Sooooooo…..

Well here are my latest efforts. I’ve added some hexagons from a new yarn: Shelridge Farm Ultra Touch Handpaints. This stuff is amazing. At 6 quid a skein, its affordable and the fabric it knits up is just wonderful.

Shelridge Farm Hexagon

Shelridge Farm Hexagon

Actually, I bought it at Socktopus in Chelsea. That shop is such a find! I spotted it on Ysolda’s blog last year, but didn’t get round to doing anything about it until a month ago. I sing more or less once a month at a gig round the corner from there so left extra time before the soundcheck to peruse.

At the time the yarn didn’t really have fond memories (apart from that of finding the shop in the first place!) but someone remarked on how beautiful the colours were and was taken ill very shortly afterwards. So, this is a lovely reminder of him. His recovery won’t be rapid but maybe I’ll knit him some socks using it.

A few other pics:

I also picked this up recently at a Brighton market:

I’m not usually into ‘pretty’ things, but I love the collar on this and even the lace is nice. Have I suddenly turned into a girly girl?

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So, I’m Back!

Knitted Hexagon Blanket

Hopefully not to any great trumpets or fanfares… This is purely for me. To keep a record of all the things I’m doing. I’ve been rubbish the last year or so, for various reasons, life just exploded on me. And Ravelry of course affected all things knitting, so I never really got round to posting anything on this page.

Anyway, my knitting has gathered pace: I’ve started to get into the swing of finishing projects, mostly because they’re intended as presents for people. I’ll post pictures of new stuff later, but for the time being I want to upload my current project, the real reason why I’m posting again…

Blue knitted hexagon

That’s right. I’m being highly original and knitting myself a blanket.

I’m using up mostly any DK I’ve got in my stash, but most 4ply held double works if I use the right needle. I’m finding it peculiarly satisfying, I’ve noticed the urge to nest recently. Not sure why, maybe just a part of growing up, or even growing down as some people would put it.

There is something restful about having a project to return to, something that is always there to provide interest. Its particularly nice because as I include new hexagons, each different yarn reflects a different story or episode. So the blue you can see here is from my first foray into designing – the remains of some top-down baby hats I knitted at Christmas (in RYC DK merino), often a bit fuzzy after something fizzy.

Pink knitted hexagon

The pink is from my first ball of Manos Del Uruguay from my favourite LYS, and I have very fond memories of it: Boxing Day 2008 I sat with some friends from New Zealand watching a NZ flick and some pavlova (very Kiwi dessert, so they tell me), knitting myself a scarflette.

Green knitted hexagon

The green is some Cascade 220 from Loop, and was purchased to make a present for a new, very dear friend and his daughter.

So this blanket is probably going to take me most of this year (can’t see that i would want to knit a wool blanket in the Summer) but will hopefully be a labour of love. I’ll post pictures periodically to keep up my interest and motivate me to finish, and I will do my best to tell the stories that fit each shape…

Knitted Hexagon Blanket

oh well

Well, I’ve already failed in my aim to post every day, but I have been discovering some wonderful new things everyday:

Flight of the Conchords. Possibly the funniest thing I’ve seen since the Mighty Boosh (which was about 4 years ago now). Go check them out.

iKnit. Possibly the best knitting shop I’ve been to. Ever. Its more about the location and the atmosphere of the shop, although they have a fantastic range of bamboo needles and yarns. If you can get to Vauxhall train station, you should pay them a visit.

Sweet Paul. Possibly the best food photography sight I’ve seen (but I’ve only seen his). There are some very inspiring photos of cakes on there. Do you need to know more?

Cupcake Bakeshop. Possibly the best baking site I’ve seen. This crazy woman does nothing but post about cupcakes with wacky tastes and colours.

And I’ve started knitting this:

Convertible

Its called convertible and you can find it on http://www.knitty.com. Its a gorgeous lace shawl which can be buttoned in a variety of ways. It’ll be perfect for me if I can knit enough repeats without frogging it too many times, but its been a b*gger to start. I’ve used a provisional cast-on as the yarn I’m using is much more fine than the original and I’m not sure I’ll have enough, so I figured this way I can always add more to the ends. There are some gorgeous examples on Ravelry too.  Anyway, enough of my ranting, its late – I apologise if this post seems incoherent! night.

Getting back in the swing of things

Its true I havn’t been crafting much recently, but that’s partly because my finger has only recently healed enough to let me and… well I’ve been lazy. I just lost the bug. Again. But after seeing ruby crowned kinglette’s site again, well. I’m all fired up. She’s got some fab ideas, and as always executed so beautifully.

I wish I could apply the same kind of principles to my music career. I’m doing my best to organise my time but today it hit me just how big that career-mountain is. Its daunting. There’s so much to practice, learn and execute and so little time, especially if I have to teach so much to make ends meet. I’m trying to ignore the bit of my brain that is freaking out, but just when I’m feeling serene a few drops of anxiety squeeze themselves out and tip me over the edge. I’m simply not capable of thinking of new crafty things, and the budget kicks in today so I’m going to concentrate on finishing some of my many projects.

