The Lazy Knitter podcast – episode 5

Hello Everyone!

Time flies when you’re having fun: episode 5 already! I feel like this week really had me feeling a lot more comfortable in front of the camera. There’s a lot of random chatter and quite some yarn shopping. As well as finished objects, designer chatter and works in progress.

Where to find me?

  • Instagram: renee_kies.
  • Ravelry: Alazybeauty.
  • Youtube channel: The Lazy Knitter
  • My designs: Renée Kies

Finished objects

  • Molly weasley blanket: no real pattern, knit using fingering weight yarn scraps and minis. Knit on 2.75 mm needles (US 2).
  • Jumping stones dishcloth: own design. Action Made by me Multi. 100% cotton yarn (fingering weight). Knit on 3.00 mm (US2.5) needles.
  • Exploding lines dishcloth: own design. Action Made by me Multi. 100% cotton yarn (fingering weight). Knit on 3.00 mm (US2.5) needles.
  • Blocked waves: own design. main yarn is G-B Wolle sprint in 685 (grey). CC1: Opal for Ladies & Gentlemen in Lebendig. CC2: Rico design Superba 100 Klassik 4-fädig in 103. CC3: ONline Linie 3 Supersocke 100 in 61. CC4: Drops Fabel in 111. Knit on 2.5 mm needles (US 1.5).

Works in progress

  • Vanilla socks: No specific pattern. Will do a traditional afterthought heel. Yarn is Regia by Arne & Carlos in colorway Star night (3653). Knit on 2.5 mm needles (US 1.5).
  • Fox paws cowl: pattern is fox paws by Xandy Peters (paid pattern). Yarn is Artesano Alpaca Silk 4 ply in Fawn, Robins egg, Violet Blue, and Signal blue. Modified by starting with a provisional cast on. Will finish by grafting ends together to create a cowl. Also only using 4 colors and will keep the same order of colors throughout. Knit on 3.5 mm (US 4).
  • Woodrush cardigan: pattern is woodrush cardigan by Allison Green (paid pattern). Knit in Zeeman Royal in grey. Knit on 4.5 mm (US 7) needles.

Shopping

Knitting plans

  • Cast on 1 secret sock design.
  • Do some crochet.
  • Finish Jumping stones test.
  • Continue Serpentine test.

 

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2016 Crafting goals

Hello Everyone,

Like most people do at the beginning of January I have come up with some goals to start the year with. I already blogged about my biggest goal for the year: improving my health. Unfortunately I haven’t started off too grand and have been feeling rather blah this first week. I had several migraine attacks, accidentally ate spoiled yoghurt (stupid!) and have been really really tired. I feel like all I’ve done is sleep! This also means that i’ve been too tired to really take my goal of eating better seriously and have quickly stumbled back into my old rhythm. Even though I bought plenty of healthy food, i’ve been too tired to cook so have jumped to easy quick meals (a microwave meal that I needed to finish, soup, a ready made salad, etc). It also shows in other aspects of my life, my apartment could use a vacuum and the bathroom needs a bit of cleaning. But i think i’ll start by washing the dishes as i’m out of forks and plates and it’s stacking up. Stupidly I always hate doing the dishes and put it off, when it’s 15 minutes of work and when my kitchen is clean I feel much better. So i’m giving myself a kick in the pants as I’m sitting here typing: tomorrow I do the dishes (and something fun! read on to learn what), Saturday i’m signing up at the gym and going for a run (I found an app that sounds perfect and very motivating, if i like it i’ll post about it!) and Sunday is cleaning day.

But my life is not going to be all about my health this year. I want to do more fun things (an some necessary things that will be fun once i’m done with them, like finishing up the last few courses of my Business Economics study and getting my bachelors!). If you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that I knit and crochet. I also got my first spinning wheel and have started spinning! I also design my own patterns and sell them on Ravelry. I have some goals I would like to achieve this year and those are what I’m going to be sharing with you this year.

