The Cutest Buttons In The World and Podcast Episode Three!

The dress is finished, here’s the last detail shot….the buttons were the only thing left to do……..

20160426_101804

I chose these adorable pearl shell buttons for maximum comfort and because they look so lovely with the fabric…….but these (beautiful as they are) are not actually the Cutest Buttons In The World…….

…..these are The Cutest Buttons In The World………….

20160426_101352

These little donkeys look so happy!

20160426_101423

I found these amazing little fellas on the Skein Queen website…..a very lucky find! She has the most beautiful collection of buttons for sale and stocks hand dyed yarn and lots of other lovely yarn related stuff!

I’m going to use these buttons for my friend’s baby (due in June) – I’m knitting the Puerperium cardi, in linen this time. I’ve steered away from wool for this one, as it will hopefully be warm by the time the baby arrives! The best thing is, my friend has two donkeys! So these buttons could not be more perfect! I’m pretty sure she’ll squeal (like I did) when she sees them!

I’ve also been busy with the rug re-make…..lots of pulling down and steam ironing……

20160426_101528

I’ve started the process of stitching the strands together end-to-end to make them into one continuous strand. I’ll be crocheting these back into a rug in the next few days! So the next picture you see will be a finished rug! It is actually taking longer that I had anticipated, but I think it will be worth the effort – I’ll have a rug that I’ll want to use instead of a rug that I don’t know where to put in the house!

I also bought new yarn……..

20160426_101928

I need to take some yummier pictures of this gorgeous yarn, so this is just a peak, really. I’ll talk about it more in the next post, and what I am going to make with it. Or if you are impatient, like me, you can always just watch the podcast (below) and find out there! The yarn is BFL Singles by The Uncommon Thread and it’s very beautiful! I really can’t wait to start knitting with it. I have more yarn in the post (what happened to my resolution to only use stash yarn for the next few months?) for an exciting KAL that I’m taking part in over on Ravelry…..the Mandarine’s Shawl KAL is taking place throughout May and is the perfect opportunity for me to knit a shawl I’ve had my eye on for a long time…….more about that in the next post also!

…..and whilst not knitting, Charlie and I have been helping on the farm…….

20160428_094105
Here’s Charlie, checking that they’re all in the right paddock!

It is sometimes our job to follow the heard to the paddock after milking, and make sure the cows all get there happily! We have to close the gate once all of the cows are in the paddock, to stop them from wandering down to the village, or roaming around the farm! We like this job very much! The cows are such beautiful, friendly and curious animals – I love to be around them and they really like Charlie!

20160428_094333

The heard, very content, that’s what we like to see :)

/>20160428_093816

We live in such a beautiful place and I feel so lucky to be here, surrounded by all of this amazing landscape!

I’ve also been busy recording a third episode of the loop and bar podcast! I’ve had some lovely comments so far, which is very encouraging for a newbie! The knitting podcast world is so friendly and it’s so much fun podcasting and interacting with others out there! Doing the podcast has actually made me more active on Ravelry too, which is great! So if you are interested in taking a look, if you haven’t already, just scroll down for the loop and bar podcast episode three, in which I talk a little bit about my week in Wales, share some of the things in this post (and a bit more), show a favourite thing from around my house, and give a very mini welsh lesson! The pod notes are below it, for links to people/websites/patterns I’ve talked about :)

YouTube Preview Image

Podcast notes……

Bits about Wales….

The Wonderwool festival in Builth Wells, Wales – how did I not go to this?! I’ll put it in my diary for next year……
My lovely resident Redstart …tweet!
The Llangernyw Yew

Patterns mentioned….
The Sunburst Granny Square (from the blanket) – I’ve linked here to the original place I found the pattern and this is the one I used, but the Sunburst Granny Square is available on Ravelry also, just put it into a search and you will find loads of versions.
Puerperium Cardigan – that’s the tiny blue one with the rainbow buttons :)
Andrea’s Shawl by Kirsten Kapur on ravelry

Yarn and buttons mentioned………
Lang Yarns – Carpe diem (how do you say that?!) – seriously gorgeous yarn, super soft with a very high squish factor! I got mine from my local wool shop, ‘Ar Y Gweill’, but they don’t have a website so I’ve linked to an online source instead.
Sirdar Snuggle Baby Speckle – from the tiny blue cardi :)
Drops Belle Uni Colour yarn
Jaeger Matchmaker Yarn DK – sorry, can’t find a good website to link to for this – I got it from my local wool shop in N.Wales
Debbie Bliss Rialto DK – Circus colourway
The Uncommon Thread – BFL Singles, colour: Attic Room
The lovely donkey buttons from Skein Queen :) Big smile!

