Dream a little dream

You may remember that I had two projects using 100% wool lined up for Wovember – some fingerless mitts and a hat and neck-warmer set. Well, it turns out that I really should plan ahead and make sure that I have everything necessary for projects at the outset. Admittedly, the hat/neck-warmer issue was simply a case of not knowing how much yarn I would require and discovering that I only had enough for the latter. Still, it is complete and Hannah has spun me some more yarn so I can make the hat… so that’s on hold until said yarn arrives. In the mean time, here’s a glimpse:

Detail of neck warmer

Detail of neck warmer

As for the mitts, believe it or not, the problem was not having the right needles! I always assume that I will have exactly what I need in this respect, as I have so many, but this project requires such fine needles, that I simply didn’t have any. I love knitting on wooden needles, but the most slender ones are very fragile and they warp, so I bit the bullet and ordered some KnitPro Karbonz: so many people have raved about these, that I decided it was time to give them a go. They are expensive, but I hope they will be long-lived.

I've got plenty of yarn... the wool from Karen is the top three cakes on the right

I’ve got plenty of yarn… the wool from Karen is the top three cakes on the right

So, while I’m waiting for more wool and more needles, what to do? As the rain poured down on Sunday afternoon, I decided to spend some time browsing Ravelry for inspiration about what I might do with some of the yarn in my stash. I could simply have knitted some more socks (I’ve got quite a bit of sock yarn squirrelled away), but there are three cakes of yarn that have been calling to me recently and I wanted to see if I could find a suitable project. The story behind this particular yarn goes back to a post written a long time ago by Karen (of Sweet Baby Veg). Karen was having a tough time and wrote about some horrible mail she had received. I felt so much sympathy that I decided to try to counter this by sending her something lovely in the post. So, I made a bag for her and sent it off. In return, she sent me some yarn. However, apart from using a tiny bit of it to make a square for the masterpiece, it’s been sitting in my stash ever since until inspiration struck.

My quest on Sunday was to find something to make that would allow me to use this yarn but wasn’t a hat, scarf, socks, mitts or shawl. In total, I have about 300g of this wool, but I also have lots of other wool… so what about a multi-coloured garment? The texture of the wool suggested outer-wear to me… which would certainly mean adding more yarn from my stash. And finally I came across the perfect pattern: the circular Dreamcatcher Top. This is going to be perfect to snuggle in to when I’m editing and it shouldn’t fall off my shoulders, as shawls have the tendency to do. So, yesterday evening I made a start:

The dream begins

The dream begins

I’m not sure that I would have gone out and bought the colour-combination that I’m using, but that random element of just incorporating what I have (I need 100g each of 10 colours) seems to be working. And, anyway, this is turning out to be a huge stash-buster, which can’t be a bad thing!


Just for information, the wool is from various producers: New Lanark, Sirdar, Emu, The Natural Fibre Company, Tavistock Tastes and Textures (this is the wool from Karen) and Jamieson’s of Shetland

A day in the life

Well, obviously you all like photographs: yesterday turned out to be a very busy day here on my blog. While you were all enjoying my post, I was generating even more pictures and having a ‘green’ day. This mainly involved cooking: I made a wonderful cake using Karen’s recipe on Sweet Baby Veg, but whilst she used gooseberries and elderflower cordial, I used raspberries and framboise… because that was what I had in the house. The framboise I have is British not French and I can highly recommend it (details here) – both for making Kir (white wine and fruit mixer) and in this cake.

Plus, I made some of the courgette mountain into soup. This time I chose to make courgette and carrot soup, which speaks for itself – the only other ingredients are onions, water and seasoning.

And, of course, my day wouldn’t be complete without something crafty. Despite the fact that my Masterpiece edging is calling, I have taken some time out to contribute to a yarn storming project (I don’t like the phrase yarn bombing). I was asked if I could make some bunting pennants for this: I managed 10 of them, which are now being blocked so that they actually are triangular. In addition, Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia is planning to make some quilts to donate to Australian sevicemen and women. When I was in my teens I started making a quilt, but it has never been finished, so I decided to drag out the blocks I had already pieced and send these to Kate for her to see what she can make of them. They’ll have to travel by sea, which will take a few months, but hopefully they will finally be transformed into something useful rather than sitting in a box in my loft for another thirty plus years. I’m going to send some of the fabric too, as I know that I will never use it myself.

Of course, there were less photogenic activities… cleaning out the laying boxes in the hen house, walking the dogs, cooking dinner (more courgettes!), harvesting… you know the sort of thing. All in all, quite a green day – I hope yours was too!

Not quite the big reveal…

I know that lots of you have been itching to see progress on the Masterpiece and I have been remiss about keeping you updated. Frankly, over recent weeks, something had to give and this was it. As a result I have lots of squares to post up on the Masterpiece Page as well as work to do on the scrapbook, although some of the pictures have made it onto the Pinterest board. However, having got my portfolio of permaculture designs sent off at the beginning of the week, I have had time to focus on some crochet.

Yarn from Karen... just starting the square

Yarn from Karen… just starting the square

All the squares that I have received are now part of the blanket and there is a gap for just one more that I’m expecting very soon. The final square that I am making myself is from wool sent to me by the lovely Karen B of Sweet Baby Veg. In fact, I had a couple of other squares already done, but when this yarn arrived this week, I just had to add some to my blanket. I haven’t decided what to do with the rest, but I will, no doubt be inspired soon. Karen was very modest about her gift, saying that it was not particularly original, but I honestly cannot think of a better parcel to arrive through the post. The yarn is made by Tavistock Tastes and Textures and is from their flock of Jacob’s sheep, which graze on Dartmoor. The colours are ‘natural’, ‘rust’ and ‘ocean’. It’s turning out to be lovely yarn to work with and speedily worked up…

Completed square

Completed square

Anyway, this is where I am at so far, with the above square and the one from Lorraine still to be incorporated and then lots of edging. What do you think?

So far, it’s got Max’s approval:

And Sam’s quite keen too:

Happy dogs

Happy dogs

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