Hoarding update

Since writing my post about Hoarding I have done a huge amount of ruthless clearing out, be it selling stuff on Facebook, donating items to the local Red Cross shop, taking things to the tip and filling our recycling wheelie bin.

Amazingly someone bought all the foam from our old sofa!  Also the oil pastels, some acrylic yarn, a chair, a collection of rubber stamps and pending collection a massager and basket making supplies have been sold!

I’ve given away some poly/cotton thread reels and upholstery fabric.

I donated a huge suitcase, that was filled with bags of office clothes, summer clothes, clothes too small for me, coats, shoes, handbags.  Plus some office equipment and drawing pads and coloured pencils and all sorts of random home office items.

I’ve thrown out broken picture frames and lots and lots of ‘memorabilia’.  I had every handwritten letter I have ever received, many of which were from penpals I don’t even remember!  Every Valentine’s card I’d ever received!  Every school report!  My first pair of ballet point shoes!  Old watercolour paintings I’d done that were really poor.  Old calendars I’d kept to paint the pictures on them.  So much stuff!

I have kept letters from my dad, my friends Elaine and Annie and my one and only letter from my childhood bestfriend Stephen. Everything else went in the recycling bin.  Only my ballet shoes did I keep thinking about retrieving from the bin, but when the bin men came this week I watched them and other random junk disappear for good.

This week I have some kitchen gadgets and games to sell.

Here’s some of the envelopes from my friend Elaine from 1991/92 when I was an au pair in Michigan…you can see why I kept these!

 

 

 

Goodness knows what the postman (or rather mail man) thought!!!!  

My crafting cupboard has everything at easy reach and without having to take anything out to get to something else, that’s a huge difference to the mountain of stuff that was previously balancing in there.  There’s still more to go through but I’m getting there.  

Emotionally I feel okay about the clear out, but it’s hard to tell really because I have a much more stressful thing going on at the moment that is perhaps overshadowing any feelings about the clearout.  I don’t think I am going to regret anything I have got rid of and hopefully I haven’t just contributed to other crafters’ hoards lol!

Year of Projects- week 21/52

Year of Projects- week 21/52

On Tuesday I finished the 1st sock of the pair that were going to be for my dad, but it will be too big for him, so they are now for my husband, but he asked if I could add some elastic to the cuff!  So some appeals for ideas on a sock knitting group on Ravelry, I have been given some ideas on how to knit a new cuff and cut off the old (they are a top down pattern).  So after a couple of days thinking about it I decided to have a break from the socks and knit something else.  Then spent the rest of the week trying to pick a pattern and yarn combo to work on.  I did do some more spinning of the camel silk blend and chain plied some…not my best chain ply as some look core spun.  Oh and I have been doing my backdoor Shetland spinning before bed (that may sound odd if you haven’t read previous posts).

I have gone back on antidepressants and hopefully they’ll start to kick in, in a few weeks.  In the meantime, I am going to try to get some structure back to my days.  My decluttering has continued and this week I dropped off a massive suitcase full of clothes I haven’t worn for years.  Plus some other bags of random things I no longer need.  But my creative juices have not been flowing this week.  

Next week I will have some photos and new creations.

 

Year of Projects – Week 20/52

Year of Projects – Week 20/52

This week, I have spent a lot of time thinking…too much time, which means I haven’t been as productive as usual.

My Christmas gift socks are coming along but I am still on the 1st sock; I am sure if I’d chosen a vanilla pattern I would be half way through 2nd sock by now.  My head is just too full to memorise the 10 row pattern repeat.  For sure my next pair will be a vanilla pair of ankle socks for my small feet lol!

I have been thinking about starting a 2nd knitting project at the same time as the socks, but I have spent days searching Ravelry looking at patterns and now I can’t decide which patterns I like most, so nothing cast on yet.

I have 13 patterns for the North Ronaldsay wool I bought!!! I can’t even seem to get a shortlist of 3!  How do you pick your patterns?  Should I go for another seamless top down pattern?  Decisions decisions!  As it is Aran weight I thought I should do cables..but as I have additional skeins in different colours I thought maybe could try Fair Isle…totally undecided.  By the time I have chosen I will have finished the socks lol

On the spinning front: on my spindle I am spinning some undyed Shetland fibre, I probably get about 15 foot spun when Ylva is sniffing the night air and doing her before bed wee!   On my wheel is the absolutely gorgeous baby camel and silk blend, honestly it is sooooooooooooo soft.  I bought it from Coastal Colours at the Highland Wool and Textile fair.  When I bought it I thought it was expensive at £26, but it’s 200g of beautifully dyed combed top of 50% baby camel and 50% tussah silk.  Not sure what I will make with it when its all spun, perhaps a fancy shawl…not that I ever go anywhere fancy.  Anyway in the meantime I love spinning it.

