Wednesday, 26 March 2014


 I don't just stash yarn.  Oh no! There are many other things in my cupboards ribbons, buttons, scraps for patchwork, general haberdashery and small bolts of fabric...

But yesterday my stash fought back AND IT WON!!  As friends and others who follow me on Blipfoto will know I am on holiday, as I type I'm sitting listening to water slip over the edge of the pool on the terrace of a pretty little hotel in the hills above Limasol in Cyprus. Yesterday I was packing and of course that included holiday knitting, I  planned to knit a Lanesplitter (the pattern for a skirt at while I was away.  Now I KNOW I have the yarn, I bought it... well a year or so ago, so it has to be in the stash somewhere.  But after removing most of the carrier bags (discovering as I went forgotten treasures) and three of the boxes I just could not excavate any further.  The stash had defeated me!!!

However this situation is temporary for soon the little building below is to become my studio.  How lucky am I? My own makery.  This is the back door to our garage.  Once it was a playroom for our children but it was cold and draughty and apart from painting their names on the walls and storing their bikes they did not use it all that much.  Since then it had become a general dump.

I admit that at the start it looked a terrific mess, just a load of junk.  But some of the junk is being put to good use and some stored in the front part of the garage that has been partitioned off and given its own sets of shelving, the garage is twice standard length so we have room

The transformation is gradual.. So far the walls and ceiling have been insulated and panelled, the floor is boarded too with more insulation. No fear of being chilly as I will have radiators in there for the winter.  The old kitchen dresser that you see in the back of the room is to be installed against the end wall with a full width work top for cutting out.  But there is still so much to do. All that painting for a start.  The window (below) will be a challenge!)

There will be loads of storage, the other end will have a full wall of those amazingly usefull Expedit shelves from Ikea ( .  These are old deed boxes, rescued from a solicitors office just before it was closed down (yes forcibly, I'm thinking one day I may tell you my old solicitors tales now I'm retired!) I plan to scrub the rust off them and spray paint them all different colours

This mirror, part of an old wardrobe, will hang on the wall opposite the French window doors and reflect the garden back into the studio. 

So after all that work we are taking a break in the sun.  As I write I am sitting beside of the pool, warm in the sunshine, despite the breeze that is ruffling the new little olive trees planted beside the terrace.  It might be lunchtime, I'm not sure, I haven't looked at my watch...




Daisy chain handles for the row of cupboards above the old kitchen dresser

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Sunny Saturday and knitting up a kaleidoscope

I love farmers markets.

All that fresh produce so beautifully set out, bread, vegetables, meat, fish, dairy

and flowers

Last Saturday in bright sunshine I found my all time perfect market, where just past a stall selling award winning cheeses and up this street in Alton in Hampshire

There were craft stalls, just setting up

Selling all sorts of pretty things including these seriously cute felted fora and fauna

However it was not entirely serendipitous as via the blogosphere (as you do) I had met a kindred spirit.  A woman, like me, of 'a certain age' who after a successful and serious career has recently rediscovered an old love and is spending her time crafting.  Adaliza makes patchwork.

Beautiful shapes and fabrics, patched and pieced into quilts, cushions and teeny tiny accessories.

All so desirable.  It was lovely to stand and chat, although despite the sunshine it was very chilly, Adaliza took her coat on and off twice and I wished I had worn a scarf; but not surprisingly the stall was attracting a lot of attention.  So I moved on to browse some more and buy a few things.

At the moment I am rather excited about The big Project,  it's a secret known to only a few and, while I cannot stop thinking about it, most of the work is being done by JTH.  But I'm still buying this and that to make up into pretty things for The Project.  It so happens that Alton has a nice little wool shop tucked away up Market Street.  Its called The Knitting Habit.

In my case The Yarn Buying Habit may be a better description.  Insufficient time to knit up the yarn never seems to be a reason not to buy when I encounter particularly delicious yarn.

I bought this

I'm just the tiniest bit disappointed with this photograph, I have snapped the clutch of colours several times and can't get the turquoise to pop.  Please believe me when I say that from the middle there is grey, three shades of blue and two of turquoise blending into green and then lime.  As this project is not intend to be worn but to display and is more about colour than texture I had thought I would compromise on my usual No Man-made Fibres rule but it wasn't necessary.  This is Drops 100% wool Baby DK and is as soft and squishy as you will ever find   - at only £3 a ball.

However, I might need some yellow and maybe purple too...

Do we all dream of colour and texture and possible projects?  Is that what makes us true knitters?

I would love to know what you think?



Tuesday, 4 March 2014

That lovely TA DAAA!!! moment

Its done

broach a serendipitous find

My juno cardigan (pattern The Princess Twinset Cardigan, designed by Susan Crawford)

Cast off and blocked

perhaps the blocking mats could be a little less educational!

Mattress stitched (very little making up required as I knitted the body all in one and the sleeves in the round, much in the same way as socks)

shoulder seams

and modeled


Now for something to go with it and that is where I paid a little visit to Unravel  and bought this fab alpaca, silk cashmere from The Natural Dye Studio, it will be a little short sleeved sweater

if only you could feel it too!

Unravel is our very own local yarn festival here on the Hampshire, Surrey borders.  For two and a half days the Farnham Maltings is packed out with eager fibre fanatics spending pounds by the minute.  And how exciting, I met the designer of my Juno (and the little sweater that will go underneath!)  Susan Crawford who as well as displaying some of her beautiful knitwear also showed a lovely new yarn range, specially produced for her vintage inspired patterns.

I know there are several similar events around the country (and I would love it if you posted links to your favourite local ones in the comments) but in case you are interested in coming next year (all done for 2014 sadly) here are some photographs to whet your appetite.

Vintage knitting ephemera

Spinning fibre jewels

felting  and the cutest dog

more from The Natural Dye Studio

AND - my stash enhancement...

BFL spinning fibre from John Arbon, sock yarn and so much more