Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Spring has sprung

After all the dark gloomy days of February it looks as if better things are finally here.  We have had very foggy mornings and evenings in the south west for the last few days but in between we've had glorious sunshine.  This sudden warmth has given the garden the kick start it needed and today the first flower on the magnolia tree opened properly

I don't have a lot of knitting news to report.  My fourth forest canopy shawl is about half way through and I am half way up the back of a cropped cardigan.  This was taken a few days ago and I've done about the same again.
The yarn is Debbie Bliss pure cotton in rose and I'm using 4.5mm needles.  I love the colour and I think it will be lovely for warmer days.  The sleeves will be 3/4 length with no rib, just the lace edging.  I haven't yet decided what to do about the button bands, but plenty of time to decide.

Most of the past week have been taken up with decorating our attic bedroom and it's starting to take shape now.  The wallpapering should be finished tomorrow then it's on to the fun stuff - curtains, bedding, all that sort of thing.  It's going to look really pretty when it's finished, I think.

No time for further ramblings, there is a pan of lentil and bacon soup awaiting attention!

Sunday, 11 March 2012


My latest Forest Canopy Shawl, this time knitted in Juno Fibre Arts' Milly sock yarn on 6mm needles. 

I keep banging on about how I love this pattern, and I do!  I said in an earlier post how it made something special of a very plain sock yarn, but it's also the perfect showcase for something a bit special.

This is the first time I've tried Juno's yarn and I'm enormously impressed.  It's beautiful to knit with, soft and springy, and watching the colours develop is a pleasure in itself.

This colourway is called Driftwood and as you can see from the close ups, the colours are wonderful.  The different shades and tones make me think of the pebbly beach at Lyme Bay - I can almost hear the sound of the sea on the shingle!

I'm especially pleased with the way the different colours appear in the border rows and the contrast between them on the cast off edge. 

Speaking of the cast off rows, the shawl uses a sort of Russian cast off, which takes forever!  It is well worth the extra time and trouble because it would be difficult (if not impossible) to get the lovely pointy stretchy edge without it, it just takes ages!

The weather has taken a turn for the better here.  I can't exactly say that Spring has sprung, but things are slowly but surely heading in the right direction.  The trees are full of buds, the daffs are out and the white magnolia in our little garden will flower any day now.  Can't wait for some sunshine and longer, warmer days.

Hope the weekend weather is being kind to you too.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Latest update

The past week or so has been really busy and I've hardly had a minute to even think about a new post.  We had a trip to London last weekend; we had tickets to see Jonathan Richman play at the Unitarian Chapel in Islington.  Jonathan was as good as ever and the building was wonderful, as you can see from the few pics I managed to get

This is a shot of the pulpit, which was huge.  The arch behind had a lovely intricate design, slightly Moorish.  I wish I could have got a close up of it.

A quick shot of Jonathan in action:

We also had time to catch up with family and had a really fun day on Saturday.  I was able to hand over some knitted goodies for baby F.  These have been Top Secret but now all can be revealed!  The one on the left is one of my own designs.  It's knitted in James Brett 4-ply and I was very impressed with the yarn.  It was nice to knit with and seems to be a good quality acrylic.  Hopefully it will wash well (Mummy is under strict instructions to report back on that!).  A lot of people don't like acrylic yarn but I think they have their place, especially for toys and baby clothes that really need to be able to stand up to repeated washing. 

Not my own design this time but a King Cole pattern, Jolene.  I've made this a few times and it always turns out well.  The yarn is Debbie Bliss pure cotton, not one of my favourites but I had a spare 100g or so in my stash.  I have some pictures of this being modelled and will post when I finally get them off my camera!

I have made quite a few pairs of these little Mary-Jane style bootees.  They are so quick and easy to knit and great for using up odd bits of yarn.  Pretty buttons liven them up.  They were the perfect size for F, thank goodness, and she didn't object at all to trying on all these knitted goodies.  She is the perfect model and I have lots of ideas for summer things for her. 

The past week has also involved a lot of decorating, just the boring but essential bits at the moment like stripping wallpaper and painting.  Hopefully the fun part will happen next week with sorting out curtains and pictures and such like.

There has still been time for knitting and craft, though.  I have finally managed to get photos of my third Forest Canopy Shawl.  I am delighted with this one and love the Juno yarn it is knitted from.  Pics to follow in my next post.  Somehow, I seem to have got myself into (yet another!) Ravelry challenge, 12 lace items in 2012.  Well, I have completed three so only nine to go!  Not sure what to do next - do I go for another FCS or another Swallowtail? Need to decide soon ...

Sunday, 26 February 2012

a taste of things to come

Hello and welcome to my shiny new blog. 

I suppose I should write something meaningful and profound for my first post but as nothing comes to mind I'll post some piccies instead.  Much more interesting, don't you think?

This is Tedward, one of the patterns from the wonderful Debbie Bliss Book of Knitted Bears.  Tedward was loads of fun to make and I'm very tempted to make another, this time to keep.

And this is a recently finished item, the Forest Canopy Shawl by Susan Lawrence.  The pattern is available on Ravelry but I have no idea how to do the linky thing. I'm really pleased with how this has turned out, the pattern is lovely to knit and it has turned some leftover Lidl sock yarn into something pretty special.  I'm so pleased with the pattern that I've since made two more of the shawls, but that can wait for another post ....