Yarn Along

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On my needles this week Dragonfly socks, on my kindle Happy by Derren Brown.

I’m round the corner on sock one so it’s plain sailing from here and I’m really enjoying watching the pattern emerge across the top of the foot.  I’m still loving this yarn from the West Yorkshire Spinners and have started to question whether to give this pair away as intended or keep them all for myself!

I often find it a struggle to read non fiction books as they don’t hold my attention as well as a story does but I am making an exception for Derren Brown who I love.  When we saw his stage show Miracle last year he talked about the content of the book and I have been waiting for it to be published and downloaded it the day it was released.  And it is good.  But I am considering getting a bit on the side in novel form just to break it up a bit…

Linking up with Ginny and the other yarnalongers sharing what they are reading and working on.

Yarndale!

So as you may know I’ve been a bit excited about visiting Yarndale!  Today was the day and I took a lot of photos of all of the yarny goodness which I would love to share with you here.

I had such a lovely day.  On arrival I went straight to the Knit and Natter lounge to see if I could find my yarn heroes.  And I did!  I had a great chat with Winwick Mum, Christine about how easy to understand her sock pattern is and about the community of sock knitters she has created who have contributed to the sock line.

Then I talked to Lucy from Attic24 and told her all about my Wreaths for Every Season and she gave me a huge cuddle and got excited spotting all of the little details on the photos I showed her of the wreaths together.  Her favourite is the Winter wreath!

Now on to the photos!

Where to start?  How about with the setting?  Yarndale is held at an auction mart in the town of Skipton in the Yorkshire Dales.  The Dales for me perfectly sum up the image of Englands green rolling hills.  The venue is under those green roofs nestled in the hills.

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And because its usually used for the auctioning of livestock rather than the selling of yarny loveliness there are always some animals at the festival.  Here are some I snapped.

I think I’m getting ahead of myself here though showing you the inside while there is still the outside to talk about.  The auction mart is a short walk, through a park, from the town’s train station. There are a pair of decorated buses that shuttle between the two all day.

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I arrived a bit early by design to check out the local pokemon situation and was thrilled to discover a gym at this lovely sheep tucked away in a hidden square, left over from when le Tour de France came through Yorkshire in 2014.

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Then I walked up through the park to the auction mart.  These are just a few of the wonderful yarny decorations that line the route so that you can be sure you are on the right track.

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I think I might have let out a little squeal of delight on arriving as the outside looked amazing.  There were giant mandalas made by Lucy from Attic24, pom poms made by local school children lined the path, there was a totally yarn covered van selling finger puppets and the Thirsk Yarnbombers had covered all of the posts.

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All that before you even get through the door!  I was quite disappointed to find that on arrival on the second day of the festival my sheep and the rest of the flock were nowhere to be seen having all been sold on the first day!  This is fabulous news for the wonderful Martin House who were receiving all of the funds raised by the sheep but it was a shame not to see them all together.

The community projects from previous years were all there and looking great though. The bunting from 2013, mandalas from 2014 and flowers from last year.  Details of all of these projects are on the Yarndale website.

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And I did find my socks amongst around 100 pairs on the sock line!  Read more about them here.  Can you see my pair?

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These were some of the exhibitors displays that caught my eye.

img_5641img_5642Stunningly beautiful batts from Spin City

img_5617Animal heads by Sincerely Louise

fullsizeoutput_599Birds from Sue Stratford.  I backed Sue’s kickstarter campaign to print a book with these patterns in and have my name in the book!  I saw a copy today and am very excited about it arriving in the post this week.

img_5620This is made from lace by the Craven Guild of Lacemakers.  One of their members was kind enough to chat with me for a while about non-traditional lace making.  Maybe one for me to try in the future.

img_5624cuddlebums rainbows!

fullsizeoutput_59aDon’t you just want to squish it!  This is from Five Moons

img_5632Not sure about the practicalities but I would LOVE to wear a skirt like this! Wooly Knit

img_5634I love these colours on these loose skeins In The Wool Shed

img_5639And these ones from Baa Ram Ewe

And a massive 8kg ball of yarn from Woolly Mahoosive and my reaction to it being considerably bigger than my head!

To counteract the gurning a nicer photo of me wearing my shawl made from Cuddlebums yarn.  I had a lovely chat with Jodi who recognised my shawl immediately and several other people who also made shawls in our make-along.

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And finally my purchases!

