Some Thoughts: Lady Gaga's Meat Dress

Everyone is so outraged about Lady Gaga's meat dress but most of these people are still eating meat. What's the moral difference?

I've already had the 'but it's wasteful to wear it' argument and to be honest I'd rather be binned than crapped out!

And why is ok for us to wear the outside of an animal but not the inside? Why do people try to differentiate between different types of animal use being better/worse? As long as we keep making these distinctions we'll be missing the point - all use is abuse, it's just that some use has been made socially acceptable due to years of money spinning advertising and some is not, because it's Lady Gaga wearing cured meat to an awards show.

Indoor Cats: An Opinion

"According to the Humane Society of the United States, the average life span of a healthy indoor cat is now 15-18 years. The life extension from former years is due in part to advances in veteninary medicine but primarily to the growing trend of keeping cats strictly indoors, confined to fenced-in areas or on a leash."
One of the most beautiful things about domesticated cats is that they have so much independence, in spite of all manner of human breeding and intervention. I understand wanting to keep cats safe after dark but I do not agree with keeping cats strictly indoors and the idea of walking a cat on a leash is absurd, unless it's to get the cat used to an area or if the cat requires supervision (e.g. if injured).

Every healthy cat should have a choice. The decision to go out or not should be theirs, not ours. If we make the choice for them it certainly shouldn't be tainted by the fear that they won't live as long. If you're scared for their safety, use a leash for a while and get them street wise. Ultimately, quality of life is the most important thing and to keep a cat inside against their will for no reason but your own is inherently wrong.

Skin-Clear Challenge Update

So you have probably figured that my lack of updates mean that I am not really getting on so well with the challenge.

This is not the same size as the rolls I am currently eating.

You would be right. I am currently sat at my desk at work with two, yes TWO, tiger bread rolls to my left jam packed with salad (tiger bread controls me with it's deliciousness, dammit). Last night I had a nan bread. On Tuesday I took part in a vegan pizza cook-off. There has been a lot of bread in my life but thankfully my skin isn't too bad right now. Last week, when I was doing a lot better with the challenge, I did in fact attempt to make a video but the camera was playing up and rather than lose my temper with an inanimate object I decided to call it quits.

This by no means means that the challenge is over. Far from it. It's ongoing and, I'm going to do my best to video blog during this insanely busy Bank Holiday weekend.


The Skin-Clear Challenge

Rather unfortunately, I suffer from inflammatory acne.

The condition is painful and causes long term spots (which are more like nodules deep under the skin) but, more than anything, it is extremely detrimental to the self-esteem of anyone who suffers from it. In comparison to many, my condition is minor (and I truly feel for those people who have it bad) however I am ready to take some pretty drastic action to regain my confidence.

Recently, I have noticed what could be a possible link between my diet and the health of my skin, especially when it comes to processed foods. The more bread I eat, the worse my inflammatory acne seems to get. Rather stupidly, last week I ate some kind of bread every day and my skin is worse than it's ever been (mmmmm, delicious self-destructive tendencies) and so, I have decided to test a change in my diet.

The Skin-Clear Challenge

For the next two weeks I will be following a similar programme to Happy Herbivore's 30 Whole Days. I'm going to cut out as many processed and crappy foods as is possible and make sure the majority of my food looks like it did when it came out of the ground or from the tree or wherever. I will allow myself some luxuries, such as soy milk (because a girl's gotta have her Masala Chai) or dark chocolate and I may very occasionally treat myself to bread so long as I know it is free from preservatives and any other nasties.

My, what a sexy still of my face.

So, what the hell are you going to eat?

Here's an example of what I might eat on a typical day; in fact this is what I've put in my face today (so far!)

1 Banana
Nuts, raisins and sultanas

3 squares of dark chocolate

1/4 cucumber
1/2 tin black beans
Homemade guacamole

Garlic brown rice
Steamed courgettes, sweetcorn and broad beans.

2 ltrs water
3 cups of chai

See, not so scary huh? All quick, easy, delicious and readily available. Wish me luck and hopefully I can report back in a day or two or three with some positive results.

