Wednesday, 28 October 2015

More October Outings

My husband and I have been taking advantage of the lovely autumn weather that we have been having here in the South of England and we have been out and about most weekends.
A favourite place of ours to shop is Winchester.  It is such a beautiful place steeped in history.
 We arrived at lunchtime and were tempted by the menu into this patisserie.
 We each ordered a pot of tea.  Mine was Rose of the Orient, a blend of Sencha, Gunpowder, China Wu Lu and Pai Mu Tan, flavoured with jasmine, cornflower blossom and rose bud.
I ordered Eggs Florentine and my husband had Eggs Royale.  Delicious!
 We then couldn't resist the spiders for dessert!
 My husband ate Boris!
 I devoured Hegarty!
 They each were made from a chocolate case, enclosing a raspberry-filled sponge onto which sat a spider with a cream-filled profiterole body, chocolate truffle head and chocolate legs.
There were other equally gruesome desserts to be had, especially made for Halloween.
As I have previously mentioned, we recently visited Avebury Manor.
 In this National Trust property each room has been renovated to reflect a period of the house's history.  All the artifacts in the rooms are either repaired or reproduction and visitors are actively encouraged to play with them.

 Right next to the manor are the Avebury Stone Circles and Avenue.  We walked around them during late afternoon when most people had left.

 It was almost dusk when we walked down The Avenue and it was so very quiet and atmospheric.

|As a total change of pace, last weekend we headed to The Om Yoga Show at Alexandra Palace.
 We started our day with a Ganesha Flow class lead by Katy Appleton.
My husband bought himself a new outfit and I bought a selection of tops
and a cotton yoga mat.
 We also took part in a Thai Yoga massage class with Ralf Marzen.  My husband was very gentle with me as he didn't want to hurt me, but I didn't hold back! ;)
 This week I treated myself to a day course, stitching with Caroline Zoob.  The course was held in her friend's house, which was only an hour's drive away for me.  We sat and stitched in the garden room for most of the day.
 After a talk by Caroline we were allowed to choose our fabrics from her gorgeous stash of vintage material.
 We were each given a square of handmade paper to mount our work on to when we have finished.  This photo shows how I planned to place my patches of fabric and ideas of where I may put some lace.
Next we machine stitched the pieces of fabric together and then cut out and applied some applique.
There were so many beautiful threads to choose from.
On the day I started stitching this flower
 and have since completed it with a centre of French knots and a stem stitch stem; appropriately!  I have added some grass and may stitch a few French knots in the grass and the flower is probably going to have an appliqued leaf.
 Today I have been stitching around the appliqued heart. This background fabric is so very delicate!
I plan to embroider a bough of leaves on the right hand side of the patchwork and may attempt the fabric roses that Caroline demonstrated.
The day of the course passed far too quickly and Caroline was very generous with her knowledge and materials.  She is such an inspirational person that I would recommend her stitching courses to anyone who likes to sew.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Summertide MKAL

Throughout September and October, Helen of Curious Handmade ran a mystery knit-a-long on Ravelry.  I love Helen's shawl patterns so I didn't hesitate to join the MKAL.  I had previously bought these sumptuous hanks of yarn from Skein Queen with the intention of using them together for a shawl.
 I called this project my Faded Roses Shawl as the colours matched the roses in my garden.
 Clue one was released on 10th September and I cast on straight away.  As I was using smaller needles I knitted 8 extra rows.
 Clue 2 and I added a colour change for the first 2 and last 2 rows.

 Clue 3 and I changed to the brown yarn.
 Clue 4 and I changed the first 2 rows and knitted extra rows at the end.  All the details of my modifications are on my project page.
 When my shawl had dried completely, I took it with us on a day trip to Avebury Manor, which is a National Trust property with a difference.  Here you are actively encouraged to come and play in the house and to handle the exhibits.  I decided to stage a photo shoot around the house with my shawl.  Luckily there weren't too many visitors and I could do this without an audience! :)

 Those are not my bloomers in the background! ;)

 I think the Shetland lace pattern blocked out nicely.
 My favourite photos are the ones on the railings.

 This shawl is so soft!
 For me a shawl pattern designed by Helen and some yarn hand-dyed by Debbie will always be a winning combination.