Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Years Resolutions

It's the end of another year. Again, I'm looking back wondering where all the time went. And quite what I did with it all...

This time last year, I wrote a post detailing my goals for the year.

I had signed up for the 11 Shawls in 2011 challenge on Ravelry. Sadly, whilst I did complete the challenge (with all the knitting done by September), this challenge seems to have done the opposite of what it was supposed to. Now, when I go looking for a shawl pattern to knit, I cannot find one that I want to knit anymore. Well, not lace shawls anyhow - there are a couple of solid shawls I'd like to get done, but I'm not finding lace knitting as awesome as I did last year. Maybe it's a good thing to get the bug out of me. Eventually, though everything was knit and blocked by September, I didn't post them on Rav until last week, which is how little I cared about actually finishing the challenge. Not surprisingly, I have not signed up for the next one.

Secondly, I promised to blog at least twice a month. Technically, I did not manage this as I only blogged once in September, however with a total of 51 blog posts - almost one per week - I definitely reached my goal of blogging more. I would like to keep this up in the New Year, as well as keeping up with my Twitter.

The last goal from last year was to lose weight. I lost some, I gained some, in the end I think I'm leaving this year a little lighter than I went into last year, but this is also something I need to keep up.

This year, I have a few goals, not many of which are crafty, but I shall mention them anyway.

My first goal is to get my black belt. I'm not sure how realistic it is, but I do know I will need to put a lot of work in.

My second goal is to take the idea in my head and put it down on paper and see if I can make it into some kind of pattern that people would like to knit.

My last goal is to try and do more interesting stuff in my life. I'm not quite sure what that will look like yet, but I'm hoping I'll know it when it appears.

Whatever you are doing, I wish you the very happiest of New Year's and I hope that the one coming brings you all you could wish for (I wish for Wollmeise...).

Friday, 23 December 2011

Crisis in Confidence

I think I should just give up on this knitting lark. I am clearly no good at it. Case in point; my Pomatomus socks.

I was so excited at the thought that I would get these done this week. For one thing this will be the second pair of socks I have managed to knit both of this year! (I am not fast when it comes to socks). For another thing, I really enjoyed this pattern. Something about the way that the yarn transformed into this springy, bouncy, lovely textured garment was so appealing to me. I've had this yarn sat around for a while (it's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in a colourway called Echo, though I have no idea what colour it is. When I first bought it I thought it was grey, then realised it was too brown to be grey. But it's not quite right for mushroom either. I think we've decided to call it 'taupe' since taupe just seems to be universal for 'some kind of brown that we can't quite figure out what kind') I cast on for another pair of socks, but really wasn't feeling it. But I came across it this year and decided it needed to be Pomatomus. And it needed to be Pomatomus RIGHT NOW. Except, as usually happens, it became one Pomatomus RIGHT NOW and the other one took a bit longer (I got distr...SQUIRREL).

So this week rolls around and I'm on holiday and with my family so I can't do holiday knitting while the person I'm knitting for is still up, so I pick back up my second sock and finish it in record time (for me).


See the problem yet? Maybe not. I know I didn't.

I finished the sock on Tuesday evening and sewed in the ends on both socks. I decided to wear them yesterday. I'd already tried on the one I made first, so I knew it would fit and had made sure to knit to second to exactly the same number of pattern repeats etc.

But wait, what's this?

See it now?

See how one sock is a dramatically different size from the other? Desperate, I checked the pattern repeats, thinking if I had just missed one out, maybe I could tink back - I have plenty of yarn left, but to no avail. The pattern repeats are the same, it's my gauge that is off.

And how off is it possible for gauge to get?

I have one sock that comes up to normal sock height above my ankle, and one that comes halfway up my calf.

The moral of this story is:
Knit socks two a time in the future!

For FO's that worked a lot better than mine, see Tami's Amis.

And lastly, I would like to wish those that celebrate a very Happy Christmas Eve Eve. I hope that this season brings you joy and peace and everything you could wish for.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Today I am EPIC and WIN

This past week has been particularly stressful. It started last Saturday when I went on the first day of a two weekend course to train to become a Regional Judge in Gymnastics. I was brimming with confidence bearing in mind my sweeping victory on my Club Judge course when I finished with a 96% distinction. Turns out, pride comes before a fall (who knew?) and I ended up being completely thrown by what we had to learn. The extra theory alone was daunting, but when it came to the practical side (judging video clips of routines) I absolutely could not do it. I was not coming up with the correct score at all.

To make matters worse, I hadn't quite thought things through when I signed up for this course and hadn't worked out how close it was to the final submission date for my photography coursework for the OU course I've been taking online. Truth be told, I had completely fallen behind with the course and didn't have anything ready to go.

So, with my judging exam on Sunday (today) and my coursework due in my 12pm on Monday (tomorrow), I have not stopped working all week.

Today I passed my judging exam. I won't know the score for a couple of months (I think probably quite a bit lower than my club judging), but I passed.

Today I submitted my photography coursework twelve hours before the deadline. Here are a few of the photo's I've put in:

Today, for good measure, I also did my laundry.

Now to sit down with a glass of wine methinks.

P.S. Now if only I could finish my Christmas knitting as well...