April

Today is the first day of the Blogging from A to Z challenge. Every day of April, except Sundays, I will be publishing a blog post. Today it should begin with A, tomorrow B, the day after, C, and so on. You get the idea.

I have various plans for April, and to ensure that they are more likely to happen I thought I’d make them public.

I have a lot of website building work to do again, but I want all that to be finished by the 20th, as then I have a week off. It’s my first proper week off since I started at my job in September and I plan to use it well! My main plans for April are for that single week. I want to:

  • Spring clean and organise the whole house (and it really needs it. I’ve been working too much and not tidying enough)
  • Neaten up the garden before it becomes too out of control again
  • Sew some things, as I’ll actually be able to get to my sewing machine again
  • Meet up with a friend who’s moving to Spain very soon
  • Sort out my yarn
  • Play with my camera and learn how to take proper photos with it

I know it’s a large plan, and I know I probably won’t be able to do it all, but I’ll do my best. And of course, I’ll keep blogging every day, hopefully with something a bit more interesting than this!

Rosie’s Moments Yarn

Back in September at Bristol Wool Fair, I bought some yarn from Rosie’s Moments. It’s British, reasonably priced and she uses wonderful colours.

At the beginning of this year she started making limited (around 20) monthly mystery boxes. I managed to resist in January and February, but by the March box I realised I had to try one. I nearly missed out as she sold out before I had chance to buy one, but luckily for me and a few others she made up a few extra. This time I jumped on the chance and I am so glad I did!

Around pancake day there was a giveaway on the Rosie’s Moments Facebook page. All I had to do was tell everyone what my favourite pancake topping is. So I did (apricot fromage frais if anyone is interested). A few days later it turned out that I was the winner! Yay!

The spring box and the prize arrived together. The box was fantastic. In it was yarn, chocolate, some yummy lemon soap, a notebook, a stitch holder, some stitch markers, some buttons and a little electronic tea light. And of course attached to the yarn was a little bag of lavender as always. (Turns out I’m not so allergic to lavender any more, which is quite good really with the amount I now have!) Edit: There was also a coaster which I forgot as it was on the table when I was taking pictures!

Rosie's Moments Spring Mystery Box

The yarn is 4ply, 20% alpaca, 60% merino and 20% nylon so is very soft. The colours are very spring like, (the colourway is called ‘Cute Lambs and Spring Flowers’) and remind me of the crocuses and daffodils that are the first sign of spring.

Rosie's Moments Cute Lambs and Spring Flowers

The prize was more than I imagined. I was expecting a skein of yarn and no more. How wrong I was! Instead, she sent me yarn, a project bag, some lip balm, some KnitPro DPNs, a notebook and a bath bar.

Rosie's Moments Giveaway

The yarn is called Forest Floor and is 4ply, 75% merino, 20% nylon and 5% stellina sparkle. It’s really pretty and I’m thinking of pairing it with the dark green I bought from her at Bristol Wool Fair.

Rosie's Moments Forest Floorrosiesmomentsfern

So, if you want some yarn that’s bright and colourful, and want to buy it from a wonderful person, check out Rosie’s Moments. She also attends various events, and will be at the Bristol Wool Fair again this year.

In a final note, have you noticed that my photos are somewhat improved in quality (apart from the dark green yarn, that was taken a while ago)? My dad gave me his Canon EOS 50D after buying an upgraded model for himself, and although I am nowhere near knowing how to use it to its full potential I think it’s already improved my photos. It did take an awful lot of experimentation and manual reading to get them though!

Business – Can I run a wool shop?

A lot has happened since my last post, the details of which I won’t go into. I’m back though, and in April you can expect a post nearly every day as I’ll be taking part in the A to Z blog challenge. Then in May I’ll be taking part again in the Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, so there’s a lot to look forward to!

