Category Archives: Days Out

Briswool :: A Knitted City

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I’m a country lass at heart but I was still super excited to visit the Briswool exhibition at Paper Village, a wonderful arts and crafty shop in South Bristol, and be inspired by all of the knitted buildings and landmarks that are close to my heart, having both lived and worked in the city at various times in the past.  Briswool as you can see is an attempt to represent Bristol in wool.  Its a community knitting project led by Vicky Harrison from Paper Village that so far has involved at least 92 people and has taken between around 4000 hours of time and its still growing….!!

Briswool will next be exhibited in early October at the M Shed.  There will be two free workshops called “how to craft a city” to show people how to design and make a building and a chance for people who can’t knit, needle felt or crochet to come along and learn new skills, and make something new to incorporate into the model.  Briswool the movie will be filmed over the summer, intended to be part documentary, part journey through the landscape of Briswool, and will launched later in the year too.

After enjoying the delights of Briswool, we popped across the road to the local green park and enjoyed a sandwich from the fabulous Southville Deli and the girls had an icecream from the wonderfully retro Lucilles.  My kind of day out 🙂

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Join the Paper Village Facebook page www.facebook.com/Papervillagearts to get regular updates and find out about other Paper Village Projects including ‘Dresses for Girls’ where you can get involved in making dresses for girls living in poverty in other parts of the world.  Sounds like a great project to me 🙂

Happy Knitting/Crocheting and Crafting this Bank Holiday Weekend!

Bye for now! xx

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Rowan KAL : week 3 : Heirloom Lace

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This week I decided to try out my Candy and Pretty Pink Pure Wool Worsted. I was really pleased with the results. Loved the candy! The colours reminded me of strawberry icecream and rhubarb crumble made with rhubarb fresh from the garden…

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The peonies also started blooming in the garden to fit in with this weeks pink theme!

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This week we also visited the gardens at Ston Easton Park Hotel which were open for charity as part of the National Garden Scheme. The sun shone and the gardens and house were really beautiful…

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This week we’ve also been busy with Year 6 tests (SATS) and a piano exam so life has been busy and I still need to finish knitting the squares for week 4. How are you getting on? Are you managing to keep up? Luckily there is an extra month at the end of the KAL clues for everyone to catch up…
Here’s the week 4 square, incase you haven’t seen it yet : Lace Kisses. You can download it for free from the Rowan website.

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Have a great week & don’t forget to look out for Clue 5 on Monday…. I better get knitting! 😉

Bluebell Woods

First came the primroses, the violets and the wood anemones, then the buttercups and cuckoo flowers…

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The woods became full of beautiful shades of green again after the dull shades of winter….

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… And slowly but surely the bluebells arrived…

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We visited them on rainy and muddy days…

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And visited them on sunny days…

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And now they really are in full bloom, filling the woods with their amazing scent in mists of blue…

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My knitting even came with me once… had to finish those Rowan KAL
squares!

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The cow parsley looks so pretty too…

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This weekend I’m moving on from blue and green to candy pink and from Nordic Squares to Heirloom Lace….

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But we’ll still be making the most of the Bluebell Woods whilst we can.

Have a great weekend x

Easter Fun in Dorset

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We spent a few days in Dorset in the Easter Holidays enjoying the fresh sea air and sunshine….

Staying at a lovely chalet at Eype, walking over the cliffs to West Bay with our dog, enjoying Fish & Chips, admiring the jaunty brightly coloured boats and going crabbing down at the harbour, a spot of knitting (I’m knitting Stainsby in granite & garnet from the Rowan Yarns Alpaca Colour book – that yarn is so soft!), a spot of reading – anyone else enjoyed reading The Yarn Whisperer by Clara Parkes?), making campfires with driftwood down on the beach and toasting marshmallows (sandwiched in between chocolate digestive biscuits – yum!), eating wood fired oven pizza at our favourite café down on the beach – The Watch House Café and Purbeck Icecream, paddling in the sea, admiring the pretty beach huts at Lyme Regis and munching fantastic pain au chocolat with fresh coffee at the Town Mill Bakery.  Thanks for joining me XX

P.S Clue 2 Nordic Stars is available to download now for FREE from the Rowan Website…. How are you getting along?  Check out my progress on Instagram and Facebook 🙂  Happy Yarning!

