Sunday, June 29, 2014

Simple Things Sunday

Simple things I enjoyed this week: Visiting family and listening to the husband and the brother-in-law sitting in the sunshine and playing Tam Lin on the banjo and the guitar together, while the children played and occasionally came over to sit and listen while they caught their breath, before darting off again to re-immerse themselves in play. 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Oh no...

... we're having a yarn problem.

I'm experiencing that slightly panicky feeling you get when you can't avoid admitting your yarn addiction any longer.

I didn't even know I had most of these. I was digging around for the right stash yarn for the Garter Yoke Cardigan, for which I've just started a KAL, and I 'found' this box under my desk and, well, this is what was in it. Needless to say that this is not all of my stash. This isn't even half of my stash. It's merely the bit I'd forgotten about.

Should I be worried?

And the worst thing is, I still can't quite determine which yarn to use. I had one in mind, but I think it's not quite the Aran weight that the pattern asks for - it seems thicker to me and the gauge, even with 4 mm rather than 4..5 mm needles isn't quite right.

Oh what to do, what to do...

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Things don't always work out the way we want them to. I was going to give a progress report today, or rather, yesterday, but with one thing and another I don't really have much to show for. Yes, the pink socks are progressing at a fairly steady rate and I've even managed to turn the heel during a brief post-dinner knitting moment at my lovely friend Amy's house, but a just-turned-the-heel-sock isn't all that photogenic so it doesn't make for a very amazing progress picture. I think I shall wait a day or two until I photograph it again.

Crafting has been slow this week. I've had work, obviously, and various lengthy meetings too, and then there were evening engagements, which always means that valuable crafting time is lost. Then boy #2 went on his first ever residential trip and promptly had to come home again that very evening with mild concussion because he ran into another little boy while chasing around. He's fine, but that whole incident obviously made for a rather exciting and knitting-free evening! At least the poor little lad was able to go back the following evening after a day of observation at home. I felt rather bad for him missing out on all the fun.

I've done some thinking about the blog, though. I'll give it a few weeks of course to see if I can truly get back into the habit of posting regularly, but if so I'll have to think about some changes.

1) the name needs to change - I don't even live in Middle England anymore! So that means at the very least a new banner.

2) I think I could do with a tighter framework for the blog. It at once provides some structure for regular posting and it can help me stretch my crafting and photography habits a bit. I've already started this with #simplethingssunday. I like the idea of capturing and posting something from the week, a moment, an activity, something simple yet memorable. It's a lovely way of celebrating the end of each wonderful week, a way of taking stock and of looking back and reflecting and appreciating.

I think, though, I could do with a few more of these. Perhaps not for every day - it's nice to have a bit of freedom too, and I may also not be able to update quite THAT often! I'm contemplating adding a couple more set days, though. I may do Soulemama's This Moment Friday because it's another way of stretching my photography skills and appreciating those little moments. I'm also part of a few Flickr photography groups, so something from there may well feed into the blog too.

And then of course there are the crafting updates. Perhaps I'll reserve a day for those too. That should bring me up to something like this:

Tuesday: WIP Update Tuesday
Friday:  This Moment 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Simple Things Sunday

I've been reading blogs again, and on  Rebecca's blog Simple As That, I came across this photographic contemplation of the week. Since I'm always looking for excuses to take more photographs I thought I'd give it a go.

What I like most about photography is that it encourages you to look at the world with fresh eyes. To pay attention to the little things. The simple things. The small and the ordinary things. It takes those things and celebrates them and shows them in their extraordinary beauty. Having children does something quite similar because little children do all this quite naturally. There is no hierarchy of interest, no 'this is not important'. It's all fascinating, it's all beautiful.

We did oh so much this week, but this weekend we stayed close to home. The weather has been great, and we played in the garden. Today we went to the allotment to harvest strawberries and do some weeding. Hubby cut the grass. In the late afternoon we watched a movie together. It's been a lovely weekend, perhaps even more so because it was so 'ordinary': gardening, playing, watching films. Simple.

(click on the images to go to my Flickr album)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

FO - Tea Leaves Cardigan

It's finished!! 

Yarn: Rowan, Rowanspun dk

The Rowanspun DK was perfect for this project - it's warm and cozy, but not too thick, making it the right choice for a nice lightweight summer cardigan. With that in mind (and because I wanted to finally finish it!) I decided to omit the long sleeves and go with short ones instead. I made the garter stitch hem a little thinner than the pattern suggests because I thought that with the short sleeves it might be too overpowering. Because I was using very large buttons I also made the button holes slightly larger. Otherwise this is knitted as per pattern. 

I'm so in love with this cardigan. Have already been wearing it this evening, despite the fact that it's not even blocked. I can see myself making another one, this time with long sleeves.

Friday, June 20, 2014

You can take the girl away from the crafting but you can't take the crafting away from the girl...

... or something like that.

I've been quiet these past few years. A busy family life with three little boys, a husband, two cats and two chickens, and an equally busy working life will do that to you.

That said, I've not been completely idle on the crafts front. Granted, it's taken me a while to finish even small projects, but the littlest monkey of the clan is 2 now (Already! How did that happen?!) and is showing signs of becoming ever so slightly more sensible and less prone to totally random and erratic behaviour, and boy #2 has joined boy #1 at school now, and it feels like there is a little more room to ... breathe, craft-wise. I've been going to a lovely spinning group, the Beretun Spinners in Barton. The group meets once a month on a Saturday for a whole day of spinning and crafting goodness and although I'm not able to go every month it's been so inspiring to see such wonderful crafters and spinners. Plus of course the sheer luxury of having a few hours off and just to myself once in a while.

Plus, I've been knitting. For far too long now I've had this project on my needles:

It's the Tea Leaves Cardigan (there is a link from Ravelry but I can't be bothered to look it up!!) and I'm knitting it in Rowan's Rowanspun DK in burnt orange. This is a discontinued yarn (sadly, as it's fabulous), but I have a good stash of it. It knits up beautifully, but with this and that, the project has still been languishing in the knitting basket for absolutely ages. I've recently picked it up again and apart from the finishing rows and button holes along the front edge and the adding of a couple of nice buttons it's complete! I can't wait to wear it!

All encouraged by the prospect of finally finishing a WIP I've also picked up an ancient sock project again. I can't even remember what this was supposed to be, because i never got beyond the cuff of sock #1, but I've decided that the pattern is so cheerful that I'll just turn this into a really simple pair of stockinette socks.

Well, here's to more crafting once again. I can't wait! :)