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"

"Pansy"

"Under The Lilac Tree"

"Pepper"

The following four are 100% Merino Wool 4ply:

"Grellow"

"Butterfly Butterfly"

"Spring"

"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:

bees

elephants

owls

hearts

That's all for now!


Monday, 1 May 2017

Holibobs

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!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Catch Up

Just gone through my recent photos and I'm going to do a quick catch up post, some of these have already appeared on Instagram...


I'm still working on my stash-busting cosy stripe blanket, but I'm not loving the colours that I've chosen and it's very much become an 'in the background' WIP at the moment. I think I've gone too far to frog it, but I'm not over-enthusiastic to finish it either (other than to get it out of the way)...


Phwoar!!
Back in February I had a winding session with the luxury yarns I've bought at Yarndale. I haven't used any of them yet, but I have been trying to find some shawl patterns recently, so they're good to go when I'm ready.



I made Little Hare a jumper from a pattern in one of my crochet magazines. The sizing went up in years - 2 years, 4 years etc - so I chose the 4 years, knowing that it'd be a bit big on him, and it is. The pattern was aimed at beginners, and had a very simple construction - the arms are joined on to the body in a kind of 'T' shape, which means that you get a bunching of material under the armpits - not great, to be honest, I can't see him wearing this much...


On the 10th March - this happened! I watched a couple of YouTube videos showing how to cast on, knit and purl, and off I went! Practiced for a couple more evenings and then...


... actually started knitting a sock! I was naughty though, because I didn't do a tension swatch or even measure my foot - I saw that Christine (Winwick Mum, whose tutorial I was following) cast on 60, so I thought "hmm, she's very slim and has slim ankles, but I don't, so if she does 60, I'll do 80"!! I soon realised that it was going to be massive, too big even to pass off as a bed sock, so I frogged the above effort and started again, after taking the appropriate measurements.

And lo, on the 27th March, just 17 days after I'd learned to knit, I finished my very first knitted sock!



I immediately started the second (in fact, I think I started it before I finished the first)...



... tried not to poke the cat's bum with my DPNs (I was told off on Facebook that these 8inch ones are too long, and I should use 6inch)...

King Cole ZigZag but I don't know the colour

... and then there were two! My first ever knitted pair of socks! The colour isn't very exciting, but it's some sock yarn that I've had for ages so thought I might as well use it for my first pair. I have a few tension issues where I start using the DPNs instead of the circulars, but I didn't really make any mistakes, and even my Kitchener stitch went really smoothly.

So this crocheter who thought she'd never be able to learn to knit, is now a sock knitter, and a slightly obsessed one at that!

I've already finished my third sock (No. 1 of Pair No 2)...

King Cole ZigZag in 'Spring Meadow'
... and No 4 (or No.2) is on the needles. In fact, so is No.5 - I have two circular needles, so I generally have two socks cast on at the same time, but at different stages. I'll work on one until I get to a bit where I really need to concentrate (such as the heel or the toe), and if it's not a good time to do that bit, I'll work on an easier stocking stitch section of the other sock. That way I can usually do some knitting every evening (or whenever I have some spare time), and I'm managing to avoid Second Sock Syndrome!

Whilst I was working on my first sock, I treated myself to the Spring Meadow yarn above, but then a little while later I noticed that there was a Drops Sock Yarn sale on at Wool Warehouse. Well, it would have been rude not to indulge, wouldn't it?




I got the Addi short circular from Amazon, but the yarn was all from Wool Warehouse. Until I looked through my photos a few minutes ago, I'd forgotten that I'd bought the Head Over Heels yarn - it's like the woolly equivalent of finding a tenner in your pocket! Anyway, I haven't used any of this yet, but it's obviously all lined up for socks. The Fabel seems ok, but I'm not sure if I like the feel of the Delight, but I'll see how it works up into socks when I get around to using it.

After buying that little lot, I put myself on a bit of a yarn ban, which was unfortunate because a few days later I went to a new wool show, called Spring Into Wool, which was held at Leeds Grammar School. I presume they're kind of jumping on the Yarndale bandwagon, but hey, I'm all for that! The more local yarn shows the better (even if my bank balance doesn't agree). 

It took about 45 minutes to get to the Grammar School, and I arrived at 9.45 - the show was due to open at 10am. There is a very large car park, and there were already quite a lot of cars there, although there were still plenty of spaces. It turned out there were other things going on in the school which would explain the extra vehicles.

Hooky Hare came with me again :-)

After buying my ticket I was handed some free knitting patterns - the lady asked me "are you a knitter?" and I just automatically said "yes" before adding, "I've only just learned!" It felt quite strange to be able to say that I was a knitter, although looking at the patterns, I'm a long way off attempting them! 

