Now that I've got the house to myself again, I'm back on my de-cluttering mission. We made a big dent in that with the Great Bed Swap which in turn led to the Great Bedroom Clearout, the aftermath of which is still on the landing in bin bags waiting to go downstairs to the dustbin. We're mostly done now; big daughter prefers to sort her things out for herself but small daughter needs to be supervised otherwise she filters out the mess and can't see anything but a tidy bedroom. I think we've all got that ability, but unfortunately, it's not practical to use it most of the time!
Part of my de-cluttering involves finishing things off. I've got so many ideas buzzing around my head all the time that it's all too easy for me to get distracted but I've made a concerted effort to tick a few things off my list this week.
First up, the garden pots that I wanted to put up to brighten up a boring wall.
The sprawly bush is some kind of honeysuckle but it's never done anything exciting so it had to go. It's quite a dark, damp place and nothing has really thrived there - apart from this plant which has had it's moment.
The pots I wanted to put up involved drilling holes in the wall so I handed the drill over to my Dad who'd come over for the afternoon. He can do that sort of thing much faster than I can, and would only supervise anyway, so it's easier all round to leave him to it. This is the result, and I'm very pleased with it. The plants, winter bedding plants, are plug plants that are still filling out, so they look a bit piddly at the moment but will soon be much bigger and the pots won't look quite so lost on the wall. They're actually IKEA kitchen utensil holders but as soon as I saw them, I knew they'd be ideal for my wall. The pots even have handy drainage holes already drilled into the bottom of them - perfect!
Next on the list, I finally found some buttons for the Sirdar Kiko cardigan that I made with the yarn that I bought from the Black Sheep open evening. I finished the cardigan ages ago, it was such a quick knit with huge yarn on even huger needles, and I've worn it a couple of times. It took me a while to find the buttons that I wanted and eventually I found them at a local garden centre, of all places.
This elegant dishcloth is in fact my Bayfield shawl which I wrote about here in July.
I had hoped to finish it in time to go to a business event with my husband, but I completely underestimated how much time I had to sit and knit and as it happened, it was far too hot to wear any kind of shawl on the night so it wasn't the end of the world. I finished it a few weeks ago and it's needed blocking to pull it into the proper shape. Blocking is the magic part of making something like this; you soak your work and then stretch and pin it into shape and all the beautiful lace stitches (and your hard work) can be seen. You can see my shawl sitting all ready on the towel ready to be stretched ... a few magic words ... a few muttered words as I stick pins into my fingers ... and the finished result is this ...
This is a close-up of it as it was blocking - the pattern is just beautiful and I'm so pleased with it. It's interesting to see how the colour has changed depending on where it's been photographed too - I'd always assumed it was shades of red and pink but the outside picture looks much more pink. I'm very much looking forward to wearing it!
But as pleased as I am with all of these, I saved the best till last. Fanfare please ... I have finally found a pattern to make a sock yarn blanket! I've made a LOT of socks - over 40 pairs at last count - and they don't use up a whole ball of yarn, so I've been wondering what to do with the rest of it. I've looked at various sock yarn blankets on Ravelry but nothing's really caught my fancy. Until I came across this pattern.
It's called Vivid by Tin Can Knits and it's just perfect for what I want to do with my yarn. As I looked through my leftovers, I realised that I have a bit of an addiction to stripy socks and I wanted a pattern that would make the most of that without breaking up the stripes too much. You can see from the next picture that the stripes come out beautifully with this pattern, and it's fascinating to see how different the squares are even from the same ball of yarn.
It's going to take me quite some time to have enough for a blanket, but there's no rush. I've loved all the socks that I've made; most of them have been for other people so I like the idea of being able to keep the memory of that sock in a blanket square. It'll be my Socks I Have Known blanket J.
But despite all my good intentions, look what arrived in the post today! It's a Stylecraft colour pack which I bought from Wool Warehouse - excellent price and service - and is for a new project that I'll be able to tell you about later. What did I say about being easily distracted ...?