18 December 2014

Colour Collaborative: December


Spice is a word conjures up exotic images of faraway places and exciting flavours.  Spices are rich and warming in taste and also in colour.  A good word for December, where the mixed spices added to cakes create comforting smells and lovely warming spicy foods are good to eat when we come in from the cold.  My spicy palate is looking warm and cozy too.

Just as a cook would think of using spice to add flavour to a dish, so colour can work in the same way.  A small amount of a stronger accent colour can bring a more gentle palette to life. That touch of something stronger to liven everything up.  For me the main colour of December is Christmas red, a very spicy colour and I like to spice up my home lots of red at this time of year.  It just brings things to life like nothing else for me.  The simplest green branch with a red berry or two is suddenly jolly and festive.  A simple touch of red against these pure white stars makes them sing to me. 

But I need another spicey element at Christmas too.  Glitter!
Touches of golden glitter sprinkled here and there, reflecting the glow of the lights and adding more warmth.  Making everywhere look cozy and snug.

Just light a cinnamon candle and hand me a spicy mince pie on a pretty red plate while I sit in the glow of my glittering tree and I'll have a everything I need for a very spicy Christmas!

: :

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

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

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



15 December 2014

Christmas Bling

The house is filled with it's Christmas finery now and despite my recent protests that I haven't felt my usual Christmassy self yet this year, I think it's finally starting to slowly seep into me.  Not the full bubbly excitement that I usually get, but I'm enjoying the decorations, lighting my gingerbread house candle and the warm glow of the lights.

In fact, there must have been something bubbling away there under the surface all along because I actually made something for this yuletide season back in November which I had almost forgotten about.  I was inspired by the colours of my Dolly Mixtures Blanket, which for once I hadn't tired of at the end of the project as would usually be the case.  This time I wanted to make something else using them so I thought a Christmas stocking would be just the thing.

A nice and simple little thing, relaxing and quick.  Just the thing to follow a huge blanket project.  The heel isn't quite right but since it's only going to hang there I didn't worry about that too much.  Although, I must say a lot of people on IG were liking the idea of a pair of bed socks like this, so maybe a little more thought into the working of the heel would be worthwhile.  It would only take a few tweeks to make this fit real feet after all...

While I'm talking decorations, I thought I'd share a little Christmas bling with you.  I normally manage to acquire a couple of new things every year to add to my already pretty loaded tree and this year is no exception.  The tree is decked out in it's more usual colour explosion style this time around and so the mix mash of styles you see below do all find a way to sit together without looking out of place.  I particularly love the peacock, isn't he glorious?

I know this will only appeal to me, but looking back over my past Christmas posts, I like to see and remember what I've done and how things vary subtly from year to year.  Last year I had a tasteful golden tree, the year before was a colour explosion like this year and in 2011 the tree was in full colour again but the mantle was wearing colourful stars.  It's nice to see those  little changes I think.

S x



11 December 2014

It's the most knitting time of the year

I just want to start with a quick thank you to everyone for all your kind and supportive comments about my golden snowflakes that have appeared in Homespun.  I really appreciate you getting swept up in my excitement and making me grin like a cheshire cat all day.  Thank you so much to all of you and I'd also really love to see any pictures of the flakes you've made too, if you have a moment to share them.

As you might know if you've been reading for a while, for me the Christmas season always seems to start off a little knitting spree.  'Tis the season to be knitting.... fa la la la la, la la la la' is pretty much my sentiment.  I think it all down to the fact that my adult re-acquaintance with knitting and in fact, the whole trigger for this whole crafty journey of mine started exactly on Christmas Day, many yonks ago.  So I have made a few knitty plans for this month and this is the first of them.

I bought a hank of this absolutely lovely and super soft green stuff when I was at Yarndale from the Eden yarns stand, which I think was their BFL Sock yarn.  I think it was that one, but as the label came off at some point it is a little bit of an educated guess.  Anyway, it is so wonderful and squishable that I wanted just the right thing to make with it.  I've been looking for just that right something for a while and then I stumbled across this beautiful Heart of the Lotus mitt pattern by Lynne Vogel.  (Ravelry link.)  Isn't it just the prettiest thing?

At last, a worthy project for my woolly treasure!

I did have a little issue with yardage and had to do a bit of jiggery pokery with frogging back the arm sections.  In the end I just knitted a few rows of plain garter stitch to finish those openings, rather than doing the fancier rib and decorative edge that should have been there.  I'm not fussed by that though as you won't really see that end most of the time.  The focus will be on the glorious wrist ends instead.