Crafty goals:

  • Try brioche
  • Knit at least 20 pairs of socks (in 2015 I managed 18 and I can definitely manage more!
  • Knit/Crochet from stash. I have too much stash for my storage and need to downsize a little.
  • Yarn no-buy: This is related to the previous goal. Until I size my stash down a bit I can’t buy more yarn. Depending on how much I use up in 6 months I might lengthen this to a year. I did add a few caveats to this: If it’s special and limited edition (meaning I can’t get it after. But this can’t be more than 5 skeins for the whole year of 2 for 6 months. This doesn’t include fiber, I hardly have fiber and seeing how much i’ve spun in the first 3 days since I first sat down at my wheel I’m going to work through what I have fast!
  • Do more crochet! Last year I was mainly focussed on knitting and I feel like i’m forgetting how to crochet. I want to do some more crochet and rediscover my love for it.
  • Finish a wip: my floral fantasy blanket.
  • Spin and knit a pair of handspun socks.

Floral Fantasy

Floral Fantasy

Designing goals:

  • I want to publish at least 1 design a month, so 12 throughout the year. More is even better!
  • Finish updating all my patterns to the new and improved format.
  • Get a logo made.
  • Design a sock collection of 7 patterns.
  • Design a cowl.
  • Submit at least 1 design to a 3rd party.
  • Upload patterns properly to Loveknitting and look into other platforms.

I also have some goals related to the ones I have mentioned so far or that don’t really fall into these 2 categories.

  • Blog regularly! I like blogging, so I should just do it. I’m not going to stress about writing perfectly. This is a personal blog, expect personal writings, knitting and all things that interest me. I’m aiming for a minimum of 1 post per week, but would prefer to do more. But let’s just see if I can manage that before I set the bar to high and ignore the blog for another year.
  • Start a podcast!!! I love watching podcasts and for a few months now I’ve been thinking about starting my own. It just looks so fun! I’m actually recording my first episode tomorrow!
  • Update blog and work on a nice lay out.

This is all I can think of right now! Still quite the list haha!

Love, Renée

I’m Back!

Hi there,

It’s been a while. I’ve been absent from the blog for so long I wonder if someone is even going to be around to read this. My health is still not where it should be, and it’s never going to be perfect again. 2015 is going to be a fresh start. No more avoiding, no more procrastinating (or at least less). I’ve never been one for a lot of new year’s resolutions, but this year I have a few. I didn’t even have to go to any trouble to think them up, they were just there. And I feel different about these than my usual resolutions. These actually feel important and I would feel very good if I could actually make these work. I want these to work. I’ve always had the same old, not very serious, resolutions like wanting to get in shape, to work harder, etc. But i didn’t really care. Sure! It would be nice, but I’d be fine without those things too. It’s different this time, I want them to work. I need these to work. There’s a lot on my plate this year and to make everything work I need to make some changes. So here’s my game plan. I’ve split my resolutions up into several different categories: school, personal, health and crafty and today i’m going to be sharing them here.

I’ve really been missing the blogging and I want to get into it again. Organising my thoughts and ideas here is going to help me to stick to my goals and keep some oversight. Which, with the creeping chaos, is something I could really use.

Crafty Goals 

1. This year I would like to knit a sweater.

2. Finish some languishing works in progress (see my Ravelry page for my current projects. I want to finish the hibernating projects)

3. Use up some stash.

4. Knit a pair of toe-up socks.

5. Try out a fish lips kiss heel as everyone seems to be raving about these!

6. Make some progress on my first quilt. I want to prep more hexagons and start piecing the thing together.

Health Goals

1. Be patient. I’m having a hard time just waiting to feel better. It’s natural. I just need to wait for my body to recover from 6+ years of damage.

2. If more turns out to be wrong with me, I’m allowed one day of being sad/upset. Then I’m going to look to the future and deal with it. No whining!

3. Keep a health diary. In my phone or on paper, it doesn’t matter. I need to get a good overview of my aches and pains so that i can find out what’s causing them.

4. If my body is saying no, I cannot push it too hard. I’ll end up out of rotation longer than necessary. Taking a one day break is better.

School Goals

1. No more procrastinating! If i have time, I need to just do my work and not put it off. My energy is so often unexpectedly less than I had thought/hoped. I need to work ahead when I can.