Review: Cafe Boscanova

Another review of vegan food here on the South Coast of England!

I've been to Cafe Boscanova a few times for breakfast/brunch. As a vegan living in Bournemouth it's always exciting to find a place that acknowledges us on a menu, as there aren't many. Cafe Boscanova is an independent cafe located in the Boscombe area of town; I believe it uses local produce wherever possible, displays artwork for sale on it's walls and offers free wifi to all customers, which can't be sniffed at. The customers are an interesting mix of people as you would expect to find anywhere in Bournemouth - there are lonely coffee drinkers, families, students and everyone in between. The staff are all lovely and rather easy on the eye too. (Superficial? Moi?) Overall the atmosphere is great; good music and good people.

Atmosphere Rating: 10/10

But, more importantly, what's the food and drink like?


Every time I visit I drink a Soy London Fog and, in my not so humble opinion, it's flipping delicious. For those of you who have never heard of it (which I hadn't) it's a big mug of earl grey tea with steamed milk and a shot of vanilla. They do also have a range of your usual cafe beverages and claim to be the best cup of coffee in the area. In addition they do a varied range of juices and smoothies, so even caffeine dodgers can have their thirst quenched.

Organic beers and wines are available too, either by the bottle, case or even for retail purposes.

Drink Rating: 9/10


The vegan options are minimal, however I'm used to this (as I'm sure most vegans are). On previous visits I've always had the We Don't Need No Eggs and Bacon (who doesn't love a play on words) and it hits the spot, just about. It's a large plate, covered in tofu chickpea scramble served with black beans, guacamole, salsa and tortilla chips. It's certainly a very different breakfast experience which is great however the tofu chickpea scramble needs some work. Yes, I love tofu and yes, I flipping love chickpeas (what with being the owner of the Facebook Chickpea fan page and inventor of Chickpea Tuesday) however something is missing. It needs a little more depth to the flavour and admittedly, I have made better tofu scrambles at home. The portion size is good, which is important too because although I may be small, I'm a hungry little person.

Today I went for the scramble again but instead had it on top of a bubble and squeak (purely because bubble and squeak is awesome). Needless to say I was insanely hungry and when it arrived I was a little disappointed with the portion size, especially when my man had a huge veggie English breakfast. Le sigh. I was also hoping that the deliciousness of the bubble and squeak would make up for the average scramble however it just wasn't cutting it. (Sorry guys!). Again, the depth of flavour was somewhat lacking, although I can't quite put my finger on why. It could just be a simple case of needing a tad more seasoning, although I understand that a cafe like that wouldn't want to salt things much, if at all.

For me, what's missing from the menu is a vegan option English Breakfast. I want toast, I want sausages, I want baked beans, mushrooms and a fine tofu scramble. If this were ever to materialise (hint hint) I would be a happy lady.

Apart from on-menu items, they do offer a few other vegan treats including Nakd bars and raw vegan chocolate energy balls. Omnomnomnom.

Vegan Food Rating 6/10

Kelly Monster's Final Thought

Overall, I would recommend Cafe Boscanova as a place to eat, drink and people watch. So, the vegan options need a tiny bit of work but without more people ordering vegan food and asking for more we won't get more! The place has a great atmosphere, a nice range of drinks (did I mention I LOVE SOY LONDON FOG?) and a definite potential to satisfy even the most food savvy vegan (yes, that would be me).

Thank you Cafe Boscanova for acknowledging the existence of vegans in this sheltered sea side town. I salute you.

Simple Vegan Guacamole Recipe

Guacamole is available, prepackaged, everywhere. For some reason many supermarkets add cream. I have no idea why, especially as avocados really are creamy enough all by themselves, so I've taken to making my own.
A bowl of the good stuff
This simple vegan guacamole recipe can be whipped up in a couple of minutes (at the moment I eat it almost every day and I make it in our very basic work kitchen) and is delicious. Proof that a fancy recipe doesn't always have to be the best recipe!


