Monday, 29 December 2014

The end of the year is nigh - 2014 Goals

"The time has come" the Walrus said "to speak of many things ..."

2014 will come to a close in two days time and so I felt this was a good opportunity to take a look back at the goals I set myself at the beginning of the year and see what I achieved and what remains on the To Do list.  Apologies in advance - this is going to be very picture heavy.

The first goal was to start and complete a wedding present for one of my oldest friends.  This piece was all ready to be framed when the wedding was called off two weeks beforehand.  So I am counting this as a completed goal.

The second goal was to complete "April" by the second Thursday in August to hand over to V for her 70th birthday.  This goal was also completed and I received a very nice thank you card from V afterwards.

Goal 3 was to start and complete "Corgi" by the second Thursday in September to hand over to I for her 80th birthday.  This was a great success and she loved it.  Major tick in the box!

My fourth goal was to complete "Guardian Angels" for my Mum by Christmas at the latest.  This was an abject fail as I have not worked on this piece since about April.  I will be carrying this one over into 2015.

Goal No. 5 was to complete at least one page on "Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose" and I am delighted to say that the last stitches were put into page 5 on 27 December 2014.  So a happy dance for the end of the year!  This piece is now going on hold for the time being.

My sixth goal was to complete the pages that I was stitching on "Train of Dreams".  This was also an abject failure and will be carried over into 2015.

My final goal for 2014 was to stitch my annual Christmas ornaments for my two nieces.  This goal was completed, but as I did the finishing on Christmas Eve at my parents' house and without my camera, I don't have a photo to show you yet.  As soon as I can get one, I will put it in.

So 5 goals completed out of 7 - relatively good going, I think.  However there were also the other achievements that weren't on the list of goals for 2014.

At the beginning of May, I learned to knit again, having knit briefly in my early teens.  The results of this are as follows:

My scarf, known as "Learning Curve" which is made up of sections in 13 different stitch patterns.

Three sets of baby booties and mittens - two in yellow and one in blue - one for a work colleague, one for a former work colleague and one for my sister's work colleague.  The set shown here were my first knitting finish after I started knitting again.

My first pair of hand knitted socks, courtesy of my sister and brother in law who gave me a sock knitting workshop as an early birthday present.  They aren't perfect, but they fit and I have felt so chuffed with myself every time I put them on.

"Breeze", a lace edged headscarf knitted as a Christmas present for my oldest friend.  In the beginning, there was much frogging and language, but eventually I got the hang of it and am very pleased with it.  I'm hoping to get a picture of it in use to show you.

And finally I hit target at Slimming World - I won't say that I am currently right at target (blame it on Christmas), but I did get there!

So that is my goals for 2014 covered and the extras that came along during the year.  What next?

Well, first comes Christmas.  This is the crazy patchwork lap quilt that my Mum gave me for snuggling up under when I'm knitting or stitching on the sofa.  My parents also gave me two pairs of sock blockers for drying my hand knitted socks on.  My sister and brother in law gave me another workshop - this time to learn how to knit socks from the toe up.  Most everything else was non-craft related.

And finally my current WIPs:

As you will appreciate, the Christmas festivities have cut into my quiet time so on the sock front, I have managed to complete the ribbed cuff section and move onto the leg.

In the case of my cabled handwarmers, I only managed to finish the ribbed cuff section.  Although I can knit stocking stitch in the round while my family play Scrabble right next to me, I am not yet up to knitting cables in company :-)

So that is 2014 for you.  I have already started mentally planning my list for 2015, but that is for my next post.  I am back to work tomorrow, so will call it a day.  

I wish you and yours all the very best for the coming year.  May 2015 bring you all that your heart desires, and may the frog stay away from your needles!

Monday, 22 December 2014

A Curate's Egg Week

In other words, good in parts!  I went out with my team on Wednesday night after work and had a good time.  I went out with a couple of old school friends on Thursday night and had a very good time.  I went to Knit Group on Saturday and also had a good time.  The Christmas shopping is done (just needs wrapping).  The Christmas knitting is done (just needs wrapping).  All well and good.

The carol concert was mediocre and disappointing.  Other people's Christmas shopping issues were a pain in the posterior.  I've got a stupid cough and am suffering somewhat from the blues.

I also didn't quite achieve all my goals this week.

Despite everything else, I stitched the next block on Carnation, which leaves one block for this week and one block to stitch before the New Year.  I am determined to greet the New Year with a page finish on this one.  So this week's goal is to stitch one block.