2. No slacking. Don’t hurry and finish something. I need to give it my best effort.

Personal Goals

1. After reading a book, I want to write more reviews. I’m planning on publishing these here on the blog.

2. Make more of an effort with make up and clothing. I’m too tired to take much time with this lately. I want to start making time for it, if I look good, I feel a little better.  Besides, it’s fun!

3. Don’t get snippy. I have a tendency to get very grumpy when i’m tired (and I’m tired a lot) and I take it out on the people around me. And they don’t deserve that.

Whew! Quite a personal post for my first post back on the blog. Ah well, best to jump right in!

What are your resolutions?

Love, Renée

ps. I decided to leave all my old post up. I like reading back! The blog will be getting a make over though!

Quick Update

Hello Everyone,

You might (or not) have noticed that the blog has been silent for quite some time. I have been going through a bit of a roller coaster and didn’t feel like blogging for a while. My roller coaster is heading upwards once again and i finally feel like sharing everything with y’all again (i’m watching Nashville on Netflix, i suddenly have an accent).

Let’s start at the beginning. For a long time now, my health hasn’t been very great. I’ve been tired and have a lot of migraines. I always shrugged it off and thought this hd to be normal and was a result of being a student. If I was a little more tired than most that might just be the result of a depression I had about 4-5 years ago, maybe I hadn’t bounced back as much as I thought. Surely everyone feels like this but never mentions it? The last 2-3 years it’s been getting more and more extreme. I’m always exhausted. Lately getting up in the morning was a chore. After being up for about an hour I would be desperate for a nap. I couldn’t concentrate on my studies and my migraines were getting more and more frequent. I also noticed some other issues were getting worse. My belly ached practically all the time for so long it became my normal and I stopped noticing it. I had a headache almost every day. Finally I started realizing this could not be normal for a 22 year old. I made an appointment to see a doctor and had some bloodwork done. My mom has a thyroid problem so we thought i might have thyroid issues too. Because i told the doctor I was worried about this she only ticked the boxes for thyroid tests on my bloodwork paper (we get a huge list of all possible blood tests and the dr ticks the ones you need). My mom thought we should test some of my vitamins too and so she ticked some extra boxes before we went to get blood drawn (you’re not supposed to really). Boy, am I glad she did! My results showed a pretty sever B12 deficiency. Usually you have enough to support you for 3 years in your blood and mine was pretty much used up. So I started using up my reserves right around the time my symptoms got worse. We now knew something was up or I wouldn’t have had such a huge deficiency. The doctor started me on weekly B12 shots to get me back on track and we started investigating what had caused the deficiency.

Its now turned out I have Celiac disease. The disease we always joked about because the Dutch name is pretty much unpronounceable (Coeliakie, pronounce Seu-li-aaaa-ki). There is no treatment apart from eating completely gluten free. With Celiac disease seating gluten damages your intestines until you can no longer absorb nutrients. This makes you more susceptible to all kinds of other nasty stuff. You have to go completely gluten free, you can’t ever sin as it will make you feel very sick.

It’s good to finally know what’s wrong with me and why i’ve been feeling so tired all the time. I’ve probably had the disease for a while as it can suddenly activate if you have the gene when you get sick etc. As a result my intestines are pretty damaged. I won’t feel back to my old self for a while, but the diet should make me feel more comfortable soon.

because this is going to be a huge impact on my life it will impact the blog as well. I want to  write about being gluten free and my experiences too. But i would prefer to do so in Dutch. But the crafting parts of my blog are often read by people from all over the world… so i want those to be available in English. Right now I’m thinking of starting a new blog. In dutch.  There i will write about my experiences with gluten and celiac disease and I will review products (i usually do budget stuff only available in the netherlands anyway). But I will also be writing about my crafty stuff there, with a English translation. I’m just going to try it out and see how it goes. I can’t start for another week yet as i still have finals to get through (pretty scary when you’re still dead tired and not really up to studying).  However, i’m still a bit on the fence about this all. I’m starting a new (second) bachelors degree in September majoring in English and all about writing. That’s a pretty good motivation to keep blogging in English… But Recipes and such will become a big part of my new and improved blog and those will be much more efficient in Dutch as most products used will be Dutch.

