365 and Counting

Hello Kneeps*

Well, today is my last post for the Knitting and Crochet Blog Weeeeeeeeeek (seeing as it’s taken me a lot longer than a week to write, I thought that is was only fair that I made it a very long “week” ūüėõ ). ¬†The final challenge is to blog about where I would like to be this time next year in terms of my crafting. ¬†It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to write this. ¬†Not because I don’t know where I want to be but because my own self doubt got in the way of writing something positive. ¬†So I am taking the plunge (while I’m feeling good about it all) and baring my knitting hopes and dreams with you all and I hope that you will keep me accountable to this.

For a while know I’ve been keeping a sketch book close by to jot down/ sketch any original pattern ideas I have, these vary from kids through to adults; socks through to jumpers. ¬†I’ve even gone so far as to chart out some of the different designs, and I’ve cast on 1 or 2, only to rip it out again a few rows later. ¬†I’m kind of scared, firstly because I really don’t know what I’m doing and I struggle with the concept of making “mistakes” and not making something perfect the first time. ¬†Secondly, I’m scared that I’ll knit something up and be really proud of it only to find out later that everyone else thinks is ugly. ¬†Thirdly, I really really don’t know what I’m doing (beyond the knitting bit) and that freaks me out a fair bit. ¬†Maths was never my strong point at school and despite the fact that I know how to use a calculator and have one handy, I still avoid anything to do with maths as a general rule (says the mum with school aged children who bring maths homework home ūüėē )

My goal for the next year is that I actually get over myself and turn my sketches into tangible items with real patterns available for those that want them. ¬†Realistically, I know that not everyone is going to like my particular style and you know what? ¬†That’s fine. ¬†But I also know that there must be people out there that will like what I design. ¬†All I need to do is start – or more knittingly, cast on ūüėõ

My 2nd goal for the next year is to start dying yarn. ¬†I’m really keen to give it a go. ¬†Once again, colour aesthetics differ from person to person, just like design. ¬†There are some indie dyers out there whose work is good, but not my style. ¬†I’m sure that there will be people that love my colourways and some that don’t but until I give it a go I’m never going to know what I can accomplish. ¬†And if I bomb out, well, someone’s going to be getting a very ugly multi-coloured Beekeepers Quilt for Christmas ūüėõ .

So, that’s it. ¬†Putting it out there is a good¬†thing¬†for me (despite the terror I feel at baring my knitterly soul to you all), it means that if I don’t do it, everyone will know. ¬†Really, I don’t want to come to this time next year and find myself having to make excuses as to why I didn’t give it a good shot, it’s certainly not an example that I want to be setting for my kids.

I hope you have enjoyed the last 7 posts, some of them have certainly been very different to what I normally write. ¬†I’ve enjoyed the challenge and having to think outside of my usual box and I’m certainly looking forward to doing it all over again next year.

*Kneeps = knitting people ūüėõ (“Creeps” – crafting people – just didn’t seem right ūüėČ )

The Shanti Willow

I’m beginning this with an apology. ¬†I realised after I posted my last blog that I never explained why I was going on about Monkey’s and Houses and all of that. ¬†So this week, if you haven’t gathered, is the Knitting and Crochet Blog week. ¬†The aim is to blog everyday and Eskimimi has set out challenges for those participating. ¬†The first challenge was to choose a house (and if you want to read about the other houses then check out the Eskimimi blog) and I chose the House of Monkey. ¬†I obviously haven’t been blogging everyday, but thankfully Eskimimi is pretty flexible about that, and I hope you will be too.

Day 2’s challenge is to find a project that embodies the house that I’ve chosen. ¬†Well, I most certainly won’t be knitting any Monkeys any time soon so that’s out of the question (although I have knitted Cookie A’s Monkeys and you can see them here). ¬†Rather I’m going to talk about 2 projects that I’m really keen to cast on and why that fits into my house of choice. ¬†In fact I would have cast on one of these projects already but I don’t have the right sized needle.

