I could be left with a lot of sock yarn, and that would be terrible! (said tongue in cheek)
I seem to have been surrounded myself with all things Christmassy this weekend. Last weekend I wandered over to Decorative Cloth and found to my delight that they had some boiled woolen cloth in. I quickly came up with an idea and bought enough fabric to delight son no.2 with a home made stocking advent calendar. I was designing whilst I was choosing, it was really good fun.
When I knitted the first hat from this pattern for son no.1 he was tickled pink not least because the snow on the ground was at least two inches thick and he needed something warm whilst he was tinkering with cars. He proudly wore it to work and his boss exclaimed that it was indeed a very fine hat and was very impressed that his mum had knit a hat like that. I felt quite warm and perhaps just a little smug.
Fast forward four months, just breaking into spring and the ‘boys’ at work played a little game of hiding the hat, which culminated in the new boy (new that day!) putting the hat in the microwave and turning it on. The hat burst into flames in two area’s but being wool self extinguished once the microwave was turned off. We were left with a very burned hat and were very annoyed – I am being polite here!
I was asked to knit another hat that the boys at work would pay for. So I quoted the full price for yarn, minimum wage and approximate hours it would take, all that cabling does take time. The message came back via my son that they wouldn’t pay that, I think they were a little shocked at the price, and by this time we had calmed down somewhat, knowing that it was just boys being boys, so I said okay a bouquet of flowers and the cost and postage of the yarn. This was deemed fair by the boys at work and I left the knitting of it until the weather turned colder.
Son no.1 only had one request, that it must be identical, absolutely identical in every way.
Thank goodness for Ravelry as I had recorded everything I needed to be able to achieve that. Although if I am honest, I think the tension is just a gnats whisker tighter than the previous hat, although I think this may be because of the reasons above of why I was reknitting it.
Son no.1 proudly wore it into work, only to be told that only black hats were allowed these days, – back to the drawing board!
This was knit in Rowan Pure Wool Aran in Grey from a pattern called Knotty but Nice by Natalie Larson.
Two Sundays ago we were racing into Birmingham to see the Lost in Lace exhibition that I spoke about in my last post. Unfortunately we didn’t make it in time and had to see that the following weekend because we realised it had been far too long since breakfast and we needed somewhere to eat. Out came the iphones and we thought we would give Yo Sushi (we are addicted at the moment!) a go in Brindley Place as we had never been there before.
Wow, what a space! Its wonderful. So much of interest, we got their late in the day so didn’t have the time to appreciate all of what it has to offer, we are going back sometime soon. There were many restaurants, art galleries,
and small boys paddling at the end of October.
in the shape of a very interesting cable pattern.
A happy hubby full of sushi,
and a contented Mandycharlie debuting her latest hand knitted hat,
made from a pattern called Simple Pleasures Hat written by Purl Soho in Berroco Ultra Alpaca in purple. Its very cosy, yet soft and light, perfect for the autumn.
Brindley Place has such a great vibe, it was the tiniest of city breaks but we came back home completely refreshed and eagerly planning more adventures to come in this wonderful space.
Last Friday we trotted over to Birmingham to see the Lost in Lace Exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. For the first half an hour we stayed firmly entrenched in hubby’s car as the rain drops were so heavy they were bouncing up six inches after they had hit the pavement. Eventually we got into the museum, the boys went off for another look at The Staffordshire Hoard whilst I had a look at the lace. This gave me the time that I find is necessary to slow down to a pace which engages the arty side of my brain. I rather like it when I can just, if I listen very carefully, hear my own breathing, rather than the clod hopping sound of a boisterous teenager bouncing around a wooden floor whilst making audible sighs as to just how long his mother is going to be. It gave me time to appreciate the art of lace on a completely different scale.
I will show you just a couple of exhibits as it is a small show and I can’t give everything away. I thought this was rather spectacular, and immediately saw the use of it on a commercial scale where it could be used for partitioning of open plan buildings.
And I loved this, envisioning the garden on this side, the allotment end of the garden on the other.
And then the boys came back, there was this one exhibition where you entered a very small room which then went black as ink and waited for the lights to shine upon the lace with different colours and angles. I thought son no.2 might like this and he did, but only because I was trying to take a photograph of him in the pitch black and he kept moving. So the game at which he giggled was to catch him in camera shot whilst he moved as silently as a ninja. It was great fun, I did get this photograph of him.
Which is quite arty in its own way.
The best part was because he had giggled and enjoyed himself, he then went around the exhibition with renewed interest. Perhaps that is the secret to bringing younger people into the arts, sneak a few unexpected twists in and they won’t even realise how they have been drawn in.
Thursdays is market day. In the summer I wander around the market purchasing the odd seasonal beauty, although to be honest our allotment more than keeps us supplied. Unbeknown to you all what I am really doing is waiting. I wait patiently during the summer, dreaming of long almost forgotten days that were in the middle of last winter and silently I wait. I say nothing to nobody, it would simply make my agitation worse. Slowly the seasons change, the colours of autumn appear, grow vibrant and then start to fade, the days become colder, I drag woollies out of my wardrobe to pull ever closer around me to keep warm. And still I wait. The days become shorter, making it more likely to be returning from late afternoon shopping trips in the dark, and it is at this point that I can wait no longer, the time is ripe.
I casually wander up to the fish mongers in the market, inspect his wares and then jump into the fray of men and women bustling around his stall. It looks busy but we all know where our place is in the queue.
It was worth the wait.
For the first bountiful feast of these dark blue beauties.
They were clean, tasty and very plump, and came all the way from Cornwall. They say mussels should only be eaten with an R in the month, but modern methods mean you can have them all year around, my self, I think they need the cold to plump them out and recover from breeding. From November to late February or March if the weather was like last years is the perfect time for mussels. And what could be better in the dark and dismal days of winter in landlocked Warwickshire than the smell of the ocean tantalising your taste buds as well as your memory. And then just for good measure adding the tang of a splash of malt vinegar and a little sea salt on your hot crispy chips, making it tricky to decide which mouthful to have next, the crispy, hot, salty with a whiff of vinegar chip or a plump, fat, mussel dripping with a buttery, winey, slightly garlicky liquor accompanied by the clean fresh ozone smell of a winters day walking on the beach.