"There is an Indian proverb that says that everyone is a house with four rooms. A physical, an emotional, a mental and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but unless we go into every room everyday, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person."

Rumer Godden 1907 - 1998

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Inspired to Blog Again

It's been a while since I could say I've been inspired to blog.
I received a beauty of a book in the post yesterday, originally intended as a gift for a friend and I'm so excited by the cover alone that I have to keep it!

I used to knit regularly with the author, so without even looking inside, or reading any reviews I know this is a book I will wear out from use and love! I just love the encouragement to "Hack the System"! I can see me doing just that as the possibilities are already provoking textile work alongside knitting. I can heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in designing in fabric or fibre. It's available in paper with a code for a PDF direct from the lovely Felix, or via Ravelry as a PDF.

The first thing to think about is inspiration. I live reasonably close to the Kennet and Avon Canal and love my rather infrequent walks along it, there's so much to see that commands attention and a closer look. From overgrown forgotten industrial heritage to pretty picture postcard houses and canal boats. I have some inspiring pictures to work with which I took locally about 18 months ago. Whilst the building I've selected as my inspiration is not near the canal, it's close to the Beam Engines at Crofton, which are part of the workings of the canal. It's a Grade II listed building, described as a waterworks pump house, built to provide water from an underground reservoir to the small hamlet Wexcombe, sometimes referred to locally as the Pineapple. It was built in 1899, gifted, I presume, to the village by William Corbin Finch. I'm going to go back to this little gem soon and copy down the details on the plaque over the door in full, so I can do some more research.

After some Photoshopping, I've gathered a few interesting images:

Coloured pencils are being sharpened and new shiny squared exercise books will arrive at work tomorrow. I don't want to wish my life away, but roll on the weekend!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

A Hint of Autumn

There's been a hint of autumn in the air this week, the mornings have either been bright and crisp or a bit misty, the days have been dry and warm and the evenings clear. On Thursday evening DH and I had what we feel will be our last barbecue of the year, we lit our chiminea and sat out late, looking at the stars via the Sky View app and talking about the next stages of our garden plans. Autumn always induces a new more energetic creativity, I want to make preserves, work on my quilting projects, knit and crochet. I'm even starting to think about the holiday season!

My new crochet blankets are growing far more quickly than I thought they would. The latest changes to the garden mean there are lots of places to sit and discuss what we're doing and look at what we've done so far. While we're talking I crochet a few more stitches, first up the Neat Ripple Blanket, I can't believe how much this has grown since I posted about it last week.

Next, my Granny Stripe, this is the design that prompted me to dig some acrylic out of my "giveaway" stash. I'm aiming for a kingsize blanket that I can take out and about without being precious about it.

I had a week of re-organising my profile and project pages on Ravelry this week. I finally sorted out why my blogposts didn't show up and I put the vast majority of wips into hibernation. The latter was supposed to focus me on a small number of wips, instead I'm finding new projects to start. I suspect what's going on is my annual push towards using about 6 miles of yarn this year. My stash contains 78.16 miles, which for me is almost exactly 13 years worth of knitting, and why I've been yarn purchase free for 9 months now. I'll be starting at least one more new project today...

The garden is looking very different after 4 days work on it this week, all but two of our 5 terraces are now visible, even if the walls are incomplete. The shape of the garden makes it hard to take a single photo that takes in everything:

This week we have 11 tons of good topsoil arriving so that we can start to level the soil on the top two terraces, we can't put in the final two terraces until that's done as we'd lose the slope for getting a wheel barrow to the top of the garden. After that we'll need our Albanian builders back for another day or so to put in the final two terraces as we have a lovely greenhouse on order for the area just below the final wall in the last picture.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Blanket Mania

The crochet bug has bitten me again! I picked up my lovely Lily blanket a few weeks ago determined to make big progress; suddenly I'm crochet and blanket obsessed. In the last week I've started 2 projects, both blankets and I'm gathering ideas for another two. Then there's the real need for some new crocheted dishcloths and a strong desire to start a crochet shawl with very fine silk yarn.

The first start is a Ripple Blanket, inspired by Lucy of Attic24. I'm using Rowan Fine Tweed yarn that was bought for another project and somehow felt like the perfect yarn for a cheery lap blanket for winter evenings.

Again from Attic24's tutorials and using the same selection of yarn as Lucy uses a Granny Stripe, I'm planning on this being a travel blanket for taking out and about when such a thing is needed.

Friday, 6 September 2013

5 am

I have mixed feelings about being awake at 5 am, its stupid o'clock.

On one hand I can appreciate the silence, the opportunity to concentrate. It's a good time to think about what the day will bring and to start new projects. On the other hand I know I should be sleeping and that wakefulness and activity at such an early hour will catch up with me later on.

Despite casting on a new crochet blanket project at the weekend, I had an overwhelming need to grab a hook and some of the yarn I pulled out of my giveaway bag and cast on. Normally making a chain of exactly 240 stitches would take hours, at 5 am it took precisely 30 minutes to cast on, count and smile that I had it right. Here's the proof, a neat chain: