Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone.....

Apologies for not blogging for ages. We have been extremely busy in the shop - thank you lovely customers and with some surprise events. With regard to that we have been trying to sell our house and move nearer to my home town of Bath for two full years. Our house finally found a buyer in October and we have spent every spare minute driving to Bath looking for somewhere new. In fact, so much so, that I'm not at all sure I want to move there anymore. We have found that as always, when you are thinking about selling, the websites are full of gorgeous homes, with EXACTLY your requirements, at a knock down bargain price. You can imagine yourself living there with a happy family, no arguments, lovely friends and loving, close extended family and happy, well behaved pets (perhaps that's taking things too far). When you finally sell your house, you have a choice between two overpriced sheds and a cardboard box. We hope we have found something suitable, but at the moment it's just fingers crossed that the sale and purchase will go through ok. I'll keep you updated.

In the meantime, we will be taking time off this Christmas and will be back on 4 January, hopefully batteries recharged. We have an excellent sale section on the website, so feel free to order, but please wait for us to return to post it all out. We have a lot of Rowan in the sale, together with a little bit of UK Alpaca, Easyknits and other goodies. The photo above is to remind you that we are having a 10% off promotion on all fabrics until 31 December. This stack is made up of my favourite fabrics - the Circus range by Felicity Miller.

So, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and an Extremely Happy New Year! And thank you for your support and business this year!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Another Finished Project!

I can hardly believe it myself, but I proudly present the second in the Alice Starmore hat trick kit. This one is called Snowdrop. I have shown you a photo of the crown, but the sides are also beautiful. I am really pleased with this, but I found it more difficult than the beret to knit. The joining in of new colours didn't go as smoothly on this and there is a slight line which will annoy me.
The third hat, which I might start today, is the same shape, but has a different pattern. Keep a look out for this, I hope to finish it in a week. This hat and the beret are going to be given to Lucy, the third hat, is going to my sister as the colours will suit her. (I also hope it will be perfectly knitted!)
Work on the scarf is progressing and I hope to finish that next week. The gloves, I have to confess, I lied about in a recent post. Two pairs of gloves were reported to be nearly finished. There is in fact only one pair - but it is nearly done. I'll get the pair finished soon and show a photo. Joe will be the lucky recipient of these. As for all the other projects on my Christmas List, they are not going to be started. I have got the fair isle bug and want to do more!
How is your Christmas knitting getting on?

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Another WIP

I have many, many works in progress, and very few that are finished. Today, I thought I'd show you a photo of a scarf that I'm knitting in Scottish Tweed Aran, which is now sadly discontinued. The photo doesn't really show you the brilliance of the pink, or indeed the fantastic knitting, (I took it on my iphone) but there you go.
The pattern has been taken from A Fine Fleece by Lisa Lloyd. I love this book, the patterns are gorgeous and two versions of each pattern are shown, one in a commercial yarn and the other in a handspun. Lovely!
In fact I have enjoyed using this pattern so much, this is, in fact, my second scarf. The first was made in Rowan Soft Tweed (again, sadly discontinued) and is in a chunky weight. I'll show you a photo of that in a day or two. The chunky yarn makes it more of a wrap size. This one, is a proper scarf width and I am going to make it as long as I have patience for - so will probably stop in the next inch or two. This one is going to be for a friend's birthday and luckily I have a few weeks before it needs to be finished. Hope she likes it. If not, she has a teenage daughter who really loves handknitted stuff, so I'm sure it will be used by someone.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

I can't believe that .........

I have made this lovely beret! This is the first hat from the hat trick set I bought from Virtual yarns (Alice Starmore) earlier in the year. It took around two weeks of not very much knitting time and I am absolutely thrilled with it. I have always wanted to be able to do 'real' Fair Isle knitting but the workship I attended with Alice Starmore at IKnit really gave me the push to get on with it. I cannot believe how lovely the colours are - extremely subtle in place with an overall effect that is just gorgeous.

