Thursday, 23 February 2012

Peerie Flooers

Just under two weeks, and here it is...

' Peerie Flooers ', pattern by Kate Davies (needled ). A straight-forward Fair Isle pattern, the yarn is Jamiesons' Spindrift. The colours as close to the originals ( in Rowan Fine Tweed) as I could get. I had forgotten how much I enjoy knitting in fair isle. I wonder if Jamiesons will have a stand at Wonderwool Wales? A group of us, from 'Close Knit', will be going.

The girls were decidedly unimpressed with my takes away from Walking time!
They seem, suddenly, to have grown up. Spaniels become adults at about three years old, so Barley and Quince have a while to go yet...they are about twenty months old.
I have spoken about the Otters on our stream, from time to time. There has always been a coming and going, on a monthly basis, since we arrived here. After last February, we had no sign of any visits. Then, over Christmas, Quince got very excited, and rushed up and down the bank, finally falling in and getting very wet. Next morning, I found two very distinct spraints ( poo markings) on the sprainting rock. Since then, we have had evidence of visits, about every three days. Hurrah!!
Another sort of visitor stayed for a long weekend recently. So I tried out an Italian Lemon Tart recipe, kindly given to me by Isabelle. Sweet, buttery pastry, filled with a rich, but quite sharp, lemon custard. Divine! Deb and J. were happy to have second helpings, as was Best Beloved.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Resistance is Futile.

Showing the Mary Jane Mucklestone book to sister Nicky, was a good thing and a bad thing. Nicky was very enthusiastic about the Fair Isle, and asked for a Fair Isle hat for her birthday. So that solves what to give her -good. The yarn and pattern have to be obtained and knitted two weeks.(That is the ...not so good).
So, the pattern was quickly bought by download. The final choice 'Peerie Flooers ', by Kate Davies. A speedy trip to The Wool Merchant, after spinning group, to purchase the yarn, and all was ready.

I had to start the hat, as the yarn was just too tempting to leave be.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

New shops, new yarns

Finding and exploring new ( to me) Wool shops, fairs and festivals, is an enjoyable way to spend time. My partner in this activity for the last five or so years, has been my lovely friend Jac. Husbands, boyfriends, etc., don't understand at all. Jac, though , is off to (work) pastures new. So, a last treat before she shook the West Country mud from her shoes. Last thursday, we went to 'The Wool Merchant', in Tiverton.
A light, bright shop full of truly beautiful yarns, all tastefully displayed. It already seems so established, that it is difficult to remember that it only opened last year. After nearly an hour of 'ooh'-ing, and choosing, and changing minds, we left. Both clutching bags of goodies.

I have been reading about Mary Jane Mucklestone's book ' 200 Fair Isle Designs' in all sorts of places. Kate Davies ( ) has been enthusing on her blog, and 'Knitting Daily' is obviously enchanted with it. There, at ' The Wool Merchant ', was a copy. Not just another knitting pattern book, but the said 200 designs, and how to fit them onto garment patterns that you choose. Inspired! There is also lots of practical advice, and colour theory, specific to Fair Isle knitting. That copy came home with me...Love it!

The recommended yarn for M.J.M.'s designs is Jamiesons' Spindrift. It is a proper Shetland yarn. ' The Wool Merchant ' have about sixty of the nintey shades available, all arranged in baskets, tempting as newly baked buns. Four balls, one each of Mooskit (fawn), Mogit ( dark fawn/light brown), Spagnum (olive-y green) and Cyclamen, joined the book in the bag.

Jac bought eight ( different shades) of the same yarn, along with seven balls of Rowan Fine Tweed. The Rowan is the required yarn for 'Peerie Flooers', a hat pattern by Kate Davies (see above) which Jac is going to make. So, home to drink Tea, and stroke yarn.

Tristan and Isolde has always been one of my favourite legends. I have many versions in books of folk tales. One book is purely about the Tristan and Isolde stories, telling ten different versions.

There is only one version of the tale which has been made into a decent film, though. That was on T.V. on Saturday afternoon. The ending is slightly different to my favourite version, but acceptable. The problem with it is the casting. Isolde ( played by Sophie Myles) is good. Lord Marke ( The sublime Rufus Sewell ) is beyond excellent. BUT...would any girl really choose James Franco over the vastly superior, incomparable, Mr Sewell??

Ah, well. A good film to knit through. ( The knitting was a simple Friendship shawl. Plain enough to glance at every second row.)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

First Day of Spring

Today is Imbolc. First day of Spring, in the Celtic Pagan calander. The Snowdrops , totem flower of the day, are out, and looking wonderful. The best display I have had.
So we will probably get snow very soon!

Here is a better view of the 'Swirling Gauntlets'. Modelled by Barley.
Another improved view...this time 'Bushy, Bushy Green Shawl', seen here underneath Quince!

( You can't see from the picture, but she was wagging so hard, she nearly fell off the sofa! )

Enjoy any sunshine you may get.