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!

Weeks 11 and 12 Stockholm Scarf and Edinburgh

What I absolutely love about buying yarn on holiday is making something to remind me of a visit. Throughout making this scarf I called her “Faceplant”, I do, I want to rest my head in her and inhale that deep woolly smell and cosy down and sleep, like a cuddle with your mum, it is the most relaxing and comforting mix of yarns I have known, Gotland / Alpaca and Mohair combined.

But I can’t call her “Faceplant”, it’s too aggressive sounding, too slap dash, she’s my Stockholm scarf, a place I loved visiting and would very much like to return to soon.

I soon wore her for a cold, wintery walk along the Monsal Trail, just a little test, she passed, it was hard to peel her off once home in the warm.

I often revert to simple crochet after a new project, happily picking up some trebles, granny squares, even happier in hot pink.

Edinburgh.

I knew Edinburgh very well spending my Uni days just outside of the city and visiting regularly with my friends. My best friend also lives there but it has been too long since I visited. It was just gorgeous to return to see my friends and combine that with yarn!

It was a fabulous weekend with friends, good meals, drinks and yarn friend company and buying some gorgeous delicious yarn which I will share with you soon.

I bought Stephen West’s Shawls book (signed and had the most gorgeous chat with Stephen, what a super friendly guy) yarn from The Wool Kitchen, Qing Fibres and Undercover Otter, stationary from Tillyflop and some Mother’s Day gifts from Beyond Measure and Yarnistry, and a few more … a good haul, loads of inspiration and lots to think about. I’m looking forward to next year already.