The first project is the Om Shanti Bed Socks (these are the ones I want to cast on right NOW) which I first saw when I bought Socktopus by Alice Yu just before Christmas last year. ¬†It was one of the socks that I thought looked pretty but I also thought that it looked a little complicated and too short, besides who only uses knitted socks for bed? ¬†Not me! ¬†But as I continued to flick through the book (I do that with my pattern books, I sit and flick through them from time to time, either for something pretty to look at, for inspiration, or just for the heck of it) this sock started to speak to me. ¬†I realised (and at this point I will completely blame baby brain and the distractions of being away for Christmas) that I could alter the sock. ¬†It didn’t have to be ankle length, it didn’t have to be done in a luxury yarn (hey, all sock yarn is a luxury, not just because of the cost but because it’s just so darn pretty!), and it most certainly deserves to be shown off! ¬†As I started knitting the V Junkie socks I began to realise that the Socktopus book was not just a book with pretty sock patterns within it’s covers, it’s a book with a wealth of new techniques that I had never ever thought of.

Om Shanti

The more I flicked through the book the more the Om Shanti sock began to speak to me, to woo me with it’s short row toe construction, the Kihnu Vits braid, and it’s interesting cuff construction. ¬†Between the Socktopus book and the Sock Knitting Master Class book I think I’m just about ready to throw myself into the deep end with Estonian knitting, that stuff is amazing! ¬†Anyway, up until now I’ve never come across a short row toe, actually I’d never come across a short row heel until I knitted the first V Junkie sock and I love that! ¬†For me the Om Shanti sock is full of mysterious new techniques that are dying to throw themselves on my needles. ¬†Ok ok, I’m dying to throw them on to my needles ūüėČ . ¬†New sock constructions are completely enchanting to me and I seriously can’t knit fast enough to get to them (I’m really feeling that pain right now, just discovered a mistake in my Jaywalker and I’m going to have to rip back several rows ūüė¶ ).

The second project is Cat Bordhi’s Pussy Willow Stockings from the Sock Knitting Master Class book. ¬†These socks just look intriguing. ¬†There is no other word for it. ¬†From the Moccasin Toe, to the instep expansion camouflaged¬†in the patterning across the top of the foot and beyond, these socks are…. are…… are…… leaving me speechless. ¬†I know that they’re going to be a challenge, I’ve only knitted a total of 2 complete pairs of socks (almost 3) and 4 individuals. ¬†It’s not like I have a huge amount of experience in sock knitting under my belt (hey, I’ve only just learned that I should be using a stretchy cast on for my top downs……. didn’t know that for the first 5 or 6 individual socks) and I have only knit 1 toe up sock – yes just 1, not a pair, just 1 individual sock. ¬†BUT they’re Cat Bordhi socks, and if you’ve ever watched her videos on youtube then you know that she’s an amazing and entertaining teacher. ¬†I’m really looking forward to knitting those and the wealth of information that I’m going to learn from the experience…… ¬†I might knit another pair of toe ups first just to be on the safe side of toe up experience though.

Between Socktopus and the Sock Knitting Master Class, I have a lot of new things to learn and try for a while to come. ¬†Hmmmm…… value for money ¬†for this little sock knitting Monkee ūüėČ

It’s funny, as with almost all knitting, just when I think there can’t be any other trick to it – because in all¬†naive¬†honesty, I thought the most exotic you could get with socks was an afterthought heel – I’m proved wrong yet again and honestly I don’t claim to know it all. ¬†I don’t know why I think knitting is so limited, maybe because my ability to think outside the square is limited. ¬†Which is a shame really. ¬†I know that I’m getting better at it, thinking outside the box that is. ¬†I guess for me everything has always been pretty black and white, creativity wasn’t something that was necessarily encouraged in my childhood. ¬†Following the law right down to the very last comma was enforced and that’s the way that I’ve been with everything, from cooking right through to my knitting, never deviating from the recipe or the pattern (in my mind there’s always been an underlying disclaimer that if I change what is I’m going to make a massive mistake!). ¬†Although my creativity is getting better in the kitchen and I’m becoming more comfortable with cooking things without a recipe, or using a base recipe as a diving board into something else entirely different. ¬†Happily, my knitting is slowly moving in the same direction. ¬†It just takes a bit of effort to trust in my own judgement, to believe in myself and my own ability, to not cling so tightly to the ideas of others.

I think as time goes by I’m becoming more and more of a process knitter and it’s slowly breaking down those creativity stifling barriers I’ve had up for my entire life.

Are you a stickler for rules and patterns, or are you happy making it up as you go along?

