It’s been a while since I have written on my blog. Although this post is primarily about what I have knitted recently. It’s also a bit of an update on what has happened in my life lately. What I have been doing and why I have so much time to knit!
I had some health issues at the end of October, before my birthday. Nothing major but I have been taking easy and trying to relax more! As I result I haven’t had the chance to keep up with my normal geeky activities. Instead, I have spent my time relaxing, binge-watching Netflix and knitting!
As we had such nice weather in London over the summer. It seems I missed out on a ton of television shows airing on Netflix. So this time relaxing (and the colder weather), became the perfect time for me to catch up on all those shows! Luke Cage, The Dragon Prince and Orange is the New Black. But I also got to watch all those shows on my list like Anne with an E.
Marie Curie Sock Quest
Like last year, Sarah from Sherlock Knits is running her Marie Curie Sock Quest. Once again, her “slightly bonkers idea” is to give hand-knitted socks to all her patients, spending Christmas in the Marie Curie centres. You can read all about the quest on the Flower Power Fund‘s Instagram page.
This year, I brought four balls of the West Yorkshire Spinners yarn, in the limited edition colour ‘Marie Curie.’ The colourway designed especially for the quest, incorporating the colours from the Marie Curie logo. So I had my own slightly bonkers idea to knit four pairs of sock. However, each ball has enough yarn for three socks! So, in the end, I made six pairs of socks!
In the past, I loved to knit socks. However, haven’t knitted a pair for me in years. I took this opportunity to re-knit some of the knitting patterns I have loved in the past. And some patterns that were slightly more challenging. You can see all six pairs of socks in my Ravelry notebook.
When completing the Road to Infinity War pinspiration posts, I missed out one significant character, Black Panther. So to mark recent the home entertainment release of Black Panther in the UK. I am sharing my favourite Wakanda themed crafts and products.
Pins from Pinterest inspired by Black Panther
The Afropolitan Mom has some amazing recipes inspired by the movie, I am including two of them on my list. First up these, cookies based on the Black Panther mask. The easy step-by-step instructions mean you can easily whisk up a batch for your viewing party.
Next up also from Afropolitan Mom, is this cocktail. Her interpretation fo the Heart of Wakanda drink from the movie. Whilst this cocktail will not give you the power of the Black Panther, it certainly looks like the drink from the movie. The site also has a Vibranium themed cocktail, which takes its inspiration from the blue in the Black Panther suit.
Whilst watching the movie in the cinema the first time, I immediately became obsessed with Nakia’s green shawl. During the weeks that followed my obsession and that online also grew. With a dedicated Ravelry group and article on Buzzfeed. Jeff Gillies also made the pattern available online, I joined the hundreds of others in casting on this wonderful wrap.
All of the costumes in Black Panther were stunning, I adored the mixing of traditional African design with the technically advanced designs from Wakanda. The Kimoyo Bracelets are probably the perfect example of this fusion. The Vibranium beads, carved with traditional glyphs, have many uses in the films including communication devices. RockLove Jewelry has beautiful replica bracelets, complete with a glow-in-the-dark “prime bead.”
A few years ago, I wrote about our adult version of Christmas Eve box. Our Christmas Eve tradition now involves relaxing at home, ordering a takeaway and having a few drinks. A calm night before the big day. So I create a special parcel for the evening. Think of it as a grown-up version of the boxes designed for children. The box is filled with pyjamas, movies to watch and cocktails!
Each year, I like to add a new ornament to our Christmas tree, something related to the previous 12 months, a souvenir from a vacation, something a little more personal. Or like this year, a geeky one relating to one of our favourite films of the year. I love this Wonder Woman Ornament kit from LexiCorp.
A recent UK Poll recently declared Die Hard isn’t a Christmas movie, well in our house we disagree. Our traditional Christmas Eve movie night involves a trilogy of Muppet’s Christmas Carol, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and ends with Die Hard. When I saw this illustration book based on Die Hard featured on Nerdist, I had to order a copy to include in the Christmas box.
