Knitting makes the mind grow stronger

Knitting has helped me a lot lately! I took it religiously to every lecture and I worked on it, putting it down only to take notes. It helped me stay sane, I could concentrate easily on the lecture and keep my hands busy. It stopped me from mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Pinterest and Tumblr. I noticed when I didn’t have something to work on my mind wandered.

I enjoy knitting but I don’t enjoy the negative comments that people around me make. This post goes out to all those narrow minded people who have made me feel bad about my love of handmade goodies.

1. Knitting is not just for Nanas. You see that nice woolen hat that cost $50+ in a store (but in reality cost maybe $5 to make)? Well I can make that, not for $5, but definitely less than $50 and I get enjoyment out of it. Plus no one will ever have the exact same hat as the one I just made!

2. I knit because I can’t sit still. Would you rather I interrupted your TV program every 3 minutes with a random thought? Or that I work quietly on my knitting? Eventually the rhythmic clacking of my needles will make you feel so relaxed you will complain when I don’t knit.

3. I’m not distracting you from the lecture. I make less noise with my needles than you do typing that Facebook message. I am less distracting than that person scrolling through Tumblr in the 3rd row and if you really wanted to be there learning you wouldn’t be making silly excuses like that.

4. Knitting can make me calmer than you would ever believe, maybe you should try it one day? Stressed out about tests and assignments? Take a break, knit something simple. Bored during your holidays? Knit yourself or someone you love a challenging lace shawl. Suffering from anxiety. Take a minute, watch your hands move the same way over and over, know that you can control the yarn and what it does. Boom, no more anxiety.

5. I have met the loveliest people working in a yarn store. I don’t have the same feeling others seem to about working in retail. Sure at times I get the odd customer who is a bit more challenging, but every day I still love going to work.

If you’re reading this and you don’t knit, I hope I have inspired you to try. Does anyone else have things they wish they could tell their non-knitter friends, or do you disagree with what I have said? Let me know. It’s surprising how much confidence the anonymity of this blog has given me.

Have a lovely week!
XOX
Sasha

P.S. New post coming soon with 2 F.O’s!! Be excited, I am!

Unloved blog gets some lovin’

Hi my lovely reader friends!

I’m aware that I haven’t written in almost 2 months! I’m so sorry for that, there have been lots of changes in my life that I needed to figure out.

Not only have I manage to tangle my wool but I’ve also managed to tangle my life, see what I did there? That being said though I have untangled all those problems, mostly.

My first reason for not blogging was I got so drowned in university work that I almost dropped out, I’m proud to say I didn’t! I’m even prouder to announce that I passed all my exams and papers. I am slowly learning not to beat myself up over bad marks, to reward myself when I put in the hard work and that some papers are just not going to be ones I excel in. In my first year at uni I did well, i surprised myself and my family with my grades. This year was different, the papers are more demanding, and although one mark was a B-, I am still very pleased with how I went. University isn’t for everyone and each paper and subject is different. I’m a very logical person so it makes sense I didn’t do well in a law and ethics based paper.

My second reason for not blogging is a bit more personal, if any of the people reading this know me then they know I was in a pretty serious relationship, he went away for 3 weeks and I, all of a sudden had to do all the cooking, cleaning and look after myself, in between studying and working, it got quite stressful for me. I finally had my own holiday, an amazing weekend away with my loving parents, and when I came back it was time for one of those serious talks, you know the ones that never end well? While I’m sad that it has ended between the lovely young man and I, it was for the best, I can see that now and so could he. For anyone who wanted to know, we are still friends, we just don’t work as a couple, we were just so different.

Now onto the photos

Poncho

This pretty, colorful thing here is a current Work in progress about to come off my needles! So exciting! It is a commission for someone. It’s a simple cable pattern worked up and when you are finished you drop stitches, on purpose! the dropped stitches cause the pretty laddering which makes the cable just pop! You make 2 identical pieces and then sew them together to make a beautiful soft poncho, which is also so lightweight. It’s knit on 8mm needles and a New Zealand wool.

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This is a quick knit made up for a cousins baby, we went and visited them at mothercare. My tension wasn’t very good to start with, but hopefully nothing a quick wash and block won’t fix. The pattern is Milo, you can find it here! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/milo-3 It was made entirely on 3.75mm needles at about 1am with a quick nap and then the last bit was finished in the morning, I have learnt not to start looking for a pattern at 10pm that I want to knit for the next day, whoops.

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These 3 pictures are the Wellington waterfront from my long weekend away. It was so nice and as you can see lovely weather!

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This pretty lady is my mumma, without her I wouldn’t be who I am today, but that is another blog post entirely, as it is this, one is going to be quite long. She is absolutely gorgeous and these two photo’s show just how radiant she is.

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Of course I had to throw in a cheeky selfie 😉 Make up of the day. I’m not sure if you can tell but it was so cold! I didn’t have time to make myself any knitted woolies to take with me so I had to make do with bought ones, scandalous I know!

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If you are ever in Wellington, Wagamama’s is a must. The food is amazing, the juice is even better! This bowl of raman was bigger then my head! I couldn’t finish it but it was so good. The staff were absolutely lovely, they chatted with us and made us feel so at home.

