WIP: Flax Light Pullover 

Hey everyone! Just a quick post for today.

If you watch my new video podcast, (search MyMuddlings on YouTube) my upcoming episode (if it ever uploads; but that’s another story) mentions working on a project for the Royal Adelaide Show. Well, I’m not writing about that, ‘cos I’ve changed my mind! 😄

I am now knitting the Flax Light pullover by tincanknits for said Show. Here’s my progress so far:

I started this on Saturday night. Ripped it back to the ribbing on Sunday and have been working on it almost monogamously ever since.

I am knitting it on my HiyaHiya Sharps interchangeables, and in Knit Picks Stroll Tonal in the now discontinued (sob!) colourway Shale. 

The reason for the ripping out was that the hand painted yarn was pooling as I knit. I knew I should have alternated skeins but kept kidding myself  that it looked okay. Anyway, I’m alternating now and I’m glad I took the time to rip and reknit. 

So I have two weeks from tomorrow to get this finished. And fingers crossed it fits as I’m playing a bit fast and loose with my gauge… Wish me luck! 😄

FO Friday: Bellflower Socks

Morning y’all! I’ve finally finished some knitting and thought I’d share! These are the Bellflower Socks by verybusymonkey.

image_medium2I knit these for the July prompt for the Just One More Row podcast 12 in 16 KAL. Initially I was a bit unsure about the Lace prompt for July as lace socks aren’t my favourite. I was also a little anti this pattern initially. I didn’t have high hopes for still being in the running for the year long prize for the knit-along.

However, once I had a couple pattern repeats under my belt, I seemed to hit my stride. I think the biggest issue I had with the pattern is that it involves a lot of k3tog, sssk, and sl1k3togpsso. If you don’t speak knitter, it’s two types of 3 stitch decreases and a four stitch decrease. On tiny needles with unrelenting yarn it’s quite a lot to manoeuvre.

The yarn I used was just some Bella Baby Superwash Merino 4 ply that I got for $2 a ball at Spotlight. I don’t think I’d buy this yarn again. It’s a very ‘hard’ yarn. It’s not desperately soft with a fairly high twist. At least I can probably rely that these will be a hard wearing pair of socks.

This pattern features a star shaped toe; a technique I’ve never tried before. At first I got it confused with the swirl toe pattern and thought I was doing the wrong thing. But I trusted the pattern (who woulda thunk it!) and it worked out just fine. It’s really hard to get the sock flat toe-on to be able to photograph the star but you can extrapolate from this pic:


See the little purl bumps? They make up the star shape.🙂

Unfortunately I cannot count these in my Yarngasm Podcast Box O’ Sox KAL though as they’re not socks for me. Box O’ Sox is a selfish knit-along.😉 However, my sister has just had her birthday so I think I’ll pack them up and send them off as a gift for her.

Overall, I’d say this was a pretty good pattern. Now that I’ve realised it’s not a terribly hard pattern, I would knit this again. Definitely check it out if you like lacy socks.🙂

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Did you know I’ve started a video podcast? Check it out on YouTube.🙂




Sewing Room Tour

I know I touched on this last post but I thought I would give a bit more of an in depth tour of my sewing room.🙂

Here’s the room overall from the last post. The room is technically half study, half craft room.

My husband and I each have desks with 21″ iMacs. That’s where I mostly blog from, that’s my desk in the far corner surrounded by stationery, which (I’m not exaggerating) was my first true love.😉 Stationery, not the desk. 😂

Anyway, on to the sewing stuff.

Here’s my sewing table. It was a hand-me-down from my mother-in-law. It’s a Horn sewing table that folds out and has a lot of little hidey-holes and drawers for storing all my bits n’ bobs. It’s also got a platform to raise and lower my machine.

I just use a chair from our dining table to sit on. I might post a piccie to Instagram with it open later on so you can see inside.🙂

This cupboard holds most of my yarn stash, my personal project fabric (MyMuddlings fabric is in the drawers of our IKEA Expedit wall unit in the lounge), my fibre stash and some cross stitch, dyeing, sewing patterns and spinning paraphernalia. It’s lovely to have a built in cupboard for it all.🙂

Here’s the remainder of my yarn stash that’s kept in the study:

The rest of my yarn stash (mostly handyed and handspun skeins) also hang out in our Expedit. Maybe I’ll IG a piccie of that too!

