Sunday, 29 October 2017

Yarn at Medicine, yarn show Birmingham

Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking a trip on the train with two yarny friends to have a look at a new yarn event that was taking place.

Any excuse for a trip on the train and if it involves yarn even better!
So having changed my shoes three times I opted for these very cute Mary Jane shoes with little leaf detail on, in order that I could model my "coming soon" new sock design called Liner Line, which is a lovely long sock which is perfect for boots or cute shoes and features a plain foot and textured leg pattern.

This were the beautiful yarns I came away with.

I have a passion for two types of yarns.  One is laceweight for making beautiful shawl designs.  So when I saw this delicate yarn by Third Vault Yarns which was a blend of Bluefaced Leicester and Silk it had to come home with me.

I am very lucky to be friends with Vicki who is the owner of  Vicki Brown Design.  She has an incredible eye for colour and I had been wanting to buy the "Wisteria" colourway yarn (on the left) for a while.  On the train journey up though Vicki very kindly gifted me the yarn.

Whilst walking around the show I then spotted the perfect partner for this yarn by Hey Jay Yarn another stunning yarn which is a blend of Alpaca, Merino and nylon.

Both these yarns are "sock or 4ply weight" which is currently what I am using the most.  This yarn is very versatile as it can be not only used for socks, which I love to design and knit, but also used for shawls, or jumpers (if you have a big enough quantity).

I spotted West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply their range is very diverse, from limited edition yarns, to festive and fun yarns.  I purchased the blue yarn with a great yarn name of Blueberry Bonbon and a limited edition yarn call Marie Curie, where a percentage of the sales goes to the charity.

With this yarn I am thinking a design inspired by daffodils.

The show had some very talented indie dyers with very knowledgeable stall holders.
After we had spent an hour walking around the show we headed off around Birmingham. 
I do love visiting cities and seeing things through fresh eyes, as even though I have been to this city on several occasions it always has something new to share.

The architecture in this city is just beautiful and against the at times blue, then grey sky it was just so inspiring.

The colours of the bricks and the liner lines and that of the Barclaycard Arena with it's copper features against the glass had to be taken photographed for future design inspiration.

Birmingham is also steeped in Victorian history, an era that I so so love.  Building that not only reminded me of one of my favourite detective series Poirot, with the 1930 style buildings and amazing design featured windows and curves, but the incredible detail of the Town Hall.

When I have the chance I always love to take a walk along the canal, I am always drawn to water where ever I go and canals are such interesting places.

Last but by no means least on the tour of the city was the breath taking library, which be it up close or from a distance is the a piece of modern architecture that I for one just adore.
I hope you have enjoyed my short tour of Birmingham and the insight in to what will hopefully will be another new yarn event in the calendar for all folk yarn lovers.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Just socks!!

I have been knitting socks for nearly ten years.  Initially I started with just plain stocking stitch pattern.  But last year I decided to start designing my own.

This year I released my first design called Twisted Journeys.  The sock was inspired by my travel on a train from Cheltenham to Skipton to visit the annual yarn show where I have shared my recent trip this year 2017 and 2015 in my blog.

I love train travel the anticipation of visiting places and the ability to see places wizz by whilst you are able to sit and knit is always fun.

So during this four hour journey the ideas began to develop in my mind and over a period of time the design progress evolved.

I started to knitting the design whilst staying in a gorgeous cottage in Skipton.

I took them everywhere with me, I sat and knitted in the sunshine after at day at the show with the icon Skipton landmark and high street to look at. I do love people watching and knitting.

It came to Copper's cafe with me a great stop off for so many who not only want a delicious bite to eat but want to visit Lucy of Attic 24 studio that is open for the weekend of the show.

The second sock was then cast on when I took a trip to The Wool Sanctuary in Weston Super Mare.  An incredible venue full of amazingly lively and lovely ladies who meet once a fortnight.

By now I had two lovely cheerful colourful socks.
The yellow knitted with Eden Cottage Tempo 4 ply.
The pink and Grey where knitted using West Green Loft Yarn Merino blend sock yarn in colour ways called "Blush" and "Granite". 

