Category Archives: 101 Things

Socktopus Toy

As any reader of my blog will know whenever a friend has a baby girl, my go to pattern in Poppy as a gift. When Alice announced that her little blueberry was in fact going to be a pinkberry, I figured yet another doll to be made, but having thought about it I knew I wanted to make something extra special for this little baby. After a quick search on Ravelry I found the perfect pattern – Socktopus!

Socktopus Toy

I adapted the pattern a bit to knit it with sock-weight yarn and make it a decent size – mainly with the increasing and decreasing. I also knitted the legs separately than then grafted them on to the main body, as it was VERY awkward knitting with so few stitches and all the legs flying around!

I actually finished it in January – but waited until the little one arrived before posting it. As I had some time to kill and some yarn left over (I think there is enough for another toy), I thought I would finally knit a pair of Saartje’s Bootees.

Saartje's Bootees 02
I loved this pattern so simple, I did try and make the the normal way – but as I was so daunted my all that seaming, I opted for Fleegles’ Version, which is knitted on the round with a Turkish Cast On. I think I will be making a lot more of these in my future – a great way to use up all that left over sock yarn.


Start trying to have a baby

When I started my 101 list, one of the first things we wanted to add was Start trying to have a baby. I never really mentioned wanting a family on this blog and to be honest when I thought about mentioning it, I figured it would be one of those posts with a photo of the baby scan or positive pregnancy test, after all that is the norm isn’t it? Well it turns out my first “trying to have a baby” post isn’t going to be normal!

Last November (I can hardly believe it was a year ago it seems so much longer) in Mexico, Jason and I started trying to begin our family, and if I am to be honest we were maybe a little naive. I know some people plot and plan these things testing their ovulation or temperature, but we figured we would just do the baby making dancing a few times and nine months later we would be three.

Fast forward to just after Christmas, I had lunch with the lovely Socktopod ladies and over lunch we discussed how quickly this year was going and I suddenly realised I was late! So after lunch I popped in a chemist and brought a test, later that night when Jason came home, we did the test and sure enough I was pregnant!

So over the weekend, we were wondering around thinking about the future and maybe slightly in shock. On the Monday evening about 5 p.m. I noticed a little bleeding – worried and scared I phoned the doctor and of course consulted google. The next morning after a series of phonecalls with my doctor I was refered to the Early Pregnancy Assessment Unit (EPAU).

On the Tuesday, I had my first scan and a blood test. The blood test determined I was indeed pregnant but there was no sign of the embryo on the scan, and it was deemed “pregnancy of unknown location.” The next two weeks we had a series of blood tests and another scan all which concluded the pregnancy was ectopic in the the right tube. The doctors concluded the best cause of action was a course of Methotrexate. Less than two weeks after that I was no longer pregnant.

We spend the next few months healing (for me it was both emotionally and psychically), the doctors advised three months but we opted to a little longer. Then last month once again, I found out I was pregnant, due to our past history I was referred once again to the EPAU straight away. Once again we started the series of blood tests and scans. Both on the Friday, a blood test on the Sunday followed by another scan of the Monday. After the second scan they saw the pregnancy was once again in my right tube.

The next 24 hours are a complete blur to me (even now Jason is still filling in the blanks for me), the doctors determined the pregnancy and tube needed to be surgically removed (a salpingectomy) and due to my history they wanted to operate that day. From what I have been told, at 11 a.m. I was having my scan, at 2 p.m. they were prepping my for surgery and at 6 p.m. I was back in the ward. By lunchtime the next day I was home in my own bed (well sofa-bed, our new bed still hasn’t been delivered)!

To be honest I am still in shock (hence why it has taken me over a week to write this blog post), Jason and I are back in the limbo stage waiting for healing to begin and taking each day as it comes and trying to look to the future.


I have been trying to “make” something each week, On top of the random baking. I want an actual project I can show off. The truth is over the last few weeks all my free crafting time has been devoted my two blankets, for the sock yarn hexagons and squares for the runner. I have been working with squares that are 48 stitches over 70 rows in sock yarn so a couple of these of these is the equivalent to a sock! So I figure my blanket is equal to several weeks of making!

I have also been experimenting with my sewing machine, I will be honest I’m not very good at it, but I am trying. My first attempt was two cushion covers for my Mum’s bed. She has recently redecorated and had some old cushions on her bed with green and brown covers that didn’t really go with her new pink colour scheme.


Taking inspiration from some cushions she had seen in Monsoon and Next, I made these two cushions. Mum found an embroidery kit in John Lewis with a peony (although I am not convinced it is one), which matched her duvet cover so the first cushion was just a simple “frame” for that. The second was a collection of ribbons from V.V. Rouleaux, I hand stitched the ribbons, as I was not that confident about sewing straight lines with the machine.

Bamboozelle Baskets

Next up I have these bamboo baskets, I actually started the small basket back in February, following the bamboozelle pattern from knitty. I wasn’t keen in the bottom of the basket as it left several small holes in the knitting, so I planned on re-working it, but the bamboo is tough on the hands so the WIP was left in the forgotten pile. Just recently I thought about making a larger basket with the leftover yarn, and so decided to finish them off. I still am no completely happy with these and I think I am going to make a cardboard liner to make them stronger.

To incourage me to craft more, I am going to try and contribute to The Yarn Yard’s Making Monday Challenge starting next week. Who is up for joining me?


I was reading a blog (strangely I can’t find the article anymore) about things to do before June to get ready for the summer. Number One on the list was revisiting your resolutions from January! Well I didn’t really make any resolutions more a plan of things I wanted to do in 2011, and of course I failed in February (mainly due to being ill), however I have decided to start again! This week should be week 21, I should have sent 21 letters, made 21 things, read 21 books and watched a few movies! Instead I have made about 8 things, written very few letters and read about 4 books. So I’m renumbering this to week one.

