Last weekend I went to the Unravel Festival at Farnham Maltings. I had an excellent time and bought a whole lot of yarn. Above is a rather cheesy recap video of my weekend. Filmed on my phone, but I think gives you a flavour. If you love yarn or fibre and are close by it would be well worth taking a look next year!
Here is a list of some of the vendors featured in the video;
Farnham Maltings Unravel site
Susan Crawford Vintage (Presentation)
Natural Dye Studio
The start of an Anniversary Sharf in beautiful pumpkin colours
I don’t know about you, but Autumn is my favourite season. It shouldn’t be. We have horrid windy rainy days and those days are getting darker and shorter. However I think what I love is the riot of colour that explodes on the trees. I’m a sucker for colour and in my opinion Autumn leaves trumps summer flowers any day.
With the beginning of Autumn well and truly here I find myself in a whirlwind of projects. Not only am I continuing the light summer projects of scarves and shawls, I’ve also hauled the blanket projects back out that were too heavy to work on during the hotter months. So now I have even more projects on the go then I did a month ago! I feel like I’m drowning in them.
To an extent it feels like my head is spinning. I’ve a terrible attention span and hardly ever finish a project before starting a new one. It’s driving me up the wall a little. I know some people who crank out projects at lightening speed and still have time to design patterns at the same time. There must be a way to approach all this. Does anyone find a particular method is useful?
Tunisian crochet blanket pulled from the cupboard, ready to be worked on again.
I think perhaps because a lot of things that I create are not for a particular purpose or person that could be what stops me from finishing. No deadline means no pressure to finish? Or is it because I’m a perfectionist and often half way through a project I decide its not exactly what I had in mind and this puts me off?
I’d love to know what people think. How do you manage projects, keep yourself motivated and deal with the influx of projects that come with the Autumn/Winter season?
A tutorial demonstrated on the Anniversary Sharf project showing how to YO at the beginning of a row. Please excuse the colour changes in the video as I’m still in my learning curve. I will look to resolve the issue in future videos.
Valerie Bracegirdle’s pattern for the Anniversary Sharf on Ravelry is here
My Ravelry project page is here
The WIP video for this project is here
My current work in progress the Anniversary Sharf by Valerie Bracegirdle.
Find my Ravelry project page here;
The pattern is available to purchase on Ravelry here;
Find the Agrarian Artisan KAL Ravelry thread here;
Last weekend I took part in the Beginner Sock class at The Sheep Shop with Louise Tilbrook. I’ve had a crack at socks before, and by that I mean I started a two at a time top down magic loop method. It’s crazy, I always jump right in and whether I’m capable or not and try the most interesting looking thing. You can see my first, and as yet unfinished, attempt here.
I wanted to really get a handle on proper socks. With all the lovely 4 ply yarn I have, I have never made a pair of knitted socks. I also wanted to get to grips with double pointed needles. I was aware of the theory, but have never been brave enough to try. I picked up some needles and some rather uninteresting but hard wearing yarn the week before. I wanted yarn that I could undo and redo many times as I was sure I was going to do that in class. I mentioned the yarn in this post, it is the first yarn I talk about.
The class was wonderful. Just the right number of people. I managed to drop my needles about every 5 mins for the whole 3 hours. At various points I ended up with less needles in the project than I should have had. It was like a yarny game of kerplunk.
Through all that I still managed to produce a smaller than toddler sock, but the main thing is that it included all the techniques needed to make a full size sock. We decided my miss formed sock was more of a cat/dog sock than a toddler sock. I was going to try and get Cleo to model it for you, but I don’t fancy my chances.
Of course I came straight home and cast on some proper adult size socks. I’ve managed to get past the heel turn so I think that in it’s self confirms that the class is a success. It looks like Louise is doing another class in April, so if you are interested I would highly recommend it. I’ve also just noticed she is doing a toe up class in May, I shall have to sign up for that!
Being new to Haverhill and the surrounding area I wanted to make sure I branch out and meet some new people. I also wanted to have a taste of exploring a little on my own, which is not something I really did that much when I was back in Basildon. What better way to get out and about than a yarny adventure!
Having investigated local yarn shops I found The Sheep Shop in Cambridge. The website told me that they also do classes and knitting groups. Jackpot! I decided to take myself along to the Friday morning knitting group. They have a Ravelry group so I introduced myself there first. I was given lots of lovely directions and a warm hello.
