Monthly Archives: May 2013

Iced Bun Weekend

The girls have been baking again ūüôā

20130527-121453.jpg

20130527-121534.jpg

I’ve been squeezing in a spot of knitting:

20130527-121647.jpg

I’ve picked up my Louisa Cape project again from Rowan Studio 30 ~ so cute!

There has been barbie crochet & a fashion shoot :

20130527-121909.jpg

Walks with the dogs in the sunshine:

20130527-122032.jpg

And rope swing fun!

20130527-122136.jpg

And freshly laid eggs from happy hens :

20130527-122244.jpg

20130527-122314.jpg

Our little cockerel was quite poorly last week but thanks to some major TLC and great tips from Little Poppits he has made a miraculous recovery ūüôā

I also managed to squeeze in a little trip to my LYS to admire the Rowan Fine Art Yarn (loving Kingfisher & Waxwing : on my wish list!) and drooled over the new pattern book ‘Spirit’ from Kim Hargreaves for Rowan.

20130527-122532.jpg

We picked up some fab Stylecraft DK to make an end of year present for my daughters teacher (I have Lucy to thank from Attic 24 for introducing me to this great inexpensive yarn).

20130527-123021.jpg

Here’s¬†our sweet dog¬†having fun in the woods:

20130527-123714.jpg

It was great to make the most of the bluebells, then home for fresh apple cake ~ the recipe is from Jane Brocket’s Vintage Cakes book ~ it was so easy to make & can surely be classed as healthy because of the fruit (and spelt flour that I substituted!)

20130527-124315.jpg

It’s a long holiday weekend here in the UK and its been so lovely to have some sunshine. What have you been doing this weekend? I hope you’ve had a great time too!

20130527-125219.jpg

Hardly a cloud in the sky…..

20130527-125243.jpg

Fine Art Inspiration

This¬†month saw the launch of¬†Rowan’s gorgeous new hand painted Fine Art sock yarn available in 8 stunning shades all named after British birds: serin (a gorgeous pink), tawny, waxwing, raven, kingfisher, lapwing, pheasant and chiff-chaff : a colour to suit everyone!

533637_10151404645682424_298978973_n

Prior to its launch, there was a¬†great deal¬†of anticipation and buzz in the media¬†surrounding this gorgeous new yarn.¬†¬†One of my¬†favourite knitting books¬†‘The Gentle Art of Knitting’ by Jane Brocket,¬†states that¬†“Yarn is the reason why many people knit.¬† It’s what lures knitters into picking up their needles, it’s what makes them return to their knitting day after day, it’s what keeps them knitting away until they complete a piece….¬†nothing beats working with something that feels good in your hands, appeals to the eye and produces a beautiful textile.”¬† Rowan’s Fine Art certainly fits the bill and is really rather special.¬† Fine Art has great yardage so it really does go a long long way – at 437 yards (400m) per 100g skein, I think it¬†is¬†good value for money, given that it is of such a high quality.¬†¬†There is plenty of yarn in one skein for you to create something¬†stunning and unique that will last for a lifetime –¬†for yourself or as a gift to a friend or a loved one.

037

I also really like the fact that production of this new yarn is helping some of the poorest people in South Africa.  If you would like to find out more, do read the Rowan April eNewletter.  This describes how the yarn is sourced from Cape Mohair Spinners, and painted by the team at Lance and Ines Khoury’s hand painting department, which takes enormous pride in employing individuals from some of the poorest and most marginalised sections of the community. One of their goals is to create opportunities for growth and development, and this ethos is something Rowan is extremely proud to support. As a result of the increase in production needs following on from Rowan’s interest in the yarn, the company has had to relocate to larger premises and take on more members of staff.

Fine Art is described by Rowan as being a blend of fibre and colour (merino wool, kid mohair and mulberry silk) that is especially blended for sock knitting, but can also be used for shawls, scarves and other accessories.¬† Rowan’s Fine Art Collection brochure provides great pattern support¬† featuring 14 sock and scarf / shawl¬†designs by Marie Wallin, Martin Storey, Lisa Richardson and Gemma Atkinson.¬† There are patterns suitable for beginners, intermediate knitters and also more challenging projects for experienced knitters.¬† All of these designs really show off the beauty of the yarn and its amazing colours.¬† You could of course choose your own pattern and use the yarn to get creative!

getimage

For those of you new to sock knitting, I was really pleased to see that the brochure contains a really helpful section with instructions on how to knit socks, including information on how a sock is knitted, how to knit in the round using double-pointed needles, turning the heel,  working the foot section and shaping the toe.  Lots of really useful tips and hints are included.