So there you go. I hope you enjoyed my little tour.🙂 We don’t have a lot of decoration up as we’re renting but I’d love to sew some bunting to string up. Another project for another time. But for now, I’ll sign off. Thanks for reading!🙂

Getting back in the swing

Hi everyone. Wow, was that an unintentional blogging break. Where on earth as April, May, June and half of July gone?!!

I feel like I have a black hole of lost time. What have I been doing? Mostly trying to get well. I’m unsure as to how much I have touched on my mental health in this blog, but it got really bad a few months ago. So much so I had to go on medication. But this blog isn’t strictly about my health so I’ll leave it by saying that I’m feeling much better and am coming back with renewed energy.🙂

I thought I’d mention, I have posted two new pages to this blog. One is about my Etsy store and why I started it (including added info regarding my mental health if you’re interested) and the other is some pictures and short notes about my spinning wheels.

Anyway, onto today’s post.

Recently my husband and I set about rearranging our study (and my sewing room) so that it would be easier for me to get some sewing done. Here’s the before:

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Yup. I was trying to sew in that. Yeah, it wasn’t happening. I had to move a ton of stuff just to fold out my sewing table. This of course wasn’t helping with stocking my Etsy store with new items or even helping my handmade wardrobe.

After a day of rearranging, and a few weeks of tidying up errant pieces of paper and shredding old personal documents, we now have this:

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There, that’s much better. I have clear floor for cutting out fabric, only have to move one box to fold out my sewing table, and space to store my two vintage spinning wheels. I’m feeling much happier and freer in this cleared out space and raring to start sewing again.

You see that basket (aka that pile of ‘clothes’ to the left)? This one (see there’s a basket under there):


Well, these are UFO’s and mending/alterations. I want to work away at getting this basket emptied. THEN I’m gonna sew a lining for the basket. This is a pretty good place to start I think. Watch this space!🙂


Too many WIPs (too many WIPs)…

Anyone heard the ‘Too Many Cooks’ song that did the rounds of the interwebs a few months ago? It was an Adult Swim sitcom opening that goes for 11 minutes and get darker as it goes. Well, anyway the title of this post is supposed to be sung to that tune.😉 You can find it here if you’re so inclined. :) Anyway, onto the crafting!

So, it’s been a little while since I wrote and I’m not really sure why. I have ideas for posts in my head and of course I’ve been crafting but I’ve just been a bit out of it lately. If you’re a listener of my podcast (which also hasn’t been updated for ages, nearly a year!😦 ) you’ll know that I suffer from depression and anxiety. My anxiety gets worse when I’m stressed. And I’ve noticed lately due to a bout of cast-on-itis that too may WIPs causes me stress.

This is my hibernating WIP list from Ravelry:

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That’s 14 projects plus one I currently have marked as ‘In Progress’. And these are mostly projects that I love and really want to have finished. In the case of the Memory Blankets and the Beekeeper’s quilt they’re long term projects and as such are not such a stress causer but that only 3 out of 15. Two of these projects are for someone other than myself. And one is likely to be frogged as it was from my very early knitting ‘career’ and I misjudged the amount of yarn required and I’ve run out even though I should have had enough.

So to this end I’ve decided to focus on one project at a time and force myself to be a monogamous knitter. I am currently working on a pair of socks that are for two KALs, the Just One More Row podcast 12 in 16 KAL and Yarngasm podcast’s Box O’ Sox KAL.

Since I implemented my one project at a time rule, I’ve been smashing out the FOs. And this has made me feel really good about what I can accomplish if I’m being single-minded. I have finished a super-secret test knit sweater (in about 2 weeks no less!), a shawl, a hat and a pair of socks. And that is pretty much since the start of March. The hat and the socks were WIPs but the sweater and the shawl were started and finished since the start of March. Well, actually the sweater was started on the 29th of February but it’s close enough.😉

I’ve decided that monogamous knitting is where it’s at going forward and it’s what I’m going to attempt to sustain. I figure since I’ll be starting and finishing projects once these WIPs are done my knit yardage will increase a lot as I won’t have large WIPs carrying over to the next year. I knit 24,724 yards last year and but this is only FO yardage, it doesn’t include any frogged projects or WIPs. To date I’ve knit 5,751 yards this year, so let’s see what I can bang out by the end of 2016.

