An Eventful Week
Sorry about the big gap between posts and thanks for the concern shown in the comments, which I found really touching :-), but everything's fine. DH and I both had a week off from work and I just didn't get time to blog!
It's been quite an eventful week including my dad's 80th birthday and, as well as lots of non-crafty stuff that DH and I did together, I did manage to also fit in an inordinate amount of crafty bits.
At our last meeting we discussed what to do on Worldwide Knitting in Public Day which coincides with our June meeting date. I liked Braintree Knitting Group's idea of knitting with the gigantic needles and mentioned it at the meeting. After some discussion we decided that some of us would knit with gigantic needles, some with chopsticks, some with french knitters, and some would just knit in the ordinary way. We'll also be making a banner (already in hand) and we'll be wearing tee shirts with "Worldwide Knitting in Public Day" transferred onto them. Tricia was checking out venues which will be confirmed tomorrow on Maidstone Knitters' blog where the arrangements for WWKIP day are discussed in more detail.
Mary-Lou brought some wonderful items along for the November Craft Fair (a fischu and several loopa boas) which I'll take a photo of for my next post and she also very kindly gave me a container to store my beads in. It must have been a day for gift giving because I was given some herby home baked bread, too, by Sharon and I gave out the bear stitchmarker tins. I also took some photos of Sharon's bobbin lace.
The Pink Palace is a new outlet for beads in Maidstone and, here, I bought a selection of beads and booked a place on their next jewellery making workshop. Also, in Maidstone, we saw a South American band performing in the High Street but, by the time we retrieved the camera from the car, they were packing up and I only managed to get this photo.
Somehow they didn't look anywhere near as authentic in their tee shirts as they did when they were doing their traditional dancing in animal skins but I guess they did get rather hot and who can blame them for ripping those hides off as soon as their performance was over.
A trip to Fibrecrafts, a crochet workshop, a scoot around several charity shops where I unearthed two enormous balls of yarn at £1 each, an evaluation of knitting pattern design software, the craft fair at Leeds Castle and the knitting of several hats and a loopy boa for the Charity Craft Fair were other features of my week.
At Fibrecrafts I bought several books including a couple of Cat Bordhi's and a couple of Sally Melville's as well as a woolwinder and two skeins of gorgeous hand-dyed cocoons yarn - one in summer fruits and one in spring blossom.
The crochet workshop took place at John Lewis at Milton Keynes. I found it difficult to work with the hook in the conventional way, probably because I've been crocheting for about 35 years and managing to do all the stitches in an unconventional way. However, I'll keep at it and, with practice, it is improving.
Leeds Castle Craft Fair
Shame it was such a horrid windy and rainy day but it didn't seem to stop people coming out in their droves to visit the craft fair at Leeds Castle.
On the walk in the castle grounds to reach the fair we saw this peacock . . . . .
. . . . . and these Ardenne horses
There were only two stalls selling yarn - one mainly fun fur and acrylics - and the other, Silkwood Yarns, where I enjoyed checking out all the gorgeous hand dyed yarn . . . . .
. . . . . whilst Morris Dancers went largely unnoticed by me but were dutifully photographed by DH.
I bought a beautiful skein of the most wonderfully soft natural undyed angora which is handspun by Tess from the fur of Silkwood's much-loved bunnies. an i-cord maker with a handle, a knitting loom and a pair of those gigantic knitting needles (the latter two items which are handmade by Les who is a wood turner) as well as another item which is a secret for the moment. And, somehow, I was tricked by Les and DH into posing with one of the bunnies.
The bunny was so soft and cuddly but, I think, a bit nervous about being handled by a total stranger.
I've hit a hiatus with the beaded jacket as I've run out of beads and more are on their way from Earth Faire. I have, however, managed to knit two of Woolly Wormhead's rollin' berets and Elizabeth Zimmerman's Watchcap, the pattern of which I found in the old magazine article (photo on left) that Beverley sent to me some time ago.
I believe the pattern's also in EZ's book, 'Knitting Without Tears'. It's knitted in prime rib in very thick yarn and on enormous needles which makes for a very soft, fluffy and squidgy hat. The yarn for the Watchcap was a bargain bin find costing only 60p and the yarn for the two rollin' berets was from the donated yarn.
Note the inventive use of vases and kitchen roll holders which will have to suffice until the polystyrene display heads that I've ordered actually arrive. The pink/white/grey hat on the left didn't get any i-cord but the purple variegated one was more fortunate and got a little i-cord topknot for its trouble.
The loopy boa I made (again from the donated yarn) isn't very colourful but I'm having to do what I can with what I've got as far as donated yarn goes and I decided that a neutral boa might not be a bad thing. This one's made from a mixture of black, white, grey and navy yarn.
Right, I'm off now to cast on for the Victorian Shoulderette in the cashmere Posh Yarn.