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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Blog is moving!

Hello everyone!

I know I wrote a little while ago, pondering the future of this blog in it’s current incarnation (with the poorness of the Kooky Kat and struggles to keep the shop etc updated as I had initially planned).

As a result, I’ve ported all of the content over to a new address – but all of the historical stuff will still stay here to view – although you will be able to see it all on the new blog anyway.

I know it will be a faff for anyone who follows me and links to me from their blog to update their bookmarks, but I think it’s the most sensible step moving forward and would appreciate it very much if everyone would kindly do so 🙂

The new address is http://azzymakes.wordpress.com

As always I have the worst timing, but I hope everyone reading has had a good 2011 and I wish you all the best for 2012!

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Thoughts on the shop

So when I kicked off this blog in its new incarnation I went all-out and put together a little Etsy shop where I was going to sell handspun and handknits etc. For one reason or another, things haven’t really worked out as planned. Work, time and other things have conspired against me to leave the shop almost always empty.

Also, the Kooky Kat after whom this blog and the shop are named is very very poorly. She has a massive tumour on her mammary gland (kitty breast cancer) and while we haven’t opted for surgery in the hope of not leaving her in massive pain towards the end of her life (plus chances of success not great) – she doesn’t have long left.

For now, I have closed the Etsy store temporarily and will update content on the blog to reflect the lack of store. I will debate whether to close it permanently and also consider changing the name of the blog – if the store and the whole initial ethos behind this blog isn’t in place, it probably makes sense to change it.

It won’t stop me selling anything – I’ll be able to put items up on here for sale if I ever have anything finished that I think others might be interested in. It may also make it a little easier to expand the scope of the blog a little – although the focus will still be predominantly on crafting etc.

I guess mostly I’m chickening out – once Kooky is no longer with us I don’t want to see reminders of her every day – so will give it some thought and decide what to do.

In the meantime we are very glad to have whatever time is left with she-of-the-giant-paws:

CIMG2211

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Whoops

I can’t believe I’ve had a whole nine days off and haven’t blogged once. Or even taken many photos!

It’s been a busy few days – we had our wedding anniversary and went out for a lovely meal out at our local italian restaurant. We’ve also been out to our favourite thai for lunch, eaten lots of pizza, fish and chips and more. It’s a good thing we don’t have a set of scales in the house as I’d be sobbing over the weight I’m sure I’ve put on!

But it’s been awesome – got good amounts of knitting done on the secret mittens (which are much further progressed than this):

Secret Mitten Sample

We also went to the cinema to watch Jane Eyre and I got a haircut! Not had it cut in at least two years and it’s still long-ish, but rather shorter. No pics yet, but hopefully soon.

I also received some lovely yarn from Trev for my anniversary. Some Shilasdair I’ve wanted for ages:

Four skeins of the 4 ply which will become Celes:

Shilasdair Luxury 4 Ply - Fleece Cloud

One skein of the DK which has already become a Norie hat – pics soon!:

Shilasdair Luxury DK - Summer Loch

Trev also bought me the most beautiful roses:

Anniversary Roses

Can’t believe we’ve now been married for nine years! We’re planning something special that we can do for ten years next year. It doesn’t half go quick 🙂

Sorry for the drive-by post – hopefully with being back at work this week I’ll get back into good habits and blog a bit more!

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Tweaks

Made a few small tweaks to the blog tonight!

I went through and added all of my posts since ever (I started blogging in 2008 apparently!) into categories for easy reference – you can see them all in a nice pretty list to the left.

I’ve also set up tags for things that don’t require a whole category, but would be nice to reference quickly – with Making Mondays and the Self-Imposed Sock Club (sisc2011) being the starting points!

There are also now fancy social buttons at the bottom of posts should you want to tweet anything (can’t imagine why you would, but my day job dictates I add them!) or whatever. Seems there’s been a few changes on WordPress since I last had a fiddle with the settings!

It has reminded me that I haven’t yet bought a domain for this site, which I need to do – along with perhaps also finding a new design template to change the look of it. But since the blog is still mostly for fun, I’m not too worried.

Was an interesting day at work today – telling my team that I’m leaving. There were more tears (mostly me) but I will keep my fingers crossed that they will all be ok. I also got feedback from two potential new clients who said they don’t want to work with us after all, so altogether it has been very much a “Bleak Tuesday” – which tends to be the name we have for it at the office.

Here’s hoping the second half of the week will be easier than the first!

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Making Monday & Moving Forwards

A quick FO to share this Making Monday.

Sage Lace - FO

I finally finished the never-ending angora lace scarf!

Sage Lace - FO

Sage Lace - FO

Sage Lace - FO

I actually started this back in December last year and knitted a bit – then didn’t do anything on it for ages! It’s the New Shell Scarf by Jamiesons – and this time I cast on fewer stitches and used a larger needle – 4.5mm instead of 3.75mm. This has given me something much longer and lacier – the finished article is over 6 feet long despite weighing only 48g.

The cast off I did was: k1, \[k1, pass both stitches to left needle, k2tbl\], then repeat what’s inside the \[]. Gives a lovely stretchy edge that blocks out beautifully.

That’s it in terms of knitting – I’m finishing off the socks and doing lots of spinning – so hopefully more soon.