Inspirated

Have any of you watched MKR (My Kitchen Rules for non Australian readers)? ¬†I’ve watched about 10 minutes all up. ¬†I’m not a fan of watching people pour everything they have into succeeding at something while other people do their utmost to tear them down. ¬†Anyway, leading up to the start of the latest season were some rather interesting promo ads, one of which featured a little blonde¬†home-maker¬†talking about feeling “inspirated”. ¬†I’m not sure if she truly thinks it’s a word and uses it regularly, or if she made a faux pas that ‘the powers that be’ pounced on to make the show more appealing. ¬†Regardless, I like it! ¬†It sounds like a combination between inspiration and perspiration (and as I say this my husband rolls his eyes).

If you’re a regular reader of the blog then you know I’ve managed to score myself some Lollipop Yarn, 2 balls in fact and they’ve been singing to me, serenading me with a song about socks and the socks they want to be knit into. ¬†I’m not a vanilla sock knitter, I need something with a bit of oomph, a bit of pizzazz, something to stop me from falling asleep. ¬†In all honesty the only thing that got me through the Kai Mei ribbing was the pattern detail across the foot that I knew was coming! ¬†So, I wanted to knit something pretty, but not something that would take away the lovely self striping goodness of the yarn. ¬†I went trawling through ravelry for inspiration, I decided to try my hand at designing my own sock and wasn’t entirely happy with what I came up with, then I found these socks by Patons. ¬†It’s just a simple feather and fan stitch and I thought, I can do that. ¬†I wasn’t keen on the projects that were available on ravelry in the feather and fan pattern so I decided to make one up myself. ¬†I’ve got Barbara Walker’s First Treasury, so I can play with the pattern undeterred until I’m happy with the result (for instance, I don’t like the purl bumps). ¬†I’ve also picked up Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting Master Class¬†and although there are some lovely patterns in there that I’m keen to try, none of them suit the yarn. ¬†My plan is to combine different elements from the book and morph them into one glorious pair of socks (I can dream can’t I?). ¬†I figure, if I ever want to try my hand at designing then I need to start somewhere, so why not with something fairly tame and ease myself into it?

latvian

I’ve begun with a Latvian Twisted cast on, as featured on the French Market Socks¬†by Nancy Bush. ¬†It’s something completely different and adds a nice amount of interest as well as incorporating all 3 colours of the yarn. ¬†For the rib I’m just doing a simple 2 x 2 rib. ¬†I had originally thought about a twisted rib but as it tends to make the stitches stand out more the rib was competing with the cuff so I decided to stick with an untwisted stitch. ¬†So far, so good. ¬†I’m not sure how long I’ll make the ribbed section, I think I’ll keep going until I feel like it’s long enough (isn’t that how designers operate, going by feel and aesthetic?). ¬†It’s nice to be working on something of my own, even if it’s almost the most basic pattern, at least when I’m finished I can say that I designed it.

I’ve been making slow but steady progress on both the Gimli socks and J.J’s Artichaut. ¬†I’m still working on the rib of the socks, although I think I might be just about done. ¬†I’m not in too much of a rush to get through those as I really don’t want to make any more mistakes, not like the last time. ¬†I’d rather the socks take me the next year to get through and have a perfect sock then make a stack of mistakes and have to rip it out because I can’t live with the mess. ¬†I’m now through the armhole decreases on the Artichaut and I’m picking up the stitches down the side for the seamless version. ¬†Ok, I’ve picked up one stitch. ¬†I think I’m already regretting going for the seamless option, I have the feeling that it might be a bit fiddly if the first pick up is anything to go by…… too late now, there’s no way I’m ripping it out and starting it all over again. ¬†Plus I don’t think J.J would ever forgive me if I ripped it out…… ok, she would, she’s 9, but it would take a very long time for her to get over it. ¬†So I shall just have to plunge ahead and hope that it works out alright!

I started my last post with a promise to blog twice a week and then I didn’t. ¬†I got to the weekend and everything went a little pear shaped and by the end of the weekend I never wanted to knit again let alone blog (a long story I won’t bore you with), so the desire to put myself out there just wasn’t forthcoming. ¬†It still surprises me how emotionally tied to my knitting I am. ¬†I knit more when I’m stressed or feeling anxious; when I’m sad or upset it’s the last thing I want to do. ¬†Do your emotions affect how or what you knit?

On Monday, as a result of my rather emotionally draining weekend, I took time to appreciate the little things that bring me joy and I thought I would share some of them with you.

