Bullet Journalling

I made the big decision last week to close the bricks ‘n’ mortar shop. I’m still operating internet sales, however juggling opening the shop with a new baby just wasn’t working for me or my family. Something had to give.

So now I’m working more from home and having to manage my life a little differently. I used to have a notebook for work stuff, my own personal diary with personal to-do lists, and then in the last few days I started making notes, in another notebook, of baby boy’s feeding and sleeping as I’m starting to try and get him in a routine.

So I’ve decided I’m going to try bullet journalling.  Bullet Journalling is a way of getting your life organised with a notebook of lists. You can read about the original idea here. I came across it some time ago but never tried it.  I will try and get everything into one notebook this way.

I’ve always loved making lists and using notebooks rather than apps etc. I’ve always loved stationary and I used to love my Filofax that I used many years ago. So today I opened a brand new Leuchtturm1917 book, got out a pencil and made a start.

Pinterest is full of inspiration as to layouts, contents and decoration. I think mine will develop as the weeks go on. I’m quite looking forward to it. Is that sad?!

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Vic’s Knits is 9 years old

Wow, 9 years ago my love of knitting sparked the launch of this blog!

Christmas was spent relaxing at home with my family. We’ve not really had any time off since last Christmas and it’s been a busy year what with with buying and renovating a new house that we have yet to move into, commitments at our church and running the business.

The shop has had its ups and down over the past 12 months but we are still going and there is much to consider as we move into 2016 and what direction the business should take. Sewing has definitely become more popular than knitting with our customers!

I think this is also reflected in my own craft life as well, because I received several sewing and patchwork books from my husband and Mum this year.

christmas 2016 books

I also got a Snoopy and Peanuts crochet kit. I have been a Snoopy fan since I was a child and now I really am going to have to get better at crochet!

I didn’t get many craft projects finished last year sadly. I have several quilt tops made but yet to be quilted. I only knitted a few things but I was pleased to publish my Trailing Leaves Poncho pattern.

I was so tired at the end of 2015. The last couple of weeks at work felt a bit of a chore and I couldn’t wait to close for the holidays. However, as I write this, I am feeling very positive and looking forward to the coming year. My brother gets married in May, we should be moving house and I really hope that we can get a holiday abroad this year. (We’ve not had a holiday since our honeymoon.)

I am definitely going to get at least one of my quilts finished too!!

My 8th Blog Anniversary

Happy New Year! I hope you have had a good holiday season. Today is the 8th anniversary of starting this blog!

As I write this I am relaxing at home, enjoying the end of our Christmas holidays. We decided to close the shop until 5th January as we’ve not had any time off since last Christmas and we needed a decent break.

Christmas was lovely. It was busy beforehand with several services at church in the days preceeding and last minute shopping etc but the day itself was peacefully spent with my family, eating a delicious roast turkey and all the trimmings. I made the family Christmas cake this year too.

christmas cake 2014

I was thoroughly spoilt with presents this year and of course there was a crafty type present or two… This year a bead loom and some seed beads from my Mum, plus a book of hat knitting patterns from my husband.

My husband also bought me some gorgeous little heart shaped beads which reminded me of the design we had on our wedding stationary etc. He thought I could make some stitch markers with them.

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He’s so thoughtful when it comes to presents. I’m useless at thinking of special ideas! I didn’t knit or sew any presents this year either.

2015 promises to be an exciting and busy year. I saw on Instagram and Twitter people posting #onelittleword – a single word to focus on for the year ahead. (An idea started by someone called Ali Edwards.) I thought it was a great idea to do this, rather than specific New Year Resolutions so I’ve decided my one little word will be “GROW“. This year I would like to grow in many areas of my life, as a Christian and as a wife, grow the business, grow our home (we’d like to move house), grow as a knitter and quilter and maybe as a cook too. I was given a total of 5 cookery books for Christmas this year and so I’ve decided to try and cook a new recipe every week from one these books. Two of them are Christmas cookery books, but there are some recipes in them that aren’t specifically Christmassy!

cook booksMy husband has also set me a challenge to learn to crochet properly and crochet him a sheep from a book called Edward’s Menagerie.

Edward's Menagerie

They are gorgeous patterns, but I can only crochet a granny square really, and so I’ve got a lot to learn if I’m going to make a toy!

I must finish at least one quilt this year too and write up some of my own knitting and quilt patterns. Not much then eh?!

2014 is here

We’re nearly at the end of January and I’ve not yet blogged in 2014. I missed posting on my blog anniversary on 2nd Jan as we were with the in-laws over New Year. This blog is now 7 years old!

Christmas was good. I knitted three Christmas presents this year. A neck wrap for my Mum from possum yarn, a pompom scarf for my mother-in-law and a huge moebius for my sister-in-law. All were well received!

