Blanket Statements

I can’t believe I finished my Moody Kal Blanket in April and didn’t do a full post about it! So let’s get straight into some statistics:

48 Squares/Weeks > 7 Stripes/Days a Week > 336 Stripes/Days in Total

moodykal

Before this project I had a tendency to reduce my moods to blanket statements. I’d often be caught woefully declaring that whole days, or even weeks, were just downright awful because we all know how the negative can speak volumes above the positive. But for this I had to reflect at the end of each day,  logically and with a desire to understand and grow.

Even then thoughts can be easily ignored. You know what can’t be ignored? Colourful, squishy stripes. Or percentages. I can’t believe only 20% of my days were the two upset moods! I remember every time I knit one of those darker blues days thinking that my whole blanket was going to be dark and gloomy. But look at it!

A wonderfully slanted, beautifully cropped picture of my Moodykal Blanket.
A wonderfully slanted, beautifully cropped picture of my Moodykal Blanket: Week 1 is top left.

I really enjoyed being a part of the knit-along group surrounding this project and watching everyone’s unique squares knit up on social media. I actualy posted 129 photos of my progress on Instagram! Which looks a little something like this:

121 Instagram Posts of my Moodykal in one image
Starting bottom right up to top left: 121 Instagram posts featuring my #MoodyKal

I’ve said before that I started really well, doing each day at a time, very mindfully, before life got in the way as it so often does and I ended up doing weeks at a time in bulk. Not only does this show in the above image, but it actually showed in the sizing of my squares when I got them all sewn up. Those from the start were noticeably smaller than their later counterparts, which I’m choosing to not be annoyed about because all in all, it tells a story. I usually pride myself on my tension, but it turns out I can only do that if I consistently do, or do not, think about it. Which is a cool thing to have learnt.

Whilst this project really worked for me I can see why it wouldn’t suit everyone. When times are hard it’s sometimes not the best option to sit each night and contemplate how you’ve felt. But I also think many people would surprise themselves with the amount of joy and not bad they can find in their lives if they’re able to track it in a positive way (afterall we all know the positive effects knitting is said to have on our well-being)!

Essentially, I cannot recommend this project enough! The end product and the end effect are both incredibly cosy and warm. Whilst the yarn is now discontinued, you can find the pattern on Jem Weston’s Ravelry for either 48 or 24 weeks. If undertaking the daunting task of tracking your moods isn’t your cup of tea, I recommend you check out Jem’s other patterns on Rav and knit kits in her shop. There’s definitely something for everyone and everything’s adorable.

All the best, Tones xo

Blanket Statements

Sometimes We Fall

But that doesn’t mean we failed!

Hello, it has been many months. Quite literally almost half a year, which is actually scary if you think about it long enough, so enough of that. I thought before diving into some of my fave vegan recipies I should talk about how I actually ended up being vegan this year and attempt to quickly gloss over the hiatus… I’m actually glad in a way that this has been delayed for some gained perspective and the chance to be completely honest about it.

Now, without further ado:

Around the holidays I was surrounded by lots of veggie/pescie/vegan peeps, had a veggie roast for a festive meal, and got to experience a bunch of amazing vegan-friendly goodies. I also heard a lot of talk about Veganuary and was interested by the concept. I wanted to shake up what I was eating, make healthier, conscious choices, and set myself a challenge. To be entirely honest I embarked on this journey for the purely selfish reason of wanting to get healthier and fitter.

Vegan sounded very daunting and I didn’t know much so I tried Vegetarian instead. Or I did for all of about 15 days when I cut out the dairy and eggs. I’m lactose intolerant and I’ve actually never been able to eat eggs if I think about what they are. Which raises the question: Why was I eating something that I had to actively not think about to stomach?!

At first I said I wouldn’t mind the ‘little bits of egg etc’ in Quorn products and all that, but I just couldn’t in good conscience eat it anymore. Even though I started this for myself, not the animals nor the planet, it’s really hard to undertake such a change and not learn some things.

It’s weird: now the very notion that animals are killed for food is baffling and awful to me, but it took learning some industry facts to come to that “realisation”. To discern that I fundamentally disagree with this incredibly ingrained aspect of society that I hadn’t even bothered to question before.

I don’t mean for this to be propaganda or aggressive, everyone has to make their own choices which suit them. I’m just trying to emphasise the change in thinking that can occur for some if given time. Personally I used to be sceptical of vegans who proclaimed their only regret was not doing it sooner and I really didn’t think it was that big a deal. Looking back on those thoughts feels like looking back on a whole different person. There isn’t one aspect of food that I miss out on, I lost a stone within a month of becoming vegan (which equates to over 4 and a half inches off my waist), and I just had a full blood work done to confirm I’m not deficient in anything. Luckily this lifestyle is something I can achieve consistently whilst I know there’s a multitude of circumstances and reasons why it doesn’t work for everyone. However, I do think environmental factors are something everyone can strive to be more aware of  because, as you know, it all adds up in the end.