This will be a Christmas present for someone, but I haven't decided who the lucky recipient might be. Strong contenders are my sister and Lucy. I think it would probably suit my sister more, but would Lucy be offended? At the moment, it is still stretched across a dinner plate - it might just stay there!

I have also completed a scarf and almost two pairs of gloves. The second hat from the hat trick has also be started. Pics of these tomorrow.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Hmm, so much for resolutions of blogging more often. I don't really have any excuses, so I'm not going to make one. Instead, I'm going to go straight to telling you other things in the hope of distracting you.

We went to IKnit weekend a couple of weeks ago and had a fantastic time. We both attended the Alice Starmore Workshop, which was just the most interesting class/talk I have ever been to, and I've attended a few. In fact, in my previous career I hosted many workshops and this was more interesting than any I've ever put together. We just had time to visit a few suppliers at the show and then Lucy rang to say she had arrived at Victoria station, where were we? We had to jump in a taxi and zoom across to meet her. This took much longer than anticipated. Mostly because I was shouting down my mobile at her 'where are you' and she was shouting 'outside Boots'. In the short time I was looking I counted 3 Boots stores at Victoria. Eventually Ian took control of the phone and the situation and we were happily united. We had a fabulous weekend, did lots of touristy things, ate out, ate in the hotel, walked and walked and walked. It was great to go to a big City and to see shops and people and for the first time I was really disappointed to be back in the countryside.

Now, what of the Christmas knitting? Well, I have finished one glove and almost a second. (Told you I just can't do seconds). Started a lovely aran scarf in Rowan Soft Tweed. Fabulous. Photos will follow. So, some progress, but probably not as much as required at this point.

You might wonder why I have added a photo of a KnitPro knitting needle set? Well, we have just started to stock Knitpro needles. I'm very excited about this as I think they are superb quality and extremely good value for money. I was lucky enough to receive a set for Christmas last year and I now try very hard not to use anything else. Of course, I'm not always successful in this as I have so many projects on the needles that I'm surprised there are still needles in this house to use. (Hope Ian isn't reading this, he'll go and check the stock room).

Have a look at the KnitPro needles. Better still, buy some, you won't regret it.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Success - it's all in the Planning....

Don't you think planning your knitting projects can be more fun than actually making them? I am a great looker (I wish) and planner, but not a great finisher. It is usually best for me to avoid things that come in pairs - socks, gloves, sleeves, backs and fronts etc as I really enjoy the first and then rarely finish the second. Lately, I don't know what has been the matter with me, but I rarely even start the second. I think having access to too much yarn isn't good for me - I just start projects and then leave them hanging about.
So, in an attempt to shame myself into finishing things, here is my Christmas list. Actual patterns etc won't be named at the moment - nor the name of the recipient, just in case they read the blog. As some gifts are for Lucy, Joe and my mum this is highly unlikely. Ian, who does read my blog (just to shame me into reading his) is not receiving a knitted gift this year - or at least not knitted by me.
2 pairs gloves
1 aran scarf
3 hats
1 cabled gillet
1 lace scarf
1 shrug (see picture)
We have been able to get some Rowan kits at a good price and in the fullness of time (when I have finished the structural changes to the website) I will be putting these up. These will make excellent Christmas presents as the recipient will be able to knit their own gift! Be careful which kit you get though - it may turn out to be your gift next Christmas!
As mentioned in my previous post, I will update the blog each week with the progress of these projects. So today's update - list made, nothing knitted, or even cast on.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

More Colourscape (and can I mention Christmas?)

I thought I would show you a photo of the lovely new Colourscape yarn that we have just received. This shade is called Cloud and is really very pretty. I love the new colours, especially the autumn and bracken shades. The photos of these need to be taken again as they are too dark, but as soon as I have them ready I'll show you.
The website is being amended again, so if you are looking and come across pages that don't look quite right, don't worry. I am making some changes to the way it looks, however it still works just the same.
Nothing to report on the knitting front. I have received two gorgeous knit kits from Rowan, one in the new Lima yarn and one in the Felted Tweed aran. I really am going to get started on knitting and put my needlepoint aside. I have made a list of all the lucky, lucky people who will receive knitted Christmas presents and it is rather long. So I am going to use this blog like a version of Weightwatchers. I will list all the things I intend to knit and then update you on progress weekly. This will hopefully shame me into getting a shift on. Or am I shameless....