Not that I'm blaming the pattern for any of this at all.  What with me not being 100% sure of the exact yarn I was using and therefore exactly the yardage I had to play with and then the fact that I managed to pick up the wrong size needles to knit on, it's a really more of a wonder that they managed to come out as well as they did.

It's also probably a surprise that they fit, as I didn't do a gauge check either.  I just plunged right on in there and I suppose luck was with me this time because somehow it all just worked out nicely.  I love and adore the beautiful layered finish around the wrists and all those little triangles, which to be honest were a very pestilential set of things to knit, do look as cute as pie and so are utterly worth it.

: :   L U S H   G R E E N   L O T U S   : :

Pattern:  Heart of the Lotus by Lynne Vogel

Yarn: BFL Sock by Eden Yarns (I think)

S x



09 December 2014

Stash Enhancement

We've started getting some frosty mornings around here and things are turning a little more chill.  Time when the nice warm glow of the Christmas lights and a warming home comforts start to seem very appealing indeed.

The decorations are up now and it's certainly looking very festive here now but, amazingly, I still just can't get myself 100% into the swing of it quite yet.  Really most unlike me.  I have a lovely pack of multi-coloured mini baubles which I vowed I am going to do something with this year but I haven't touched them yet.  Inspiration is not striking.  Hopefully it will come soon...

In other news though, do you remember when I talked to you about the charming folks at Black Sheep Wools a few months ago?  I was the lucky recipient of their 'Blogger of the Month' prize and as a result of surfing their online site and learning a little more about them I also found out about their real-life, bricks and mortar store and craft-barn.  That sounds promising doesn't it?  Craft Barn... it conjures up images of vast expanses, filled with crafty goodness.   A very pleasing thought.

So you can probably imagine my feelings a few weeks ago then when I got the opportunity to go and visit Black Sheep Wools and their Craft Barn for myself.  It's quite a goodish drive from my house to where they are but I knew it was going to be a good day as soon as I pulled into their car-park.  I knew my 'vast expanses' theory was justified right away, now I only had to check and see how the 'crafty goodness' element stood up.

I tend to like to eek these little pleasures out in my recent years.  Let them unroll slowly and enjoy each moment.  This place is the perfect place to do that.  When you walk through the door, you are greeted with a lovely little area, filled with lots of yummy yarn and if you are anything like me, that makes you smile right away.  That all seems very nice and although not as huge an area as you were maybe hoping, there are nice things and you settle down to enjoy a good browse.  But then....

...then you look up and see that beyond this initial entrance area there is a whole big wooly filled space opening out beyond it and then you really start grinning because you know you will do very well here.  Very well indeed!  So I spend a very satisfactory time wandering around and drinking the whole place in.  Quite literally, as there is a nice coffee area too where weary yarn hunters can stop for refreshment.  It's a place where there is something for everyone.  A nice wide selection of yarns from cheaper acrylics and the known brands to beautiful coloured hanks of the more selective yarns.  There's also pattern books, crafty notions, cross stitch and embroidery things and fabric too.  Pretty much everything you want or need in short.

So yes, that's a big, fat tick in the 'crafty goodness' section from me.

Anyway, in my excitement of telling you about my trip, I've managed to get a little side tracked from the original point of this post, which was to show you what I got there.  Those two yummy scrummy yarns above are a gorgeous and generous gift from Black Sheep Wools and they are both absolutely lovely.

The red one is one of the softest, smooshy-ist yarns ever.  It's a DK yarn by Juniper Moon Farm and is called Herriot.  Look at it in this BSW blog post with the colours all out on show.  Yummy don't you think?  The green one is Juniper Moon Farm too, it's a lace yarn called Finley.  I really love the colours that this one comes in, some really lovely bright shades.

I wanted to get stuck into the softness of the red Herriot straight away but actually it turned out to be the green Finley that I started with first.  It was the lace that called to me.  I wanted to do some more crochet with lace and I want something decorative, delicate and light to wrap around me.  I have quite a few pretty scarf/shawl things, but nothing in that colour, so a plan was formed.  As is so often the way, it was the colour that dictated what exactly what sort and style of scarf/shawl it should be.  I have an image in my minds eye again so now I need to see if I can get it out of the mind and into the yarn.

I've been playing and swatching with it, (my favourite part) and I've decided on a pattern.  There was a clear winner from my experiments and I'm liking how it's coming out.  It's looking all bobbly and scrunched up at the moment, but hopefully the wonder that is blocking lace will sort all that out.  I can't wait to see...

S x



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