I was very¬†lucky to have been given a¬†skein of Fine Art by Rowan in the colourway ‘Raven’ to try out:

058  103

It’s such a gorgeous colour, that reminds me of scrumptious berries: blueberries, blackcurrants and blackberries.¬† Whilst¬†knitting with it, I also found that it does¬†truly reflect the¬†beautiful plummage of a Raven, changing it colours slightly depending on the light.

Although I¬†was very tempted to knit socks, as there are some super patterns in the Fine Art Collection, I was immediately drawn to the Lark Scarf and inspired by Gemma Atkinson’s beautiful design, I knitted my own version using slightly larger needles and varying the pattern slightly making a shorter¬†scarf using the one skein that I had been gifted.

091

Impatient to start knitting, I only had size 3mm needles to hand (the pattern suggests 2.25mm (US1) and I think the design would look stunning made up in this way) but as I¬†was happy with¬†the effect created by slightly larger needles, I continued and I’m very pleased with the overall result. ¬†It’s good to experiment with this yarn.

105  107

In addition to the patterns available in the Fine Art Brochure, Rowan has made available as a free download, a¬†rather beautiful lace scarf named ‘Robin’ designed by Lisa Richardson that is suitable for beginners:

Robin Scarf

Happy Knitting! And don’t forget to let me know if you knit some socks ūüôā

Wooly Weekend Wanderings

We’ve been on a couple of fun wooly weekend family outings recently that I thought I would share.¬† If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you might have seen some of these photos already ūüôā

061

In April we went¬†to the free Secret Garden exhibition organised by the Milestone Trust at the Paintworks in Bristol which was designed to “bring¬†the outdoors imaginatively indoors,¬†and explore the way in which¬†people interpret and play with¬†green spaces”.

Entering through the enchanted forest of hanging trees, we followed the needle-felt sculpture trail,  through the graffiti tunnel to the beautiful secret garden with its knitted and crocheted plants.

050    052

053  057

Look at these sweet sunflowers and pom-pom tree:

060  063

A treehouse city:

064

Knitted vegetables and a knitted fruit tree:

069  070

As we left the Paintworks, I admired these Airstream Caravans and the cool urban landscape:

079  080

Stopping for a picnic lunch, we popped across the road to Arnos Vale Cemetry to discover¬†it’s famous yarn bomb trail.¬† Arnos Vale Cemetry is¬†steeped in Bristolian history – it was established by the Victorians in 1837¬†providing 45 acres of heritage and a rare wildife haven in the city.¬† My great great grandparents are buried there.¬† The cemetery is open every day all year round with “visitors being free to wander¬†the site’s extensive network of paths, watch¬†seasonal change and nature, discover the fascinating stories told on gravestones, pay respect to lost loved ones or heroes, follow a themed trail or sit and contemplate in a tranquil setting. Visitors can also take advantage of an ever-expanding range of exhibitions, self-guided trails, guided walks and events”.

As we set off, the start of the trail looked really quite promising….

082

Squeals of delight could be heard as my girls discovered the various wooly delights on display on a pretty primrose lined path that led down to the¬†Atrium Cafe…..

087  093

090  101

104  108

094   100

098    106

Before our journey home, someone I know who really likes to crochet might just have left a little something behind…. I wonder if its still there!?

119

Our other wooly adventures in April took us to beautiful Wales and an annual visit to Wonderwool Wales.¬† Another great family day out.¬† I didn’t take¬†quite as¬†many photos as I did last year.¬† Here are a few favourite snaps from our day:

Shetland Sheep:

016

Inspiring crochet:

018

020

Obligatory welsh icecream from Llanfaes Dairy in Brecon (Blackcurrant flavour incase you are wondering!?):

014

Giant knitting needles and kits available from Abergwenllan :

025

A fantastic crocheted ripple blanket incorporating wool from 44 British Sheep Breeds from Eden Cottage Yarns (there are more details and photos on the ECY blog if you are interested):

026

An adorable¬†‘knit your own fox’ from BomBella Knit Kits:

017

And lovely vintage knitting accessories:

030

There was also an amazing knitted garden on display:

023

We drove home through some spectacular scenery in Mid Wales:

031

And headed home over the Severn Bridge:

IMG_0233

April was certainly a yarn-filled month.

Have a great weekend; I’ll leave you with a photo of some cheery Spring daffodils!

010