1 ripe avocado**
1/2 small red onion, diced
1 scant tsp garlic puree (or one clove garlic, finely chopped)
Splash of lemon juice
Salt and pepper

The How To Part:

* Cut the avocado in half and twist to reveal the stone. Discard of the stone, scoop the flesh from the skin into a bowl and mash.

*Add the diced onion and garlic and stir into the mashed avocado.

*To taste, add as much lemon juice, salt and pepper as is required et viola! You have a delicious, quick and easy dip.

I eat mine with wholemeal pittas, cucumber sticks and cherry tomatoes. Sometimes, for an added twist I'll dice the tomatoes and add them to the mix rather than having them on the side.

**Ripe avocados are a must for any guacamole recipe. I have found the best fruits come from small independent shops rather than supermarkets, where they tend to be far from ready, more expensive and not as tasty.

Random avocado fact: They contain more protein than cow's milk. Hell yeah!

The Knitting Timepiece

This clock was designed by Siren Elise Wilhelmsen, a graduate of Udk Berlin, and is made from a 48 needle circular knitting machine. It knits one round every day and, after one year, you'll get a 2 metre long scarf. Rather awesome don't ya think?!

See the original article, which briefly discusses the philosophy of the design, here. Thanks to my housemate Nicki for sending this to me!

Casting On: Meandering Vines Shawl

I'm usually all about small projects. I've attempted large projects and have mostly failed to see them through to fruition (not including my Granorama Granny Blanket).

Having bought myself some rather lovely (so lovely I could almost eat it. Almost.) hand dyed Araucania Lonco Multy 100% cotton yarn this weekend I have decided to once again attempt something big.

The project I'm attempting is the Meandering Vines Shawl, designed by Susanna IC. I searched for completed projects using this yarn on Ravelry and found this lovely take on the pattern by user aklecamp.

I'm desperately hoping I find the balls and patience to see this through till the end, no matter how bitter it gets.

Meet Percy the Parrot

Meet Percy. He's s simple little man with a personality as bright as his feathers.

In our short time together we had many adventures but today he has gone off to a new life, as the companion of a young and brilliant pirate, 20 month old Cecelia.

Farewell Percy!

Win the Sophisticated Sock Toy!

The competition to win the sophisticated sock toy is now open to the interwebs!

All you need to do to win him is give him a name and make a small donation to my volunteering work with International Animal Rescue. The minimum donation is a mere 50 British pence.

To enter, use the donate button below.


25% of all money raised will go directly to International Animal Rescue. A maximum of 3 entries per person is allowed and the competition will close on the 11th July 2010 at 11.59pm GMT. A name will be drawn from all entries at random and the winner will be informed via the email address they entered into Paypal within 7 days.


99 Days To Go

Scarily there are only 99 days to go before I leave my job, and maybe only a few more left after that until I fly to India again. I'm crapping myself (to put it eloquently).

To ease my fears I've decided that I will do one thing a day, no matter how big or small, that will help me on my journey and today I'm going to pick up a provisional driving license form.

I've never driven any vehicle in my life, but to get around in India, I need a scooter so I'm biting the bullet, getting a provisional license and getting a few lessons. It goes against all of my environmental ideals but I figure I'm going to be saving animals so the Bad Kelly/Good Kelly ratio should balance itself out (<-rubbish theory to make me feel better).

I particularly love how the women passengers side-saddle the scooters. Sigh... 99 days to go.

Monster Volunteers!

From this October, I’ll be going out to Goa, India to volunteer for International Animal Rescue!

To raise money I’ll be running between Bournemouth and Swanage on Saturday 4th September 2010. For those of you who don’t know the trek, it’s an arduous 11.4 miles in the south coast of England, including running on sand and some nasty hills!


This March, I went out to Goa to visit a friend. Within the first few days I spent there it became very apparent to me that there was a huge problem with stray and unwanted domesticated animals. Dogs and cats loiter the streets and beaches, hot, malnourished, and mange and flea ridden. By night, the dogs (who are mostly unneutered) become aggressive and territorial. They attack each other, leading to wounds which when left untreated, can become infected causing pain and sometimes death.