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Phew, what a day!  I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Ready for Yarndale

Do you remember my Yarndale Socks?  Well the time has finally arrived and this weekend is the time for the lovely woolly festival!  I’m so excited to be heading into the Yorkshire Dales for some serious shopping and inspiration gathering.

And I’m ready!

Its weeks and weeks since I posted off my socks for Christine’s sock line and my sheep for Lucy’s flock so I will be looking out for them when I get there and following along once I get home to see where their onwards journeys take them.

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Last year at Yarndale I saw a scarf pattern I liked pretty soon after entering the auction mart and then did 3 circuits of the hall looking for the perfect yarn to make it with.  I found   Jodi at Cuddlebums and her rainbows were exactly what I was looking for. I bought my first (of very many!) skein of hand dyed yarn from her and made a Seafoam Scarf with it.

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When Jodi announced that she would be making a Rainbows in Yarndale box for fans of her yarn to makes shawls to wear to this year’s Yarndale I jumped to sign up for it.  I made mine into a Color Affection which I will be proudly wearing to identify myself as a Cuddlebums lover. Oh and I made my sheep’s coat with this yarn too!

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And attached to my hand bag will be this teeny sock so that other members of the Sockalong will be able to spot me.

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So if you are also heading to Yarndale look out for me wearing my shawl and sporting my teeny sock somewhere about my person.  I expect I’ll be carrying lots of bags and stroking yarn!  If you can’t make it then check back here for photos after the weekend!

Yarn Along

 

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On my needles this week my first attempt at a lace patterned sock.  On my kindle Oroonoko by Aphra Behn.

I really enjoyed The Vizard Mask which I finished this week. It’s historical fiction with many of the characters being real as opposed to fictional, including Aphra Behn.  Around the end of the book Aphra finishes writing her short novel Oroonoko and so it seemed a sensible next step for me to that read next.  First published in 1688 its great to read something written by a woman credited with being one of the first female playwrights and authors.

The sock is the Dragonfly pattern by Jocelyn Sertich in yarn in my very favourite colour.  Its signature 4ply from the West Yorkshire Spinners in Blue Raspberry.

Linking up with other people sharing what they are reading and crafting in the Yarn Along

A Wreath for Every Season

In September last year a friend of mine with a habit of starting wonderful Facebook groups asked if anyone would like to join her in a makealong to craft a Christmas wreath inspired by this one by Attic24. The idea was to tackle one element every couple of weeks and with plenty of time and the help of a supportive group everyone would have something gorgeous by the time the festive season rolled around.  I scrolled on by!  My crochet skills were limited to a wonky granny square and I’m not very good at not being good at things.  But, great friend that she is she directly recruited me with promises of support and fun.

And so I joined!  I found the stripy wreath cover with all of its rows of single crochet to be too intimidating so I bought a variegated yarn and started knitting a scarf shape in simple garter stitch.  Once that was done I started trying to crochet some flowers, got in a right muddle and strop and wondered what I was doing.  The turning point for me was a trip to Yarndale, a creative festival held nearby.  I went with a few of my friends from the group and there we met the lovely Lucy from Attic24.  She was so excited to hear that there were around 30 of us all working together to make ourselves things inspired by her that it really spurred me on to keep trying.  And by the end of November 2015 I had my first crochet wreath.

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The holly, berries, stars and snowflakes were all Attic24 patterns and the first things I was ever proud to crochet.  The eagle eyed among you will notice I chickened out of amigurumi and knitted the robin!  He’s a pattern by Amanda Berry.

Well Christmas came and went and despite taking all of the rest of my Christmas decorations down on the 27th December as is my habit I couldn’t bring myself to take down the robin!  So I started work on a new wreath to replace him and came up with this effort for the rest of winter. (The robin stayed in situ well into January while I was working on mouse)

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By this time I was feeling a little more confident and crocheted the base but still using a variegated yarn.  I stuck with the familiar for the decorations and used more Attic24 patterns, some of which I’d already made for Christmas. And I knitted the little mouse using this lovely Sarah Gasson pattern.  With a little scarf to keep him warm.

By this time I knew I didn’t want to move through the year without a crochet wreath on the wall and started work on spring so that it was all ready to switch in to place when the weather changed.

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No knitting this time, just lots of spring crochet flowers all bursting into bloom and  a little bird perched in the middle.  The pansies are a pattern by Carola Wilma and everything else is of course Attic24.  Seriously, you should take a look around her blog at the wonderfully easy, step by step free patterns she publishes, I am a huge fan.

