Who invented 1.5mm needles anyway?

A very quick update my lovely reader.  I’ve been furiously making little crochet flowers for a ‘secret’ project for my family Christmas (which is in February this year, all families have their little foibles don’t they?) so I can’t show you those.

I’ve also been working on my ‘desk drawer’ project.   Due to the fact I cycle to work I don’t want to carry more than I have to, so I have a project I leave in work so I always have something to work on at lunchtime as the mood strikes me.  My current ‘desk drawer’ project is the Norweign Mittens.

I did work out that if I do two rows *every* lunch time, I’ll be finished the first glove (but not the thumb) in 8 weeks!

What possessed me to do my first stranded project on tiny needles in the round I’m still at a loss to explain, however it is fun doing my first stranded project and I’m slowly learning the best ways to hold the two strands of yarn so I don’t end up with a knotted mess after each session.

Today I am hoping to pull out the yarn stash and start the ‘longer-than-today’ task of sorting it into something a bit more organised. I currently have two official 65ltr plastic storage bins and several ‘unofficial’ spots, WiP bags, temporary boxes and bags… I have bought some more storage boxes so hopefully I’ll be able to split it down into something a bit more ‘findable’ – update to follow!

Have you met TED?*

If you don’t already know about TED Talks, it’s sufficent to know they are AWESOME and cover a world of subjects and topics from the best way to tie your shoelaces to the latest information on cutting edge technology (the first conference in 1984 included unveiling the brand new Apple Mac).  If you want to know more, I’ve included loads of info after the video.

I’m a HUGE fan of these informative, interesting and thought provoking talks (never longer than 20 minutes) and often do a sort of wiki-links thing following random talks and subject hopping losing hours and learning loads!

I decided that I wanted to keep a better track of my favourite talks, and also that I wanted to share them with my lovely readers, who are by definition, intelligent and have enquiring minds.  So this is the start of a new monthly feature – TED Tuesdays!

So, here’s a starting point for you, one of my favourite talks that may well change how you work with your google searches and social media….

Extra Info about TED

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, and began in 1984 as a conference to share ideas across a broad range of subjects.  It became a regular conference in 1990, and gets speakers in a vast array of fields (including scientists, philosophers, musicians, religious leaders, philanthropists, and many others) to give some of the best talks in the world.

Lucky for us, their tag line is “ideas worth spreading” – which means all their talks, since 2006 are shared on TED.com and YouTube for free.  That’s currently over 2,400 talks on every possible subject from Adventure to Wikipedia.  Which is just as well as a ticket to the conference will set you back a cool $17,000 this year.

This is just a starting point.  Along with the sister conference; TEDGlobal, TEDx events (free under a licence to be organised by anyone, anywhere), TEDMed (medical and health based talks), TED Radio Hour (using several talks to theme an hour discussion on a single topic – my new favourite podcast) and TED Open Translation Project (which is translating TED talks into 110 languages to improve accessibility) there are literally thousands of talks on top of the core talks.  There is also books, studies, blogs, newsletters…..

So.  Look out for my favourite talks each month and let me know – what are YOUR ideas worth sharing?  I’d love to know what you think of this talk – let me know in comments!

*yes, it’s a ‘how I met your mother’ reference.

Welcome to another 12 months of interesting times

2017 has started, and despite 2016 being memorable for lots of wrong reasons, I had barely got used to it!

Happy New Year dear reader, and I hope this year turns out better for all of us.  My main goal is not to not break any major bones resulting in a 12 week hiatus on most things – but particuarly crafting.

I did manage, over the Christmas break, to complete a huge project that I had been working on most of the year for a friend.  Of course it came down to the wire and I completely forgot to take photos.  A challenge thrown down on St Stephen’s Day (that’s Boxing Day to most of the UK) resulted in me crocheting a hat in DK weight sequin yarn with a 3.75mm hook in a little over 3 hours.  Of course I also don’t have photos of that either.  I did however manage to take a couple of photos of my ‘plane’ knitting though – and now have a lovely pair of alpaca/wool close fitting fingerless gloves.

snuggly fingers

The pattern is Easy Peasy Fingerless Mitts by Make Something Special and whips up in no time (relatively)  – I’m not the world’s fastest knitter by any stretch of the imagination, and these took me about 5 hours all in.

So, first post of the year, and the usual promises and resolutions loom on the horizon.  I’ve got lots to share with you, and big plans.  Some of my break was spent with lots of sheets of paper writing down lots of ideas and plans and resolving them down into something feasible.

The first resolution involves this blog.  I’m a perfectionist which results in me not doing anything until it’s perfect in my head, beautifully presented, hundreds of photographs, witty and insightful, and preferably topical… which realistically is never going to happen.  I’ve accepted that and so have the idea for a series of small ‘update’ posts that should (hopefully) mean that I post more regularly.  I’ve even got a ‘theme’ plan for regular posts on a monthly basis which broadens the original spec of the ‘crafting’ blog, but frankly I am more than just the crafting in my life – which admittedly is a large and important part, but not the only part!

The second resolution is after the confidence boost and publication of the Manchester Shawl last year I have promised to publish at least 4 more patterns this year.  That involves quite a lot of work so fingers crossed.

Of course there are several other non-craft related resolutions – the usual ‘lose weight’, ‘improve my second language (French)’, watch less telly, don’t get blown up by Trump…. stuff.

Right, I’m posting this, imperfections and all, and moving on to working off some of the weight I’ve gained over the celebration period and the 3 months before when I couldn’t cycle to work due to a broken elbow.  I’ll let you know how it went very soon!

So, what are your resolutions for this year?