Friday, 30 December 2011

Yarn Delight!

My Christmas presents from My Lovely Dad and Painter were so thoughtful! They gave me beautiful yarn local to their area in pattern kits. I got a hooded scarf pattern and beautiful merino and kid mohair yarn to make it with. It is soo soft!

I also got a kit (pattern and local yarn) to make a bag and purse!

The yarn is untreated so has that incredible yarny smell!

Add to that the lovely slippers and complete surprise of an iPad 2 from The Big One and I became one very spoilt and happy gal!

"A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

- Margaret Mead

Currently Knitting...

Do you remember that I decided to learn Scandinavian/Fair Isle style knitting? Well I started over the Christmas holiday and am utterly De-LiGhTeD with how it's looking!

The scarf is knit in the round so will be super cosy!

It's considerably easier then I thought and yet the results look so impressive! I think I'm going to change the colours gradually in different sections and am very excited about designing my own patterns eventually! I've already had one order for a scarf in this style so I may be very busy click clacking for a while!

"If the knitter is weary the baby will have no new bonnet." 
~Irish Proverb

Thursday, 29 December 2011

An Apple a Day...

On Christmas Eve My Lovely Dad took The Big One and I to a Cider Farm. Ralph's Cider Farm, I have never seen The Big One so enthusiastic at a bar! He sampled all 7 of their beautiful homemade ciders and bought quite a cider stash! It's his favourite tipple so he was in his element.

We met Ralph and his wife and they told us great stories about the cider festival they hold, the wasp invasions they've had and patiently explained the stages of the cider making progress and what apples were used in each.

Several samples later we headed out, The Big One carrying quite a few cider and Perry purchases!

"The older I get, the more I become an apple pie, sparkling cider kind of guy."
- Scott Foley

More Christmas Knit

I can now share with you the hat I knitted for My Lovely Dad for his Crimbo pressie, it was knit with a bulky alpaca and felt lovely and cosy.

A chunky man hat! 

He seemed to like it.

"And all your future lies beneath your hat."
- John Oldham

Did You Have a Merry One?

I very much did! The Big One and I spent it with My Lovely Dad and his wife Painter in their beautiful cottage in Wales. They run their home as a B & B and have impeccable taste plus are outstanding cooks so we had a luxurious amazior time!
Spike or Kutch...can't tell which!
We arrived via Bristol, so we could squeeze in a bit of time to see our friend's Peachy and Connoisseur (blog-names) who spoilt us rotten with pressies of Giant slabs of Brownies and a beautiful book on how to host the perfect vintage tea party. I felt thoroughly ashamed as this year I have failed in every way to engage with Christmas and hadn't sent cards or got equally thoughtful gifts. We arrived with a bottle of Moet and that was it - rubbish!
Gizmo the lovely Pug
After meeting Gizmo the lovely pug, filling our bellies with mulled cider and mince pies we headed off, bound for Wales.

My Lovely Dad and Painter had treats galore in store for us and after a lovely lunch took us to Hay on Wye to have a peruse in the bookshops. I quickly found and bought....

plus a Natalie Wood biography and a book on Cross Stitch borders and alphabets. Result!

After book shopping and a yummy dinner we were taken to an incredible Christmas Choral concert, the Quire. It was a festive celebration of the old Welsh and English traditions such as Wassailing and Mari Lwyd. I had no idea of this tradition and was fascinated. The singing was unaccompanied and really beautiful. Lit by candles suspended in jam jars it was a stunning evening and really put us all in the Crimbo mood.

I will tell you about Christmas Eve in the next post and skip straight to Christmas Day now which was lush. Relaxed, full of amazing presents (The Big One gave me an Ipad2!!) and mind blowing food!

My Christmas dinner before it became Thermidor!

We had an absolute B-L-A-S-T! Hope you did too!

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."  
~Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Red's Christmas Knit

I saw my sister Red and her boyf Berlin yesterday for a very short lunch, the only time will we see each other this Christmas so we exchanged gifts and now I can finally show you what I made for her..

