Wednesday, 27 February 2013

WOW 2013!

I know, two posts in two days.  I'm on a roll!  I've decided that I need to be a better blogger and am going to comit!  That's why I started a blog after all.
So this morning (and for a few mornings now) I found it really hard to get out of bed.  I hate the grey, cold days and increasingly I can't get it out of my head that I would much rather be at home crafting.  I LOVE my day job.  In fact, crafting aside, it's my ideal thing to do.  I am very passionate about my day job and spend my days, mainly filled with joy, smiling and laughing through the days feeling lots of love and knowing that I am doing a good job.  I will do a post about my day job some time soon, back to my thinking this morning.  So I was in bed, pressing snooze, really feeling like I didn't want to get out of bed.  I think I am suffering from SAD big time.  I am usually a very happy, cheery person, more than happy with my life and my little world but every year in February I can a little twitch that I sometimes can't shake off.  Usually at this time of year I start browsing the job pages and wondering what the rest of the country/world holds in store for me.  I start to dream and plan but then these go nowhere.  I always wonder if the grass really is greener but usually my thinking decides that it probably isn't.  I read somewhere online (and think I have it pinned on my Pinterest board) that "if we spent more time watering our own grass it would be just as green."  I think this is really true.  I need to spend a little more time and attention focusing on the good in my life and thinking about improving the areas that aren't quite so good.  I know I will snap out of this soon (I'm hoping come Friday and the start of March my mood will pick up.) 
In an attempt to focus on the positive I decided to think back to how amazing 2013 has been so far.  We are only in February, but I can already say that 2013 has been pretty amazing.  I had a fab year last year and had a feeling in my gut that 2013 would be even better.  If the first two months are anything to go by then I'm in for a treat!
There have been 3 MAJOR (I would go as far as saying life changing) things that have happened so far in 2013 (all of which needed lots of preparation in 2012 but came into place this year.)
Firstly (and I believe most importantly, my nephew was born on 10th January.  This little guy is quite possibly my new favourite person in the whole wide world.  The love I feel for him is unreal.  I am not interested in having children myself but having a nephew has got to be the most awesome thing ever.  I get all the lovely bits and am happy to deal with some of the not so lovely bits and I get to hand him back (so don't lose any sleep!)  I am looking forward to being the best auntie ever at each stage of his life.  My heart feels like there's not much room left for much else at the moment.

Me with Sam in the hospital when he was about 20 hours old.  It was love at first sight!

Sam on the blanket that I crocheted for him.  A whole heap of love went into this blanket.  I made it before I knew if he was going to be a he.  I hope that he will have this blanket for his whole life and that it will become a treasured possession.

I saw this idea online, to make a top or baby grow with the numbers 1-12 on.  The baby wears the item when he is that number of months old.  Here he is in his number 1 vest I made him.  One of my first screen printed items.  I must make the 2 as he will be 2 months before we know it!

Me with Sam last week.  I visited for a few hours one day in half term and was lucky to get lots of Sam cuddles.  I was very selfish and held him the whole time I was there.  He was grizzly but dozed a bit while I held him.  I can handle crying babies for a day (at a reasonable hour! hehe!)

Second wow event of 2013 (for which I did all the work in May/June 2012) was I had a couple of patterns published in a crochet book.  Now it's not much, it's a big Everything You May Need to Ever Know About Crochet book and my little patterns are only 2 of 20 but I feel proud all the same.  I feel even more chuffed about the fact that it was Catherine who asked me to be involved.  It was Catherine who taught me to crochet so I felt very honoured when I realised she thought I was good enough TO BE IN A BOOK!!  I was working to some quite tight project specifications set by the publishers but it's got me thinking about lots of designs that I have in my head and maybe putting a few on paper over my long summer holiday this year! Watch this space!  My mind is racing with creative ideas!

