My Ever-growing Yarn Wish List

I have an ever-growing Yarn wish list right now. Whilst I do have 2 projects on the go right now, a granny square blanket for myself and one for my brothers cat Mia. I’m still using up all my sparkly yarn but I’ve been eyeing up some lovely new colours and brands I’ve discovered.

I still consider myself a newbie when it comes to crochet and I openly admit to being clueless when it comes to different yarns but some are just sooo lovely! I love self patterning yarns, anything purple, grey or super soft. The girls regularly point out yarns they like and want used on a project too but this list is just for me.

My Yarn Wish list

 

Caron Cakes

Anyone who loves to crochet or knit has no doubt heard of Caron cakes, self-patterning yarns that come in a glorious array of colours. These are fantastic for a range of projects and look especially lovely when used for shawls. Here are my favourite 4 Caron Cakes.

Yarn wish list- Bumbleberry caron cake

Bumbleberry

I love the gorgeous combination of purples in this Bumbleberry Self Striping Aran Yarn. I could use this on so many projects for myself!

lilac frosting caron cake

Lilac Frosting

The Lilac frosting would make a lovely scarf for winter with just a hint of lilac throughout. I usually avoid lighter colours but I do love the way this Caron cake turns out.

 

Mixed Berry Caron Cake

Mixed Berry

I’ve had my eye on this gorgeous Mixed Berry Caron cake since I first discovered them. I think this would be perfect for a project for Eva. Maybe a nice cardigan if I can work out how to crochet one!

Faerie cake caron cake

Faerie Cake

The last yarn on my Caron cake wishlist is this gorgeous Faerie Cake. I just love the colours in this, I’ve no idea what I would use it for but I definitely need it in my yarn stash asap.

 

purple fizz

Purple Fizz

Stylecraft Wondersoft DK Merry-go-Round in Purple Fizz is another self-patterning wool which I would love to make some cushions out of. I want to funk up my sofa soon and have a few different cushion cover ideas.

candy

Candy

King Cole Flash DK Knitting yarn in Candy is gorgeous. I would love to make some cushions for the girls room. Ok I know I said this list is for me but I couldn’t help but slip one in for the girls too!

What’s on your Yarn wish list right now? Which of the above yarns is your favourite?

Purple crochet/knitting project hunt

I am absolutely over the moon! Some of you may have seen on my Instagram yesterday a friend gave me 2 carrier bags full of wool, knitting looms and needles. It really made my day as I was very low on wool and hadn’t done much crochet or knitting lately!!

I’ve been struggling again since the steroid injections began wearing off and clearing through the flat over the weekend has left me hurting even more so lots of new wool to play with is a much needed distraction. I love how many purples there are and have already begun a little crochet project for Eva with the neon multi-coloured wool but I’m on the hunt for a project I can use the purple’s on for myself!

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I know a few of my readers crochet and knit and would love some suggestions if anyone has any?

The Secret Diary of Agent Spitback

Turning down days into up days

This week hasn’t been too great If I’m honest. So I’ve been find ways of turning down days into up days. My pain levels have been high & I keep losing my balance. I’m trying my best to stay positive and just rest but sometimes it’s difficult as I explained here.

I guess there are always going to be bad day’s & I just need to fill those days doing something easy and simple to stop focusing on the pain. So I decided to do just that and busy myself with something & ended up finishing off knitting Izzy’s red scarf I started before Christmas & forgot to pick back up again.

turning down days into up days

I finished off the scarf quite quickly and decided to make a start on learning how to crochet using this Youtube video. The first thing I decided to try crocheting was a simple flower. At first it looked complicated & I thought Id never get the hang of it! Admittedly Izzy hopping on and off my lap didn’t help much at first but I managed to make my first crocheted flower.

I was quite impressed with how it turned out although a little annoyed I had obviously made 1 too many links on one of the petals so it was slightly larger than the others and a bit wonky.. But hey it was my first try 😀

After that I felt quite confident I could make another without a video & managed to produce this second crocheted flower.

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I was much happier with this one and carried on making a few more..

Eva loved the flowers & asked me to make her a headband with a flower on. ( Just happened to be the wonkiest one!) So I gave it a go and this is how it turned out..

