27 November 2015

Podcast Episode 7

I finally got around to recording another podcast!  A change of location for the podcast, I'm in my dining room this time, so please forgive the not so great lighting on this occasion.

There's the usual high level of waffle but if you can hold out to the end, there's also a visit from a special guest!

(See links for yarn and pattern details)


Dale Socks

Stripy (Elske No More) Socks

Colour Block Hand Warmers

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Sprinkles Yarn for new hand warmers
Prism by Eaden Yarns in Thea

Victoria Shawl
Alpaca Sock by The Wool Barn in Natural Undyed Grey

New version of Victoria Shawl in Regia Angora Merino

Keep Warm Granny Cowl and Mitts

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Candy Stripe Stocking and Twinkle Toe Socks

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Me and Sam of Betsy Makes are going to be making a pair of 'Advent Socks' and we thought it'd be fun if you fancied joining us.

We're casting on for our socks on 1st December and then plan to work on the socks a little each day up to Christmas, sharing our progress on Instagram with the tag #AdventSocksKAL.  We'll hopefully cast off on the 24th December so that we have a brand new pair of socks to wear on Christmas Day itself.

If you've got any good suggestions for sock patterns you've tried and enjoyed, please do let me know in the comments below too.  I'm still searching for that pattern that's going to grab me for these socks.


1st - 24th December: Making Advent Socks
25th December: Wearing our new socks!

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Ravelry Episode Thread

S x



26 November 2015

Colour Collaborative: November


This month's topic of wood actually marks the last of my posts as part of the Colour Collaborative*.  I didn't quite believe it when I looked back, but I've been writing these posts each month for over two years now.  It's been a pleasure to write them and to think about colour in a new way.  I hope you've enjoyed reading them.  I've linked my previous posts here, if you're interested in looking back through the older subjects that we've turned our attentions too.

So what does wood mean when it comes to colour?  To me, it's warmth.

It's a natural material of course so it's immediately softer on the eye than most man made materials will be.  You can get quite a range of wood colours and although it can vary from the pale creamy ash and birch, through yellowish pine, orangey cherry and teak, right up to rich oaks and dark walnuts, generally these are all shades that contain colours from the warm side of the spectrum.  So when you add wood, or wood colours, you're adding warmth to your palette.

That's a fairly useful trait when here in the UK, November means that we're heading into the coldest months.  Wood and wooden tones can add a much needed coziness to counteract the chills.

On this rough and weather worn cherry tree, the cracked bark is showing signs of the colours inside and picking up on this richer and rusty colour makes this palette much warmer and to me, more appealing. 

I found it quite interesting to see that even on these planks that have started to dull and grey, the warmer tones are still creeping out.  On the top palette, nature has added some pretty mustard and gold colours to the scheme, in the form of some kind of lichen I'm guessing.

And in the bottom version, the most weathered parts have turned silver and charcoal shades, but the peach and beige is still showing through to stop things getting all harsh and cold.  I love both of these.

Last but not least, you won't be surprised that my favourite collection is one that includes a little more colour.  But these otherwise subtle pastel shades are just brought to life by the depth and body of the toffee coloured wood behind.  Hold your thumb up over the brown in the pallette and see how it compares without that colour...  

I just think it makes everything zing in a wonderful way.  What do you reckon?

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Don't forget to check out the other great 'Colour Collaborative' blogs
for more of today's great posts...

Annie at Annie Cholewa
Jennifer at Thistlebear
Claire at Above the River
Sarah at Mitenska

*What is The Colour Collaborative? 
All creative bloggers make stuff, gather stuff, shape stuff, and share stuff.
Mostly they work on their own, but what happens when a group of them work together?
Is a creative collaboration greater than the sum of its parts? We think so and we hope you will too.
We'll each be offering our own monthly take on a colour related theme, and hoping that in combination 
our ideas will encourage us, and perhaps you, to think about colour in new ways.

S x



20 November 2015

Some Things

Before I begin I'd just like to say thank you to all of you that have purchased my Peek-a-Boo Baby Blanket pattern.  I'm so pleased and grateful that you're interested in my makes and are even willing to spend your hard earned pennies on them.  It means such a lot, it really does.
As ever, I want to tell you that you are awesome, because you are.

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And now we are going to begin and I don't really know where to start.
My life at the moment is really just far too dominated by the all consuming presence of the pup.  When we last spoke about it I said that my little world had been turned upside down and to be honest, it hasn't righted itself yet.  In that post I also mentioned the hope that routine would begin to establish itself and that it might bring some relief.

Well, it is true to say that it has established itself to some extent.  There is a sort of rhythm to our days now and that has indeed helped a bit.  The only thing is that this new routine does not really allow much time for anything other than puppy care.  I do not exaggerate when I say that leaving the room comes with a high price tags these days.

Still, whatever I can achieve from the dubious comfort of our dining table I am free to indulge in while he sleeps.  The heady ambitions of being able to hoover upstairs, have a shower or make dinner with ease may seem like far off dreams right now but knitting and crochet I can do almost anywhere!

At the moment I'm using my woolly wool that I got a Festiwool to knit up some Dale socks.  Look how woolly that wool is too!  You might know, especially if you are a podcast viewer, that I do not fare well with wool.  Merino is fine, but your common-or-garden wool I find to be just too itchy for me.  So this represents be a bit of a departure for me and is the reason I'm going for socks rather than anything that will be against more sensitive parts.

I'm loving how my Dale's are coming up.  They are by Molly of a Homespun House and I have coveted them for a while so it's nice to be working them up at last.

