Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Yarndale 2017 - Happy New Yarn!!!

This must be the longest I've ever gone before writing my Yarndale post, but life just seems to have been very hectic. A couple of weeks after my trip to Skipton, we went on holiday to Scotland, so there was a lot of preparation to do for that. Since we came back, I feel like I've spent most of my evenings doing online 'window' shopping, as our little boy has a birthday coming up very soon, and then of course it's Christmas. Speaking of Junior, over the summer he decided that 6pm was far too early to go to bed, and suddenly we found ourselves having to let him stay up till around 8pm. He'd been going to bed at 6pm for ages, and always went straight to sleep and then slept through till around 6 or 7 the next morning, we never heard a peep out of him. We've been so lucky on that front, spoiled even, so it came as a bit of a shock to the system to find that our evenings, our 'me time', didn't start until after 8pm, by which time I, for one, felt too tired to really do anything! So knitting, crochet, blogging, reading etc - it's all taken a bit of a hit just lately. His bedtimes do seem to be creeping forwards a bit though, helped by the evenings getting darker sooner, so I might start to claw back a bit of free time.

Anyway, Yarndale! Another wonderful day out, getting high on yarn fumes! In the weeks leading up to it, I managed to make four little mini socks, one for each pair of socks that I'd made so far. I cheated a bit and borrowed a large safety pin on which I'd actually received some stitch markers, and fastened my socks to that, and then attached it to my bag.

Hooky Hare was present and correct too, although he needed some *ahem* structural work on his floppy ears!

As usual, I picked my mum up and we had a steady drive up to Skipton. I think we arrived at about 9.20, and this time we were directed into the car park at the front of the Auction Mart - I haven't managed to park there since the very first year. It was a short walk to the queue which was already forming at one of the entrance doors.

I could see another queue further around and I had that constant fear that we were standing in the wrong one, but we weren't, thank goodness. They seemed to open the doors and start letting people in a few minutes before 10am, which surprised me. The queue moved fairly quickly, despite the bag checks, which I felt were carried out in a very professional manner.

Every year when I go to Yarndale I go with the intention of taking loads of photos, and every year I fail to do so. I'm so focussed on actually looking at the stalls that I find it hard to remember to take photos, plus I'm not comfortable having my phone in my hand as I'm walking around, in case I get jostled and drop it. If I ever manage to go back on my own on the Sunday, I think I'd be more inclined to take pics then, so maybe one day...

I did take a photo of some of the Creative Hearts (including my own, of course)...

... and I always seem to take photos of the sheep and rabbits.

I also found my socks on the Sock Line:

But I'm afraid they were the only photos I took on the day.

I didn't come away empty-handed, of course, and I did take photos of my haul, so here it is:

Two from Rosie's Moments

Five Moons

Ripples Crafts

Easy Knits

For The Love Of Yarn

Hand Dyed By Kate

Little Fingy finger puppets for Junior!
All the yarn was 4ply sock yarn, so I can either use it for socks or shawls (or maybe incorporate it into something like a jumper if I ever feel brave enough to tackle one). I tried to go for some different/unusual colours, racking my brains to try and remember what I've already got in my stash so I wouldn't choose the same type of shades. I got the usual bits of Yarndale merchandise, and some needle point protectors, plus the two Little Fingy finger puppets as a present for Junior - they went down very well and he still plays with them now.

So another successful mission to Yarndale, and more yarn to try and use up before next year, as part of my New Yarn Resolutions!

Bye for now  xx

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!