Kaffe Fassett exhibition at the American Museum in Bath

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Go see it if you can – it’s awesome!
The exhibition will be running at the American Museum in Bath UK until November.

Take your family and friends and follow the Easter Yarn Bomb Trail in April!
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Meeting Erika Knight

I’m a big fan of Erika Knight and her beautiful range of yarn so I was extremely excited to hear that Erika would be visiting Beshley’s Wool Shop, one of my local yarn stores in Bristol today, to give a talk and sign books.

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Beshley’s Wool Shop, stocking a gorgeous selection of yarns all sourced from within the British Isles, opened this year and you might remember me writing about it here.

Erika’s enthusiasm really shone through as she chatted to us about her career and her passion for design, knitting, crochet and home grown British wool, whilst we sipped tea and munched on cake kindly provided by Beshley.

We talked about how knitting is timeless – it can be very low tech, requiring only a ball of yarn and some needles, and yet coupled with todays new technology – the internet, Ravelry etc, it can take over the world!  One of Erika’s favourite quotes is that ” knitting is the saving of life” (Virginia Wolf, writer & knitter 1882-1941) – knitting is something that can be turned to at any stage of life, for all sorts of different reasons, and her message was ” its never too late to start”!

Erika has also worked with Rowan Yarns and we learnt how together with Marie Wallin, Rowan’s Head Designer, the Rowan British Sheep Breeds range was developed, to help support British hill farmers.

Erika later developed her own range of yarn, which is 100% British made and manufactured.  The collection includes Fur Wool, Maxi Wool, Vintage Wool and British Blue Wool with a colour range that is simply stunning:

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All of the colours in her range are designed to go together and coordinate and Erika has developed a selection of knitting and crochet patterns focusing on fashion accessories, that are simple and quick to knit.  I particularly love her Knit it Tonight Posters with each poster including patterns that can be knitted up quickly in one evening.

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Erika also kindly showed us how to do Swiss Darning, a form of embroidery which can be used to quickly add interest to knitted pieces.  This is such a great technique and I’ll definitely be trying it out myself.

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Erika and Beshley at the end of a fabulous afternoon:

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I left feeling VERY inspired  – I’ve had a fantastic afternoon – thank you Erika & Beshley.  I’m off to knit!

Links:

Erika Knight

Beshley’s Wool Shop

Rowan Yarns British Sheep Breeds Range

Have a fun weekend!

Claire x

Postcards from Dorset

Our holiday home for the week in the little village of Loders in West Dorset:

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Gorgeous hydrangeas in the village – I couldn’t resist taking some photos of these!:

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Relaxing morning walks with our dogs along the nearby disused railway track:

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Dorset Sheep:

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Wildflowers:

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Making crocheted pebble cosies (see some tips and a link to a great tutorial at the end of this post):

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The perfect beach day at Burton Bradstock (my fave beach and home of the wonderful Hive Beach Café):

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Beach crochet in Rowan’s handknit cotton’s best seaside colours (a square from the Made with Loops Homely Blanket Quest):

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Paddling and having fun in the waves:

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Beach windmills at the Hive Beach Ice Cream Parlour:

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An awesome evening trip to Eggardon Hill Iron Age Hill Fort:

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Amazing 360 degree view of the county:

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Gorgeous views of the countryside in the evening light:

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Walking back along the footpath from Eggardon Hill:

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Finishing my crocheted scarf made using Rowan Kidsilk Haze Glamour and a pattern from Churchmouse Yarns (more about this in another post):

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Driving though the village of Wool (great name for a yarn addict!) on the way to Lulworth Cove:

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Purbeck Ice creams at beautiful Lulworth Cove:

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Looking down at the famous Durdle Door from the cliff tops:

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Admiring the jaunty boats at West Bay:

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Super scrummy wood-fired pizza at the amazing Watch House Café:

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A spot of evening mackerel fishing:

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Beautiful evening light down at West Bay:

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Dorset Cream Tea at Mangerton Water Mill:

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Sweet little ducklings discovered by the lake at the water mill:

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And free range hens:

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A trip to West Dorset wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the wonderful Bridport Yarn, where some small purchases were made (more about this in a later post)!

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A little bit of knitting with a morning coffee in the garden:

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Something sweet for the journey home!