Crafts people mentioned…..
My beautiful mug in this episode…..Jenny Murray ceramics available at Cwt Tatws, North Wales (among other places)
My little houses :)

Podcasts mentioned…..
The Gentle Knitter
Brooklyn Knitfolk

A re-make project, some sewing and another podcast!

I have been unravelling………

20160422_100654

….I’m re-making my rug. It requires quite a bit of pulling, sorting and ironing before I can get the crochet hook back out!

20160422_100202

….the circle wasn’t working for me and neither were the stripes. I’m going for a rectangular shape and blocks of colour and I can’t wait to reinvent this lovely rug into something lovelier! If you want to see the rug in it’s original finished form, you can take a look here (scroll down quite a bit)…..the post I’ve linked to is actually (coincidentally) very appropriate to this particular project, as it reminds me of how indecisive I can be when it comes to choosing colour arrangements!

anyway…….I just need to make this into something that fits into my house better! I found that I have moved this circular rug from one room to another, trying to find it’s place, before realising that it’s the wrong shape and the colour arrangement is a little too busy for my liking after all.

20160422_100511

It’s fun to work with this big wool again. I am steam ironing it and re-winding into large balls before I re-work it. I’m so looking forward to the crochet part! And Charlie is looking forward to being able to sleep on it again! Watch this space…….

…..in the meantime, she has been test-snuggling my cosy memories blanket! Thanks Charlie, I think it gets the seal of approval!

20160325_21104720160325_214806

I love working on this, it’s perfect ‘telly knitting’ – no need to concentrate too hard on the stitches and no pattern to have to keep track of. I am having to restrain myself from buying lots and lots of lovely Unicorn Tails to put in this blanket – I adore them so much! I am trying to stick to the ethos of the project, which (I believe) is to use up scrap yarn…..which I have done, to a certain extent….but I have allowed myself a clause – that being, for every scrap yarn (or stash yarn) I use in the blanket, I am allowed to buy a new yarn for it! Ha! Perhaps it is time for me to join a yarn swap!

On a very exciting note, a new little person is about to join the family, making me an aunty again! Hip hip hurray! So, naturally, Aunty Kate has been knitting…….

20160413_094223

I chose yarn that my sister can chuck in the washing machine….I’m sure she will appreciate that with a new born and a four old! It’s also guaranteed to be soft against baby’s skin, which is essential. It was so quick to knit, with it being so tiny! Will it really fit an actual (albeit tiny) person? It’s so small!

20160422_082235

All I need to do is sew on the buttons……can you guess, boy or girl?

And baby’s big sister is getting a new dress……

20160422_102435

Here’s a little sneak preview – I’ve been sewing this all week, it’s the Pumpkin Spice dress from Heidi & Finn. I have made it a couple of sizes larger than the pattern recommends for Evie’s measurements, as the size they recommend would have been way too small. So it’s the size 5 year old (she’s nearly four). I will put ties on the sides so she can tie it at the back if it’s a little roomy.

I didn’t dare attempt to machine sew the binding onto the little armholes! I’d come too far to mess it up! So I indulged in a few hand stitches…….

20160422_102358

..and oh, how I love them! I made the sleeves slightly puffed, so they look even cuter and give a little more room…..

20160422_102419

I so hope it fits her! Just need to hem it, do the buttons and ties and knit her a cardi to go with it! Hope she likes it!