I’m currently in the middle of making a big decision. A wool shop nearby is for sale, along with all its stock. It’s basically an entire established business for sale. We were driving past it when I noticed it for sale, and being curious I looked it up. It’s only £15,000 and has a turnover of £51,000 apparently. I don’t know any other details yet and I’m debating whether it’s worth asking. The idea of running my own wool shop is wonderful, if somewhat scary. I’ve also thought up so many ways I could improve on what’s there and increase the customer numbers. I have the people skills, I certainly have the interest and knowledge of the stock.

On the other hand, can I commit to it? I wouldn’t be able to afford staff at first so would have to be there all the time, and I imagine the amount of paperwork and stress involved would be huge. I also don’t have £15,000, which is another slight problem. The question is, are there more positives than negatives, and would the business continue to be profitable straight away?

An Update

I haven’t forgotten this blog, I’ve just had very little time. However now I have lots of things I want to write about so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep up with this a bit more!

I only have one main finished project, and that’s the cardigan from NaKnitMo. I love it, it’s warm and cosy and I’ve basically been using it as a coat. The pattern is Velvet Morning and I used Wendy Traditional Aran (which I believe is British). Sorry about the bad picture quality.

Velvet Morning Cardigan

I didn’t knit much in December, just started a pair of thick socks from the leftovers of my cardigan. I’ve almost finished them now, and once I have it’s time to get back into proper knitting again.

In December, Nick from UdellGames and I got engaged. I’m planning to knit a shawl for me, and shawls for my bridesmaids. The pattern I picked for my shawl is Sheherazadeshetla and I’m using Jamieson & Smith’s Shetland Supreme 1ply, which has 1600m per 100g. It’s really thin, but the small bit I’ve knitted so far is coming out really well. It was important to me to use British wool, and I wanted a natural but pure white, and this was the closest I could find.

Finally, as a birthday present for me, and an engagement present for the both of us, Nick and I bought a Kenwood Chef Titanium. So far we’ve made ice cream, short crust pastry, soda bread and some bread using ground almonds instead of flour, and have been impressed by it all. We only got it on Tuesday. Now that I’m used to it, I plan on making up some of my own recipes, so look out for them in the future.

In 2015 I have some big plans. Not only am I knitting my wedding shawl and bridesmaids’ shawls, I’m also going to try and knit a pair of socks per month (I managed 11 1/2 pairs of socks last year!), plus I want to knit at least one cardigan, a scarf/shawl or two for me and probably various other small things. I’m also going to finish sewing my big fancy project bag, and learn how to sew clothes properly. That should give me plenty of material to post at least once a week for the foreseeable future. Oh, and we also plan on getting a dog, as soon as we can find one that’s suitable.

In December my working hours got doubled. This has made me value my free time a bit more though so I’m actually managing to get more done than before.

So, that’s the plan, let’s see if I can actually stick to it this time!

NaKnitMo

It’s that time of year again. While lots of people are taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, where they try to write 50,000 words), some of us over on Ravelry are taking part in NaKnitMo (National Knitting Month) We set our own goals (usually 30,000 stitches or more). This year my goal is 30,000 (although I managed about 75,000 last year, but I have a job now…) although I’ll probably end up knitting more, as my secondary goal is to knit this. The yarn is on its way and I’m hoping that it’ll arrive today, but if not on Monday when I’m actually here to receive it.

Since my last post I’ve knitted a lot. I shall update with that soon, when the final scarf has finished blocking. I’m also testing a pattern I’ve designed, and starting two others.

In non-knitting news I’ve managed to create the perfect recipe for the base of gravy and soups, have made quince jelly, picked a LOT of blackberries and bought lots of bulbs to plant in the garden when I get round to it. I also got a job as well as my web design stuff.

In amongst all that, I shall attempt to get, and keep, everything up to date around here.

 

Bristol Wool Fair

I apologise for the lack of posts lately. Hopefully from now I can get back to posting regularly.

