Sunday, 6 August 2017

This And That...


Thought I'd better have another update, otherwise known as "look through all my photos and see if there's anything I can blog about"!

First, before I forget, you know I mentioned in my last post that I'd lost the dyes that I bought at Yarndale? Well, I found them. Oops. They were somewhere completely unexpected, and I don't know why I'd put them there, but still, it's a relief to know they weren't thrown away after all!

So, let's see.

I finished my second pair of knitted socks, these were made with King Cole ZigZag in Spring Meadow:

Almost a match, until the end...
On the 3rd June I went to the Leeds Wool Festival at Armley Mills, and these were my purchases:

Sock yarn, sock yarn and more sock yarn...
And speaking of socks, pair number three (well, actually four, but they were finished before pair number three, which are still ongoing!) were soon on the needles, but this pair was a little bit special.
There was a raffle on the Winwick Mum Facebook group, raising funds for the Children's Heart Surgery Fund at Leeds General Infirmary. As an adult congenital heart patient, this charity is, well, close to my heart! So I made a donation... and I won a prize!

This was my prize, kindly donated by one of the members of the group:

4ply yarn, Mothy and The Squid stitch markers, and some Soak

In the interests of Paying It Forward, I decided that I'd use this yarn to make socks which I would then donate to the Yarndale Sock Line. I had some lovely al fresco knitting days while I worked on them...

Ever get that feeling that you're being watched?

... and here is the finished pair:

Again, almost a perfect match
So these will be winging their way to Yarndale, as soon as I've made my Heart for this years Community Project, as I understand they can all be sent together.

In between making these socks, I also got back into some hooky, making the Missed Kingfisher Shawl from The Crochet Project Shawl Book Two.

I used my Ripples Crafts yarn in the colours Precious Amber and Copper Beech - they look gorgeous together and my photos don't do them justice at all, as they (the photos) look a bit purple-ish to me, which isn't what the yarn looks like.

I haven't worn it yet, because who makes a shawl and then *actually* wears it, am I right? 😉

On the 8th July I went en famille to the British Wool Show at Thirsk Auction Mart. Chris and Junior had a wander around on their own - I've borrowed a couple of his photos of The Sheep Man

And of course, I made a few purchases, though I was fairly restrained:

The lilac sock yarn is from Yarns From The Plain - I was trying to choose a colour I haven't already got.
The two skeins next to it are from Coastal Colours, who I've never heard of before this show. I'm not sure if they're new, or just not really into social media - I could only find this Facebook group. I can't remember the fibre content of this yarn, but it is absolutely impossibly soft and squishy!!! I must've visited the stall three or four times before I settled on these, but honestly, all their yarn was amazing and gorgeous and quite different to so many of the other brightly coloured variegated yarns that are available. Definitely check them out.
The pencils and pencil case were from Stationery Geek, I've been eyeing up yarny related stationery for a while now.

When we left the Auction Mart, we decided to have a wander around Thirsk, and I just happened to find a little wool shop, as you do! So, purely because I wanted to support a local business, and because the owner had a cute friendly dog behind the counter, I bought - yep, you guessed it! - some more sock yarn!

It was a penny cheaper than I've seen it online!

I might actually get around to making Chris some socks out of this yarn.

A few weeks ago I was so excited to discover that I'd made my first Etsy sale! Someone had purchased a set of my bee stitch markers, and she's left me some lovely feedback too.

My yarn dyeing and stitch marker making has tailed off completely just lately, but I've got enough things in my shop to keep it ticking over, and I'm hoping to pick it up again next month maybe. I just need to give myself a break from knitting socks, but as you may have noticed, I'm a bit obsessed!

In Non Yarn Related News, I've recently joined this:

I lost 4lbs in my first week, 1lb in my second week, but have maintained this week (ie no loss or gain). I'm trying not to feel too disappointed about that, it's still better than a gain, and I just have to look at what I've eaten this week, and see if there's anything I could change. I'm finding the plan quite easy to stick to, because generally speaking, you can still eat whatever you want, but I know I still have a lot of room for improvement, not to mention a lot of weight to lose!

At the moment I'm still getting the hang of the plan, learning which are free foods, and which ones I have to count or measure. Reading all the information, and looking up new recipes, is quite time-consuming, but I think it's just something I have to do.

One of the key aspects of Slimming World is having lots of variety in your meals, so I'm trying to introduce that a little bit at a time. It's only really occurred to me lately that I have something different each day for lunch and tea, and yet I always eat the same thing for breakfast every day (cereal), and have done for years. But I love cereal, and I'm not sure how I feel about having cooked food, like a poached egg on toast for example, that early in the morning. I also seem to have fallen into the same habit of having fruit and natural yogurt as a snack on an evening, where before I would've eaten a bowl of cereal or had some biscuits. The fruit is definitely better for me, but snacking just for the sake of it isn't, so I should probably try and get out of that habit.

