Welcome back. Did you have a good Spring break? (Every time I hear the words “Spring Break” I think of the Kevin Bridges‘ Chad Hogan sketch and giggle inwardly).
I didn’t exactly mean to take all of the holidays off – it was only supposed to be Easter Sunday and Monday, but then I got ill – for a whole week. It was the kind of You’ve-Survived-All-of-The-Longest-Winter-Ever-Without-Getting-Ill cold from hell, where you can barely manage to knit mixed in with a lovely dose of asthma. After a week of complete vegetation on the sofa (as well as minimal work involving posting out orders, answering emails and sorting out Royal Mail account – nearly there – only taken 6 weeks so far), it was then time for a few days’ holiday in Wales.
I have a confession to make – I’d only ever been to Wales twice before – once on a family holiday to a farmhouse near Lampeter when I was young, and once to Builth Wells for Wonderwool.
Our dog, Cookie, loved the wide expanses of deserted beaches. She could chase pebbles, dig in the sand, jump through rockpools and generally run til her heart’s content. The park at home just isn’t doing it for her now we’re back home.
I was blown away (almost literally – it was quite windy) by the scenery.
Many beach cliffs were a lesson in geology in themselves.
I really wasn’t sure that anywhere could top my love of the Jurassic Coast in Dorset and Devon, but the Pembrokeshire coast is truly stunning.
And the colours!
Some of the rockpools looked Jurassic or like something out of an early Dr Who episode (no, better than that – most of those were shot in quarries!)
I sound like I’m working for the Welsh tourist board! I’m sure most of you have discovered this beautiful area of this little island we live on and I’m late to the party, but if you haven’t been, it’s always good to get a recommendation.
And it has just served to compound my desire to live by the sea.
As for knitting, in Wales, I wanted something luxurious but simple enough that I could chat to my family – so the Lobelia by Meghan Fernandes from the latest issue of pompom magazine was perfect – just enough lace to keep it interesting. I had cast on at Unravel, but other knitting priorities meant that it languished a while in my knitting bag, and I had made a school girl error of not moving the markers after the first two repeats, couldn’t quite work out where I was, so ripped it back to the ribbing, and got to knit the lovely lacy bit which frames the sleeves again.
I’m using Skein Queen Lustrous BFL Heavy Lace and have knitted to the sleeve division. I’m planning to lengthen the body, to make it a bit more, ahem, boob-friendly.
My not-so-well knitting ended up going a bit creatively awry! It started out as an Aranami shawl by olgajazzy in a selection of Koigu yarns I’d been collecting over the years. I then realised I’d probably never wear a shawl in such a randomly weird variety of colours. I had a commercially bought owl cushion from Camden Market, so with a bit of tweaking, a few upside down shapes and some extra short rows, it is slowly becoming a cushion cover.
I’m thinking I’ll take the original buttons off, knit or crochet some concentric circles, and sew them back on for the pupils.
It’s not easy manipulating these semi-circle shapes that want to lie in a crescent shape. I’m not 100% sure what I’ll do when I get to the top, I’ll probably “wing” it – ho, ho. So that was my crazy illness knitting. Almost embarrassed to show you.
The fact that it’s an owl reminds me of Tracie from The Yarn Cafe. She’s really not keen on owls. When we were on our knitting retreat to Southwold, she told us of her dislike of owls plastered on so many products in the shops. I don’t know, I still like an owl. AnyOldHoo, I reckon foxes will be taking over next… if they haven’t already done so.
Anyway, what I’m getting to is that Tracie came up with the idea of these neat little knitting counters. So, when you’re casting on, or dividing for sleeves, or anything else involving counting your stitches, you place one of these markers for 10, 20 or 50 stitches to save you counting and recounting.
I just liked the idea. They are made by Atomic Knitting and you can find them in Tracie’s shop here.
So, enough with the blether, I hear you say. When will you have any yarn? The answer is Friday – shop update at 8pm BST. I’m busily working to get it all dry, skeined up and photographed, ready for release into the big, wide world at the end of the week. Also hoping to get new stock of yak and NEW 60cm Addi needles into the shop by then.
And just a quick final word on forthcoming shows – I’m signed up for both Fibre East and Yarndale. Hope to see you there.
Here’s to feeling refreshed after taking time out – and thank you for your patience.