Tuesday, 18 August 2015

A Few Days Away

Recently 3 of us visited my parents in Norfolk for a few days.  The sun was shining and we stopped en route for a picnic on some hills shared by sheep and golfers!
Having arrived at our destination we went for a walk during the evening across the farmland,
 admiring the famous Norfolk skies
and the colours of the clouds lit up by the setting sun.
The next day we headed to the coast for yet another picnic, this time on a heath with a beautiful view of the sea.
We set out on foot towards the coast, past some locals!
We stopped off at Beeston Regis church, which is situated at the top of the cliff.

 Inside is an ornate 15th century rood screen featuring the twelve Apostles.

From there we walked along the coast path,
over Beeston Bump,

where there was once a "Y" station

 We headed to Sheringham for a mooch around
and for a ice cream from my favourite ice cream parlour! :)

For the return journey we walked along the beach,

climbing over the rock pools to see some fish, crabs and sea anemones.
The next day we went dragon hunting in Norwich!
Each summer there is a charity event in the city organised by Wild in Art.  This year there were dragons dotted around the city centre and a few other areas.

Out of the 84 dragons we managed to find 57 before we ran out of time.
We did a lot of walking that day!
 The artwork on the dragons was amazing!

 Some were historical and some were narrative.
We took a pit stop at a cafe in this lovely old church, before continuing our dragon hunt.
 My absolute favourite was Luda, painted by Kieron Williamson, a young Norfolk boy famous for his artwork.

The next day we took a change of scene again and visited Felbrigg Hall.
 There was a chilli festival there that day and I spotted this hawker dragonfly taking a break.
After a picnic we walked around the gardens


 and then toured the house.



 Next we walked around the parkland.


 Our short break ended all too soon and it was time to return home.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Falling Down a Rabbit Hole!

I'm still working on my Silver Lining Shawl as part of Alicia Plummer's Thunderstorm MKAL,
using Selkino from the Skein Queen and my stitch markers
and progress keeper that I made.  I've fallen a little behind with this project, but hope to catch up soon.  I'm still loving taking part in the MKAL, but have just been distracted by other projects!
One such project was this mermaid featured in a recent magazine.  I don't often make toys, but she appealed to me.
When we were having some hot weather I enjoyed sitting on our patio stitching a blackwork panel for my patchwork project bag.  Unfortunately, it has been wet and windy here recently so I haven't been sitting outside stitching.
I am working on my Low Tide Cardi by Tin Can Knits as part of Little Bobbins Knits Purposeful Stash Along.  I have completed the front of the bodice and I'm now working on the back.
Earlier in the month the Skein Queen's Attic had an open day.
So many beautiful yarns to choose from!
I came home with an armful of Enchant.  Perfectly named!  I'm itching to start using these hanks, but I must finish off my current WIP's!!
What is actually slowing down my progress on those projects is that rabbit hole!  On our way home from M's graduation ceremony we visited Fibre Hut to purchase my birthday present.

This is what we ordered - an Ashford Joy 2.  
It arrived on the Tuesday afternoon and I soon had it ready for spinning.
I started with the Cheviot fibre, kindly given to me by the lady at Fibre Hut.

I plied it with some Plotulopi, but I although I was having fun, I wasn't very happy with the end result.

I am attempting to rescue the fibre and turn it into a usable yarn! My original attempt was over spun in places as my feet get carried away sometimes, but I'm getting better. :)
After my first try at plying I knew I needed a Lazy Kate!  This makes plying so much easier!

Next I decided to risk spinning this beautiful braid from Hilltop Cloud.
I find that splitting and slightly pre-drafting the fibre has helped me to spin a more even yarn.
Still a little over spun in places, but hopefully plying and washing will help.

Seascape plied and now waiting to be soaked and thwacked.
I had been saving Rhubarb Crumble from Pinki Punki, until I felt a little more confident as I really didn't want to mess it up!
I prepared the fibre again.  I always use my Nana's wooden fruit bowl to hold my fibre and it feels as though she is there with me whilst I spin.
Getting better at controlling my feet! :)


Plied and just waiting for a warmer, drier day to be washed, as I thwack my yarn outside on the edge of the patio table.
Next I had a problem ... I didn't have anymore fibre in the house, except for this project that I had started on my drop spindle.
I knew there would be pitfalls when plying, but I decided to spin the other half of the fibre on my wheel.
The drop spindled yarn is thinner than the wheel spun yarn and as I had weighed the fibre to roughly match the colours up, this meant that I had to play with the length of it whilst plying.
It didn't turn out too bad.  I had to spin the rest of the purple on a second bobbin.  I now realise that I need bigger bobbins and a freedom flyer for my wheel! ;)
I was still left with the problem of having no fibre left in the house, but luckily I had planned to go to Fibre East.  I carried my camera around all day, but didn't take a single photo with it! That is so unlike me!!  I did take this one photo with my iPhone.
I had hoped to meet up with people I know from online, but that wasn't to be.  I just had to console myself with a spot of retail therapy. ;)
I stocked up on fibre.  I'm not sure, but I may combine this white and grey together for a project.
I'm going to wait for the right project before spinning these.
I have plans for a winter scarf with this Falkland merino and silk, but I need that freedom flyer first.
Beautifully dyed BFL from Wildcraft.
Art yarn fibre in amazing colours from Coastal Colours.
This is so soft!
Alpaca, merino, llama fibre on an old silk mill bobbin.  It could make a lovely edging to a shawl.
Botticelli's Girl is a blend of BFL, baby alpaca and tussah silk.
And I couldn't resist these gorgeous yarns:-
Maiden Hair and Sea Silk by Hand Maiden Fine Yarn
I'm hoping to combine these two together to make a shawl.  The Maiden Hair colours remind me of fossil hunting on the South Coast of England.
Alpaca Sock by The Wool Barn
I was spoilt for choice at this stall.  So many beautiful hanks of yarn!  I settled on Summer Fete, the middle hank in the photo below and then matched the other two colours to it.  I'm thinking there should be enough to knit a top or cardigan.
Westminster in Purple Martin by Kettle Yarn Co.
Bought to knit Talavera from the latest Pompom magazine.
And two hanks of Diana 4ply from fivemoons - Silver Mist
and Anthra, to be used with the pink and blue Diana I purchased at Unwind last year.
My final goodies from the day were the Pompom Quarterly magazine that I mentioned previously, another cable for my ChiaoGoo Twist needles, a set of Fripperies and Bibelots heart shaped stitch markers and a pretty diz from Wildcraft.
On arriving back home my cheeky boy asked, "How much fibre do you need?!"  I replied, "There's no point having a spinning wheel if I haven't got any fibre!"  ;)  Luckily my husband agrees. :)
And with all that bouncy fibre and those squishy yarns, my landing at the bottom of the rabbit hole will be a soft one! :)