How many WIPs are you comfortable with? Or are you a monogamous knitter? How do you juggle your WIPs or not?

Juice Cleanse: Final Thoughts

So it seems I lost track of time.😉 I’m only a week and a half late but here are my final thoughts on my Juice Challenge with Reboot with Joe.

This challenge was really well done on the part of the Reboot team. Each email was clear, with links and extra information. If you’re interested in trying a juice cleanse, I would definitely recommend them as the place to keep an eye on for their next one or signing up for their personalised Guided Reboots if you’ve got the funds and you’re interested.

As for my physical feelings, and changes I’m not so sold.

As I detailed in my last post here, I had a very hard time for the first three days even though I had been very conscientious in my preparation before the cleanse. The bloating was intense and extremely uncomfortable and I was tired. That was really the only symptoms I had however, no headaches or hunger. By Thursday night, the day I wrote that post, the bloating had returned and I was in tears by the time bed-time came around. I said to Si that I just wanted to quit, that I’d done four days and that was fantastic and I was proud of what I’d achieved. He gently pushed that it was only one extra day. And I decided he was right.

Friday was great. I felt light, no bloating, my skin was clear and I was alert. This was the feeling I was seeking the whole week. But damn did I want to eat something!!! I broke my ‘fast’ on Friday night with a celebratory square of Lindt dark chocolate. Not the best thing to break a juice cleanse with but I was happy, and there are certainly worse things I could have had.

I weighed myself on Saturday morning and I had lost a further 1.4kg (3.1lbs) for a total of 3.8kg (8.4lbs) lost on the cleanse. Not too shabby.

And Saturday is where things just went wrong. It started with a hot cross bun for breakfast, CC’s for lunch then restaurant pasta for dinner. Two out of three were what I’d been craving through the cleanse. I couldn’t face another juice. Or to cut up more produce. I think partially the carb overload is from the carb deprivation from the previous 5 days. I am a carb craver by nature so that’s what I went for.😦 I didn’t eat all the pasta so I’m grateful for small mercies.

As I said, I’m a week and a half out from the end of my juice cleanse. My consumption of a plant-based diet has been minimal. Other than the odd juice, regular banana & avocado smoothies, and vegetarian dinners, the rest of my diet has been fairly abysmal. Cheese toasties, home-baked bread and butter. You know, crap. As such, my weight had gone up again by 1.8kg (4lbs) in last week’s weigh in, which has held steady this week thankfully. I am still 3.3kg (7.3lbs) down from the start of the year so I’m still happy with progress.

So now that the long weekend is over, I walked the dog this morning, made a green juice for breakfast, and have planned a healthy lunch and a vegetarian dinner. So fingers crossed this week is the return to healthy living. Wish me luck!

Juice Cleanse

So if you follow me on Instagram, (and if you don’t, why not?!!😉 My handle is anneofjulie! Lots of yarny/doggy/foodie goodness to be had!) you’ll be aware that I’ve been on a juice cleanse since Monday.

If you’ve been a long time reader of this blog, you’ll know that about this time last year I was talking about a plant-based diet and wanting to get rid of my excess weight. Well, obviously I did nothing about it most of the year last year. In December I really decided I’d had enough, I couldn’t fit in my size 20 jeans. Something had to be done so my new year’s resolution was set: Become healthy, fit, actually have that plant-based diet and lose weight!

It just so happened that in December I received an email from Reboot with Joe about a 5-day juice cleanse happening in January 2016. I signed up immediately. You might know Joe (ha I rhyme!) from his documentary ‘Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead’ and its sequel that you can catch on Netflix. It is about his journey to cure himself of auto-immune disease and lose his excess weight. He spent two months in the US drinking nothing but juice. Yep, you read right, two months of only juice. And now on my fourth day of my cleanse, I really have NO IDEA how he went for so long without chewing!!!

