craft, crochet, knitting, nature, photography, travel, Uncategorized

New Discoveries

Do you sometimes feel like you are getting stuck in a rut and do the same old things every weekend?  Working full-time, my leisure time is very precious to me.

This Bank Holiday weekend I formulated a plan with my friend and neighbour, Anna. We decided that we would try to visit somewhere new at least once a month and started this month with Shaftesbury in Dorset.

We did have a teensy ulterior motive, in that Hanson’s Fabrics and Crafts, a massive craft warehouse, is a few miles south of Shaftesbury…

I even managed to persuade Anna’s son Mikey that buttons are magical… (have you ever seen a cheesier face?)

IMG_20160528_121839

After buying a few bits and bobs there we moved on to Shaftesbury.  It was a beautiful day but I needed to get some shelter from the sun as I am photosensitive due to my Lupus.  We stopped at the Ugly Duckling cafe and what do I spy next door, Knitting Well, a yarn shop!!  Both places gave us such a warm welcome, so I think a return journey will be on the cards.

We then headed off to the High Street, with lots of quirky little shops, I can heartily recommend a visit here.

Finally we found, almost by accident, Gold Hill which is the site of the Hovis ad from the 1970s which ran for many years and was directed by Ridley Scott (no aliens around thankfully).  It also featured in the 1960s adaptation of Far From the Madding Crowd and is your archetypal ‘chocolate box’ scenery…

IMG_20160528_141919

It was such a lovely day but by this time I was quite exhausted, so I didn’t get to walk down Gold Hill but I will save that up for another visit.  Now we just have to plan where our next trip is going to take us…

Advertisements
Standard
cats, craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized

Feeling Festive and Feline Fun!

Since my last post, so much has happened.  Having had nearly a month off from posting due to a mad few weeks at work which has consumed all of my time and energy, I’m finally having some time to myself and am able to get back to my crafting (and blogging!)

I completed two Craft Fairs, the one in Devon went really well and I enjoyed the mini-break, meeting some lovely folks.  I then did a small Christmas Fair locally which was not so successful, but great fun nonetheless.

Adding to all the madness is the preparations for a certain festive period – I have done most of my Christmas shopping, and am now moving on to last-minute gift-making…

First off is a crocheted scarf for my Dad which I am making in Katia Kathmandu – a gorgeous colourway in blue/green/grey which hopefully keep him toasty warm through this winter.

IMG_0228

IMG_0229

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next up is a scarf for my brother – I am trying to decide whether I have enough time to knit this or if I should crochet it a bit more quickly.  Again I have decided on a Katia yarn – Basic Merino Flash, a soft wool/acrylic mix with a soft variegation in colour from bright crimson to a more mellow maroon.  My brother looks fantastic in red and as both he and Dad loved the scarves I made previously, I hope they do also with these.

 

IMG_0232

 

My Mum is also getting something, but as she reads my blog I am not putting anything on here about it – she will just have to wait and see!

Another present in the making is an upcycled project that I made and then was never happy with.  It is a lovely pattern and the first major item I made when I learnt to knit.  It is from the book Knitty Gritty by Aneeta Patel, whom I wholeheartedly recommend as a knitting teacher.  I wish I could have made it to one of her classes, but the two Knitty Gritty books gave me a firm foundation to start from.

IMG_0233

IMG_0234

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am going to remove the pink flower (which I only put on as a tester) and am going to crochet some pretty embellishments around the shoulders of the hot water bottle.  This has been sadly sitting in a box since I made it, and Anna has remarked on it a few times, so I hope she likes the final result.

I will then turn my hand to a secret project for my little friend Mikey, who turns 5 on Boxing Day.  I may not complete it in time, so will save it as a January present…

And finally, a project for myself – Mum and I had our annual pilgrimage to Peter Jones in Sloane Square (part of the John Lewis brand) and we saw some beautiful yarns.  I bought some for myself which I am going to knit up on different sized needles.  This stunning yarn is Debbie Bliss Angel Prints, Kid Mohair and Silk, as soft and strong as you would expect with that gorgeous mix.

I have never made anything for myself so this is going to be fun.  I am going to try it with 3 1/4 mm and 5 mm needles and adjust it if I am not happy with the result.