Lily

Beautiful flowers that my wonderful, kind and thoughtful husband bought me for our wedding anniversary.

socks

The way my M.I.A rolls down her socks, not because it’s cool, just ’cause she wants to – marching to the beat of her own drum ‚ô•

sisters

One big sister taking the time to play dolls with her baby sister

princess

Forever exploring the world around her, even if it includes taste testing a plastic Princess

autumn

The colours of Autumn.  I may not be a big fan of winter, but red leaves set my heart aflutter

darkies

My kids and how much they love each other and love spending time together.  And of course all the joy they bring me every single day with all their hugs, their kisses, their giggles, their smiles, their everything ♥

What has brought you joy this week?

See you soon

Christy

 

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I have a confession to make, I’m a bit of a Christmas Grinch. ¬†There’s many reasons for this, all of which I won’t bore you with, but put simply I don’t like Christmas very much. ¬†Well, I usually don’t like Christmas very much but this year I actually looked forward to it. ¬†I didn’t get into the Christmas carols very much (I never really do) but I didn’t approach the season with the same sense of loathing I generally feel. ¬†Maybe it’s because it sneaked up on me a little, or maybe it’s because we were spending Christmas with people that I really like…. or maybe it was a combination of both. ¬†Anyway, needless to say I actually really really enjoyed my Christmas this year. ¬†Mr HKWT and I even went shopping on Christmas Eve (with only 1 child) and the shops weren’t crazy (and I got some great stuff for me :p).

Christmas Day was¬†jam¬†packed with loads of presents for the kids (too much I think, too much remarked my 12 year old nephew and even the mother in law – who was concerned we couldn’t get it all home, not enough said my 4 year old), amazing food, great company and my Gingerbread House which has become a tradition in our house ‚ô•. ¬†Even the weather was pleasant. ¬†Not too hot which is always a¬†nice surprise.

I think the highlight of my Christmas Day was the gift my sister-in-law made for my Sunny Girl. ¬†She is by far the best sister in law ever! ¬†She’s creative and generous, she’s an amazing artist and an excellent cook. ¬†I always love visiting their place as I know I will always be fed well and my children are loved like they are my brother in law and sister in laws own. ¬†When my husband opened the present and showed me the hat (the little sunshine is a badge that we can reuse on all other future hats) it quite literally made me teary. ¬†It is the most thoughtful and beautiful gift ‚ô•

The Sunlight Shawl for Sad People was burning a hole in my knitting bag so I gave it to my niece as an early birthday present.  She loves it and it went so nicely with what she was wearing (still too hot for wearing too much wool though).  I hope she gets a lot of wear out of it in the coming cooler months.  I have plans to make a cuffie with the left over yarn, I started on a design that I had in my head, but it needs some tweaking and a smaller needle, so I ripped it out and bought the yarn back home (do any knitters take all their needles with them when they go away?).

I finished Mud Puddles. ¬†I didn’t have the right needle for the bottom edge so I continued with the 4mm and I think it looks fine. ¬†Now I’m just waiting for the buttons to arrive. ¬†Shortly after I finished that (and tinkered around with the cuffie) I started on J.J’s Artichaut. ¬†I’m trying out the seamless version. ¬†Now that I’ve made one I understand the instructions and know what I’m doing, when I started the first one the instructions for the seamless version was like reading another language. ¬†J.J is thrilled to bits that I’ve started on hers, I gave her the option of the seed stitch pattern or just a plain version. ¬†After staring at her sister’s for a while she settled on the seed stitch pattern. ¬†I’m not so sure about it but if that’s what she wants that’s what I’ll knit for her.

M.I.A took every opportunity while we were away to wear hers and I couldn’t be more thrilled with her showing it off ‚ô•. ¬†If anything, seeing how good it looked on her made me want to knit another one more than ever. ¬†I’m happy to be knitting J.J’s and hope that it looks as good as the first one once complete.

I also started the Aestlight Shawl but being too pedantic for my own good I ripped the whole thing out last night and started again. ¬†It’s a long story, but in order to give some explanation for such a rash decision (I’d almost finished the garter triangle), one of the loops along the edge was sitting differently to the others. ¬†I noticed this as we were driving home from our visit to Canberra, I ummed and ahhed over it for a few moments (it was quite a few rows back) and then decided to not worry about it. ¬†When we stopped for afternoon tea I mentioned it to my husband, within a few seconds of looking at my work he pointed and said “It’s there isn’t it?”. ¬†That made the decision for me, I ripped it back and picked up the stitches but since then there have been loose stitches all over the place and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. ¬†Last night I made the decision that I couldn’t live with those mistakes and started again. ¬†I’m happy with the decision and I guess that’s the main thing.

