Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Fair Isle Fun!

Well I'm pretty pleased with myself this week.  I mentioned ages ago, having knitted some fair-isle handwarmers

that I would like to try and knit a fair-isle sweater and I found a pattern (and of course she looks just how I will look in it!)

I have been stashing some wool and building up to getting going (particularly as I wanted to change some of the colours) for some time.  So on Saturday I finally got going and this is my first sleeve.  I love it so far, just hoping and hoping that it will end up fitting, because it is pretty hard work!  This was 4 days progress and that makes it a couple of inches a day!  So don't hold your breath waiting for the reveal which may take 2 months!  As you can see I have changed virtually every colour.

I haven't quite captured the colours effectively but I will get some better photos later.  I picked up Debbie Bliss' Spring/Summer magazine and have already picked my next 2 knits

Striped JumperCabled Cardigan 2

Both with a vintage feel - I think I'll knit the short-sleeved one without the stripes.

I love the way you get inspiration, recommendations and ideas from others' blogs.  On the recommendation of Jules whose blog I love I ordered this book
It's great!  and if you are a budding crochteter like me who doesn't know many stitches or block ideas it's a must.  I am particularly taken with the crocodile block - hopefully I'll make a start soon.  It's so frustrating to have so many projects I want to do but so little time!

It's been very cold here but we are still avoiding the snow and lots of pleasant dog ~(and cat) walking

Meg (the cat) still queues up to come and one day last week both cats came!  Very strange and what a sight we must look.

Only 2 days to go before the long weekend, can't wait.  Until then ......

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

These socks aren't made for walking!

I have two socks!!!  So challenge completed.  As you can see they are baggy (the left more so than the right, interesting!) and they are clearly socks for sitting in rather than anything remotely more useful.  As I have said before I really hate reknitting anything so I won't be taking them back, I will just enjoy wearing them when I'm in settee mode as they are warm and cheerful.  Will there be any more socks?  I'm not sure at this point, perhaps if I find the right pattern and I will definitely take Jilly's advice and try 4 ply next time.  The wool (Debbie Bliss Rialto DK) was nice to knit with - the stripes were very regular which did make changing balls a little difficult and I threw quite a bit of wool away.  I think it would be lovely easy scarf wool and there are some really lovely colour combinations. 

I rarely make the free gifts which come with many craft magazines (in fact I have a large pile which I intend to give to someone to make up for charity) but I did have a go at a wooden key ring free with Cross-stitcher magazine.  I have been curious about unusual surfaces that people have used for embroidery and cross-stitch (and I have even ordered some paper for a future project) so I was attracted to trying on wood and it was certainly interesting.  Not easy ... a bit hard on the hands and not as restful as fabric.  I hit 2 major hurdles 1) ran out of thread, so you can't see the finished product.

2) Life seems too short to me to worry about the back of things and I tend to meander around trying to save having to end and start stitching, so the back of this currently looks like this....

Whoops!  Still I have a cunning plan and will simply stick a bit of felt (or even some crotchet) over the back to cover. 

Not my most successful of crafting weeks really!  Never mind.

I had a lovely Saturday visiting Kendal Antiques Fair and Kirkby Lonsdale Vintage Fair.  Some great stalls.

... and even better cakes ...

I manage to find a few bargains.

A vintage vase (£4), scarf(£7), Cup (£2 for two), the couple of Kath Kidson teatowels came from a shop and not vintage!  And my favourite buys - 3 vintage broaches.  I love how you can pick these old broaches up so cheaply - the bar broach was the dearest at £10 but I think it is genuine Deco.  I've been enjoying wearing these (not at once) this week, a bit of bling on my rather sombre black jackets.

On Sunday the snow came again (but went as quickly) ... and I think many of us are in for some more tomorrow, so hope you can keep warm and snuggled up.  Till next time.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

A yum, yum weekend

There was much to enjoy this weekend.  Gemma and Dan came home and we had a little trip on Saturday to Ulverston, which is a lovely town with some really unusual shops.  Lovely wool shop (Loop), fabric shop etc.

... and a particularly nice vegetarian, organic tea shop

.... and delicious food.