So, according to this book I'm an author!!  I made and wrote the patterns for two blankets in this book.  I love seeing my projects having been professionally photographed.  They look amazing (even if I do say so myself!)  I wish everything I make could be photographed like this! 
The third thing that happened in 2013 at the end of January was that I graduated from my MA in Professional Studies in Education.  So the work for all of this was last year (and a whole summer of thinking about or writing my disseration) but the nice bits, the celebratory bits were this year!  I had a lovely day in Kingston at the graduations ceremony and then for a yummy lunch and cocktails with my mum.  I wore my gorgeous new Poppy dress which my parents bought me for Christmas but I had been saving to wear for the first time for my graduation.  After lunch we went to visit my brother, sister in law and little Sam!  A perfect end to a lovely day.

We did it!!  Me and three teacher colleagues who completed the course this year! 

Me and my mum outside the theatre (note my mum is proudly wearing the corsage brooch I made her for Christmas and coincidently colour co-ordinating with my gown!!)

I've just realised why I might be feeling so poopy!  All of these amazing things happened in January!  Maybe February feels like a bit of an anti climax after all of that!

How's 2013 been for you so far? 

love love love

Erin x

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

How I have learnt to love knitting

So, as a young girl I dabbled in knitting and crochet. I remember my maternal grandmother showing me both. I have a definite memory of making long crochet chains but never  more than thaI then t and i remember knitting (but needing someone else to cast on and off for me.) Around three years ago (or four maybe is that right Catherine ?) I decided I should learn to crochet properly (and became a rather long standing student of Catherine, to whom I am eternally grateful for being the most patient teacher ever, even with me who hates being a beginner at anything!)
I got very excited about the whole crochet thing and dreamt up plans of all the things i wanted to make and spent most of my free time happily whipping things up with my hook.
I love crochet and get very excited about all the things I want to make but I decided I wanted to give knitting another go. I was passionate about crochet and loved the idea of knitting too and being able to make all the lovely knitted things i saw around that don't look the same crocheted.
I tried my hand at knitting but got very frustrated by it. I coudn't cast my mind back only a few years to when I was new to crochet and how it took me ages to pick up the basics and lots of time makig up "Erin stitches" as Catherine christened them. I wated to be able to knit, straight away. My first attempts left me a tad frustrated and I kept going back to the crochet.
More recently, thanks to Pinterest and of course Instagram (I love Instagram, it's changed my life, but that's a whole separate post!) I was getting the urge to knit again after seeing so much lovely stuff.
Through bloggy land and Instagram I got chatting to Cuckoo and Suzie and that got me thinking about knitting more and more.  I decided to give it a bit more of a chance as I really wanted to make some of Suzie's gorgeous patterns.  So back in November I invited myself along to The Wool Sanctuary and to Knit Club when Suzie had promised me that she would help me with her Knitted House (which I had been desparate to make since receiving my copy of her book.)  Oh before all of this I made one of Suzie's beach huts as a bit of a practice.  So I went along to the West Country for a weekend to spend a night with Suzie and attended Knit Club and then a night with Cuckoo.
So anyways with Ikea deliveries and a busy Knit Club Suzie didn't have a chance to show me how to make the house.  I started with the easy bit and then Cuckoo had assured me that she would be able to help with the tricky colour changes.

Cuckoo's crafty Bird Box with my little house in progress!

Cuckoo concentrating on unravelling my mess of the house!

On the train on the way home after a wonderful stay chez Cuckoo with her gorgeous family.  Note the tangle is hidden underneath the work!!

I was so very proud of my little house and it now has pride of place on my mantelpiece.  If you don't already have it go and buy Suzie's book it's amazeballs and check out her Ravelry page for further wonderful patterns!

So I got the bug for knitting, or so it seems I have the bug for knitting Suzie's patterns! haha!!

I bought the Humbug pattern and against Suzie's advice made a start. ........and got stuck.  Luckily I have been lucky enough to return to The Wool Sanctuary and have met up with Suzie when she has been in Essex and have enlisted her help to sort them out.   Just the other week when I spent a weekend at Suzie's and was able to get help with the right one and complete the left one!

