Tuesday, 29 October 2013

A shocking amount!

The lovely Nicsknots is doing a great competition called "How much do you have in your project bag?". I thought it was a fab idea for a blog post. Embarrassingly, I think my answer is "A shocking amount!". I don't think I've ever gotten everything out at once and I was stunned on just how much I had.

Recently, I've been using a small Cath Kidston Tote that was a Christmas present. I like it because it has a firm base and sits where it's put. This is the bag I grab when I'm going out, whether it be to Knit and Natter, visiting family, road trip etc.

Cath Kidston project bag

Can you believe all this was in that small bag?

  • There's my Nicsknots Miya bag (which contains a secret project, so I won't show you) and my Nicsknots notions case, which I blogged about here.
  • Micro scales for weighing yarn.
  • Some embroidery threads and snips.
  • A teaspoon! No idea why.
  • Bag of yarn ends. I save these for a friend who knots them together and makes bags from them.
  • Two needle cases. One is all my Knit Pro circulars and the other is a full set of Chiagoo needles.
  • There's my iPad mini, which has all my knitting patterns on it.

  • My next two projects, just in case. Is it just me that lives in fear of finishing my current project and having no knitting with me?
One is a pair of socks for a Christmas present with the pattern for little ducks from Mary Jane Mucklestone's 150 Scandinavian Knitting Designs. I might add a bit of texture too. With a set of Nova Cubics DPNs to try out.

  • The other is handspun yarn and some Easyknits (that I got from A Good Yarn's yarn swap and I believe it was Nicsknots that brought it) for a pair of Narwhal mittens by Ysolda

Also the contents of the notions case was a shocking amout!

  • Calculator
  • Quilter's Guild tape measure
  • Needle case
  • Scissors
  • Plasters. Just so nothing stops me from knitting!
  • Assorted crochet hooks
  • Spare DPN
  • Grid ruler (for swatches)
  • Purple uniball pen
  • Handmade wooden celtic pen (made by Mr)
  • Cotton Thread
  • Waste Yarn
  • Cable needle
  • Handmade passementerie buttons that I made ages ago and for some reason been carrying around with me
  • Knit pro cable key
  • Fripperies and Bibelots stitch markers from Fibre East
  • Needle puller from Cotton Patch
See what I mean, a shocking amount!

Friday, 25 October 2013

Scandinavian Knitting

Last week, I ventured off to Baa Ram Ewe in Harrogate for a Scandinavian Knitting workshop with Mary Jane Mucklestone. After a scrummy lunch at Wagamama. I wandered down to the shop. I've been to the one at Leeds plenty of times but not yet had a chance to go to the Harrogate shop.

The shop was gorgeous. It was very light and a riot of colour. Details for the shops here. The workshop was held downstairs in the basement and it really was fantastic. Mary Jane was lovely and very knowledgeable. She'd brought all the samples from the book, 150 Scandinavian Knitting Designs and it was really interesting to see and feel what they were like.

150 Scandinavian Knitting Designs by Mary Jane Mucklestone

The main parts of the workshop were learning No Purl Garter Stitch in the round and Norwegian Purl. I normally work stranded knitting with a yarn in each hand, but under Mary Jane's guidance had a go at trying both yarns in my left hand. I think it'll take some practice to get it right but it is always good to have another way of knitting in your skill set. There was lots of other information about the history, steeks, weaving etc. If you ever get a chance to do one of her workshops, I definitely recommend it - she knows her stuff!

I even got my book signed and a complementary badge!

Mary Jane Mucklestone badge

I have plans to make a Scandinavian inspired hot water bottle cover using several of the designs from Mary Jane's book.

This is the before picture...

Monday, 21 October 2013


I've been a bit quiet for the last couple of weeks because I've been on holiday in Yorkshire. We were really lucky with the weather and had a lovely time. Here is the view from our cabin - 

I've never seen so many varieties of mushroom in one place
We visited Whitby, York and Rievaulx Abbey. The abbey was amazing but I didn't take my camera that day, so sorry no pictures. I did take it when we went to Whitby and the abbey there though.

Whitby Abbey
Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey
Whitby Abbey

Here's a couple of my favourites photos - 

Morning Dew

Whitby Beach
I took lots and lots of photos so Mr occupied himself balancing stones on the beach. He'd seen Adrian Gray on BBC's Coast programme doing this and it was absolutely incredible. Pop over and look because they really are incredible. Seemed to defy gravity, so he had a go in miniature.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


Yarndale....wow! I had a fantastic day. A bus load of us from A Good Yarn went on Sunday and it was amazing. First of all, I booked to do a workshop with Amy Singer, aka the editor of Knitty. The workshop was Making the Next Monkey and for anyone who is a designer or a fledgling like me, then it is fantastic. I learnt lots and lots, plus Amy was wonderful. My head was buzzing with ideas all the way home.

Even though, most of my time there was taken up by the workshop, I did managed a bit of time to supplement my stash. I bought Ply magazine, which had some gorgeous patterns in. Haven't got around to reading it yet, but looking forward to it.

Yarndale Purchases

There must be tons of photos of the bunting at Yarndale going around, but there were hundreds of them and the effect en masse was just incredible. Far more incredible in real life, compared to the photos.

Yarndale bunting

Yarndale bunting

Yarndale Stash

Mostly, I bought Garnstudio Drops, 4 balls of Alpaca (in 2 shades of green and 2 balls of cream) and 2 balls of Delight. The top skein is sock yarn from The Knitting Goddess, and I loved the name - "Where There's Muck There's Brass". Mr's favourite colour combination is black/dark grey with burnt orange, so they should be perfect for a pair of socks for him. The grey yarn was the bargain of the day, it was £3 from Artisan Yarns; it was in a bargain bin with no label but it's definitely laceweight and most likely BFL.

I did make one non knitting purchase, which was a Yarndale Sheep kit from Hooked By Design. There was another kit that was stunning, this Reindeer Stocking but I just got one to see how I fair with it, as I've never done any latch hook rugs before. One of the lovely ladies from the knitting group at A Good Yarn, had done the Yarndale Sheep and made it into a bag, which looked so amazing, that it seems to have inspired several of us from A Good Yarn to give it a go ourselves. Here's my progress so far.

Hooked By Design Yarndale Sheep Kit

My first attempt, so perhaps not quite right but I'm enjoying it. Not sure what I'm going to do with the finished rug. Mr suggested turning it into a beanbag footstool. The rest would be made of leather (which we have plenty of). I like the idea but wonder about the logistics of putting it all together.