Sunday, 18 September 2011

What I'm Working on (or How I'm Avoiding Studying for an Imminent Exam)

Whenever I finish an assignment, I tend to throw myself into crafts and/or lazing about, to make up for the amount of work and stress I'd put into it. Inevitably, this continues a little longer than would be desirable, and I give myself a panic stricken week to write the next assignment before starting the whole cycle all over again. It's a wonder I haven't given myself a stroke.

But the end is in sight. On October 11th I sit an exam that I am, as of yet, in no way prepared for, and then I can focus on a lovely, sedate creative writing module followed by a summer off before I start the heavy literature stuff again. I've already planned all the nifty little crafty things I'm going to be doing, including some nerdy cross-stitch and hopefully, somewhere down the line, an etsy shop. Provided I survive my first exam in 4 years, that is.

Currently distracting me from the task at hand is a handful of random bits that I started with gusto once my assignment was submitted.

I'd been hearing so much about other people's knitting projects recently, that I was having withdrawal symptoms, so I decided to knit some Christmas presents. The green knitting in the background is a half finished scarf for my cousin. I've gotten to the stage in my knitting career where I finally understand the mechanics of certain stitch patterns and techniques, so this is my first project knitted without a pattern to follow. I'm noting down the pattern as I go along, and so might share it someday, if it works out that is. The scarf will have little pockets at the bottom, for those days when he forgets, or loses his gloves, as kids tend to do. The boyfriend wonder also wants a version of this scarf, so I'll be knitting his with 3 strands at a time on big needles, to save time. I bought 8 balls of the green marl yarn on eBay quite cheaply. It's a 30% wool acrylic mix, and while I tend to avoid acrylic, it will wash much better and both my little cousin and the boyfriend wonder are prone to losing scarves, so no point splashing out on expensive wool.

The red and white things are pieces of a Christmas decoration project that I just have to embellish and sew up. I'll share photos when I'm done. I used random red and white yarn from my knitting bag, and because I never check the gauge of my knitting, the red pieces are slightly smaller than the white. I've completed one of these already, and it isn't noticeable in the final piece, but it makes the sewing up a little trickier. If these turn out nice, I might make a whole batch as they are so quick and easy, and in that case, I'll buy more uniform yarn.

The final, and only completed project thus far, is some Hallowe'en bunting made with one of the remnants I mentioned last time. Because I only had a small amount, I used black and white polka dot material for the back of each flag, and spaced them out a little further on the binding tape. I made two strands and wrote up a tutorial which I'll be posting shortly. I'm really quite pleased with them and they'll look great when they're all strung up on the wall.

In preparation for my creative writing module, I needed to buy some writer's notebooks, as the course encourages copious note taking to help get ideas flowing. That's hardly a new concept to any writer, and I have tons of notebooks lying around with half finished ideas and plans in them. I usually just get whatever lined notebooks take my fancy in the supermarket or stationary shop. Nothing fancy. But while browsing WH Smith, with an eye to picking up a Moleskine notebook as a treat, I noticed they had a 60% off sale on Paperblanks. For those of you who aren't familiar with the brand, Paperblanks produce a range of notebooks and diaries that are as beautiful as they are horrendously expensive. But with such a good deal, I picked up a few to help me get inspired and excited about writing again.

The blue one in the back is from their Tiffany range and actually feels textured liked leaded glass. Hopefully if I start producing anything of any worth, I can share some short stories here and finally get over my fear of putting my writing out into the public eye.

And finally, one quick photo of my littlest dude, Olly, who turned one on the 9th. We are rapidly leaving the baby years behind us, and while a little, tiny part of me is sad to see them go, mostly I'm massively relieved as I've pretty much been exhausted for the past three years.


  1. That bunting is brilliant ...xmas bunting would be amazing too, round a room. You so need a rest ...babies really are exhausting. Hugs to the little men xx
    Ps Good luck with the studying.

  2. I'm planning on making some Christmas bunting - Seamstar have some really lovely xmas bundles. I'll probably run up some for the nursery as well, if they decorate for xmas that is :) It's so easy to make - the most time consuming bit is the marking out and cutting.