I hope all of you are well, comment if you’ve been on a holiday lately, if you’ve been through some tough times or you just have something you want to tell the world. I would love to hear from you and chat!

I’m looking forward to all the new adventures I’m going to be able to share.

XOX
Sasha

Exciting new times!!

Hi there my lovely reader friends!!

The last week was so great, busy, but amazingly great. This post is going to be full of gushing admiration, love and amazement.

I feel so grown up, I went to my first wedding that was not a family member. The bride was beautiful, she absolutely glowed the whole day! I felt so honored to be invited, it made me so gushy just to get the invite, especially knowing that they had so many people they could have and were expected to invite and it was a quite constricting venue. It was in a lovely location about 20 minutes out of Cambridge. The scenery, oh wow it was so pretty. I know the amount of work put into the planning and it all seemed to pay off so well. The ceremony itself was sweet, and as far as I know quite short, there were tears, especially on my part. It was so lovely that they acknowledged their grandparents who couldn’t be there (which opened my floodgates) and got the ones that were able to be there to give their blessing’s over the rings. The most sweet part was in the details, starting with the entry, “choose a seat, not a side” SO SWEET, and the flower girl had a sign that said, “here comes the love of your life”. There was a lolly bar, need I say more? It was an amazing day in all and we are giving the lovely new wife her present on Friday.

I made my dress for it too, and man am I proud of my work. I am aware that it looks odd, stockings with boots and the dress but it was cold, it is winter here. Merekara (Hi MK!) was absolutely radiant and I am so grateful to have her to keep me company. P.S. those shoes!! They’re amazing!!!!!!!

Wedding

The basket got finished, finally I put it to intermediary use with some of my woolly projects to take a photo, on the top you can see the half done slippers for work.

basket

I held 2 strands of 8ply wool together and used a size 6mm crochet hook. It is acrylic yarn because using nice or even 100% wool seemed redundant for this, it’s not being worn (except for the few times I put it on my head cos it looked like a huge hat). Let me know if you guys ever do weird things like that? It’s shape is held with wire, which was much more fiddly than I thought it would be.

I’ve also been working hard on the Schodic cardigan, except when this happens:

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As much as I am loving looking after this little Cookie, she is really a monster, I’m so glad this isn’t nice yarn, I’d be so upset. The cardigan is made out of the same as the basket, it’s the cheapest per yardage. The recipient is from England and living here in New Zealand, she doesn’t think it’s cold here so asked for acrylic. I have half an arm left, and the neck and top piece. It’s the first time I have ever made a raglan sweater so I don’t know how much longer is needed. It’s only the second cardigan so that’s exciting!

I’m sorry for the phone photos, it was the best I could do. I am planning on getting a nicer camera, once I’ve finished my current projects I’m keen to start getting some commissions to be able to afford one, let me know if you’re interested!

Hope your weeks are as good as mine was!

XOX
Sasha.

So Much Love

Happy mother’s day to all the lovely Mums out there!! For only the second time in my life I was away from my Mum for mother’s day and I have to say it was hard, the first time I was with my amazing host mum. I must say in spite of being away I had a pretty amazing weekend. I feel so loved that I was invited to my very first bachelorette party and boy, was it interesting.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend the weekend celebrating my friend’s soon to be new family with her sisters-in-law to be and her friends. It made me so aware of how much love there was for her and all the girls that were there. It was a weekend of celebration for their love for each other and not a goodbye to the single life. I wish them all the luck in the world. For her wedding present I am crocheting a basket, I think I’m about a third of the way through the biggest one, It is supposed to be a nest of 3, one grey, one orange and one blue.

I’m still working on my slippers and I’m starting to think I’m going to need them soon! It’s getting very chilly down here in little old NZ! I can’t wait to get them off my needles!

I’ve been playing around with ideas of needle felting, all around the internet it says you can’t felt acrylic because it doesn’t have the cuticles that animal fibres have, but what about needle felting it? I’m going to crochet up some scrap acrylic and have a go. If anyone’s tried let me know how you went!

Anyway it’s about time I started getting ready for my girl’s night to go see the new Pitch Perfect movie! So excited.

Happy belated mother’s day

XOX
Sasha

Search terms and inspiration

For how many of you is knitspiration an issue? I know it definitely is for me!! I can spend hours and hours on ravelry, as I’m sure most of you can too ;). My problem tends to come when a project is taking me forever to make, my interest seems to disappear like the money from my bank account and it leads to me having LOTS of projects on the go.

