Sunday, 9 April 2017

What's keeping me busy this week?

I'm taking a little break from my Silent Sunday posts this month, since Sunday is the one day off the A to Z Challenge and I like to use my blog to share what I'm up to in the real world. Excuse the Instagram photos, I've not taken my camera out its case for far too long!

I went through a period at the start of the year when I struggled with my knitting mojo. It happens every so often, usually when I've started and abandoned a couple of projects (or at least set them in time out for a while). I get that sense that I want to be making some, but I just don't know what. And since I can't settle on anything, I just end up not doing anything.

Well, this last week and a bit the knitting bug has well and truly bitten me again. I love how productive I feel when I knit; I can sit and watch TV, or read on my Kindle, and keep my hands busy making interesting things at the same time.

This month's issue of Simply Knitting came with a free unicorn toy kit. This felt like a sign to me, especially as it looks like a knitting version of Ixi (my lucky unicorn), so I cast on for it almost instantly (I've still not actually finished reading the magazine, I pretty much got as far as the unicorn pattern and ceased reading).

Cute little fellow, isn't it?

Well, it's also insanely complicated for what it it. Or rather, one bit of it is insanely complicated. I've had this thing in time out twice since I started it!

I got to a bit in the pattern which I struggled to make sense of. You had to knit three sections, the first on the original yarn, the second on scrap yarn (the blue in the picture above) and then wind some of the original yarn onto a bobbin to knit the final section. Each one is knit separately in order to create the two slits you see above.

I read on to the end a couple of times but just couldn't seem to make sense of it, until I posted on Ravelry about it and something clicked. The general consensus with the bit of the pattern I shared was that they weren't sure why I was doing what I was doing, but that I should just go for it and see where it took me.

So I did.

It was only after I'd knitted this section that I realised that blue bit is now supposed to be cut, the stitches unravelled and then the live stitches on either end picked up and knit.

I said to hell with that, and cast on for the head separately so I can cobble it together in my own way. My unicorn just might wear a collar to cover up its messy neck!

At least this did have one positive effect.

I couldn't wait to get back to working on Ernie, who had sadly been standing footless on the windowsill for around a month, waiting for his feet to be sewn up, stuffed and sewn on. All other plans for yesterday afternoon went out the window and I did this:

That's Ernie standing up on his own two (carefully pinned on) feet. I couldn't leave him like that though, stuck full of pins like some giant voodoo doll, so I very carefully stitched them on as well:

And then I realised that the section I'd just so carefully and neatly sewn up, was going to be covered by another piece of knitting so will never be seen.

But you've seen it, so you know it's there!

Other things I've been up to?

Last week I reorganised my bookshelves in the living room:

This is the bookcase I face from my armchair in the living room and it was getting embarrassing. Every time I looked at it (which was pretty much every day) it stressed me out. On top of the books I had books I'd bought in charity shops, pay slips, diaries, notebooks, receipts, fliers, letters, envelopes... you get the idea. The only reason I didn't take a before photo was because I was too embarrassed at the way everything was crammed in there. There were receipts dating back to 2015!

I took everything off, dusted, sorted and organised it all, then just returned the actual books to the shelf.

I also rearranged them so the ones in the back rows are sorted alphabetically by genre, rather than by genre then author. Each time I do this I put the general fiction on the shelf first, then short stories and poetry, then crime, you get the idea. The general stuff keeps getting pushed to the front and the other books kept on winding up at the end of the shelf where they were never read. Now I might actually get to some of them.

So aside from A to Z-ing, I've been pretty busy.

How about you?


  1. I've been knitting too! A cardigan for a friend who is expecting a baby. So I've been watching a lot of probably mindless TV too - a series called Blacklist which has some appalling lines in it but James Spader keeps me interested enough to keep watching. I know what you mean about bookcases. Mine could definitely do with a big clean and tidy up.

    1. I love having something which you don't have to concentrate too hard on while you knit. I've been alternating between TV and listening to podcasts. :-)

  2. I like the shelf full of books. Always wanted my own shelf. Also, knitting is really productive and damn, you're good!

    1. Thank you. I really enjoy rearranging my books and I went shopping yesterday so now I've got a bunch more to organise as well!

  3. I haven't been knitting much lately. I blame this cold. Or allergies. Or whatever.

    I wondered about that unicorn. I saw that and decided not to get the magazine. Glad I made that choice.

    1. Yeah, when you're feeling under the weather it can be hard to focus on knitting.

      I subscribe to the magazine and I do enjoy it, I'm just used to slightly less convoluted patterns. I'm still needing to go back and finish this little guy. I know what needs to be done, I just need to get the guts to start snipping!


Let me know what you think. :-)