Knitting round up 2017

2017 turned into a bit of a strange year for knitting. I was trying to knit from stash whilst spending most of my money on childcare. The stash knitting went well, although my stash in/out totals for the year ended up the wrong way round as I was given yarn as presents (how dare they!!)

My last stash bust project of the year was another Beyond Puerperium, 6-12 month size for a friend’s baby. This used up the leftovers of my Rowan Amy Butler organic Aran wool/CottonRowan Amy Butler organic Aran wool/Cotton. I really enjoyed knitting with this yarn, originally purchased half price in the John Lewis sale when I worked in central London in 2011. Sadly the yarn is now discontinued. The recipient’s Mum isn’t a knitter but was very pleased with it!

Other projects completed this year include two rainbow jumpers for LO, one of which is pictured, using West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK. The pattern for both was Conscious. These have already had a lot of wear, as they are easy to get on and off (there are buttons at the shoulder) and the yarn is machine washable.

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I also did a Beyond Puerperium in the two year size for LO, using Ella Rae Cozy Soft Prints, which again has been really useful and is a nice soft machine washable yarn.

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The third Conscious I knitted was for my niece, who turned out to have a wool allergy (hence why LO ended up with both of the rainbow jumpers!). For this one I used Louisa Harding Noema, which was quite nice to knit with (I don’t normally really enjoy knitting with cotton) and has a slight sparkle to it, which my niece apparently loves!
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I’ve also knitted a few dolls’ clothes. This is a dress knitted for my Goddaughter’s doll using up the leftovers from the Beyond Perperium
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My stash knitting totals have also been affected by a couple of other projects. The week before Christmas I decided LO’s doll would like a hat, so knitted one out of some oddments of DK that someone had passed onto me but which hadn’t been recorded in my stash.

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A close friend died in September, and, before she died, I promised her that I’d finish off a couple of knitting projects she hadn’t had time to finish – which turned out to be two pairs of socks for her Dad, who has size 11 feet! So, I haven’t added this yarn to stash, but it has meant a lot of my knitting time has been taken up with knitting these. She was using the Winwick Mum contrast cuff, heel and toe pattern, and the yarn is WYS signature 4ply, in the kingfisher colourway plus contrast.

So, stash in and out in 2017:

In 7256.3 metres

Out 4588.4 metres

so I acquired 2667.9 metres more than I used in 2017. However, 2660 metres of that was gifted to me, leaving only 7.9 metres over! It is safe to say that, had I been doing all of my own knitting, I’d have used up more than I acquired.

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Happy New Year 2018!

Well, it’s been a while since I last posted. Work has been busy, as has life at home with a toddler and there never seems to be time to get on top of things. Plus I’ve acquired some more blogs to read, which means even less time for blogging myself!

I was lucky enough to receive some lovely knitting related presents this year. The first from a friend was a knitting bag with sheep on!

The second, from my brother’s family, nearly matches up my hobby with my career – knitting and rare books/manuscripts! I’m really looking forward to having a closer look at this when I get some time – I don’t go back to work until Wednesday but nursery reopens for LO tomorrow.

Then I had some Jamie and Smith 2ply jumper weight from OH and LO. This is to make Bluebells by Kate Davies. Can’t wait to get started on this, although I have various projects to get finished first… More in another post!

Finally, my BIL gave me two balls of Rico Pompon yarn, which I haven’t used before but looks interesting. I will probably make something for LO with it.

Our New Year was fairly quiet. We stopped staying up until midnight several years ago as we couldn’t see the point, especially once we had a baby and prioritising sleep becomes very important! Today we had a day out to a garden centre with a soft play to burn off some energy (LO, not us!) and lunch out, before returning home for her nap time.

How was your New Year?

Garden at the beginning of September 2017

The garden is beginning to look a bit autumnal, probably because of the sunflower drooping on the lawn! 

First nineteen apples of this year’s harvest. These are Red Windsor from the half standard tree.