On Saturday Nick drove us up to Bristol to visit Bristol Wool Fair on the Sunday. The first exciting moment (for Nick anyway) was when his car reached 190000 miles while in the Waitrose car park before we’d even properly left. Sorry about the blur, it was a quick photo.

190000 miles

We arrived at Bristol Wool Fair, on the Downs by the water tower, a few minutes after it opened at 10am on the Sunday. I was having second thoughts as to whether it was worth the trip, but I soon realised it definitely was!

Bristol Wool Fair

We visited the alpacas first. They were very friendly and made funny little bleating noises without even opening their mouths. The pale one is called Scrabble, and the darker one is Caesar.

Alpacas

I then had a bit of a sit down and knit on the knitathon, where up to 20 people work on the same bit of knitting at the same time. I’m not sure whether they got it finished, but when it is they plan on hanging it near the water tower.

Nick wanted breakfast but the food vans weren’t quite open yet so we did a lap round visiting stalls. As soon as we walked into the first tent, the first stall caught my attention. I didn’t want to buy anything on the first look around though so I managed to pull myself away. There were stalls selling all sorts of yarn, fibre, accessories and pretty much anything you could think of to do with wool.

Sausage Fest

The food vans were open then, so Nick grabbed a sausage. It actually ended up being two sausages. I think he ended up with chili and goat’s cheese and Somerset cider and apple, which he quickly devoured.

Sausage

Then it was time to do some shopping. We managed to buy a couple of things from the first tent, but then we realised the time and went to watch the sheep sheering show. I was expecting it to just be a sheering demonstration, but it also included a bit of history about British sheep, with examples of some of the breeds, which was interesting for both of us.

Sheep Sheer

More shopping then happened, before the duck herding show by The Quack Pack. That involved a couple of collies herding some Indian runner ducks around various obstacles. Tadpole was the first dog. He was really small, and loved water, so when he had the ducks safely in their pen he went and sat in the water in one of the obstacles. I didn’t manage to get a picture of the next two dogs as we didn’t have the best viewpoint.

Duck Herding 1Duck Herding - Tadpole

By this time, it was 12.30 and time for me to start volunteering already. I was posted on one of the fire exits. After Nick had met the dogs, visited the alpacas again and had a sheep’s milk ice cream, he came and kept me company as it was quite a boring job. Luckily I had some knitting with me to help keep me occupied.

We planned to leave after the volunteering as we had to drive for two hours to get home, and had to call back into my parents’ house first. However, we did another lap, did some more buying, I had an ice cream (really yummy!), had a final look around and left.

Sheep's Ice Cream

I would have loved to do some more knitting on the knitathon, a felting workshop, and knit a flower for Gertie but I just didn’t have time.

I was really pleasantly surprised with how much there was to do, as well as the super friendly and relaxed atmosphere. I was also impressed by the range of things on sale, the amount of things to do, and the fact that many of the stalls, including food, were run by local people and businesses. I’ll definitely be visiting, and probably volunteering again next year.

Here are the yarns I bought, and I could have bought so much more!

Rosie’s Moments:

I visited three times. Rosie was pretty busy but we chatted with her husband and they were both obviously very enthusiastic about their yarns and kits. I’ll definitely be looking in her Etsy shop in the future when I need to buy yarn (which won’t be for a while I think…). I was very impressed by her prices, and the fact that all her wool was British. She also puts a little sachet of lavender with each skein, which is wonderful unless you’re allergic to lavender like I am… Doesn’t matter though, wonderful yarn! Check out my Ravelry stash to see details.

Rosie's Moments - Surf's Up Rosie's Moments - Sunset Rosie's Moments - Ruby Red Rosie's Moments - Fern Rosie's Moments - Burnt Orange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coastal Colours:

Just the one skein, chosen by Nick, but in such beautiful colours. It reminds me of flowers on a cliff by the sea.

Coastal Colours

Moonlight Yarns:

Again just the one skein, but the colour called to me. It’s so very soft and will probably end up as a scarf or shawl.

Moonlight Yarns