I have another week to chose. I’ll let you know! By the way: Name idea’s are much welcomed! Although I am still partial to the current name as I use it everywhere!

I’m also moving house this weekend!

Love, Renée

A day at the museum

Hello Everyone!

Last Sunday my parents and I went to an exhibition about the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun. I haven been greatly interested in ancient Egypt since i was young and had been wanting to visit this exhibition for a while. As it was nearing it’s end we finally went on Sunday. I took some pictures and I thought it would be fun to share my day with you! The exhibition was solely about Tutankhamun and he is one of my favorite historical people. There is still some mystery about his life and the time in which he lived. And who can resist a good mystery? He has been an endless source of imagination for me!

The exhibition was a lot of fun and I learned some new things. Unfortunately the entire exhibition consisted of replicas, which, if you have seen the real thing, is just not as impressive. Still we had a lovely time and the exhibition was full of fun facts!

Gold fingers and toes! Creepy!!

Baby sarcophagus

Perfume Jar

Perfume Jar

Ancient cosmetics

That all the pictures I took at the exhibition. There were a lot of different things to look at! it was one of the first warm and sunny days of the year and so on the way home we stopped  for some ice-cream. I was so glad to find that a new store near us sells my favorite flavors (which is pretty rare!) So I had a walnut & Maple and yoghurt flavored ice-cream! Yummy!

After a long day i finally settled on the couch with my knitting and some tv.

Lots of love,

Renée

 

 

 

Liebster Blog Award

Hello Everyone,

This post has been a while in the making, but to be honest I was a little unsure how to go about it. You see, I’m horrible at taking a compliment and I recently received a rather large compliment for my itty bitty baby blog! So I took some time to consider how to proceed as I want to do my post concerning this justice.

The compliment I am referring to is the fact that the lovely Graycrochet nominated me for a Liebster blog award. Thank you so so much! I was never ever expecting something like this and mostly blog for myself as a sort of diary, but with the thought that I can use it to practice my English and my writing and that it might amuse others. My blog is still very new and still in the development stages.

I recommend all of you to take a look at her blog. She is quite crafty and makes some amazing things!

The award does not mean that I get a shiny silver plaque, but it something much nicer: recognition. The fact that someone likes my blog enough to give me an award is a great compliment and greatly motivating!

There are some rules:

  1. Thank and link back to the blogger who presented you with the award. (Check! See above)
  2. List 11 random facts about yourself
  3. Answer 11 random questions
  4. Create 11 random questions for your nominees
  5. Present/nominate a Liebster Blog Award to more newbie bloggers!  (no tag backs)

11 Random facts about myself

  1. I’m 21 and still sleep with a toy bunny that I’ve had since birth. No shame. It helps me sleep more comfortably, so why shouldn’t I. Once I have a boyfriend to cuddle with it can go into retirement.
  2. I only started crochet on new years eve! And learned to knit in January. Yet I cannot imagine life without either anymore.
  3. My lives dream is to write a book. Preferably a fantasy book as I love the genre myself!
  4. I’m currently in the process of writing up a “bucket list”. This is a list in which I list all the things I still wish to do. For example: I would love to go to Japan and would love to jump out of a plane with just a parachute strapped to my back.
  5. I’m deathly afraid of insects and bugs. Spiders, beetles, worms, etc… Brrrr! They gross me out with their slimy skin and too many legs. I don’t even like butterflies!
  6. I love tea! Ever since I got a huge travel mug from Starbucks last Christmas I have constantly been sipping tea from it. A good thing because it helps me drink enough every day. I love my mug! It keeps my tea warm for a long time, which is great when you’re a slow drinker like me!
  7. I love historical drama’s. I’m currently on the 4th season of the Tudors and am planning to watch the Borgias, Vikings and Downton Abbey.
  8. I am a book-aholic. I’m addicted to reading. I read daily and I read very fast. I’ve managed to read 100 books in 3 months before!
  9. Blood makes me queasy. Fun story: one night at a school party after a few drinks a friend slipped on a set of stairs and fell down them. There was a lot of glass on the stairs and she sliced up her leg. I had had a few drinks, but was doing fine. Upon seeing her wound and the blood I got very very sick and spent the rest of the night vomiting. The school janitor ended up driving my friend to hospital and me home. Quite embarrassing! And one of the reasons I no longer drink when going out just to get drunk. Those days are definitely behind me!
  10. I used to self harm and I had a severe depression. Not a very fun fact, but, to me, a very important one. Self harm is still very much a taboo topic, but I’m not ashamed of my past. As a matter of a fact I wouldn’t change a thing as I feel this has greatly shaped who I am today. And while on the topic: If you are struggling today, never feel afraid to send me an email or strike up a chat. I’m always willing to talk!
  11. I’m positive that I will not live in The Netherlands for the rest of my life. I’m planning to move abroad after my studies.

