Now Christmas is over, I was able to plunge into a new project. I’ve been helping my friend Linda at WhitKnits and saw she made an amazing shawlette. I liked the colours that were on offer by West Yorkshire Spinners and choose the Blue Tit colourway.

I combined it with some navy yarn, I’d got on holiday in Cromer last year. I visited a gansey exhibition at The Mo which was quite brilliant. I was reminded by Louise that I really ought to post some photos so that’ll be coming soon. 🙂

The summer of finishing off – Part 1

It is ridiculously difficult to knit with Claude and Katerina around. Whenever, I get knitting out, a weird crazed expression comes over their faces and they cannot leave me alone. Trust me, I’ve tried. So knitting has been difficult and blocking more so.

I’ve had to resort to saving my knitting activities for a cat sitting stint. Ironic? Yes, I know.

I started this Textured shawl in 2013 and I loved the spinning of the yarn, the plying and the knitting. I had one bobbin of yarn left and worried a little about if it would be big enough or there would be yarn enough. Of course, the bobbin and yarn were like crack to those kittens. It was the worst sort of yarn as the kittens are quite keen on the natural fibres.

I got to a stage where I was finished as far as I was concerned as I didn’t want to spin any more yarn as that would be a whole new adventure for Claude and Katerina.

I have been looking forward to seeing what the blocked version was like. If you’ve been on Instagram, you would have had a peek at this detail.

It was great to have the space and absence of pesky kittens to get this blocked properly.

The yarn really opened up and despite the little curls, I thought the shawl looked pretty wonderful.

I managed to get a little photo shoot in my friend’s garden

And my friend’s cat Hugo came for a look at what I was doing but not a paw touched the shawl. I was impressed.

Syjunta, Syjunta

I enjoyed my last afternoon having a Syjunta that I organised another one for today. I enjoyed tidying up and cutting these beautiful roses I found in the garden, to welcome my guests.

I got a selection of lovely cheeses and breads (and chicken for pao the cheese hater)

and got out the crockery we’d inherited from pao’s mother

and baked a lovely lemon and raspberry cake (I took a leaf out of Jeanne’s cupboards and got a Betty Crocker kit).

It was such an enjoyable afternoon. I worked on my sock surprisingly without any kitten intervention whatsoever (maybe they are growing up?)

One of my guests had given me some beads she’d made at school and I made us both some stitch markers. She is a keen crocheter so I made some with some lobster clasps which she can unclasp easily and I made myself these with split rings for knitting.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Saturday without the cats. Katerina was already sleepy before we began.

Claude was very excited by the roses which sent me straight to Google as he started licking them. Thankfully I can report that roses are not poisonous to cats!

Happy Saturday!

Ooh lala.. socks!

Ta da…! I’ve been knitting as much as the kittens would allow me. Katerina keeps stealing the ball of yarn and taking off with it so I’ve had to make sure I knit quickly whilst she is asleep. These socks have gone to live with a friend in Korea.

She is a big fan of Claude’s so hopefully she’ll forgive him stealing the yarn!!

Knitter’s Tea Garden Shawlette

I saw some of these yarn balls in cups when I was in Duluth with Jeanne but they didn’t have any colours that inspired me. I saw this Done Roving Yarns Frolicking Feet Transitions colourway when I was in Athena Yarns in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and it came home with me.

I took me quite a long time to work out what I was going to make with it. Or drape Katerina with.

Katerina is quite approving. It was only after lots of looking at Ravelry queues and seeing what other people had made, I settled upon the Afternoon Tea pattern.

It gets a high approval rating – two kittens! Two kittens is a pretty big deal round here.

Sock Kitten Love Part 2

It is hard work trying to knit with kittens.

Especially when you have just had one bite your toe when trying to remove the sock on your foot!

Claude is rather partial to the Bergere Goomy 50

Very partial. This was taken just before he grabbed hold of the yarn and ran for it. (Not the first incident)

Katerina is also fond of yarn. Oh what is a knitter to do!

Zip up the project bag or we have more yarnbombing!

I managed to knit most of this pair whilst out and about or whilst they were napping!

I feel they have taken quite an interest in these! And they won’t stop liking yarn any time soon!!

Sock Kitten Love Part 1

I have not been idle these past couple of months. I have been knitting socks.

I love these – they are Arne and Carlos Regia socks. I don’t remember the colourway of these but I do slightly regret not ordering the other colourway before Amazon sold out. I’m sure if I look I could find some, somewhere.

