Saturday, 5 October 2019

Tea & Possibilities Episode 64: Sockpocalypse


INTRODUCTION
You can find me on Instagram and Ravelry. We also have a Ravelry group where the Episode 64 Chatter Thread is live! And don't forget the Show Us Your Socks thread!

Today’s tea is Earl Grey, as I'm in a hurry! But I would like to share my Bird & Blend tea advent calendar! I'm so excited for this - I can't wait to crack into it!


Don't forget, if you are first time purchaser of B&B, you can get 20% off with the code NIKKITEABIRD20. We have a tea recommendation thread on the Ravelry group, if you're looking for something new to try.

We have hit over 5k subs - just around my 3rd podiversary too! Thank you all so much for checking in on each episode - I massively appreciate it, thank you!


WIP'D UP
FOs:

Christmas Socks #3
Pattern:
How to Knit Socks by Meanwhile at the Castle

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners 'Candy Cane' and 'Cayenne Pepper'

WIPs:

Christmas Socks #2 (First Time Toe Up Socks!)
Pattern:
How To Knit A Toe Up Sock series by haalu

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Holly Berry (Christmas 2017 colourway - I think!) and Cayenne Pepper

Christmas Socks #4
Pattern:
How to Knit Socks by Meanwhile at the Castle

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners 'Robin' and 'Cayenne Pepper'

Bittersweet Pattern: Bittersweet by Veera Välimäki
Yarn: The Yarn Collective Bloomsbury DK 'Moss'
Cosy Stripes
Pattern: Granny Stripes by Attic24
Yarn: Various! (See Cosy Squares Ravelry project page for more details)

Cosy Squares
Pattern: The Coziest Memory by Kemper Wrap
Yarn: Various! (See Cosy Squares Ravelry project page for more details)
My yarn advent calendar is finished, I just need to wrap up the little balls of yarn, but I am also planning ahead for next year as you can never start too early, in my opinion!

One more thing that I'd like to share is Brilliant Bread by James Morton (my all time favourite Bake Off contestant!). I've made a few loaves here and there and I'm keen to get back into bread making and try and make it a regular thing, so that I can get really good at it!
Stash Enhancement:

I had to get my hands on a sock set of Stranded's 2019 Christmas colourway Gingerbread Haus. I can't wait to cast this on - it's gorgeous! Hoping this will pair of Christmas socks number 5 for this year.

KNIT & NATTER

Massive thank you to everyone who entered the 5k/3 year giveaway - there were so many good questions, I've grouped them thematically for future Knit & Natters. 

But here are today's winners (look out for a gifted pattern on Ravelry as your prize!):

Sushishu: Did you have a training plan for your half marathon? And what was your best motivation to keep you going?

I followed the Virgin London Marathon's Beginner's training plan - but only up to 13 miles! I'd really recommend this plan as it starts by focusing on time rather than distance, which really made it click for me, where years of trying to get into running failed.

I was initially motivated by the fact that I was seeing such great improvement from run to run, but then once you sign up to a race - you kind of have to hit the road and follow your schedule no matter what!

I've enjoyed the events I've done this year, but I'm not a big fan of organised races, so I'm not sure I'll be doing any next year. I think I'm going to set myself a 10mile challenge as that's where I'm happiest - I'll do 10miles once a month and aim to beat my previous time.

Mevymytime: What are your top three half-marathons you would like to run if you could go all over the world?

I've never thought about this before! I know I want to do some hikes abroad - particularly the Le Chemin de la Liberte, which is a hike across the Pyrenees from France to Spain, following the route refugees took during the Second World War. There's also a 5 day hike in Iceland I'm very keen to do.

But I googled for this question and there are three that I would love to do (despite saying I'm not sure about doing anymore races!)

First up would be New Zealand as I've always wanted to go there and it would be beautiful. I'd love to do the Midnight Sun Run in Reykjavik in Iceland - how cool would that be?! And finally - the Great Wall of China. That would be EPIC!

Obsti: You mentioned that you would like to go back to uni for a history degree, if I remember correctly, but what did you actually study?

I studied Drama and Creative Writing. I was due to go to university the year before top-up fees were introduced and I was offered a subsidy because I was from a low income single parent family - this would not have been available the following year, so I decided not to take a year out, but jump straight in with what I currently loved.

I enjoyed it and after losing my way a little after uni, I worked at a clinic where I eventually took on their marketing and from there, found my way into a comms role in a charity, which is what I do now. I had planned to become an actor or screenwriter, but neither of those happened, but I'm lucky to have fallen into a job I adore. 

