Saturday, 11 October 2014

Exhibiting an Awareness Blanket

I wrote a while ago about making squares for blankets with a Ravelry group to raise awareness for various illnesses.  I had volunteered to host 2 awareness months - stroke awareness and mental health awareness.

I had seen that there was an exhibition from the Creative Arts Support Team (CAST) coming up in Sheffield called 'Rhythms of Identity' which supported arts for mental health and my friend Hudson & General would be a part of it.

Hudson & General is an artisan crafter who makes vintage inspired and truly unique handmade timber crates. He asked the organiser if the blanket I had made with the help of the Ravelry swap group could be exhibited and she kindly agreed.

The exhibition started on Thursday so we went to set up our stand to display our work.  

Here is the finished awareness blanket - made of squares made by knitters and crocheters from all over the country.

This is our stand at the CAST 'Rhythms of Identity' exhibition - isn't the crate lovely!

It was lovely to meet the other local artists and hear the inspiring stories behind their artwork

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

The Yarndale Picnic and WIP Wednesday

In my last post I mentioned that my Instagram friends had agreed to meet up at Yarndale for a picnic. People were taking photos of the whole group during the picnic and someone was kind enough to send me this photo for my blog.

Unfortunately some people had left the picnic just before this photo was taken but there is still a pretty large group of people!

I also wanted to share the progress I've made on my Age of Brass and Steam shawl - because of the lovely yarn and the super-simple pattern - I've been so engrossed in knitting the shawl that I haven't worked on another project for the last 2 weeks.

I did have to rip back more than half of my shawl (twenty rows) because I had the wrong number of stitches but I've managed to catch back up and it's making good progress.

Sunday, 28 September 2014


Yesterday I went to Yarndale.  It's a 2 day yarn festival, organised by Lucy from Attic24 that takes place in Skipton.  As well as a great place to buy yarn, it's also a good chance to meet other crafters.

Yarndale is so colourful - as soon as you walk in you see crocheted bunting

Lots of colourful yarn - this is the Laalbear stall.

Apparently Ursula is retiring soon so we all took this chance to buy some of her beautiful colourful yarn.  This colour is called Gandalf  - I couldn't resist

I also bought this lovely green DK yarn from Wild Wood Wool

Apparently there was a theme of hand-dyed Blue Faced Leicester in the wool I bought! Here are all of the things I bought - the pinkish yarn is for my Mum

I also saw the Angora bunnies, sheep and alpacas

Before going, I saw on Instagram that a group of people were planning to meet for a picnic lunch so I decided to pack up my lunch and meet them there.  We had agreed to wear granny square badges to allow us to recognise fellow Instagrammers and it was great fun.  This is my granny square badge

I also made a name badge

I have lots of lovely new Instagram friends!  If you want to see the photos from the picnic then just search Instagram for the hashtag #yarndalemeet2014

Ole said she wanted to come with me and she really enjoyed meeting the other crafters and seeing all the yarn (yarn photos taken at Laalbear's stall again, animal photos taken from the stall of the creators of  Edward's Menagerie).  I had my fellow Instagrammers helping me take some of these photos!

The end of the day finally came around and it was time to hop on the red bus back to the station

Yarndale was a great day out - I'm still bouncing around from the excitement of it all.  Hopefully I'll go next year and meet up with everybody again.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Adventures in York

Since I've been in Sheffield I haven't really explored the surrounding areas so on Saturday I decided to take the train to York.  I haven't been to York for years so I thought it would be a nice day out.

As soon as I got to York I could see the Minster in the distance.  

The Minster is really stunning.  I didn't go inside but I walked around the outside and got lots of lovely photos.

After that, I went for a bit of a wander - I had a map from the tourist information so I knew roughly where I wanted to go.  I looked up tea shops to visit in York before I went so when it was time for a break I sought out Crumbs Cupcakery.  

Ok so I got 2 cupcakes during the day... But look at how cute everything is!

The city is surrounded by stone walls and one of my aims of the day was to walk around all of the walls.  

I managed to walk all the way around but my feet were so tired by the end of it.

York has a little old street called 'The Shambles.'

While I was wandering down there I managed to find a lovely little yarn shop called Ramshambles where I treated myself to some yarn made in Yorkshire.  This is West Yorkshire Spinners DK printed yarn and the colour is called 'Owl' - too perfect!

I couldn't resist starting knitting with it straight away so I'm making a shawl using the 'Age of Brass and Steam' pattern.

Looks like I've found my new handbag project already.  Besides, I was just getting into practice for buying wool at Yarndale next weekend.

Friday, 19 September 2014

FO Friday - Clearing some WIPs

I love the feeling of showing off my finished projects.  I managed to lose my crafting motivation over the last few months - I had so many big projects on that I felt overwhelmed and that I was getting nowhere so it's a thrill to be able to show off three projects I've completed recently.

Firstly, I finished the mittens I was working on last week.

They were super-quick to make and are nice and toasty to wear.  The pattern is: Super Chunky Mittens by Hannah Storms

I also managed to complete the granny square cushion I was making before I moved into my flat over a year ago (and I'm leaning on it as I write this post).  The cushion is made up of 50 granny squares and it joined together using the join-as-you-go method.

And finally, I finished my first shawl project, Trillian by Martina Behm - also the first thing I've made in 4ply yarn.

I actually miss working on this project - it was perfectly portable and lived in my handbag for any time I had a spare second to knit.  Now I need to find a new project I can carry around with me.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

WIP Wednesday - Preparing for Winter

This year I've decided not to leave my winter crafting till it gets colder - last week I started making some mittens out of super-bulky yarn.

The pattern is 'Super Chunky Mittens' by Hannah Storms and the yarn is Patons Fab Big in wine.

Because it's such huge yarn, the mittens knit up so quickly - I'm halfway through the second mitten already.

They are so warm - makes me want to knit everything in super-bulky.

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Summer Holidays

A couple of weeks ago I went on holiday with Rob and his family to Italy.

We were based in the town of Todi, in Umbria (Wiki page here) which was very beautiful and surrounded my stunning views.

While we were there we got a chance to go wine tasting at the Cantina Roccafiore and tried some of their delicious wines.  

It was the first time I had tried dessert wine and I quite liked it.  The scenery around the vineyard was too good to miss.

We were staying in a villa not far from there and most of our time was spent in/ around the pool with the odd trip into Todi.  

It was my birthday while we were away.  In the morning we went for a coffee in Todi.

Afterwards we went for a meal and everyone made me feel special.

A group of us had decided in advance that we wanted to visit Rome for a couple of days at the start of the second week of the holiday to break the trip up a bit.  Rob and I stayed in a little guest house called 'I Tre Moschettieri' or 'The Three Musketeers'.  I chose it partially based on the name - I thought Rob would like it but it was also in a great location - very close to the Trevi fountain.  The room was lovely and it was called 'la Principessa' which I liked.

The first day was spent wandering around the city.  Unfortunately the Trevi fountain was closed but we still saw a lot in our short time in Rome.  

We saw the Pantheon

The Colosseum

The Victor Emmanuel Monument

And of course - Roman ruins.

In the evening we went out for a drink in an ice bar - the first time I've been to an ice bar.

On our second day in Rome, we went to the Vatican...

Before we left Italy we had to have day in Todi and just explore the town.  The town is on a hill so you get great views.

We visited the Roman cisterns under the town

We even found some yarn bombing and a yarn shop

The snake was very impressive - we also saw crocheted owls, a bike, and toadstools attached to the trees.

We had a great holiday and really loved a chance to relax and enjoy the hot weather.  Back to sunny Sheffield for me now but it's nice to be back and see everyone again.