Monday, 31 December 2012

New Years Resolutions

I'm not normally one for setting New Years resolutions, just because I know hardly anyone follows through with them.
I do always make the cliche lose weight get healthy one though, and this year is no exception, but that's not what this post is about.

I started knitting in July of this year and I have already learnt a few techniques such as the basics, casting on, the knit and purl stitch, increasing, decreasing, binding off, basic cabling and knitting in the round.
I'm very proud of what I have achieved but have so much more to learn, and here are a few of the skills/goals I have set myself for next year:

  • Socks - I have a really weird obsession with socks. They are one of my ultimate knitting goals, and as much as I look at patterns they still baffle me slightly. I will conquer the sock though, there are just too many gorgeous sock yarns out there that want me to use them. This also fits in well with loosing weight because nothing looks cuter then dainty socks with girly shoes, although I will be starting with very basic vanilla socks!
  • Colour work - I want to learn both stranded and intarsia, I'm fairly confident I would be able to do intarsia, but stranded seems a little bit more complex, but I love Fair Isle. Fightin' Words by Annie Watts looks absolutely amazing and I am going to make it my first stranded pattern, after finding myself a nice easy intarsia pattern beforehand!
  • A jumper - I already have it picked out, I am going to (or rather I want to) knit the Oh My Bear by Tiny Owl Knits it seems like a good first jumper because it is chunky and baggy so I don't have to worry too much about fit, and it also includes some intarsia, 2 birds with one stone!
  • Lace - I would love to learn to knit lace because it looks so gorgeous. I don't have a pattern picked out yet because lace garments aren't really my style, I just want to add this technique to my repertoire. 
  • A shawl - I never thought I would want to knit a shawl, but it seems everyone in the knitting world knits shawls, and with good reason. I always get cold in work, so it would be nice to have a extra layer to snuggle up in. My boyfriend also got me some gorgeous yarn from Gynx Yarn which is 100% merino and I think it would look lovely in a shawl. I'm going for the Zilver shawl for my first attempt as it looks achievable.
So those are my 2013 aims. 
Now I have written them down I'm a bit worried that I won't have time to achieve them all, but we shall see!

I've had a great 2012 and hope 2013 is just as good. Hope you all have a lovely NYE and let me know of your resolutions too! 
Thursday, 27 December 2012

Finished object - Orchids & Fairy Lights hat

I actually finished this hat a few weeks ago, but have only just got round to taking pictures of it.
It is the Orchids & Fairy Lights hat by Tiny Owl Knits.

I used Malabrigo Worsted in the colour Polar Morn.

The pattern calls for 4.5mm needles, but I went up to 5mm to get gauge.
I wish the hat was a bit slouchier, I think I could probably achieve that if I blocked it, but the thought of blocking terrifies me!

The pattern was very easy to read and was quite straightforward.

This is my first knitting project with cables and bobbles, it's also the first time I've used circular needles so I've learned a lot knitting this hat!

It took a couple of weeks to knit, and I had to concentrate a lot whilst knitting it.
 It wasn't difficult, there was just a lot going on with the cabling, that and a lot of the techniques where new to me so I had to take my time.

I love the way this hat turned out, and I would recommend it to anyone. I also love Malabrigo, its very warm and fluffy and I love the colour.
Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Happy Christmas

Hello everyone, hope you all had a very lovely Christmas and spent plenty of time with your family! I myself had a great time, although I over ate and over drank way too much though. 
I thought I would share some of my families decorations with you to keep the festive spirit up.

Have a brilliant boxing day! 
Sunday, 16 December 2012

Knitting Project Bags

I have often seen knitting project bags pop up in podcasts, and I often admired them but never got around to getting myself one, until even my nan piped up that I should get myself one to keep my knitting safe.

After spending ages searching on Etsy, and I mean ages because there is so much choice, this is the one I decided to go for.

It is an absolutely adorable gnome themed box bag. 
It has a red and white polka dot handle and the inside is polka dot too.
It has the most adorable bee charm for the zip, little details like this make the bag really special.
It also came with a handwritten thank you note which I always appreciate. It also came with washing instructions and a couple of business cards.

