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Sunday, 23 August 2015

FO: Borderline Blanket

Yarn: Various Acrylic DK yarn from my stash
Needles: 4.5mm circular needles

I really enjoyed knitting this design, the pattern was clear and easy to follow. I adapted it because the pattern called for worsted weight yarn but I had loads of DK in my stash so I adapted the needle size. It's beautiful, it's large and I think my friend will love it. I love that it knitted up all in one piece and there was no sewing together and I did what was suggested and sewed in the ends as I went so I didn't even have to do that at the end. One day, when we start a family, I will definitely treat myself so some yummy baby friendly yarn, such as Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, and knit this again. I'm so pleased with it. This also counts towards the Actually Knitting PALKAL, but I am so happy with it, it wouldn't matter if I won anything or not! 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

A trip to Willowmead Alpacas

I've gone slightly longer than normal in posting my next blog post because I've been away this week on holiday. We usually try to avoid August but this year that was one of the only times our holidays could match up. We decided to go for a stay-cation and booked to go caravaning in Suffolk. We had a fantastic time enjoying the quiet, the proximity to the sea and the rest. Moving away from London and in a more rural location meant that mobile signal and internet access were sporadic to non-existent. In actual fact this meant that the resting part came easily, and it was quite nice to "fall off the map" for a while. It did make me think about how much I check my phone and the internet while I'm at home. Not sure how much it will change it, but it did make me think about it!

I have family in Suffolk to so it was great to meet up with them and catch up. We ate fish & chips on the beach, went for walks, visited Jimmy's Farm, and lastly on Friday, we visited Willowmead Alpacas. I really enjoyed the whole trip, but going to Willowmead Alpacas was something of highlight for me! Many thanks to my Auntie, who having visited it with her knitting group recommended making a visit there.

Situated in Otley Bottom it was a small alpaca farm with a craft room/tea room/shop. They are only open on Fridays and Sundays, and really only do tours to see the alpacas on Sundays. I only found this out when we arrived, but after asking nicely to the lovely lady in the shop, she did let us walk up to the field by ourselves to marvel at the alpacas and there were babies! So cute. I took quite a few photos!

Then we returned to the craft room/tea room/shop and had tea and freshly made cakes (the wholemeal fruit scones were amazing!) and the lady gave me some information about the alpacas. It had lots of frequently asked questions, but my favourite was that the female alpacas spit at the male alpacas when they are already pregnant to resist their advances :-)

Then, of course, I couldn't help but to look around the shop which had a large choice of yarns, ready made knitted garments and notions among other things. I had already gone prepared to see if they sold the yarn from their own alpacas and I was delighted that they did! I just bought 2 hanks. The first is a beautiful caramel colour and on the label it says that the yarn came from the alpacas Sahara & Caramel! This really makes me smile - it's so great not only to find local(ish) produced yarn but to be able to say the alpacas it came from really appeals to me as a knitter. I also picked a chocolate brown baby alpaca 4 ply - again from the alpacas at Willowmead, although it doesn't say their names on that one, So exiting - can't wait to make something - they are both incredibly soft!

Anyway that's all for today - progress on my WIPs has been slow because of the holiday - I did do some but not loads. I'll post about it soon.

Hope you are having a great summer!



Wednesday, 5 August 2015

WIP Wednesday: Knitting, Crochet & a Book

My Borderline blanket for the Actually Knitting PALKAL is growing. I've reached the middle where the rows are the longest and I have started to decrease. It's beautiful. I love it. Progress has been slower through the middle but now the decreasing has begun, it's starting to get moving again and it's all downhill from here!

I'm hoping I'll have enough of all the yarn colours to reach the end. Slightly worried, but I think I should be OK. I hope.

In the usual way though, I have failed in remaining monogamous to this project and have started hooking another crochet shawl. We have a family wedding at the start of October and my sister bought a new dress. It looks lovely and I thought a shawl would really set it off and I offered to make her one. I picked Northmoor Lock by Joanne Scrace - I already had the pattern from the ebook I purchased when I did the CFTC Make Along and I've been meaning to try it, especially when other people who took part in the make along seemed to speed through it and suggested it was a simple make. It is straight forward and I did the below on Sunday alone.

I think my gauge might be a bit tight (no, I didn't do a gauge swatch - I know, naughty me!) but the pattern does say that gauge is not that important and you can just keep going until the shawl is the depth that you want it. So that's what I am planning to do. I'm using the yarn Pom Pom from Tricots Brancal which I got in Portugal and which has been in my stash for ages. It's 4ply acrylic which my sister will appreciate for it's easy care attributes. I wasn't too sure when I started the pattern, but now I am into it, I'm pleased with how it's going.

I also thought I would tell you about the book I'm reading. I'm reading Mad Man Knitting or Slip, Slip, Knit by Gregory Patrick. I already finished the first book The Waiter & the Fly, where the author, Gregory tells of how his life fell to pieces and ended up out of a job, single and homeless and he used knitting to get himself through it, In the book I'm reading now it's a series of posts taken from his blog following his progress as he knit himself out of homelessness, by knitting teddy bears and selling them on etsy. It's a true story and a good read. I'm definitely going to be following his blog going forward! The bears are so cute too!


Anyway, that's all from me. I'm going to knit furiously on my blanket in the hope that I might have an FO to show you soon!

Happy Knitting & Crocheting!