Sunday, 28 November 2010

Little Blue Sheep….

Yesterday I went to the Frating Village Hall for a day of yarn, spinning and knitting.  This is a wonderful day which happens about 4 times a year and is organised by one of the local groups.

There is always a friendly atmosphere and cake and cheese scones and cake and did I mention the cheese scones?  Hmmmm the cake and cheese scones…… dribble!

It’s also a chance to catch up with friends and be inspired by their latest projects.  Enter the little blue sheep!


These fabulous stitch markers we made by Julie and what is not to love about them.  Some are little balls of yarn and some are little sheep made out of little balls of yarn.  How CUTE!


These photos don’t do them justice but they really are so adorable I just had to share them with you.

I also took along some of my hand dyed yarn which I have been playing with.  I’ve been experimenting with natural dyes but I’m dyeing much more than I can knit.  So after some encouragement from some friends I took some along to see if anyone else liked it.  After all this would help buy more yarn to play with!  This is something that I’ve been wondering about for a little while, just hadn’t done it.  Anyway on the back of this I’ve opened a Folksy shop.  If you’d like to visit it then you can find it here.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Autumn has left and Winter has arrived…..

Well the autumnal leaves have left the trees and Jack Frost has come to play every morning.  Pebbles and Jake woke me early this morning as they haven’t yet got the hang of weekends.  As a struggled my coat on over the top of my jimjams I looked out of the lounge window to be greeted by frost and mist.  I knew that there was no way that Jake would wait while I got my camera so I stuffed my mobile in my pocket and off we went out into the cold.


The scene as I stood there was beautiful but given the limitations of my camera phone and that I was attached to a dog by a lead I only managed a quick shot of some of the frost covered leaves on the grass near the cottage.

The cold has been an on going feature of life in this beautiful part of England this week.  Many of my friends work in schools so the subject of possible snow days has never been far away.  For me the cold means something else….. time to look for ways to keep warm!  This week that involved using the cooker to do some dyeing in the kitchen.  I love this…..  I love the magic of watching the colours change, even though I know it’s really chemistry.


This beautiful purple has been named ‘Libby’ and has already been nabbed by a friend.



This particular colour was a pig to photograph.  The colours just kept overpowering the image. (grump grump)




Right then off to play with my yarn hehe…..


Sunday, 21 November 2010

A plea to the blog-o-sphere……

Ok what’s going on?  It appears that some of my photos are not showing up in the blog.  If you click on them then a larger version pops up….  but why aren’t they working in the smaller sizes in the posts?

Anyone know?

Help needed on this……

Anyway since I have little else to write about (still recovering from that illness I had this week) here are some more photos.  I’m experimenting with the format I put them in before uploading.  These are all shots from my meanderings with my camera this summer.  Fingers crossed they all work.


This is a model frog I found in a garden I visited with my mother.  I like visiting gardens and spending time in other peoples little personal plant based paradise.

I’m not 100% certain which garden this was found in but I do know it was in the village of Langham in Essex.

As a village about 15 gardens all opened up on the same two days to raise money for charity.  The weather wasn’t very nice but we enjoyed ourselves anyway.



lochThis is Loch Faskally by Pitlochry in Perthshire.  Jake and I walked around it during our holiday this summer.

stagNow what would a trip to Scotland be without a stag.  Actually I have visited this wonderful country many times but this is the first time I’ve actually managed to get a shot of a stag.  Something always seems to go wrong.

In fact it nearly went wrong this time as well.  My camera locked up and refused to work.  I couldn’t believe it!  I mean What The ****!  It’s a good camera although it is getting a little old now.  But I mean really, of all the times to lock up!!!!!  Swearing was involved….  But I did get this shot



This was taken on another garden visit.  There was a sculptural seat above these stones.  I suspect that the owners hadn’t spotted the little seedling poking it’s head up through the stones….  But I thought it was a lovely image.  Nature showing us that she’s still there no matter what we do….

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Just a little quickie….

Well I’ve been busy or ill most of this week so not a lot of time for any sort of crafting.  I did however get the time to have a go at a stash busting project I’ve been thinking about for a while.
On the coach trip to Ally Pally my friend Irene was crocheting a beautiful bag.  I’m not always taken with knitted or crocheted bags but this one was lovely.  She explained the idea of how to do it (couldn’t believe how simple it was)  and so I decided to have a go.
Unfortunately when I was part way up the sides I decided that the base was a bit big for the bag I have in my head.  So I decided to make it into a basket / toiletry tidy.  It’s three strands of yarn from my stash worked together.  A cream DK (not sure where is came from) and two balls of Noro Sock for the colour.  I’m rather pleased with the results.  Simple, easy and most importantly stops Salem the cat from playing football with the stuff on top of my chest of draws.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

I liked it so much I’m making another one….

Remember that blue hat I made?  The one I photographed down the woods with the help of Pebbles the dog…  Well I liked it so much I’m making another one.

hat 3

Yesterday we had a road trip to Woodbridge in Suffolk.  A new yarn shop has opened up and naturally we wanted a peek…. Well wouldn’t you?  Unfortunately I forgot my camera so no shots of yarn shops for you to oggle at (I know I’m always oggling at photos of yarn shops on peoples blogs) but I can give you a link to their website.  It’s called Twist and we enjoyed looking at all the lovely yarn there.  They’ve only been open a week so I was a little disappointed as a lot of their stock such as Manos del Uruguay hasn’t arrived yet.

However we did get a peek at the room which is being kitted out for workshops at the back and given it’s not to far away I’m going to be keeping an eye open to see if there will be anything of interest going on.  I understand that there will be courses in the new year so hopefully not to long to wait.