Monday, 3 August 2009

Hi Everyone!

You may have noticed that I've had a bit of a break from the blog. Why? Because we have been away a couple of times. We went to the Lake District so that we could: have a holiday; go to Woolfest (which was great, but hot, hot, hot) and then on to Glasgow to Lucy's Graduation. Which was also great, but hot, hot, hot! Since we have returned it has been wet, wet, wet in not so sunny Devon. Like everyone else in Devon, I have found this a bit disappointing.

Another reason I have had a break is that I've had a break from knitting. I usually do at some point during the summer as I find the wools too hot. I normally take up needlepoint during these months and this year is no exception. It was hoped that this summer I would take advantage of some of the fabulous fabrics we have in the shop, but no, needlepoint won. I haven't finished yet, but when I do, photos will be shown.

So, are we all ready for the Autumn/Winter knitting season? I have put a photo of one of my favourite new books for this season. From Rowan, Colourscape is not new, but there are loads of new shades and this lovely book which includes patterns for men's sweaters. I really like this book and also everything else that Rowan has produced this year. In fact, it is all quite exciting. If the weather carries on being so dreadful, I feel my knitting enthusiasm will return much, much earlier this year.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Knitting in Action

At long last here is a photo of Lucy wearing the shawl I made for her.

The photo is a bit grainy but this is from her mobile. Lucy left it until a couple of days before the event to try on the whole outfit. Whilst I found this very irritating, I do admire the confidence of youth.

This is a photo of her at the ball with boyfriend and a few Scottish friends. I must admit the men in kilts do look very smart. Anyway, well done to Lucy for graduating after five years of studying. We are really very proud of her. Lucy will be taking up a post as a dentist in Perth in August. Many of my friends have said that we are very lucky to have a dentist in the family as it costs so much to see one. My answer to that is 'Would you trust your own child to drill in your head?' Proud though I am (and I really am), I'm not sure I would!

Friday, 29 May 2009

What I did on my holiday......

We have just returned from a lovely holiday in Weymouth. Why Weymouth? Well, when I was a small child my grandparents owned a couple of caravans on a permanent campsite just on the outskirts of the town. Each year we went for one week of the school holidays and this continued until I was about ten or so. The caravans were terribly old-fashioned and had gas lights, no washing facilities and very lumpy mattresses. They were extremely small and the five of us would squash in and hope the weather would be good so we could play outside. My artist sister in law, Kerry Phippen also used to stay in the same make of caravan - this time at the Isle of Skye and she has painted this fabulous picture of them:

Sorry the photo is so small, Kerry has some clever anti-copying device on her website! Anyway, back to the point. We wanted to have a holiday in Dorset and I thought my parents might like to revisit Weymouth after probably 30+ years. So that's what we did. The weather was great, Dorset was beautiful and we all had a great time.

So, now we are back at work and in the words of my mother 'it's all a distant memory'. Well, not quite, but I know what she means.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Lace Knitting - It's Easy .......

when you've finished........ I have to say that in 30 odd years of knitting I have never been so pleased with an article. So, without further ado, here is Lucy's shawl:

As you can see it is being blocked on some polystyrene tiles that Ian had in the loft - don't know why. This was an extremely good blocking material. Ian, who is very neat, helped me set it out and it took next to no time to dry. We had one nasty moment when our labrador walked over it, but apart from that it all went very smoothly. I parcelled it up, posted to Lucy and she received it this morning. She is absolutely delighted and has promised photos of herself wearing it next week.
Here is a close up:

So, what to do next? I think the Alice Starmore hat kit is beckoning. However, I have also purchased a copy of Alice & Jade Starmore's the Children's Collection and there are many projects in this I want to knit. I have also just had a little go at a lovely aran cardigan for a toddler in baby cashmere/cotton. Then there are the gloves, mittens, socks, nasty chenille sweater, handknit cotton baby jumper, fair isle baby cardigan, toy donkey, nasty mohair cardigan (a story for another day), that require finishing - and these are just the ones I remember...... I also thought I might have a go at another lace shawl, the myrtle leaf one in Victorian Lace looks good. Watch this space!

