Saturday, 22 September 2018

Tea & Possibilities Episode 50: The Big 5-0


INTRODUCTION
You can find me on Instagram and Ravelry. We also have a Ravelry group!

An extra special 50th episode welcome - and thank you so much for giving the podcast a shot and sticking with me!

I've updated my opening sequence to celebrate! The hand-lettering was done by my lovely friend Siân. You can find her on Instagram @I_Drawed_It and at her Etsy shop I Drawed It. A big shout out to Rich as well, for animating it and for all the work he does making Tea & Possibilities look so swish - I couldn't do it without him!
Today’s tea is peppermint as I've just had my lunch! We have a tea recommendation thread on the Ravelry group, if you're looking for something new to try.

To celebrate hitting the big 5-0, I'm giving away the Selbu Mitten Club II, kindly donated by the lovely Skeindeer Knits. The winner was post number 4 - MadLaura!

WIP'D UP


Two brand new casts on this week, post living in the rosy bag Rachel of the Crafty Historian made for me.

Yarn: Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK in Stormy Grey, Slate Grey, Daffodil Yellow, Buttercup Yellow and Champagne White
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in Coral and Basil

On a night out a few weeks ago, I managed to lose a hat that my Nan had made for me years ago. But I managed to find some Sirdar Escape DK, despite it being discontinued - so I will get a replacement Nan hat!


HERE BE SPOILERS


MadLaura was the winner of the giveaway and she had asked for my top three sweaters, socks or shawl patterns or my top three indie dyers.

I couldn't possibly choose - so I decided to go for her other suggestion which was top three podcasts, audio or video.

I have a definite split in the way I consume podcasts - if it's knitting related, it's likely to be a YouTube podcast, but anything else and it's likely to be audio. The visual nature of knitting just lends itself to video podcasts. So I decided to share my top three audio - non-knitting -podcasts.

Before I do so, I wanted to give a special mention to three knitting podcasts:

Cast On - this was the first knitting podcast that I listened to (it might actually have been my first podcast ever) and I still go back to it because it's so fun and thoughtful and beautifully produced.

The Knitmore Girls - I've been tuning in weekly for about six years now. I just love them and it's great to follow along as the family has grown.

Pomcast - a monthly podcast from the Pom Pom Quarterly team which is so fun and quirky. I love the peek behind the scenes at Pom Pom HQ and the interviews are awesome.

But now for my Top Three!

Rex Factor
Graham and Ali review the monarchs of England from Alfred the Great to Elizabeth II. I binged this and am now about to start on series 2 - the kings and queens of Scotland. I hear they're going to start series 3 in the new year, focusing on the consorts.

It's super interesting, if you have any interest in British history, but it's also funny - which is how I end up remembering so much of it!

They've also recently launched an animated episode on YouTube (I spotted this on their Instagram, so I've no idea if this a series or a pilot)

Harry Potter and the Sacred Text
Casper and Vanessa approach the Harry Potter series as a sacred text, reading a chapter a week through a particular theme, looking at what lessons they can take from the story.

Whether you're religious or not, I think you'll find something to enjoy in this - it's very respectful, sometimes humorous and definitely always gives me something to think about. I've saved some of my favourite thoughts under the Podcasts highlight on my Instagram.

I'm all caught up now and am reading along with Order of the Phoenix.

They've just announced that their advertising will be pulled and they're looking for donations and Patreon subscribers to keep the podcast going. If you enjoy it, I really recommend supporting them if you're able.

The LDN Girls
Janice and Zainab - both of whom I know and think are fabulous - talk about what it's like to be a black woman in London today.

Apart from knowing the women who run the podcast and thinking they're incredibly smart and articulate, I really appreciate hearing about their experience. It often differs from mine and I think hearing about that difference is key to educating yourself.

It's super interesting, often funny, and I can't wait for their comeback!

KNIT & NATTER

A few people said they'd love to hear more about my job, so I thought I'd share a little bit more about it this week.

I now work for a military charity which has three main aims:

Commemorating those who fought in the First World War, as this year marks 100 years since the end of the war.

Educating younger generations about the war as it's not as widely taught as the Second World War.