The bus trip in from Haverhill to Cambridge was reasonable. It takes about 50 mins on a double-decker, which was surprisingly nimble through the various villages. I got off the bus with a little less time than I had hoped and ended up walking double time to the shop. It took about 15 mins from the bus station. To start off with I was getting a little worried that I couldn’t find the shop, I knew it was on a residential street from the website, but I just wasn’t seeing it. Just as I was pulling out my phone to work out where I had gone wrong, I looked up and there it was!
The ladies of the group were very friendly and expecting me as they had seen my post on Ravelry. It was really lovely to meet the ladies of the group and talk about all the projects they were working on and planning. I was told all about Fiber-East and how wonderful it is. It was brilliant to find a group of such warm and talented ladies all together.
The shop itself is beautiful, cozy and warm. I really liked all the various samples of patterns and designs made up and displayed around the shop. I got a lot of inspiration from one visit and I imagine I will end up parting with a lot of money in this shop! I plan to try and make it to the Friday morning groups as much as possible. It was wonderful to discuss projects, charity work, craft shows and general knitter natter in such a beautiful little shop.
After the group I wandered back into the center of Cambridge along the river. It was a beautiful day and very scenic. I looked for a cafe that was recommended by the ladies for lunch, Michaelhouse Cafe on Trinity Street. I was certainly not disappointed by the food. Locally sourced produce with yummy homemade recipes. I’d certainly recommend a visit for breakfast or lunch if you are in Cambridge.
I spent some more time wandering around the town sight seeing and visiting quite the biggest Waterstone’s I’ve ever encountered. I get the feeling that it will take months for me to really get a feel for the city and all it has to offer. The bus station is thankfully (as I was half an hour early for my bus) is situated right next to Christ’s Pieces park. I lounged there for a while before I boarded my bus. I can’t wait to see if I can make it back next week!
I have a lot of WIP’s, I’m just that kind of person. I love to start a project and often while I’m working on a project I’m dreaming up/dreaming of the next. You can see in the below picture a small selection of the projects I have on the go at the moment.
I and my husband are set to move to Suffolk in just under a month, so the projects you can see are the projects that I have not packed away yet as I think I might be working on them before we move. I really like to have them all lined up there within easy reach, so as the mood takes me I can just reach out and grab them.
The project I have been spending most of the time on at the moment is my Garter Squish Blanket. It is a lovely mindless knit that is easily picked up and knit when I really can’t summon the brain power for anything with a complicated pattern.
I stumbled across the Garter Squish pattern by Stephen West on Ravelry and instantly knew I had to knit it. Having gone through some of my stash in the run up to the move I am very aware of how large my stash is now. I’ve also a lot of acrylic DK in my stash from when I very first started crochet, that I don’t often use any more as I have moved on to more interesting yarns. This blanket seemed a superb answer to that over flow of stash. I really love simple knit patterns that really show of the yarn and the texture of this pattern is wonderful. It certainly does what it says on the tin, it is the most squishy piece of knitted fabric I’ve made to date and I just can’t wait to curl up in it!
I’m using 10mm (US 15) Knit-Pro interchangeable needles with a 150cm cable. I’m really enjoying these chunky needles, they make a very pleasing mellow sound as they click together. I have no idea what colour the blanket it will end up being over all, I’m trying my best to just grab the next ball of yarn as I need it and hopefully get a nice surprise!
The pattern features a nice i-cord edging, which I have never done before. I’m quite pleased about how it is coming out. I think, if I have read the pattern correctly, it has an i-cord bind off also. That should be a bit challenge to my newly formed knitting skills. I did attempt to do an i-cord cast on, but I couldn’t get the hang of it and in the end I decided not to use it as it wasn’t specified in the pattern anyway. I think I might come to regret that a little. If all the sides have a lovely edging except my cast on edge it might look a little strange. I will have to just comfort myself with the fact that it is after all a comfort blanket to curl up in on cold winter nights, not a piece that I plan to impress anyone with.
Having had a browse of Stephen West’s website West Knits, I can see I’m going to love a lot of his designs. I shall have to dedicate myself to improving my knitting skills to take the plunge and see if I can attempt some of his other designs. There I go dreaming of the next project again before this one is finished…