Slippery

Repaired at the heels, but they won't last long

Repaired at the heels, but they won’t last long

Well, despite my best attempts, Mr Snail-of-happiness’  knitted slippers are not going to last forever. I made a reasonable job of mending the second one this week – using a crochet patch to avoid the hated darning, but I could see that their time is nearly up. It’s partly my fault for choosing a very soft yarn, which turned out to be not very hard-wearing. Never mind, they’ve lasted a year or so and it has given me the opportunity to learn more about different sorts of yarn and slipper designs. I have a ball of the purple wool left over and it’s going to make a lovely soft hat one day!

I’m not going to make the same mistake again: for his new pair, I have chosen a very tough yarn and a lovely adult chunky slipper crochet pattern by Jennifer Dougherty (http://www.crochetbyjennifer.com/). The yarn I selected is another one from Blacker Yarns, this time Pure Whitefaced Woodland Wool, which comes from a rare breed of sheep grazing Suffolk heathland. One of the reviews on the Blacker site said that this is ideal for slippers, and it certainly feels like it’s going to be very hard-wearing.

A new slipper... just one so far - he'll have to hop!

A new slipper… just one so far – he’ll have to hop!

The pattern turned out to be very quick to work up and, despite only making a start on the first one at coffee time today, I had finished it (all but weaving in ends) by the evening. It’s a bit tough on the fingers because of the combination of the robust yarn and the main stitch used (front post double [US]/treble [UK] crochet if you’re interested), but I can live with that if it results in a slipper that lasts a long time.

A wild and woolly new year

We have mostly been staying safe indoors since the year began, although we did manage to walk down into our local town, Aberaeron, for lunch at The Harbourmaster to celebrate my birthday on Tuesday. Other than that the weather has been pretty bad, and on Friday storm surges combined with naturally high tides wrecked havoc just north of us in Aberystwth and filled the harbour here in Aberaeron to the brim. The weather has subsequently improved, but only to the point of raining about 50% of the time. I just wish it would brighten up and allow us to go for some of those lovely frosty walks that I like so much. For us, climate change seems to be manifesting itself in the form of wind and rain (not surprising as it is linked to extra energy in the atmosphere).

Hurrah for British Wool!

Hurrah for British Wool!

The result is that we are spending lots of time indoors. This means that I have completed knitting the latest socks for barter – these are to be exchanged for a leather strap and base for a bag that I’m going to felt from the wool from my last bartering activity. And now I’m ready to start on my next piece of work for barter: four snail squares in exchange for some seeds. Originally, I was going to use wool oddments, but then I was placing an order for some British wool from Blacker Yarns and saw that they had some colours available that would look really lovely in the spiral design, so those are what I am going to use… photographed here with a book that Mr Snail-of-happiness got me for my birthday, written by the proprietor of Blacker Yarns.

In addition, there has been quite a bit of activity with the Masterpiece blanket, and I have added photographs of quite a few squares made in the last week or so. It’s going to be a really diverse design, even with the squares that I have made, let alone all the ones coming from other people. I will put a border around every square eventually, probably in black, so that each one is ‘framed’ and the blanket has some consistency throughout. Since the forecast indicates rainy weather for some days to come, I think I’m going to have plenty more time for such activities!

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