New year, new me? 🤮

I truly hate that saying, don’t you? It’s like, “what’s so wrong with me that I need to change?”. Personally, I think I’m just fabulous the way I am. Sure, I’m physically not where I’d like to be, but I think as a person I like myself. I’m loving, compassionate, hard working, loyal. I know for many, saying you like yourself is not an easy thing to say. Nor is love of self something we’re encouraged to foster. Women especially. We aren’t good enough unless we’re a size zero with great hair and massive tits (note these are all physical attributes), and if that’s the case, count me out. I like myself the way I am.

And now I’m gonna blow part of what I just said out of the water…

Over the second half of 2019, I’ve really gotten into body positivity, or even just body neutrality. You don’t have to love your body, but just acknowledge that it’s simply the vessel that allows you to move freely in the world and be grateful for that. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, what matters is that it allows you to enjoy the many experiences available to us as humans.

I truly believe in that paragraph above, so what I’m going to say next makes me feel like a traitor or hypocrite. I want to lose weight. I’ve wanted to for what feels like my whole life. Over the last few years I’ve mostly rejected the diet mentality, and my body weight has mostly remained pretty stable. But I still remember the days when I was 45kg lighter and long for the days I could wear pretty clothes without worrying about them being too snug, or pulling in odd ways, or getting trapped in a garment that’s gotten stuck around my shoulders as I’ve tried to take it off (after trying it on and hating the way it looked). That last one really does a number on both my claustrophobia and anxiety, let me tell you. One time I nearly ripped a dress apart in a full-on panic just to get out.

And I’m going to jump feet first into a technique I’ve been flirting with on and off; alternate day fasting (ADF). I’ve been doing 16-hour fasts on and off for a couple years now and I think I’m ready to pull out the big guns. I know the weight loss will not be quick and I think I’m finally okay with that. After a lifetime of looking for the quick fix, I’m gonna take my time.

I’ve recently been into hearing people’s stories who have had success with ADF and I think it could help me too. So I’m going to try it. And I mean really try it. Not a half-arsed attempt, but a real try. I feel like I’ve finally gotten to that point in my life that it’s now or never. I’m 37 years old. And strangely enough, I’m not getting any younger. 😉 One of the the folks I’ve been watching YouTube videos of recently weighed about what I do now (a little less) and has had great success. So I’m going to work off her formula for now. Watch this space.

I think that will do for now. I’ll be back in a few days or so with my experience so far and a further description of what I’m doing. Wish me luck!

FO: The Pebble Cardi

They say: Start as you wish to continue. In that case, here’s a new blog post on the very first day of 2020. 😊

Along with chronicling my journey in my No Spend 2020, I’m going to get back into sharing my crafting. I was booking it to finish some long and long-ish standing WIPs before the new year started, this being one of them; the Pebble Cardi by Melissa Fisher. (Pattern can be found on Ravelry here)

First up, let me just say what an absolute pleasure this project was to work on. It was my first ever crochet garment and I loved every moment of working on it. Until it got to the point of seaming – I’ll get to that. 😉 The pattern was clear and concise and perfect for my first garment in crochet. Plus, as I was making it as part of a CAL, I was able to follow along with others as they made theirs. It was so fun to see everyone progress.

The genius thing about this pattern is that it’s literally made up of rectangles. The sleeves are slightly different, incorporating new stitches and some simple increases and then everything is seamed together. And I said I’d discuss seaming so here we go…

Man! Seaming crochet is hard! Well, I thought it was anyway. 😂 As I am mainly a knitter, I am very experienced with seaming my knitting, and dare I say, I actually like mattress stitching my knitwear. There’s something so satisfying about the way the seam just disappears as you snug up your seaming yarn. This wasn’t my experience seaming crochet. 😫

I tried many different YouTube videos and even a ‘For Dummies’ article and they all turned out looking crap! And I had so enjoyed making the pieces that to finish them crappily just wasn’t going to do! I managed to seam the shoulders with a slip stitch method and that worked wonderfully. But only because the shoulders had a lovely straight edge as it was the end of the work, the sides were the issue. So the cardi had a little time out.

And as the year was coming to a close I decided I wanted to turn this WIP into an FO. So out she came. And I finally found a tutorial that worked for me! Yay! It was still mattress stitch, but it was a slight twist of being a locking mattress stitch. And this totally did the trick! I was able to seam my sides without much trouble, other than making sure to line up my rows. This technique is worked on the wrong side of the work ensuring that the seam will be brought to the wrong side. And I think this was my issue with the other techniques of mattress stitch, my seams seemed to ruin the look of the right side of my work.

