Amazing Christmas Present!

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Psst! Over here! Yep that’s right. It’s me. Apologies for the absence, first week back at work after the long Christmas break took a bit more getting used to than I’d anticipated.

I finally managed to catch up with my wonderful friend Kimmy the other day. We swapped Christmas gifts (and I managed to give her her VERY belated birthday present) and these are what tumbled out of the wrapping paper:

odd socks, Stripy socks

Not only are these my favourite kind of socks, stripy ones, they are also already odd. No more worrying about having to match them up, because you can’t! And have you noticed the true genius of this gift? There’s 3 socks! All different, so it means that when you take a “pair” out of the washing machine and find that once again the sock monster has gobbled one up, you have a spare. I LOVE them.

My favourite gift I gave was to my Mum.
It wasn’t the most perfect thing I’ve ever made, but I learnt a whole bunch of new knitting techniques and it was lovely to see how pleased she was with it.

Knitted bagpuss knitted bagpuss

The one thing I have learnt from this is that I really need to brush up on my sewing skills (note the wonky eyes).

What was your favourite gift to give or receive?


Time for change

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At this time of year, some people start their spring clean. I’m bucking the trend and just putting it all into boxes.

One of the most exciting things for 2013 is the “consolidation” of mine and R’s houses. And yes, before you ask, he has seen the yarn stash and has been very inventive about ways we can make room for it, hurrah!

Stash bags

Stash bags

Typically I abhor moving house, it’s stressful, costly and it’s change. Lets face it, no one likes change.

This time however, it just seems right. I’m moving to a home not a house. It’s the start of a great adventure and one that I cannot wait to jump into with both feet.

Change is a funny thing. Most of us, if we are being honest, don’t like it. It’s not just the big things like house moving or a new job, it’s trying new things, thinking new ideas.

Before I could drive, I used to get a lift home from work with a colleague. Every day without fail we went exactly the same way home. One day there were road works that caused a traffic jam. After 5 minutes of not moving, I asked him if he fancied taking an alternative route. A look of sheer panic spread across his face. We sat in that traffic jam for an hour. It was the same route he had taken for 15 years and we’d get home eventually.

If you are happy to sit in a traffic jam for an hour because its the way you’ve always gone, it’s what you’ve always done, what else are you compromising on?

It’s not the actual change that stops you. It’s the fear of what the change will mean, what it will bring. It’s the fear of the unknown. For some things that fear is useful, it stops you being too gung ho about the whole thing, it allows you to go in with a degree of caution. Great when you are thinking about a career change or taking up a new extreme sport. Do you really need it when you want to cook a chili instead of a spaghetti bolognese? When you want to take up a new hobby or change your hair colour?

New things aren’t scary, they are just new.

I am by no means a person that whole heartedly embraces change in all its wonderful forms… yet. For me, starting this blog was incredibly worrying. My friends aren’t bloggers, my family don’t really do “the Internet”, I had nothing in my world that I could compare it too and I was worried that people wouldn’t be interested. A blog about knitting, yarny things and general chit chat is so far removed from my normal daily work, sitting in front of a computer forecasting future resource requirement. My first thoughts ( which are normally the most treacherous) were ” How can I do this? Why am I doing this? I won’t be any good at it”. After an encouraging chat with R, I realised that nothing dreadful was going to happen if I started writing things down for other people to read. A month or so in and I’m so happy that I listened to him. Nothing dreadful has happened, on the flip side I haven’t changed the world, but I never set out to. I have started to explore what I can do with my skills and if it encourages more people to do the same then I say “hooray”!

I think the key here is baby steps. Change a few small things and see what happens, you will be pleasantly surprised.


Pickle’s Zigzag Scarf

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Bonjour my lovelies!

Quick bit of tres exciting news. My first pattern is available to buy on ravelry. You only need to know how to knit, purl and cast on and off.

It’s a lovely scarf with a reversible zigzag pattern on it. Made in DK, I used SMC Bravo in the¬†Pastel shade, it’s perfect for spring and cool summer evenings.

Pickle's Zigzag Scarf

reversable scarf pic

This would also be beautiful made in something like King Cole Galaxy to add a bit of sparkle.

You can purchase the pattern¬†right here and you don’t need to be a Ravelry user to get it. Membership is free to Ravelry and it really is an amazing site full of free patterns as well as those to purchase, so why not sign up while you are there.

Get knitting! :)


Happy New Year!

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Welcome to 2013!

We kept New Year’s Eve relatively low key this year given that we were both feeling quite grotsome from the Christmas cold.
This meant that New Year’s Day was all ours whilst other people were sleeping off the festivities from the night before. We took a drive to a local village for a spot of lunch and then went for a walk. The river is incredibly high at the moment, this is the view taken from the bridge:


It was so lovely to finally not have the grey, dreary rain and drizzle that we’ve had for the last few weeks. I love how, even in the “depths” of a British winter, the sun coming out can make everything look so beautiful.

There is an old church sat part way up a hill a little further up the road.

Tucked all around it are beautiful little cottages


I realised last year that we spend so much time now days “living the dream” with the 9-5 rat race that we don’t always take the time to fully appreciate the beauty around us. Especially in the winter, you get up and go to work in the dark, stay indoors at lunch time because its raining, leave for home in the dark and before you know it you’ve not seen daylight for 5 days!

I don’t make resolutions as a rule, the rebel in me feels compelled to break them almost immediately, but I think a few small changes like taking a walk outside at lunch could really make all the difference.

I have a few yarny “not-resolutions” to make this year also. By the end of 2013 I will:

Make a hat that actually fits someone
Get over my double pointed needle phobia
Finish all the projects I started about 4 years ago ( I have already conceded that this may not actually ever happen)

What do you want to achieve this year?