28 February 2018

Where Was I Now?

Its now freezing cold this week but a couple of weeks ago David and I spent time with his brother and wife down in Barnstaple, Devon.  We stayed at a nice hotel on the edge of town and although David came down with a bad cold, which knocked him out in the evenings, he had just enough energy to enjoy the nice but cold days out.

We visited the Dartington Glass factory in nearby Torrington, which was really amazing to watch how the crystal glass is produced (but I didn't take any photos!), which was followed by a short journey to one of our favourite places, RHS Rosemoor Garden.  It is surprising how many plants flower in the winter with a walk through the winter garden display which also had some surprising works of art in it. Here are some of the pics that I took there.

 This lovely bronze slumbering cat in the sunshine, someone couldn't resist him and he was bought, so he didn't stay for long!
 An octopus in a garden shelter had fascinating glass eyes and tentacles with sea glass
 A fox made from the car body panels - a Citroen C30!
 A rusted metal ram

And a wicket Highland cow
 Photo of David and me taken by my brother in law, Peter
Who could resist this slumbering cat on the bench.

The following day we went to Clovelly, a village on a steep hill down to the sea on the Devon/Cornwall border.

This was looking up from the harbour wall
A lookout that had a seagull just doing that
Looking down from the top of the hill across the memorial garden.  The land on the other side is Bideford and Barnstaple
Shadowy selfies this time!
I had to buy a fridge magnet from the local pottery with a donkey's head on it (excuse the upside down photo - I forgot to turn it the right way!).

I took some knitting with me and started another pair of socks with the rhubarb coloured yarn as part of the Valentine sock cast on organised on Ravelry by Ellie Jones of Crafthouse Magic.

Here's the progress from not last weekend but the one before.  I'd got to heel flap and shaping before the instep shaping.

Another little learning curve - I'm trying out short circular needles, which has been ok up to the shaping, getting used to holding these, however I had to use double pointed needles (DPNS) for the heel flap and for picking up stitches but not sure at this point how to get back into the round again on the circulars.  Will have a look around on the on the 'net and figure out a way to do this so I can get back into the round again.  I can see that working magic loop with long circulars has an advantage over short ones as theres no faffing about with DPNS.  I love the colours now thats it knitted up and its the first time I've used indie dyed yarn for making socks as I've used commercial yarn before.  Who'd have thought there was so much to learn from making socks, so many different techniques from such a simple item.

When I don't get a lot of time for sewing I usually make something small just so I have the feeling of achievement.  I have several UFO's that need more time spent on them, but my time is short for the time being.  I bought a kit to make a book cover from the Dye Bag last year at Brockenhurst Needlework Fiesta. I had some fabrics left over and so on Sunday afternoon challenged myself to make some more from this.

This is the book cover with dyed fabrics and threads to which I added some sequins which a page marker inside

I went on the make a bookmark (at the bottom) with trimmings from the book cover.  I also made a needle case (on the left) and postcard (right).   So a fun afternoon with the radio playing Sounds of the Seventies, bliss.

Last but not least a building soon to be demolished in Swanage.  By the time I've written this it may well have gone.  I'm not sure what the building was but it has been derelict for some time and a local artist painted some murals on the wall, which were really brilliant and a lot of people are sad to see them go. Not brilliant pics as the low winter sun was shining above and I couldn't get a better position.

 There is a dog in this picture, looks about to jump from the window.
 By the way that isn't a hole in the wall, although it looks as though it is.
 This mural was of people enjoying drinks in the bar
I saw there was another gull on the lookout at the top of the lamppost.

Been a while writing this blog but just to show I'm still keeping busy!

11 February 2018

February Catch Up

Blogging seems to have taken a bit less of a priority lately but I've not been idle, so a few things to show here.

Last Sunday followed a rainy Saturday and David and I managed to get to Kingston Lacy near Wimborne.  It is our local National Trust site and this time of year has a fantastic display of snowdrops.  Lovely to see these as it alway seems as though Spring is just around the corner.  We also found that there were other plants in flower too.

 This was one of many displays of snowdrops
 Some were growing amongst cyclamens. This photo was taken with a little mirror behind
 The purple flowers in the pic above are Hellebores
 And some Camelia shrubs were in flower
 Some Aconites were just starting to flower
There was even a Rhododendron flower buds that was really early.

It was so busy at Kingston Lacy I think a lot of people just wanted to get out, even though the wind was bitterly cold.

Back to making things and I have made some pouches, though I found that I hadn't caught down the fabric on one end so that will have to be undone and made up again.  so they will go in my charity sale bag.

I have been tempted by shopping in Easy and purchased some yarn.  There are quite a few sellers that hand dye yarn and I took a fancy to this yarn inspired by the colours of Rhubarb.  A part of the Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle, between Wakefield, Leeds and Bradford is famed for forced Rhubarb which is grown this time of year.  I thought the colours were amazing and could not resist.  This was from Homespun Wonders

The gorgeous shades of pink and limey greens in a fingering/4-ply weight yarn.  I think this may become a shawlette, but not sure yet as I just love looking and stroking this!  I'd also bought some stitch markers which I could also not resist.

Owls, of course!  They have a clip and a ring on them so could either be moveable stitch markers and the clips could come in useful for making progress too as well as placing on a loop of crochet.

Talking of crochet I've made progress on the Attic 24 Woodland Blanket and am onto the second section of colour changes and am following the random colour changes.  The link that I've put here is for Part 6 so I have a little way to go yet. I've used the Notes on my iPad to copy the listed colour changes in each section from Lucy's blog, which has been handy to refer to. Here's a pic of my progress so far as at this morning.

Just loving the colour changes on this blanket as it grows.

Yesterday was another rainy Saturday but I went to see friends and sewed, well finished off thread ends on the Frivols quilt and there were a lot of ends! But good to catch up and chat.  And this morning we went to Barton on Sea with my Mum for a very breezy walk and a lovely cup of coffee but it was nice to blow the cobwebs away and have lovely views of the sea over to the Isle of Wight one way and Swanage the other way.  So back to another couple of days of work on Monday and Tuesday but we are off to Barnstaple on Wednesday.  I hope there'll be a few photos of our time away then.

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