The perfect antidote…

As the evenings draw in (it was *dark* at 7:40 here yesterday evening!!) and the mornings start misty and cool I always mourn the passing of another summer. As a ‘yarn peddler’ I have an internal emotional tussle each year as Autumn envelops us, for I am truly a ‘summer soul’… Sandals, blue skies, elderflower cordial, skin warmed by the sun, Swallows & Swifts, paddling in the sea… these are the things that make me truly happy (and knitting of course ;-) ). So, as the inevitable passing of my favourite season becomes more and more apparent I need to look to the little things that remind that Autumn is a wonderful season too…

Of course, I need look no further than my needles. And Autumn is surely the season of the shawl… time to air the myriad that have been carefully stored away for many months, time to be grateful for the cosy warmth as the first cup of tea is still sipped outside whenever possible, time to sit knitting in the evening relishing the additional comfort of some fine gauge shoulder apparel…

And, of course, time to knit some more!

This is the gorgeous Pebble Beach Shawlette

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Designed by Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade, it was the winner of the Unwind Brighton Design Competition back in June and I bookmarked it straight away, knowing that it was destined to hit my needles as soon as it was on general release…

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By a serendipitous coincidence, just as the pattern became available we had a surprise delivery (also resulting from the Unwind show in Brighton) of Sweet Georgia ‘Tough Love’ Sock yarn and so pattern and yarn became intrinsically linked in my mind and I had no choice but to cast on the first shawl of the ‘season’ in this lovely yarn…

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The yarn is a ‘proper’ sock blend of Superwash Merino (80%) and Nylon (20%) and is hand dyed in a range of layered tonal ‘jewel’ shades that would, of course, make jaw-droppingly beautiful socks but are also absolutely made for shawls, scarves and lightweight sweaters…

DSCF4356I chose ‘Slate’. Imagine wet slate on a Welsh hillside, glimmering with subtle mauves among the charcoal greys and you won’t be far off. This is a wonderfully complex shade that will coordinate with all manner of cardigans, jackets and eventually coats as we head further into ‘knitting season’…

The pattern was a dream to knit. My favourite combination of simple repetition and interesting construction (it starts with a few stitches cast on and knits out from the centre top…) it positively flew off the needles. Go on, knit yourself one and join me in celebrating the arrival of Autumn with a new shawl…

All the details of my knit are here on Ravelry.

Purple Patch… Part 2!

We found ourselves taking a stroll (with puppy!) around Westleton Heath last Sunday. Having dropped the oldest boy at an RSPB wildlife club at nearby Minsmere we took the opportunity to introduce Miss Monty to one of our favourite walks…

It was all quite purple!

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Armed only with my ancient iPod as a camera I still couldn’t resist trying to capture the spirit of the heathland…

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So, apologies for the quality but hopefully you get the gist!

The boys romped off with the puppy (who was moving too quickly to grab any useable photos!)

And we found a handy ‘tree chair’ to take a break…

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He’s up quite high…

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Monty found lots of friends to frolic with (her preference seems to be a big Retreiver or Labrador to have a splash around in a muddy puddle with and she was in luck!) and a friendly postman in his little red van waited patiently while we corralled excited puppy and even shared with us that he was en route to an old hunting lodge buried deep in the forest and the track we were walking on was the remains of a Roman Road that led to the (then bustling) port of Dunwich. Our walks are always full of interesting people and places!

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We saw some wonderful fungi, including this perfect Fly Agaric, as yet unblemished… a sure sign that Autumn is almost here!

Miss Monty ended up looking pretty much like this – it would appear Springers quite like muddy water…

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No… you can’t come into the house!

Ah, the benefits of a ‘stable’ door into the kitchen!

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Purple patch…

I don’t ‘do’ purple…

Never have…

It’s just not me…

Except, I recently found myself wearing purple plimsolls… and fondling skeins of Madelinetosh Vintage in ‘Briar’

So maybe I do ‘do’ purple after all. I think it might be the fading ‘red’ hair that has brought me round to a shade I always avoided in my youth? Yes, that hair was once a rather lovely shade of Auburn believe it or not! (maybe I’ll have to dig out some childhood pics to prove it – even Chris doesn’t quite believe me as when we met it was bleached white blonde and it never really got back to its natural shade before the ageing process kicked in and I started heading rapidly towards natural ‘white blonde’!!)

Meet Lady Marple

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It definitely felt Autumnal at 7am this morning and the leaves of the Liquidambar (Sweet Gum) tree outside our back door are ‘on the turn’ already. A soft mist hung over the marsh and as Miss Monty and I did a circuit to make sure all was well with the world I was glad I’d picked up my new cardigan in the rush to get the very excitable puppy out of the door (before the excitement resulted in a puddle on the floor… oh puppy, you are delightful but I could live without the puddles on the floor!)

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It’s a pattern from Nadia Crétin-Léchenne – available to download via Ravelry as a PDF – and utilises the same lace pattern that I used when I knit my sister a cardigan a year or so ago. I’ve always had visions of recreating her cardi for myself but I’m not one to knit things more than once so hadn’t quite got around to it. This was the perfect solution. Knit in a heavier (than last time) worsted weight yarn it was super quick and therefore also super satisfying to knit. I think it will be the Autumn staple… especially as the trees around us do their magic and we slowly see our world turn shades of purple…

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And yes, I do still need a haircut and no, I hadn’t ironed my linen shirt… life is far too short!

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 It’s also perfect for contemplating the endless breakfast possibilities with a hungry 8 year old ;-)

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All the details of my knit are here on Ravelry.

 

Meet my new sweater…

A versatile, slightly quirky, lightweight sweater that I finished just in time for the first cooler mornings and evenings… Perfect for that first stroll across to the hens, making that first cup of tea at the little table just outside the back door a pleasure as the first hint of Autumn mists greet us this September!

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The pattern is Antler by Ankestrick. The mustard yarn is Eden Cottage Yarn’s Milburn. It’s Victoria’s ‘mill dyed’ range of 4ply yarn that is a lovely blend of Bluefaced Leicester wool & Silk, combined with SofTrope Singles in ‘Aphra’ for the cuffs and hem detail. Both were lovely to knit with and had very different qualities. The Milburn is ‘woolly’ with a slightly slubby feel due to the silk content, whereas the sofTrope – being a single ply – is incredibly smooth and soft to knit with and slightly ‘thick & thin’ as non-plied yarns tend to be…

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Knit using the ‘contigious’ top down method and with a garter stitch top half, stocking stitch body and nifty garter side seam details, it also has a garter ‘armband’ and contrast lower sleeves and body. I think this might become an Autumn favourite. Especially as it coordinates effortlessly with my staple uniform of dark navy or grey jeans!

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As always, when I look at the photos Chris has taken of me ‘modelling’ (I use that word loosely!) a finished project, my first comment is ‘Goodness, I need a haircut’ !!

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Now, I think that was all… wait, what’s that you say? Who’s the puppy?

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Ah yes, the latest addition to our already slightly crazy family… meet “Miss Monty”.

A lovely Field Springer pup who has been here for 3 weeks or so and already feels like the perfect companion for us all. Chris and the boys already have her retrieving and ‘sitting’ on command… she’s really quite charming – if not just a little – erm – ‘enthusiastic’ on occasion ;-)

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{this moment}

Inspired by the wonderful Soulemama.

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, savour and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.
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{this moment}

Inspired by the wonderful Soulemama.

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, savour and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

 

Froggy

{this moment}

Inspired by the wonderful Soulemama.

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, savour and remember.

If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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