Long story short: being Vegan helped me become a much healthier person, but it also taught me a lot about compassion for all life and the planet. I’ve since started focusing on eliminating plastic from daily life and just trying to have a nicer impact on our little Earth.

100% Recycled, Vegan, and Ethical 'Vegan Chick' tshirt from Well-Travelled Herbivore
100% Recycled, Vegan, and Ethical ‘Vegan Chick’ tshirt from Well-Travelled Herbivore

Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Let me hear them.

All the best, Tone xo

P.s. To be clear, I did not lose the weight/inches by diet alone. I also walk for two hours a day with additional cardio, weights, and gym classes (usually HiiT). But it is worth noting last year I was doing all these things, much more consistently I might add, and yet frustratingly I’d found myself on a plateau.

Sometimes We Fall

Times change, and we with time.

Happy February y’all.

You might have noticed after the first two Sundays of January I didn’t manage to post anything else for the following two. It wasn’t for lack of trying though. I just don’t have as much time as I used to for personal crafting, and that’s what this blog has always primarily been for me… so now what?

Don’t get me wrong, knitting and crocheting will always be two of my favourite things to do, but now when I get the time to do so it goes on fulfilling customer orders. But it’s more than that, my priorities have changed and with them so have I.

So when I started this blog as a student I could (and would) quite literally knit for 16 straight hours a day. Even most of last year I could spend most of my evenings and spare time crafting things.

Now, however, on an average day I spend 8 hours at work, 2 hours walking to and from said work, and anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours at the gym every evening. Assuming 8 hours sleep a day that leaves 4 hours for morning and night routines, providing care for my pets, preparing food, and daily chores.

And despite this apparent lack of time for myself, I don’t think my health, mental or otherwise, has ever been better. Because I do have time for myself. Exhausting myself at the gym is for me. Prepping tasty, healthy foods is for me. Working hard at a business I co-founded is for me. And whilst there isn’t time to foister that same wreckless obsession I once had for yarn-realted goodness, I find that the moderation has lead to a greater appreciation of it. Or something else as equally cliché.

Maybe it’s time I branched this little blog out into wider things? We could talk about how I went Veggie and ended up Vegan in January, or how I’m writing my first low-key knitting pattern. I could show you crafting I’ve done for customers, or the things I’m proud of outside of the crafting universe.

Why don’t you let me know what you think?

But in the mean time, here’s the first two rows of my aforementioned Moodykal! That’s week 1 to 16 all sewn up in a slightly askew photo that left the cropping something to be desired… but you get the gist. Better picture with the addition of row three coming soon.

Moodykal Week 1 - 16

All the best, Tones.

Times change, and we with time.

Chaos

I sat down to write this blog and realised I had nothing to say.

Or rather, I have lots to say but it’s chaotic; without direction or real point. And that is a good representation of what my crafting has become to be totally honest. With Christmas and customer orders my own knitting has kind of come to a stand still. Which basically means I’ve not made any real progress with anything I already had cast on or had the yarn for, but I have managed to find a whole multitude of new things I want to start… and somehow magically acquired yarns for the latter…

Actually, one thing I have managed to do, albeit after the time frame I set myself, is finishing all the squares for a 48 week long blanket knit-along from last year!

Moodykal Plan

The project is one of Jem Weston’s and is called the Moody Blanket Kal. It’s a blanket made up of 48 (or 24 for the smaller size) squares. Each square represents a week. Each week has seven (potential) stripes. Each stripe represents a day. Simple.

The plan is to knit your mood for the day, with the option of 5 colours covering a range of emotions from excitedly happy through to down-right sad. Not so simple.

I started strong, knitting each day as it happened, and slowly started aiming for just getting the weeks done on time, and then finally just getting them done at all.

Unfortunately, I had to stop all together during the final stretch as I simultaneously started a new job and had an impromptu Christmas Fair to craft for. But now all the squares are done! I’d hazard that the majority have their ends sewn in! And weeks 1-6 are sewn together with 7-13 blocking as we speak.

Week 1-6 Sewn upWeek 7-13 blocking

I guess writing this I’ve realised my next aim is to focus on getting my Moody Blanket finished, it’s so close! And this is exactly what I’ve missed about this little blog: finding the calm in the chaos long enough to find a direction.

I hope everyone is finding their own way this year too.

All the best.

Chaos

New year, new attempts..?

Hello and happy new year to my little band of followers!