I finished Breeze and washed it, so this is a photo of it blocking on my bedroom floor.  I will be wrapping it up tonight and hope to be able to show you a picture of it being worn at some point.  So that's two goals down for last week.

And this is where things went astray.  I have stitched round three sides of the H piece and need to trim it down, turn it inside out, stuff it, and stitch up the top, adding a ribbon hanger as I go.  I started to stitch the A piece, only to find that it is one row too short in depth and one row too wide.  So I need to frog two sides, redo them, stitch the three sides and then do all the things that also need doing to the H piece.  Before Christmas!  So the main goal this week is to finish these ornaments.

Moving on, when the Christmas knitting got cast off, I cast on some new pieces.  This is the first of two cabled handwarmers to be knit in King Cole Baby Alpaca DK.  The colour is called Heather and the yarn is very soft.  I am going to enjoy knitting these.

At Knit Group on Saturday, I cast on for my second pair of socks.  This time I am using five double pointed needles instead of four as it should make a difference as to the amount of laddering you get.  So goal number 3 for this week is just to knit.

So there we go - some good bits and some not so good bits.  I am going to finish here so I can get Breeze wrapped before I turn in (haven't been sleeping well either).

I would like to wish you and yours a very Happy Christmas (or whatever you celebrate at this time of year)!  Have a good one!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Will get there eventually

Well, here we are again - Christmas is creeping closer and closer - are we ready yet? Of course we're not - there are still 101 things to do before then!

However I did complete all my goals for last week.
I stitched my two blocks on Carnation, and now have just three blocks to go to finish the page.  My goal for this coming week (which will be busy) is just one block, which will leave one for Christmas week and one for the few days before New Year.  I'm really looking forward to getting this page finish under my belt.

I more than passed my goal on Breeze.  Not only did I knit all the remaining repeats, I knitted the increase row and got started on the final section.  So my goal for the coming week is to knit the last 7 rows, cast off, wash and block this piece.

And I also achieved more than my goal on my nieces' Christmas ornaments.  Both back sections are now complete and they just need putting together.  So this week's goal is to wash and press all four pieces, stitch up the sides, stuff them, attach ribbons and stitch up the tops - in other words, finish finish them.

On top of all this, I need to finish my Christmas shopping, write the remainder of my Christmas cards and post where necessary, go to my last Pilates class for the year, go out for two meals, go to Knit Group - oh, and go to work!  Can we do this ... yes, we can!!!

No Slimming World this week - too busy.  So much to do, so little time.  And on that note, I will love you and leave you, wishing you and yours all the best for the festive season and may the frog steer well clear of your needles.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

2014 WIPocalypse - December Full Moon

So can some kind person tell me where this last year went?  How come we've got to the December WIPocalypse blog post already?  I'm sure it was June only last week - no, that's a lie, it was too damn cold last week to be June!!  I suppose it just feels like I've spent the whole year trying to get stuff done, but when I look around, there's an awful lot of stuff still not finished!

But I do have some finished pieces to show you.

First up are the blue booties and mittens for my sister's colleague's baby.  I finished and blocked them earlier in the week and then took them to Knit Group to sew them up.  So that's one of last week's goals ticked off.  I daren't start anything else of the knitted genre until I get Breeze finished, but I do have plenty of projects in mind.

Next up is the second Christmas ornament for my nieces, so that's a second goal ticked off.  I have charted up their initials to go on the back pieces of these, so one of my goals for this coming week is to work on the back pieces.

I also ticked off my goal for Carnation - another two blocks completed, leaving five blocks to go.  This week I aim to complete another two blocks and get past the halfway point on this last row.

And last but not least, Breeze.  I ticked off my goal on this piece by completing one repeat of the pattern.  This week's goal is to finish off the remaining repeats, even though that will include starting a new ball of yarn.

In other news, I actually went to Slimming World this week and maintained, so still at 11 stone 9lb.  I'm hoping that the dancing I did at the works Christmas do on Friday will have worked off the food I ate - I was driving so no alcoholic calories to worry about.

I'm already thinking about my knitting and stitching goals for 2015 but will save those for my New Year post.  I've started my Christmas shopping - why do people have to keep reminding you how few days there are left before the great turkey extravaganza?  I don't want to know, I'm stressed enough as it is anyway!

However, all the best to you and yours - may the frog stay away from your needles and may the run-up to Christmas not drive you nuts!