The bag is big enough to fit smaller sized projects in, such as hats and socks, but I even think I could fit my cowl in that I am currently knitting.
The stitching seems strong and it feels like it is very well made.

I got this from Stitched by Jessa Lu.
She posted it out quickly, it was a fair price and I didn't have to pay customs charges on it! I would definitely recommend ordering from her as she had loads of lovely designs.

After getting this bag, I decided I need one for my hexipuffs, especially as I mainly knit them when I'm travelling, so it would be stupid not to have one!

I got this one from John Lewis:

It's a pencil case and the fabric is designed by Pip Studio.
I love their designs and actually have a couple of their quilt covers. They are like a better Cath Kidston.
I love this pouch and its perfect for my hexipuffs.

I love both these knitting project bags and think they reflect a bit of my personality.
I can now take my knitting on the road with me in style.
I'm slightly worried acquiring new project bags may become a new addiction though....
Any Etsy shops you would recommend me checking out?

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The Knitting Goddess Mini Skeins!

So I caved and bought more mini skeins from The Knitting Goddess.

As much as I love my multi coloured hexipuffs, I decided my blanket needs some more solid coloured puffs, so of course thats a perfect excuse to order some more adorable mini skeins. 

Here are the ones I chose: 

September Semi Solid Mini Skein Set (now sold out)

I know I said I was after more solid colours, but I saw this one on the site and couldn't resist!
This is actually my favourite set, they are all just so gorgeous and vivid, I think I actually gave a squeal when I unwrapped this one.

The mini skein sets are £10 for 7 mini skeins, and the base for the yarn is 75% super wash merino and 25% nylon. 

I love the variety mini skeins give you, and The Knitting Goddess yarn knits up lovely, I definitely recommend!

I am hoping to get my hands on some GnomeAcres mini skeins soon, but even when they come back into stock I would have to wait ages for them to be delivered, where as The Knitting Goddess is a UK company so I only have to wait a couple of days, win!

Do you know of anywhere else that does good mini skein bundles?

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Snickerdoodle Recipe

For those of you who don't know what a Snickerdoodle is, it is an American cinnamon biscuit. It's quite similar to a sugar biscuit that has been rolled in cinnamon and sugar before baking. The cinnamon gives it a lovely festive flavour, so great for the Christmas season!

Makes roughly 24

To make, you will need:
125g butter, softened
110g caster sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for rolling
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
¾ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Cooking instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Mix the butter and sugar, I use a hand mixer to make life easier. Mix until fluffy.

3. Add the egg and vanilla extract, mix until incorporated.

4. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and gently mix together to form a dough.

5. Mix the tablespoon of sugar and the cinnamon together in a different bowl. 

6. Take a small part of the dough and roll in your hands to form a ball.

7. Roll the ball around in the sugar and cinnamon mixture until coated all over.

8. Place on a baking tray. The tray doesn't have to be lined or greased, they don't stick, I promise!

9. Flatten the ball slightly with the palm of you hand.

10. Repeat until you have used all the dough, don't forget to leave a bit of space between each one as they spread. You will need at least 2 baking trays.

11. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until they feel firm around the edges.

12. Remove from the oven, leave to cool for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

And there you have it, Snickerdoodles! 

Saturday, 8 December 2012


OK I admit, I have a shopping addiction, but as long as I share what I have got in a post that makes it OK right? Anyway, here are some bits I have picked up in the last few weeks.

First up is the Antipodes H2O Intensive Skin - Plumping Serum.
I have been obsessed with skin care recently, and my current moisturiser isn't cutting it in the cold, harsh weather we seem to be having recently.
Originally I was looking for a night cream, but I saw this when browsing in Zest Pharmacy (amazing pharmacy with lots of great beauty brands in Soho), I thought it looked interesting and I have never tried anything from Antipodes and I've never tried a serum either so I thought this would be a good way to try out both those things at once.
I'll still keep my eye out for a nice night cream, but hopefully this will keep me going until then.

