Sunday, 30 September 2012

My lovely new wool

The other day I went into town with my friend. I am really lucky that I have a lovely wool shop in town so we decided to visit the wool shop, our local independent book shop which is also very lovely, then head into Cafe Nero for a nice milkshake and gossip.

I only intended to get some new needles in the wool shop, but then I saw this wool and fell in love with it. It's the King Cole Galaxy DK, the colour I got is called Mercury, which is a light grey. They had a really nice one that went from light to dark grey, they also had black in the shop. I've seen on Deramores that they do a lot of other colours, I have my eye on a plum and red which would be great for the Autumn.

The yarn actually has tiny sequins attached, I have tried to capture them in this photo, but my photography skills aren't all that... 

I have plans to use this to make a pretty beret from a pattern I have seen on ravelry, hopefully the finished project will appear on here soon!

The make up of the yarn is:
65% Acrylic
31% Wool
4% Soft Payette
Friday, 28 September 2012

I went to Lush for the first time in a long time....

Before I get started I just thought I would mention that I worked for Lush for quite a few years. I won't say much about my time there, but I left for an office job last year and haven't looked back. 
After working there for so long I decided I wanted a bit of a break from the products after having overdosed on them for so many years. 
I still know a lot of the products, but I had seen their new product Fun being advertised and was very interested in it so decided to go to the old shop I worked in to check it out, and here is what I ended up walking out with: 

I got:
2 Dragons Eggs, which are bath ballistics that have a layer of bubble bar over them so they foam as well as fizz. Be warned though, this one has lots of glitter, but it turns the bath shimmery golden/orange, a bit like the dragons eggs in Harry Potter! Oh and its orange scented, not strongly so, its quite pleasant.
A Floating Island, which is a bath melt. This is probably one of my favourite Lush bath products ever, its so relaxing and creamy. It takes quite a while to melt as well so its nice and relaxing watching it float around. The scent is very hard to describe, its a bit marshmallowy, but not sweet, just very comforting and relaxing.
Sea Salt Spray, which is for the hair. I was going to get the Bumble & Bumble one but decided to opt for this one. It's cheaper (although the bottle is smaller) but it smells gorgeous! It has the same scent as Happy Happy Joy Joy conditioner. My only issue with this product though is the spray bottle isn't great, instead of it being sprayed in a nice even mist, you just get clumps, so I would say spray into hands before then run through your hair. My friend who was serving me had used it in her hair that morning and it looked amazing. When we used to work together her hair was quite flat and thin but it looked gorgeous, shiny and voluminous so I wanted whatever she was having!
She then gave me a few samples, some of the new hair care to try because I have a really sensitive scalp and a lot of the old Lush shampoos (and most shampoos in general) never worked for me, but apparently these new ones are good for my hair type.
I got Fair Trade Honey shampoo, which has lots of honey and linseed in it, Blousey shampoo which has lots of bananas and Happy Happy Joy Joy conditioner, which is also meant to be a hair perfume as well. The conditioner smells gorgeous, I definitely encourage you to smell it, its quite floral, I'm not sure about it being a perfume though. It's meant to be lighter then American Cream but heavier then Veganese. My friend who was serving me used the Fair Trade Honey shampoo and Happy Happy Joy Joy conditioner so they are definitely what I want to try out first!
Oh she also gave me a sample of Fun, which is what I originally went in for. I smelt them all and had a little play. Fun is meant to be a 4 in 1 product, you know the type that makes bubbles, you can wash with etc etc. I'm a bit sceptical about washing with it because none of the ingredients look that cleansing, but its fun to roll it into shapes and be a general child. The blue one I got is lovely, its lavender and chamomile so very relaxing. Definitely recommend going in and sniffing them all and having a play.

I had a great time going in Lush, it was full of nice new things and hopefully I will be able to pop up some reviews of the products I got to try.
Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The first thing I ever knitted

So this is the first thing I ever knitted!
It's a car seat blanket which I knitted for my pregnant friend (well she isn't pregnant now). I was in such a rush to get this blanket to her before she had the baby that I forgot to take the picture but luckily she sent me one on twitter of her using it (I've cropped out her gorgeous baby, just because he isn't mine to post pictures of all over the internet).
Its just a simple garter stitch blanket but it has a scalloped edge because I switched from a 3.25mm needle to a 8mm needle every 7 rows. Very simple, and a great beginner pattern but it looks like it was technically harder then it was! Although it did take me a month to knit...
The yarn I used was Rowan All Seasons Cotton which was lovely to knit with and also feels gentle against the skin. The blue doesn't show its colour truly in this picture, but it is a lovely bright blue, I was luckily enough to know before knitting this blanket that they where doing the nursery nautical themed. The yarn is 60 per cent cotton, 40 per cent acrylic and it is easy to wash which I thought was important when picking a yarn for a baby blanket. I hear those things are quite messy...