Healing veterans today, but raising money through sales, all profits of which go to charities that support veterans in various ways.

It's a very new charity and a very small team, but I'm lucky in the people I work with and that I get to pitch in with so much. It's a very busy time for us at the moment as the 100th anniversary of the Armistice is this November and we've just launched a new podcast! But despite the busyness and the length of my to-do lists it's great fun and I appreciate feeling like I'm doing positive work in the world.

That's all, folks! I'll see you soon for another cup of tea!

Monday, 3 September 2018

Tea & Possibilities Episode 49: AWOL FO


INTRODUCTION
You can find me on Instagram and Ravelry. We also have a Ravelry group! Today’s tea is nettle, from Tregothnan Tea, which I picked up while I was in Cornwall. It's one of my favourite brands and I am always happy to add more to the collection! We have a tea recommendation thread on the Ravelry group, if you're looking for something new to try. Thank you so much to everyone who got in contact after I shared about health issues. It was really kind of you and I was so touched. I have now had a pre-op and once those tests come back clear, I'll receive an operation date, sometime in October.

WIP'D UP

I have two FOs this week - but sadly one of them isn't with me!
Yarn: Regia Arne & Carlos Pairfect in Aalhus (9092)
I actually ran out of yarn on these, but I had enough to finish them for Rich's brother, whose feet are just that little bit smaller.


I cast these on and finished the first sock on the drive back to London - and they fit perfectly! I think I have a sock recipe! I have a Kate Selene sock set which I'm now really keen to cast on.

I believe Kate now does ready to ship as well as dyed-to-order, so just make sure to check before you order so you know when to expect it!

Yarn: Stranded Dyeworks Oasis in Industrial Kingfisher

I'm not as happy as I could be with the seam down the back of this jumper where I was alternating skeins - I think I definitely could have done that better. I'm also not so happy with where I've picked up the wraps.

I have a short row class by Carol Feller on Craftsy which I'm going to watch and I'm also going to look at doing German short rows next time.

I'm also hoping to go back to my Kerrytown Pullover soon, especially now as it's getting towards autumn - I want a lovely red jumper!

I have got some lovely bits and pieces to share, including some gorgeous handspun from Amy of Stranded (thank you so much, Amy!).

The Moon Issue from Pom Pom Quarterly is incredible - this is honestly far and away one of the best issues of Pom Pom ever. It's breathtaking and I hope everyone involved is super proud.

Lovely Paula, who I met at Fibre East a couple of weeks ago, was kind enough to send me some of the tube map yarn I've been hoping to knit with for ages. I can't wait to cast this on and wear my London socks with pride!

I also received a beautiful package from a viewer, including a sheepy project bag, a handknit hat (!!) and some minis for my memory blankets. Thank so much - it really was the cherry on my week!

Finally, this week, I've been getting a start on my advent calendar swap. It's been lovely winding and weighing yarn and filling up a little tin. Can't wait to snuggle up later this year and get them all labelled and wrapped - it's a great way to start the festive season and I'd totally recommend it!

Before we go on to Knit & Natter, with the 50th episode coming up, I wanted to celebrate with a little giveaway. Eli of Skeindeer Knits has given me a Selbu Mitten Club II to give away. To enter, visit the giveaway thread and let me know an idea for a top three.
I'll use random number generator on 15th September to choose a winner and I'll announce and share the winning top 3 in episode 50!
KNIT & NATTER
This week I wanted to share a little about overwhelm as I am feeling it at the moment.
It's easy for things to pile up and I know that what works for me is confronting things. So this week I plan to take some time to empty my worries onto paper and start working on them. This sounds scary, but often I just see how easy it is to cross a few off. Things always seem a bigger deal in my head.
Next I need to clear some space. I've not had enough battery charging time in recent weeks and months, so it's time to start booking it into my calendar and making it happen.
Have a great couple of weeks everyone - I'll see you soon for another cup of tea!

Monday, 30 July 2018

Tea & Possibilities Episode 48: Neverending Sock


INTRODUCTION

You can find me on Instagram and Ravelry. We also have a Ravelry group!