Next up is my Diptyque candle.
I got the scent Opopanax after spending ages sniffing it in Liberty.
I know it seems ridiculous spending that much on a candle, but it is a luxury and I totally believe in the aromatherapy benefits. I got a Ambre Diptyque candle a couple of weeks ago and it really does uplift and relax me after a hard day at work, and personally I don't think you can put a price on something that can affect your mood so positively. 
Unfortunately I now have a cold so I can't describe the scent, but it is in the woodsy family, which is the same family as Ambre so I have high hopes for this candle too. 

Finally we have a few bits from Pixi.
I went in there looking for the Glow Tonic after Caroline Hirons from Beauty Mouth raved about it, but due to her praises the Glow Tonic had run out.
Not wanting to leave empty handed I decided to check out the rest of the skin care range.
I am currently using a Alpha H moisturiser that I'm not crazy, but it is nearly run out so I decided to get a moisturiser to replace it.
The sales assistant tried some of the Face Shield on my hand, and I fell in love. It felt lovely and soft, is unscented and has SPF in it so I decided to go for it.
I was then told that the skin care was buy one get one free, bargain!
After a bit of debating I decided to go for the Quick Fix Face Mask, a mask to perk up your skin and only needs to be left on for 3 minute, I thought it would be great for mornings when I'm not looking my best (or I'm hungover).
I also picked up a nail polish that isn't pictured as it was a gift for someone, but for getting 3 products I got a free eyeshadow palette.
They had 3 palettes but I went for the Pretty Punk palette because it has some nice smokey colours.
So I got, a face mask, face moisturiser, nail polish and eyeshadow palette for £32, not bad! 

I promise not to buy anymore skin care before Christmas....

Sunday, 2 December 2012

End of month hexipuff count - November

I thought it could be interesting and help me keep track if I posted how many hexipuffs I manage to knit in the month, plus I love looking at other peoples hexis as I find it quite inspiring, so hopefully people like looking at mine too!
Oh and if you don't know why I am knitting hexipuffs, it is because I am trying to knit my own Beekeeper's Quilt, in which I will need over 300 puffs!

So this month I managed to make:

Not bad considering this is my first month and I have had to learn how to make them.

All my puffs where knitted with yarn I got from The Knitting Goddess. These ones are knitted from the October multi colour mini skein set.
Each mini skein I have managed to get 3 hexipuffs out of, and in the October mini skein set you get 7 mini skeins for £10, not bad!

Of course everyone always has one hexipuff they like the best, so here is my favourite from the month:

It's just all my favourite colours in one tiny piece of knitting and it turned out a really nice shape too.
I'm such a sucker for pastel colours!

My aim for next month is to knit 10 hexipuffs, I don't think that's too ambitious. I would love to do more, but this is my commuter knitting, not my main project.

Hexipuffs knitted in November: 7
Total hexipuff count: 7
Sunday, 25 November 2012

Instagram Sunday #1

1. WIP, Orchids & Fairy Lights Hat 2. 3 in a bed 3. Cat standoff
4. Bad day + double Ndulge points leads to this 5. Feeling glum but liking my hair 6. Chilling with Boris
7. Meet our new shelter cat, Boris 8. Knitting hexipuffs 9. Christmas outfit #1

Thursday, 22 November 2012

My to-knit list

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Yarn Haul

At the weekend I went to iKnit in London with Rachel (allthingsrach) and Estée (essiebutton).
I wasn't really meant to pick up any yarn, because I was waiting on the Malabrigo to come, but out of the corner of my eye I saw this gorgeous ice cream coloured yarn that I just had to have.
It is a fingering weight yarn by Araucania and is 100% sugar cane, I didn't even know you could make yarn out of sugar cane!
It is incredibly soft and I think it cost £9.99. 
If I can't think of another project for it I will be using it on my Beekeepers Quilt.