I missed another open day at the Highland Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, just need to find my big brave girl pants and go along.  I am such an introvert it is hard joining new things.

I mentioned in a previous post about an idea for a lantern…well here’s my 5 minute effort.  A bit of brown felt, some of the autumn sparkle blended fibre and a few stabs with the pale blue felting needle.  Simple.

Not related to YOP, but for anyone who read my post on hoarding

I have done a huge amount of ruthless chucking out, selling and donating things this week.  Stuff that I was keeping for sentimental reasons that I realised didn’t have that happy a memory linked with them, so this is the most I have ever got rid of.  Old letters from people I don’t even remember.  I have kept letters I received from 3 friends and the rest have gone, old slides I’d already scanned in have gone, loads of photographs, cards, my ballet point shoes, just loads of random sentimental stuff.  Also various random other crafting stuff, I had watercolour paints tubes that rattled…I bought them 27 years ago I realised!!!! 

My criteria:

a) Does it invoke a really happy memory?

b)  Am I 100% sure I will use?

If the answer was No…it has gone.  Now everything is accessible in my crafting wardrobe!  

 

Year of Projects- week 19/52

Year of Projects- week 19/52

This week I have been on a mission to get lots of crafting done, to take my mind off my continuing chest infection and a very stressful situation I have been trying to deal with.

I fancied using some thick yarn for some quick projects.  I had in my stash 200g of Cheviot super bulky yarn that I had dyed myself a few months ago and called ‘Dusty Rose’.  I couldn’t decide whether to make mittens or a hat, it turned out I had enough for mittens, a hat…and a small cowl!!!  (Follow links to my Ravelry project pages for pattern details.)

I can’t seem to get the colour true in the photos of the mittens, but they are all the same colour.  I really love the colours and effects I achieved when I dyed it.  I love the hat and will definitely try making another with some homespun yarn in a lighter weight yarn.  The cowl isn’t as wide as the pattern as I was short on yarn, but I have worn it on 3 dog walks so far and it seems perfect.  The bulky mittens are so quick and I did the same alterations as the last ones I made with Rowan Big Wool.  Alterations are detailed on my Ravelry project page.  The yarn only cost me £5 so to have had dyeing practice and made 3 accessories from it is brilliant value.  I worried the cheviot wool would be a bit scratchy as a cowl, but it is actually fine and it is lovely and warm on the chilly days we have been having.  Most days haven’t got above 5° Celsius here and there’s snow on Ben Wyvis, the mountain behind where we live.  I think this yarn would felt well, so did think about knitting some huge slipper shapes and then felting them…but I think I will try wet felting fibre slippers first.

Cheviot wool set

I have also cast on a pair of socks that will likely be a Christmas gift for someone, so no pictures possible.  

I am a monogamous knitter, and always finish an item before starting another, but the socks I am doing have a 10 row pattern repeat that is too complicated to memorise, so I have been wondering whether I should start an easy shawl pattern for when I need some mindless knitting to do?!?!?!  

I have noticed on other YOPers blog posts that they sometimes use progress markers that have the little lobster claw clasps.  I have lots of these clasps for making sea glass jewellery and so I thought I would have a go at making some markers out of sea glass I have collected from a local beach and are too small for anything else.

Progress markers

I mentioned last week that I had bought a drop spindle at Loch Ness Knit Fest and so thought I would do some spinning on that!  I was keeping it by the back door and doing a bit each evening before bed whilst I was waiting for our dog to do her bedtime wee!  I had another go on Friday and then thought I better research how on earth I am supposed to ply with a spindle. After some YouTube research I wound it from the spindle onto my ball winder and then tied the start and end of the single together, attached to my drop spindle and then spun it anti-clockwise and I found I was getting a much better balanced yarn than I do when plying on my spinning wheel.  Perhaps because it was all off the same single and was only a small amount, not sure but seemed to ply pretty quick.  I then popped it on my niddy noddy and set it…its only a small amount so I will knit a small mitred square with it probably.  As you will see on the right of the photo I ended up with a few snapped bits I found hard to join, but I will use the fibre elsewhere and no fibre gets binned, as even to make felted soap you can use random scraps.  This is a merino sari silk custom blend from my World of Wool fibre club box, called Himalayas.

Spindle attempt

Soooo having unloaded my spindle, I thought I’d have another go and try a thicker weight yarn. I used another custom blend from WoW fibre club, this is a mix of merino, silk and angelina called autumn sparkle.  I think I will be using some of this fibre to make an autumn fairy to go with my other fairies, also I have had a thought about using some in a lantern to imitate a flame…but this needs more thought.  With my sample spin, I started a mitred square but didn’t have enough, so I finished it with some test spin of a gorgeously soft baby camel and silk blend.

