Archives for the month of: October, 2013

This week I received 2 parcels, one expected but bigger than I thought and one totally unexpected.

I’ll start with the unexpected………..
I had rather a large pile of mail waiting when I returned from my long weekend knitting retreat, but I chose to ignore it for a while. I needed to unpack (mainly to dig out the yarn and other goodies I received on my knitting retreat!) and wanted to catch up on emails. It was quite some time before I tackled the post.

My husband had left it in a neat pile (he’s good at neat and tidy!) with smallest mail on top, largest underneath. So it was bank statement, bill, magazine, junk….and right at the bottom a large envelope marked ‘do not bend’. At first I thought it was this month’s instalment of pure silk mini skeins from Willow Knits (http://www.willowknits.com/), after all most large envelopes and parcels entering this house contain some sort of yarn ……… but no, bending would do no harm to yarn. Intrigued I pulled it open as quickly as I could and found a lovely letter from Ann, a lady who I met at one of my crochet workshops earlier this year and I now count as one of my yarny friends. She spins and knits, and claims to be a crochet novice but is very accomplished. She had joined in The Hexagon Project 2013 (http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/agrarian-artisan-designs/2521297/1-25) and made a beautiful blanket. Her letter explained that I had ‘won’ a prize for the mostly hexagon project but this was code words for the enclosure – a set of 7 handmade cards, one for each hexagon design I gave to everyone who had joined in. They had (mostly!) a hexagon theme with a short description on the back. They are beautifully made and cherished – it will be hard to give them away as their usual purpose commands! I was so touched and can’t thank Ann enough for such a lovely present.

Mostly hexagons

Mostly hexagons

The second parcel came from the USA. I had won a ball of yarn in a blog contest this summer and Laura had sent the parcel through with what she described as ‘a few little extras’. So I was expecting a small package that would fit through the letterbox. But the postman rang the bell carrying a larger parcel than I expected………. a few little extras is quite a lot to me – 3 more balls of yarn and an ergonomic crochet hook. Is that little? I think not!

So I now have 4 balls of yarn from the USA, none of which is available here in the UK, so is quite a treat for me. Mohair, alpaca, super bulky wool and some ‘fur’ yan, quite a lovely mix which I think Laura spent some time putting together. Thank you so much, Laura.

US mail

US mail

So far I have a few little gems of ideas of what I will make with it, some of the yarns remind me of Christmas……… so watch this space!

Laura is a lovely and talented designer, you can find her blog here:
http://happyclappycrochet.com/

Happy knitting and crocheting xx

I returned home from a lovely weekend at lunchtime today. What was the weekend? The Small Wool Gathering – 12 of us who had met on P3 last October and March. P3 was developed by Amy Singer and Brenda Dayne, a wonderful weekend in Pembrokeshire with workshops by Amy and Brenda in a glorious location. But this October P3 was cancelled and some very enterprising people who attended previous P3s decided something must be done to keep P3 alive ! And so we did.
So that is where I was this last weekend……and I loved it! It was at Pedington Manor in Gloucestershire, a beautiful large country manor capable of taking 20 guests. Catherine and Jenny organised us and did all the cooking – yes ALL the cooking – breakfast, lunch, dinner and all the gorgeous cakes and biscuits for tea and coffee.

I LOVED IT! Amy Singer came to do 3 workshops and all relevant to what I wanted (needed!) and we had some lovely evenings knitting, spinning and enjoying the company of like minded people.

Here are a few photos
The welcome:
:

The welcome

The welcome

My door had a lovely sign attached, and there was a beautiful hand knitted washcloth (by Jenny) on the bed!

The Workshops:

In the dining room

In the dining room

The workshops were held in the dining room, with a warm and welcoming fire adorned with knittery goodness!

The Sunday Spinning:

spinning

spinning

On Sunday morning we learn how to spin silk, then in the afternoon several attendees brought out their wheels and showed us all how to do it!!

I also got to meet the lovely Jacqui Harding, such a fabulous opportunity.

