Bright Pink Crochet and the Optimism verses Realism Battle

I am a raging optimistic and dreamer in a good way… I have so many ideas whirling in my head but I accept I do have to be a realist too and that is true of being able to keep my blog updated. As much as I want to, I can’t blog as much as my optimistic / dreamer self would like to. I work, I am a parent to teenagers and animals, have a highly demanding yarn habit and I keep reminding myself I haven’t trained much for my bike ride in May.

A picture of Wodge the Dog, waiting to be crocheted within an inch of his life.

In my makes I have been continuing to knit my Stephen West Garter Breeze shawl. I did not realise it was such a mammoth project. My optimistic self said I’d make one in some existing gorgeous Countess Ablaze yarn I had in my stash before moving onto making another in my Edinburgh yarn… the realistic me is still on shawl one but loving making it. Happy optimist is realistically going to finish some time in August.

As I said, I’m busy so this was interrupted by a few days working in China.

A crazy whirlwind and home again… I did take some socks to knit; that was optimistic and not at all realistic, they will be finished for Christmas, optimistically.

I may have said before, I like to juggle projects, in an evening I rarely work on only one, I’ll spend some time knitting before swapping over to crochet and vise versa. While making Garter Breeze I have been working on a large pink crochet sofa throw early mornings and late nights and now it is finished ready to go into my shop. I would love to keep this but I can’t. My house is like a soft, padded yarn cell and I’m getting complaints that the sound quality just isn’t the same anymore… that may be realistic.

The throw is made from super gorgeously soft Wensleydale UK wool, measures approx. 150cms x 150cms. It really is beautiful on a sofa, bed, chair, taken glamping and wrapped up warm, it’s a smasher.

My next project is some crochet cushions from some stunning yarn commissioned for a special sofa. I’ll catch up with further progress, now time for that bike ride.

CCK AKA Crochet,Cycling and Knitting

I am always drawn to the colour of yarn first, then I have to touch and smell it. When I saw the colour of this yarn in Edinburgh I literally bagged it instantly, I love the colours together. The yarn is Undercover Otter’s Jump Scare Aran in Screaming Satsuma and Citidel, it really beams. I started to make a shawl but this yarn has a structure and handle ideal for home furnishings so I reverted to a cushion where it holds it’s shape perfectly. I do like to make homewares with travel yarn, I can look at it constantly rather than an infrequently worn item often hiding in a drawer. It now sits on my grey sofa dotted with cushions like a rainbow. Perfect.

Inspired by my Edinburgh visit I have started to knit a Garter Breeze shawl by Stephen West. It’s a great rhythmic knit and I’m learning new skills while making this. I’m using Countess Ablaze Bluefaced Leicester and Masham fingering yarn which is soft and gorgeously smelling of wool, you know that smell…bliss.

April and May are really busy months for me as when weather improves I need to get some training in for a charity bike ride I take part in at the end of May. This is the third time I will be taking part in this ride raising money for women’s cancers; ovarian, cervical and breast cancers. It’s 100km at night from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace and back to Windsor. It’s tough but so worth the effort to raise money for these charities.

You can read a little more about the event here or of you would like to sponsor me you can here.

Due to the limited time I have to train, I decided on Saturday to cycle to knit group in Manchester, from home this is about 20 miles each way and my bike ride is a distance of 64 miles so it’s a good training ride. In the end I decided to actually ride from Ashton along the canal to Countess Ablaze in the Northern Quarter and then rode back out to Wythenshaw in the South of Manchester. I changed my route as I was a little nervous of the traffic for the whole route, however, I found cycling is well provided for in Manchester with cycle lanes protected by kerbs from the traffic. I loved cycling with my knitting on my back through the city centre streets, I’ll maybe apply to deliver with Deliveroo 🙂 I wore the knitted socks I made for my ride last year, super warm and cooling, wool is an ideal fibre for sport, comfortable, warm and can absorb sweaty bits.

This week I’ll continue with my shawl, I travel with work on Saturday so I’ll be checking my airline for needle and yarn allowance, not sure I’ll have much time for yarn though!

Week 8 – Meeting with My Tribe and not a lot of sock progress

It has been a crazy busy week catching up after a fab weekend in Stockholm so minimal yarning has been achieved. Must try harder, must concentrate more… familiar phrases from my youth!

