Saturday 27 June 2015

A New Friend

Today a new addition joined my household, internet, meet Rupert. 

Rupert is a juvenile Giant African Land Snail of the albino variety (Achatina Fulica Jadatzi). He is my second Giant African Land Snail, as when I was younger I had another for several years. 

Snails have played a fairly significant role throughout my childhood, I have always found them particularly interesting. I always used to 'look after' the snails in our garden, and our neighbours would bring snails to our house as they didn't want them on their plants/vegetables.

Not only was a GAL snail one of the first pets we had that I had sole-responsibility for, I also used to take home the GAL snail that used to live in my science classroom, over the school holidays. 

Giant African Land Snails are a very interesting first-pet, and are relatively easy to care for. If you are interested in keeping a snail, there are a variety of websites and care sheets online where you can find out more information about how to care for them.

I am excited to see Rupert's growth over the coming months.

Saturday 7 February 2015

Work Commitments

Today is just going to be a short update.

Recently I've been spending a lot of time at work, and not having a lot of free time.

The long and short of it is, being someone who frequently writes content and blog posts for the company I work for, I often don't find the time to be motivated enough to write new content for my own blog as it seems like more of a chore.

In addition to this, I am frequently finding less time to commit to hobbies and things I enjoy. I am finding that I have a growing backlog of unfinished projects that I want to write about, but due to them making little to no progress, there is nothing to write.

I am hoping that in the coming months I will be able to find more time to devote to my crafts, as it is something I would really like to get back into doing frequently.

I have decided that in the meantime, I may write about some other experiences and opportunities I've been having within my daily life.

The content may be something different to what I've posted previously, but I am wanting to continue updating this blog throughout the year, even when I haven't been doing much relating to craft.

Here's to hoping that I will find more time for writing and finishing my projects.

See you soon!

Saturday 17 January 2015

Seeing Stripes

I know we're already over two weeks into 2015, but Happy New Year!

Today I thought I'd write about a WIP I started and finished during the holiday season.

I decided to take up knitting again, and had to have a little bit of a refresher-crash course from my Nan to remind me what I was doing. My Great-Nannie taught me how to knit, maybe about 12 years ago? As I pretty much hadn't even touched knitting needles since then, it was a bit tricky to start with. I'm so used to crochet that my tension was completely off, and I'm pretty sure that because I was so young, my Nannie had only taught me the knit-stitch and nothing else. I didn't know how to cast on, cast off, how to purl. Nothing. So it was a bit of a task.

To inspire me, I decided to visit Toft again. I picked up two balls of Aran wool in the colourways Mushroom and Stone and had a look at the hats they had in their workshop. I chose to make the 'Striped Beanie' as it had a skill level of 'Beginner', which I definitely was.

The Striped Beanie pattern is available on the Toft website for free, or can be ordered as a kit with everything you need included.

To make my hat I used Basix Birch fixed circular needles in a size 60cm x 5mm by KnitPro.

Before I started my hat, I decided to practice my stitches and tension by making a few squares of ribbed material. I used 3.5mm normal needles and DK wool for this, before practicing with 5mm needles and the second colour I was going to use for my hat.

Once I was happy with my tension and the way my stitches looked, I started the hat. I found it a little tricky at first, as I'd never worked with circular needles for anything before. I'd only ever worked with standard needles, so the cable connecting them seemed a bit unusual. I got used to it eventually, though.

My next challenge was colour changing. I'd never done this before, and as I was knitting in a continuous round, I didn't really want to fully cast on and off again, every single time I had to change colour for one row.

Eventually I got there, and I ended up with some nice, little stripes.

It took me around three weeks to finish the hat once I'd started it, I had a sizeable gap in the middle of working on it due to my birthday and work commitments. Overall it was really easy to do, and anything I struggled on, there were plenty of knowledgeable books and videos that I could refer to for help. It was a really nice thing to make, it wasn't horribly complicated, so I didn't get frustrated or anything.

And lots of people have given me praise on my hat and how nice it looks. I've even been asked to make my friend one!

I'll be posting again very soon, see you next time!