Yarn Along

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At about 9pm yesterday I finished knitting a pair of socks (Twist and Turn by Clare Devine from the 2018 The Knitting Goddess Sock Club), I’ll blog them soon.  Shortly after midnight I finished reading my book.  And so I find myself sitting here, on Yarn Along day, with empty needles and no book on the go!

The book choice is easy to make, I’m going to read The Other Americans by Laila Lalami because its top of my library pile.  I can’t remember why I added it to my library reserve list anymore, I prefer to go into books entirely blind without knowing anything at all about them, but I suspect I saw that it was garnering positive press somewhere.

The knitting on the other hand is a whole different struggle!  The sensible part of me feels that I should definitely cast on the final pair of socks from last year’s Sock Club and see if I can get them done before we are halfway through this year.  I’ve even balled the yarn, it’s the lovely sea green on the far right of the photograph and is a blend of Blue Faced Leicester and Nylon.  I’ve also printed the pattern, Short and Sweet by Clare Devine, but I’ve knit a lot of socks recently and quite fancy a change.

The balled blue at the bottom of the image has been in my stash since I first started knitting and visited Yarndale for my first time way back in 2015.  I started something with it years ago but it was above my skill level and ended up unwound.  I really should make something with this yarn but its not speaking to me.

The other yarn in the photo, the blue with rainbow flash dyed by Arwen Makes; the navy and pink toned variegated a souvenir from my trip to Cambridge in 2016 and dyed by Sparkleduck; and the purple and contrast which is from Malabrigo and I think is desperate to be a Toph hat by Woolly Wormhead; all these yarns jumped off the shelf and in to my arms when I asked myself what should I knit next.

The answer, I still don’t know! I also want to learn brioche but I suspect none of these yarns are what I’d use to try out a new skill.  What a fabulous, first world problem to have, to be so spoiled for choice.  Please wish me luck as I try to figure it out!

Linking up with Ginny and the other Yarn Alongers 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!

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.

Jewel Rainbow Breathe Shawl

I finished my shawl! Just 3 days ago I published a Yarn Along post in which I described this shawl as never ending and yet it turns out a rainy bank holiday weekend was all that was needed to get it finished.
But before I rush straight into the finished article here’s a bit of background.  Last month I was browsing a Facebook group of lovely yarny people and saw a photograph of a Hitchhiker shawl made from a beautiful yarn that looked like little flashes of rainbow on a darker base. Straightaway I had to ask where it was from.  It was hand dyed by the wonderful Arwen Makes and was called Jewel Rainbow.  I got in touch but she didn’t have any more of this colour way on a sock weight yarn for me to recreate the shawl I had fallen for. She did however have two skeins of the same colour on a DK weight Donegal Nep so I snapped them up!


Then I started searching Ravelry for something to make that would show it off. I chose the Breathe shawl by Siew Clark which you can get for free here.  It seemed like a fairly straightforward pattern and I thought the eyelets would help the heavier weight yarn to drape nicely. I also liked that it was a chilled out pattern that can be worked in any yarn, with any needles to make any size.

I cast mine on to 4.5mm needles and planned to go until I ran out of yarn. And despite a couple of wobbles where I was sorely tempted to bind off earlier I did indeed continue until there was just 20g left (the buffer being there because the last 4 rows are a different pattern and I couldn’t face a game of yarn chicken).

So would you like to see? How about a little close up tease?

Sorry what was that? You want to see the finished shawl? Oh go on then!

Now just to wait for a cool, crisp day to snuggle up under those beautiful rainbows.