Monday, 11 May 2009

Anything to Report?

I am very very sorry that I haven't written much or in fact, anything recently. This is for three reasons. The first is that I haven't done anything except work and knit. The second is that I am struggling along with Lucy's shawl with the fabulous help of Cathairinmyknitting. And thirdly, well, there isn't a particularly firm third reason, it's just that I always have to have one.

This started when Lucy was a small child - and a very persistent one. If she was ever refused something (often, you should have heard her demands) she always demanded a number of reasons and 'because I said so' didn't count. So, I became very skilled at thinking of three different reasons in a very short space of time. As she has now been living away from home for quite a while now, I find that I don't have to justify myself so often, hence the slacking of the brain.

I have, however spent an enormous amount of time overhauling Great British Yarns and I am very pleased with the way it looks. Have a look yourself if you have time. Hopefully I will be back later this week with a photo of the finished shawl.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Mother's Day Gifts, Hat Kits and Relaxing

I am trying to think of something interesting to tell you, but nothing much has happened around here. I am still ploughing on with Lucy's shawl. I confess I did buy a hat kit from Alice Starmore at Virtual Yarns, and it arrived yesterday. Have a look at this -

The kit contains all the yarn to make three hats. I can't wait to start, but for once I am going to exercise some self-control and willpower. These are qualities that usually I sadly lack, but this time I will have to wait otherwise the shawl won't be ready on time.

Joe was home for the Easter holidays and he arrived home (well, we went to collect him) with gifts for Mother's Day as he wasn't able to be with me on the day. I couldn't believe it as he bought me lots of things and presented them in a silver gift bag. He bought: the Fratelli's lastest album (which is good), the new Debbie Bliss knitting magazine - chosen and purchased by him without the aid of his girlfriend or any other female. Can you believe that? He also bought this charming piggy bank which he tells me is for me to put my yarn money in. He said it was particularly suitable because of the Union Jack theme. I haven't liked to tell him that it would need to be much, much,much bigger, but I figured he meant I should change my stash money into £50 notes and then use it.

I was very touched that he was such a thoughtful son. Ian and Lucy thought he was a bit over the top and when he bought me flowers to say thanks for helping him find a new house for next year, they both became very sour. They could learn a lot from him I feel.....
You may feel that the photo of the pig is a bit blurred. It is. There are two reasons for this. The first is that I took the photo and I am not good at these things. The second is that I treated myself to a new mobile. About time too. My last, which was purchased at least 6 years ago didn't even have a camera. Welcome to the 21st century! Anyway, I have been enjoying taking photos of everything, but particularly my favourite subject - Rex. So, here is one of Rex and Ian watching TV and relaxing in the evening.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

You wouldn't believe it.....

Well, we had a fabulous weekend with Lucy in Glasgow. As I have mentioned, we live in a small fishing town where shops are few and far between, so it was very exciting to look out of Lucy's bedroom window and see a Marks and Spencers Simply Food shop! It reminded me of many years ago when we lived in Central London. So what did we do, we shopped in the local area, shopped in the main Glasgow shopping centre and didn't really buy a thing - Ian was delighted. Lucy also took us to Edinburgh for the day and I thought this was a really lovely place. We went up to the Castle, but didn't go in because it was Easter Saturday and the queues were miles long. We bought a guitar strap for Joe from a market stall, which was beautifully made in leather. We visited the Elephant House where JK Rowling wrote some of Harry Potter, which was very exciting. A visit to a Mongolian Barbecue Restaurant (I wouldn't swear to its authenticity, but it was very good) was also one of Lucy's treats. We also had a night in playing Risk with her friends, and a walk around Glasgow's Botanic Gardens. Fantastic. A photo of Ian standing in front of a statue at Edinburgh Castle is below.

