Friday, 4 July 2014

FO Friday, more socks!

Oh how I loved making these socks.  I have waxed lyrical about the colours before so I won't bore you again but I remain besotted by them...
The details:  The yarn was Opal Little Prince (7767), the free opal sock pattern is available in most shops which stock Opal yarns (I added the slip stitch heels for fun), my needles were 2.5 knit pro carbonz which I find very comfortable to use.
So there they are, all finished.  They behaved very well during the making process, no unpicking or dropped stitches or any other disasters.  Just a word about my sock blockers, they were made for me by my Father In Law and I love the way the socks look on them.  I had no idea how much difference blocking would make to the finished sock but they came of the blockers looking absolutely immaculate.  If I were the sort of generous hearted person who gave socks away then I would definitely block them first.
It's nearly the end of term and I'm so looking forward to spending some time in blog land again.  I hope you are all well and happy!

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Wednesday link up

Before I start I would like to show you this beautiful double rainbow we spotted last night, we see so many rainbows from this house, it is one of its charms...
It's not a good photo but still, I just wanted to share a little happiness.

I wasn't going to post today but I'm feeling the need for a little crafty moral support.  You see my project this week has a chequered past.  Last week I trundled over to one of my favourite yarn emporiums (Bluestocking in Cainscross for any local friends) and treated myself to some really good quality wool from Rowan which I intended to turn into cushion covers.  I tormented myself with these cushion covers for a few days.  First trying to make a pattern up from a stitch dictionary, then going back to Bluestocking to exchange some of the yarn so that I was making them all in ivory, then buying a pattern for cushions and not enjoying making them, then deciding to crochet the covers instead of knit them.  Now I realise that none of this is terribly important in the scheme of things but in a moment of clarity I realised that no matter what I wasn't going to like these cushions, the colour was wrong for the sofa, the patterns weren't working and all in all I wasn't enjoying it.
Enter the Lady Marple.  I can't actually remember where I found this pattern but I've been thinking of having a go at it for some time.  I had no intention of making it in ivory originally, I had a deep red in mind, but then I spotted this project and was smitten.  Hence last night, as I vegetated in front of my current Netflix obsession (Numb3ers, seriously silly but curiously compelling) I found myself doing this...
Casting on a project which is clearly too hard for me and for which I am endlessly going to be begging for support from the blogging community to help me find tutorials and advice.  So you have been warned and I can only apologise in advance for any irritation this may cause.  I also had to return to Bluestocking for two more skeins of the yarn (Rowan Pure Wool Worsted), I think the lovely owner has now actually come to the conclusion that I am short of a marble or two.  She is not the first to reach this conclusion.

As for my book, I have never read The Little Prince and as it is the centenary of its publication and also the inspiration for my current favourite sock yarn from Opal I though I probably ought to. It is whimsical and very French, as a result it is utterly charming.

Linking with Ginny and maybe Tami if she posts today.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Some bits of pretty

This week has had its share of little highlights I would like to remember.
My girls have rediscovered Lego, and found it to be a different experience altogether when helped by a mischievous cat...
I love to see them playing with lego, we have some fancy Hobbit lego which they enjoy building with their father but normal lego has a charm all of its own.
We made our way over to Slimbridge WWT and my husband took some pictures of the birds...
We are members so make the effort to go over there quite often, I have to say that the girls are mostly interested in the flamingos and the adventure playgrounds but we manage to persuade them to look at some of the other birds occasionally.  I like this one with the bright blue bill, when they dive down into the water they seem to stay there for an eternity, we like to follow the trail of bubbles and predict where they'll pop up again...
I've also been enjoying catching up on lots of blogs this week and making time to comment.  If I haven't got to yours yet I'm sure I will in the next couple of days.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Yarning Along on WIP Wednesday

This week I have abandoned my bright striped socks.  They turned into the bane of my knitting life.  First of all I finished one, only to find that actually my cunning plan of making them a touch smaller by going down to 2 1/4 DPNs had made them too small for comfort.  This was disappointing as actually I had knitted a more or less perfect sock...
I suppose I could have given it away to somebody with smaller feet, but actually I have quite small feet anyway and might well have had trouble finding somebody.  Also, if I'm honest, I am still greedily wanting to keep my socks.
Anyway, I mostly re-knitted the sock only to find that I had messed up the heel.  I tried to unpick it but got in a muddle so, in a fit of Knitting Rage, I did this...
Fear not, I rewound the skein but really couldn't face those acidic colours any more (having already knitted virtually a pair of socks with it completely fruitlessly) and have put it in the drawer under my bed where I stash (hide from my family) my sock wools.

