That old chestnut

Well 2019 rolled around and with it, I feel the need to push out another “these are my goals for 2019”. Except this year for me is a bit special, it’s the year I turn 40 whilst still feeling like I’m in my mid-20s. So I tried to come up with a list of 40 things I’d like to achieve within the next 12 months, some with a 40-theme, but mostly just fun things I want to do in the next year. By committing to paper/internet I’m hoping it will help me stay focused to commit the funds required in order to do said fun things.  I’ll be honest, I don’t get hung up by ‘resolutions’ I didn’t achieve – in fact a couple of those from last year are repeated this year – this year I have firmer plans to implement. However for the most part, I just love setting goals such as ‘reading 40 books in 2019’ but the catch is they have to be 40 books I already own, as of 1st January 2019. Because I am a bugger for buying a ton of books (both new and from second hand shops, my kryptonite) whilst my TBR pile extends over 2 free-standing bookshelves worth!

Learning to knit continental style is something I really, really want to do (I’m a crocheter btw). Through my knitting group I’ve met some amazing people who can knit at the speed of light, all of them knit continental style so this may appease my impatience at making things.

Another goal is to travel 1st class – I’ve left that open ended, because unless I win some sort of competition I am fairly certain it wont be by air, but by train because I don’t think a few extra inches of legroom and a couple of glasses of wine warrant triple the price.

A few other goals revolve around my Brewdog EFP membership – they run a ‘Beer Visa’ scheme where you get various rewards for having your beer passport stamped in the 50+ bars. It’s a good motivator for beer trips (although who knows, with Brexit maybe having your passport stamped won’t be so much fun!) and I’ve already got a Sweden trip to encompass 3 bars in 1 weekend planned!

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But for the most part quite a few of my goals are just for the purpose of focusing my energy – on things I want to do, but never quite get around to or put off because I’m too scared (see submitting work to photo or print competitions!)

Anyway, I still have 3 more goals to add to my list, so welcoming suggestions in the comments. What have you chosen to tackle over the next 12 months?

 

Handknitting Association of Iceland

Day 22/100 – Back in the zone

Today was hard, being back at work after a jam packed 4 to 5 days in Iceland. So I relaxed by getting back into my crochet, after lovingly stroking all the yarn I brought back with me. I make a point of visiting the Handknitting Association of Iceland, located a stone’s throw from Hallgrimskirkja on Skólavörðustígur. It serves as both a store where you can buy handmade (and some machine made) knitted/woollen clothing along with being the best place (in my opinion) to buy the yarn to knit or crochet something yourself. It’s certainly the cheapest place I’ve found in Iceland and certainly cheaper than back home in the UK – the shawl I’m currently working on will cost less than £14, which for pure wool is fantastic.

The association was set up in 1977 by women who were supporting their familes making garments,  establishing standards and guidelines for the production which are still in use today

Whilst the flagship store is on Skólavörðustígur , there used to be another, smaller store on the main shopping street in Reykjavik – Laugavegur, however that seems to be closed now that I have also visited. There has been quite a few pieces in Icelandic media over the last couple of years about the influx of chinese made ‘lopapeysa’ you know the infamous Icelandic sweaters – that the stores are ironically charging even more for! If you buy from the Handknitting Association, you will find a tag inside the sweater with the name (and sometimes contact details) of the person who handknitted your item, how cool is that?! You can also buy from their website (see link above) and they will customise the size and colours for you – because it’s being made for you (the only thing to consider is that as iceland is not in the EU, you’re liable to import taxes, which for the UK is 20%).

So if you’re a yarn-a-holic like me, you should definitely visit when in Iceland.

 

 

 

Day 6/100 Crochet Cosy

Fairly quick post tonight for day 6 of my hundred days blogging challenge: A few weeks ago as the weather started to get a bit chillier, at the weekends I statted to crack out the tea pot a bit more often, however the main problem was that the tea gets cold faster than I can drink it so I decided a tea cosy would be a good project.

The first challenge was finding the right pattern, given that I didn’t know the name for my style of teapot – turns out it’s a stump tea pot, which doesn’t sound very attractive! Once I had that info, a quick search threw up a few possibilities on Pinterest, but I went with one by Stephanelli Designs on Ravelry that was a cute striped number. I changed the ordering of the stripes to suit my taste but otherwise followed the pattern to a tee (badoom cha). The pattern uses a 5mm needle and worsted weight yarn, so I guessed that the acryllic I had from poundland would probably be the right weight and it seems to have worked well.

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Side view, hiding the unfinished ends

I think it was a very easy pattern, well written – which as I’ve found out is almost more important that the technicality of the stitches – basically if someone doesn’t explain how to do something in standard terms or very well, a pattern can quickly take a turn for the worse. Not with this – I started it about 8pm and worked on it whilst watching TV, so it took about 3 hours (not including the sewing in of ends which I haven’t done yet) and left me feeling very accomplished!

Looking foward to tomorrow’s tea staying warmer that bit longer!