If I won the lottery tho, I'd go back and study history and textiles - particularly historical clothing, as I'm so interested in it. I can't wait to go and see the Lost Dress of Elizabeth I at Hampton Court Palace when it opens!! 

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Tea & Possibilities Episode 63: Holly Belly


INTRODUCTION
You can find me on Instagram and Ravelry. We also have a Ravelry group where the Episode 63 Chatter Thread is live!

Today’s tea is Butter Brew by Bird & Blend. It's inspired by Harry Potter's butterbeer, so obviously had to have it in one of my Potter mugs - this time the Cursed Child one.


Don't forget, if you are first time purchaser of B&B, you can get 20% off with the code NIKKITEABIRD20. We have a tea recommendation thread on the Ravelry group, if you're looking for something new to try.

We are also very close to 5k subscribers. This is totally mind-blowing to me - I'm not very prolific, I don't knit much complicated stuff, so I wasn't expecting anyone to be interested. This podcast has pushed me out of my comfort zone - would I ever had learnt to knit socks without it?! - and has introduced me to some of my best friends.

When we hit 5k, there will definitely be a thank you giveaway - so please do subscribe and keep an eye out for that! It'll be a random number generator giveaway, probably asking the question - what non-knitty question would you like to ask me?

WIP'D UP
HOs:

Christmas Socks #3
Pattern:
How to Knit Socks by Meanwhile at the Castle

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners 'Candy Cane' and 'Cayenne Pepper'

WIPs:

Christmas Socks #2 (First Time Toe Up Socks!)
Pattern:
How To Knit A Toe Up Sock series by haalu

Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners Holly Berry (Christmas 2017 colourway - I think!) and Cayenne Pepper

I'm currently following this video by Blooming Knitter as I want to do a heel flap and gusset, which I'm not sure the haalu one is (I could be wrong there - I know nothing! - I was skimming the video on my lunch break).

Cosy Stripes
Pattern: Granny Stripes by Attic24
Yarn: Various! (See Cosy Squares Ravelry project page for more details)

I've also been working on my yarn advent calendar. I adore the hand-dyed advent calendars, but they're not in the budget right now, so this is my third year doing a yarn swap with friends.

This year there are four of us - so I'm making up three sets of minis, eight minis in each. I've been trying to make this part of my process of finishing a project - winding off three minis, before the leftovers go into my blankets. But there was a bit of a pile up, so I had to spend a couple of evenings catching up!

Stash Enhancement:

I was so inspired by the Summer of Socks KAL, but this was an instant buy. PernicketyStitch made WYS Kingfisher socks and mentioned they'd be pretty with yellow contrast cuffs, heels and toes. So obviously I had to go and buy Kingfisher and Tumeric (not Mustard, as I wrongly said in the episode!).

The lovely Senja of Knit.toCode sent me the most beautiful gift this week. A light up (!!) bucket project bag that all my blankets will live in now and it was full of goodies, including:

Tiger's Dream loose leaf tea
Moose on the Loose loose leaf tea
An iron on patch (I'll be sticking this on my backpack!)
A little black case full of wooden laser etched stitch markers
Novita Yarn - there's no colourway name, sorry!
Two glorious bluey-green minis

I've eaten the chocolate (I did share!) and my Nan has eaten the liquorice, so... can't remember what they were called... sorry!

I have been very spoiled these last few weeks - Lorna of Never at a Loose End sent me a beautiful print that I'll be framing in my new home one day. It's illustrated by her daughter @by.eilidh.
Summer of Socks KAL 2019:
We're done for 2019 - this will definitely be an annual event and, in the meantime, let the Sockcession continue in the Show Us Your Socks thread.

If you didn't enter, you can skip to Knit & Natter at 36:48.

If you are one of the winners - please drop me a DM on Ravelry and let me know your address, if necessary, and I'll get your prize out as soon as I have the packaging.