I've also found some time to work on the pattern for my Christmas Stocking that I made on a whim last year.  I've been meaning to get it written up in time for this year's festive season and I think I'm almost there.  I know some of you liked the idea of making some as cozy socks to wear as well, so I've been tweaking things so that it will work for proper socks too.  I'm quite pleased with how they've come out.

Me making a crochet sock pattern - I didn't see that one coming!

Other than that, I find myself sitting here planning out future projects.  I've been winding things ready but I'm sticking to one thing at a time at the moment.  I can't cope with anything else right now.

I'm still refereeing the very tentative relationship between cat and dog.  They are both cautious and yet antagonistic towards each other at the moment.  I've threatened to shove them together in a box for 24 hours and just live with whichever of them survives, but was inexplicably outvoted.

I'm admiring how well my penstemon are enduring, a testament to how mild it's been, despite me feeling like winter is most definitely trying to rear it's ugly head.  I've spent the week trying to keep cozy indoors, drinking hot and spicy drinks, adding extra fairy lights for their warming twinkle, getting out more layers of wool to wear and catching up on podcasts.

I was thinking of somehow trying to fit in another podcast before the end of the year.  I'd then have the grand amount of 7 episodes to show for the 12 months that have almost passed.  What a prolific vlogger I could claim to be if I manage it!

S x



17 November 2015


I can't quite remember when I first heard about Festiwool, but it was very recently.  And I was pondering the idea of popping along when an invitation to that very event appeared in my inbox from the sweet Helen of Woolly Chic.  Talk about serendipity.  Then I discovered that my friend in fibre, Sam of Betsy Makes was going too.  It was obviously meant to be.

Typically it seems that these exciting types of event are always miles and miles away from me.  All the best antique markets, vintage fairs and so on, but I'm happy to say I can't claim that about yarny festivals any more.  First I came across Fibre East in Ampthill, and that blew my little hand made socks off and now there is Festiwool that is just a hop, skip and a jump away in Hitchin.  How cool is that?

This was a bit smaller event than Fibre East or Yarndale, presumably as it hasn't been running so long, but it was still a really nice size and it had attracted a lot of really beautiful stands and great exhibitors.  The Town End Alpacas with their beautiful harmonious shades looked lovely, the Native Yarns stand was a wall of gorgeous colour and Larissa's Travel Knitter stand looked particularly well thought out and was a beautiful way to display of her rich coloured yarn.

Chump that I am, I completely forgot to take my 'proper' camera with me and so I had to resort to iphone snaps I'm afraid.  So sorry!  (Sam has much better ones if you want to see more.)

However, as usual, I get much too excited at these types of events to stop and think about taking too many photos as there is always so much to see and coo over.  We make a right pair, Sam and I, wandering around oohing and ahhing generally behaving like children whenever we spot something gorgeous, which happens fairly often.

To make the day just a little more special, I got to meet some lovely ladies from the Spice of Life CAL.  I'm always so shy about approaching people but I'm so, so, glad that these ladies had the courage to come up to me to say hi because it was really great to meet them in real life.  It's funny isn't it?  You see and read about it online and yet it's still sometimes hard to imagine that it's really all going on.  Then someone comes up to you and says 'I made your blanket'.  That's so awesome!  

I also got to see sweet Heather of Pink Milk again, as she'd made the trip down for a browse around.  That was really nice, and we got to meet the lovely Mr P Milk too.  I'm sure he enjoyed himself looking around the yarny goodness more than anyone!

Needless to say, I got completely carried away with the whole thing and didn't restrain myself much I'm ashamed to say.  Still you know what's coming up soon, maybe some of these will have to be presents?

Let's take you through the purchases...

At the top there is a nice selection from Woolly Chic.  We got talking to Helen about her yarn and found out that the wool all comes from her family's farm in Wales and is spun here in the UK too.  Helen gets the fun of choosing the colour selection.   I'm not normally too good with 'woolly' wool but it's so great to know the story of this yarn and it looked too good to resist, so these will be some cozy socks I think.

Then on the left are the yarns from Travel Knitter, who's stand I was totally smitten with.  An absolutely divinely soft and brilliantly coloured camel based yarn in mustard and two gorgeous greys in merino to go with it.  I'm thinking a wrap for this little lot.

Then on the right, that gorgeously sumptuous raspberry colour I just couldn't resist from Native Yarns.  A natural undyed hank from Rosie's Moments that has a touch of sparkle to it and a wonderfully bright and slinky silk yarn that might become a cowl from Willow Knits.

Then, in a definite 'present to myself' moment, I succumbed on got this Christmas themed box from Dyenosaur.  They had some lovely ideas for packaging their yarns, something a little different and this selection was just my thing.  There's a festive yarn, obviously, a Santa mug, some decorations, a delicious smelling candle and to top it off, some choccies too.

A little self indulgent perhaps, but you know what, I think I deserve it.  Something to look forward to and enjoy next month, although I might have prepped the yarn already!  (Top pic)

Last but not least, there was a real gem of a stand from Textile Garden.  The most wonderful button selection in so many gorgeous colours.  I was very tempted to take one of their little tubs and go on a 'pick and mix' style spree but in the end I just went for these lovely trims.  They had some lovely subtle colours you don't normally see and much nicer than the rather brash offerings you get from the standard haberdashery places.  Making a mental note of this one for future, that's for sure.

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Well, I feel I have waffled rather.  It's just the fun of these events do get me going I'm afraid.  It's just so lovely to see these pretty yarns and things in the flesh and be able to pick and choose.  Online shopping can be a wonderful thing, but nothing compares to seeing it all laid out, to being able to touch and a compare, to talking with the stand owners and hearing about their story and inspiration.

Bring on Festiwool 2016 I say!

S x



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