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October 2015
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December 2015

November 2015

Carpe Diem Planner - Part 1

CDP planner

CDP plastic cover

CDP stickers in pocket

CDP sticker sheets

CDP stickers

Today I want to share some details and a little pre-use review of the new Simple Stories Carpe Diem Planner and products. I will split this post into two (check back next Monday for part 2) so it's not information and photo overload!

I ordered my planner from The Homemakery who offered a pre-order back in July (or was it June??), and chose the Robin's Egg colour. In October Simple Stories released better photos of the products so Homemakery offered the opportunity to amend your colour choice and we could start to get an idea of what additional items we would want to buy on release.
The Simple Stories blog had a few posts showing how each of the team had set theirs up. Of course by this time I was dreaming about my planner popping through the door!
Because I had pre-ordered I had the chance to order some accessories, and do the final planner payment, before the planners landed so it would all be shipped within hours of arrival. I was feeling slightly overwhelmed at that point so just ordered the number and icon stickers. I knew I would want more but needed to see the planner first. I had a little panic about the planner size, I was worried it would be too small to use as a planner/memory book combined, so didn't want lots of stickers I couldn't use.

The lovely team at The Homemakery shipped the goods with such efficient speed and when it arrived I was NOT dissapointed!
The binder itself is of excellent quality and well made, I always worry about dodgy stitching! The front plastic sheet is nice and thick and there are plenty inside cover pockets to keep the sticker sheets in! Of course there is a handy pen holder and cute little camera charm.

A few days after the planner arrived I placed another little order for some more bits:
Bookmarks - there are three in the pack. I have used one as a current month marker, one for the current week (I opted to stick to the weekly pages) and one to mark the next month so I can look forward every now and again.
A5 notepad - for a few extra note making pages that I can keep in the current month.
Dashboard inserts - these are great adding some dimension.
Insta quote, clear and reinforcer stickers - just cause you gotta have them.

I split the sticker packs in two so I have a batch to use in the second half of the year.

See you next week for more!

Ciao xx

Holiday countdown

Yarnalong 25 11 15

Joining Ginny and yarnalong

Pebble Beach Shawl is finished (full story soon) and I wasn't going to start anything new before holiday (6 sleeps) as i'm not planning on taking anything that involves reading or looking at a pattern, but I did. I started the Rosewater shawl on Monday evening. It's an easy knit with lots of garter stitch rows to start with.

Working my way through Wild, and so enjoying the extra bits that weren't in the movie. I love that about books!

Happy hump day! and Happy Thanksgiving to all the US visitors, enjoy tomorrow!

Ciao xx

Long rows

and yarnalong with Ginny.

Yarnalong 18 11 2015

My pebble beach shawl is 60% done and i'm on the final (4th page) of pattern. The rows are now very long and i'm managing about 2 at lunch and 4 in the evenings. I'm considering gifting this shawl and thinking of doing it again in yellow for the summer.

Whispering Island Shawl is blocked and I have worn it every day! I blogged it here.

I'm reading Wild by Cheryl Strayed. We saw the film a few months back and after reading an extract of the book on her website I decided that I needed to read it.
The Kashmir Shawl I finished over the weekend and loved it! My grandmother visited Northern India a few times and had Kashmir shawls so the book brought back so many memories and emotions. A lovely read and lovely story.

Happy yarnalong folks

Ciao xx

Whispering Island Shawl - Voila

Over the weekend I blocked the Whispering Island Shawl and I love love love it!

WIS front view

Helen Stewart doesn't disappoint in a well thought out and clever pattern layout. I love the handy check box and percentage marks along the way. So good for keeping track of where you are!

WIS close up of corner

I used Blacker Swan Falkland DK yarn in Pebble from Tangled Yarn. It's super soft and lovely to work with. I think I could have gone up half a needle size as I have just over a ball of yarn left and my finished item is not as big as the pattern, however I also didn't block it as hard as I could have. Will use this again, likely in the same colour so need to add a few more balls to my stash.

WIS view of back

Conditions outside yesterday where not conducive to photographing knitwear but I love how the softer indoor light shows the shadows of the drap of this yarn.

WIS front view wrapped

It is a beautiful shawl that fits into my wardrobe perfectly and actually I'm already making use of it by wearing it both yesterday and today!

WIS close up of wrap

I highly recommend this pattern to anyone looking for a quick easy knit.

My obsession with shawls is far from over and I had a cheeky yarn shop as Festiwool on Saturday adding a cowl and shawl to my TO MAKE list.

Oh happy days!

Ciao xx

Shawl love

And joining Ginny on a Yarnalong. Sharing a love of reading and yarn craft.

Yarnalong 11 11 15

I am loving this shawl after a little change in yarn (see more of that story here), and just passed the half way point on row count although that equates to just over 25% complete. I love how Helen sets out her patterns! Preparing for the very long rows.