The Malabrigo I ordered as I already had projects I wanted to make with them.
I ordered them from Fabstract, which I was a bit dubious about ordering from because I couldn't find anyone who had purchased from them, but I went ahead anyway and I'm glad I did because I actually received the package the next day! I was super impressed with the service.

I got the Malabrigo Worsted in Polar Morn to make the Orchids and Fairy Lights hat, which is the current knit along on the Tiny Owl Knits group.
I'm very excited about this project, but quite nervous as well because not only is it my first project on circular needles, it's also my first cable project.
I thought it was out of my skill range, but as some one said to me, if you know how to knit and purl you can do anything, just take your time, so I'm very excited about this challenge and will be casting on tonight!

I also got the Malabrigo Chunky in Polar Morn to make the GAP - Tastic Cowl to keep me warm now that its getting to freezing point in the UK.
The chunky weight on Fabstract is buy two get the third free at the moment so a great excuse to buy and very helpful for me because although the pattern says you only need two balls, a lot of people commented that to get the right thickness they would've had to use three.
The Malabrigo itself is gorgeous. It is 100% Merino wool so it is very soft and buttery, and I can imagine it is going to be lovely and warm to wear.
One thing to note about it though is there is a lot of colour variation, the chunky in Polar Morn looks a lot different to the worsted in Polar Morn, although they are both gorgeous colours.
I can't wait to get stuck in to these new projects!

Malabrigo chunky in Polar Morn

Malabrigo worsted in Polar Morn

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Schwarzkopf LIVE XXL Shake It Up Colour Foam Demo/Review

So I dyed my hair red and made the whole above video about it!

Here are the before and after comparison pictures:


This is the colour in artificial light (my bedroom). 


And here is the colour in natural light.
Unfortuantly I took the natural light photo at 4pm which is when it has started getting dark here in the UK, but hopefully you can see that there is a fair difference in colour.

I like the end results, although as I said it is not as red as I want it to be, so I will just keep on dyeing until I receive the results I want! 

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Home Fragrance Haul

It's no secret that I love candles, I like the ambience they create and I like making my bedroom smell clean and fresh.
I have just finished my Aromatherapy Associates candle (which I wouldn't recommend) so I decided to treat myself to some new ones.

Marks & Spencers had buy one get one half price across their beauty department which I saw as a good excuse to buy more than one!
I picked up the French Linen No 1 candle, which was £7.50. I think this is my favourite of the Marks and Spencers candles, it is gorgeous!
It smells a bit like baby powder, very clean and fresh with a touch of floral.
I have actually been burning this in my room at the moment and for such a small candle it has quite a large scent throw.

Next up is the candle and reed defuser in the scent La Maison De Senteurs Blanche. 
The scent is quite similar to the French Linen candle, but a bit more floral and sweet.
I decided to get the reed defuser as well as the candle because the price was right, £7.50, and I want to be able to fragrance my room at all times.
The candle was £5 which I think is a great price because it seems like good quality.

The last candle I got was bit of a splurge, well a huge splurge.
I have been lusting after a Jo Malone candle for ages, and actually visited the shop for the first time last week.
The shop itself is beautiful with lovely knowledgable staff and great products.
I think I tried most of their fragrances, my favourites being the French Lime Blossom and Nectarine Blossom & Honey. Both are gorgeous, however I felt the Nectarine Blossom & Honey candle didn't have much of a scent, so didn't really want to spend such a large amount on something that could be a dud so I opted for the French Lime Blossom.
It is such a gorgeous scent, once again it is very clean and crisp, with a slight touch of floral, but it also has a tiny bit of citrus in it, not enough to make it a citrus fragrance, but enough to keep it more clean than floral. I love it so much I got the cologne too!

I have my eyes on the Dipytique range next....
Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Finished Knitting - Beret With a Bow

Please excuse the make up less face, I just had to show you the latest thing I have kitted because I am so proud of it!
It is a beret with a bow.

The pattern I used was by the lovely Helen Limbrick of 40 per cent fringe, 60 per cent face.
The pattern itself is knitted on the flat and is very simple and easy to follow. Its a great pattern, I would even recommend this to beginners like myself.

