One very busy summer

I honestly have no idea how it is August already. Five minutes ago it was May. Where has the summer gone? Actually a better question would be where the summer weather has gone. I’ve never needed so many woolly items during the summer months before.

But weather aside, it has been one of those ridiculously busy summers. I’m still reeling at the moment, but things are starting (I say starting, I’m wary of something popping up unexpectedly) to come back under control. I can breathe! Finally!

So, in terms of non-knitty stuff, I’m still at University and about 3.5 weeks away from submitting the dissertation. Things have gone well with it, and the research and data gathering elements are pretty much done and I’m now on the writing up stage. All is going smoothly at the moment, and fingers crossed that it stays that way! Unfortunately, this has taken a lot more time than I perhaps anticipated (you’d think having done this kind of stuff of before I’d have been prepared for this, but never mind) and when combined with other things means that I’ve neglected the social media side of things.

In knitty news, things have also been exceedingly busy. Between Uni work and knitty work I don’t really feel like I’ve had much time off. However, the last of the commissions (of four… I think? Or was it five? I lost count… I think it is five) was sent off on Friday and I can fall over (at least on the knitting side of things for a little bit).

I cannot say much on most of the commissions but I’ll post more about them when I can. I think the first preview is coming up on August 12th, and I’ll share the links when I get them. One of them is now out (Notus) and I’ll be posting on that later this week. There have been some re-releases to discuss too. The Luck of the Irish Socks from the Three Irish Girls Sock Club is now available for individual purchase, and I’ll be adding a post on those too.

That was a very brief round-up but I’ll be posting more during August on the aforementioned patterns, and some upcoming self-published patterns coming out soon.

#loveyourblog | Beginnings

A Playful Day
I know this is late but I actually had to spend some time thinking about this prompt. Not helped by the fact that my original plan seemed to fit better with the ‘Ugly’ prompt for tomorrow! And that was focused upon my knitting. However, a look back at my blogging, where it began and how it developed seemed an appropriate fit.
I was startled to realise when I began writing this post that I actually began blogging back in 2004. I know, that surprised me too. Then I realised that I am something of a nomad when it comes to blogs. I switch fairly regularly between platforms and blog titles. So it seems appropriate to start at the start and follow the trail.
Blog #1 started back in 2004. At that point while computer-savvy I had no idea what I was doing and was dependent on a friend to help get me started. I was terrible at updating (nothing changes) but it is interesting to flick back through the posts and see what I was thinking about at the time. That blog followed me during my Masters and the beginnings of my PhD. However, the restrictions in the format  and layout began to chafe (LiveJournal just didn’t have may options). So it was at this point that I jumped over to Blogs #2 and 3. Now, this is where things are a little hazy. I can remember the third blog. The second I know existed, but I just cannot remember what the thing was even called! It was at this point (with both of these blogs) that I started writing less of a diary, and began addressing posts to a hypothetical audience. I focused on aspects of my PhD study, my travels associated with this, and various bits and pieces of general life.
From there, came Blogs #4 and 5; it had become apparent that whilst the previous blogs had focused more on the academic side of my life, the knitting was beginning to make a significant impact. And, I wanted a clean beginning to focus on this. Hence the switch. the decision to move to the immediate predecessor to this blog (Aphaia) was that whilst #4 was knitting-centric, it wasn’t knitting-design-centric. If that makes sense. It was at that point that I began to start designing patterns in earnest, and wanted an appropriate platform to begin presenting them as well. However, the archives from that site still include the post from the previous blogs as well. (During this period, there was another Blog (#7) which was a trip-specific blog and was only ever meant to be a short-term measure). The transition to this site was another step, another beginning so to speak, another move towards creating a definite identity that was associated with me and my patterns.
Looking back at the beginning, the focus of my random postings were very different in focus. Things have changed, and developed in unforeseen ways. Knitting didn’t appear in any posts until 2008 or so. If I remember rightly, much of my decision to switch platforms the first time round was that I wanted a ‘cool’ looking blog in the same vein as some of the knitting blogs I was reading. It is actually quite sad when I looked back at some the linked sites on my earlier blogs – so many are now inactive. Though the same thing could be said of my earlier blogs, they are now sitting inactive and un-updated.
The major change that I can see is in my own voice. My own focus has shifted somewhat over the years, though earlier topics are still continued in the manner in which these are presented and discussed are very different.
My… how things have changed.

Bad, Bad Blogger

Since I haven’t updated here for a while!

I hesistate to say normal service will be resumed, because that implies that I will not post again for months. So shall we say abnormal service which may mean posts are a little more frequent!

2013 has been and gone (admittedly for a while) so I’ll be posting my usual roundup of my 2013 crafting soon. Plus there are some other bits and pieces of news to share!

So when I say so long…

…What I apparently mean is that nothing changes. Oops.

Ah well,  fingers crossed that things will pick up now. As you can see – if you’re reading the actual blog rather than a RSS feed – it has been revamped. Did you know that redesigning the blog is an excellent substitution for actually writing anything?

But more to come, I have lots of things I need to post about. And perhaps, more importantly, want to post about.