Prize No.1:
Recycled fabric project bag from Sharon's Crafty Creations on YouTube
Paintbox Socks in 'Tulip'
Progress keeper from A Busy Life Yarn
Stitch markers from Yarn Tattoo 
Cottage Garden Socks downloadable pattern by Yarnia Designs

Winner: Aunty Moll

Prize No.2:
Yarn Tattoo project bag
A Busy Life Yarn 'Grandaddy Tree'
Leather tape measure bracelet from Yarn Tattoo
Akern Socks downloadable pattern by Yarnia Designs

Winner: CynthiaGWilson

Prize No.3
Recycled fabric project bag from Sharon's Crafty Creations on YouTube
Wooden buttons from Yarn Tattoo

Paintbox Socks in 'Rainbow Stripes'

Crochet wall hanging from Woolberts

Stacking Wood Socks downloadable pattern by Knit10instone

Winner: Ali13

Prize No.4:
Cat In The Bag Crafts large project bag
KnitCrate yarn in 'Citrus Squeeze' (donated by Woolberts
Progress keeper from A Busy Life Yarn
Pattern from VikkiBirdDesigns

Winner: PernicketyStitch

Prize No.5:
Butternut Handmade project bag
Paintbox Socks in 'Love Note'
Crochet wall hanging from Woolberts
Stacking Wood Socks downloadable pattern by Knit10instone

Winner: VikkiBirdDesign

Prizes No. 6 & 7:
There are two more patterns from VikkiBirdDesign for Ruth82 and Sophiexuan. Please Rav message me and I'll get the code over to you!

That is easily the biggest giveaway I've ever done on the podcast and definitely my most successful KAL ever. A massive THANK YOU to my wonderful and generous prize donors and to everyone who got involved in the KAL - you're all stars!


KNIT & NATTER

As always, my room is trashed in the pursuit of podcasting!

A quick life update this week...

I visited my friend Charlotte and her new baby. The pineapple hat didn't fit at all - but it did fit the triceratops I bought her. Very cute baby! 

While I was visiting Charlotte, I got my nose and helix pierced - bringing my total piercings to eight. Hoping to get my right tragus and/or my left orbital pierced next times for a nice round ten. I have three tattoos planned - but piercings are cheaper!

I also went indoor skydiving in Basingstoke over the bank holiday weekend. Weird thing to do on a Sunday evening, but very fun!

I've been taking advantage of the nice weather by going on some lovely long walks. Our delayed summer get together is coming up, which I'm really looking forward to. Fingers crossed the weather holds!

Now I really need to get back into my training - there has been a lot of upheaval at work, plus the usual summer socialising and I did feel I was teetering on burn out... so time to chill out and get back to training. Next half marathon is 13th October - eeeeekkkk!

Happy autumn - time for Pumpkin Spice Lattes, Bonfire Hot Chocolates and the new Jane Austen on ITV!

I'll see you very soon for another cup of tea!

Monday, 26 August 2019

Tea & Possibilities Episode 62: Too Hot To Handle


INTRODUCTION
You can find me on Instagram and Ravelry. We also have a Ravelry group where the Episode 62 Chatter Thread is live!

Today’s tea is... Ribena! And a big bottle of water! With all the windows closed, it's way way too hot for a hot drink on top of that!
We have a tea recommendation thread on the Ravelry group, if you're looking for something new to try.

My apologies for how much I comment on the heat - but as an Englishwoman, I am contractually obliged to talk about it. And it really was very very warm!

WIP'D UP

Most of my projects this week are in my Cat In The Bag Crafts bag - it's super roomy! If 'Buttery Biscuit Base' means nothing to you - you can check out the video (click at your own peril!!)

FOs:

Another Pumpkin Hat Pattern: Harvest's Bounty by Vikki Bird Design
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in 'Coral' and 'Basil'

Pineapple Hat Pattern: Pineapple Hat by Sonya Marie
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in 'Mustard' and 'Basil'

WIPs:

Christmas Socks #2 (First Time Toe Up Socks!)
Pattern:
How To Knit A Toe Up Sock series by haalu
Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners 'Holly Berry' and 'Cayenne Pepper'

Christmas Socks #3
Pattern:
How to Knit Socks by Meanwhile at the Castle
Yarn: West Yorkshire Spinners 'Candy Cane' and 'Cayenne Pepper'

Find the #SOSKAL2019 Chatter Thread in the Tea & Possibilities group (prizes will be pulled from this Chatter Thread!)


Summer of Socks KAL 2019:
We have another prize! The lovely Ninette of A Busy Life Yarn contacted me about donating a prize so we have a beautiful skein of sock yarn in 'Grandaddy Tree' for the prize fund. She was also kind enough to send me a skein of 'Roasted Marshmallow' in DK - I think I see a hat in my future!

Don't forget there are coupon codes that you can use until the end of August - you'll find them in the first post on the SOSKAL Chatter Thread!

I'll see you in September for SOSKAL prizes - and another cuppa!