Claude is enormously attached to these socks.

I only took these photos about a month ago and Claude keeps looking older and bigger by the day. He didn’t look like such a huge brute then but these Norwegians do grow some. We’ve not had an NFC boy before so had no idea what to expect.

Yarn Store Heaven

There is such a lovely wealth of wonderful yarn shops in the US. As well as going to one of my favourites Three Kittens in St Paul, we went to some other wonderful places, too.

Yarn Harbor was really rather lovely. I got some lovely packs of gradient yarn in there to make my birthday shawl. It was lovely to look around and I really had to try hard not to pick everything. As the window says, bliss!

It was lovely to look around and I really had to try hard not to pick everything. Jeanne said I was remarkably restrained. I did look at North Shore Knits for a very long time as it had some very beautiful patterns and photos of the area but did manage to resist.

After that, we found quite an amazing place in South Dakota called Athena Fibers which seemed to be a residential neighbourhood. This didn’t seem odd to me after going into an office building in New York to visit Seaport Yarn.

It was oddly closed when we arrived at the advertised opening time

but the seats on the porch were quite inviting so we sat down and waited a little while. Two other ladies who thought it opened at 10 also came and sat down and we chatted about knitting and knit a while together. We were just back in the car, ready to go back on the road again for the long drive back to MN when the owner showed up.

Turned out the summer hours started at 11 but no one had updated the website.

It was worth it though. I was very restrained and bought some needles and a T-Shirt and a cake of Frolicking Feet Transitions so I could make a shawl that I saw when I was in Yarn Harbor in Duluth.

Jeanne very kindly drove us to meet my uni friend in Rochester and we got a chance to go to Hank and Purls. Also another really lovely store.

I got some more gradient yarn – it is so beautiful. It was quite hard to exercise restraint when faced with a wall of Shi Bui!

Birthday Shawl

We visited a wonderful yarn shop in Duluth called Yarn Harbor just before my birthday and pao got me to pick out something as a birthday present from him. I had seen the Kelpie Shawl when Jeanne and I visited Three Kittens and I really really wanted to make it.

I saw a lot of yarn there which was wonderful but I was drawn back several times to Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat. They had some packs of mini skeins of gradient yarn which I knew would be wonderful with this project.

I made a start on it when we headed off on our road trip but I got distracted and tired and pulled quite a lot out just before I headed home to the UK. Even though it was an easy pattern, it was a little much for my dyspraxic brain to cope with at the time!

A concerted effort when I got home meant it got finished but languished unblocked for a while.

I blame those kittens.

Claude wants to point out that he is quite innocent in all things sneaky even though I caught him quietly checking out the shawl!

Doctor’s orders

I really love my doctor. She is an immensely wise woman – a little curt at times but tremendously caring. She said straight out – ‘you’re exhausted, you need a break. I’d like to prescribe a holiday but I can’t do that on the NHS so I prescribe an hour in Starbucks with your knitting just relaxing.’ Well the traffic was a bit backed up so I called into the Good Shed instead. I was pleasantly surprised to find my tea and toast served up on my favourite pottery from Canterbury Pottery. I felt immensely better after an hour sitting knitting and staring out the window at the trains going by. My introverted dyspraxic self needs more moments like these as our house is full and my diary is loaded up.

It was especially good as I found somewhere wonderful to fill my prescription, too. I’d been really keen to get to The Old Pharmacy in Faversham.

I did my usual weekend at Creek Creative so was in Faversham anyway so it seemed almost rude not to check it out. The windows were calling out to me.

I was drawn to a moth like a flame already having been regaled of the wonders of the Old Pharmacy by my friend Susie.

I was thrilled to be greeted by a familiar face. Gillian has previously done Creek Creative with me before so it was nice to see her shiny new shop.

I only had a few minutes to swoon as I had to get back to my stall at the Creek as the show was due to start at 10. Poor pao had been kicked out of the car quite unceremoniously and swiftly on my way to Faversham more because I was worried about looking for somewhere to park (honest) on a busy Saturday but I did get there early enough for a swoon. It was just the medicine I needed on what proved to be an extremely quiet day.

The day was such a wash-out that I needed a medical intervention and managed a slightly longer peruse after the day at the Creek was over.

If only all medicine was so squishy! It is such an amazing lovely shop – I wholeheartedly prescribe it. pao may be shaking his head when he reads this but he did exhort me to buy some yarn when I told him I was calling in to take a look.