For the final test knit and photo shot for the pattern we were away on holiday in Bulgaria and I enjoyed the warmth of the sun and had the assistance of my partner who modelled the sock for me.

This sock pattern is available to buy from Ravelry if you would like to enjoy your own journey.

Coming soon will be a great new boot sock just ready for the onset of winter.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

The beauty of flowers.

I adhore my garden it brings me so much pleasure.  It is not a hugh plot of land and is surrounded from every window looking out at other people's houses, but this does not stop me loving my space.

Today even though we have now reached October I found myself gardening in my t-shirt!

So whilst I was doing some tidying I took some cuttings of a few gorgeous, colourful plants. In our house we just love to propogate and adhore self seeded plants that come back year on year and are always a surprise what will appear.  We also love to provide areas for nature collecting and storring driftwood for so many insects and bugs. 

We cut down a tree a while ago that was just growing in the wrong place and today I discovered this beautiful mushroom growing on it.

Do you have a lovely "green space", what do you enjoy about your garden?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

The humble sock.

I started knitting socks back in 2009, I can not believe it was so long ago, but thanks to the joy of Ravelry project database I am able to recollect this information.

During my sock journey I have made "gift socks for family and friends", socks for myself and socks for charity knitting.

However I do love designing and have decided that this is the area I am going to focus my attention.

I have built up quite a collection not only of glorious yarns, but also am building on my reference book library and currently have four great books that relate to sock knitting and designing.

My first book I bought was Socks from the Toe Up by Wendy Johnson.  The book has some great features including the basic construction of socks along with a really good selection of designs.

For me Toe up sock knitting is definitely my preferred method of sock construction.  I personally just like the fact that I can knit until I run out of yarn if that is the route I want to take.

Next in my library is Super Socks by Christine Perry.  I purchased this copy from Christine on my visit to Yarndale two years ago.  The book is so comprehensive with brilliantly photographed images to help you step by step in your quest to make socks.

The next book purchased this year on the recommendation of Woollenwords who is a great tech editor and guide when I am looking for help is Sock Innovation by Cookie A.  This book was originally published in 2009. The 144 pages are just crammed full of incredible detail about design ideas taking up the first half of the book, followed by 15 original designed Cookie A which encompase lace, cable and textures.  So I am really looking forward to reading this in great detail.

My final book (so far!) was purchased on a visit to Salt Mills when visiting Saltaire (blog to follow).  Within Salt Mills they have a great bookshop which covers a whole floor of the building and has such a variety of literature to read.  Whilst browsing the shelves I came across the perfect book Sock Knitting by Ann Budd.  Again a fascinating introduction into sock knitting along with designing and the book is also divided into both Toe up and Top down construction.

For me knitting is in my blood, I have been knitting since I was a teenager.  But to me knitting is about more that just the finished item, I like to have projects that are just "mindless knits", but equally I need to challenge myself and I love to design.  So for the next year at least I am going to be embarking on a new challenge of developing and learning new techniques, pattern writing and designing and working with independent indie yarn dyers to produce a selection of my own sock designs.

So watch this space....

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Trip to Skipton woods.

Along with knitting my other passion is photography, all of which is taken using my Samsung S7 Edge phone.

During my trip to Yarndale this September I took a walk in the woods that surround the edge of the town.

It was a beautiful warm day just perfect for walking and being able to sit and enjoy the beauty of nature. 

Walking in the woods can be such a rewarding thing to do, being able to look up and see the sun shining through the trees, with the light dancing and creating amazing dabbled shade.

It was a perfect day for total crisp and clear reflections on the ponds which looked like an artists painting, you could not see where one image ended and the next began.

The sound of water which was provided by the mini waterfall was quite astonishing in terms of the volume as it echoed around the woods.  But you could just move a short distance and sit and listen to the quiet eb and flow of the stream which alongside the rustling of the leaves in the trees which I find such an incredibly relaxing sound.

 I hope you enjoy my images.