Sunday, 21 May 2017

My week in a nutshell...

Going to see the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with my dear friend Snoopydog.

Flo (hopefully) locating the whereabouts of the resident rodent. She brought in a mouse and then lost interest and it's been in hiding since!

Early morning sock knitting with Flo. She does love to snuggle.

Talking to Mr JK in the summer sunshine. His silver birch tree is looking beautiful.

Avocado on toast for lunch - I am addicted to them. Even nicer when topped with a poached egg or two!

An early morning visit to Blickling - the bluebells are almost all gone now. 

Dog walking with Snoops around Whitlingham - Oscar loves swimming and chasing his tennis ball.

Relaxing after our walk - Oscar sleeping while Snoops and I knit our socks. A very pleasant way to while away the afternoon. Have a good week. xxx

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Rediscovering my mojo

Hello there, thanks for stopping by. I have some good news for you - I think I have found my long-lost mojo. Over the past months, I have really struggled to focus on any kind of crafting project. Apart from my Midnight Companion granny square blanket and a couple of pairs of socks, I've not done much at all and my finished projects page on Ravelry looks rather paltry. So what's happened? Let me take you back a couple of weeks when my fellow Stylecraft Blogstar Kathryn, aka Crafternoon Treats, came to stay for the weekend. I really enjoyed showing Kathryn around my part of Norfolk and we packed a lot in to a short space of time. 

We went for a walk around the bluebell woods at the local National Trust property, Blickling Hall. The woods are really spectacular at this time of the year - a mass of blue. 

I also took Kathryn to the nearby village of Worstead; the village has a huge tradition of weaving and it's where Worsted cloth got its name. We followed the Worstead heritage trail around the village and saw a number of buildings that had been important in days gone by. There was even a weaving loom in the church that belongs to the local weaving and spinning guild.

We had a lot of fun over the weekend - including a Blogstars gingerbread man Bake Off challenge! 

A trip up to the north Norfolk coast had to be fitted in too, so we went to Wells-next-the-Sea and walked along the beach and back through the pinewoods, stopping off for tea and cake as you do! 

Kathryn told me a lot about her venture into yarn dyeing. She has her own Etsy shop that you can find here and then yarn is all 100% British wool, ethically produced and fully traceable from named farms. She also makes whimsical stitch markers and sent me a set. I treated myself to a skein of her yarn too. I loved the colours in this skein - Iris. Everything comes beautifully packaged with a Yorkshire Gold teabag and a free stitch marker.  

Kathryn also brought her spinning wheel with her and so we spent Saturday evening spinning while chatting. I hadn't done any spinning since last summer's Tour de Fleece, but I rummaged and pulled out a braid of fibre from Picperfic's Fluff-n-Stuff, one of my favourite fibre dyers and got started. I chose a braid of Blue Faced Leicester and nylon with the plan of spinning for socks. I N-plyed the singles to keep the colours together and hopefully have some stripes! I had forgotten just how relaxing spinning is. Once I'd started spinning, I couldn't stop! It's magical how fibre can be turned into yarn - an age-old craft that's no more complicated today than in the past.

I wound my yarn into a satisfyingly fat yarn cake and cast on for a pair of socks. I just want to keep knitting so I can wear them! 

So it's all thanks to Kathryn that I've got some of my mojo back. It feels good to be knitting again. Hopefully I'll have a finished sock by the next time I blog! Don't forget there's still time to enter my May Pay it Forward giveaway here too. Have a good week. xxx

Monday, 8 May 2017

May Pay it Forward Giveaway

Amazingly, I've managed to blog again when I said I would! I have some real treats for you today. Sue at Diss Wool and Craft shop gave me some lovely things to share with you when I was at Yarn Shop Day this weekend. There's a fun sheepy scarf and a skein of Rowan Fine Art Aran yarn. The yarn is a luscious mix of wool, mohair, alpaca and silk and one skein is enough to knit a hat or cowl.  Thanks so much Sue! I've added a bag of Maltesers to the prize because chocolate is always good, right?! To be in with a chance of winning, leave me a comment recommending a good book to me as I'm desperate to get back into reading. The giveaway will be open until midnight on May 31st and I'll use a random number generator to pick the winner after that date. Please make sure it's easy for me to contact you by leaving your Ravelry or Instagram name, or leave some other way for me to get in touch. If I haven't heard from the winner within a week, I'll pick another name. I'm happy to post world-wide, so do please enter! Good luck! xxx

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Yarn Shop Day 2017

So did you visit your local yarn shop yesterday on Yarn Shop Day? I spent the day at Diss Wool and Craft shop and had a lovely time. I was running two workshops - how to knit mini-socks in the morning and Granny square crochet in the afternoon. Even though the class sizes were small, it was a really fun day and I was very impressed with how well the participants did! One of the people in the sock class, Julie, has already cast on her first proper size sock after knitting another mini one at home today. I wonder if she realises what a slippery slope she's on now! Socks are my absolute favourite thing to knit and buying sock yarn is very addictive! 

Stylecraft Yarns had donated a fabulous yarny prize and everyone who purchased something from the shop in the two weeks leading up to yesterday was given a raffle ticket. I felt very important picking the winner! 

Sue, the owner, had done a fabulous window display with lots of Stylecraft knits and yarns, including my mini socks and also my Head over Heels socks. I felt very  proud!

Sue and I are talking about the possibility of having some more knitting and crochet classes in the shop. It's a wonderful thing to be able to share a skill and pass on that yarny lurve! Sue also very generously gave me some gorgeous goodies to give away on my blog, so call back tomorrow to see what you could win in the May Pay it Forward Giveaway. xxx