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Eva loved it and tried it on straight away and wore it for the rest of the evening 😀

I’m quite pleased with how it turned out even if Eva did choose the wonkiest flower I’ve made (haha).  I have really enjoyed learning too, I’m going to make Izzy a headband next and I want to learn to crochet hearts next too.

Do you crochet? Do you find it a calming hobby too? If you have any patterns or tutorials to share send me a link & I will check them out 🙂

10 Things I’m Looking Forward To In 2016

10 Things I'm Looking Forward To In 2016

10 Things I’m Looking Forward To In 2016.. A whole new year to look forward to! I usually don’t have too much to look forward to as we enter each new year however so far 2016 seems to have a few things in store for us which I can not wait for. So here are My 10 things I’m looking forward to this year.

  1. Steroid injections in March I know it’s strange to look forward to a procedure like this but especially as the pain is creeping back again I’m hopeful they will help ease even a tiny bit of the pain to allow me to continue strengthening my core.
  2. The Easter holidays – Although we don’t particularly celebrate Easter as we aren’t religious in any way we do love to scoff a few choccy eggs! (Don’t we all!?) The holiday itself is a nice break for us and a chance to do things as a family. Things are looking slightly better financially so we are hoping to fit in a trip to London during the Easter hol’s to visit the science museum and anywhere else that takes the girl’s fancy. We haven’t had a chance to get out and do much with the girls & I intend on changing that this year!
  3. Eva’s 6th Birthday (10th May) – The last few years the majority of people have let Eva down on her birthday so last year we decided against a party. This year however I’ve decided we are going to do something different & take her & her friend out for the day to the zoo. If we have our own car by then it will probably be Colchester zoo otherwise we can all take the train & visit London zoo instead! ( 😀 I Love it when I have a back up plan!)
  4. The summer holidays (June-Sept) – Who doesn’t love it when the sun is shine and that alone is a perfect excuse to go out & enjoy it. I hurt so much when it’s cold it makes it hard for me to feel motivated enough to take the girls out much but in the summer I always make up for it.
  5. August – It’s part of the summer holidays but I love it for other reasons too! My brother turns 21 on the 5th, Izzy turns 2 on the 6th, and I turn 20… (6 D: ) on the 14th. It’s a big one for my brother this year and I fully intend on making sure he damn well enjoys it!
  6. Spending more time with my brother – In the last 2 weeks we have seen him 4 times, usually we see him maybe once every 2-3 months as he hides away when he is struggling but he seems to be realising now he can come to us no matter what & we will help in any way we can even if he just needs to be around people and chat nonsense 🙂
  7. Figuring out how to make pretty knitted & crocheted items – I’ve been knitting a few years now but never had the confidence to do anything other than a plain knitted blanket or scarf, this year I want to focus on my knitting a bit more & learn to crochet properly. (If you have any tutorials/patterns etc please Get in touch :D)
  8. Growing the blog – Getting back into blogging again has already helped me loads & it makes me really happy to see my followers growing and people actually reading my rambles. It makes me even happier when people like & comment too. I’m really enjoying blogging again & cant wait to see what progress I can make in 2016 & look forward to connecting with other bloggers too.
  9. Working with brands – I love product reviewing and testing all sorts of stuff from technology to food, toys to appliances, there’s very little I wouldn’t mind reviewing if I’m honest & after testing a Cake for Baker Day’s it’s reminded me just how much I loved doing this on my last blog.
  10. Learning to manage my pain – I am now under a pain management consultant who really seemed to listen on my first visit & has explained so much to me that although I still feel a little lost with it all after  we now have a plan in place to help me manage the pain and build my core strength back up. The plan so far is that I will see  my consultant every 8 weeks or so with steroid injections & physiotherapy alongside it and once I am able to manage the pain better I can work harder on building up my strength, in the meantime though I just need to keep active but not push myself so hard and actually rest when I need to.. easier said than done admittedly with 2 young children but I am at least trying to slow down!

So that’s my list (I love lists!) of 10 things I’m looking forward to this year, what are yours?

Crafty Bargain

I managed to escape alone the other day into town which gave me a chance to actually have a little look around and find a crafty bargain instead of just grabbing what I knew I needed and heading home.