As you know I am a coffee addict and an Espresso Martini is my go-to cocktail. Unfortunately, I am can’t see to perfect my recipe to make them at home. I have a few tried pre-mixed cocktails, but this year I thought I would try the Tipplesworth mixer. I also love this Espresso Martini gift set, which includes a cocktail shaker and martini glasses.
Do you have any traditions for Christmas Eve? What are your favourite Christmas Movies? Do you think Die Hard is a Christmas movie? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
I have finally finished knitting the Hitofude Cardigan for my mum. It was two months after my self-imposed deadline and I still have to sew up a few ends. But I am hoping to take some photos later this week of the finished garment.
Currently Reading… The City’s Son by Tom Pollock
I adore reading books set in London especially Urban Fantasy, one of my favourite book series is the PC Grant Mysteries. Following a recommendation based on these books, I discovered The Skyscraper Throne trilogy, the first one of which is The City’s Son.
Currently Watching… Game of Thrones
July has been all about Game of Thrones. I re-watched season six at the start of the month in preparation for season seven. I have been loving the new season so far, it is amazing how this programme keeps getting better and better, and I have no idea how it is going to end.
Currently Loving… Adventure
On July over most weekends, we have visited family. First in Norfolk and the in Ireland. Whilst we didn’t get to do a lot of sightseeing on either vacation. But on both trips, we did have dinner at amazing places with stunning views! Upon returning from Ireland I am already planning my next longer adventure. I’d love to visit some of the locations from Game of Thrones and of course, Skellig Michael (the island at the end of The Force Awakens)
Currently Feeling… Social
I am trying to be more active on social media. I hate to say I am cultivating a brand, as this blog is just my little corner of the Internet where a share my rants, not a product. However, I have set up a Facebook page to interact with my readers more, don’t forget to like me!
Currently Knitting… Hitofude Cardigan
I added the Hitofude Cardigan to my years ago. The pattern has an non-conventional construction which appealed, but the design isn’t really my style. It is my mum’s style! I had planned on knitting the cardigan for her birthday in May. But knitting as slowly as I do, the cardigan is still not completed.
Currently Watching… Twin Peaks
As a teenager, I adored Twin Peaks, My obsession included watching each episode several times, reading the tie-in books and listening to the soundtrack and “tapes.” I think my love of coffee might have started because of Twin Peaks. As the show returned at the end of May, I have re-watching seasons one and two in preparation for The Return.
Currently Reading… American Gods by Neil Gaiman
As well as Twin Peaks in May, I have been watching the adapation of American Gods. This also seemed like a good time to re-read the book. I’m loving the TV programme, espeically the “Coming to America” segments.
Currently Loving… Lego Trading Cards
Sainsbury’s (a British supermarket) are giving away Lego Trading Card with your shopping. You get 4 cards for every £10 you spend instore. As I child I remember collecting stickers and swapping them with friends, nowadays, it seems social media is your ideal tool to swap cards. “Got, Got, Need!”
Currently Knitting… Pink Pussyhat.
I adored seeing the images of sea of pink hats at the Women’s March. I didn’t have time to knit a hat before the protest, but still want to be part of this amazing project. So I have just started knitting a pink hat.
This year, I set myself a Goodread Challenge to read 24 books. Their challenges include Graphic Novels so I am planning on reading at least one a month. This month I have re-read the first Cassandra Cain, Batgirl book.
Currently Watching… House of Cards
I think everyone has that one TV programme they have yet to watch. The programme all your friends have watched but for some reason you missed watching. For me it was House of Cards. With all the events happening in U.S. politics this month it seemed like the right time to start watching this award-winning series.
Currently Listeining to… Hamilton (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
I managed to get tickets for one of the West End performances for Hamilton, since then I have had the soundtrack on a loop at home. Currently Loving… Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Last week, they released the official title of Star Wars Episode 8. Since then I have chatted to friends and speculating about what the title means. Who is the Last Jedi? As Jedi is also the plural is there more than one last Jedi? Does this mean we will get a major death? Is Leia a Jedi? So many questions we will have to wait until December to get our answers.