Now to the important things. Lucy tried on her ballgown and she look fantastic. I retrieved the shawls from my bag. (I had to knit lots of rows and then cast off loosely so that I could take them on the plane without any needles. The story of getting them back on the needles is for another time.) Guess what? There is a chocolate brown ribbon on the dress which Lucy hadn't really mentioned. So, the brown shawl is perfect after all......... Anyone want a pink one?

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Shawls, A Visit to Scotland, Fabric and Happy Easter!

I can't believe I haven't written a post since 15th March. My apologies to those of you who read this from time to time. I know it's really annoying to keep looking at the same page. Still I am back and hope to write more frequently.

You may be interested to know that I went with the pink yarn for Lucy's shawl. Why? Well, I put both types under a strong light and looked long and hard. The problem with the gold colour was that it had some lighter colours in it and they didn't really work well with the pink. The pink yarn has some pale lemon and lilac in it and I think it might work better. I have again found this painfully slow and have unpicked it quite a few times. I hope to have a photo for you next week though.

Tomorrow we are off to visit Lucy in Glasgow. This is the first time we have been able to visit her and I am very much looking forward to it. I also hope to get a bit of yarn shop visiting in.... I am going to take the two shawls and hold them against her dress just in case the pink doesn't go either. I'll let you know how it goes.

Now, the reason I haven't been posting is that I've been very busy giving the shop a major overhaul. It isn't finished yet as there are new patterns and yarns to go on, but I have been able to get all my new fabrics up. I hope you will like them as well. In the past I have found that during the really hot months - no, I can't be specific about which ones these might be - I enjoy needlework or sewing more than knitting. So, I have managed to persuade Ian to sell fabrics as well. Any comments, as usual, gratefully received. The photo above is probably one of my favourite new fabrics.

So, I hope you all have a Happy Easter.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Don't Talk Whilst Walking is my new advice

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. I am making excellent progress with the shawl for Lucy. Thanks to Caithairinmyknitting and her fabulous suggestions I am now only unpicking stitches every three or four rows. Usually because I stopped to pat the dog (or move him slightly - he sits very, very close to me whilst knitting and if I don't move him from time to time then I get a frozen shoulder).
Anyway... Lucy rang yesterday morning, whilst we were out walking on Dartmoor. Apparently she was going to go shopping for a ball gown. She didn't have time to make one (not something to discuss at the moment) and thought she'd just buy one. Without any thought I opened my mouth and said 'Oh, I saw a lovely one in the paper the other day - it was just like a fifties ballerina dress and it would really suit you'. 'By the way it was in a shop called something like Ocean'. Well, once we had sorted out the shop was actually called Coast (Brixham is a small fishing town without virtually any shops unless you are looking for ceramic gifts 'from Brixham'). She said she would investigate.
Much later another call, we are still on our walk... 'It's a bit Disney Princess,' she said, 'what do you think?' Being a strong believer in that everyone should look like a Disney Princess once in their lifetime (I haven't, yet) I told her she should buy it. 'Great,' she said, 'I'll go back and get it now'. The phone call ended. I meandered along. I thought for a bit, and then realised that the lovely shawl will probably not go with the dress, which is a baby pink. The effect would probably be more chocolate box than sophisticated young woman. So, my question is

which would give a bit of a gold effect, or

which is a little pinker than the photo?

Friday, 6 March 2009

Progress of sorts

Well, as you can see there has been some progress with the lacy knitting. I have spent many happy hours knitting and unpicking, usually knit one row and then unpick three or four rows trying to find out where I was. The length of this knitting in no way reflects the amount of time spent on it.
I have, however, received some really useful advice from Caithairinmyknitting and hope to put this into action this evening. Hopefully I will then be able to make faster progress.
Here is another photo of a close up of the shawl.