Autumn sparkle
Mitred square

 

If you’d like to see what the other people are up to in our Year of Projects group have a look.  They certainly provide me with inspiration each week and I love this little community.

Year of Projects – week 18/52

Year of Projects – week 18/52

We had such a lovely few days with our friends from Michigan, I played tour guide and we did Loch Ness, a castle, 2 distilleries, a visit to Dornoch for the best hot chocolate in the world and a visit to Inverness for some craft ales and shopping.

I have had a terrible chest infection so didn’t make it to my monthly felting group, so only have some knitting to show.

The two at a time knitting I started at Loch Ness Knit Fest turned into a pair of fingerless gloves with no pattern followed…but that’s the plus side of knitting them together, you don’t have to write down your increases or remember what you did for more than a minute…as you are doing the same thing on the 2nd item straight away.  I see the appeal, however the thick cable on my circular needles made it slower than I’d have liked.

I also finished my husband’s 2nd sock.  He is a man of few words, so its hard to tell if he likes them.  For those who read last week about the issue with the heel, I got some advice and then realised where I’d gone wrong so ripped it back to the start of the heel and re-did it correctly.  So they are pretty pairfect…as per the yarn name.

That’s it.  Not much and it seems weird to have missed my felting group, but I would hate to pass this bug on to one of the ladies and my cough is very annoying.

Hopefully I will feel better soon, as I would like to make an autumnal fairy…although it snowed a little on Friday night/Saturday morning…so it is feeling more like winter!!

 

Year of Projects – week 17/52

Year of Projects – week 17/52

This is a brief post, as we have visitors from Michigan that arrived today.  26 years ago I was an au pair looking after their 3 children and this is their 1st visit to see me 😁. Beyond excited!

I don’t understand what has gone wrong, but my pairfect pair socks have different heel stitches?!?!  No idea which is wrong.  I am proceeding anyway, this yarn is too splitty to unravel.  

Heel mistake!

Merino and silk scarf

I made the above scarf with merino and silk, check out me using colours that aren’t purple or pink!!  Yep that’s right its a gift for someone else.

At Loch Ness Knit Fest yesterday, I tried my hardest to not by more purple yarn…honestly I really did try!  But look at these 2 beauties…impossible to resist.  I also bought a yarn bowl, spindle, shawl pin, and some other skeins.

 

 

That’s it.  It has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life I think and of course now I have some bug just in time for my guests.  Hopefully things will improve now.

Year of Projects – weeks 15&16/52

Year of Projects – weeks 15&16/52

After a lovely week away at a holiday cottage on the West Coast of Scotland, this week has been so stressful and depressing.  I need to keep up with my projects to keep me sane and keep me from slipping back into depression.  

I have put up lots of unused craft supplies on Facebook Marketplace and already have sold some things.  This was prompted by me having too many warning signs I was teetering on the edge of being a full blown hoarder.  For anyone interested here’s a link to that post.  I think its important as a community we show that life has ups and downs and that’s ok and normal.  Electronic lives can seem like everyone is living perfect lives.

A quick update on my nuno felted scarf that I was unhappy with; I re did it adding more fibre around the edges and the roses.  I am so much happier with it.  It is so light to wear but warm!  

Nuno felted scarf update

Last week I finished Allistar’s first sock and I am doing the heel of the 2nd at the moment.  Already I spot they aren’t ‘Pairfect’…as per the yarn name.  My long tail cast ons were different tail lengths and despite re-doing the cast on 3 times it wasn’t perfect, so this has had a knock on affect at the top of the foot!  Typical as thats the bit people will see when he sits down.  The yarn was really splitting though so a 4th attempt wasn’t possible.

Allistar’s first sock

I wanted to see what the sari silk looked like felted, so made a weird shaped scissors case!  I love the silks and wish I had loaded more on! 

Scissors case

I joined the Brit Spin marathon on Ravelry, in team ‘More enthusiasm than skill’.  Our team each received 100g of Shetland fibre from our sponsors Curtis Fibres.  It is now the morning of the 4th and final day of the challenge and I have only managed to spin a third of the Shetland so far, partly because I am trying to spin very fine so that I end up with a 3 ply fingering weight yarn, but mostly because I am frantically dashing from one priority to the next, not sleeping well and really feeling the physical signs of some stress I am under at the moment.  My fitbit says my heart rate was in fat burn for 15 hours on Friday despite me not actually exercising! When I did some spinning at 6.30am, having been awake for hours, you can see my heart rate drop.  It drops again when I did some spinning about 2.30pm…the final drop is when my husband tried it on!   I wish I was better equipped to manage stress, but at least I know the spinning makes a physical positive difference.

Stress affecting my heart rate