Check out The Small Wool Gathering….and other gatherings….. here http://thesmallcrafters.blogspot.co.uk/

Happy knitting and crocheting xxx

A while ago I talked about the KAL/CAL on my ravelry forum to celebrate the first anniversary of that forum. I have been blown away by all the lovely sharves and scarves being made by the members, and they are great at sharing their photos as well as words. I can’t explain how lovely it is to see the different variations with yarn, colour etc – it brings the whole design to life for me.

The 2 designs I made for the anniversary are:

Anniversary Sharf

Anniversary Sharf

Simple Circles Scarf

Simple Circles Scarf

Amost 90 people are working on these now, some have even finished! But today I was blown away again! Kerry, who is making the sharf using some of her own beautifully dyed blue faced leicester yarn (yes, she dyed it herself!), has done a video blog of her progress on the sharf. It is a great blog and I confess had me blushing a little!!

Here is the video blog http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMM6FXqyTxs

She has also made a promise to do a video blog of how to master the more tricky parts of the knitting in the sharf, which is a fabulous idea and I am looking forward to that future blog. Kerry’s blog is here – http://oddmentsblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/wip-work-in-progress-anniversary-sharf/comment-page-1/#comment-21

Happy knittting and crocheting xx

I went to a gorgeous yarn festival this weekend, it was a first for them but not for me!

The first yarn festival I went to was called Bob! Yes, Bob the underground yarn festival. It was held in Bakewell last October. The day I went the weather was glorious and I had a spectacular drive over the moors to Bakewell – very unusual, because ‘over the top’ to Buxton is generally quite dire. For me it was an indication that the day would be great, and so it was. It was a small and cosy festival, and I was astounded by how helpful and encouraging the stallholders were – I was given a 20 minute workshop on how to use a drop spindle by the lovely Sue at Forest Crafters https://www.etsy.com/shop/forestcrafters#. It is on again this year – renamed The Bakewell Wool Gathering, find them here http://bakewellwool.co.uk/

At the time I went to Bob I was in mourning, because my most wonderful local yarn shop had closed in September and I missed it so much. So I had to take the opportunity to visit a yarn festival because I had no-where else suitable or helpful or courageous enough to go to for my woolly fix. Yes, I still mourn the loss of that shop – Riana and Nigel helped me rekindle my love of all things woolly, and unexpectedly unleashed my long hidden creative streak. But they did build the most amazing community and I will blog about that sometime soon.

So after Bob I wondered how else I would get my ‘fix’. I searched the calendar and found Wonderwool Wales http://www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk/ . And there and then decided the only way to rekindle the love was to organise a loving coach trip to Wonderwool Wales. It was months away, but plenty of time for me to get quotes for coaches and think about how to do it. And do it I did!!!!! It was at the end of April this year and was amazing! The first time I had organised a coach trip. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think (hope) all the people on the coach did too.

Here is what I bought there:

DSCF0668

So where next…… well it was obvious I should do Wonderwool again but nothing else…….until I found Yarndale http://yarndale.co.uk/http://yarndale.co.uk/ . But Yarndale was in Skipton, only an hour and half to drive from my home, surely I could do that without the need to organise a coach? Ok, I am a sucker….when someone said ‘are you organising a trip to Yarndale’ it didn’t take me long to decide. With only 2 months preparation time, I booked the coach, miraculously filled it and was on the way to a brand new yarn festival.

And what a festival it was. Thanks to Lucy at Attic24 http://www.attic24.typepad.com/ who is one of the organisers, it featured crochet rather than knitting as the main craft. Wow, how often does that happen? We arrived at the opening, had only a short queue in traffic and the coach parked up very close to the rear entrance to the festival. It was busy and little did I know that they had some logistical issues, as is always the case with something new, but I did not notice them! I can always recommend a coach for such events – for numerous reasons, and especially because they are green – someone else drives, they use less fuel per person and you can enjoy the journey there and back with some lovely like minded people. To me it is win, win.

Here is what a bought at Yarndale:

DSCF1027

So will I do yarn festivals again – yes, yes, yes! I love them and I so wish there were more closer to me……mmmm maybe I should think about organising one!

Happy knitting and crocheting xxx
PS have just discovered there are some places left on this amazing weekend break http://thesmallcrafters.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/last-minute-dot-com.html let me know if you are interested.

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