For my sleeves, I found another new tutorial, this time from CreativeBug on YouTube. And strangely enough, I think it was much the same as many I’d seen before, but something about the way this video was presented just clicked in my brain and I was off! Two side seams, two sleeve seams and armscyes seamed in one day! Whoo hoo!

All that was left was to do some rows of single crochet to finish the neckline/’button’ bands and she was done! And she didn’t even get a bath before she was on my dress form for piccies. And later that night on my body keeping me warm while outside at a New Years Eve shindig. Spilled coffee stains and all from the making process! 😂 They were on the inside though so nobody saw!!! 😂

All in all, this was a wonderful project and comes highly recommended. If you’re looking to get into crocheting garments, you can’t go wrong with this lovely. 💕

Details about yardage and the yarn and hooks I used can be found on my Ravelry project page here.

No Spend 2020!

Wow, it’s been about six months since I blogged. And that is just so sad! I love to write but I just don’t make it a priority. I’ve actually started likening myself to Dug from UP!. I’m always chasing after something new. 😂

But I’ve decided to have a No Spend 2020*. Yes, that asterisk will be explained. 😁  And I’d like to keep a record of the trials and tribulations of a born spender. But this is also ironic… as even though I can justify any purchase, I am also a great budgeter and always have enough money saved and tucked away for our bills.

But I should never have a credit card… which we currently have. 🤦‍♀️ This needs to be paid off ASAP so we can start to save for our own home which is the only thing Simon and I REALLY want. Even though we spend our money in dribs and drabs on things that ultimately won’t help us to achieve our goal; they literally stop us from getting there. But with the high cost of property in Australia, sometimes it’s hard to believe you’ll ever get there so you comfort yourself with lovely things now. It’s a mental battle.

Credit cards have pretty much been the reason I haven’t purchased my own home before now. Someone with poor impulse control SHOULD NEVER have a credit card. I got one in my early twenties because you “need to build up your credit” and overspent on it. Eventually in my late 20s I was able to pay them all off and cancel them (yes, I said “them”). Until both Simon’s and my computers broke down at pretty much the same time. And we only had cash money to buy one new computer. And in hindsight, we could have purchased just one and shared it until we could afford another, but no, I got the laptop I’m writing this on with the cash, and he got a fancy high powered gaming computer on 60 months interest-free. Which involved getting a credit card. You can see where this is going, right? 🤦‍♀️

Needless to say, we racked up purchases on the plastic. To help with paying it off, we applied for a 0% transfer with another provider promising not to add any more charges to it. Womp womp. Like that happened. Since then it’s boomeranged up and down. And Little Miss Justify AnythingTM just kept charging that card. Well no more!

In 2020, the card’s details are being deleted from my browser (already done – literally after typing ‘browser’), my PayPal and my AfterPay accounts. The physical card is either being hidden or shredded after consultation with Si.

And frivolous spending will be NO MOAR!

In 2020 I will only be making purchases that are REQUIRED. As in things that are consumable (food, toiletries, make up etc), but only when they run out, and clothing/linens/technology as they wear out or break. And these purchases are to be made in cash only where possible, otherwise with my debit card if and when I have the cash saved to purchase them. So as you can probably gather, 2020 is going to be a year of necessities only (for me anyway, Simon gets a small amount of what we call ‘pocket money’ every month that he is free to spend at his discretion).

Most of my pastimes are crafting related, and I have enough yarn to see me through armageddon. I have fabric out the wazoo and other bits and pieces like copious amounts of fibre for spinning and beads for bead weaving and thread for cross-stitching. I will not want for lack of materials. However, if I run out of something, like a particular thread colour required for a cross-stitch project or fishing wire for bead weaving or thread for sewing, I am allowed to replace it. Just no extras finding their way in.

And bear in mind this is for personal purchases. If I need to purchase things for my business then I am free to, but this is also paid for from my business finances. My only other caveat is that I can use my shop yarn for new projects; just no yarn from outside sources. I can run double duty for taking yarn from my shop, as I can account for it as marketing costs.

So there you have it. I have no idea how hard or easy I am going to find this process. All I know is that I need to curb the money I’m currently spending as most of it is coming off plastic, not from cash.