My girl is still in India and due home tomorrow, I really can’t wait to see her, but it has been gorgeous to see my boy who has been home from Newcastle so it’s been a bit of a one in, one out scenario.

I have often mentioned the importance of seeing what I call my “Tribe” at the weekend. My yarn friends, my kindred spirits. Yesterday I went into Manchester to see my Tribe at Countess Ablaze, to chat, talk yarn, projects, life, some of us have arrived alone and never feel alone by the time we leave, always with new friends and ideas. I love it and it’s a really important part of my life. I liken it to going to the football, that passion and feeling of elation. I often come away from a new skein of something gorgeous too, there’s never a game lost.

I love a walk through the Norther Quarter of Manchester too, the street art is amazing.

I also love a little visit to Oklahoma in Manchester. This is a renowned kitsch delight, it is truly splendid. Perfect for presents a little treats. I have a habit of buying birds which I clip into mimosa branches. I adore them. I’m not sure I can add anymore however as the weight is starting to cause a 45 degree angle lean!

This week I have finished several Audiobooks as travelling gives me this opportunity. Michelle Obama’s Becoming is so inspirational and her calming and reassuringly strong narration just makes you think that woman could do anything. I also listened to Byrony Gordon’s Eat, Drink, Run about her training and preparation for running the London Marathon while battling with mental health issues. It’s not as calming Michelle Obama’s narration but encouraging all the same. This week I am listening to Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends, I am really looking forward to this one, I have heard great things.

And so, until next week. My girl will be back home, and I promise, I will try harder with the yarn. Have a good week!

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January Week 2 – Hats!

I’ve knitted chunky yarn hats this week.  An absolute essential as the temperature has really dropped. I will be wearing one until May now I suspect; the mornings have been cold, windy and frosty.  And dark.

These hats are from super chunky 100% wool, I have used Erica Knight yarn here, the quality is gorgeous and it really gives a great stitch definition and they are super warm. I like to mix up the pom poms as in the grey and yellow hat.  I’ll be adding some to the shop in the coming week if you’d like to buy.

As well as the chunky knits, I have totally fallen for Countess Ablaze’s The English Gentlemen yarn, Blue faced Leicester and Masham.   As always, the colours from Countess Ablaze are amazing; bright, rich, complex and basically stunning.  I made several Christmas presents from this yarn in colourways Urbex, Vamp and Industrial.

The hat below is in Industrial, perfectly matched the Manchester surroundings below.

And because it’s me, there has to be some orange.  With another Countess Ablaze yarn, Grande Merino, my colourway was a limited edition dye so I have linked the next closest colourway here for you – 1969 Dodge Daytona – Vanesssa

Not my best photo, I’d just finished my second Park Run.  Last week on my first run I didn’t wear a hat and I regretted it instantly.  This bright one keeps me warm and if I come a cropper I’m easily identifiable in orange. I love orange.

Enjoy your week, wear a hat. And if you haven’t got one message me, I’ll make you one or keep an eye on my shop for super unique, warm and bloomin lovely knits.

A Year of Making

This year I have decided to record my makes in my blog with photos and further details.  I do this already via Instagram – Mamie and Florrie in my posts and stories, however, I’d like to do this in a little more detail this year.  Plus I like to chat and share chatter about yarn, projects and I enjoy your engagement, we can talk yarn…

If you purchase one of my items you can see the story behind the making of it and understand the uniqueness of each piece, so here we go!

Ideas grow organically, sometimes they start with the yarn or ideas from somewhere I have visited, from feeling the texture and handle of the yarn and being excited by the colours of the blend or combination of several yarns, this gives me a sense of where and what it should be.

There will be other chatter too, my love of the outdoors, walking in the most gorgeous countryside where I live in the Peak District and the places I visit, friends I met over the year.

I have kick started January, let’s see where we end up in December!

Monochrome Winter Blankets

 

Monochrome Winter Blankets

Winter usually feels like a long
And dark and dull season
But it is full of inspiration
The sunrises have been beautiful
Nature looks it’s most stunning
And there’s also the warmth
And comfort of home settling down
A warm drink, mulled wine
A box set
A dog
A loved one
Under a warm handmade blanket

I’ll be adding more blankets to the shop
Only using quality yarns
All my blankets are handmade
Over many hours with great care
Every stitch counts.

You can follow my progress:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/mamieandflorrie/
Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/mamieandflorrie/
Or contact me at amy@mamieandflorrie.co.uk