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Goodbye Dorset, we’ll visit you again soon!

If you’re interested in making your own pebble cosies, there is a great tutorial here.  Alternatively you can just crochet your own motif, measure it against the pebble to ensure that it is roughly the same size using increases to adjust the fit, place the pebble inside, then decrease in, gathering the cosy around your pebble.

Happy Holidays! x

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Walled Gardens and Lavender Fields

Last week, we decided to grab a much needed day out before the end of the school term, just the two of us.  Its amazing what you can find on your doorstep for free without really travelling very far…
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First we stopped off at the Walled Garden in the village of Mells.  I LOVE cottage gardens and would so love to have a garden like this.  Sadly, my garden seems to be a little overgrown with a few too many weeds at the moment!

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We stayed for lunch – wood fired pizza from the Walled Garden Pizza Oven.  Soooo delicious! (Make mental note to research building a wood fired pizza oven at home!)

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On the way home we called in at the local Somerset Lavender Fields.  We’ve driven past the sign for the Lavender Fields many times on route to other destinations and I had no idea what gorgeousness lay hidden a short distance away from the main road.  With the heatwave that the UK is experiencing at the moment, it felt like we were in Provence! The views and the scent of the lavender was amazing:

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There were even some lavender coloured sweet-peas!

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Just enough time to enjoy the Lavender before a quick dash off on the school run.  A fab day out!

Do you love cottage gardens and lavender too?  Do you have a favourite flower?

Happy Holidays!

xx

Beshley’s Wool Shop

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If you’re visiting Bristol, you MUST pop into Beshley’s Wool Shop, which has just opened in Alma Vale Road, Clifton.  I was SO excited to discover that a new yarn shop would be opening near me and I couldn’t wait to see it.  Would you like to take a little peek inside?

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Meet Beshley the owner  – we had a lovely chat today about all of the gorgeous yarn that she stocks, all sourced from the British Isles (read more on her website about Artesano, Blacker Designs, Donegal Yarns, Erika Knight, Jamieson & Smith, Jon Arbon Textiles, West Yorkshire Spinners and Woolyknit).  Beshley told me that she plans to add lots more to the shop in the near future, packing it with patterns and as much British Wool as possible.  Of course I had to mention the Rowan Purelife Range sourced from British Sheep too!

I read recently that the UK has the greatest diversity of sheep breeds of any nation in the world, with over 80 different breeds in the UK with more than 70% being native to the UK.  Our heritage sheep breeds play an important role in the rural economy helping to sustain our countryside and are an important renewable and sustainable natural resource.  Take a look at the Campaign for Wool website .  You can also read about my trip to the wonderful Wool House exhibition at Somerset House in London here.

Take a look at this gorgeous range including  Jamieson and Smith Shetland Wool.  Can you spot the Kate Davies “Colours of Shetland Book” on the shelf?:

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More gorgeous wool and Brittany Birch Needles and crochet hooks:

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I just love the beautiful shades available from Erika Knight’s British Blue wool range made from the fleece of Blue-Faced Leicester – so soft!

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Spot the cute little knitted owls for sale?

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Artesano British Wool:

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And for those who love vintage, Excelana, the result of a collaboration between John Arbon and Susan Crawford knitwear designer spun from the fleece of the Exmoor Blueface, which live on the moors of North Devon.

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You can also find a gorgeous vintage section in the shop stocking beautiful buttons, needle, notions and patterns and some fabulous art work.  I love the shop ‘yarn’ logo which was designed by Beshley’s illustrator boyfriend.

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The shop provides a wonderful space for workshops and a crochet granny square workshop with Jan Ollis is planned for later in July.  Beshley also told me that a Knitting Group will be meeting on Tuesdays starting from 9th July to sit, knit and natter.

Good luck with your new venture Beshley, and thanks for the lovely chat today – I think your shop is fabulous and I’ll certainly be back!

Claire x

Iced Bun Weekend

The girls have been baking again 🙂

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I’ve been squeezing in a spot of knitting:

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

There has been barbie crochet & a fashion shoot :

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Walks with the dogs in the sunshine:

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And rope swing fun!

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And freshly laid eggs from happy hens :

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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 🙂

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.

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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).

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

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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!)

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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!

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Hardly a cloud in the sky…..

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