The colour is much richer and nicer than the photo, but it was very difficult to get the shot right. Still, perhaps by next week I'll have a lot more to show you. Or perhaps I could tell you about the lovely yarn I've just bought to make an Alice Starmore cardigan.......

Monday, 23 February 2009

Lace - It's more difficult than you'd think.....

if you are unable to count accurately and tend to be clumsy. As I am both, I am finding it very difficult to knit this shawl/wrap/extremely short scarf for Lucy's graduation ball. I was very pleased to have some comments on the blog. Please comment, I would love to hear from you. Anyway, the advice I received was very helpful. Both noblinknits and cathairinmyknitting made very sensible suggestions regarding patterns and yarns and I intended to take on board their comments. First of all, I tried using the Knitwitches Forest 3 ply cashmere and found that although it is truly lovely, it was a bit thin for a novice. Next up I tried a new laceweight from the Old Piggery. I used Sandstone which is lovely mixture of greys and rusty browns. Gorgeous. I got a bit further but felt I needed something more substantial. It is really fabulous though and I have put a photo in of one of the lovely colourways we have in the shop.

Now Lucy must enter the mix. She phoned and said that what she really, really wanted was the Victorian Lace shawl in Kidsilk Haze Jacob. So, I thought I would give that a go - after all I was not getting anywhere. I find the Kidsilk much easier to knit with, but much more difficult to rip - exactly as my advisers said. I now have about 6 weeks to get this finished as Lucy will want to take it back with her after the Easter holiday. So, Lucy, would you like a lace hanky to go with your dress?

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

A bit of a surprise

As promised, here is a photo of a little lemon cardigan I have made for a friend's baby. it's sweet isn't it. Not much to add about it, knitted in garter stitch, size 0-3 months, yarn, Sirdar 100% cotton (old from stash). Hope the baby likes it. Actually, this is not a good photo - it is much more lemon than this.

Now, this is the surprise. Regular readers will know that I have, in the past, had terrible experiences of knitting socks. So much so, that I thought my sock making career was over, pretty much before it began. However, a friend of mine had an accident and was in hospital for a while. I thought of all the things I could send (not many apparently, no flowers, no eats, no cards) and thought that perhaps some socks might be a nice idea. So, from one of the marvellous Charlene Schurch books, I produced these! One sock is slightly longer than the other,this I am sure is to do with me and not the pattern. I must learn to count accurately. The yarn is a new handdyed yarn which may appear in the shop one day. Anyway, I enjoyed making these socks much more than the others, so this may become a regular habit.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Spring is in the air...

Well, look what arrived on my doorstep on Monday. Yes, the new Spring/Summer collection from Rowan. It was ironic that it arrived whilst the majority of the country was covered in snow and ice, but at least we have had some distinct seasons this year. I am sure there are lots of blogs showing interesting photos of snow covered landscapes, snowmen and other jolly winter items. Unfortunately we haven't had any snow in Brixham, no, not any at all. Which is strangely disappointing and lucky all at the same time.

So, what does Rowan have in store for us all this summer. Lots and lots and lots of cotton in every which way. Handknit, Organic, with linen, with milk protein, in double knit and 4 ply, in pastels, bright colours and all shades inbetween. Many of these will be in the shop within the next few days. Look and dream of hotter climates and sunny days!

Friday, 30 January 2009

What a Difference the Photo Makes!

You will see from the above photo that I have finished the waistcoat for my father in law. You will not be able to see how nice it really is because the photo is rubbish. The whole process of getting even this photo was a pain though. First of all, my younger and better looking model had returned to university and was not able to take part in the photo shoot. Secondly, the waistcoat turned out to be a little small for post-Christmas Ian, and thirdly the entire ground floor of our house looked like a tip and I couldn't find anywhere decent to take the photo. I could also say fourthly Ian didn't put the waistcoat on properly, despite being told to, but that sounds a bit miserable so I won't. I'll just think it.