I’ll be back by the end of the week with a new book I picked up and some yummy yarn that I got for Christmas (ok, I was given the money and then I went and chose the yarn….. I doubt my MIL ever expected me to spend it on yarn :p) to show you.

How was your Christmas?

What a Hoot!

Term 4 is crazy busy and this week has lived up to it’s craziness! ¬†Amongst all the normal stuff #1 Son has started the transition programme into Kindergarten. ¬†To be totally honest, I know he’s ready for school but I don’t know if I am ready. ¬†I still remember the night I found out I was pregnant with him (and waking up the following day with one of the worst colds I’ve ever had). ¬†I remember hearing my husband complaining the whole pregnancy that we would never be able to celebrate our wedding anniversary again, I was due the day before. ¬†I remember the day he was due and how my mother called to ask me if I was in labour yet. ¬†I remember calling the hospital because I lost my¬†mucous¬†plug and getting into trouble because I’d stopped taking insulin and how I was hospitalised because they didn’t trust me to take care of myself (it was a saga that I won’t bore you with). ¬†I remember waking up in the early hours the day after he was due and crying because I was missing my husband, it was our wedding anniversary and the contractions had started. ¬†I remember my husband coming down to the hospital very early and finishing off my scrambled eggs, sitting in the hospital kiosk while my hubby devoured a burger and hot chips and I groaned with contractions. ¬†My wonderful husband making me laugh between contractions while he entertained himself with silly games on the Nintendo DS. ¬†Finally, I remember delivering my baby, my husband announcing that we had a son and then balling my eyes out because I’d given my husband a son for our wedding anniversary. ¬†The midwife who delivered him was really lovely, very gentle, very professional and well seasoned in her profession, it was definitely a positive birthing experience. ¬†What a way to remember our 8th wedding anniversary!

I still remember the midwife remarking that our baby boy was the blondest baby she had ever seen and he still is a little blonde heartbreaker ‚ô•.

Like the bulk of mothers out there in the world, I’m sitting here wondering where the time has gone. ¬†My tiny little baby is now old enough to start school.

He’s so cute (in his words, “I’m cool mum, I’m not cute” :p) and sweet and wonderful. ¬†I’m going to miss him heaps next year but I know that he’s ready for school, even if I’m not ready for him to start.

On the crafting front, the unofficial Cookie KAL has kept me working on my Kai-Mei. ¬†I had to redo the heel flap 4 or 5 times before I got it right (I have no idea what was wrong with me last week) but it is now done and I’ve done the bulk of the foot. ¬†Just this afternoon I reached the end of the ribbing section, so I now have to decide if I’m going to do another set of increases/ decreases to take it down the other side of my foot, or if I’ll follow the pattern and stop it from moving across the foot.

It’s coming along so nicely. ¬†I love the ease of the pattern and the pattern repeat itself is easy enough to remember after a couple of rounds. ¬†I love patterns where I’m not tied to a piece of paper but still have a pretty pattern to keep me interested.

I worked briefly on the Sunlight Shawl yesterday at my craft group but no other knitting has taken place in my hands in the last week, despite being desperately keen to cast on Sempervivum and Aestlight.  I must say I am very proud of myself for resisting temptation.

At the Pink Craft Day on Saturday I had the pleasure of making the cutest little sock owl. ¬†The pattern is by CraftSchmaft and it’s pretty easy. ¬†All you need is a sock, some felt and some embroidery thread – then WOLLAH! you have a cute little owl :D. ¬†There is a pattern for the cutest sock Baby ‘Zilla. ¬†I love it and after the success with the owl, I’ll definitely give the Baby ‘Zilla a go, just need to find the right sock. ¬†It still astounds me that someone took a sock and saw it’s potential to become a toy. ¬†I will never get over the ingenious creativity out there in the wide world!!!

Have you made any toys with socks?