International Animal Rescue (IAR) in Goa have a fantastic programme which takes in sick, injured or pregnant strays from the streets and nurses them back to health. Whenever possible, the animals are neutered which helps to counteract two major problems: the increasing population of stray animals and the fighting amongst male dogs.

Pregnant females are taken in and their litters are homed to loving families. The mother herself is neutered and sent back to her ‘patch’ once healthy and appointments are given to the new families of the puppies and kittens so that they too can be neutered.
Additionally IAR also take in other animals. One such example are cows. When I visited them, one particular cow had an awful wound across the whole of one side of her body. She had been eating crops from a farmer’s field and in retaliation the farmer had thrown acid on her. This had also happened to a male, who unfortunately didn’t make it. As for the female, in the brief time I was there her health improved massively, all thanks to the love and care of the people at IAR.

My aim is to spend 6 months volunteering for IAR, nursing animals, educating people and promoting veganism. As I am doing this off my own back, including arranging my own flights, accommodation and food I’m hoping that people who support this cause will sponsor me. 25% of ALL sponsorship will go directly to IAR Goa, and the rest will help to support me whilst I volunteer.

Please follow the link below and donate whatever you can. Even the smallest amount can go a long way in India.

Thank you for your support! Your generosity is appreciated more than you know!

Sparkly New Layout

I've been rather ill and have not been able to leave the house today. But sick or not, I'm not one to miss an opportunity and so I set upon finding a nice new pre-made layout for the blog. I'm quite happy with it and I'm glad to have updated the image; my hair is bordering on ginger now and the previous illustration of me was out of date (but extremely lovely nonetheless).

Instead now I have morphed into a gingery orange one-eyed monster. OK, so that's not me - it's Kurt, the first little guy I ever crocheted, just over a year ago (see the post dedicated to him here). He's a simple looking fella but somehow he manages to melt everybody's heart.

The new layout has some rather lovely features including:
  • a search function, so you can find all posts on, say, knitting or poop, or knitted poops
  • subscribe to Monster Makes via email, so you don't have to remember to check back ever again
  • a link to my lovely Flickr images, which mostly bigs-up my crafting abilities

Any comments or pointing out of problems on the new layout are welcome! Thanks also to the people at for helping lazy people like me to have attractive blogs. I hope you like it.

Monster Makes @ Rumble in the Jumble

This Sunday Monster Makes will have a lovely little stall at 60 Million Postcard's Rumble in the Jumble (Bournemouth)! Expect to see key rings, toys, accessories, pointy hats and more!

There will also be a Name That Sock Toy Competition, where you will have the chance to win this brilliant little guy for just 50p a go.

Also (yes another also), expect to see a small but fine selection of cakes suitable for vegans, coeliacs, diabetics and people who can eat ANYTHING.

25% of all proceeds will be going to International Animal Rescue in Goa, so please come along, give generously and have an awesome time. Hope to see you there!

Farewell #HH30

This weekend I decided that I could no longer strictly follow the HH30 challenge. I've been tired and I started getting headaches every morning, and feeling run down during the day. This cannot be attributed solely to my diet but may have been a combination of HH30 and the intense running programme I am currently following. My diet was just not varied enough, I didn't have time to plan so as to ensure I was getting all the nutrients I needed to run so much.
But, I don't want to look at this as a failure, because it is by no means one. In spite of leaving the challenge early I think it is possible to live on whole foods alone, one just has to plan in advance and have the time to be creative. Also I have learnt so much, both positive and negative.

  • I don't need to smother my food with sugar or salt to make it taste good
  • Simple, steamed vegetables are an amazing snack/meal
  • Black bean brownies are amazing!
  • Quinoa = win (actually, I knew that before, but I just want to reiterate it. If you've never had it, you should)
  • You can drink black masala chai, but sweet, soy-milky masala chai will always be King of Tastebud Land.
  • I LOVE BREAD and I promise, dear beautiful bread, that we will never be apart again. Especially you, Tiger Bread. Omnomnomnom.
So, I'd like to wish my fellow HH30ers the best of luck in their final days and would like to thank Happy Herbivore for arranging the challenge and opening my eyes to a more simple way of eating.