Still, I was fairly pleased with this, although it was boring to make. Yarn, lovely undyed bluefaced leicester DK from the shop. Pattern from the Sublime DK book (2nd, I think). Chosen because it was a long vest, which should help keep out the chill and is easy to take on and off. Useful as my father in law is quite elderly.

I will try and get a photo of the little lemon cardigan I have knitted up over the weekend and then next week I should have a surprise garment to show you.....

Monday, 19 January 2009

Lacy Problem....

I am working well on my knitting projects and hope to show you a photo of a new waistcoat I finished for my father in law tomorrow. With that out of the way, I have started (and almost finished) a very pretty lemon cardigan for my friend's baby. Again, photo soon.

Lucy is due to graduate this year. She hopes to make a dress for her graduation ball and has asked me to make her a lacy shawl (or wrap) to go with it. I have gone through our stock of lace yarns and came away very confused. Now, I am not a lace knitter and the few attempts I have had have been very half hearted and ended up looking very half hearted too. So this is my chance to really come to terms with this type of knitting. But, the variety of yarns is confusing too. We have in stock lovely silk yarn from Hipknits, shown below:

but this is very fine and I'm not sure about that. We have some gorgeous cashmere from Knitwitches which is heavier, however the ball is a summer one.

I have masses of undyed laceweight yarns in all kinds of weight and mix so I could actually dye some yarn myself - which might be a nice idea if I get it right. Any suggestions or tips for lace novices would be very gratefully received.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

These are a few of my favourite things....

Here is an action shot of Rex modelling his new coat. His head is blurred because I have just said 'would you like a biscuit Rex?' The pattern was a free one from the Patons Yarns website. I used some flecked acrylic I had in my store cupboard, so this was a good destashing exercise as well. In fact this little project encompassed many of my favourite things - dogs, knitting and flecked yarn - perfect!

Rex sort of likes his coat. He is a little dog with much character, but it has to be said, little brains. So, you hold out the jumper and he will trot along to you and put his head through the hole. A short wrestling match then ensues whilst you get his legs through, but this doesn't usually take long. And there you have it - Rex in his coat! By now, he is looking bemused and wondering exactly how it all happened.

Here is another picture, hopefully showing less of the recycling (compulsory in Devon) and more of the coat's pattern:

Now, I really am going to finish a few of the many projects that are hanging around.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Happy New Year!

Although it's a little late, Happy New Year to you all! Hope it's a really good one. So far, it's been pretty reasonable here. We had friends staying for New Year and so our New Year's Eve was busy and on New Year's day we went for our traditional walk on Dartmoor. This year Ian wanted to do a long walk at Haytor. This is the second walk we have attempted here with our friends at New Year. This is now the second time we have had to abandon it. The first time, which was probably 4 years ago was abandoned because of the rain and hail making it too unpleasant. This year it was the mist and the freezing cold. We couldn't really see much more than a few yards, which was funny really as just a few hundred yards down the hill, it was sunny and although cold, very pleasant. Here is a photo of my friend's son - it all looks a bit spooky doesn't it?

A freezing wind had obviously been blowing across Dartmoor and formed amazing feather-like icicles on the rocks. Have a look at this:

I thought it might be very cold and so on New Year's Eve, I found the time to knit a short coat for Rex using the rest of the Colourscape from Lucy's beret. This was accompanied by much jeering from my friends who thought Rex should be a tough Jack Russell. We managed to rise above the laughing, and Rex was certainly very pleased with his jumper when on Dartmoor. After we left Dartmoor we went for a much longer walk at Bovey Tracey (around 5 mins from Haytor by car). It was glorious, although cold and I have to say that Rex did look a bit sissy, particularly when other, more hardy dogs came to examine him.

As you can see, the jumper stretched a bit and ended up resembling a 50s Brigette Bardot kind of look - not particularly the look Rex wanted I fear. So, I have searched the Internet and have found a super pattern called 'Biscuits and Bones Dog Coat' from the Patons site, which I am going to start this evening. Watch this space!