There were a few stalls in the foyer which I had a look at, and then I walked to the main hall. It was only about 9.50 and a lot of the stallholders looked like they were still setting up; I felt like I was the only visitor walking around, and I wasn't sure if I should be in there, so I kind of wandered out and then thought "nah!" and went back in. 

There were 60 stalls, so nothing like the amount at Yarndale, and it was nice to be able to walk around and look at everything without any jostling, although it did get quite a bit busier (probably about 11.00ish). I think I walked round once, just making note of stalls I wanted to go back to, and trying to compare prices, and then I went round another two or three times, and made a few purchases. 

Since I was on a yarn ban, I'd decided to go more for accessories, mainly stitch markers, possibly knitting needles, and that's mostly what I got. I caved in and bought one ball of West Yorkshire Spinners sock yarn (I think it's Mojito, from their Cocktail range) - I've had my eye on this colour for ages, and I could've got it cheaper online, but hey ho. This is the yarn that I've started Sock No 5 in, I just couldn't wait to see what it looked like. I've only done the ribbing so far. 

So this is my rather modest haul:


Stitch markers from The Woolly Tangle, A Little Bit Sheepish, Homespun Wonders (I think), and the ones in the little tin were from someone called Alice (Alice Yarns?) who was on a stall with The York Makery (I think). The WYS yarn, a couple of knitting accessories and a car air freshener from Tillyflop, which I put in the car straight away, so it's not in the photo. It had a lovely lavender smell, which sadly only lasted about a day.

Even though I didn't buy much, I really enjoyed Spring Into Wool, and I hope it's on again next year.

A few days ago, I put out a plea on Instagram for people to use the hashtag #showusyourshawls.


This is my Virus Shawl, but I haven't worn it yet, because I don't really know what to wear it with! It's black, pink and turquoise, so I feel like I should wear it with those sorts of colours, but when I try it with something blue or pink, it just doesn't look right. It's quite busy too, but I tend to wear patterned tops, so I feel like it clashes with them. It's a bit embarassing admitting that I don't know how to wear it, although I had a couple of people agreeing with me and saying that they had the same problem. I want to make more shawls, but I'm worried that I'm wasting my time (and good yarn!) on something I might never wear. So I was hoping that people might use #showusyourshawls to give me and others some inspiration (but I don't think it's taken off, to be honest).

Anyway, I think that's me caught up for a bit longer.

Bye for now,

happy hooking (and knitting!) xx


Wednesday, 1 February 2017

#WIWOHH

#WIWOHH = What I'm Working On (Hooky Hare) (because #WIWO is well used already).

I'm going to try and post regular updates here and on Instagram about what I'm up to, using the above hashtag (trying to find a # that hasn't already been used thousands of times is quite difficult!).

It's mainly about my WIPs, but I'm also going to include things like what book I'm reading, or what I'm watching on tv.

If you'd like to join in and use the hashtag to show me what kind of crafty projects you're working on, or other hobbies/interests (but, y'know, keep it 'appropriate' 😉) that would be great, otherwise it'll just be me talking to myself!

Something like this:



~ Crochet ~

I've started making a stash-busting blanket using Lucy's Cosy Stripe pattern. I've picked out 15 random colours from all my Stylecraft DK (where I had at least one full 100g ball), and I've used them all once so far, as you can see in the photo:


It's folded up here - it's actually about single bed width
Photo doesn't really show the colours very well, but from bottom to top they are: Raspberry; Sherbet; Lavender; Jaffa; Matador; Bright Green; Fiesta; Aspen; Shrimp; Pomegranate; Turquoise; Magenta; Sunshine; Bright Pink; Candyfloss. Then I'll start all over again with Raspberry.


~ Reading ~

Currently reading The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson.



It's kind of a sequel to Notes From A Small Island, where he travels around the UK making humorous (but mostly affectionate) observations about the places he visits. I'm not getting through it very quickly but it's not that kind of book; each chapter is a bit like a short story so you can just pick it up as and when.

~ Watching ~



The second series of Fortitude. Love it! Managed to download the whole series in one go, and I actually finished watching it on Monday night. Can't really talk about it because *spoilers* but OMG!!! Didn't realise I'd got to the end though, because it didn't feel like the end, so I hope that means Season Three? I didn't really understand a lot of what was going on, but it still had me gripped, although I don't think it was as good as series One. Even though I've seen it now, I'll probably still watch it every Thursday evening. Maybe I'll spot things I didn't see the first time around?


I think that's it for now. If you want to join in, use #WIWOHH on Instagram so I can see what you're up to (not in a stalking way though 😉)

Bye for now xx