Basic Maths: Knitting + Cake + Pub = Love

A couple of weeks ago I was selling a few bits and bobs at a local in-pub jumble sale (in-pub = the best kind of jumble sale) and, as usual, was knitting away all by myself. I was approached by somebody who asked if I'd be interested in helping to set up a knitting club there as part of a monthly Sunday afternoon event.

Obviously I jumped at the chance and this Sunday saw the very first knitting club at Twee By the Sea, in 60 Million Postcards (Bournemouth). In a nutshell, it was AWESOME.

There was cake, including some delicious Happy Herbivore black bean brownies that I had made for us vegans and A Girl in Winter, chai and a whole lot of yarn. New knitters came along for the ride as well as us who are a bit more experienced and we even got two men involved.

Note to men: More of you need to knit, it's incredibly sexy. Fer reals.

Our novice knitters made some adorable little owls with the bits and bobs I'd supplied and all in all I think we had an attendance of around 12 people. A roaring success (or as roaring as a knitting club can be).

I'm very excited about next month's event already. If you are in the Bournemouth area and would like to learn to knit (or crochet) please come along. We have plenty of needles, hooks, yarn and patterns to get you started and I have an almost infinite vat of patience for teaching which I have only just discovered. Also, if you're old hat at knitting and fancy coming down to drink cider or chai and have a chin wag please do. The more the merrier. 3rd Sunday of the month, 60 Million Postcards from 3pm.

If you're not in this area, wherever you may be I would recommend setting up a group. With Facebook at our fingertips it's easier than ever to spread the word, it's oodles of fun and you get to meet new and lovely people.

Clambering Back on to the Whole Foods Wagon

I simply must confess to falling off the #HH30 wagon this weekend. Bread was consumed, chocolate was consumed (wine was consumed too, but we'll skim over that bit) and today I went to my new favourite Indian restaurant for lunch and ate a big fat Masala Dosa.

Please don't judge me, I had been doing exceptionally well up until this point and the wine impaired my judgement. Honest.

So, for my sins, I'm back on it harder and stronger than ever.

A fabulous thing to arise from this challenge is that my taste buds are actually starting to notice the finer depths of flavours that I was once destroying with salt (and over-cooking too). The taste of the fresh basil in tonights dinner was amazing. The whole foods dinner a friend cooked for me on Saturday night, with absolutely no salt or pepper, was delicious.

If I can more permanently break away from both added salt and sugar in my diet it would be nothing short of a miracle. With 3 weeks to go, anything could happen. Let's just hope that 'anything' doesn't include another Masala Dosa.

This Is About Knitting (not pubes)

This morning in a shop, with my change, I was handed a pube by the cashier. Not one to make a fuss so early in the day, I put it in my purse with the coins and notes, where it probably still remains (unless I passed it to the bus driver).

That story is of no relevance to the rest of what I'm about to write, I just had to tell somebody, and who better than you.


Continuing on my quest to make the world realise that knitting is not just for grandmas, I am pleased to say I have been asked to assist with a new knitting club. 'But why is it different from any other knitting circle?' I hear you ask. Here's why:

It's in a pub.

OK, so it's not that groundbreaking but this is Bournemouth and I am very excited to be part of it. The knitting club is part of a night called Twee by the Sea which takes place every 3rd Sunday of the month in 60 Million Postcards. This month (the month of May) it will be on the 16th* and I really hope those of you who are local can come along. I'll also be teaching the basics of knitting to newcomers and there will be spare needles and yarn on hand so even if you've never tried before, just bring yourself, drink a cider and have a go.
*I'm waiting for further details from the organisers about times and links and things. More details to follow!

The Sweet Tooth vs #HH30

Day 4 of the #HH30 Whole Days Challenge and I'm feeling less hungry.

I now have porridge in my life and have discovered an ingenious way of sweetening it - with a mashed banana! Yes, yes, I'm behind with the times and you've all probably been doing this for years but I am a sugar junkie. It had never occurred to me that I could actually sweeten my breakfast cereal in a healthy way. Whether I continue to do it after the challenge is over is another story. I do love sugar but luckily I'm not missing it too much because I gave it up for lent this year.