That’s not the only sewing I’ve been doing…….I made my first ever knitting project bags! I chose to make them with drawstring closing because I didn’t want my yarn to get caught in any zips! Also, it reminds me of the P.E. bag that my Gran made for me when I was in primary school – it was a red and white gingham drawstring bag, just the same shape but bigger and had my initials stitched in navy blue! I may put my initials on these!
I love having these! I’m so motivated to work on the projects in them! They hang on hooks in my sewing room (just like my P.E. bag used to hang on my peg at school! – lovely memories!) And I got to use some of my favourite stash fabric, including one my sister printed….(it’s the beautiful pale green fabric on the left)

project bag

20160422_102704

20160422_102616

…..and what’s in them? Well, this is one of the projects I’m working on……

20160422_101140

…It’s the Woodland Tales Mittens by Mandarines

I’m joining in with the Pom Pom mag spring KAL on Ravelry with these mittens, which I’m enjoying being part of – it’s a great way to make a few more connections with other knitters, you get to know a few people on Ravelry who are into the same kinds of things, so it’s great! I’m making two pairs, one in this lovely pale yellow and the other in an earthy purple….and what’s in the other bag? I’ll share that in the next post!

Aside from all the knitting and sewing, we’ve been glorying in the spring sunshine at last! And so has the garden…..

20160421_083627

I am so please with this planter I found in the woods by my house…….I don’t know what it was originally, but it makes a beautiful flower bed in my garden!….

20160421_083723

….and the hellebores are still in full bloom, I love them so much because they have flowered all through the winter and can now enjoy this lovely spring sunshine……

20160421_083648

…..and as well as all the knitting, sewing, gardening (or more precisely, hacking up clods of grass from the veg patch with a giant pickaxe!)….I have recorded another podcast, episode two! It’s actually been on You Tube for about a week now, but I’ve only just had the chance to do this blog post and include the podcast notes in it! So if anyone is interested and hasn’t already had a look, just scroll down for episode two and the notes will be below it :)

Loop and bar podcast episode two……

YouTube Preview Image

Notes: links to websites/patterns/yarn mentioned…..

Fabric mentioned in project bag : Cloth & Clover (oh, how I love this company!) and Tilda fabric
Wren and Ivy – my friend’s lovely (online) shop for beautiful customised homewares and (I think) fabric
Laxtons – they sell undyed yarn for hand dyeing (UK Based)
Mandarine’s – a wonderful knitting blog and podcast
Pom Pom Spring KAL on Ravelry
Hat WIP – Fidra by Gudrun Johnston
Cosy Memories blanket (or the version I have used) – here

Knitting podcasts mentioned:

Daynamyte
A Wee Bit Knitty
Inside Number 23
Charlotte & Gus

Big wool in re-make rug project from Ingrid Wagner
Evie’s dress: Pumpkin Spice Dress

Hurray! I did a podcast :) ….and scroll down for the blog post :)

I’ve recorded a podcast! It’s my first go and I think the sound may be very quiet if you are watching on anything other than a Mac, but here it is! hope you can hear it! Podcast notes below…..hope you like it :)

(if you’re not a podcast watcher and just want to see what I’ve been up to on the blog, scroll right down past the video and notes for the usual blog post :)

YouTube Preview Image

Notes:
links to websites/patterns/yarn mentioned…..

Cupcake Mittlets by Shantha Ramachandran
Zealana Air – yarn from New Zealand
Quince & co Tern
Mini-Skein striped sock
Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply – I actually think I’ve got the ‘Spiced Plum’ colourway, not the ‘Mixed Magenta’ as mentioned (and spelt wrong!) in the podcast! It’s beautiful either way :)
Drops Alpaca
Fringe Association
Drops Alaska
Cosy Memories Blanket – Adelaide Cottage version on Ravelry
Laxtons – Suppliers of undyed yarn, UK based
www.wildcolours.co.uk – suppliers of dyeing materials, UK based
Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed – this is now discontinued so I can’t link it but there’s quite a lot on Ravelry :)
DMC Camilla tweed yarn
Madelinetosh unicorn tails – here’s the website and here’s where I got the yarn (because I can’t find it on the website!)
Blog – www.acreativebeing.com – with a really beautiful and amazingly positive post from her sister :)
The tea-pot :) Mine is no longer available but I’ve got my eye on this striped one for my birthday!