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Finished knitting some hats!

So I have just finished these 2 hats which I am very proud of.
I used the hat pattern from Knitty Gritty by Aneeta Patel, it's the book I'm using to teach myself knitting. 
This project was all about practising decreasing and sewing up.
As with all the patterns in the Knitty Gritty, it was knitted on the flat using 5mm needles and the yarn I used was Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK. I only needed one ball per hat.
The hats are for my cousins who are 7 and 4. The pattern fitted the 7 year old great, but I had to make the hat a bit smaller for the 4 year old.

I gave the hats to my cousins yesterday and they where so happy. The 4 year old didn't take it off during dinner and in the evening I got a phone call from her asking me if I can make her a matching jumper which put me in the best mood all day, it's nice to know people appreciate what you have knitted them! Now I just need to find a really easy pattern for a children's jumper.....
My aunt also sent me a couple of pictures, one of my cousin in her pjs with her hat on after talking to me on the phone, and another with my cousin in bed, asleep, still wearing her hat! Looking at those pictures will definitely cheer me up, especially in this dreary whether.

Next up is the zig zag scarf from Knitty Gritty. It's the next project in the book and it teaches you how to increase. Hopefully I will have pictures of that soon too. 

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Saturday, 22 September 2012

Craft Fair Haul!

A couple of weeks ago I got to go to a craft fair at Bluewater shopping centre.
I went with my nan and my mum and we had quite a lovely time meandering around. There wasn't much in the way of stuff for knitters, in fact the majority of the stuff there was for card makers. I never realised how popular a hobby it was! I still managed to pick up some bits though so I thought I would share with you what I got. 

First up is the knitting bits. 
My nan insisted I got row counters as she told me how handy they are (I'm a beginner knitter), I got a large one pictured here, I also got a smaller one and because, surprise surprise, it's currently on my needles because my nan was right and it is coming in handy. 
I also got a couple of needle ends to stop my work from falling off. I do put the needles through my yarn, but where I take my work in my bag to work, it sometimes gets dislodged so the stops will make it feel extra secure.
I got some more knitters needles for sewing up my work as I only have one and I actually found these quite hard to find in the shops. The one on its own I got was part of a set from John Lewis, it came with a lot of other needles I won't use, but I was desperate.
I also got some cable needles as one of the next projects in my learning to knit book is a cable project. I'm very excited about learning how to cable because I think it looks gorgeous.

The last knitting bits I got where some pom pom makers. I know they probably sound completely unnecessary, but I got the extra small and small ones a while ago to help me with making pom poms for the innocent big knit hats and they are brilliant so I got the larger sizes too. 
It's a lot easier then the cardboard ring method and they just make for really even professional looking poms. 
All of the knitting bits I got from a stall called The Fancy Yarn Specialists.

Next up I visited a cake decorating stall called Cake Crafting.
They where doing some beautiful cake painting which was very intricate. They also had some great stencils to make quick and easy patterns on fondant icing for the tops of cupcakes and normal cakes, I was very tempted but then I remembered how much I hate the taste of fondant.
I did however pick up this cute little cake pop book, it came with 3 sets of sprinkles and the lollipop sticks. It was £7 and at first I didn't buy it, but after walking away from the stall I kept thinking about it and had to go back and get it. I haven't made cake pops before but this book has some really cute designs in there. I just need an occasion to make them for now!

And last but not least, I got this cute little kit to set Coco Dax (sorry I can't figure out how to turn the picture). 
I'm not very good at sewing but this set says from 7+ so I'm hoping I can master it. They had so many other cute animals, I was very tempted by the owl, they also had a pigeon called Mr Poops, brilliant!
I went for Coco Dax in the end because my mum said she was most like me, they all have cute little character descriptions.
The reason I got this was for a nice sunday afternoon project, and because I have recently started a new job and my desk is very bare so I thought she would like quite cute on my desk and help me personalise my small work space a bit. This was purchased from Crafty Arts.

