Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Yarn Along - works in progress

I have four knitting projects on the go right now.  Four.  For someone who was a very monogamous crafter until recently, this is pretty much my definition of madness.  My mum was horrified when I told her, so I guess that's where I get my one-project-at-a-time mindset from.  I also have another couple of things to cast on, but they're just going to have to wait their turn.

cable knit scarf chorley wrap rowan chunky yarn red

Cable scarf
I wrote a bit about my rare 'knit something for myself' project a few weeks ago so I won't repeat myself too much.  I'm using the Chorley Wrap pattern by Rowan, a design full of cables, which is not my favourite thing to knit.  It's about half way done and I must admit, I'm liking the pattern a lot more now that I've had a few good runs at it.  The cabling is still a little slow but it's made a nice accompaniment to a rather boring video collection I've been digitising at work.

rainbow coloured yarn baby blanket striped knitted

Baby blanket
The blanket is also coming along nicely, although I can only work on it at home since it's being gifted to a guy at work for his soon-to-be-born son.  I'm fairly confident it'll be finished before I leave, but I want to make another thing for him so I'll need to devote more time to this one.  There's a chance I might run out of the bright blue wool but my mum has backup supplies of a lot of Robin's range of double knitting yarn, so a quick phone call to her meant I have another ball coming in the post soon!

dublin bay socks knitting double pointers needles coloured yarn

Dublin Bay socks
I was looking for a portable knit to take on the flight to Cardiff last week and I had some sock yarn in my stash.  Easy.  I ended up knitting less than I expected on the trip but it was nice to have something there anyway, just in case the notion took me.  I did the cuff before I went to Wales and got a few rounds of the lace pattern in at the airport and in the air.  I think I'll keep these as a portable knit so who knows when they'll be done.

silver rowan knitted baby cardigan aran yarn stripes

Silver cardigan
Another Rowan pattern and another backup project.  I started this baby cardigan a while ago to use up some yarn I had sitting around.  I love these colours together but again, it's not something I'm making with a specific recipient in mind, so it'll go in the gift drawer when it's done.  The baby cardi I sent to Louisa was made using the same pattern but DK yarn instead of Aran.  I loved the colour combo on that too - this pattern seems to be my default for testing which of my yarn shades go together!

So, how many of these projects can I get done by the end of the month?  As long as the first two get done, I'll be happy, although I'm kinda hoping that by the time I finish the scarf, it'll be too warm to wear it.  Well, I can dream, can't I?

I also have two books on the go and another pile waiting to be read.  Apparently I can't settle my mind on just one thing this year.

currently reading yarn along call the midwife paperbacks

Farewell to the East End by Jennifer Worth
The last in the Call the Midwife trilogy and a book I've picked up and put down multiple times since Christmas.  I tend to prioritise library books, for obvious reasons, but I really like this series and I'm looking forward to getting back to it.

Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
My friend loves this book and I thought it sounded interesting so I borrowed it a while ago.  Last week I finally got around to starting it and I have to admit, it's not grabbing me so far.  I'll give it a few more chapters and if it doesn't improve, I'm going back to the midwives.

Linking up to Ginny's Yarn Along.

What's everyone knitting and reading this week?


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

A trip to Cardiff and Barry Island

cardiff city centre flags

national museum of wales exterior architecture building

cardiff wales architecture tk maxx shops

vintage shop front cardiff wales j bowles

cardiff castle wales exterior

animal wall cardiff wales castle

cardiff train station vintage signs platforms frontage

In hindsight, I should have split up this post, because I took so many pictures and wanted to stick them all on here.  No prizes for guessing which part of the trip I was most snap happy about - I do love a trip to the seaside, after all!

Let's start at the beginning, though.  Tam and I headed down to Cardiff on Thursday for a couple of days.  It's been forever since we took a cheap flight anywhere and we thought we could visit his cousin in Barry while we were there.  We explored a bit of the city centre on arrival, then I saw a Pieminister and had a mini heart attack - we need one in Scotland so I can get over my obsession.  I must admit, Tam and I seem to have perfected our pie-making to such a standard that it might be better than Pieminister...  I know, that's crazy talk.  Still, I should probably make another one just to be sure.

That afternoon we paid a visit to the National Museum which, while interesting, confused us since it wasn't on the same scale as the Scottish one.  Definitely worth a visit though, especially since there's a cool map exhibition on right now.  Friday morning we had another wander around the city before catching the train down to Barry Island.  The castle looked amazing but we slightly ran out of time to explore it.  That crazy bear statue sitting on the wall did a good job of guarding the neighbouring park!

barry island seaside seafront promenade palm trees wales

vintage beach seaside viewfinder viewpoint barry island wales

barry island wales promenade seaside hut

beach huts barry island colourful seaside wales

barry island sign wales climbing wall promenade beach

barry island sign wales climbing wall

Ah, Barry Island was pretty.  Super cold, but very colourful.  See that sign up there?  It's a freaking climbing wall.  I was so mad when I realised my choice of footwear was going to hinder my chance at fun.  Stupid cute boots with pointed toes.  My scarf even matched the decor nicely.

Tam's cousin (sister to his Nairn cousin - we're well-travelled thanks to them all!) came to meet us with her two little girls.  Their nanny is from Barry so she told us all about its history and the plans for the new funfair while we walked on the beach, then it was hot drinks all around at Calwaladers.  I'd been told to try their ice cream but it was too cold even for me that day, so it was substituted for green tea and coffee and walnut cake.

colourful doors barry island promenade wales

vintage bandstand barry island wales

After hanging at Tam's cousin's place for a while, we went back to the city to visit a cinema that charged a mere £4 a ticket.  I finally got to see The Revenant, which was... fine.  Domhnall was wonderful as ever but man, that's a bleak movie.

Saturday morning we were checking out of the hotel and flying back home with a bunch of rugby fans for company.  I always forget how accessible the rest of the UK is by plane, maybe I should take advantage of it more often.

Who's been to Wales?  It definitely beat my first trip there...


Thursday, 4 February 2016

Umbrella weather

pluie umbrella knitted cardigan interweave knits

Mother's superb knitting skills strike again!

I got a lovely surprise on Saturday when she presented me with this umbrella-themed cardigan.  How ridiculously cute is it?  It's not blocked yet (Mother never blocks anything so it's down to me to fix that curling button band) but I couldn't wait to wear it.  So this was Sunday's outfit!  

umbrella cardigan knitted red pluie interweave knits button denim skirt M&S brogues

knitted umbrella cardigan pluie interweave knits red

clarks burgundy lace up brogues shoes vintage style

The all-important centrepiece of the outfit was created from this pattern in an old issue of Interweave Knits, although it can be purchased online via the link.  The sleeves were lengthened to Elise-friendly proportions, my favourite feature of anything my mum makes for me.  I actually have to wear the cuffs rolled back on my black cable-knit cardigan, which is still a glorious novelty.

Other bits of my outfit include the best denim skirt ever and the most painful brogues ever - yup, I'm still wearing them.  They rubbed my feet again on Sunday after our long-ish walk along to the People's Palace and back into town, but I might give them just one more last chance...

I hope everyone's having a lovely week.  Any exciting plans?  We're off on a jaunt to Cardiff for a couple of days - the combo of cheap flights and hanging with Tam's cousin was too good to resist.  First holiday of the year!

cardigan - made by Mother
t-shirt - Long Tall Sally
skirt - M&S
brogues - Clarks

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