Two more sleeps

Hard to believe that in another day and a half I'll be moving in to Farnham Maltings and setting up the SweetGeorgia booth for Unravel!

It's nervewracking to be sure but luckily I'm so busy with last-minute stuff that I don't have much time to be nervous! Yesterday I did a quick run to IKEA for some extra things for the booth and today I'm waiting for a few things to come back from the printers. In the meantime I've been making packing lists and pulling everything into one place. And I've also been seaming!

My blanket layout options. I've tweaked the colours here so they show up a little better in the image.

My blanket layout options. I've tweaked the colours here so they show up a little better in the image.

The squares have been finished and borders done for a few days now. I didn't have a lot of time to play around with the layout, but I came up with two options that I really liked.

I was originally planning on only tying the corners of the squares together from the back of the blanket (a la Beekeeper's Quilt with the crazy hexipuffs). That way, as Felicia adds new colours to her range or discontinues others, I could easily pull apart the blanket to rearrange things at will.

Lara, my uber crochet expert, and I were chatting on the weekend and she taught me her favourite simple seaming technique. No kidding - we were on FaceTime so she was able to demonstrate it for me, and I was able to practice at my end then show her right back. Loving using technology for an in-the-moment how-to lesson!

The nicest thing about the seam is that it's very quick to pull out if necessary later on, and it's almost invisible. The blanket is almost complete and I'll be sure to get some pics this weekend in the booth for a full reveal to you all!

The first epic project of 2014

Back in January I proclaimed that this was going to be The Year of Epic Projects and that a lot of selfish knitting would be involved.

My first project (or rather, first project to finish, since it's been a WIP since last year) is kind of for me, but more in a work capacity since it's something I've been working on in anticipation of the SweetGeorgia booth for Unravel.

While I'm not a huge crocheter, 2013 saw me pick up a hook on multiple occasions - enough to cause me to purchase a set of hooks at the Great London Yarn Crawl. And I've been loving it. Most of the time I still feel like I'm not sure exactly what I'm doing, but luckily for me there are some great tutorials online, like this one for Bear's Rainbow Blanket from the Purl Bee blog.

I've been going a little crazy with SweetGeorgia scraps and a crochet hook...

I've been going a little crazy with SweetGeorgia scraps and a crochet hook...

The blanket is beautiful, and crocheted with another fabulous Canadian yarn - Koigu. But the kits to make it are intimidatingly expensive - if you want to do the original as shown, you have to buy a skein of each of the colours, even though a very small portion is used. But since it's such a small portion of yarn, it makes it a perfect blanket for working through scraps of sock yarn, which I just happened to have leftover from the mini skeins of SweetGeorgia that RachelCatherine and I knit into mini socks to be able to show the colours more fully to yarn shops interested in carrying the yarn. 

These are some of the mini socks that Catherine knit. Aren't they adorable? Such a perfect way to see the richness of the hand-dyed yarn. Photo courtesy of Catherine Hopkins.

These are some of the mini socks that Catherine knit. Aren't they adorable? Such a perfect way to see the richness of the hand-dyed yarn. Photo courtesy of Catherine Hopkins.

I've been working on crocheting these little squares since last year, in between and around projects and always trying to keep an extra scrap ball with me when on the go. Of course, once the new year arrived, I had to kick it up a notch and it's been what I've been working on almost constantly (I'm slow, what can I say?!).

Of course, all those ends are going to have to be woven in first...

Of course, all those ends are going to have to be woven in first...

There are about eight squares left to go and then I can get them all washed and Soak-ed before adding the white borders. With any luck, this blanket will make a fab backdrop for photos of fans of SweetGeorgia with their newly acquired yarns at Unravel. Their only problem will be choosing their favourite colour!

2014: The Year of Epic Projects

It's been a full week and a bit here chez C&Q. Lots of organising and cataloguing, identifying stuff to de-stash, thinking about the year ahead and not without a little bit of tough love and reflection on 2013.

Depending on how often you read my blog, or if you know me in real life, you might know that I love big ideas. No. I LOVE big ideas. In fact, the bigger the better. But I think in the last year where I really fell down was in the execution of the ideas. I came up with the ideas without the rest of the plan. 'm good at managing projects for work, but when it comes to the personal I need to remind myself that it's not enough to know the destination, I need a map to get there.

This year, I want to be smarter about my goals and not get caught up in a list of things that when I look back on 2014 I'm not thinking ZOMG! I didn't get x, y or z done but rather - yeah, that was a solid, satisfying amount of crafting and work that was accomplished. 

I may be putting a fair amount of pressure on myself, especially as I have a significant birthday ending in a nought later this year, but I'm also wanting to selfishly focus that pressure on me. I'm proclaiming that this will be the year of epic projects, and that the vast majority of them will be for ME!

That's not to say that I won't sometimes end up knitting for others, but I've got some big crafty plans for this year and I want to wring the enjoyment out of every last stitch. I'm also not going to write down my list of projects here either this time. Instead I'm going to focus on pushing myself further with big challenges (two dresses! lace! colourwork! cables!), new techniques, some designwork and if there's time, maybe a little bit of sewing too.

First up this year - some pre-planning for #GLYC2014 and getting ready for Unravel. I'm already knitting. What are you working on?