One of the Local Shops Poundcity has sooo many things for sale but I rarely take a proper look around when I pop in to grab myself a ‘Lentless & the Mr a Redbull so I took a wander around to see if there were any bargains I could pick up.

I came across a pack of coloured plastic crochet hooks in various sizes which I instantly picked up and had to buy as I currently only own one metal crochet hook because I am a bit tight and dont really like buying things like this unless I specifically need them but at £1 I could say no plus I am at least attempting to learn crochet & to top it all.. Yup there’s a PURPLE one!!!

crafty bargain

I came home feeling great & joked with the Mr & his friend that I actually bought something for myself for a change and not the girls, something the Mr is always nagging me to do haha!

I have previously bought a pack of plastic knitting needles for £1 in this shop, they are quite thin but they do the job & as I love trying to teach friends & their children how to knit I dont mind giving them away & I find them a lot safer & gentler for children to use too & have bought several packs already.

As you can see.. I’m down a few pairs again already 😂

I love little bargains like this they really make my day! Have you picked up any Crafty bargains lately? Or any Bargains at all?

Ups & Downs

This past week has been full of ups & downs for me. My pain levels have become unbearable across the week and I’m suffering majorly in more ways than one because of it.

That’s the problem with Chronic pain, it isn’t just the pain the gets to you, Anxiety is a huge problem for me right now as is depression. I’ve recently discovered what I feel when my pain heightens, becoming confused, dizzy, anxious, struggling with my short-term memory etc is called ‘brain fog’.

When I get like this it’s extremely hard for me to ‘word’ as I call it. If I am asked something even if I know what I want to say it comes out all jumbled up and leaves both myself and the person im trying to talk to extremely confused. I get frustrated with myself very easily at the moment and have become quite emotional.

The hard part for me is being aware of all these symptoms, knowing it is  my body’s way of saying ‘help, I’m struggling!’ but not knowing how to change that and get my mind and body to cope and ride it out.

After doing the girl’s bedroom this week, hoovering just a small corner whilst the Mr did all the heavy work I still managed to hurt myself without realising, I thought I was being careful, I guess a walk into town afterwards tipped me over the edge. To top it off the following day I managed to trip over our cat Batgirl and fell into my doorway banging my hip on the frame and landing awkwardly on my right side. I instantly vomited from the pain and ended up passing out. When I woke I was instantly in tears because of the head splitting migraine and the pain all over my body, 2 & 1/2 day’s later and I am still paying for it but it is gradually easing again.

I need to learn my limits but I am struggling with this greatly, I am only 25 & I have 2 daughters that I wish I could get down on the floor with more. Being a bit of a lunatic I hate being unable to do so much. I had a huge meltdown at my Mr this week crying that I couldn’t do such a simple task most mothers do weekly, tidying and sorting through your children’s toys should be something I dread doing, instead it’s something I wish I could do more.

I spent a good half an hour telling my Mr all the thing’s I find frustrating because its stuff I SHOULD be able to do, he sat and listened for a while and then said this to me.. ‘If you saw someone in a wheelchair would you tell them to get up and walk because they should be able to?’ Of course I said no and he said as much as I am finding it hard and frustrating I need to stop judging myself and beating myself up constantly over what I ‘should’ be able to do and accept that I have limits but there are still things I can do and I should be proud of that.

That calmed me down and got me thinking, eventually I realised how right he is and decided to sit and finish off Izzy’s blanket since I find it quite a calming hobby. I was in agony but still managed to complete it. Once I had done it I felt so much better, I had achieved something at last! I have made a few mistakes there are 2 small button holes but they are barely noticeable and I decided just this once I’d leave it as it was since it was my first big project, the fluffyness hid it well and Izzy had already been demanding I hurry up and hand over her blanket!

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Over the last few weeks knitting this has helped me stay a bit more focused, it has helped me calm down a lot when I am feeling anxious as I concentrate on the next stitch instead of sitting with a ton of thoughts racing through my head over anazlysing anything and everything possible. Knitting that blanket has given me such a boost and seeing Izzy’s face the following morning & watching her carry it all over the place and snuggling with it on her daddy’s lap made me feel amazing & gave me such a boost after such an awful few days.