I usually like to do a bit of a review and make some goals for the coming year. It doesn’t feel like I achieved much in 2013, craft-wise. I think getting married ate into my craft time! There’s hardly any finished projects for 2013 in my Ravelry page and I still have finished the cats and dogs quilt.

However I’m hoping that this year will see the quilt finished, and another one started. I would really like to do a sampler quilt. We’ve just started a series of patchwork classes in the shop and I’m feeling inspired. I’m half way through sewing a table runner at the moment and I’ve loved making it. I’ve been hooked on Pinterest the past few evening looking a various quilts and sewing projects that people have done. It’s so inspiring.

I’ve also got a pair of toe-up socks on the go for my husband. He’s “challenged” me to add certain features to the socks too… he’s a nightmare for doing that!

frans-right-sock

Not sure what else I’d like to knit in the coming months. I’m rather enjoying the sewing right now and with that in mind, I’ve changed the title of the blog from Vic’s Knits to Vicky the Stitch – a mafia style nickname I was given a couple of years ago by a friend, and an all-encompassing title for all the crafts I like.

My Wedding

Well I’ve been back from honeymoon a week now and I can honestly say I’m rather enjoying married life. 🙂

Our wedding was 3.5 weeks ago and it was just the most perfect day. God was good to us and gave us a warm and sunny day and everything went very smoothly, despite a slightly busy few days beforehand finishing the cake and last minute preparations.

holding hands
Do you like the colour of my bouquet? I loved it!

My husband (it feels very funny to be saying that!) also had a couple of romantic surprises for me. Firstly, I was expecting to walk down the aisle to a CD track of Gabriel’s Oboe by Morricone, but he’d booked a professional violinist to play that and other music before, after and during the service and I heard her playing as I stood at the church door.

Then after we’d cut the cake and were going to do our first dance, my brother picked up his guitar to join the band and my husband stepped up to the microphone to sing the first verse of “our song” (Everything by Michael Bublé) before stepping back on to the dance floor and dancing with me.  I had no idea he and my brother had this planned!

He’s a pretty amazing man!

Now it’s time to return to earth. My husband has left his job and has started working with me in the business. He’s learning lots about knitting and sewing!

Sadly there were no knitted related items at the wedding. I had planned to knit my wedding garter using this pattern on Ravelry and I did start it, but time was getting on and a friend gave me a ready-made one as a pre-wedding gift, so I just wore that instead. I don’t know anyone else getting married otherwise I’d carry on and finish the one I started.

We’ve just moved into our new house and there is a fair amount of redecorating to do etc. I am looking forward to making some new furnishing, perhaps some cushions for the living room and I do plan to make a quilt for our bedroom. I also need to start stash busting my wool. The house is quite small and I don’t have a lot of room for all my craft things, so it’s time to start using it up a bit.

I think I will start off with knitting a hat using a pattern called Urchin by Ysolda Teague and hank of Fleece Artist yarn from my stash. I haven’t done any knitting for ages and I’m hoping to find my mojo again.

My wedding plans

Life is a busy, busy, busy at the moment. My priority is my wedding on 25th May. We didn’t give ourselves very long to organise it as we only booked it in January.

My wedding dress is being made by a local wedding dressmaker and on Saturday I went shopping with my bridesmaid for her dress. Why are all possible bridesmaid dresses in the shops, all in such bold colours at the moment?! I actually came back from the shopping trip and ordered a leaf green dress that I’d seen on the Internet before we went.

bridesmaid dress from Phase Eight

Here’s hoping that it will fit her as they didn’t have it in the shop to actually try on. If it doesn’t fit her, then we did see another dress which looked nice on her, but the colour is very similar to the bridesmaid dress I’m wearing for another friend in 3 weeks time and I didn’t want to “copy” my friend!

I thought that our bouquets can be made up of cream and pink flowers which would contrast with the green dress nicely. Another friend came over on Saturday afternoon and we spent over 2 hours looking through wedding flower magazines looking for ideas!

Last night I spent the evening making my tiara. Tiaras in the shops are soooo expensive, but my friend Possum pointed me in the direction of these kits to make a tiara. They are much more affordable so I bought one. If it looks naff when it’s finished, then I’ve not lost much money and there is still time to go out and buy a tiara.

I wanted to get something knitted into the wedding somehow, so I think I’m going to knit my garter. There are a few patterns on Ravelry that I saw. They have a blue ribbon in them too, so that will be my “something blue”. I’m hoping I might have some Serena yarn left over in cream from a top I knitted a couple of summers ago, to make it in.

I’m still doing a bit of knitting though – a summer cardigan in Rico’s new Fashion Summer yarn (a cotton tape yarn) which will go on display in the shop. However I always knit shop displays in my own size so that I can wear them if I want to as well 😉

 

 

Vic’s Knits is 6 years old

I’ve been a knitter and writing this blog for 6 years now. Today is my blog anniversary and I usually take this opportunity to review the past year and set myself some goals for the coming year.