I’m meeting the friend for whom the Glitzy Tie is intended in a couple of weeks so I’ll get on with that first. I need to finish the topstitching and then stitch it to the knitted piece. I’m finding it hard to keep the topstitching even, so perhaps I should switch to the sewing machine.  Hang on, I have to tidy up to get it out. *sigh*. Nothing is simple in this house

Curnworle

Say the above a few thousand times until you’ve picked up the west country accent.

Cadgwith flowers

I am having withdrawal symptoms. Cornwall is so beautiful, I’m always sad to leave. I disappeared down that way last Friday to visit a veterinary friend of mine for a couple of days. She lives near the Duchy College (ie, land owned by the Prince of Wales) and horses graze in the field behind her house. Its that kind of place. It makes me want to eat seafood, and walk along cliffs and swim in rock pools and listen to Seth Lakeman and eat cream teas. I always return refreshed, excited and feeling like I can conquer anything if I could just bottle up that little corner of the UK and smell it whenever I felt anxious.

You really should go, even if it is a 4-5 hour drive away. I’m not given to wishy-washy-luvvie-wuvvie descriptions of anything, but as you can tell, I’m a little self-indulgent when it comes to this particular subject. This time we drove down the A30 to the Lizard and ended up firstly in Cadgwith and ate freshly-caught crab sandwiches, and then in a place called Mullion Cove and ate freshly caught cream teas. It used to be part of the sardine fishing industry at the turn of the century, and although it remains a fishing port it is all done on a very small-scale these days.

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My finger is recovering quite quickly now, so normal crafting services will resume shortly.

I promise!

Retro Schmetro

Well, the finger is still painful. bum. No crafting, no cooking, no nothing. I can’t do anything that puts any pressure on it, and that includes lifting things with my left hand. the regular action of knitting and crochet seem to upset it too.

So, instead of kicking back with a DVD and a G&T, I got incredibly frustrated this evening with my untidiness. It always bothers me, but I can usually find something else to do. But this time in a rash moment of enthusiasm I started tidying things away! My sanity obviously disappeared with that bit of my finger.

Well, as I was tidying tops into hampers, I discovered this skirt (see below). I’d completely forgotten about it. I bought it in a great vintage store, although I guess you’d call it an Op Shop if you’re from NZ or a second-hand shop if you don’t read Vogue regularly. Its called Beyond Retro, and it sits slap bang in the middle of my favourite place in London right now, Soho. Well, it cost me less than £15 and is a gorgeous cotton so will be perfect for spring. I’m not a massive fan of polka dots, but it appeals to the retro side of me (and wow, do I have a soft spot for retro), especially as it so 50’s-inspired.

Its a wrap-around style but my waist isn’t small enough to accomodate the wrap without exposing my decency every time I put left foot in front of right. So I think I’ll sew down the side seams, leaving a gap at the bottom for ease of walking, and I’ll put some buttonholes in the top of the seam to fasten it. Either that or I’ll take the waist down slightly, but that will involve a little more tailoring, and I’m not sure I can be bothered. Despite my poorly finger I seem to be creating a lot of projects for myself…

I did manage to find another fantastic craft blog: Ruby Crowned Kinglette . Today she’s got a post on smocking, and some of it looks incredibly beautiful. Its always looked far too difficult to me, but her stuff looks wonderful.

I may be quiet for a few days however. I’m gigging until late tomorrow night in town and then I’m driving straight to Cornwall (alright, I’ll stop in a Travelodge in Southampton at about 3am) to spend the weekend with a friend down there. I love Cornwall, I can’t wait. And I’m pleased about seeing my friend of course

polkawrap.jpg

Goof Friday

I say that because today, whilst being family-spirited (I volunteered to cook the fish for good friday this year) I ended up slicing the top of my finger off. Because I was close to fainting Dad ended up cooking dinner whilst I barked orders from inbetween my knees and all the while Mum the former surgical nurse bandaged me up. Mum remarked in her subtle way that we’ll always remember the first time she ate Monkfish. I’m now walking around like I stuck my finger into a tub of dairylea…

I apologise now for any spelling mistakes. I’m a touchtyper and am VERY frustrated that I am reduced to 9 digits.

Anyhoo, I went for a lovely walk along the Thames to Ham House in the spring sunshine this morning and was happy to see so many blossoming trees even if hayfever is early this year as a result. AND I managed to turn this :

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into this:

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Knitting Needle Cases! (let me know if you want instructions but they’re fairly straightforward) The one on the left is from an old curtain that hung in my Gran’s house in the 50’s. The fabric on the right is an Amy Butler print, the name escapes me. They’re both lined with some low-fi satin-back crepe I bought from E-bay a while back, and the ribbon I found whilst tidying my wool stash. I didn’t realise there is an entirely separate stash in one of the other bedrooms… I thought I could make this pom pom rug from ‘Craftivity’ with it. Its written by a woman called Tsia Carson, who runs the wonderful applied design website www. supernaturale.com. Go check it out.

Now to get hold of that book