My favourite purchase was a new (old) chair which had already been uncycled and for £48 why do it yourself.  It matches my duckegg blue bedroom exactly.

I have been busy with my cross-stitch which seems to be taking for ever, but I've also been knitting .... can you guess what it is ....

.... is it a scarf, a long hat for the dogs ...  maybe this will give you a clue ...

 no it's a sock! 

Now I have to admit to being a bit sceptical about knitting socks.  Socks are so cheap to buy and I wasn't sure about how you get them to fit, and then would they fit in your shoes, but one of my resolutions this year was to have a try.  Actually it seems I was right as you can see the sock has turned out very baggy...

Now I know lots of you would just take it back and reknit it, but I hate redoing things so I will just wear the socks round the house and hope they don't drop off!  Hopefully a second sock will follow over the next week.  (The wool is the Debbie Bliss Rialto I included in my last post).

I hope you had as lovely mothers' day as I did.  First there was some sunshine (and an opportunity to wear my new cardie!)

Dan and I went to Samlesbury Hall near Preston, a 14th century building, very beautiful.

... Dan had his lessons

... and of course there was a bit of something to eat!

So a good weekend alround.  I achieved my goal to try a new recipe a month with a beetroot, pine nut and goats cheese tart

Followed by watching Argo which we really enjoyed.  Great tension so an 8/10!  And there seem to be lovely spring bulbs and flowers everywhere.


Have a lovely week and sorry if my blogs seem to be getting longer .... it's all the fun we are having!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Treats, lakes and crotchet

Thank you so much for your lovely supportive comments which I really appreciated.

I've been buying a few lovely things.  First some gorgeous fabric .

.... and what will this become.  Well I've been a complete cheat.  I saw this pattern in a magazine and hunted (high and low) to get the same fabric, so watch this space to see if I can actually make something akin to a dress.

A couple of new cookery books both reduced in WH Smiths.

Both full of lovely photos, yum, yum and the Paris Kitchen book led to making brunch with oeuf en cocotte 

... homemade bread ....

.... and a little froggy roll made by Dan ...

I couldn't resist this lovely cardi ... it's quite ridiculous really ... going to be difficult to wash, difficult to match to things and a colour scheme I don't have, but on the way to the dentist it was in a shop window and I loved it.

I have in mind making a skirt from this material to wear with it.

IMG_4911 2

Finally some lovely wool. Two balls are going to be for my first pair of socks, so watch this space. Aren't the colours lovely together?

Crafty wise I have been into a bit of crotchet.  I have been making a round cushion using left over cotton which is coming on nicely.  I'm currently waiting for a round cushion to arrive to get the fit right, but haven't decided whether to have a cotton or crotchet back.

 I have also just completed some wristwarmers from Sandra's excellent instructions.  I love Sandra's blog - her photos are excellent and her tutorials really clear.  You can see much better photos on her blog than mine ... but I really enjoyed this project, very easy and those of you who are experienced crotcheters could whip them up in a couple of evenings.  I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmero which is probably my all time favourite wool and this was so much nicer to work with than the cotton!  On my own this weekend so I can't photograph the pair being worn!

And now to turn into a book and film critic!  We went to see Lincoln and it was good.  Longish and a bit worthy but I actually did find out a lot about the 13th amendment.  Daniel Day Lewis was good, though really I felt Hugh Jackman should have got the Oscar for Les Mis.  7/10 is my score.

It is good that we outlawed slavery so much earlier in Britain and without the loss of more than 600,000 lives.  (We watched Amazing Grace the next day).

So far I have achieved my intention to read a book a month.  So for February it was the Snow Child.  I did like this book it was about resliance, tenacity, hardship, love, healing and a little bit of magic.  One to read and 8/10.  Haven't picked my book for March yet.

To continue our cultural tour of Cumbria we went to Brantwood near Coniston which was the home of  John Ruskin.  Really enjoyed this, spectacular views

... a lovely, interesting house with beautiful furniture and Ruskin seems to be a fascinating, sensitive man, a real humanist

... and a garden which certainly reminded us that spring is here ...

On the way home we briefly stopped at Tarn Hows .... I do know how lucky we are to live here!!

To end ... I can't resist a rare moment of kitty-cuddling!