Fiddly knitting

Mum hilariously suggested she was 39 this weekend. A Freudian slip or a desire for eternal youth? She’s a long way off that since I’m 32.

Having been a rubbish daughter and failed to buy her something wonderful I took her off to BaaRamEwe in Harrogate for a workshop. Ok, I was taking myself off there as I knew a woolly workshop would make me smile, but mum loves craft stuff so I thought it would work as a birthday present.

Luckily it turned out to be a good decision. She was skeptical when we wandered in the pretty wool shop, but when I reassured her we weren’t knitting as such (and thus this wasn’t a day out just for me) but making jewellry she was much happier.

I however ended up a bit frustrated by the end. Fiddly or what!!

The first project we tackled was a thin beaded bracelet – I think given the fiddly nature of this it should have been our last project but we persevered. It is knitted in habu silk which has a very thin stainless steel fibre running through it which helps it hold its shape. It was fiddly to knit with on 3mm needles as difficult to see the stitches as anything except knots. At least we’d pre-threaded the beads to make it easier.

We both got a bit fed up that it wasn’t growing quick enough so we finished these at home later on.

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I’m still not sure about it, I think it would work nicely as edging to a fabric garment but not sure about it as jewellry.

So we ditched these after lunch and started something simpler. Knitting on only two stitches and placing a bead in between, on every other row these bracelets were much quicker to create.

I gave mine to mum as a present (although I’ve made myself another too)

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I wasn’t sure mum had actually had fun, but she did go home and finish her bracelets so she must have! I’ve converted a quilter to knitting :)

I then spent a couple of hours on bank holiday monday avoiding the rain. I’ve started test knitting the pattern for the fingerless gloves but I’m not going to be able to show you these as they’re top secret until Wessendenwoollies releases the pattern in the new year. The good news is that I’m using the yarn I got from the magic yarn ball swap that Tinyowlknits organised earlier in the year. (I’m keeping my eyes out on Ravelry for another one!)

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Yarn will save the day

Having had a rubbish end to the week in that I failed to get a second interview for my dream job and managed to get the flu too, there is only one thing I intend to do this weekend – that is picking up my knitting needles and finding solace in yarn (though I will fit in a spot of drinking and food with friends too if I’m less contagious).

Its been too long frankly since I spent quality time knitting and if the universe has other plans for me than finding a job and moving house then I am going to settle into the yarn stash and knit. I’ve been struggling to meditate regularly and I think if I just knit then it might have the same effect and if not I’ll at least finally finish the socks I’ve had on the go forever. (I doubt the shawl will be finished though the alpaca might make me sneeze.)

This week hasn’t been a total write off though. A friend from my knitting group – Wessenden woollies’ Sarah Alderson – has asked me to test knit a patterns for some lovely fingerless gloves which she plans to release early next year. When I’m allowed to share pictures I will do.

So I actually have a reason to knit now too. And perhaps buy yarn as well – since my yarn stash doesn’t feature much 4 ply and certainly not in the right colourway. (Come on, its been ages since I bought yarn – at least 3 months – oh my god that’s why I’m feeling unscrewed at the moment!)

Even better, its my mum’s birthday this weekend so I’m dragging her along to a knitting jewellry workshop at BaaRamEwe in Harrogate. Mum is really a quilter but can knit so I hope she doesn’t think the day out is entirely for my benefit!

So hopefully there’ll be some lovely photos to show you soon :)

Fairies, friends and bobbins

There’s been quite a few fairies this week, which has made me smile.

I had a work meeting in the evening on Tuesday which was at Victoria Baths in Manchester. An amazing building which I love for it’s stained glass windows. It’s been about 10 years since I last visited so it was nice to get a little tour too. Its now an amazing community venue which is used for theatre and TV productions, art exhibitions and even weddings. If you’re in Manchester and have the chance to venture out of the city centre I recommend a visit, even though its tucked away in a residential area.

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Friends can be an amazing lift when I just let them. In the end I’ve had a lovely weekend.  I got a bit too drunk Friday night (I’m such a light weight!) so didn’t feel that good Saturday morning, but then none of us did. I think we’re all just getting old!

After a very long and late breakfast we headed over to Cottingley for the fairy market. I hadn’t realised that the famous fairy photographs taken in 1917 were done in Cottingley. So it was also a nice surprise to find the amazing art work on the village green.

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I’d hoped to buy fairy wings at the market but alas there were none for sale, but I did buy a cute needle felted mushroom.