And I want more than anything to have my own little house to spend the rest of my life in and tend to lovingly. This is what matters. ❤️

I have been shocked, appalled and dismayed by the recent actions of a well-known knitting ‘celebrity’. I will not give his name space here. Prior to these recent events, I was ignorant of the goings on and not even aware of the man, let alone a follower; so a lot of my thoughts and feelings have been shaped by others.

As such I want to loudly denounce the actions of this person and his spouse. Violence in any form is never the answer. And for those of you who would like to defend him because of his mental illness, understand this: people who suffer from mental illness are much more likely to be VICTIMS of violence, whether by their own hands or others’, than perpetrators of violence. And as a sufferer, I am in NO WAY belittling his mental breakdown as I have experienced this and it is awful, but I’d like to commend the tireless work of the BIPOC community who deal with hate and micro and macro aggressions on a daily basis and maintain their strength and tenacity without breaking down.

I know I am often silent on these matters but that is simply because of my own coping with mental illness (depression, anxiety, mild agoraphobia); not silent agreement with the hateful. I spend very little time on social media due to my anxiety so I am not always on top of things. A quote I enjoyed from @mattzhaig this morning: “Never dismiss someone for being quiet. Not everyone can put themselves out on the surface. A person can sit and be still and awkward and be burning with life and love. Sometimes they are quiet BECAUSE of that intensity. Because there is a world inside them they must attend to”. And please know, I AM aware that I am able to be this way due to my white privilege. But on the other hand, I am a deeply empathic person and I often feel sick to my stomach and driven to tears by the stories I have read. So I do what I can when I can. More so in real life than online. I have long called out people for racist/homophobic/offensive behaviour, and this will continue.

I have had many knitting ‘idols’ fall in my eyes due to all the discussions we’ve had recently; whether due to outright defending the behaviour of the hateful, or hiding within their white privilege using platitudes such as “I believe everyone is equal and should have equal opportunities”. That’s all well and good and a lovely goal to have but it’s not the world we live in. That’s rose coloured glasses stuff. And if you’re a business owner (as the in the quote above), you need to put your money where your mouth is. I am small fry in comparison, with very little influence but I am still putting my meagre livelihood on the line by speaking out. And I appreciate BIPOC people are putting their businesses, their mental health and their LIVES on the line to call out the racism in our community, and that is far more important than a little white girl from Adelaide. This is my call to others to do so as well.

Episode 76 – Short Hair & Piercings

Finished Objects

Works in Progress

Bits n’ Pieces

Episode 75 – A Quick Snapshot

Finished Objects

  • Rose by Andrea Mowry, my project page
  • Knit Picks Bare Wool of the Andes Sport dyed by me in my colourways: Blushing Rose, Flowering Moss, Rose Batik & Winter

Works in Progress

Other Bits & Pieces

  • Knit Spin Weave’s 3rd Anniversary Celebration – 20th October, 10am-2pm, 5/266 Main North Road, Clare

Episode 74 – PURPLE HAIR!

Finished Objects

  • Trelliswork Shawl Test Knit by Jessica Gore, my project page
  • Circus Tonic Handmade Single Ply in Magnificent Riflebird (MC) & West Australian Fairy Wren
  • Used a tiny amount of Manos del Uruguay Fino in Inkwell to finish the failed yarn chicken row (purchased from Eat.Sleep.Knit)

Works in Progress

Other Bits & Pieces

MyMuddlings Episode 73 – Top Knot

Lovebird Lane Shop News

  • Christmas self striping yarns are up for preorder in the shop! Due to be shipped by mid-late November. Three colourways to choose from: Festive, Gingerbread House and the new 2018 colourway, Sooty Santa

Finished Objects

Works in Progress

 

MyMuddlings Episode 72 – All the things

Finished Objects

  • Traveling Pinwheels pattern by Jean Ahearn (purchased from the Yarn Worker website)
  • Gynx Yarns Targhee DK in Goth Girl (purple) & Fog (grey)

Works in Progress

MyMuddlings Episode 71 – Some Weaving

Works in Progress

  • Rose by Andrea Mowry, my project page
  • Knit Picks Bare Wool of the Andes Sport dyed by me in my colourways: Blushing Rose, Flowering Moss, Rose Batik & Winter

Weaving

  • Rosehip Island Tasmanian Ethical Merino in Thunderstorm (warp & a little weft) and Delilah (weft)
  • Lovebird Lane Boo in Earl Grey (weft)
  • Lovebird Lane Sheepy in Street Art (weft)