Special yarn for my KAL

I was looking through my stash to find out what yarn I had available for my Ravelry group’s  knit along of Sara’s Quay Shawlette pattern (which is starting on Tuesday) and decided that as I wanted to use a very variegated yarn, I didn’t really have anything suitable. And so I decided to dye something especially for this pattern. I thought and thought about it, trying to decide on a colour combination to use and then I remembered that the street by the harbour in the town I grew up in, Aberaeron, is called Quay Parade. As the pattern is called Quay Shawlette, this felt like it could be something that I could work with. Aberaeron is a beautiful little Georgian town in Mid Wales and the buildings are painted in every shade. Alongside the harbour the houses look like a rainbow marching down the street, and so when you take those colours together with the deep blue of the harbour at high tide and the sky blue of a hot summer’s day, you get a wonderful, cheerful palette.

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I took this on a grey day a few years ago, but try to imagine it at high tide with a glorious bright blue sky!
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Quay Parade is the street that runs down the left hand side of the picture. There are many better photos than mine if you do a quick Internet search!

And so I introduce the Quay Parade colourway. I’ve dyed it on Sparkle Owl and Cuddly Owl bases, the skein I’ll be keeping for myself is a sparkly one.

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I can’t wait to cast on on September 1st now!

Knitters in the wild

We had a lovely impromptu excursion this afternoon. Having visited a relative near Caerphilly, I suggested that we could have lunch out as a treat, and then go somewhere new (to us) for a walk. So after a yummy and very filling lunch, we headed off to Fforest Fawr, which is a large section of woodland located just north of Cardiff.

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Luckily, I’d left wellies in the car, so Erin could enjoy splodging through the mud. However, she has apparently become averse to dirt since the last walk like this we did, because she turned her nose up at the (very) muddy puddles we found for her to splash in (à la Peppa Pig) and requested some with clean water in!

The route we chose took us past lots of interesting wood sculptures, as well as a couple of swings that the boys really enjoyed. Ben, of course, climbed everything that it was possible to climb, while Erin was looking for “tracks” and “dens”.

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I was saddened the other day to hear of another knitter being mocked for knitting in public. Dan from the Bakery Bears podcast in a recent episode spoke of how he had put up a picture on Facebook of himself knitting in York, and received a comment something along the lines of “if I’d seen you doing that I’d have slapped it out of your hands”! What an awful thing to say!

It annoys me so much when people put down any crafting, be it knitting, crochet, cross stitch or anything. What is wrong with being a creative person? What is wrong with choosing to spend your leisure moments in making something unique and beautiful? Why is it that no one would pass comment if I sat on a park bench, or in a café, playing a game on my phone, and yet bringing my knitting out in public is something to remark upon (and not always with kindness)?

So in defiance of the side-lookers and nay-sayers I brought my knitting out with me today (not that that was anything out of the ordinary, but there we are!) and didn’t get bored whilst waiting for my dinner to arrive, and found a few minutes to work on Erin’s school cardigan while the kids enjoyed riding the dragon.

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I think that knitting in public and in company isn’t antisocial, so long as you don’t pick an intricate pattern that requires undivided attention! And for me, I find it calms my mind if I’m getting to feel anxious, just the passing of yarn through my fingers and the rhythmical movements of the needles are very soothing to me. Quite apart from which, I’m using my time productively, and it’s amazing how knitting can grow when you harness just those short amounts of time!

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Here’s Erin’s school cardigan so far; as you can see I’m all but finished. Just the button band to go, ends to weave in and buttons to sew on. Hopefully this will get finished tomorrow.

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Episode 10 – Fancy a KAL?

Finished item – fourth Bonbon Bunny, pattern by Susan Claudino. Yarn used – Colinette DK. 3mm needles.

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Works in progress – Tallulah Cardigan by Sarah Ronchetti (pattern on Ravelry) knitted in red acrylic dk yarn.
Grape merino blend fibre from John Arbon Textiles on my wheel.

Shop(ish) update – new home office/store room.

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Loose Ends
Quay Shawlette KAL. Pattern by Sara Millis. 10% discount off the pattern on Ravelry with code RAVELRY10. The same code will get you 10% off in my shop until the end of October.

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Fancy a KAL?

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On the 1st of September there will be a knitalong starting in Owl About Yarn Ravelry group. Sara from Sara’s Texture Crafts got in touch and asked whether I’d be interested in hosting a joint knit along featuring her new pattern, the Quay Shawlette. I had added this pattern to my Ravelry queue as soon as it was released and so I jumped at the chance, even though my Ravelry group is still quite small.