IMG_0230

IMG_0231

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, a little update on Sir Patrick, who is now 7 months old and a real purr-sonality.  He doesn’t ever stay still enough to take any pictures, but I managed to snap these today.  He is fascinated by all the knitting and crochet activity and has a penchant for lace (he has excellent taste!).

The final picture is just typical Sir Patrick.  He was checking out the camera lens and managed to fog it up with his breath, in true soft focus style…  Ella is just beginning to cope better with him, and he is calming down a little, which is a relief for us all!

 

IMG_0236 IMG_0237 IMG_0241

Standard
Uncategorized

Marbella Crafting Fun!

Well, I’m pretty much unpacked and back to normal (ish) after my trip to Marbella with Mum.  The dull British weather has certainly brought me back down to earth with a bump!

I managed to find the haberdashery/wool shop again in Marbella, but was a bit disappointed with their lack of range.  I did manage to find one yarn that I really liked – Retinella by Oso Blanco.  It’s a mix of Merino and Acrylic with a bit of Polyester to add a bit of sparkly shimmer.  It feels like an Aran / Worsted weight but knits up as Bulky.  I’m making a stretchy V Stitch crocheted scarf with this.

I also bought some more of the Marbella Cotton which made up lovely coasters which I left at the Marbella apartment last time and was glad to see that they are still there being used!

IMG_20150504_155808GetAttachment (8)

On our last couple of days we wandered around trying to find a shop that we had seen earlier in trip.  The Old Town in Marbella is full of windy cobbled streets which all look the same, but I have a pretty good sense of direction (usually!)  We found the shop but on our way discovered another Wool Shop which had a fabulous range of Lanas Stop yarn.  This is really good quality stuff – I bought some in Bath and it cost me a fortune, but made up this lovely simple ribbed Alpaca mix scarf for my Dad when I first learnt how to knit.

2012-12-23_14.52.34_medium2

So I went a teensy bit mad, bought some gorgeous Extra Merino double knit in burnt orange, to make a scarf for Mum, and Algodón Soft which is 3-4 ply and I’m not sure what to do with it but I’m sure it’ll make something very pretty.

GetAttachment (20)

More news to follow about my Etsy plans and also naughty cat behaviours!

Happy crafting!

Lou x

Standard

Evening all!

Nature and colours have always been fascinating to me – why is it we are often drawn to similar colours or combinations?

My natural predilection is always jewel colours – ruby reds, azure blues, dramatic purples and wonderful emerald or jade greens and turquoises.  This hand-spun wool is a perfect example of these preferences…

2014-05-28 14.50.12

I’ve just returned from a lovely week in beautiful Marbella in Andalusia, it was a very inspirational trip in more ways than one.  I often find I get stuck in a rut of using these (albeit gorgeous!) colours to the exclusion of others.  Of course, not everyone has the same taste as me!

But this late Summer break has turned my head (and I don’t just mean the handsome Spanish waiters!)  – I seem to have a new fixation on fiery latin colours…  The latin culture and bold nature and colour schemes all really appealed to me.

Just look at these bonkers white and pink hisbiscuses (am I the only one disappointed that the plural is not hibiscii!?) – and the trees – not sure if they are also hibiscus but they make quite a show of themselves!

2014-09-22 11.36.44 2014-09-22 11.36.53 2014-09-24 13.00.46 2014-09-24 13.01.41

 

The planting schemes in the parks was what I like to call “bonkers” but extremely cheery.

2014-09-22 17.16.43 2014-09-22 17.16.20

And talking of bonkers, this tree seems completely alien-like – I have no idea what it is but it reminds me vaguely of ‘Cousin Itt’ from the Addams Family…

2014-09-22 17.17.25

 

 

Most of my week was spent in the Old Quarter – with cobbled streets, gorgeous knicky-knacky shops and – joy of joys – two haberdashery / wool shops.  This naturally resulted in some distinctly latino colour schemes in the resulting purchases and plenty of inspiration to take me into the colder months.

 

2014-09-23 15.21.122014-09-21 13.32.50

 

 

I’m sure I’m not the only one with a natural preference for certain fabrics, colours or styles!

Lou x

 

Uncategorized

Latin Colour Inspiration – Fiesta or Siesta!?

Image