Thinking about holiday yarn craft this week. We're off to Cape Town for two weeks in December and it will be hot, too hot for wool and too hot to have a big project in my hands. None of the projects I have on my TO MAKE list will be appropriate for travel so I'm considering taking the South Bay Shawl pattern with me and buying some yarn out there. I would love to make it in a yellow linen or cotton yarn, with an off white border (ie the last 5-6 rows), for the summer, like this one I pinned.

Nearing the end of The Kashmir Shawl and now thinking I really don't want it to end. Although i'm keen to start the next book in my reading pile!

Ciao xx


A updated WIP list

I spent some time over the weekend updating my yarn project lists. I love to see the finished items crossed off but really, how long can they stay on the list for!

With a two week trip to Cape Town and Christmas on the horizon I am just focusing my attention on finishing the Pebble Beach Shawl that I started last Monday which incidently got frogged on Saturday and restarted in a different yarn. I'm back to the place I was when I frogged and enjoying it far better this time around. I'm using the Origin Lait' from Bergere de France. It's discontinued so I couldn't find a link to it but I did find this review.

It's not the easiest of yarns to knit with as it does unwind itself but oh my it is so soft and silky. I was lucky enough to get about 20 balls of this yarn at a very reduced cost and it's been sitting in my stash waiting for the right project to come around. This shawl is it!

Pebble beach shawl redo

So my WIP list looks like this:

Pebble beach shawl - HAPPENING RIGHT NOW
Larch in alpaca - at the assembly stage, would just like it finished
Island crochet top from Rowan Savannah Collection book - have yarn, started, would like it finished for summer 2016

I'm going to try really hard not to have multiple projects on the go at once so my new list is going to be called TO MAKE. And as i'm trying hard to use up my stash i'm working on matching it all up to the perfect pattern. Here's what i've come up with so far....

Lap blanket - (either crochet squares from Jan Eatons 100 crochet blocks or stylish squares) in Debbie Bliss baby cash yarn, dark grey.
Cardigan - Artesano Alpaca yarn, looking at this pattern.
Yolk pleat top - this one from Debbie Bliss. I have done it in pink and have the yarn to do a grey one.
Lap blanket - in Debbie Bliss and Rowan hand knit cotton. The pattern for this comes out of an out of print book, and is beautiful knitted squares with cable detail and intarsia. Had the yarn for ages!! Lots of learning on this blanket!
Granny poncho - in Scheepjes invicta extra. Going to make this poncho with squares, just need to find the right square.

I have quite a few odd balls of yarn, one ball of this two of that, so i'm looking at putting it to some charitable knitting. A good project for January!

Have a great week.

Ciao xx

Another one done!

And joining Ginny on Yarnalong.

Yarnalong 4 11 15 whispering shawl complete

I finished the whispering island shawl last night, too late to start blocking it though, maybe tonight.

So I've moved onto the Pebble Beach Shawl, although i'm dithering about my yarn choice. The pattern calls for a lace weight yarn and I bought BFL Lace, wow it's so fine and maybe it just feels extra fine because I used a DK on my last project. I'll keep on with it for now and see how it looks after the first 30 rows.

Yarnalong 4 11 15 WIP

The last three items on my WIP list are all projects to be finished and i'm not feeling very inspired to pick any of them up! They should be quick wins but i'm learning that i'm better having a long project list which I can just work through finishing each before I start another! So on that note I have decided to frog the folded jumper. I love the pattern and will make it with the recommended yarn but for now my substitution has not worked. I'm planning something different with the yarn.

Izumi wrap - FINISHED
Chloe's Christmas blanket - FINISHED
Kim Hargreaves Wave cardi from ECHO book - FINISHED
Pebble beach shawl - HAPPENING RIGHT NOW
Whispering Island shawl - FINISHED
Folded - at the shoulder decrease, had an issue with the number of rows to decrease and had to frog. Would like this for winter 2015 (I think I might frog this!)
Larch in alpaca - at the assembly stage, would just like it finished
Island crochet top from Rowan Savannah Collection book - have yarn, started, would like it finished for summer 2016

That WIP list will need a refresh over the weekend.

Still reading The Kashmir Shawl and managing to get more reading done over the past week which has been lovely. The one thing I miss about a train commute is the reading time, I used to get through so many books when I journeyed into London every day.

So looking forward to this weeks yarnalong inspiration. As always thanks for dropping by and your lovely comments.

Happy day!

Ciao xx

A small celebration

I am celebrating 10 months of daily 2015 diary writing.

Diary update 02 11 15

I feel so great about this considering I have bought a diary every year for all of my adult life and never used it! I knew it would happen one day :)

I've pre-ordered the Simple Stories Carpe Diem Planner from The Homemakery, which should be ready for dispatch mid November. The plan is to move diary entries ie.appointments, events, anything yarn or paper craft related and the blog post schedule over to the planner, leaving the diary a more personal space.

I'll share what I buy as soon as it arrives!

Ciao xx