As an incentive there are discounts and prizes up for grabs! In my Ravelry group you will find discount codes which will give you 10% off the Quay Shawlette pattern and 10% off yarn from my shop for the duration of the KAL. The KAL will run from September 1st until Halloween, the 31st of October. If you decide to knit the pattern using my yarn you will be entered into a prize draw for a special skein of yarn which I will dye after the KAL ends. All participants in the KAL who finish the shawl within the time frame will be entered into a prize draw to win a £10 voucher to spend in Sara’s shop.

I really hope that you decide to join us; we’ve got some lovely knitters in the group already discussing yarns and colourways, and I’d love to see Sara’s pattern get lots of lovely exposure!

Leaving a trail of bunnies in my wake!

At Easter, Susan Claudino released a new pattern, Bonbon Bunny. I immediately fell in love with this pattern and decided to knit a handful of them. I knit the first one using fingering weight handspun yarn in purple and that one’s mine!

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As I was knitting that one, Erin saw it and then she fell in love, which meant that an order was placed for another one. She went through my fibre stash and picked out the brightest pink merino silk fibre she could find which I spun up into an approximately DK weight yarn. It took a while but eventually I got round to knitting it for her, even using the eyes that she’d picked out of the Amieyes Etsy shop.

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I have two nieces similar in age to Erin who are both knitworthy! Their Mum, my sister in law, is always really appreciative when I take the time to make something and so it’s a pleasure to knit for them. I had already decided to knit bonbon bunnies for my nieces but this decision was made absolute when my younger niece, who isn’t quite two years old yet, saw Erin’s bonbon bunny and asked for it repeatedly. I sped up the knitting then and took bonbon bunny number 3 to her house last weekend. The beaming smile that she greeted me with when she unwrapped her bunny was worth the sore fingers! And so that just left one bunny to knit for her big sister. And he’s finished!

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So now I’m four bunnies to the good and I’m slightly bunnied out! I’ll be taking a little rest from toy knitting until I’ve caught up with some of my other projects, including school cardigans for Erin. I’m knitting her two cardigans in red DK yarn from the Tallulah pattern. It’s a lovely knit so far and I love the sleeve detail. I’m past the awkward shoulder and arm shaping and I’m thundering on down the first sleeve. Only fifteen days to go until my baby girl is a big grown up schoolgirl (if only in the mornings for this year). But I wanted her to have nice warm cardigans to wear this winter and I was very unimpressed with what was on offer in the shops. So I need to knit fast because I don’t think I’m even half way on the first cardigan yet! Keep your fingers crossed for me (unless you’re a knitter in which case cross your toes!).

Tintern Abbey

Last week my husband had time off work. On the whole,  we had a relaxing week and didn’t go out very much. But we did do one day trip, and went to Tintern Abbey. It’s not too far from us in Cardiff, but I’ve only ever seen the outside before. It’s a beautiful place, and its  beauty was only enhanced by the gorgeous sky and sunshine.

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The scale of the building was so impressive to us, especially given the time in which it was built. Just imagining the physical effort and skill that the construction must have taken was awe inspiring.

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The children all enjoyed exploring, and we also all enjoyed a picnic lunch in the grounds of the abbey, given that it was such a beautiful day!

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After exploring all the ruins, we took a wander up through the village to the Abbey Mill craft centre. We had a look in the little shops and had a couple of pots of tea and some giant toasted teacakes which were the size of dinner plates!

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On the walk back to the Abbey (where we had left the car), Erin was drooping more and more, but still clinging on firmly to Bonbon Bunny, which I had finished the night before and given to her that morning. Finally she had a cuddle with her daddy and a lift back to the car park.

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But it had all been a bit much, and so a nap in the car on the way home was needed – brothers do make the cosiest pillows!

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Episode 9 – Blathering!

FOs
2 Bonbon bunnies (pattern on Ravelry by Susan Claudino)
Miss Winkle shawl using my handspun Sara’s Texture Crafts yarn. (Pattern on Ravelry by Martina Behm)
Spinning – Wingham Woolworks blue merino; Spin City Cinderella’s Slippers; Sara’s Texture Crafts Boysenberry merino and merino/tussah silk blend

WIPs
Another bonbon bunny

Plans
Hitofude Cardigan (pattern on Ravelry) using my Sara’s Texture Crafts boysenberry yarn
2 Tallulah cardigans for Erin using basic acrylic dk yarn
Spinning John Arbon ‘Grape’ merino blend fluff

Out and About
Met MariaSamira and her husband at Cardiff Castle
Davis Cup tennis quarter final tie at Queen’s Club, London
Tintern Abbey (except I forgot to talk much about it. I’ll write a proper post another day!)

Shop News
Shop update last week, lots of BFL tops and lots of different yarns. Miniskein update to come when I’ve had time to wind them!

Loose Ends
Britalong KAL with the Bakery Bears Obiwanknitter and Bryonybear – I’m offering a 15% discount until the 21st August with code BRITALONG2015. Also, happy anniversary to Dan and Kay, and happy wedding day to Zena (littleyellowuke)