As I write this I am tucking into a massive bowl of apple crumble, from the last of my friend's apples. This weekend I mostly spent time cooking with said apples and crocheting. I also had a bit of a podcast binge (I do love a good podcast), including the latest, and last in the series of Kate's lovely podcast, A Playful Day. Kate talked about where she would be spending her money this Christmas, with small businesses and those with an ethical, sustainable and charitable ethos. This made me think about where I have spent my money this Christmas and I believe this may be the first year I have purchased gifts almost entirely from small businesses, some of which are local to me. This made me very happy, and I would like to share with you some of the businesses I have purchased gifts from.
Monday, 28 November 2016
Monday, 14 November 2016
You know how it is sometimes when there is always something going on. A gig. Birthday drinks. Halloween get-togethers. Though I love all of the above I haven't had a day to just sit down and create for what feels like months. I always optimistically pack up my crochet on a Friday and before I know it I'm back on the motorways Sunday afternoon and it hasn't even been unpacked.
Monday, 7 November 2016
I've never read a novel on knitting, so when this was brought to my attention by Sarah of Crafts from the Cwtch I thought I'd give it a try. As I read this on my e-reader I hadn't read the blurb, but I had preconceptions this book would be about a 'knit and natter' group using knitting to escape the day to day realities of life. However, this book was nothing like this at all and as I read on I was surprised over and over again.
Sunday, 30 October 2016
You can't disagree, Autumn is beautiful. The trees start to turn and the landscape becomes a sea of yellows, reds, oranges and browns. Mushrooms pop up everywhere, I've never seen so many mushrooms as I have this year. I took these photos on a walk with friends (and their lively pups) this morning. We walked for about two hours on trails, tracks, alongside the rivers and waterfalls just north of Merthyr Tydfil. This area gets such a bad press but its outstandingly beautiful. We even came across a group of walkers who had come miles to walk along this specific route. They had come to see some interesting geology on the route, which we would have never had known about. An area of completely unspoiled natural beauty right on my doorstep. A-amazing.
This entire tree trunk was covered in mushrooms, I've never seen anything like it before!
Not only do I love Autumn for the changes in our surroundings, but also for the way it seems to spur me on in my creative pursuits. I always feel very inspired in Autumn to both create new things and try out new crafts, but also to finish up long-neglected projects. In January I often start new things, but Autumn is usually the time that I finish them. This Autumn I've felt a need to declutter, to work my way through the bags of yarn shoved under my desk, on top of my wardrobe, on my shelves (you name a place and I'll have a bag of yarn or a half-finished project there). I've also been making the most of the abundant berries, picking sloes in the Isle of Wight last month (which swiftly went into gin!) and blackberries which have made their way into a bottle of vodka! Last weekend I picked some crab apples from a tree at the end of my street (I got up super early on the Saturday morning so that no one would see me- its a busy street) which are also submerged in vodka to make Crab Apple Schnapps, a Danish delicacy. I also made jam for the first time. My friend has a glut of apples and I made some apple and chilli jelly using this recipe (here) and it worked! It was amazing, I was worried that it wouldn't set but it set really quickly. I think it would be great with cheese and its so easy I would definitely recommend giving it a go.
Getting back to my need to declutter I've been working through some longstanding projects, knuckled down and got them done. Do you remember by sock yarn hat that I started last summer (yep, I am that bad at finishing things)? Well I only finished it!
I'm so pleased with the way it turned out, and its lovely and warm too. The pattern is "sockhead slouch hat" by Kelly McClure and the yarn I used is Lana Grossa Meilenweit in India.
I also finished my Worcester Scarf by Kat Goldin for The Crochet Project. I just love those little puff stitches! I used the suggested yarn for the pattern, Socks Yeah by Coop Knits
Two completed projects is enough for one post, more to follow :-)
Time for a bowl of crumble, my friends' apple trees giving again......
Monday, 17 October 2016
I'd seen this film 'YARN' across social media for the last couple of months, and was hankering to see it as soon as it was out. It was first officially screened in the UK Sunday 11th October and was thrilled to hear that Joeli of Joeli Creates had kindly organised a screening in Manchester! Before I go into more detail about the film I would like to briefly pause and tell you a bit more about the venue the film was shown at, as it is definitely a place I will be frequenting much more in the future.
Monday, 3 October 2016
Monday, 19 September 2016
Since Trailwalker I really lost my creative inspiration. I still felt the need to create but just couldn't think of any new ideas. I didn't appreciate initially how much the walk took out of me both physically and mentally. I spent a lot of time with my laptop propped up on the bed in front of me adding to the rounds on my sock head hat (til I went a bit wrong on the decreases). I then had a Facebook notification from a crochet friend who said she had added me to a Facebook group, Sixty Million Trebles. You may have seen the hashtag #sixtymilliontrebles flying around. This project aims to create crochet and knit blankets for refugees in Syria to a total of sixty millions trebles to represent the current number of refugees globally at the end of 2015.