As usual the summer has been a bit of a whirlwind which has kept me away from my laptop for a number of months, I’m sure it has forgotten who I am by now… Incidentally I am having to borrow a laptop to write this as I am still in “summer sailing” (despite what the weather says) mode and haven’t retrieved my laptop yet.
Despite being absent from the blogosphere I have managed to fit in some crafting over the summer and in the last few weeks some planning for my winter hibernation/craftathon.
So over the summer I designed a desk dinosaur for Nikki to keep her company at her desk at her new job at the uni. These took on a little bit of a life of their own and after finally purchasing some wool from the wool shop in Cowes (that I kept threatening to visit but never seemed to be open when I was there) a number of Zinions appeared over the next few weeks whilst sailing with teenagers. Why Zinions you ask? Well Nikki’s heatpack/fluffy friend is a smallish sized dinosaur which got named Zilly because it a cute and fluffy godzilla. Then when Mum bought me a even smaller dino for Christmas that got known as Mini Zee, and designing even smaller dinos to create a mini stuffed army for Zilly, well they had to be Zinions, because Zilly’s little minions…
My Make Nine at the beginning of the year had three knitted jumpers on it, one of which I completed in March and the other two were left till the end of the year when I had more time again. I am planning to knit both an Aran Pullover and another Icelandic style yoked jumper. The Aran jumper is the first one on the to-finish list, I have started designing it (because we all know that I never actually knit anything the way a pattern says so I might as well start that right from the beginning!) My biggest concern when thinking about this pattern was that an aran jumper made out of 100% wool would probably be too warm for me at least for a lot of the year so I was on the look out for a blended yarn and accidentally stumbled across Rowan’s Hemp Tweed yarn in John Lewis in Southampton where they had a couple of balls on sale but looked like they had just stopped stocking it… Taking a chance I bought the three balls they had and then googled to see if I could find it in other stores.
A couple of swatches later I ordered a bulk order from Wool Warehouse and set about casting on a sleeve to see if it actually did knit up to the same gauge as the swatch. Much maths later I had calculated all the increases needed to get it to fit my arms and have completed the sleeve up to the under arm. It is looking great, the stitch definition is spot on and the texture is wonderful. The question is which bit do I cast on next, Second sleeve or the back/front? I am going to leave the raglan top of the sleeves till later when I have enough brain power to calculate the decrease rates…
Tbh I haven’t made as much progress on this as I thought I would have by now, but after making three of the sections I lost a lot of my motivation. I have all the hexis cut out and folded for the first full stripe (Mid Blue colour) and am in the process of sewing the last part of the strip together. Just another 12 colours to go after this!
I have managed to fit a bit of sewing into the early summer, when I was still home a bit. One of my best friends got married this summer and I decided to go all out and try and make all of my outfit for her wedding, I even considered trying to make the shoes for a while! I managed to make the jumpsuit, jacket and I even created a fabric pattern repeat using some custom painted water colour elements that I got printed up onto some material for a scarf. Unfortunately I was having too good a time to remember to get a photograph in the whole outfit so these two mirror selfies will have to suffice for the moment.
I also got an unusual request from my mother to make her a ball gown, oh and I need it in 3 weeks time! I will give her credit, she knows I have a habit of making myself ball gowns in a few days (or even the day before I need them…) But this did require a bit more designing and head scratching than I normally put into my dresses but it was lovely to make something that she felt happy wearing. That covered the bits she wanted to be hidden but felt glamorous enough for a black tie dinner. The dress has a large matching scarf which covers the arms without adding much heat
I have managed to get a bit of travel in as well as all the sailing that I have done this summer. It started with a trip to the Brecon Beacons in Wales for the Hen Do, we had the loveliest weather and canoed down a section of the Wye and on our way back home we walked up Pen Y Fan. Well I got to the summit of Corn Du the slightly smaller of the peaks but was still treated with some utterly lovely views.
A and I both turned 32 this year and we actually managed to go away for the weekend for both of our birthdays this year which was wonderful. For mine we stayed in a shepherds hut in the South downs national park (yes that is two more parks ticked off the list…). It was a wonderful weekend but who ever tells you the countryside is peaceful and quiet has never slept next to a field of sheep…
We did quite a lot of walking that weekend as we were in the middle of nowhere and just off the South Downs walking route. We found some gorgeous views but always after a big incline…
For A’s birthday we spent the weekend on the Isle of Wight, I mean we both spend a lot of the summer there but only ever in one or two locations and never far inland. So he showed me a lot of interior of the island, including the needles battery and the garlic farm… It was wonderful to have a weekend to ourselves before the madness of the summer season kicked in fully
Later in the summer we journeyed down to Cornwall for a wonderful wedding of two of the first people that I made friends with when I got to Uni many years ago! Held on a clifftop with the reception at her parents house we were so lucky with the weather and everyone had a wonderful time and it was an utter pleasure to be involved with, if somewhat nerve wracking to do a reading.