Whilst I’m firmly of the mind set that if you want to make a change there’s no time like the present, perhaps for the first time, this year I’ve come to understand why so many people wait for this “new year new me” mantra.

Let me explain; during this year I did a lot of things to be proud of. Two friends and I started a low-key business, I did my first qualification of British Sign Language, I took on a load more responsibilities at work, and, for around 4 incredibly well-balanced months, I was exercising daily and eating well. And then, well, it all got on top of me and I ended the year in a “just make it through to the holidays” slump. There were a lot of things I wanted to change, but as I had to put all my time and energy into just getting by on a daily basis I felt I couldn’t actually plan or action anything (I’m hoping this sounds at least slightly familiar to people and not just woefully melodramatic).

Basically, I’ve learnt how the brief festive respite where you can acceptably shirk all ususal responsibilites can be necessary to put yourself, mentally and physically, in a position where what you want to achieve is actually conceived as achievable.

So here we are. Seven unpublished previous attempts at getting back into this and what I’d hazard to be two years after my last blog post (I can’t actually bring myself to check that number)… But it’s better late than never?

Long story short: I’ve missed writing these little posts and the order they brought to my crafting.

Conclusion: We’re going to give it another go!

I hope everyone is feeling rested and ready for 2018 with their own lists of goals and things they want to achieve and do!

(p.s. I promise next time there’ll be more yarn. In the mean time here’s two adorable little Okapi’s me and the fella made for his Dad’s Christmas present this year).

Okapi

New year, new attempts..?

Back at it!

Hello! It has been so long and I’ve really missed this! This being not just the blog but the knitting itself! The truth is I haven’t had much time to do much of anything because it’s been the final stretch of University for me. However, I am now a free (supposed) adult and I just have endless amounts of time! I mean, it’s pointless to get a job when I’m going on holiday next month… right?

I did manage to do one thing though, a nice second sock. This is one of the first pairs I ever started knitting and I’m just happy to have finished them finally. But more than that I quite like the symmetry of finishing University and finishing a sock. It is the year of the sock after all.

WP_20160526_002

I’m sticking by what I said in the last post though, the next post shall be about Jem Weston’s designs because I love them and it has been a very long time coming. I just need to finish one of her projects that I’m currently working on and I think I might just spend the rest of the day enjoying that whilst watching films and friends playing video-games.

I hope everyone’s doing well and making progress! Oh and anyone who has made it this far through Me Made May, well done!

 

Back at it!

Catch Up!

With the excitement featured in the last post and final year still happening I’ve missed documenting a finished project and the one I picked next!

I was so relieved when I finished all the knitting for the Shine DK jumper because I’d really had enough of finding knots in the yarn and working to colour match it. Especially considering I ran out of red bits when I really needed a red bit. You know, that’s probably my own fault for accidentally using too much red on one side of the front, but that’s not the point here. Though I don’t think this was the most annoying part of the project. That title goes to trying to wedge the sleeves into the arm holes.

Due to the nature of the sleeves with no shaping at the top it so almost perfectly worked with every one stitch to one and a half on the sleeve. So close. Yet so far. But it doesn’t matter anymore, because it fits, and it’s nice, you can barely see the weird lump forcing the sleeves in made! I’ve also been wearing it despite it looking so Christmassy, including to a girl date with Ellie yesterday at Annie’s Burger Shack!

The next WIP I I decided to carry on with is one I both love and hate. I love the yarn, a Washed Cotton DK by Patons which has an almost dappled effect. It’s soft but has a completely different feel to King Cole’s Cotton Soft and just seems super summery! Especially with the brightness of the turquoise colour way.

I’ve really struggled to make myself face the lace work properly, especially when socks are so much easier and quicker. And it is the year of the sock after all! But since I’ve done both sleeves I’m thinking of casting on the plain back so all that’s left of the garment is the front lace and hopefully the excitement will see me through!

I’ve also finished the sock from the train ride back from Manchester and even the second one. Some people, namely Steph of Nettynot, commented on the fact the socks I’ve been doing, whilst completing pairs, have all been newly cast on. I’ve got these two separate socks from last year and you’ll pleased to know I’m working on their matching ones now before any others:

Steph has also suggested documenting my remaining WIPs on here which I quite liked the idea of. I went through them all with Ellie after the suggestion and took pictures and remembered just how much I love them all and how close to completion many of them are. So look out for that blog post coming up!

But before that I really need to talk about Jem Weston’s book The Knitted Nursery and her kits. I’ve fallen in love, so that will definitely be next. And yes, she did break my casting on embargo, but once you’ve seen them you’ll see why!

I can’t believe it’s already mid March! Hope everyone’s making the progress they want!

 

 

Catch Up!