Living and working in London, we don’t need a car in our everyday lives. Instead we rely on a car sharing service and occasionally hire cars for weekend adventures. Normally, we have to pick up our rental cars at the airport. So nowadays all mini holidays for us start riding travelators in the airport.
One of the reasons I started this challenge was to explore the city more and try new coffee shops. Over the last year, whilst doing this challenge I’ve put together a large list of coffee shops to visit. But occasionally, I discover a little gem on my own, like this café near to Jason’s barbers.
This spring once again I became obsessed with Game of Thrones, as well as watching the sixth season, I also re-watched seasons one to five on Blu-ray. So most of my free-time was spend knitting, binge watching and drinking coffee.
If I ever have to have a morning meeting, I love to schedule it in Pret a Manage, as they have stores located all over the city, serve great coffee and have the most amazing almond croissants in London.
Before Star Wars Celebrations, they was a lot of confusion online regarding when and where to pick up your passes and the wristbands for the panels. Rather than risk the queue in the morning I picked up our passes the day before. (You can read all about my adventures at Star Wars Celebrations here.)
What is #100cupsofcoffee? You can read about the project here.
You can see all the photos from the #100cupsofcoffee project on Instagram.
I finally finished all my elephants (and they are safely at their new homes), I figured it was time to post some photos of my finished projects.
First up, Flo from Knitty, I moaned before about the sewing involved in this pattern as it takes as much time as the knitting, but it does look amazing when finished.
I love using the contrasting colour for the stitching on the ears and feet, which I also added to the tail to add to the hand-made look.
The other patterns I have knit has been Elijah by Ysolda. This pattern is the complete opposite as it involves no seaming – it’s all knit on the round with picked up stitches.
Like with all of Ysolda’s patterns in attention to detail is amazing – each increase or decrease stitch is part of a design, the increases in the head form the guidelines of the faces and the decreases in the foot forming this circular pattern.
I have become a creature of habits with my knitting, I tend to knit the same patterns, Gretel berets or monkey socks. As baby gifts I have made a gang of Poppy dolls and am slowly making a new herd of elephants.
A few years ago, I knitted a Flo the Elephant for Jason’s cousin – when she announced she was pregnant again I wanted to knit twin, knowing she was having a boy I figured this time I would do a blue version. Before I cast on, I looked at my Ravelry notebook and then on this blog to see if I could find any notes from my earlier project and it turned up blank.
I don’t even seem to have any decent photos of the finished project, all I seem to remember was the pattern was pretty straight-forward – but there was a lot of sewing. So now a year later I am at a loss, did I just follow the pattern? What modifications did I add? Did I knit or crochet the feet? What about the tail?
A few weeks ago I wrote about my dream knitting land, where I would spend my evening seated in a window seat under a handmade quilt (in my dream world I can sew as well), watching my favorite TV shows, whilst drinking Hot Chocolate from our local coffee shop (they would have a home delivery service each night for me).
Again my reality is a lot different, after the fiasco of casting on my sock, I was a little more organised, during the day I had managed to take a few photographs of my sock and the yarn and print out the pattern (I was using my iPad before). So before knitting I sit down to enter the details of my project into Ravelry – of course this lead to 90 minutes of my reading forums and looking at other people’s projects. I noticed a lot of people have been adding a new shawl pattern to their queue and think about casting that on – but I never wear the shawls I have knitted, so think that’s a bad idea.
I turn of the laptop, set up Netflix and continue knitting, I realised the pattern, is one of those great patterns that is easy to memorize and but looks really complicated and have soon completed one repeat.
I paused for a bit to make myself a cup of tea and grab a snack from the fridge and then get back to the knitting, but this stage I have a nice groove going on and happily knitting away for a while – stopping to scream at Netflix when it asks “Are you still watching…” Finally, I had watched 5 episodes of a show, it’s gone 1am and I still haven’t completed the leg of the sock!