Continuing on the subject of satiating my sweet-tooth, tonight I'll be making Happy Herbivore's deliciously famous Black Bean Brownies for the first time (sans sugar, but there's banana and agave in there). I cannot wait, the recipe is so simple and it's fat free, flour free and vegan. Take a look.

Whilst all is going well on the surface though, I did dream about cheese last night. Daiya cheese to be precise (which I've never tried - come to the UK!). And pizza. And melting bits of cheese in a microwave and eating it.

Repressed much?

Running and #HH30

So it's day 3 of the #HH30 Challenge and something has only just crossed my mind. I run and am currently in training to run around 18km between Bournemouth and Swanage. I need A LOT of nutrients.

I am slowly building up my distance (I was a non-runner until November 2009) and this morning ran 6.25km, which doesn't sound much but actually burned off 360 calories. I'm not super-slim by any stretch of the imagination but I certainly don't want to waste away (or make myself sick) whilst running and doing the #HH30 challenge.

I'm going to have to make sure I stock up on a lot of carb and protein rich foods on the days I run. Obviously, chickpeas immediately spring to mind, but I'm certainly going to have to do some more research if I want to make sure I remain healthy throughout this month.

Does anyone out there have some whole food recipe suggestions to suit my lifestyle? Any ideas would be welcomed!

Now... to the kitchen I go to quieten my noisy stomach!

What a Yarn: knitcroblo7

Just over a year ago I went vegan, which will of course make this final blog (knitcroblo7) in the Knit and Crochet Blog Week a little different to most.

Being vegan means that, as well as not eating animal products, I also don't use them in any other form. This includes wools from any animal and silk products, any mixed yarn that may contain any amount of either of those products and also yarns (often cottons) that include milk proteins.

Over time, with the help of my local yarn store and our beloved internet I have found a wide range of yarns (mostly cottons) that are amazingly soft and a joy to knit with.

Obviously, now I've got you here, I would like to get you thinking about where your yarns come from. For me, I feel that it is not right to own any animal and use the animal for it's products, no matter how great the welfare standards. Have you ever considered how silk is produced or what happens to sheep during their lives when producing wool (see mulesing) and afterwards (see the supermarket)?

I believe all animals, human and non, have the right to be free and equal and that is why I choose to buy and make knitted and crochet products which are 100% vegan. I hope next time you come to buy some yarn you take a moment to consider it's origins.

Revisiting a F/O:knitcroblo6

I write this blog (knitcroblo6) from my bed. Quite appropriately, I feel like somebody pooped in my head this morning and so have decided to write as few words as possible. I'd like to reintroduce you to some old friends of mine, who are still going strong and still as loved as ever.

In chronological order, meet the poops.


Rose (Mike's Girlfriend)

Jeremy Poopling (who has the honour of living on my toilet cistern and watching everyone poop. Jealous?)

Team Winnet and The Toilet Roll

Having made the most of my last day of processed foods (e.g. booze) last night, I am now going to lay down again. Hope your day isn't too crappy (come on, somebody had to say it).

30 Day Whole Food Challenge

I love a challenge me, especially a food challenge. Going vegan in some ways was a challenge, this lent I gave up added refined sugars (such as in tea and on cereal) and now I am doing something quite exciting. I have signed up for Happy Herbivore's 30 Whole Days Challenge.

So what does this mean? In a nutshell, it means no processed foods for the month of May. If it doesn't like like it did when it came out of the ground or from the tree or vine, or has more than one ingredient then I'm not going to put it into my body. I can obviously cook with these ingredients as much as I like but the idea is to take things back to basics, and for me to cleanse my body.

Yes, I am mental. No peanut butter. No sugar. No marzipan (god, I love you marzipan). No bread. No pasta. Did I mention no peanut butter (oh, god...)?