Some of you may have noticed I have been a little more active on twitter over the last week or so and I’ve had a few chat’s with some lovely blogger’s which has also cheered me up quite a bit. Some of my posts have been shared quite a lot and I have recieved several lovely comments which always seem to come through at a low moment and cheers me up.

As much as I have had some majorly down points this week I have also had several good ones too and I need to focus more on the good than the bad.

On that note, Tomorrow we are putting up our christmas tree and I’m getting excited for that, Im going to cut out a few cardboard shapes, stars, stockings etc for the girls to pretty up with paint and glitter and hang them around the flat.

I have made a small start on christmas presents and we have almost built up enough amazon credit to buy the girls beds meaning this week when we get paid we can buy their smaller presents and wont struggle as much to make christmas happen even after out money screwing up several times throughout the year.Im so grateful for that right now, I know its your presence not presents that children need but at the same time I’d like to make sure they have a magical christmas, tons of food and lots of decorations to brighten the place up and get them into the christmas spirit!

I am grateful for what I am able to do and know I need to give myself a break every now and then and continue to help myself by busying myself with crafts, blogging and doing what I can with the girls. Im aware that anxiety and depression is part of the vicious cycle of chronic pain and know thing’s will get worse a lot sooner if I allow everything to get to me so I plan to stay as positive as I can, distract myself as much as possible, judge myself less and try to accept my limits more.

Do you suffer chronic pain, anxiety or depression? How do you cope and stay positive? Drop me a comment or head over to my Get in touch page to find other ways of contacting me if you prefer. Thank you for popping by and reading my post x

 

 

Calming hobbies

I wrote about anxiety last week and how I’ve really been struggling with it recently along with depression mostly because I suffer from chronic pain.

I asked readers for tips to help me feel less anxious constantly. One tip I recieved was to write down every thing I want to get off my chest at night and the other was to find a hobby to keep my mind focused.

I had managed to pick up the yarn I needed to finish my knitting project and was already half way through knitting a scarf too and I have been making an effort to knit a few rows every few hours.

Every night on my notes I write down everything that has been frustrating me. Knitting along with writing whats on my mind each night does feel like its helping, as I write it feels like a weight is being lifted and I think about less and less with every stitch focusing only on the next stitch.

I noticed a lot of my writing each night is about how my pain has limited me throughout the day. It makes me feel useless as I tend to end up sat on the sofa trying to focus on not moaning too much but over the last day or so im focusing on my knitting whenever I’m on the sofa so I at least feel like I am achieving something by watching my projects grow.

My pain levels have escalated throughout the day but im still feeling positive. I havent had an attack in a few days now and I feel a bit more positive in general so I’m going to keep up the writing and knitting and once Ive finished Izzy’s blanket and scarf I plan to attempt learning crochet!

calming hobbies
Almost complete!

Thank you for the tips and keep them coming in if anyone has any others 🙂

Do you craft? Feel free to link up your makes, I love seeing what other people have created!

Knitting projects – Izzy’s Blanket

When the kids finally go to bed I’m usually on my phone or laptop for the evening doing surveys, product reviews, reading random posts and news articles but every now and then I put it all down and do some knitting instead. I’m still a beginner and only managing a simple scarf and blankets so far but it gives me something different to do, especially on days I’m struggling to move around.

I cam across some lovely yarn in PoundStretcher – Melody baby soft yarn I’m currently halfway through a blanket I started when pregnant with my 1yo.. The idea being it would be done in time for her winter.. However thanks to morning sickness 24/7 I wasn’t always in the mood to knit (Or able to without covering it in my vomit) so unfortunately it dragged on until she was born.

I then had problems finding the same  yarn (I know, I know amateur mistake not buying enough!), of course when it was back in stock i made the mistake of only buying one ball again.. So now I’m stuck again waiting to buy the final 2 balls I need to complete this blanket!

Knitting Projects - Izzy's Blanket

I’m hoping my local Pound Stretcher have a delivery in soon as I would love to finish this in time for Christmas! Its lovely, soft, fluffy and warm perfect for snuggling on the sofa with on a cold day.

I think in the meantime I need to find myself another smaller knitting project to keep me busy. Does anyone have any suggestions for quick and simple knitting projects other than a blanket or a scarf? Feel free to leave a comment, or email me at Relentlesslypurple@gmail.com