Until next time

Take care

Christy

P.S  My friend received the Marin Shawl I sent her after I posted last weeks blog.  She loves it and I am a happy knitter ♥

A Fox in Socks

There is something wonderful about wearing a¬†pair¬†of socks that you’ve knitted yourself. ¬†I know, they’re just socks. ¬†But hours of my time went into these, my thoughts, patience, love, and most of all I knitted me into them. ¬†This is different from just picking up any old pair of socks in a store; I took time to seek out yarn, waited for it to arrive in the mail, spent time balling it up (and untying the knots) all the while envisioning what I could make with this string. ¬†I bought a needle and cast on, took the time to do the ribbing and endless measuring (I’m an impatient sock knitter) while I worked on the cuff. ¬†I wrestled with the heel turn and picking up all those stitches (a technique I’ve never been particularly fond of ’cause in my opinion my work is not perfect and therefore not good enough), I persevered through the foot (I have long feet and the foot is generally longer than the leg of the sock) as it tries my patience and I wish that my hands would knit faster so I could finish the darn thing. ¬†I muddle my way through the Kitchener stitch and finally, after more ripping back than I’d like to remember my sock is complete. ¬†Then I have to start all over again and knit the 2nd one. ¬†Socks are a labour of love, it takes far more time and energy then just hopping down to the shops. ¬†But at the end of the project you have a one of a kind pair of socks, influenced solely by the knitters taste in colour, their gauge, even the circumference of their instep and length of foot.

 

I knit socks because it’s timeless. ¬†Because I know at the end of the project when I put on these socks, slip my feet into my shoes, and look down what I see on my feet is a unique masterpiece made by me. ¬†Something I can be proud of, something I can say that I made with my own 2 hands, something amazing that came from a ball of yarn and a rather long circular knitting needle.

It took a little to find the right pair of shoes to wear with my knitted socks, but in the end I decided it’s all about the sock and not about the shoe.

I ‚ô• my knitted socks and am so thankful for the ability to make them.

 

 

Making Hay

I need to buy some "S" hooks so I can hang the sock blockers on the line. But the mesh basket worked a treat ūüėÄ

The title for this blog is so apt, considering that it’s raining again¬†today. ¬†After so much rain we finally had a really nice warm day yesterday, ¬†I took to the opportunity to block both my Trillian Shawl and my Monkey socks. ¬†Thankfully they both dried. ¬†The last time I tried blocking Trillian the clouds came over about lunch time, next thing there was thunder and the rain was pelting down and it didn’t have a chance to dry properly (my house is too small to leave something that large out to dry inside). ¬†It’s nice to finally be able to say that these projects are finally complete! ¬†I’m such a procrastinator that this sense of achievement is a really good motivator :p. ¬†Unfortunately I need a shawl pin for the Trillian (to hold it in place otherwise it falls off every time I bend over and needs constant readjustment) before I can wear it and I don’t think I’m going to have much luck trying to get hand knitted socks on my feet while I have this massive belly in the way. ¬†BUT¬†they are done and I shall be satisfied with that!

Finally, the sun came out and I have had a chance to properly block my shawl

I’ve had a lot of people asking me how I find time to run a house, raise 4 kids, knit, sew, and bake. ¬†Well the answer to that is quite simple, I make hay while the sun shines. ¬†My knitting gets taken everywhere with me. ¬†I rarely leave it behind, I want a knitting tote bag that says “Have knitting, will travel” :p. ¬†I may not always get a chance to knit but that’s beside the point, when the opportunity arises I grab it by the needles and get to work :p. ¬†I obviously can’t always do the same with my sewing or baking, but I find time. ¬†Baking gets done on the days when I’m at home, it’s a bit of a stress reliever for me and a good opportunity to get the kids in the kitchen (not that I always do that ’cause I’m a control freak and it can be hard dividing 2 simple jobs between 3 overly eager little people), plus I ‚ô• cake and I’m always keen to try new recipes, and of course it then needs to be taste tested over and over again to decide whether it’s a recipe worth keeping :p. ¬†As for sewing I find the time for it when the kids are asleep or otherwise occupied. ¬†Having a large family means that when everyone is home there is plenty of activity. ¬†My kids tend to keep each other occupied, yes there are plenty of fights and arguments to diffuse but they all get on so well most of the time. ¬†I’m a very blessed mummy.

I think it must also be said that crafting/ cooking is my sanity. ¬†We don’t go on lots of family holidays (in fact the last holiday we went on where we didn’t stay with relatives, our eldest daughter wasn’t even 2 yet). ¬†We do go away a lot and stay with my husbands family which is always nice, but it’s not the touristy or relaxing type of holiday that most other families tend to take. ¬†That’s ok, I’m not complaining (neither would you be if you tasted my sister in laws cooking) however I’ve had to find other ways of giving myself time to chill out and relax rather then being constantly bombarded with fighting kids, housework, or whatever other job needs to be done. ¬†It’s also a creative outlet and that fends off the boredom :D.