In the mean time I have been working on this...
Another sock but in the most soothing of colours.  This is an Opal Sock Yarn from the Little Prince range and the colour is The Geographer.  I am smitten with these colours as they remind me of the sea in Exmouth where I used to sit in a pub and consume Pints of Prawns with some of my friends.  Sadly it's true that youth is wasted on the young, I think we used to spend most of the time we sat there moaning about how hard we had to work (!!!)

As for reading, I have sped my way through the John Le Carre.  As with many of his books it starts slowly, but wow, by a third of the way through I was totally absorbed.  Beautifully written, thoughtful, perceptive, dark, and very British.  It's the story of morally bankrupt politicians and business men, civil servants caught up in their machinations, treatment of service personnel, PTSD and more.  If you like literature you have to think about then I can recommend this wholeheartedly.  It's not a light read by any means, but it's Le Carre so I had no expectation it would be.

There will be lots more books and projects to see if you pop over to Tami's and Ginny's blogs.


Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Pretty Tuesday 4

We haven't had a photogenic week here in Hilly Town, there's been plenty going on but nothing much caught my attention as I looked through our photographs from the last few days.  I know from experience that if I give up on my Tuesday meanderings though our life this week I may not pick them up again, and I do want to journal part of our lives here as well as my crafty stuff, so I grabbed our new camera and the dog and set out of the front door for a walk around my own little part of Hilly Town...
We walked up by the allotments.  I would like an allotment one day, but at the moment I don't have control of my own tiny garden so this isn't the time to do it.  Soon those little stick pyramids will be covered in Sweet Peas.  I love this view over the hills and far away.
Then I thought I would pass by the Church, I'm fond of this little Church and its peaceful churchyard, it has several different possible routes of approach but this little gateway appeals to me...
A former Vicar of this Church was The Revd. W. Awdry who wrote the Thomas the Tank Engine books, there is a window dedicated to him inside which I will try to photograph some time.  I might need to consult Mr HT though because I suspect it will be difficult to capture.
In the churchyard I found a tree in blossom, I love this shade of pink...
And finally, just to show there has been craft happening, L and B have both been learning to knit.  B has had her very first try, goodness me but those needles are awkward for her to handle at the moment and she gets easily frustrated by it so I'm just leaving her to show an interest again.  L has been leaning to purl so that she can move on a little with her knitting.  Again her boredom threshold is low, but I think one day they will be glad they learnt the basics as children.  At some point if they want to learn more they can either ask one of their knitting relatives or do what the rest of us do and consult YouTube...
Later today I am hoping to catch up with some of you on your blogs and to finish a sock, more of which tomorrow.  
I hope your Tuesday is pretty.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Pretty Tuesday

Another anti-alliterative round up of our families escapades and pleasing events of the week.

Rediscovering use of the pen through elaborate doodles loosely but not exclusively based on the phenomenon of "zentangles"...
I can't really draw, but these tend to turn out really pretty with very little actual artistic skill involved, I was pleased with this one...
A particular highlight of our week was going to see Cirque Du Soleil at the NEC in Birmingham.  They were absolutely amazing but there were no photographs allowed (not surprisingly if you have ever seen it, those acts must require inhuman amounts of concentration as well as physical skill), so I just took a lame picture of our programme and tickets instead...
Visiting a farm and play barn with a some of our dearest friends we met this friendly alpaca...
what a gorgeous creature!
And finally a picture of a poppy which is growing in my parents in law's garden...
A spectacular colour, and I love those buds.  Just beautiful.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Pretty Tuesday 3

Some of the things which have pleased me this week...

On Saturday we were woken by a peculiar noise, I looked out of the window and there were about 15 hot air balloons floating over our road.  The noise we heard was the sound of the gas which fills the balloons, it was a bit early but nevertheless a fun thing to see...
On a walk in the field I managed to get this pretty picture of an Orange Tip butterfly, butterfly photography is not easy I have discovered but this one obviously felt obliging...
A close up of the most ordinary thing in the world, a dandelion clock, when you look closely they are amazing...
Correct procedure with a dandelion clock...
And again, just sheer childhood exuberance, running through the buttercups (hold onto your hat)...
Finally a big silly dog, just because he really is daft and that makes me smile...
I'm enjoying putting together these Pretty Tuesday posts, they're set to stay a while.