We also visited a more established shop called Anjays which sold yarn and fabric.  It was a much smaller shop but one of those you can mooch about in (provided you can find the room).  I do love a good mooch….

hat 1So anyway I came home with two balls of Tapestry yarn by Rowan.  I’ve knit with this before and it’s a nice double knit.  I have mixed feelings about Rowan as so many of the balls I’ve had in the past have contained knots.  I know some knots are going to happen but with Rowan I find a lot more than I think I should.

Anyway those two balls are being knit together into another Weekender hat by Woolly Wormhead.

If this hat works as well as the last one then I’ll be a happy little knitter!

Unfortunately The weather cut short our trip to the woods today.  Once again I forgot my camera so it’s just piccys from my phone I’m afraid.  The scarf is made from yarn I bought at The Yarn Gallery a few weeks back.  I love the colours and I’m hoping that the new Weekender hat will work with it.  













Pebbles ran and ran and ran and ran around in circles.  I did take some video on my phone but as yet I’ve been unable to work out how to transfer it to my computer.  Maybe I’ll get it uploaded during the week……

Friday, 12 November 2010

Spin, spin, spin…. or not….

Well I’m starting to understand why so many people spin.  Even given my very basic novice skills I can feel how therapeutic this can be.  I’ll be honest and say the yarn is pretty ropey.  This is I’m sure to be expected.  However, I’ve plied some and we’ll see how it knits up.

Unfortunately the flyer has just snapped.  I suspect it must have been knocked in transit or something. It appeared fine when it arrived and I have done some spinning on it without problem.  However I finished the merino I was using and plied it so decided to get out one of the other little packets of fibre yumminess and start on that.  After a hard day at work I was finding it very relaxing. So out came a packet of Shetland fibre.

I drafted some of it and got myself comfy ready to start on the wheel again.  That's when it went pear shaped.  I tried in vain to tape it up but I knew it wasn’t going to work.  It didn’t.

So it’s the internet to the rescue….  Fortunately given this is a modern wheel I can buy a replacement.  But the bug has bitten and I’m not looking forward to having to wait for it to arrive in the post. Oh well, such is life……


While surfing for a replacement flyer I decided to change my desktop background and chose this image.  I took it on holiday last summer and it’s one of my favourite shots of recent years.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

It’s here whoop whoop…..

I’m so excited.  My new spinning wheel has just arrived.  This is my first wheel and Jake was very curious as to what it was.
Jake with packaged wheelIt’s a Louet which I have bought second hand from another user on Ravelry.
wheel 2
Fortunately it came with instructions and even given a pause for a cuppa tea after unpacking it was quickly put together.
wheel 1
Jake happily watched the proceedings, sniffing everything as a good dog should.  I’m not 100% sure exactly where in the cottage it’s going to live, but I am sure I’m going have fun with it…..

Sunday, 7 November 2010

If you go down to the woods today…..


You may just bump into a mad woman with a tea pot!

tea pot 5

Yes, you guessed it.  In the search for some good natural lighting to photograph the new teapot cover I took it down the woods with me.  The yarn is Araucania Pomaire Multy which I purchased from Ally Pally.  There was only one skein left in this colour way so it needed a small project.  I’ve got plenty of the yarn left though so I think it might grow some bits at the top.  Maybe a cord to pull it off with or something like that.  I swear it has more green in it in real life though.


I did feel a little peculiar wandering round with a Tesco’s carrier bag with a tea pot in it – complete with tea cosy. 

Since I normally only walk the dogs together and Jake has been injured, Pebbles has not been getting to go out as much as she’s used to.  So I decided to take her with me as well.  She thought this was fabulous and obviously wanted to help with the photos…

hat 1

So not only did I end up being mad woman with tea pot, I was mad woman with tea pot and dog!  Naturally since I didn’t have a nice shot of my new hat (which I made to help keep my head warm at work), I needed to take one of that as well.  The yarn is Scrumptious by Fyberspates in DK which I used double to get a nice thickness.  The pattern is called the Weekender by Woolly Wormhead.

Pebbles down the wood 7There was of course much mooching and running about by Pebbles and I just couldn’t resist taking some photos of her as well….

However as we walked back to the car I couldn’t help remembering a thread on Ravelry from a while back.  The person who started the thread was complaining about project photos including things such as cats when all she wanted to see was the knitting.  What on earth people would therefore make of a teapot down the woods with a dog I dread to think….

Testing, testing, 1, 2, testing…..

Ok then this is a test posting…  I’m trying out Windows Live Writer as I’ve heard it is much better than using the Blogger Dashboard.  So naturally I have to check it out.

Of course than means I need something to write about so here is Fire the cat.  Also known as Firekins or Baby. I have no particular reason for sharing this photo with you except I want to play with the settings on Windows Live Writer and I love my cat.  He’s a cream point Siamese and a Holy Terror when it comes to attacking yarns balls.  His favourite is when I’m winding a ball onto the ball winder.  If it’s dancing around the floor then it was obviously meant for him to chase…

Hmmm… I’m liking this Live Writer…  Right then must go and take some photos of yarn based projects so that I have an excuse to write another craft based post later hehe…

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Going to the Dogs.....

Like many animals lovers I've spent this evening snuggling with my little furry beasts.  I don't normally need to do this as the barrage of fireworks doesn't normally bother them.  This year however has been different - Jake the dogs has a bad leg.  It's strapped up with a splint on it but he's feeling sorry for himself.  So I've spent much of the evening knitting with a large black dog under my legs, on my lap or flopped by my feet.  I would take a photo of this but Jakes not looking his best at the moment.  So instead here are some photos from earlier in the year of Jake and Pebbles (his partner in crime).

I'll take some photos of the projects I've finished this week and post them tomorrow (beasties allowing).....