Today’s tea is honey, ginger and lemon - I've got a terrible sore throat and I hope it's just my hayfever and not a summer cold! We have a tea recommendation thread on the Ravelry group, if you're looking for something new to try.

WIP'D UP

I have a FO!
Christmas Colourwork
Pattern: Selbu Mittens by Skeindeer Knits
Yarn: The Knitting Swede Spartan DK in London Fog and Samarkand

I'm SO happy with how these turned out - blocking works like magic! I forgot to mention that the lovely Dianna Walla gave me some tips. She spotted that my floats were twisted together and recommended that next time I don't pass them underneath each other every time - this is what was causing the yarns to twist around each other.

I have Finullgarn and the pattern to make Ysolda's Milet mittens, which I'm now super excited about.

Just a couple of WIPs this week:

Rich's Vanilla Socks
Pattern: How to Knit Socks by Meanwhile at the Castle

Yarn: Regia Arne & Carlos Pairfect in Aalhus (9092)

Once these are finished, I'll be casting on Rich's birthday socks in West Yorkshire Spinners in one of their Country Bird colourways - Mallard.

1st Birthday Booties
Pattern: Watermelon Booties by Olivia Kent (Hopeful Honey)

Yarn: Paintbox Cotton DK in Slate Green, Champagne White and Lipstick Pink


I might have to frog these - unless someone can recommend a photo-blog or video on crocheting booties?

I've had a few knitty excursions over the past couple of weeks so I have some goodies to share!

I spent the day with Rachel of Crafty Historian and we visited Wild & Woolly, Knit With Attitude and Sew Over It.

I picked up some West Yorkshire Spinners Christmas yarn at Wild & Woolly, in the Holly Berry colourway, as well as some Cayenne Pepper for festive heels and toes (also handy in case I do run out of the red on Rich's socks!).

At Knit With Attitude, I bought the JK Rowling Craftivists Changemaker card. I'm going to pop back and pick up Malala Yousafzai and I'll frame them both for our gallery wall.

I didn't get anything in Sew Over It, but it was a lovely place to browse!

This weekend (the day before I filmed) I went to Fibre East with Amy of Stranded , Katie of Inside Number 23 and Eli of Skeindeer Knits.

I had such a lovely day with my lovely friends and I bought some treats too!

A notions bag and beans on toast progress keeper from Jibbyroo Sews
A beautiful rainbow skein from Felt Fusion
More Christmas yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners, this time in Candy Cane (oh dear, sensing a theme here...)
A beautiful project bag - which I now know is from Wool Mouse!

Amy also delivered my Tits Out Stranded skein, which makes me super happy! Find out more about the Tits Out Collective on the Countess Ablaze website.

I made a list of things to buy later including a skein of the Midnight Sea by Third Vault Yarns; several skeins from The Wool Barn for a potential Vertices Unite; and some favourite Triskelion Yarns colourways for a future Sweater Quality.

Phew! More stash than knitting this week! Must try harder!


KNIT & NATTER

TRIGGER WARNING
I'm going to talk about some women's health issues I've been having over the last few months and if this is something you and or a loved one is experiencing at the moment, you might want to skip this section.

Please also see a GP if you have any worries at all! 

I've mentioned that life has been busy lately - and it has! New job, extra jobs, a new training schedule and lots of socialising. It all saps the knitting time.

But there has been something else going on that I didn't want to talk about at the time because I was far too in it. Now that I have some definite answers, I wanted to share my story in the hope that it will inspire you to understand your normal and get checked as soon as you notice something is wrong.

I went to the GP after a couple of irregular periods expecting to be told that it was due to coming off the pill. Instead I was sent for various tests that all came back clear with the exception of a scan which found a cyst.

I was referred to a gynaecologist who said that I'd need to have it removed, I could lose my ovary and that we'd need to find out if it was malignant.

Cue gut clenching fear. I was convinced something terrible was wrong with me. I then had to have an MRI which was awful as I'm quite claustrophobic.

I'm super happy to say that I've since had the all clear. My cyst is not malignant, but it does need to be removed. I was really lucky to catch it as I only had two irregular periods and if I hadn't been tracking closely, I might not have noticed.

Take care of yourself and I'll see you soon for another cup of tea,