The Japanese Anenome is still flowering, although it’s getting harder to keep on top of the dead heading! That’s another sunflower drooping into it – we had storms, it made the sunflowers droop.

The red Pyracantha is always the first to get berries, followed by the orange and with the yellow a long way behind.

The non-Chelsea chopped sedum is beginning to flower.

Last few Alstroemeria flowers.

Sunflowers!

What signs of Autumn are there in your garden? 

Garden at the beginning of August 2017

August has whizzed past, mainly because I was doing extra days at work so haven’t had as much time available as I do normally. Nearly the end of August, but here are a few pics I took at the beginning of the month!

LO loves picking raspberries. She is worse than the birds for stripping the plants bare.

This is one of LO’s sunflowers. It turns out that this toddler activity is very popular at both toddler groups and nursery, so we have several sunflowers to show for it. This one was the first to flower. The nursery one turned out to be five plants as she had clearly sown a handful of seeds rather than just one!

The Gladioli I got from a magazine freebie a few years ago keep coming back. The first year I planted them at fortnightly intervals to keep the flowers coming for an extended period, and they seem to have kept on doing that?! Certainly we have some that are already past their best, and others that haven’t flowered yet. I must remember to send off for this year’s freebie – allium bulbs!

The Japanese Anenome has got huge this year, and seems to have started flowering earlier than usual. It likes to spread so I often have to dig wandering new bits up from places I don’t want them. It has expanded beautifully to fill this border in though, which means you can’t see the earth, and no need to weed!

One of my containers full of flowers. This was the bargain basket bedding plant selection!

A pile of rhubarb harvested at the beginning of the month. We have been rather overwhelmed with rhubarb this year, I think the combination of wet weather and warmth has spurred it on. I ended up taking loads of it to church to give away!

This cheeky little viola popped up in a container with a rose in. I didn’t plant it there…
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That’s all for now. Wonder how long it will take me to do the September post, due tomorrow?!

Rainbows 

So I’ve been doing lots of knitting in July. In my last stash update I reported the purchase of three balls of West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK yarn in the rum paradise colourway.
This was intended to be knitted up into two Conscious jumpers for LO and her cousin, who is three months older. Three balls should be just about enough for two jumpers in 2-3 year size.

Here we are in progress. The first jumper I was really careful about matching stripes on the sleeves. The yarn is nice to knit with and the stripes are a really sensible size – would look lovely as a pair of socks!
Ta da, here is the finished jumper for my niece.

I weighed the yarn leftover and realised that I had used more than 1.5 balls of the Aire Valley DK already, so decided to use some turquoise oddments someone had given me to finish the sleeves on the second jumper. This is LO’s favourite colour so I thought she’d like it like that. I used up every scrap of the Aire Valley, hence the non-matching sleeves on this one.


Then, disaster. LO and I went to visit her cousins, and I discovered that the smallest one can’t wear wool, so LO now has two rainbow jumpers!

And I now have four balls of Louisa Harding Noema yarn (a cotton/acrylic mix) to make a non-wool Conscious. It’s a good thing I enjoy knitting this pattern…

Anyone had a similar change of plan with their knitting?!

Days out: RHS Wisley 

LO and I visited Wisley (one of the Royal Horticultural Society gardens) recently with a friend. It wasn’t our first visit, but it was our first with a toddler!

It’s a brilliant place to take a toddler. There is a huge amount of space for galloping around.

There is a playground for slightly older children, plus an indoor soft play for pre-schoolers at the Glasshouse Cafe. We didn’t actually use either of those though as there were so many things to see.

There are steep paths to climb and rough ground to scramble over. Whilst there are steps there are clearly marked accessible paths which are totally fine for a none-off-road pushchair. 

The rose garden was so heavy with scent it almost felt visible! We had fun smelling different flowers. 

In the soft fruit fields there was a strawberry tasting event taking place. LO loved tasting different varieties of strawberry, including a white one, although she seemed equally keen on all of them! 

There are good children’s facilities, including several baby changes, all clearly signposted. The Glasshouse Cafe has children’s lunch boxes which LO loved.