To anyone who sat and watched the whole (or even some) of this podcast, thank you so much! It’s a long one! I was a bit enthusiastic to share my stuff and with it being the first podcast, I had a lot to share! I will try to make any future podcasts a little shorter…….and louder:)

And in case you prefer to just look at pics on the blog rather than watching a podcast (they’re not for everyone), here’s a bit of what I’ve been up to…..

Back in September (that’s last year! Oh my goodness, I haven’t blogged for so long!), we had the most fantastic holiday in Dorset – the place is beautiful! It took my breath away and I would happily go there every summer! One of the many highlights was the breathtaking Lulworth cove – and the weather was amazing! We were so lucky…..

20150910_105950

20150910_105613

20150910_105955

20150910_110147

Oh the sea! I actually had a dip (a very chilly 10 second dip, but I did do a bit of swimming, my feet left the ground before my fingers went numb so I think it counts!) We had several pic-nics on the beach which was a real treat! Especially for Eifion who enjoyed several beers in the sun :)

kates toes

We stayed in a very old farmhouse (hundreds of years old, in fact) on a stud farm near Bridport and loved it so much, we felt very at home there! I particularly enjoyed cooking our breakfast on the aga and saying hello to the horse at the kitchen door every morning! It was a super holiday and it makes me smile every time I think back to it! It was perfect :)

And as for knitting…..well I have been busy over the last few months, starting on this…..

green jumper

and getting this far (picture take this morning!)…….

green jumper a bit more

After lots of frogging, re-calculating, re-knitting, I think I’ve cracked it! But lets wait and see when it’s finished! The proof will be in the final jumper! It’s not from a pattern, I’m improvising a top-down-in-the-round, hence all the re-working! I’m hoping as I get more experienced at this I will have less mistakes to correct!

I also knitted a cardi for my niece…..

Evie jumper

I used some of my hand dyed yarn (in cochineal) to make this and I love the colour so much!

20140101_011317

It is actually finished and (hopefully) being worn by Little E, but I was so eager for her to have it that I forgot to take a picture of the completed thing! I will have to get a picture next time I see her and when I do I’ll put it on Ravelry. It’s ‘Cascade’ by Raya Budrevich on Ravelry and it’s a lovely little pattern to knit. I’ll be making more of these in the autumn!

I also made a pair of Cupcake Mitletts by Shantha Ramachandran for my sister, using Quince & co Tern in colourway ‘Beach Glass’ – this yarn is so soft and beautiful and very lovely to knit with and I happily have enough left over from one skein to make another pair……..

cupcake mitts

I also made a pair for myself, this time using Zealana air – a beautiful soft lace yarn in Brushtail Possum down, cashmere and silk! It was from New Zealand and I’ve been waiting for the perfect project to use it for…….

cupcake mitts2

These are actually finished but I’ve been idle in the photographing department so I’ll put a completed picture on Ravelry at some point!

I’m also working on a Cosy Memories blanket! I’ve seen so many of these being made on various podcasts that I’ve fallen in love and cast on my own! I’m cheating a bit though and buying new yarn as well as using stash yarn, but I’ve made a pledge to myself that for every new yarn I purchase for this project I will use a stash yarn. Perhaps I will try a mini skein swap with my friend Emily – so many others are doing this and it’s a great idea, it reminds me of being at school and swapping collecting cards in the playground! We never grow out of some things, do we?!

cosy mem blanket

These beautiful Madelinetosh Unicorn Tails will be next to go in the blanket:) I got two colours – Dust Bowl and Celadon and I love them both. I’ve actually wound them together on the wonderful yarn winder that I bought just after Christmas (one of the best things I’ve ever bought!) I thought they would be too thin to use individually and I suspected I would not have enough yarn on each skein to knit them double, so I wound them together to make a blended colour and I’m looking forward to seeing how it knits up. This yarn is so soft – in the words of Katie from the podcast ‘Inside Number 23’ – “I want to live on it” ! She’s so funny!

Well I think that’s just about everything for now – I’m currently making a dress for my niece so I may have a little bit of sewing to share in my next post – I’ll need to dust off the sewing machine for that one, but it’s about time I did some sewing again and I need to finish it before she grows out of it! I’ve also boldly announced on the podcast that I may attempt to make a knitting project bag before the next episode, so watch this space! The sewing machine won’t know what’s hit it!