Autumn is here. Yesterday we had the first real storm of the season with very strong winds, rain and hail. The leaves were coming off the trees with little resistance. Normally high winds would swirl the leaves into a neat pile by the back door, easy for me to move when the weather permits. We do have a nice little pile there, but this time the leaves also accumulated at the front of the house – all along the front in large piles.

As soon as the weather dries up a little I will be knee deep in leaves (literally) which I hope to tame into a few big tubs and then the compost bin.

With the changing season my habits change.  My cooking changes to winter warmers. This week’s menu will include cottage pie, tuna and pasta bake (the real thing, no packet mixes in this house!) and, my all time winter favourite, beef, Guinness and prune casserole.

Along with these warming meals, for me autumn also means longer evenings of crafting. Over the last 2 evenings I have made a beautiful cowl – a design called Cassia by Amanda Perkins and made in some glorious yarn by The Natural Dye Studio – Phoenix 4ply, colour Tarr Steps. You can find the yarn here: Phoenix.  And in the previous week I have made a small lap blanket in baby merino, a scarf in Willow Knits silk worsted and a cowl in Rowan Cocoon. All this crochet activity is a little more than normal and not just because autumn is here. I am working on a new ebook, but it is still at development stage so this blog post will not include any photos because I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

I hope you are enjoying the autumn and all the goodness it brings.

Happy knitting and crocheting xxx

Another Black Sheep

Having been to Yarndale only a few days ago it was rather indulgent to visit a yarn shop but, when invited to join my yarny friends for a quick trip out to Black Sheep Wools, I could not resist, after all I am a self-confessed yarn addict! And I had visited Ovelha Negra in Oporto very recently – Ovelha Negra means black sheep – so I thought I should try an English one.

It was a fun time, we got lost going there and again coming back (the coming back was probably my fault – sorry Julie!). So when we arrived we were ready for a coffee, and in my case a lovely homemade scone with jam and cream, in the café. Once refreshed it was time to shop.

I didn’t need any more yarn but I can never resist. I had decided to make some slippers using a pattern in the new magazine #crochet which needed 2 balls of Rico Creative Cotton Aran, so I selected the 2 balls. I then found myself in the ‘yarn dive’ area which is full of bargains. I could not resist some Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon on sale at £4.99 per skein – this will be great from some Christmas seasonal makes but is also great for wrapping. Although Ruth did say I looked like a cheer leader holding up this sparkly yarn in both hands!

All those sparkles brighten up my day!
All those sparkles brighten up my day!

Black Sheep is an extensive yarn shop and includes other crafts. There is a good selection of fabrics and, with seasonal makes on my mind, I bought some:

Christmas fabric
Christmas fabric

One thing I didn’t buy at Yarndale was some more of the KnitPro Karbonz knitting needles. I bought a pair on my trip to Blackpool and they have become my favourite needles. I am using them at the moment for the Sunny Sail shawl (using yarn purchased at Yarndale) but I need to transfer to circulars soon. When Julie spotted they had sets for sale I really could not resist at all – so a set of 7 interchangeable needles was also purchased.

This set will help keep me organised
This set will help keep me organised

I enjoyed the trip out and I am sure to visit Black Sheep again, especially as their prices are very good. And the café does lovely cakes and food. Why is it that yarn and cake go so well together?

Happy knitting and crochet xxx