Busy old me!

Published June 22, 2015 by Jackie

It looks like it has been about six or seven weeks since my last blog post, and I promise that I’m not neglecting you, dear readers. It’s been a busy old time, and I have fitted in two 5-day trips to London in that time, one for work and one for pleasure.

The first trip south was for a family wedding, few and far between in my family; my nephew was the one getting married, my older brother’s third son ~ he has four in all, fine young men! So we all turned out for the wedding, which was in the garden of a lovely old Cotswold friary turned farmhouse, and then to the reception, back over the border to Wiltshire, to the bride’s local village hall. I travelled across with my younger brother and his family, as I was spending the weekend in London with them. It was a bit of a squash in the back of the car, but I thought that was a better option than staying in nearby hotels without any means of transport between venues.

It was a wonderful day, and so good to make family connections again; from that one event, a few more local(ish) meet-ups will be happening here in Scotland. My brother’s first two sons, grown men, both live in Scotland, one here in Edinburgh, and one in Aberdeen. The eldest now has a daughter (already past 2 years old and I have not met her yet), so later in the summer, a day trip to Aberdeen is planned.

And when my nieces visit in July, we are hoping to have a picnic in the park (any park) with next nephew (who lives in Edinburgh), his girlfriend Carmen, and most importantly, their shih-tzu Bobby. (my younger brother, the girls’ father, is asthmatic, so no dogs allowed there). I had planned to take my nieces to Maison du Moggy but that particular Stockbridge cat-cafe has moved into town, and they are much more excited about meeting Bobby than meeting cats.

Busy old knitting time too! Of course, I had to finish my wedding present, a cotton denim version of Vivid, 56 squares in total. I travelled down with two Vivid blankets, as I used the occasion to hand over the blanket I’d made for my great-niece. I was delighted to find out that her favourite colour is purple ~ most kids seem to love purple!

Also on my needles:
I’m also working on a cardigan for myself, in Wollmeise’s new Blend yarn, think wonderful Wollmeise colours with added cashmere, mmmm! I managed to snaffle two skeins in a Ravelry destash, and am just finishing the 3/4 length sleeves, before I knit down the body til I have no yarn left. It is lovely, it’s that deep dark magenta that is Petit Poison Dark, almost like an aubergine, but not quite so purple. I’m making the Arrowhead Lace cardigan, a free pattern on Ravelry, by Suzanne Sommer.

Next, my niece asked for ‘a jumper like her sister got’ (because the beautiful yoked Norwegian sweater I made her is just too snug and warm for London wear ~ bah!). Her sister got an enormous ‘snuggle-jumper’, Stephen West’s Ombre Yarn-Eater made out of Twilley’s Freedom in various stone colours. I’d also started a Boreal with this yarn, but lost hope around the armpits. So I frogged all the Limestone shade, and started knitting Outer Space by Stephen West. The double-thickness neck was from the one ball of Flint I could find at the time. Then I started the body in Limestone, but soon decided I didn’t like the increases, too ‘holey’, even tho that was the part of the design. So I turned back to the Ombre pattern, and worked the yoke based on those increases, while remaining in garter stitch. I probably have just enough Limestone for the body, so I decided I would incorporate a third Stephen West pattern from my Ravelry library, Glam Lamb, for the sleeves. These are in a third stone shade, Coal, and I’m simply knitting as I frog the Boreal sleeves. The whole overall effect is not unlike Shaun the Sheep, which we watched as a family the next time I visited. Eleanor I think will love the humour! Got two weeks to finish this one….

Working on a communal baby blanket… I say communal, what I really mean is that I knit 80%, another colleague knit 16% and 16 other colleagues knit the remaining 4%. It is at the sewing together stage, and I really must get that done tonight, but I’ve been saying that for two weeks now. Baby is due any time from now, but the due date is the 29th. The person most likely to visit once the baby is born is now on holiday for a week, so that’s my target for completion. I shall be tagging this blanket with photos of everyone adding their stitches, and we’ve already achieved some notoriety on Twitter, so will add a screen-shot of that too!

And finally, I have finally found the perfect project for some strange aran-weight cotton yarn that I bought in a bargain bin. It’s called Solavita by SMC, and after 2 failed attempts at a summer top, I decided to make a couple of market bags, and at last it is proceeding at pace. (After I ripped out the first one to the bottom of the mesh, having forgotten to go up a few needle sizes) It’s the perfect thing for social knitting, a 2-row repeat, and I should have just enough for two large market bags. We now have to pay 5p for all carrier bags in Scotland, though that money goes direct to charity, so we all try to carry a shopper at all times. Not everyone has a hand knitted one though!

Upcoming projects include a Brooklyn Tweed cardi for my brother. He’s been after something knitted with Harris Tweed yarn, but that seems to be no longer available, so I swatched in brioche with Jamieson’s DK in Peat, which is in my stash already. In an inspired moment, I’d remembered the latest Wool People had been mostly menswear, so I told him what to look up on his iPad, and Shield was the choice, which is great, because I’ve just taken a brioche class with Nancy Marchant.

And once my Wollmeise cardi is finished, I shall be making a wee top in the same colour, but in the sock-yarn, not sure which Petit Poison is in my stash but I think it is Pure! I’ve found an ideal pattern already, so watch this space. Oh and some fast and furious socks too ;0)

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