Monthly Archives: December 2013

Beautiful Views and Blanket Squares

Hello and Season’s Greetings!

I promised another blog after all the festivities had subsided … so here goes!

I’ve decided to structure this blog along a couple of themes for the coming year:

Firstly, I’m going to reacquaint myself with my camera and get out and about taking some photo’s of my local area, in order to create a kind of Photo Journal through the seasons. A major reason behind this is that I’ve recently had to pretty much give up running for health reasons, so have been looking for opportunities to get out and about and enjoy being outdoors. I’m also really interested in getting better at photography and photo editing, so this seemed like the ideal way of combining those two interests. Hope you like the results:

Secondly, I’ve decided to begin a new project with my knitting: Last year I bought a book of patterns for squares to make Throws and Afghans (‘Blankets and Throws to Knit: Patterns and Piecing Instructions for 100 Knitted Squares’ by Debbie Abrahams). This was intended as a way of using up odd bits of interesting wool from my stash. As a result of a delay in some wool being delivered to finish off another project, I’ve begun knitting squares for a blanket. I’ve done three so far, and thought I’d document my progress on here. So here are my first squares:

So that’s the beginning of my two blog-related projects for the New Year! I’m very excited to see what results I get – new photography techniques, new knitting techniques – lots to occupy my mind! Any ideas for knitted squares would be appreciated – They’re done on 3.5 needles and measure roughly 38 stitches x 50 rows (around 15cm x 15cm) I’d also love any feedback on my photographs, as this really is something I’m just starting to get to grips with.

For those who celebrate at this time of year, I hope you’ve had a great Christmas, and I wish everyone a very, very happy New Year!

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Season’s Greetings!

Hello!
Just a brief note to wish any readers who celebrate at this time a MERRY CHRISTMAS and happy holidays! More posts to follow in the coming days with festive food and crafting, but for now, I hope everyone is having fun!

Gill

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I take my hat off to … !

Me up

Ok … so maybe two blogs in two days is setting the bar quite high, but I just had to share all this lovely wool-related goodness! Two hats have come my way in the last two days (hurrah!) … The purple one is mine, made from some chunky yarn that I bought from a great wool shop in Marsh, Huddersfield. I’ve been trying to think what to do with it since I bought it, and this beret-style hat is great fun to wear! The flower embellishment is my own addition and is made from a spare bit of beige yarn that I had in my stash. The button is one I acquired from my mother-in-law’s collection! This was just the perfect scale of project to be able to pick up and put down as and when I get a minute, which is exactly what I need at the moment. Maybe over the Christmas break I might get stuck into something more substantial …

The second hat arrived in the post today and is very very special … it’s made by our good friend Vicki Swan of Braintree, Essex. Vicki is a Nyckelharpa player by profession (a nyckelharpa is a sort-of cross between a fiddle and a Hurdy Gurdy – see the picture of Vicki with hers below), and had the great idea a while ago that when she needed to raise funds for a new instrument to make and sell these crocheted hats … hence they’re called Nyckel-Hats! This one was bought for me by Jon (as an ‘early Christmas present’ because I got home first and found the post!) so I now look forward to a winter with a nice warm head, knowing that we’ve helped Vicki a tiny little way towards her ‘harpa dreams!

If you want to find out more about Vicki, her partner (and performing partner) Jonny Dyer or want to find out what the flipping heck a Nyckelharpa is when it’s at home, have a look at their website: http://www.swan-dyer.co.uk/ … you could even purchase your very own Nyckel-Hat, just in time for Christmas!

Here's a pic of Vicki and her Harpa.

Here’s a pic of Vicki and her Harpa

Anyway … enough for now.

Wishing you a warm-headed weekend,

Gill x

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The band’s not on the wall … it’s in the cellar!

Hello everyone!

OK, so now that I know I have the hang of posting on here, it’s probably time to write something a bit more interesting, so here goes …

Had a fab time last weekend with a lovely trip to York and a band-invasion at home. So, the York trip was with my mum, my sister-in-law, Jayne and a couple of friends. The trip was a kind of post-hen trip for Jayne because before she and my brother, Chris got married in the summer she had her hen-weekend in Spain, but she decided she wanted to do something else, mainly for those of use who didn’t make it to Spain,  so we went to York on the train! We had a gorgeous time wandering around York (and its lovely pubs!). The Shambles is probably one of my favourite places to shop, and I spent a long and happy time in a lovely wool shop, where I could have spent a fortune but restricted myself to one ball of lovely chunky wool (King Cole) and a couple of patterns. I absolutely love knitting – having always been more of a sewing person (I just typed ‘sewer’ but surely that’s wrong!) I decided to try to get the hang of knitting around a year ago, mainly because I wanted something easily portable that I could take on the road with us when I go to Jon’s gigs or festivals (It was hard to fit my sewing machine and work table in the tent when we camp!) So having been mainly a fan of knitting clothes, I’ve recently decided that I need to do smaller, quicker projects to get my knitting ‘buzz’ while keeping up with the demands of being a trainee teacher (Which said I wasn’t going to discuss on here …!) Anyway … I’ll post a picture of whatever the new York ball of wool turns into as soon as it’s ‘born’.

In the meantime, here’s a picture of my favourite button in my collection, it came from a shop in Sidmouth where we go every summer for my favourite music and dance festival …

Image

Beautiful button!

Then, as to the band-invasion … a little explanation: Jon is a sound engineer and producer, as well as being a musician and instrument builder (Luthier – he builds stringed instruments) and the bottom floor of our house is a recording studio (as with many houses in the valley it’s built into the side of a hill, so our house has 3 floors at the back and 4 at the front – I love the quirky design of all the old houses round here.) So quite often we get gangs of musicians coming to stay to record albums or passing through on their way to gigs. This weekend our good friend Tom Kitching came to visit with his band to begin his new solo album. Tom is quite simply one of the best, most interesting musicians I know. He’s a fiddler and plays in a band with Jon, Pilgrims’ Way (see http://www.pilgrims-way.net/) as well as doing a whole heap of other collaborative projects, but now he’s finally making a solo album. I absolutely can’t wait for it to be finished, and am so excited about the wonderful creativity going on in our cellar! So Tom and his band stayed for a few days – this included a Norwegian/Swedish mandola player who lives in Scotland, a Scottish flautist/clarinetist who lives in Northumberland, a fiddler from Macclesfield, a drummer who lives in Rochdale and a producer from the Fens. Great multicultural mayhem leading to some interesting conversations, such as where to buy the best fish and chips.

Anyway, must dash: Places to go, people to see … cats to feed.

Gill

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