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

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Rowan KAL : week 2: Nordic Square

If you’ve been taking part in Rowan’s Pure Wool Worsted Knit-A-Long how have you been getting on? I’ve loved hearing about your colour choices and progress over on Facebook and every time I pop over to the KAL thread on Ravelry it’s so busy with everyone chatting away, sharing tips and ideas.
Here are some snaps of my progress with week 2, the Nordic Square pattern. I chose the oxygen shade for my first set of three, then couldn’t decide which shade to knit with next….

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After deliberating over whether to go for Mallard (carrying on with the blue- green theme) or granite or moonstone, I ended up choosing the moonstone, which interestingly seems to have a hint of green in with the grey. What do you think? I hope the colours will all go together!  And I really must do some blocking and not leave it all to the end of the KAL!  I also fear I maybe becoming addicted to taking photos of Pure Wool Worsted!
So, I’m off to knit the Heirloom Lace pattern now available for week 3. I’m thinking of candy…

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Here’s the link for the free download for Week 3: Heirloom Lace, a simple lace and garter stich pattern.  Don’t forget to check out the Martin Storey You Tube Video for week 3 and for beginner knitters there are lots of helpful video tutorials listed alongside each square for all of the various techniques involved.  This weeks pattern is a written pattern, but if you prefer knitting from charts, check out the Nottingham Knitter’s blog and Knitting Konrad’s blog – both have created their own charts that you can download if you would find it helpful.

Thanks for joining me and happy knitting!

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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!

Rowan KAL week 1 : Garter Stitch Waves

Hurrah I’m pleased to say that I made it through week 1! It’s been fun.  Garter Stitch Waves is an easy pattern to memorise combining simple knit and purl stitches, so after you’ve knitted the first square, the rest can easily be combined with a spot of TV watching or a similar activity.  I started off with the recommended needle size 4.5mm but soon realised that I needed to drop down to 4mm.  I’ve also found that my squares are more rectangle in shape than square so I’ve added a couple of extra rows at the top and bottom of each square in stocking stitch (after the garter stitch rows but before the wave pattern).  I just need to block them.

Have you checked out the Ravelry Group for the KAL yet?  Its very busy over there – a great place to get tips and talk colours, needles and blocking and chat in general…  Last time I looked there were 495 participants in the KAL!   Check out the following link for further useful links to Clue No. 1, the You Tube Video by Martin Storey, the KAL shopping list, and Dayana’s very useful tips on how to download the free pattern from the Rowan Yarns website without any hiccups (note that you’ll have to sign up for a free Rowan account to download the clue – if the download button is missing after you have logged in, try refreshing the page in your browser).

Don’t forget – the next clue will be available next Monday 28th April!  I’m off to share a photo of my finished squares over on Ravelry – I hope to see your photos too.  Happy KAL-ing!

Here are the Pure Wool Worsted colours that I chose for the KAL:  oxygen 137, azure 138, peacock 139, mallard 144 , moonstone 112, granite 111, candy 118 and pretty pink 113.  My girls even made cupcakes this week to match my azure yarn!

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Rowan Yarns Mystery KAL

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Latest update from Rowan Yarns about the Mystery Knit-a-Long:

Here at the mill, our fingers are positively twitching in anticipation for the launch of our first ever global knit-a-long! With only a few weeks left until we will release the first of the patterns, we’re now able to share with you a few more details about the project:
You already know that we’ll be knitting with the glorious Pure Wool Worsted. Made from 100% wool, this superwash yarn is available in 50 – yes 50! – colours, meaning that we’re thoroughly spoilt for choice. Martin Storey has designed the Afghan with 17 of these colours – although for those of us who may prefer something more tonal, we have also suggested a 9, 5 and 2 tone version. With this flexibility of colour way, you can create a stunning, yet personalised, piece – which, with the yarn’s easy care properties, could form an heirloom to enjoy now and in future years.
Next week we will release the shopping list, and the first square pattern will be released week commencing 21st April.
Each week for the first eight weeks, we’ll release a pattern for one of the squares that Martin has designed. A completed Afghan requires each square to be knitted six times, giving a total of 48 squares.
If you choose to use Martin’s recommended shades you will knit each design three times in one shade and three in another.
In week nine, Martin will show us how to create the trim. In week ten will we’ll provide the final instructions needed for making-up the blanket, to complete a truly beautiful Afghan.
The finished squares are 20cm x 20cm. The overall layout is 6 squares by 8 squares (48 in total) = approx 120cm x 160cm plus trim.
Beginner knitter? Not a problem, there are online videos to support the pattern, along with basic techniques like casting on. You can also choose to make a smaller blanket.
Share your progress – you’ll be able to ask for help and advice, share your comments, and photos via the Rowan Yarns Ravelry Forum, on a dedicated Ravelry pattern page, and also on our Rowan Yarns Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rowan-Yarns/114826272423?f…).
If the pace of knitting is a little overwhelming for some, we will give you a month to finish the project after the making up instructions are released. Watch out for a competition at the end of the Knit-a-long too!
Dates to remember – the shopping list will be posted 7th April, and mark week commencing 21st April in your diaries for the 1st pattern. We look forward to hearing from you and sharing in this, our very first global adventure.
To help, the Pure Wool Worsted shade card can be downloaded from the Rowan website: http://www.knitrowan.com/yarns/pure-wool-worsted.
Pattern will be available in English, French, German and Dutch. A Spanish translation will be available separately through a blog.

I’m so excited – I’ve set up my project page over on Ravelry and will be posting regular updates and progress on my blog, Ravelry and my Facebook page as well as posting lots of photos on Instagram – my first KAL!

I really hope you’ll join me and share your photos too! xx

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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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Everard Scarf – Rowan Fine Art Accessories Collection

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I love the Rowan Fine Art Accessories Collection – the styling in the book is stunning!

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I had one skein of Rowan’s Fine Art yarn to try out in Oak (312) and decided to knit the Everard Scarf designed by Marie Wallin.  Although not naturally drawn to sock yarn, I really enjoyed knitting this (remember my one skein Lark Scarf )? The yarn is fantastic for all sorts of accessories, not just socks, and this collection features 10 gorgeous knitting and crochet designs for women by Marie Wallin and Lisa Richardson!  Good news too that Rowan has launched 6 new subtle colourways to complement the original range.  You can check out the colours here.

Everard is described as being an easy knit in the design book.  It only requires one 100g skein of Fine Art yarn plus a pair of 3.25mm (US 3 needles) and a pair of 4.5mm (US 7 needles).  The scarf features a lace pattern at each end, and whilst easy to follow, some beginner knitters might find the Purl 5 together instruction a little awkward to manoeuvre to start with.  I found that switching from my usual Addi click needles to my oak Art Viva needles did the trick as this stopped the yarn slipping around too much and preventing me from purling the group of stiches together.  The oak colour was beautiful with a depth of colour reminding me of some of my favourite things…. coffee and chocolate!  Gently washing the yarn with my usual lavender Eucalan and lightly blocking really helped the lace panels take their proper shape, which made such a difference to the overall finish of the scarf.  To finish off, you can see in the photo how you fold the final lace section of the scarf up and sew the cast off edge in place to form a loop.  To wear the scarf, you then thread the cast-on edge of the scarf through the loop.  Fantastic!

Here are some of my favourites from the Fine Art Accessories Collection:

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Baines – a design by Marie Wallin suitable for the more experienced crocheter, pictured above using 5 skeins of Hornbeam 311

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Pemba – easy straight forward knitting design by Marie Wallin, shown above using 4 skeins of Yew 313.

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Methven – easy straight forward crocheting, designed by Lisa Richardson, pictured above in Maple 310 (4 skeins).

Did you know that Rowan also recently launched another yarn to join the Rowan Fine Art family – Fine Art Aran?  Again, a blend of hand painted colours has been used to achieve a unique colour effect. Take a look by clicking through to Rowan’s website here and the Fine Art Aran Mini Collection here.

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My friend Anne from Life Lackadaisical has designed a fab collection of one skein cowls that you can download for free here: Fine Art Aran Collection

The Everard Scarf is going to be a gift for my mum for Mother’s Day at the end of March.  I hope she likes it.

Have you got any mothers day projects planned?

Happy knitting & crocheting!