Writer’s Block… Only with Knitting

For some strange reason I finished off the end of 2012, and to a lesser extent the start of 2013, on a knitting buzz. Several items were finished – some large, some small (I haven’t blogged about most of these yet). Ideas for designs have been brewing in my head. I’ve agreed to do a test-knit of a cosy cowl for a friend. My stash is organised. I have sorted my favourites, my queue and my pattern library on Ravelry. I’ve thought about patterns I’d like to knit with handspun – and subsequently which fibres in my stash would work for which projects, what weight I should aim for and the required yardages. Sounds good doesn’t it?

Except…

I haven’t knitted anything since Sunday. I haven’t been able to focus. I want to knit. I want to spin. I just don’t know where to start.

I tried casting on the test-knit cowl last night. My first choice of yarn had insufficient yardage. So I frogged it. Tried casting it on today using two shades of that yarn, no luck as the colours just didn’t mesh with the pattern / garter stitch. More frogging. I’m wondering what to use instead. I have three other alternatives. Two of which I have in mind for other projects, one which is completely free but will need to be either dyed beforehand or overdyed when finished. I know fine well that I’ll knit it with the ‘free’ one, but I’ll have to go and find it and wind it up before I can start knitting, and at the end it’ll have to be dyed… and that just seems terribly pro-active (despite the yarn only being in the room next door, the needles at my feet along with any other supplies I need and the dyeing stuff all in the kitchen).

The same can be said for blogging, I have a pile of posts / post ideas that I need to just write and publish. And yet again – I’m staring a computer screen thinking that it seems like something which can wait a little longer.

Procrastination – I have it down to a fine art.

So with the aim of getting out of this procrastinating fug, I’m off to go and knit something else. Just to get back into the swing of things…

Resolutions 2013

I’m not one for making resolutions, or to be more honest I like the idea of them, just not the actual practice of carrying them out. Last January I posted on one of the stash down forums on Ravelry which was discussing the idea of 12 12’s in 2012.

These were the aims:

  1. 12 Sweaters, Cardigans, Tops
  2. 12 Socks (6 pairs)
  3. 12 Mittens, Gloves (6 Pairs)
  4. 12 WIPs or Queue Items
  5. 12 Favourites
  6. 12 Scarves, Cowls, Shawls
  7. 12 Hexipuffs per month (12 x 12)
  8. 12 Techniques (New and Previously Used)
  9. 12 Seasonal Decorations
  10. 12 Wildcards
  11. 12,000 Yards Knitted
  12. 12 Months Keeping my Knitting Stuff Organised

I think I can safely say that all of these probably didn’t happen. I need to actually review what I knitted last year and match it up to the list – I’ll post on that later. But really – it won’t have happened. Some categories will be complete, others will be half done, some will not be done at all and others will probably have been forgotten. Although with my memory for these things, I may surprise myself.

So this year I’m considering things a little differently. Less limitations, more flexibility and no categories.

So for 2013:

  1. Plan ahead
  2. Knit from stash where possible – Although I’m allowing additional purchases if necessary to the project, or if something else specific shows up, i.e. where I see something I *have* to knit and just buy the yarn for that.
  3. Get the stash (yarn and fibre) down to a comfortable level – I have no idea what that level is, just that I’m not there at the moment.
  4. Try and knit from patterns already purchased (or free!) – My Ravelry library is extensive, and I’ve been lucky with the free pattern codes this holiday, I have no excuse.
  5. Spin more – Far easier now I have the wheel. 
  6. Knit with the handspun from resolution #5 – Should be made easier if I have an idea of what I’m knitting and what is needed – see #4.
  7. Try and design more patterns – I have many ideas, I just need to get on with it. 
  8. Try and actually publish my own patterns – see notes accompanying #7.
  9. Stay organised – in terms of stash, equipments, notes etc – Should be straightforward, my office is better organsing and I like sorting things. 
  10. Try and take better photographs – More on this later.
  11. Keep blogging – Speaks for itself really…

I think this should work; I’m already working on #1…

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Knitting like the Wind!

The joke is in the title… a few years ago when we were moving apartment and were in something of rush (seriously, next time we’re hiring a moving company to do it) we were sitting down and eating lunch but we needed to get on with things. So I came out with ‘Eat! Eat like the wind!

This has now become a stock phrase in our household, generally used when anyone is in a hurry. So ‘eat/bath/knit/spin/crochet like the wind!’ is often heard.

But recently it seems applicable. There’ll be a fair few finished objects posts coming up over the next few days as I’ve been knitting quite a bit.

You have been warned…

In a name…

I have a long-standing love affair with Greece. I’ve studied the history and culture of the country, I’ve travelled around it, I’ve worked out there.

So this goes a long way at explaining why this blog (and I) have a Greek deity as a title and username. Aphaia, or Ἀφαία in the Greek (pronounced Aff-fie-ur), is one of those slightly odd Greek deities who only ever seemed to be worshipped at one location on the island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf.

The sanctuary dedicated to her lies in the hills, with spectacular views out over the Saronic Gulf and across to Attica and Athens to the north, the isthmus of Corinth to the west, and the mountainous terrain of the Peloponnese in the south. Beautiful indeed.