It's a turban style headband to warm the ears with a bow to dazzle. She seemed to love it and certainly wore it well, which I knew she would. When I started it she dyed her hair from pink to blue and I was concerned I'd make my trendy sister look like a Blue Lagoon cocktail but luckily she soon changed to brunette so it works well!

She and Berlin gave me a lovely canvas bag with this perfect print on it - 

Along with a mix CD for The Big One and I called The Sounds of Berlin and a lovely print from a Berlin photographer. All the presents were so lovely but my favourite was getting to see her for even just a lickle bit.

I will next see her in Berlin when we go to visit, which we hope will be sooner rather than later!

"Christmas isn't a season. It's a feeling. "
- Edna Ferber

Tuesday, 20 December 2011


I was just having a wee peruse on Ravelry when I came across the wonderful Kate Davies, a knitwear designer whose colour work designs are so beautiful that I have made up my mind to develop my knitting skills and try some colour work, that way I can eventually attempt her designs.

All these stunning designs are available via Kate's Ravelry page or her blog Needled.

Funchal Moebius

Paper Dolls

Amazing aren't they!

So some beginner colour work patterns to get me brushed up and ready? I think I'll start with  Laura Cahu's Beauchamp Cowl

Or maybe Elinor Brown's  Min Ulla Scarf? Looks incredible but is apparently not too difficile...

We shall soon see!!

"There is nothing so difficult to marry as a large nose."

- Oscar Wilde

A Yarn Round Up: Perth

I cannot let 2011 come to an end without finally blogging about the incredible Elena Costello Yarn & Fibre Studio in Perth Scotland. You may remember I was performing in Perth in September, well amongst my wanderings I found this beautiful treasure trove of yarn. I had meant to blog about it at the time but with the transfer to London, getting ill etc it got lower on the list...til now!

I met Elena herself in the shop and she kindly let me take pics of all the delicious delectables she had on offer,  she even showed me around personally and answered all my questions. She explained that the shop had been flooded and severely damaged only a few months after opening and that it had only  really just been restored to working order by the time of my visit. It looked pretty good to me!

Elena was lovely, really warm and welcoming and if it was closer to London then I'd be in there all the time! If you're in the area, (Perth is incredibly beautiful so well worth a visit) I highly recommend a 'pop-in', you won't regret it - your purse might, but you will skip away with a fabulous recycled paper bag of buzzing excitement just like I did!

See  - even the bags are cool!
Some DK for my afghan of travels and some yellow fun!

Thank you Elena for giving me so much of your time...and your great taste in yarn!

“...the number one reason knitters knit is because they are so smart that they need knitting to make boring things interesting. Knitters are so compellingly clever that they simply can't tolerate boredom. It takes more to engage and entertain this kind of human, and they need an outlet or they get into trouble..."
-Stephanie Pearl McPhee

All I Want for Christmas is...

....A Christmas jumper!!
For the last few years I have meant to get myself a snuggly, fun, festive wooly garment and never come across one until today! It's too late though, they're almost all sold out but next year - next year I shall adorn myself in one and ye shall all look upon me with awe and envy!

Until then I shall share my cyber finds with you...

Atom Retro stock Retro style knitwear for both men and women, and of course there's the trusty treasures from Asos and Topshop. I have earmarked some of my finds for Winter 2012...

Looks like Reindeer £26.99

Run Randolph Run £24.99

Topshop £50 each
Pretty Vacant | Christmas Reindeer Jumper - Scary Canary Clothing
Pretty Vacant Reindeer £40

"I got a nice jumper on me, and I'm not just bragging."
- Bow Wow

Red and Berlin are Coming!

c/o Holiday's Helper
It's kind of like Christmas Day for me already as today I get to see my amazing sister Red and her lovely boyf Berlin. They are UK headed for Christmas and today is the only day they will be in London before touring the various family homes.

We are meeting for an all too brief lunch with My Lovely Dad and hopefully The Big One (if he can carve out a spare hour or so in his enormous work schedule) and I'll be giving pressies! I hope they likie! Once they are delivered I can share with you what they are but for now they are still a tightly wrapped secret.

I love giving presents and am ridiculously excited this year to see people's faces - Fingers crossed they look happy!!
"Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness. "
- Richard Bach
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