Monday 23 August 2021

...playing catch-up

  • Here is the completed Lintilla shawlette. I'm so happy with how it turned out. I used all but 28g of two skeins of Schoppel-Wolle Wunderkleckse yarn so it's quite a substantial shawlette - long enough to go twice around the neck and tie in a twirly knot, or to drape around the shoulders in all its ruffled glory! I think the yarn complements the pattern beautifully, as it really highlights the short row construction of the borders.
  • An afternoon mooch around the garden with my camera, capturing the latest summer blooms......provided the inspiration for a little wedding gift for Lucy and Sam. A friend gave me a set of acrylic gouache paints as a retirement present and I tried them for the first time in this painting - they have a chalkier, more matt finish than ordinary acrylics, but are just as easy to use. 
  • I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself this week after rescuing a knitted cowl that was destined for the bin (I've started another de-cluttering cycle, and it hadn't been worn for ages). I originally bought it in the 'Accessorize' Winter Sale many years ago - it had been love at first sight when I originally spotted it on the scarf rack in the shop, but I'd been unable to afford/justify the hefty full-price tag, so I just kept going back, and coveting it, and kept my fingers crossed that I might eventually find it with an end-of-season discount applied. I was thrilled to bits when I did.
Sadly, it didn't really live up to my expectations. It was so big and floppy, and so loosely knitted that it was constantly getting snagged on things. The chenille stripes (olive green/turquoise) kept developing big untidy loops and it was even starting to unravel. So it ended up languishing at the bottom of the scarf pile, sparking guilt and regret rather than joy every time I unearthed it. I was on the verge of finally letting it go (let's face it, I already have enough stripey scarves to keep several Hydra warm in Winter) when my hoarding 'make do and mend' instinct kicked in. I decided to see if I could unpick and re-knit it instead, using the same stitch pattern/colour sequence and a tighter gauge.

The picture below shows 'before' on the left and 'after' on the right - an absolute triumph, I think we can all agree? As good as new - only better! 

Tuesday 17 August 2021

...a midsummer wedding

My (middle-born) son Sam got married at the weekend. He and his (now) wife Lucy live on her family's small-holding/farm in a little oak-beamed house they built themselves, right next door to her parents. They were married at the village church and the reception was held at the farm. It was lovely to finally be able to celebrate such a happy occasion with close friends and family after all the long months of seperation.
The planning and effort that went into the wedding was phenomenal. 

An avenue of wildflowers and sweet peas planted well in advance...
...provided a perfect floral backdrop for photos.
Sam spent hours jet-washing and cleaning the (working) cow-barn* so that it could be transformed into a light, airy reception space, decked with hessian, muslin, foliage, flowers and fairy lights. Blanket-covered hay bales and wooden pallets were used to create informal seating areas and tables in the farm yard and at the back of the barn. 

It was simply beautiful.

 *The usual residents could only look on in amazement from afar - kept at a safe distance behind a locked gate in an adjoining field!
This is one of my favourite photos from the day - out of focus and blurry as it is, it still captures the look of tenderness on my boy's face and the happiness radiating from his beautiful bride.
What a special, magical day!

Friday 6 August 2021


The wedding pebbles are finished! All remaining 81 of them, completed in a '10 pebbles per day' marathon over the course of a week or so, and safely delivered with a fortnight to spare. For someone who could easily be a gold medallist in the Procrastination Olympics this was quite an achievement, and I've been basking in the unfamiliar glow of being anxiety-free in the face of an impending deadline ever since...
 ...I mean, it's even given me guilt-free time to work on another unnecessary-but-irresistable knitting project - the Lintilla shawlette by the wonderful Martina Behm. I'm a sucker for self-striping yarns, and this particular one (Wunder-klecks by Schoppel, which I bought in a sale) is an absolute joy to work with. It's hand-painted, so the colour changes are completely random, and I love the combination of olive-green and cream with plums and pinks and indigo blues in this colourway. It's a 75% wool/25% biodegradeable nylon yarn, with a smooth, almost cotton-like texture, so I think it will be very comfortable to wear (not scratchy)...
...perfect for wandering past the wild-flower meadow...
...looking up at the sky through rain-spattered leaves...
...and spotting bears in the trees!