Saturday, 3 October 2015

An Early Weekend

Today I am catching up on all the jobs and housework I haven't been doing over the past two days.  I took my weekend early this week, on Thursday and Friday, so now it's payback time.

Thursday was officially a knitting day.  I had a wonderful time sitting out in the garden in the glorious sunshine, casting on to my heart's content.

First there's Swallowtail, a gorgeous lacy shawl pattern.  I'm using a beautiful lace-weight yarn I bought at Yarndale specially for this project.

Look at those beautiful, delicate colours.

I then knitted up a mini sock yarn sweater - to join the previous two, this one and this one,  that I've made that will eventually become bunting.  I used one of the mini skeins that Grace and I bought between us at Yarndale, I can't wait to knit up the other colourway.

And because knitting shawls is so much fun, I then cast on for another one.  For this one I'm using a pattern called The Love of a Pirate and more of the Yarndale goodies.  Again, I get quite giddy looking at the lovely colours.

Then in the evening, just for a bit of variety, I cast on some socks!

What a wonderful day, how lucky I am to be able to spend my time like this.  I am constantly counting my blessings.

On Friday my husband and I had a little road trip to North Wales.  First we visited St Asaph.  We had a picnic by the river and visited the tiny cathedral.

Then we went on to Rhyl.  The dress I'm wearing is the one I made in September.  It's the same pattern (Simplicity 2444) I used for my bed sheet dress and also this dress.  I love the style, it's so comfortable to wear.

We walked along the promenade.

Had a paddle in the sea (I can't believe it's actually October and yet still so warm).

Then just sat and enjoyed the lovely warm sunshine.

Obviously I had some knitting with me.  This is a cardigan I started knitting back in August, but I'm now having second thoughts about the pattern so it may not progress much further.

We ended our day with a lovely meal of fish and chips (what else could you eat at the seaside!)

A most enjoyable early weekend, but now I need to get on with some ironing!  I hope that your weekend will be as lovely as mine was.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Waiting for Tomorrow

The past two days I've been busy painting.  I'm decorating the hall and landing.  I'm not sure how I'm going to tackle the high bits above the stairwell but I didn't want to get anyone in to do the work.  I did originally get a quote for the job but was told it would take a full week and I don't fancy having a strange man in my house for that long (is that just me being paranoid?).  So it's down to me to get on with it.

All the rooms in our house are very colourful with various shades of yellow being the most prevalent.  The hall was a bright daffodil yellow, I think the colour was actually called sunshine, but this time round, I'm going for a more subtle pale gold.  It's actually more of a buttermilk colour and so far it's going well.

In the evenings I've been working on my English paper piecing quilt.  Still loving this.  It seems to grow quite quickly without feeling rushed.

I love the randomness of it.  I'm using about forty different fabrics but they all seem to work well together.

Today is the last day of my "no knitting" month.  A very productive month it has been.  I've forgotten to mention that I've also made a dress this month.  It's amazing how many other things get done when knitting and crocheting are not on the agenda.  I think I'd like to have the occasional "no knitting" session in the future, but maybe a week at a time rather than a whole month.

So tomorrow I'm back knitting.  I'm so looking forward to it.  I'm pleased I've managed to stay so disciplined, especially after all the lovely yarn purchases at Yarndale.  I've written my "to do" list for tomorrow -
  1. Knitting.
  2. Knitting.
  3. Eating.
  4. Knitting.
  5. Sleeping.
  6. Knitting.
  7. Knitting.
That sounds good to me.  See you again soon.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Still Not Knitting

Well, September has been a long month.  My "no knitting"  month has certainly been enlightening.  I've had to adjust to finding new crafts to fill my evenings and I've enjoyed the challenge.

One thing I wanted to try this month was spinning with a drop spindle.  I have had a spindle and some wool waiting to be spun for years, but I've never got round to trying it.  I wasn't sure of the credentials of the spindle I already possessed, so I bought a beginner's spindle when I was at Yarndale.  The wool I have hasn't been carded and looks a bit like roadkill!

I thought that if I can work out how to spin this I'll be ready to tackle anything.  My first attempts were pitiful - the good bits are when Grace was having a go, my bits are the lumpy blobs.

So I re-read the instruction leaflet I'd been given and tried again.

And what do you know, something must have clicked into place and it all seemed to go much better.

So now instead of blobs of chunky wool, I'm managing something that could pass for 4 ply.  I still need to work on achieving consistent thickness, but I'm getting there.

What joy to learn a new skill.  I'll keep practising with this old stuff and then invest in something colourful to spin.  Who knows, I might one day be able to spin enough to make a pair of socks.  How about you?  Are any of you proficient spinners?

This month, I've also been working on my 54 squares embroidery project.  I have another three squares to share with you.

For the first one, the prompt was flower.  I didn't want to just embroider a basisc flower so I thought I would use some ribbon embroidery as an alternative.  So here is my ribbon rose.

The next topic was fish.  I thought about embroidering a colourful tropical fish, but then I remembered that my star sign is Pisces, so of course I should do this.

The third new square I've completed had the prompt sequins.  So a simple trail of floral sequins was what I came up with.

I'm so enjoying this project.  It's fun to pick each topic at random and the number of squares is growing quite quickly.

My English paper piecing quilt is also growing very nicely, I'll share some progress pictures of that tomorrow.

So plenty getting done, despite not knitting.  But Thursday can't come soon enough now.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

I'm in Heaven

Yarndale - what an amazing day we had.

This was my first visit but I'm already planning next year's trip.  It was heavenly.  All that yarn together in one place and lots and lots of lovely people who are excited to talk about knitting and crocheting and yarn.  Blissful.

And the Sun was shining on us as we had our picnic outside.

I received lots of lovely compliments on my Fair Isle cardigan (my Kate pattern) which was lovely.

I did break my no knitting rule whilst I was there - but you can't go to Yarndale and not knit!  I only did three rows and I've put it away again until next month.

I was too excited to take many photos when I was there, but I did snap the angora bunnies (unbelievably soft and fluffy) and the alpacas (not as fluffy but still gorgeous and soft).

And what was the damage?  Well, once the credit card bill comes in, I don't think I'll be allowed any where near yarn for at least a year!  I'll definitely be grounded.

Look at all this gorgeousness!  Who could resist?  Well, clearly not me.  Although Grace managed a similar mountain of yarn to me.  And then after photographing the above, I remembered I had another bag that I hadn't emptied yet!

I'm just waiting for October now so I can pick up the needles and get stuck in.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying just squidging and stroking all that yarny goodness.

Friday, 25 September 2015

One More Sleep

Grace and I are off to Yarndale this weekend.  So exciting.

I've made myself a couple of badges to wear - yellow, pink and sparkly, obviously.

Anyone else going?  Maybe I'll see you there.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

In Anticipation

Whilst I'm enjoying my "no knitting" month, enormously, giving plenty of other projects my undivided attention, I'm certainly looking forward to picking up the knitting needles again next week.

I have a significant number of projects on the wish list as well as the projects that were put to one side at the beginning of this month.

In anticipation of a renewal of knitting activity, I recently bought the latest Rowan magazine.

Sometimes Rowan can be a bit hit and miss with its patterns, but this time, I'm pleased to say, there are a good number of patterns that caught my eye.  Here are four that yelled "knit me".




Hayling - probably my favourite.

Plenty of possibilities there.  The only problem will be finding the time to make them all.