Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Spring Weather & Knitting News.

Spring: I can feel it in the air; see it in the hazy light & slow unfurling flowers; hear it in the increasingly loud birdsong emanating from outside our window where finches flit frantically from branch to branch. And today I felt it in the hot sun as I walked across the beach.

It is close enough to touch and even if the weather should turn icy the clock still ticks toward the brighter months with the promise of all that brings.

The seas have been brisk and swirling myriad shades of blue. Oyster-catchers and herring gulls skim across the foamy waves in a dance of catch-me-if-you-can, sea spray fingers reaching up to cast silvery trails into the sky as wings dip and dodge and hover.

Sunlight turns the dullest patches of seaweed into illuminated tableaux full of vibrant citrusy yellows back lit to render them a stained glass quality. Spring light does this. It takes the ordinary and humble and shouts,"look at what is here! Take note!" ... and I do.

It is precious time, though I am spending far too long walking Pepper. The air is so fresh, the waves so enticing that the thought of being shut indoors does not appeal so very much. I think, "I'll just see what the next wave does," and so it goes on.

Plus, as ever, there is treasure to sort through and search out. The strong stormy winds have thrown plenty for us to turn over and that sun, when it is there, is telling me there is no rush.

 Pepper is in no particular hurry either. She has friends to play with on busier days or, when I find us a secret spot hidden away as is my favourite, she pootles through rockpools with me, her lump-of-coal nose shuffling around under stones to chase out something special to amuse her for a while. Then we sit and watch and listen and just breathe it all in.

Eventually home calls but even here I am filling the shelves and sills with signs of spring. On Saturday I decided it was time:our first duck egg shone bright white in the duck pen and told us that the ducks are ready for a change of season even if the calender isn't. The first egg from the ducklings I hatched and hand reared last year. I must admit I feel quite proud! 

Bowls and baskets of shells are popping up everywhere so that the light can bounce off their surfaces.. pretty flat winkles, cowries, whelks ... so many.

My pockets are always full of things I find.

Evening time is still so chilly though and so we light the fire and I pick up my knitting. Yes, I finally settled on a pattern from the masses saved to my Pinterest knitting board. Not an easy thing when I want so many of the things I have on there, but I have started with Deco by Kate Davies.

It's a lovely cardigan which I am knitting in Sirdar Sublime extra fine Merino DK. The shade is as you can see but with more depth than my photo shows. It is giving me the chance to use my Knit Pro circular needles from a set I treated myself to a long (long) time ago. They come with a gorgeous range of coloured interchangeable tips and are very comfortable to use. The patterning is simple with enough going on to keep things interesting.

Of course, I bought a few more balls in another colour at the same time as I was having trouble choosing. Davey encouraged this as he was heading off to purchase a little more yarn himself. I call him ' The Enabler!'

The blue I am using is called Spruce & the other is aptly named Gorgeous, which it is.

 And so that's me for now.

 Bye for now x

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Yarn, Masculinity & Choices.

I have finally managed to have a weekend free from work - well, the sort of work that pays my bills that is. No sewing for a whole two days after weeks of no break. January sort of eluded me apart from my forays into the world of mud & rain with Pepper dog, and thank goodness for those brief moments as I would otherwise have seen only my studio walls.

Seven day weeks with evenings included are hard. On the upside, how fantastic it is to know my work has brought me so much business. How lovely to think my designs are so popular and that is the biggest spur to me when I am almost weeping with gritty eyed tiredness and a desperate need to lie by the fire of an evening.

So, this weekend has been full of cleaning (much needed) and eating (much enjoyed) and generally lazing in or on my bed.

I am now in the midst of choosing a knitting pattern. Yes, another. Three projects are waiting to be finished and they can blooming well carry on waiting too! I want to choose a new pattern that calls to me, something I actually feel like knitting rather than working on some stuffed away project. Life is too darned short to worry over such things. I will finish them when the mood takes me and in the meantime comes the fun of new yarn...the picking of colours and texture, glorious texture. Breathes deeply in anticipation.

Mr Davey has also got has knitting mojo back & has worked two sweet hats for babies of friends and is now rapidly knitting up some socks for Lucy in a gorgeous soft tomato red & cream. I am most impressed! The photo makes the red quite harsh when it is actually more a nautical red or perhaps a Scandi type, if you know what I mean. Better images next time maybe.

A recent chat with an acquaintance surprised me. It seems the idea of a man knitting is still viewed as a sign of lacking masculinity. Oh dear me. When will things change? When will the notion of a man knitting or sewing or cooking or whatever cease to be worthy of any mention other than to comment on how gorgeous the yarn, how sumptuous the fabric, how delicious sounding the recipe? I truly do despair and frankly worry about the rubbish some children have to listen to when they are growing and forming their own ideas around identity. Hmm, I am on my soap box...climbing down as I type and posting a calming image to get the heart rate down.

Anyhoo, back to me! I can't decide whether to look ahead to spring (not mentioning which year I am thinking of obv) or to stay firmly in the chilly moment. My Pinterest board has plenty to choose from, as does my Ravelry queue. A little more looking & lusting is needed I think before I decide. It may just be a new hat is needed before any larger projects are started. Who knows but I am having fun looking. I quite fancy this Poolside pullover by Isabell Kraemer

  Poolside by Isabell Kraemer pattern €4.50 on Ravelry at

or this gorgeous Brandied Cherry jumper by Thea Colman, perfect for chilly walks on the beach.

Ravelry: Brandied Cherry pattern by Thea Colman

On the other hand I may go for something smaller for little granddaughter Scarlett (guilt smotes me down about now)

So many lovely choices! 

Are you knitting anything? x

P.S. those top three photos were 'borrowed' from eldest son Tom. Gorgeous aren't they? xx