Monday, 17 December 2012

Episode 40: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

A Playful Day is kindly sponsored by Superknits. Please show your support for our playful friend by clicking on the link above- go on, spoil yourself!!!.

A Playful Day is also kindly sponsored by NorthboundKnitting, uniquely hand dyed yarn, spinning fibre and modern knitting designs. Please show your support for our playful friend by clicking on the link above.

A Playful Day is proudly sponsored by Candy Skein, hand dyed yarns sweet enough to eat! Please support our playful friend by supporting the banner above.

Show notes:

Thank you to the many well wishes and plenty of chatter that kept me sane whenever I could log in.

Come join 'The Night Circus Along', entirely hosted by lovely group members and making me smile everytime I swing by. There's also a bit of a push to get all our holiday knits finished thanks to Smoon. 

KnittyBarb and Tracie from the 2KnitLitChicks Podcast share their holiday favourites with us in a special Playful Pursuits with these notes:

Future knits brought to you from Dani Sunshine and Nikki Van Der Car

Off the Needles
Scylla by Fiona Lucas in a mystery sock yarn.  

On The Needles
Plume by Lisa Mutch in The Uncommon Thread in The Uncommon Thread Posh Fingering in the 'Nimbostratus' Colourway and Silky Merino Fingering in 'Cerulean' Colourway.
Dashing by Cheryl Niamath, in Artesano Aran in the Oak colourway.  

Fly, Fly, Fly by Adrina Thorpe, available on Music Alley
The First Noel by Alison Crowe, available on Music Alley .
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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

A Much Overdue George Update

Well with everything that's been going on in the playful house, there's not been much love for poor George lately. I've not seen him in months in fact but rest assured I've been receiving regular updates from my parents and the chorus of 'oh no George!' has still been called.

Perhaps I should explain.

As George settled into his new home after months of unhappiness we began to see more of the excitable puppy like behaviour you would expect from a boy of his age: jumping up, barking, playing, and endless curiosity at the world. It was charming to see this young man living fully once again.

However, with this new found excitement came bravery.... And with bravery came a catalogue of stories that have kept everyone amused. First there was the incident with the bakery, the smell of fresh bread and 9 missing bread rolls. Then there was the cat being chased around its own house once the pair had flown through the open front door. The list went on.

The giant and I were browsing children's books, not long after we found out that I was expecting and I found this:

This book not only contained beautiful pictures that looked uncannily like George but also a narrative that was just like George too. This George tries to be good but just can't help eating the cake or ruining the picnic and each time there's a cry of 'oh no George!'

So whenever I get a call from mum to tell me what adventures he's been up to lately, there's usually a cry of 'oh no George!' Amongst barely stifled laughter.

The last oh no was uttered yesterday: 6 missing cakes from a fresh batch cooling on the side.....

..... All together now....

Sunday, 9 December 2012

London Calling

Some time last Spring I noticed a tweet looking for someone to help with a new enterprise, an app and website dedicated to hooking (pun intended) crafters up with crafty connections in London. As with many freelance projects, I had the joy of watching an idea grow into a realisation but as is often the case, only glimpsed a small part as I worked through edits and emails back and forth. It's only now it's launched that I can see the overall picture and wow, I love it. 

The project was 'Craft Candy', a free online website listing of crafty suppliers and happenings around London. I can't speak for the app as I've not yet downloaded it to use in the wild but I'm already super excited by the website and have bookmarked it to help me plan my crafty-ness when I get back in the game. 

The website is easy to use and browse and has that magical balance of white space and great graphic design that I so love in an information website (I get confused and cross easily when it's too busy). What I like the most is the many aspects that are joined up: social media, blogging, listings, well known resource bases such as Ravelry.... it makes sense to me to have these things all in one place. 

So why have I broken my golden rule about not discussing work projects on my blog?

Because I hope to see you at an event soon. So go check it out!

Friday, 7 December 2012

Time to Share

One of the joys of blogging and podcasting is the people who get in touch. I hear from listeners, crafters, producers and designers and they tell me their news and share ideas. I like this community a huge amount and the fact that my profile makes people want to reach out and share just makes me smile. 

Someone who got in touch recently was a rather lovely fellow podcaster who I've listened to in the past. I say in the past as I'm woefully behind with podcasts as you can probably imagine. Lara Neel is a podcaster, blogger and designer. She got in touch to share the news that she's now producing pay for patterns and hoped I'd share a little of her story with you all.

Many of you will know Lara due to her podcast Math4Knitters, the Crafty Living Podcast. It's an interview format  show which includes a section where she talks about the pattern of the week that is produced via the newspaper she works at, Crafty Living. With so much experience, Lara decided to hit out on her own and produce paid for pattern with the kind of attention to detail she's become known for. This is a new enterprise for Lara and I've seen she's been very active on the free testers group, checking her designs and growing from feedback she's been given.

She sent me the Eulalia Shawl pattern to look at and I liked how typical this was of her designs: deceptively simple with an attention to finishing details. This is a top-down, semi-circular shawl with interest added due to a double-knit side edge that is incorporated as you knit, so other than darning in ends, there is practically no finishing at all. This creates interest through rolling inner and outer edges and will sit beautifully on your shoulders. It's simple with a twist and I approve of that! I like patterns to have on the needles that are comforting in their simplicity but have the all the details to give a pleasing finished result.

(c) Lara Neel

You can find Lara's test-knit patterns for sale via Lara Neel on Ravelry, where you'll also find over 140 free patterns, produced for the podcast and newspaper. I wish Lara every success in her growing career as designer.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

So big

I can't believe you're one month old already. I'm so proud of your tenacity and spirit little one. You've thrived and I'm honoured to be observing that. 

Happy one month Playful Babe!