I meant to do a write up of each day as I went along but obviously that didn’t happen!  ;) So I thought I’d do a quick rundown now.

Sunday my hubby, Si and I went out and we purchased everything I’d need for my 5-day juice cleanse. Surprisingly it wasn’t as expensive as I expected. I’d say all together it was just over $100 to get everything I needed. We laid it all out and I took a selfie with all my produce. As you do.

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And here’s what it looked like without my mug in front of it:

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Hubs did a fabulous job of rearranging and packing the fridge for me. Grouping everything together in easy to find places. What a gem! I had spent the previous week and a half beginning the detox by avoiding processed food, gluten containing foods, meat and dairy. It was advised that this could help to reduce detox symptoms once the cleanse began.

Monday I’d made plans to go to my mother-in-law’s house to start work on some bunting that I’m sewing for her birthday party. So my morning was making up three lots of juice to take with me as we were staying for dinner. Well, hubs was having dinner, I was having juice. By the afternoon, my stomach began to get bloaty and I was feeling a bit uncomfortable. I was a little tired and because of that, grumpy. Thankfully I wasn’t very hungry. I was devastated that I missed out on a home cooked, Chinese meal by one of the MIL’s Chinese boarding students but I had made a commitment so I stuck to it. The other student said she felt sorry for me that all I had to drink was juice when her friend had made such excellent food. At that point she was dead to me. Lol, not really but YA DIDN’T NEED TO KICK ME WHEN I WAS ALREADY DOWN!!! STOP RUBBING IT IN THAT YOU’RE HAVING A FABULOUS DINNER!😉

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Monday’s breakfast

Tuesday was a very hot day so I mostly just sat around the house, monitoring the dog to ensure he wasn’t too hot. The bloating hadn’t stopped and I was getting increasingly uncomfortable. Thank goodness I didn’t have any headaches or I would have been not nice to be around. I didn’t particularly like my lunch juice, it had capsicum in it and although it didn’t taste too bad, the smell of the capsicum was really off putting.

Wednesday was my worst day. If you do follow on Instagram, you would have seen my selfie for the day was a very demotivated, very sad little panda. I was SO uncomfortable with multiple IBS symptoms though I do not have IBS. I was tired, teary and just over it. I wanted to CHEW something; the craving for a cold, crunchy salad was overwhelming. Si got me to pick him up some hot cross buns and CC’s (corn chips) while I was out running errands and they practically taunted me from the kitchen. You have no idea the amount of self control it took to not rip open and devour a packet of CC’s. To have the cheesy, crunchy chips masticating in my mouth (alliteration anyone?). And the smell of the hot cross buns was almost too much. But I didn’t break. Si suggested chewing some celery and spitting it out just to chew but I couldn’t. I looked towards Saturday when I can eat again, Si put on an Indiana Jones film and I just tuned out how crappy I was feeling. The very small amount of consolation I had was that both the breakfast and lunch juices for the day were lovely.

So, now we reach today. The IBS symptoms are gone! Hoorah! And I’m feeling bright and positively cheerful! My lovely friend S told me that the third day is the “resolution” day and it seems that has been accurate for me. My breakfast juice today was revolting so I drank most of one serve and threw the rest away. It was a large part silverbeet (chard) with just cucumber and carrot and it just tasted like eating straight silverbeet. Yuck. The remainder was supposed to be for afternoon tea but I feared I might vomit if I tried to drink it.  So I’ll just have some coconut water instead.

I’m very glad tomorrow is the last day. There’s no way I could last two months doing this. That being said, I think the results speak for themselves. After only two days of juice-only, I’d lost 2.4kg (5.3lbs) which takes my weight loss this year to 5.1kg (11.2lb). My skin is bright and clear and I feel very alert today. And guess what, I tried on my jeans today AND THEY FIT!!! YAY!!! I’ll try and post again on Saturday with my final weight results from the cleanse and final thoughts.

Would you do a juice cleanse? Have you done one and would you do it again? How did it go?