It's ok, I'm pulling myself together. I can live without peanut butter for 30 days. I've always romanticised the idea of being completely self-sufficient, living in an eco-community and only taking what mother nature provides so I guess this is my comfortable middle class way of dipping my toes into the water without getting too muddy.

I've upped my veg box delivery from Riverford to get enough food to feed a family of 4 (yes, I am one hungry little lady) and have joined the Google Group to get hints, tips and more importantly support from fellow participants.

I hope you will also follow and support me on this journey to see if I really can live from the earth for a whole month. There will be tantrums, whining, fighting, a training montage and a guaranteed triumphant ending. Don't miss it.

Trains, planes and automobiles! Add coaches to that too. And park benches, the staff room, a café, my desks at work and at home. I’ll knit and crochet pretty much anywhere. In short, I’m an exhibitionist.

So many people still think that knitting is something your grandma does and I think that showing off your skills in public is a fab way to throw two fingers (and two needles *chortle*) up to that stereotype.

I recently sat outside a café in Oxford, drinking a soy chai latte and knitting and I could feel people’s eyes on me. I certainly don’t look like a grandma and I love to imagine what people might be thinking about me.

That said, there was a time when I did dress up as a grandma and I did take my knitting out with me. So much for breaking those stereotypes, huh?!

To see more posts on this topic by fellow crafters just type in knitcroblo5 to Google (or click my handy link) and away you go!

A New Skill: knitcroblo4

So today, on day 4 of Knit and Crochet Blog Week (knitcroblo4) is about a new skill I'd like to acquire. An underlying theme that I have noticed this week during my posts has been that of patience, which isn't necessarily a skill but is it is something that can be learned?

My little inner hippy says yes, it can be. From past experiences, some very recent, I have realised that great personal change is possible if you want it, and patience is something I am aspiring to relentlessly, day in and day out, at work, at home, at play and with the ever chatty (read noisy mofo) Tony Cat.

Patience requires forethought, a calm and rational mind and very importantly, remembering just to breathe. It means not throwing your needles across a room or swearing yourself in to oblivion and taking a moment to think things through and realise that no matter how much we may love it, it is only knitting after all (yes, I just said, it's only knitting. GASP!). A stressed mind will achieve nothing.

As my patience continues to grow I may eventually embark on larger*, more challenging projects; I may try once again to chart read (below), to make myself that tank top (above), or a cardigan. But then again, I may just continue to knit and crochet poos.

*I am actually in the process of crocheting a ginormous continuous granny square blanket which currently measures around 5.5 feet squared. It's my largest ever project and I love it.

One Great Knitter: knitcroblo3

So todays topic is One Great Knitter. As soon as I saw this topic I knew who I wanted to talk about. It's somebody I know personally and I hope that she doesn't mind me writing this about her.

The person I'm talking about is the lovely A Girl in Winter. She is part of the craft group I go to at my place of work and is one truly talented lady. She knits at the speed of light, whilst I still chug along like a steam locomotive, and makes the most stitch-perfect, beautiful garments. She has the patience (there's that word again - I think I've mentioned my lack of it in every blog so far!) to create large intricate pieces and an eye for the perfect yarn.

I admire her work so much but I also love the fact that we are so different in styles. I've stopped kidding myself that I'll ever be interested in making the same things she does, and so I go on knitting and crocheting critters and poops and let her create the things of beauty.

An Inspirational Pattern: knitcroblo2

So it's day 2 of the Knit & Crochet Blog Week. Last night in a valium haze I had an unexpected lightning bolt of inspiration about today's blog post.
And then I forgot.

And then I remembered again and, against the will of my body, managed to write myself a reminder on my phone.

It's not one pattern per se, it's more of a style of knitting or crocheting that I aspire to. I simply love the pointless, inanimate, functionless. Cupcakes, tea sets, televisions, whole bloody villages. Yes, fiber crafts can be exceptionally functional but give me something pointless any day. That to me is true art, true expression and one day I hope to find the time and patience to embark on a project so epic and so pointless it will make the Gods weep.

Some examples:

And why not stick some crochet willy warmers in at the end too - not necessarily useless but if you can get your man to wear one then I demand pictures.