I've posted a couple of photos on Instagram of meals that I've made, but I don't want to go on about it too much there, or here. Hopefully the fact that I've mentioned it though, will make me more likely to stick to it and keep it up!

Anyway, I think that's me caught up, but I'll just leave you with this. We went for a walk this morning through a meadow, and I could hear the crickets in the long grass. I was amazed to actually see one, and get to hold it in my hand without it instantly hopping away, until I realised that it - they - were *ahem* otherwise engaged 😉

You can't tell from this angle, but trust me, they were "at it"!

Bye for now!

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Etsy Update

I've finally got around to having another go at dyeing some yarn, this time with some acid dyes from Colourcraft. I bought a starter kit at Yarndale a couple of years ago, but when I wanted to use it a few months back, I just couldn't find it anywhere! I don't know what I did with it - I can only assume that it was in a carrier bag which then got thrown away 😢.

So I bought some more dyes and I've now got a few skeins of yarn in my Etsy shop.

These four are 75% superwash wool / 25% nylon on DK, 100g:

"Accidental Superhero"


"Under The Lilac Tree"


The following four are 100% Merino Wool 4ply:


"Butterfly Butterfly"


"Out Of Blue Comes Green"

I reskeined the DK yarns, and also Out Of Blue Comes Green, however the other three 4ply yarns haven't been reskeined, so they are as they were just after dyeing. I'm kind of in two minds about whether to reskein my yarns - do you have a preference?

I've also decided to have a go at making a few stitch markers/progress keepers; I only have 4 listings so far, but I'll hopefully be adding more in the near future:





That's all for now!

Monday, 1 May 2017


We've recently returned from a holiday in East Lothian.

The cottage we stayed in was lovely, with far reaching views.

The sofa had it's 'back' to this window, so I turned it round and spent the whole week gazing out at the view whenever we were at home. The hill you can see in the distance is Traprain Law, which is about 221m in elevation. It's the site of a hill fort, and was a burial ground as far back as 1500BC. Interestingly, thirteen Exmoor ponies are 'employed' to graze the hill and keep the grass under control!

In our infinite wisdom, we decided to have a torture session walk up this hill. I think we made it about a third of the way up, if that. Little Hare was off like a rocket - he would've gladly climbed all the way to the top I think, if mum and dad had been able to keep up! Actually, dad did keep up fairly well, but mum's legs gave up and turned to jelly - I couldn't take another step. But the views were still pretty spectacular, even if we didn't get right to the top.

That's the road, next to the yellow oilseed rape field in the bottom left

The green arrow is pointing to North Berwick Law, another big hill, and the blue arrow is pointing to the Bass Rock. Bizarrely, we could actually see the top of the Bass Rock from the cottage. I couldn't work out how that could be, but we must have been in a more elevated position than I realised.

This was the first holiday since... I can't even remember, when I - shock! horror! - didn't take any crochet with me!! 😲 But I did take some knitting 😀. I sat on that sofa every evening, looking out at that view, and knitting on the two socks that I currently have on the go until the light faded and my eyes grew tired. Bliss!

My second Spring Meadow sock

My first Mojito sock

I tried to get up early every morning to watch the sunrise - I did see one pretty spectacular one. It was also interesting watching the 'weather' move across the sky, like this rain in the distance

The Bass Rock was 'behind' this tree, although I don't think you can see it in this photo

We had some lovely days out. If you're in Edinburgh, the National Museum of Scotland is always worth a visit - it's free entry and it's absolutely huge so there is bound to be something of interest in there. It has lots of interactive exhibits too, great for kids and adults alike. This was our second visit, and we made it up to the roof terrace this time, which has great panoramic views, including of the Castle.

If you want to avoid the jostling crowds of Edinburgh Zoo, try the Five Sisters Zoo in West Calder. Not as big as Edinburgh, but still a good size with an impressive collection of over 180 different species of mammals, reptiles and birds.

Lemur, sunbathing

Pile of lemurs

That is a bear, in the woods

Scottish Wildcat

This is actually called a 'Fishing Cat'
We also had a visit to the National Museum of Flight, in East Fortune. It was interesting, although obviously it helps if you have a particular interest in planes and other forms of air travel. They have a few planes that you can board, although you can only walk down the centre aisle - no sitting in the seats, or entering the cockpit.

The biggest draw, arguably, is Concorde. The museum has one of the 7 still owned by British Airways.

Strangely, it didn't seem as big as I was expecting, and for what was supposed to be such a superior form of travel, it all seemed very tiny and claustrophobic inside.

I've never flown on a plane, because I have a fear of flying (=crashing), and going on board the planes at the museum confirmed to me that I'm in no rush to do so!

We also visited Butterfly World and Insect House just outside Edinburgh, which is always enjoyable thanks to the very friendly staff, and we went to Blair Drummond Safari Park, but I used a different camera there and I haven't uploaded my photos yet!

All in all, a great relaxing week away!