The first is still the schoodic cardigan for my lovely boyfriend’s mum. Her birthday has come and gone, she is now in America until the start of June and I thought I would have it finished by the time she gets back, probably not. So far I have done the large expanse of plain old stockinette that is the back and a quarter of a sleeve. It was my go to lecture project but it got too big to take out, I’d take up 3 seats, not great when you’re in a stuffy lecture hall that is too small for the class. I need to get back into it. Shout out to all the people who lose interest in the yarn, pattern or colour of a project, I feel you.
Here’s the pattern for this cardigan http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/schoodic-cardigan

The second is a pair of slippers from DROPS yarn. I’m using countrywide quick and easy in a pretty red colour, sorry that I have no photos, my camera is out of order. For those of you who haven’t heard of drops yarn they’re an amazing site where you can get free patterns and even the wool for your project. It’s a handy little tool, knowing that you are pretty much sure to get the right amount of wool.
Have you ever made one of a pair and then thought damn, I should’ve counted and written down how many rows it took to get to so and so inches? Yeah me too, I finished the foot part of one slipper and was so excited, until I realised I had no way to make it exactly the same, so I started again. I’m now knitting two at a time for the first time EVER!
The pattern: http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/en/pattern.php?id=6198&lang=en

The third project i have going is a storage basket as a wedding present. I don’t think I’ll get this finished in time either. It’s just a crochet circle and then double crochets around, one in every stitch, until I get the height that I want. Eventually the happy couple will get it but it might have to be an anniversary gift.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed and I have to step back and say, “No I’m sorry I can’t make you that project as much as I love you, I need to focus on my studies and the other things I have already going on.” For the second time in my knitting lifetime I’m making something for myself. The first thing was a hat. I may be a selfish sewist, mainly making things for myself but no one can ever accuse me of being a selfish knitter. Is anyone the same?

If you write a blog here on wordpress, you know that you can see the search terms used to get to your blog. I like to think I run a nice blog here, I didn’t think about the consequences of naming my last post Poledancing hooker, one of my search terms was not something I want to ever see again on my blog and I’m really sorry if I offended anyone!!

Happy knitting, crocheting or crafting!

XOX
Sasha

Pole dancing Hooker?!?

As most of the crochet community knows, those who crochet are known as hookers. Shout out to all my lovely hooker friends online and in real life!! I’ve been “hooking” since I was 12 or 13 I don’t even remember now. It’s a hobby I put down and go back to but it’s always going to be a part of my life.

Last year I started uni, I decided I wanted to try new, out of the ordinary things and so I started pole dancing, not by myself, I also enlisted my cousin’s now fiance to come with me. After the introductory first 6 weeks we were all hooked (see what I did there? ;)). Our class became so comfortable with one another, we became good friends and we were a sort of family. It was absolutely a great experience. We had an amazing instructor, Sarah did a great job of making people feel like they belong, she made sure we were all safe and that we were all learning and perfecting and doing the best we could. We were pushed to our best ability. We all felt incredibly safe given the fact we were hanging upside down holding on with only our inner thighs (oh the memory of the first pain and pretty pole kisses, a.k.a. bruises).

However at the end of last year I left my job of almost 2 years for a much better environment, as happy as I am there I have been struggling for money. I have prided myself on being good with money but when my circumstances changed it was very hard to accept that I couldn’t save as much nor could I keep doing all the things I had been (namely buying bad $5 coffee everyday at uni). Things had to change. One of the things I gave up was pole dancing.

I have missed it so very much. Yesterday something changed. I realized i had to look after myself, do things that I want to do. I know that I have lost muscle and gained weight while I haven’t been doing pole but I feel so comfortable with my pole community that I don’t care, I don’t feel like I will be judged, I don’t feel like people will. My good friend, Merekara, and I have made a pact, we both committed to 3 months of pole, it’s less than $15 a week and I’ve decided for my health (mental and physical) I can afford that.

So in all this post was all about taking care of yourself! Don’t worry if you cant save that extra $20 a week, it’s so much better to feel good now and to be healthy in the present than be better off in the future. Sorry that there’s no yarn related stuff today I’m hoping to get back to writing a little more regularly, for the people that are reading thank you! It does mean a lot to me knowing that there are people who view my rambling.

Happy Hooking!!
XOX
Sasha

In no particular order!

Generally I am the type of person who likes to do things in order, I mean you wouldn’t read the last half of a book first, you wouldn’t learn to walk before you run, things like that have set this notion for me. However when it comes to a knitting pattern where there are 5 different pieces there’s nothing to say that you can’t knit the back then the sleeves even if the pattern has it the other way round. It’s only since this project: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/turtle-cardigan-2  that I have come to realise this.

I needed to have it finished in just under 2 weeks, I thought that’s fine I only work 2-3 days a week, it’ll be easy. No. At first I didn’t understand the pattern, although simple, it’s the most complicated one I’ve tried. At last I got the hang of the pattern, things went well for a sleeve and a half and I started getting sick of them, I pushed so hard to finish that sleeve, and started on the back. Let me tell you, that back piece took almost a week of me working all day on it. I have watched so many episodes of Supernatural, Once Upon a Time and a Homespun House that I’m almost running out. Halfway through the back I realised that I can work on two pieces at once, it’s just like having 2 WIP’s, so that’s what I did.

I have now finally finished the back, fronts and sleeves and am blocking said pieces before moving forward. I have 3  balls left at home and will have to buy some more on Thursday. I have until Friday to finish and CAN NOT wait to see the look on my mum’s face when she sees it!

I have no other Works in Progress, or any Finished Objects for you, but I promise, they will come.

Happy Reading!

XOX
Sasha