to figure out what the fibre is.  At the moment, I think it’s a merino silk blend… but how will I know for sure?

This has been on the needles for a while now and is serving as my end-of-the-day mindless knitting – for those times when following a pattern is the absolute last thing I feel like doing.  So, no deadline on this one either.

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4. Basic cowl to show off colourful yarn

This is a woven stitch cowl I cast on to experiment with a yarn I bought just because.  MadelineTosh Tosh DK in the ‘Mandala’ colourway.

These colours are brilliant.  Seriously.  Look at the colours in that ball.

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Sadly, they are not colours I would ever wear myself.  They’d take my English Rose complexion and make me look a little too undead for my liking.

But thankfully, I have plenty of blue-eyed lovelies in my family who would look wonderful in these colours.  No one specific in mind yet, but this will make a good gift later in the year.

That’s what’s on my needles – what’s on yours?