Having read this article about my friends sister in Chicago, I had to send her a congratuations letter, (if you are in the Chicago area please go and see her second play). I have also been productive and final finished my 2luvcrew socks and read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

2luvcrew finished

EDITED: to include photo.


… don’t worry it’s got nothing to do with rodents!

Jason and I have a shared love of detective shows, good old-fashioned whodunits. CSI, Law and Order, Criminal Minds we watch them all. But our absolute favourite thing to do on was Sunday lunchtime is watch a repeat of Miss Marple on Watch with a cup of tea and some cream cakes (I normally knit too). We’ve seen the Joan Hickson version so often that we know who did it, just by the title, so decided to give it a rest, and now we have moved on to Poirot.

Every year for our anniversary we take it in turn to plan a special treat, as I planned the wedding, Jason planned our first wedding anniversary (a trip to Rome) and so I have to plan all the even years. To celebrate our four years of marriage, I thought a play in the West End and meal. Of course, when thinking of a West End play for Agatha Christie fans the first thing that comes to mind in Mousetrap.

mousetrap poster

Surprisingly, neither of us had seen it, in fact we knew every little about the play – apart from it being the longest running West End show. But in true Christie style, we were guessing right up until the summation in the drawing room (always my favourite part). Don’t worry I won’t spoil anything here. All I will say, if like us you have been thinking about going to see the play – just do it :)

10 more things…

I haven’t forgetten this list – I am just a little late posting it

Starting: June 8, 2009
Ending: September 16, 2009

  1. Finally finish my Clapotis (and start another one)
  2. Complete the Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred.
  3. Start a home decorating planner.
  4. Knit something other than socks or a scarf/shawl.
  5. Organise knitting patterns.
  6. Drink a two litres of water a day for a month.
  7. Start a Scrapbook, including our extra wedding photos.
  8. Watch all the seasons of Battlestar Galatica.
  9. Visit Vinopolis.
  10. Complete 5 random acts of kindness (Knitting related via the Ravelry board).

131 Days

Before starting my 101 list, I read the survival tips on the Day Zero website, written there clearly is “Welcome Failure.” What I didn’t realise was how spectacular I would fail! 30 days after my first deadline here is how the list currently stands.

1. Lose at least a stone in weight. – Fail
Although I have been making some effort to exercise (see  number two), my diet has been just awful this year.

2. Use the Wii Fit at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes.  – WIP
Currently, I am easily managing to fit in two sessions a week, although I have to say I am getting a little bored with some of the exercises and think it might be time to look for a new game.

3. Find a decent Sugar Cookie recipe and make at least five varieties of cookies. – Success!
I managed to find a wonderful website, that sells cookie cutters in all shapes and sizes, with some great tips and ideas. Plus I have been buying every cookie cookbook I can find! I am still not confident enough with my baking to try them on anyone but my immediate family.

4. Reduce my stash by one mile. – Success!

Mile of Yarn
1. Leyburn Socks, 2. Garden Trelis Sock, 3. Meret,
4. Jaywalker Socks III, 5. Vinnland, 6. Spring Forward

5. Create a Home Organisation System. – WIP
I have to say the one thing I have discovered from trying to make a system is that it is a definite “work in progress.” I started taking inspiration from the FlyLady system and also Cleaning Grand Plan, and am pleased to report the we have already made great headway with decluttering.

6. Manicure my nails each week and get them done professionally at least once. – Success!
This one has been a really easy item to keep up, I treated myself to a manicure at the beginning of the challenge and seeing my nail look nice for the week inspired me to keep them manicured! I was given a selection of Nail Inc colours at Christmas, that I should really make more of an effort to use.

7. Boost My Income by £1000. – WIP
This was probably a little adventurous for the 10 weeks  (or maybe it is because of the credit crunch), but I have re-assessed all our money looked for saving where I can. Maximised using cashback websites , loyalty cards started a change jar and I even managed to make £200 recycling our old mobile phones.

8. Do The Torres Bounce in The Kop. – Fail
This is the one I am going to have to admit defeat on, even though we managed to make it to Anfield, it is proving impossible to sit in The Kop! Plus on my two recent trips to Liverpool, Torres has been injured for both games, so we still haven’t been able to see him play. The season ends this weekend so this one will have to go on the back burner until August.

9. Go to the Museum in Docklands. – Fail
I really have no excuse for failing this… I had several chances to go.

10. Book (or go) on a holiday in the sun! – Fail
Although the sun did shine when we were in Brussels, it looks like that will be our only holiday for a while, we have both been extremely busy with work and are currently looking for a new car so the holiday is on hold.

I am not going to give up, my plan is create another list of 10 items which I will start in June. I will continue working on this list until then and carry over all of the failures.


aka Socks the Rock Knit along….

I first about this knit along on the Socktopus Board on Ravelry and I fell in love with the concept rather than a normal KAL (one pattern and any type of yarn), this along only uses Sock the Rock yarn, with each person using a different colourway so you can see all the effects. I am using Thistle in Medium weight on 2.75mm needles.

Leyburn Sock

The pattern is the amazingly simple Leyburn Socks, as Yarnharlot mentioned these socks practically knit themselves. With very little effort I have managed to nearly finish one sock.

I have started writing my 11 major (life changing) things to do in 101 days, I found a great support/encouragement group on Ravelry and it even inspired me with a few ideas for my own list (watching all the films in the AFI Top 100 list). Hopefully this weekend I will have a major push forward and achieve a goal or at least headway on something other that decreasing my stash.