Onto the topic I mentioned last week – about the makings of a new job. On Thursday last week I was offered the job and on Friday I accepted it and handed in my notice! Been a tough decision to make – it’s technically a step down and is a little less money, but the stress and pressure will be less and I have the chance to make something good from it if things work out. Yes, perhaps not the best career move, but then I was never out for a career so it doesn’t worry me too much. As long as I have enough money to pay the bills and buy a bit of yarn, I’ll be happy.

The six-week count-down begins! I have six weeks to go and will start my new job on the 24th October 🙂

To read the other Making Monday posts click here.

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Making Monday 3

Hopefully today I have started the makings of a new job. Well, technically I started them with a brief chat last Monday, but this Monday I had a longer chat and will hopefully hear more in the next few days.

In knitting and crafting terms, I have finished off a scarf that is presently pinned out post-blocking, but I’ve started more handspun:

Copperhead Optim - WIP

It’s the recent club shipment from The Thylacine – Optim in the colourway Copperhead. It wants to be super thin – so I’ll spin it up on my Bosworth Featherweight and see how it comes out!

The Making Monday round-up for this week can be found here.

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One In, One Out

We were out furniture hunting on Saturday to look for a chest of drawers for the bedroom and our travels took me past some little babies in need of care.

The first place we went to was Retro Boutique – a very funky little place that has amazing furniture, vintage clothes and knick knacks – just the kind of place I love. They also had a fantastic little Frister & Rossman shuttle sewing machine that looks in desperate need of TLC. Now I don’t want a shuttle machine, as they need the bobbins changing frequently and it can be harder to get parts for them. But I’m tempted by this one as the decals are beautiful. I might get pics next time we go in.

But I was strong, I passed.

We then made our way to Poverty Aid, where in May we saw this machine (full blog post here):

Singer Sewing Machine 15k

A lovely little Singer 15 in a treadle cabinet. It has since been electrified, but doesn’t work, so they’ve stripped the motor off it so it can be used as a treadle again. They wanted £65 for it, which is more than I think it’s worth (even with the boatload of feet in the cupboard) and when I went back on Saturday the poor little thing was still there. Looking very dusty and unloved.

But still I was strong. We were hunting for furniture and I don’t have the room for a treadle machine and another cabinet now I have Grace.

Then, I rounded a corner. And I’m told I let out a squeal of excitement. First I saw the case:

Singer 99-13 Handcrank

It turned out to be this:

Singer 99-13 Handcrank

Look how shiny and cute and awesome. I found myself trying to find a way to make Trev let me take it home. It too was £65, but considering how old it undoubtedly was and the truly awesome condition it was in, I felt a lot better. Plus it came with lots of feet – which I know I’ve said before I don’t need, but always helps to sweeten the deal.

Trev being the lovely, wonderful hubster that he is, not only bought it but cradled it in the taxi on the way home. His mum once had a very similar machine to this, in the bentwood case, so wanted me to get it almost as much as I wanted me to get it.

Brought it home, gave it a quick wipe with some oil and looks amazing:

Singer 99-13 Handcrank

Singer 99-13 Handcrank

Singer 99-13 Handcrank

Singer 99-13 Handcrank

Singer 99-13 Handcrank

Singer 99-13 Handcrank

Amazingly, some of these feet are ones I didn’t already have – which is great – only two are ones I already owned. So wooo!

I love the condition of the decals and the metalwork. Did you see the faceplate above? You can see your face in it, it’s that shiny. That’s the same for most of the machine, actually.

The serial number is Y8093031 – which makes it a model 99 (I think a 99-13 specifically), made in Kilbowie in 1930 – commissioned on August 19th. So she’ll be 81 next week. How cool is that! She will also be named Odetta – after an American folk singer born in 1930.

She’s be thoroughly oiled and sews amazingly – Trev is super keen to learn on this one as electric machines scare him slightly and he loves how much control he has when turning it by hand. I love being able to maintain these machines myself – from cleaning to simple repairs, I want to learn to do it all myself.

Speaking of which. Upon announcing his desire to learn on the hand-crank, I decided to sell the Novum machine (info and pics here). It doesn’t really offer anything different to my other machines and if I’m being shallow, isn’t as pretty! Perfect timing, as my mother in law then offered to buy it from me, to teach Britney to sew! So when they came to visit at the weekend, it got packed off with them in the car to take back.

So for a brief period we were up to four machines, but now back down to three. Determined not to buy any more unless they are fantastical awesome specimens that I just can’t resist. Like Odetta.

Of course I can’t blog without mentioning the events taking place in the UK at the moment. I know a number of people affected – there was a shooting in Leeds only two miles from my house last night and I have to go to Salford for work tomorrow where there are currently riots taking place. Needless to say I join others in finding these events absolutely deplorable. Instead I’m trying to find some solace in the pictures of people coming together to clean up streets, or serving tea to the police on riot shields.

I saw a great quote today essentially said that there aren’t more bad people than good people – the good just take a little longer to get organised. Let’s hope that the people who are trashing their communities (while there may be political reasons involved here, let’s face it, this is just people kicking off because they *can*), can instead put that energy to better use and instead build up the areas into something to be proud of – rather than expecting to have life and a nice place to live handed to them on a plate. Things like this are going to put people off investing in areas and creating jobs – exacerbating the very issues that they are allegedly rioting over.

Anyway – this isn’t a political blog and I don’t want it to turn into such. My thoughts are just with those affected and I hope we see the end of things very soon.

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