11 Random Questions

  1. If you crochet, what is your favorite pattern to date?  If you don’t, what is your favorite crafty thing that you or someone else has made? Ooh this is quite a though question! I haven’t made a lot of things yet, but have realized that I really really love making blankets. Currently I am completely in love with the Temair Throw by Nicky Epstein. I haven’t made it yet, but am planning to. I will however edit it slightly to make it a bit larger.
  2. What is your favorite meal to cook? My favorite food is rice with a sweet and sour sauce with extra peaches. My parents and sister don’t really care for it, so if I want to eat it, I usually have to make it myself. I’ve made it so often and it smells ever so nice that it has to be my favorite! Although I really like baking too!
  3. Who is your favorite band/singer? Another though one! I like a lot of different styles of music. A few of my current favorites: Celtic woman, Muse, Loreena Mckennitt, Phildel, Destine and Imagine dragons.
  4. Glass half empty or half full? I try to always see the glass as half full. Sometimes it might take me a minute or two, but I can always find a positive side to things.
  5. What is the main purpose of your blog? My main purpose is to create a space for myself to write and share my craft projects. A secondary purpose is to help practice my writing and keep up my English.
  6. When not blogging, what are some of your favorite websites to visit/hang out at? I’m addicted to Ravelry. It’s one of the reasons my projects don’t get finished faster!
  7. Incense, candles, or room spray?  And what flavor? I like candles in the winter and prefer berry scents or, if it’s particularly cold out, a warm vanilla scent.
  8. If you could pick one superpower for a single day, what would it be and why? I’d like to be able to talk to animals. I have always loved animals, but it’s hard to guess what they are thinking sometimes. How amazing would it be to just be able to ask them!
  9. If you could go back in time and talk to anyone from the history books, who would you choose and why? I should really like to meet my grandfathers. Unfortunately they both passed away before I was born and I don’t know that much about them. There are many other times and people I would like to visit, but I think this visit might benefit me most and turn out to be a lot more significant.
  10. What is your favorite animal?  Not pet, but animal. I have a fondness for the tiger. They are so majestic and graceful yet so powerful.
  11. What is your favorite memory from your childhood? I was rather a wild kid and had a great childhood and so have many great memories. But the one that I remember most and that still gets brought up a family dinners every now and then is that I am extremely curious and also was so as a child. This resulted in me asking questions all the time. My father had a videocamera. One of those old ones where you had to look through a lens in a sort of tube. this seemed very fun to me and in all our old videos you can now hear me asking “Can I look through it?” a few times. Even now I often find myself wanting to be involved when someone is filming or taking pictures haha!

My questions:

  1. What is your favorite food and where did you first eat it?
  2. What is the one thing you want to do before you die?
  3. What song has a emotional value for you and why?
  4. If you could talk to yourself when you were 15 what would you tell yourself?
  5. What is currently the closest object to you on your right?
  6. The zombie apocalypse breaks out. What do you do?
  7. If you could turn into an animal which one would that be and why?
  8. If you could not have been named what you are named now, what would you have liked to be called?
  9. What do you like to do in your spare time?
  10. Do you have any weird traits?
  11. Paper or digital?