The yarn I used was King Cole Galaxy double knit in red. The yarn is 65 per cent acrylic, 31 per cent wool and 4 per cent other.
The yarn actually has tiny sequins already on it, so it knits up a lovely sparkly fabric, although the sequins did make sewing up my work difficult, I had to cut them off to sew up the hat! 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Sunday Pampering

On Sundays the only time I leave my house is to go to a family members house for a traditional Sunday Roast at lunch time.
To stop me from feeling so lazy and disgusting I treat myself to some pampering, it also gets me prepared for the dreaded monday morning! 

I start with the triple threat face mask. This is largely inspired by Vivianna Does Make Up.
I start off with the Aesop Parsley seed mask to cleanse and purify my skin, followed by the REN Glycolatic mask to exfoliate my skin, and finish with the Elemis Exotic Cream Moisturising Mask, I only apply a thin layer of this and leave it on for the rest of the day.

Next up is the hair pampering.
I start with Lush Fair Trade Honey shampoo. This shampoo gives me incredible shine, however it is very light weight and not moisturising enough, so I only use it when I am going out, or on Sundays when I use it with a hair mask, which will give me the moisture I need.
The hair mask I use is Kérastase Nutritive Masquintense Cheveux Epais Treatment for Dry Hair, as the ends of my hair still have a bit of bleaching from being dip dyed. I also have long hair that has been dyed and I use heat styling so this is the perfect hair mask for me. 

And lastly, we have the body products.
In the shower I like to use Philosophy shower gels as they do lots of gorgeous bakery scents and they don't dry out my skin. I am currently using Vanilla Birthday Cake which smells delicious.
I exfoliate my skin using Soap & Glory Sugar Crush. This is actually now discontinued, but my mum loved it so much she bought loads of back ups when she heard it was going. It smells like old school lemon soap and is just a great gritty exfoliater, I hate scrubs where its just tiny beads suspended in liquid!
I finish off by moisturising my skin. I normally prefer the thicker body butter type moisturisers, but I got this Burt's Bees body lotion in a grab bag. It is Milk & Honey so smells gorgeous, a bit like Lush Mange Too if anyone has ever tried that. It's also very light and runny, but actually sinks into my skin quickly without leaving me feeling sticky.

So there you have what I do on a Sunday! I feel like a million bucks, well maybe not that good, but pretty good afterwards. 
Thursday, 8 November 2012

Yarn Wishlist - Gynx Yarns

I have been a bit obsessed with sock yarns at the minute, and when I found some gorgeous yarns on Etsy that are named after my favourite anime characters I just had to share. These are by the amazing Gynx Yarns
Here are a few of my favourites:

Gaara - if you didn't know Garaa is from the anime Naruto and is essentially leader of the sand nation. I think this yarn does a wonderful job of embodying that.

Yachiru - I love this one, in case you didn't know my favourite colour is pink. It is inspired by Yachiru, a character from Bleach. She has pink hair and a childlike appearance, despite being deadly.

And lastly Sakura. Another absolutely gorgeous yarn. Sakura is another Naruto character, she is actually one of my least favourite characters in the anime yet this is one of my favourite yarns.

Gynx Yarns do an amazing job with naming their yarns because I can really see why each one has been named after the appropriate character.

They also have lots of yarns named after Studio Ghibli films and video games characters! I can't tell you how excited this makes me, two of my favourite things in one.

The yarn is hand dyed and ethically sourced, with a lot of them being organic which is always a bonus. A lot of the yarns are 100% Merino, although there are some blends of 80% Superwash Merino, 10% Cashmere and 10% Nylon, so nice and luxurious and practical as well.

They come in 100g skeins and are £14-£16 depending on if they are organic or not. Postage is £4.50 which isn't bad at all considering they will be shipped from the USA.

The best thing about these yarns is that even my boyfriend was interested because he is an anime fan, which is great because I have asked him to get me some for Christmas so hopefully he will finally be able to remember what I have asked for.

Thank you Gynx Yarns for letting me use your images.