Woo hoo!!!  I love them!!  They were fun to knit (onece I got over the frustration) and they have been much admired!  I've even been asked where I bought them and beamed while replying "I made them!"

I'm already making a Ray of Light shawl (mine's the green one next to Suzie's one!)  This is going to be my mum's birthday present. I'd better get cracking, I have till mid April and as you can see it's less than half the size it should be!!

I'm also on to my next pair of wrist warmers (Button Moons)  I'm addicted!

I also thought these little houses were way to cute not to have a go at!!  I think it looks right at home next to the little knitted house.  Like a little Granny Annex!

So thank you to two of my newest friends who have inspired my love of knitting and have (and continue to) help me along the way. 

How can you not want to spend all your time knitting when this is your LIVING ROOM!!!!  Heavenly!!

As if I wasn't already inspired enough to keep knitting and get better how AWESOME are these?!

My very own Suzie Johnson originals made especially for me!!  I am so chuffed.  Love them to bits!

I have added a cushion to the big case and think it looks swell in the Granny Shack!!  Inspirational knitting!!

What have you been making lately?  I love seeing everyone's projects!

Love love love

Erin x

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


Hello my lovlies.
What happened to the rest of 2012 and how did it get to be January already? * whoops its now FeB  I started this post AGES ago!!*  I obviously hadn't planned on starting a blog and then abandoning it after only two posts. The last couple of months have been a bit busy to say the least!
So let's go back a bit to what had happened since I spoke to you last.
I had half heartily been looking to move but hadn't put too much effort into my search. In fact i had been downright lazy! I wanted to rent a flat and live on my own. I wanted to be not to far from work, I wanted a separate living room and outdoor access for the cats (oh yeah and cat friendly.) Beyond that I wasn't too fussy. In October half term I walked into one agency and left my details. That was ALL I did!! See I told you I was lazy! Now the thought didn't even occur to me to even keep an eye on the agency's website even. I figured they would contact me if something came up. Even being at my wits end and in dire need for my own space didn't make me put any more effort into the search! Defo very lazy!
I am a very lucky and optimistic person and believe that things always work out for the best. This way of thinking always gets me by and is a pretty good way to live. It means on the whole I'm always happy. Luck was on my side in my flat hunt too. After a couple of weeks doing NOTHING I got a call from a guy at the agency. He started off by saying "I don't know what your style is but I may have somewhere you may be interested in. If you're in to modern then you may not like it, it's quite old fashioned. Would you like to view it?" The very idea of it being old fashioned got me quite excited and upon hearing the location my heart started beating a little faster. It was in the " posh part" of my favourite location. It was a ground floor flat of what i knew were potentially very nice houses (I used to rent a houeshare a few roads away.) However it was out of my budget. I agreed to go and view it and told myself I wouldn't be pressurised into making any quick decisions. It turned out I was viewing it with two other interested parties! Awkward! I loved the flat, so did the other two interested parties. Awkward but such is the nature of the demand for one and two bedroom rental properties.  We all got taken back to the agency and got asked to write down "offers" to the landlord for the amount of rent we would be prepared to pay. I have never heard of anyone doing similar. I figured I had nothing to lose and although I loved the flat it was only the first one I had viewed and was out of my price range. I decided to put in a cheeky offer which was at the top of what I was prepared to pay. I felt if it was the flat for me then I would get it. I had a nervewracking wait till the next day (due to the fact the landlady lives in Australia.) So I got a call the next day to say I was successful. Mine was the lowest offer but was the "most professional." Woo hoo.
I moved in at the end of November and have spent way to much time prettyfiying it and not enough time doing boring things like sorting out my internet and shower!!
Ok, so I'm sure you're all desperate to see some pics but I am at work right now, in my lunch hour trying to not let my blog look so abandoned!
I will come back with another post of a general round up of the AMAZING things that have happened to me since my last proper post.  With plenty of pictures to make up for this one! Promise! I will even include pics of my flat!  *note to self - sort out internet in half term (and a working computer would be useful for blogging right?!*
Have a lovely Tuesday people!
Love love love
Erin xxx