Another great thing about the craft fair was my nan found some yarn with tiny pom poms on it that she really liked so she bought some to knit with. 
This is a really big deal because my nan used to be an amazing knitter, but in the past 5 or so years she has given up because she has MS and it hurts her wrist to knit.
I think seeing me knit and me asking her constant questions about it has encouraged her to give it a go again which I am absolutely thrilled about because I know she used to love it. I know its a long shot but I'm hoping it will strengthen her wrist too. The best bit was she asked to borrow some needles from me which I was able to give her, she has done so much for me and I know a set of needles is tiny but its so nice to be able to do something for her. I know my knitting has made her really proud.

Phew that is a lot of text, thank you if you read it all. Overall I loved the fair, it was great seeing all the different crafting hobbies that people do, and seeing that people are still into them! 

Book Review - Before I go to Sleep

This book was first recommended to me by my aunt, she was raving about it but I ignored her as we don't always have similar tastes in books.
I then saw it reviewed in the Heat magazine book section. I really like their reviews and have found a couple of great reads through them. They spoke highly of the book and really recommended it, so with that as encouragement I decided to download it onto my kindle.
So what did I think of it?

The book itself is a diary written by a woman who can retain information throughout the day, but when she goes to sleep at night she forgets everything.
As someone who has lived with a relative with alzheimer's, the subject of the book really hit a nerve. I couldn't imagine not waking up every morning and not knowing where I am, who the people around me are and not remembering huge chunks of my life.
The book is actually a thriller, which is another reason why I picked it up, I love a good book full of mystery and suspense, something this book quite easily creates because where she forgets her memory you often get the feeling that there is more going on then what she is told.
I have to warn you though that if you are tempted to pick up this book it is incredibly slow paced, as you can imagine having to read this women's diary as she rediscovers everything every day can become a bit tedious.
The book doesn't really get going until half way through, but the last quarter of the book is when it gets  to the point when you don't want to put it down.
Although the first part of the story is slow paced, it doesn't feel too much of a chore to read as the book is so well written and the subject matter is interesting enough to keep you going to make you want to find out more.
It also has a great ending, finishing at just the right point, well in my opinion anyway.

I would definitely recommend this as a read as its so interesting, and when the thriller aspect kicks in it does get nice and tense, just be warned it takes a while for this book to get going.

Score - 4/5.
Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Today I went to pilates

That title sounds pretty underwhelming, which is kind of how I left feeling the class.

I'm just not sure it did anything. There was about 5 minutes of intense ab pain, but that was about it. Tomorrow I probably won't be able to move, but right now I really don't feel like I worked out at all.

The class was also a lot different to how I imagined it. Having never done a pilates class before, I wasn't sure what to expect, but after a quick look on YouTube it seemed to be a lot of core work, like constant sit ups, planks, v sits etc. This class didn't seem to have a lot of repetition, it was more static, or very slowly moving positions, which I thought was meant to be what you did in yoga? The instructor had a pretty amazing core and brilliant balance though so that was encouraging.

It doesn't help that the class was only 45 minutes long because the instructor was late, if I had paid for the class I would be pissed! Well its included in my membership so I do pay for it, but you know what I mean, I hope.

I also tried yoga for the first time on Sunday, which I definitely preferred.

The class finished at 9, so I did a full day of work then went to the gym. I feel pretty virtuous right now, I have earned this low fat diet meal, and the full fat cheese I have smothered it in.

I'll keep yoga and pilates up for a while and keep you updated on any improvement/pain, apparently these classes are great for building long lean muscles. That sounds nice. A lot better then short squat muscles.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Why Burnt Cookie?

Is it me or is coming up with a username for anything really hard?

You want to seem cool and unique, whilst still trying to stay relevant to the subject you will be talking about. I'm neither cool nor unique, and I'm not sure how relevant a burnt cookie is to what I will be writing about, although every time I have tried to make cookies they have burnt.

Maybe I will talk about burnt cookies, I hope not though, I would rather talk about cookies I have made successfully because this blog is going to be all about my attempts to be a domestic goddess, well sort of.

I want to be a trophy wife with a kick arse body, I want to be able to get my hair in those gorgeous 50s styles,  I want to be a culinary genius and I want to be pristine at all times, all whilst holding down my kick arse job.

I'm not very good at cooking, I can bake quite well (well obviously not cookies),  I have a strong aversion to the gym and if I've got enough energy to brush my hair then the people around me are lucky, so I definitely have a long way to go.

Oh, a bit about me, that would be helpful wouldn't it. Girl, 22, East London, knitter, nerd.

I think I have rambled on long enough. Basically this blog will mainly be about womanly things. Hopefully lots of cooking and knitting, maybe a bit of beauty, plenty of spelling mistake and who knows what else!

See you soon.