My nominees:

  1. To live a life – The sweet Anya writes amazingly and I love reading her blog! It’s not really a newbie anymore, but I felt it only right to mention her anyway.
  2. Crochet Nirvana – This is a blog I have recently discovered and I love it! The blog started in April 2012, but never received the award so I felt it my responsibility to change that!
  3. Beauty Sparkles – Unfortunately for some of you this blog is only in Dutch, but I wanted to get her some recognition anyway. I have a passion for make up and nail polish and so like to keep informed on what’s new. The lovely Sofie has only been blogging since november, but her blog is in perfect shape and is very professional.
  4. Birdie Girl Knits – Brand spanking new and I love it already. Her style is so nice and I can’t wait to see what other things we can expect.

I hope they will feel as motivated as I did when I received the award!

Lots of love,

Renée

Project Mania

Arrghhh! I’ve gone and done it again! I have way way way too many projects going at the same time. Here’s a list of what I’m working on:

– A ripple blanket, about 1/2 done

– Heirloom blanket, currently on hold.

– Beekeepersquilt, nowhere near done.

– Scale scarf, currently in a neat ball of yarn due to the troubles I was having.

– Branching out, about 1/3 done. I’m not really sure, because I want to use the entire skein of yarn, but am not even halfway and the scarf is already pretty long! (I’m at 14 repeats, the pattern recommends 30)

– A Birthday gift for my mum. I had done a few rows, but the realized my needles were too large. I found a smaller size and need to cast on soon. Mum’s birthday is on the 25th!

– A pair of socks for myself. Ever since my first pair of socks, i wanted to try some socks with some sort of pattern on them. So yesterday evening when I stumbled across the perfect pattern, I just started… I was considering scrapping mom’s other gift and giving her these, but I don’t think she’ll like the colours… (They’re a really bright, and a little garish, combination of red, neon orange, and different shades or purple)

And I also have some projects that I really want to start:

– A little crochet car amigurumi to put on a keychain (my sister is taking her driving test as I speak as I type, and I want to give her a fun car keychain when she passes. I’m 100% certain she will, so I need to get started!)

– A african flower pincushion. My mom saw my pincushion and loved it. SHe immediately asked if I could make her one too. So I want to make this as a small send gift!

– And a load of other things (seriously, Ravelry is feeding my Startitis! I keep seeing new, fun and challenging projects that I just have to try!), but I’m not going to list all the things I dream of making. The list would be endless haha!

I have no idea how to get my gifts done in time and catch up on my schoolwork (I’ve fallen a bit behind, eek!). But I’m going to make it work somehow. For some classes I watch a video of the class online (Isn’t that a luxury?! I could go to class and stay in bed at the same time, i’m so lucky!) and I can combine that with my Ripple (which I have been neglecting for two weeks and am now missing like crazy!), because it’s such an easy pattern and takes hardly any concentration. And it keeps my hands busy! For other classes I have an audio tape of the lectures, so the same principle works there.

I’m not sure if ti would be smarter to finish some other projects first or cast on my gifts and finish those first, which will result in even more projects laying around…

I love crochet and knitting, but at times like these I really feel like I’ve taken on too much work at once. I think I’m going to make it a rule that I will have a maximum of 5 projects at once: 3 longer projects (ripple, beekeepers quilt, heirloom granny) and 2 faster projects ( socks, scarves, etc).

Another new rule: When my hands/wrists/arms/shoulders/neck starts hurting. I stop and give the offending body part a rest. I did not do this when my left wrist and hand started hurting about two weeks ago, but I kept on knitting… Two weeks later and my hand still hurts. I have this type of injury rather frequently (my joints are overly mobile) and usually it heals a lot faster. So I didn’t take it so serious this time and that showed. I think I actually cried a few times due to the pain and I don’t cry that easily!

Today my hand is feeling a lot better, but still not 100%. Hopefully by Sunday it will be back to normal.

And now it is time to get cracking on …. something branching out! I want to finish that thing!

Lots of love,

Renée

ps. Ahw, I   just heard that my sister did not pass her test. Apparently her examination was very strict! So that gives me a little more time to work on her gift!