Autumn, craft, crochet, knitting, Uncategorized

30 Day Knitting Challenge – Days 18-19

Oops!  Missed a day there somehow…  Just too much going on at the moment!

Day 18: Do you knit English or Continental?

I knit the standard style but as a left-hander I should really try Continental knitting as I think it would be easier on the hands…

I have been eyeing up a course on Craftsy as and when I have the time to do it!

Day 19: Do you watch movies and/or listen to podcasts while knitting? What are your favorite things to knit to?

I usually watch something on Netflix but if it’s a crochet pattern, I don’t have to concentrate too much, so I can watch something unfamiliar.  For knitting patterns I generally have to pay a bit more attention so it tends to be something I’ve seen before.

There are a few items which I’ve made, where I can recall what I was watching at the time…

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I made some more of these Christmas Puds last night whilst watching one of my favourite non-Christmassy Christmas film, The Family Stone.  With the colder weather and Autumn peeping around the corner, I have obviously started hibernating!

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travel, Uncategorized, yarn

Renewed and reinvigorated

Two colds and a hefty dose of Flu have reduced my capacity to be able to post for a while.  Thankfully all better now!

I have just had a lovely holiday in Marbella (again!) with Mum, where I managed to buy up most of the two haberdashery / wool shops…  Methinks that deserves another whole post to itself…

For now you will have to content yourself with some beautiful pictures of Marbella, including an Andy Warhol piece entitled “Yarn Painting” which of course was my favourite piece in the Picasso Museum in Malaga.

It’s good to be back (oh, except for the weather… and the lifestyle… the culture… and the handsome Latino men…)

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Bamboo Envy

It’s not even that hot yet and I’m exhausted with the weather!

Just had a little jaunt down to my parents’ house in Sussex.  The climate there is always a little warmer, less rainy and more pleasant than where I live in Wiltshire.

Mum and Dad’s garden is always a treat to behold.  Even to a novice gardener such as myself, I can appreciate the beauty in nature in so many places.   Here are just a few of the treats I have enjoyed on this visit.

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Their poppies are out in force – this is such a wonderful flower, with such strong links to us Brits, every year but especially in the last year with the centennial of the start of World War I and the wonderful poppy installation at the Tower of London (which sadly I didn’t get a chance to see).

Their roses are amazing – Mum buys the heavily scented old-style roses – she is very keen on giving the bees something to get excited about, as well as tantalising our noses with their rich nectar.  The one on the left is an usual one as it is a double rose with a heavy scent, which the bees love – most double varieties I tend to avoid as they are usually over-bred for looks but with no oomph!  This is definite exception to the rule, what a show it makes!

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The next is one of my favourite parts of the garden, with beautiful blue campanula and pinks (carnations) in purple and, erm pink!

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Next is a type of wallflower which I’ve been lucky enough to get a cutting of and is growing well in my garden.  It is so pretty, it livens up the borders…

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The hanging baskets also look spectacular, such a gorgeous combination of verbena, fuchsia and petunias.

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And finally, my real envy of their garden – black stemmed bamboo – nothing like as invasive as the other varieties.  It also provides good cover (which I need desperately…) and I’m sure I could make some interesting attempts at using the stems – methinks I shall have to ask Mum for another cutting!

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What is giving you delight (or envy!) in your gardens at the moment?

Happy gardening!

Lou x

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Wiltshire and Somerset Travels

I am very lucky to live in the beautiful county of Wiltshire.  Within a few minutes of my home is beautiful countryside – heading north, the beautiful Bradford-on-Avon and the spectacular Roman city of Bath.  Heading south there is the world-renowned Stonehenge and Salisbury, dating back to the iron age.

To the west, my best-loved town, Frome (OK so it is technically in Somerset!), with its arts and crafts and to the east the even more magical stone circle of Avebury and the up-market Marlborough.

This weekend has been a wash-out so far (typical British weather!) so I have been limited to a quick trip to Frome.  Visiting Mary Kilvert’s fabulous shop I bought a few goodies (can’t spoil the surprise on those by posting piccies!) and enjoyed my chat with her very friendly and helpful staff.  I also visited a little Italian cafe called Paccamora opposite Mary’s shop, which was full of character, and the tea’s not bad either…

I also just happened to, ahem, pop into Marmalade Yarns, which is fast becoming my go-to yarn shop.  Maxine very kindly offered knitting advice, and I got a sneak peek of her latest ideas for the next window display.  I treated myself (quelle surprise!) to some lovely yarn – some for more makes for my forthcoming Etsy shop, some to make a fancy scarf for Anna, and a bit of beautiful lace to perhaps make myself a wrap or shawl.

My camera has given up the ghost so I have no piccies sadly, but have now treated myself to a new one – yay!  So that means I will have to go back.  And, perhaps, buy some more yarn?

Despite the current inclement weather, over the last week or so, I had time for a couple of trips to one of my favourite local destinations – The Courts Garden in Holt – a National Trust venue.

 

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The borders were jam-packed with beautiful specimens – unfortunately I only had an hour to walk around so i didn’t get to enjoy it fully.  The pond is my place of solace and reflection (well, not in it, you understand!)…

Another day I met up at the local Country Park, for a long walk in the sunshine, with my friend Anna and her little boy Mikey, amiably and ably assisted by their bonkers dog, Dave (known to me as Dave-a-roo).

 

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As you can see Mikey is incredibly photogenic.  Dave, on the other hand, is a Rottweiler in a Chihuahua body whilst out and about.  I have promised him that I will never reveal his secret.  When at home he is known to me as Shaky Dave – he literally quivers at the slightest approach of my cat Ella or anyone else.

Oops Dave – sorry – the secret is out…

Happy weekend all!

 

Lou x

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

Happy crafting!

Lou x

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