Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Look What We've Got.....

Here in all it's glory - our new allotment. It's just half a plot which will be plenty for us - more than enough work for the moment anyway. It already has a big apple tree and a gooseberry bush so we're on a winner before we've even started. I'll keep you posted with pics of our progress - first big digging day will be Sunday. We can't wait.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Welsh Weekend

We had a lovely trip to Wales last weekend.

Started off on Saturday in Hereford (yes, I know that's not in Wales), where we trawled the charity shops and had some coffee and I bought a couple of books on quilting in a secondhand bookshop. Then we proceeded westwards and landed in Hay-on-Wye, book capital of the universe, where we spent the rest of the day happilt mooching around, dodging the showers. The good thing about Hay is that when the rain starts there's always another bookshop you can pop into until the rain stops. We didn't buy much in Hay but we saw some lovely books. I did buy a copy of The Moor by Laurie R King, the next one I wanted to read in the Mary Russell series. We spent the night in Hay, had a good meal and a couple of local beers.

Sunday we went to Wonderwool in Builth Wells. I thought that the whole show was a little less inspiring than last year, but Wingham Woolwork were there, which was a first for them, and there was plenty to see, and plenty to buy. I was quite restrained and just bought a few things...

There's some Rainbow Merino and some Merino/Silk in lovely turquoise shades which I'm going to card together with a bit of Angelina (also in the picture) and spin some sparkly blue socks. They were from Wingham as was the space dyed green yarn on the left which is destined for weaving with some plain greens I already have. I also bought some Olive soap as I'm planning some felted wall hangings. In the middle of the picture is a bag of Corriedale from Freyalyn. I wasn't intending to buy this but the colours caught me unawares and I bought it by accident - beautiful shades of orange and green and purple and red which I'm going to card in a random way and spin for more socks. Top of the picture is some boucle loop mohair in three slighly different shades of blue/black which will also be woven into something, probably a scarf. That's all the fiber goodies but I also bought some buttons - fantastic silvery ones which I just love and had to have - I can't believe they were only a pound! And some wooden ones in natural and red and green, and some stitch markers - I don't know if you can see in the picture but they have chickens on them!

There's also a pack of miscellaneous plain buttons in oranges and greens which will be made into some jewellery when I have time. Last but not least I bought some sock blockers to replace my sad old coat-hanger ones which blocked your socks to different sizes. I have no excuse now with my lovely new wooden ones with sheep on the top.

That pretty much sums up my purchases. I did enjoy the show, but I think we might go to Woolfest instead next year. Pete was very disappointed in the Mid-Wales Mouthful Food Festival which was very small compared to last year and not nearly as interesting.

Back later this week for a book update and some interesting news!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In Which I Make a Terrible Confession......

.......I've been doing this in secret for the last week. I am so ashamed. I didn't want to have to admit to you all but....I've been reading translated crime. What's more I've been reading translated Scandinavian crime. Even more shocking - I have been enjoying it.

Now is the time to come clean. This week I read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

And liked it.

A stray copy came my way so I thought I'd have a little browse to see what all the fuss was about. Fifty pages in and I was totally hooked, couldn't put it down. Now, I know that I swore I would never touch a book in this genre ever again, but you know, I think I might just have to read at least two more - I'll have to finish the trilogy now won't I?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Astonishing Splashes of Colour

I've been having a crafty week and I've been busy with the dyepots.

Most of the fibre is still damp - too damp to plait and photograph, but I also dyed some commercial yarn - some Aran weight stuff I had lurking in the stash.

The colours are a little washed out in this photo - they're much more vibrant in real life. I'm very happy with the colours - I'm calling this The Way Through the Woods. There are two identical 50g skeins here and I also have a couple more skeins using the same colours but a bit more of the green - there's more yarn in the skeins too - photos and weights etc when it's dry. I think they will be thick wintery socks.

Please note that I have actually tried to get some decent photographs today - instead of just throwing the yarn/knitting/book on the nearest worksurface and snapping away, today I have actually got the light-tent out and tried to get a decent shot with no clutter/mess/drying underwear in the background. I did vow to myself (though possibly not on the blog) that I would try and improve the standard of my pictures on the blog this year, something I have utterly failed at so far. Given that I have an excellent camera, a light-tent and some pretty good software I really ought to take better photos than I do.

While I'm on the subject of colour here is the next Simple Yet Effective shawl, started last week and progressing nicely -

I know it doesn't look much but the colours are fairly accurate in this photo and you really can't see the shawlyness until it's finished.

I decided a couple of weeks ago that my wardrobe was in dire straits and desperately needed an input of a few new things. One of them will be an incarnation of this -

It looks like the type of garment that will cover a multitude of occasions and could be dressed up with linen trousers or dressed down with jeans. Now I just need to decide on a fabric!