And as it always does, spring gave way to summer…

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The first time I used different coloured yarn to crochet all of my stripes! This one probably looks very familiar to those who have seen my Butterfly Flowerpot and Little Bee Flowerpot as it was walking past this wreath that gave me the idea for the pots.  The butterfly pattern is from Crochet Zone, I used the same pattern and same yarn to make all 3 sizes I just changed hook size.  The bee pattern is from Moho Blog and the roses are my beloved Lucy Attic24.

Which brings us to the last one, finished just a few days ago and blogged in detail my Autumn Wreath.  But for consistencies sake I think it needs its photo here too.

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I am so proud of how far I have come in just 12 short months.  From being scared to even try and make a crochet wreath incase I failed right through to having made 5 of them confidently and considering making them for other people in the next 12 months.  What a difference a year makes 🙂

And finally, just because they look so lovely all together, one more photo showing the progression through the seasons.

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Autumn Wreath

Autumn is the 5th seasonal wreath I have made in the last 12 months (Christmas is absolutely a season!) but the first I have made since starting blogging.  So I am very excited about this post and consequently it is loaded with ALL the photos of the stages of this wreath.  I am planning to pull together a separate post with all 5 wreaths and the story of how they came to be in the next few days.

But for now this is autumn!

Over the last year I have amassed quite a collection of Stylecraft Special DK.  This is an acrylic yarn but it is not at all squeaky and feels lovely and soft.  It is also cheap as chips and available in lots of different colours and so its my go to for pretty much everything I make that isn’t for wearing.  While this wreath was in the planning stages I emptied out the acrylic drawer and discovered that my yarn shopping was heavily influenced by my favourite colours and I had 24 different shades of green, blue and purple and nothing at all autumnal. So brand new balls it was!

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This was what I chose. Clockwise from the yellowy shade at the top they are Mustard, Meadow, Khaki, Parchment, Sandstone, Mocha, Walnut, Dark Brown, Claret, Copper, Spice and Gold.  Also in this photo is the 30cm polystyrene half wreath, it’s flat on the back, that was the base for all of the yarny stuff.  I bought mine from Amazon in a pack of 5.

I have mentioned before how heavily influenced my wreaths have been by Lucy at Attic24 and this one is no exception.  And so it started with a stripy wreath cover made up from row after row after row of double crochet stitches (UK terminology, US SC).  I got carried away watching the West Wing while crocheting and so forgot to take a photo of the flat, finished cover before it was sewn on but you can see it not long after I started it in this Yarn Along post.

This is what it looks like on the base.

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Then I made some leaves.  Lots of leaves!

 

Maple leaves, pattern by The Painted Hinge. I loved arranging these like the sycamore leaves in my blog header image.

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Oak leaves. Pattern for the lacy gold one by Jo-Ann.  The others by Pattern Paradise.

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And lots and lots of little leaves from my favourite Attic24 pattern.

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I love autumn leaves so much.  I really enjoyed taking some of my yarn leaves to the woods to be photographed with real leaves from trees.

As tempting as it was to just use leaves we needed some extras. So next came…

A conker, pattern by Happy Berry Crochet

A big toadstool pattern by No Day Without Yarn and a little one pattern by Annaboo’s House

And a hedgehog, pattern by Crochet Stitch Witch.  This little hedgehog is so sweet I’m sure she will make me smile every time she catches my eye sat in her little bed of leaves. Of course I couldn’t resist photographing her in her leaves before I pinned her onto the wreath base!

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So….

One stripey wreath base, thirty autumn leaves, two toadstools, a conker and an adorable hedgehog all pinned together makes….

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An autumn wreath 🙂

Yarn Along

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On my hook this week a toadstool.  On my kindle The Vizard Mask by Diana Norman.

I have now made enough leaves for my wreath and have moved on to making the fun little characterful additions.  I should be done this week and will write a full blog post with links to all of the patterns I’ve used along the journey.

I’ve enjoyed making this although the weather has remained stubbornly summery rather than embracing my shift in to autumn!  I am looking forward to casting on some knitting after this period of crochet.  I know I could have a couple of projects on the go but I find sticking single track helps to keep me focussed on actually finishing things!

The Vizard Mask is thus far proving to be a great read.  Another historical novel weaving fictional stories amongst real events.  This time the plague in London in 1665.

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers sharing what they are reading and working on.