I’ve just looked at my projects on Ravelry and I hardly knitted anything in 2012. I’m quite shocked actually and maybe even a little bit disappointed in myself.  I did start my It’s Raining Cats and Dogs quilt though, which was an aim for 2012 and that occupied me for quite a few evenings, so I do have that excuse. I hope I will be able to finish this quilt in the next few months.

I also taught myself entrelac too, which was one of my goals as was doing some more weaving. I didn’t do a lot of weaving but I have had some fun on my inkle loom.

I hope that you had a nice Christmas. We had a very chilled one. My brother was home for a few days and it was just him, me and my parents, eating lots of good food and watching lots of films on TV. I didn’t attempt to knit any Christmas presents this year. I normally knit my brother something, but I’d done hats, gloves, scarves and socks and even a cardigan, so I thought I’d probably exhausted the list of knitted items he might wear.  I have had a pair of socks for my fiancé on the needles for ages, but I’m not sure if they are going to fit him, so I didn’t bother trying to get them finished for Christmas. I need him to try them on.

Did you get any knitting related presents? I got 3 excellent looking knitting books this year.

Firstly, Cast On, Bind Off – 54 different cast ons and cast offs. They explain the advantages and disadvantages of each one and the diagrams look to be clear. I’ve yet to try one of them, but am looking forward to expanding my repertoire and choosing the right technique for my future projects. It’s quite a small spiral bound book, so should fit in my knitting bag.

Circular Knitting Workshop is the second book I had. This looks to be very comprehensive indeed – it’s a big book! I want to do more circular knitting and am hoping this book will help me polish up my technique.

The third book is The Knitters’s Handy Book of Patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes and Gauges (Interweave). I hope that this book will me to come up with some of my own designs.

So as far as 2013 goes, this is the plan:

Knitting Goals:

  • Learn and use some different cast ons and cast offs.
  • Finish the UFOs in my knitting bag
  • Knit some things that are in my Ravelry queue.
  • Knit a pair of socks that aren’t just the basic pattern.

Sewing Goals:

  • Finish the Cats and Dogs Quilt.
  • Start the Farmer’s Wife or Sampler Quilt.

I’m not going to make too many goals this year as it’s going to be a busy one, both personally and professionally. Shop-wise, I’m moving to the first floor of my building, which will double the space I have, and I’m going to start selling sewing machines as soon as I can get the website upgraded and updated. Work is going to be pretty busy over the next few months!

Personally it will be busy because I’m getting married this year! My lovely man proposed at the end of November. No date set yet, but we’d like to be married by the summer if possible. In fact we’re going to look at the first possible venue this weekend. I had it in mind that I might try and make a quilt for our first home together, but not sure I’ll get it done by the time we are married. If I’ve started it though, that will be nice. I have some fabric set aside for it, so it is just a matter of working out the design.

What are your plans for 2013?

Vic’s Knits is 4 years old

Happy New Year to you, and Happy Blogiversary to me.

I can’t believe that I’ve been writing this blog for 4 years now and a lot has happened in that time with regards to my knitting. I’ve gone from a beginner to a yarn shop owner.

In my new year post, I usually like review the past year’s knitting achievements and my goals for the forthcoming year.  This time last year I said I wanted to:

  • learn to crochet to a reasonable level – Well, I did a little bit of crochet, but not a lot.  I crocheted a snowflake on Christmas Eve!
  • learn continental knittingdone!
  • make some patchwork bags – nope although I made some soft toys and an apron!
  • write the retro cardigan pattern I’ve wanted to do for ages – nope!
  • finish more projects that I did the previous yearyep!

So that was a semi successful knitting year I think!

What will 2011 bring I wonder?  I’m hoping that business in the shop will continue to grow and I will be able to give up the website development work that I’m still doing.  In terms of knitting goals, well I think:

  • do more crochet
  • practice the continental knitting that I learned recently
  • make the patchwork bags from the kits I have
  • make a patchwork quilt
  • write that cardigan pattern
  • finish the scallop blanket that I started months ago
  • finish the possum hat I started over a year ago!
  • finish at least the same number of knitting projects if not more
  • blog more

What are your crafting resolutions for 2011? Let me know in the comments below.

Over 20,000 visitors

In blogging news… Just been taking a look at my stats and I noticed that I’ve gone some way over 20,000 visitors since I started at the beginning of last year. Thanks to everyone for stopping by and reading and commenting!

In knitting news… I’ve completed the back piece for the new top and am sewing up blanket squares this week. It would nice to catch up and complete the blanket “on time” as it were.

There just aren’t enough hours in the day though. I’m busy at work, need to do some maintenance on a couple of websites, have ideas swimming round my head for writing a book on building church websites, letters to write, have landlord type stuff to do, and a possible new venture which I can’t divulge just yet but is very exciting and I’ll certainly tell all if it comes to fruition.