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On the way back we stopped briefly in Haworth intending to buy birthday presents. Alas I ended up buying myself things instead. Oops. I got a beautiful old bobbin and scissors, which is so decorative I don’t think I’ll ever use the twine.

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What a lovely surprise

This week has been seriously uneventful. So rubbish in fact that I burst into tears at finding I’d run over a bird this morning – I think it had been hit by a car and I hope I put it out of its misery but I still felt sick that I probably killed it. I have no idea how many random acts of kindness can ever make up for it.

So today I’d started the day on a high after a lovely session of Reiki at my favourite place last night- the Coach House (if you’re in need of a retreat break I recommend it highly). And then it turned to crap pretty quickly. I should have know that starting the day being grateful was going to be difficult to maintain. I’m not sure the universe is ready for me to be happy yet – I’m taking no news on the two job interviews I had last week to be bad news.

So it was a lovely surprise to find that someone had pingbacked an old post of mine, and better still had said lovely things about a project which had been almost a disaster. So in return I’m sharing her post as she is after advice about her fairisle – andresueknits.

I really must pick up my knitting…. incidentally the shawl that won’t end is using the left over noro yarn from this old project!

Where am I?

I feel like I’ve completely lost track of myself and there’s been very little knitting recently, hence the lack of blogging.

I finally came out of the fog which has been surrounding me for what feel like forever and I had a very nice, but strenuous holiday in Corsica to clear my head and met some lovely ladies on the trekking holiday. Despite the difficult walking (check out my other blog if you want to see more about it… tinkerbelladventures) I met some truly inspirational people who have changed me for the better. That’s what I love most about group walking holidays. My awe of their travels and life stories proved to me that I have to be more brave in my personal decision and not let fear and a comfort zone restrict me. There’s a whole world beyond Yorkshire if I let myself be free.

Coincidentally I also found out on returning that I have two job interviews in Oxford this week. So I will be keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve had loads of interviews in the last month or so and not got anywhere, some of the jobs I was glad to have not got, others I was disappointed about. So I’m trying to be hopeful but not get too excited, particularly for one of these interviews which is for the job of my dreams. And I’m trying not to think of a certain somebody who would be living not that far away if I did move, as I have to stop thinking of him if I want to live outside of the fog.

My birthday passed without notice, helped by having to spend the day returning from holiday via plane, train and bus. But my wonderful dad, having run out of ideas for wooden presents to make, made me a para-cord bracelet.  It apparently unravels should I ever find myself requiring an emergency shoelace etc while I’m out walking! I’m really impressed with it as I can’t work out how its woven, and I never expected my dad to make anything like this. And once again Dad’s proved himself to be a real gem and that perfect men do exist.

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So having no-one else to celebrate with (my best friend is volunteering in Uganda for the month and my brother was working) I took myself off for a massage which was much needed after all the walking I’d done. So the day wasn’t a total loss.

I have managed to pick up my knitting though and making very slow progress on the shawl. Unfortunately it doesn’t quite fit into my handbag anymore so won’t be coming to Oxford this week with me. So its back to the socks…..

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Tour de France and Felt!

I was lucky enough to make it to Holme Village today to see the Tour de France on its Grand Depart around Yorkshire. There was a lot of standing around whilst we waited for the cyclists to arrive, which was handy as I came across a fantastic Yurt in the centre of the village which some truly fabulous felt. I only wish I could felt this good!

(I couldn’t do a post of the Tour de France and not include some photos of the very fit blokes on bikes too!) :)

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Felting – not the intended results

Having just about abandoned the three projects I currently have on the go I went to a felting workshop that my knitting circle was running last Sunday. I’ve felted items I’ve knitted before, but it was an excuse to fill an otherwise quiet Sunday with friends and yarn.

With free yarn suitable for felting available and plenty of cake I settled down to an afternoon of mindless stocking stitch and nattering.

I got a bowl knitted in a few hours and started on a bag which I finished last night. Here is the ‘bowl’ before felting.

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Here’s the end results after felting. To felt them I washed them both in the washing machine on 60 degrees with a couple of towels in there for extra agitation.

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The bowl is lovely and stiff but the coloured yarn stripes has disappeared a bit too much, I should perhaps have done two row stripes.

The bag however has not gone according to plan as the grey yarn has refused to felt, despite being wool. Which would be ok, and give an interesting result had I not run out of the grey and had to finish one of the straps off with some beige blue faced leicester – which has felted and also darkened in the wash. Grr.

Its nice though and that’s one quick xmas present done for later this year. At least there is one benefit of having so much time on my hands.

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