Sunday, 25 July 2010

My ideal town?

We spent Saturday afternoon in Wallingford, a town not too far from Oxford, and I've got to tell you, this may well be my ideal town.  Not only is it a pretty, historic town on the Thames, with loads of architecturally interesting buildings, walks along the river, and a ruined castle, they have:

- a cupcake bakery (which we tested out, of course)
- an oldfashioned sweet shop (just walking in the door you almost become intoxicated on the sugar fumes, and we tested this one also)
- several antiques shops
- an art shop that sells craft materials, including the range of FolkArt acrylic paints where I picked up a few colours for my dollshouse
- a craft shop that I didn't have time to go into
- AND what is probably the biggest quilt shop I have seen in the UK, Village Fabrics.  It looked so much like an American quilt shop that it was almost disorientating.  I felt like I had walked in from an English town square and been instantly transported to somewhere in Indiana.
- AND the quilt shop has started a knitting circle.

Gotta move....

In this week's news, I finished quilting the Disappearing Four-Patch  quick quilt for my boss, sewed on a little label, and gave it a couple of washes.  I will give it to her on Friday.

I also finished the Sockittome Hat by Cherry Tree Hill, which used to be my stressbusting knitting in my old job.  This is striped in two different colours of Koigu.  I changed the decreases at the crown to maintain the lace pattern as long as possible.

It's come out a tad loose but hopefully won't get any looser in wear.

I've been swatching this weekend for my Haapsalu Estonian Lace Shawl in the Garn Alpaca I bought at Loop (not blocked yet).  The Alpaca is nice to knit with, quite strong, with a surprising halo which I'm a bit worried may overpower the Reverse Lily of the Valley pattern I have chosen for the middle of the shawl.  I had to learn how to knit the 'nupps' for this pattern, the Estonian equivalent of a bobble.  There are several YouTube videos showing various methods including the traditional knitted version.  In the swatch I tried the traditional k1/yo into the same stitch, then tried k1/yo through the back loop, and doing it with a crochet hook.  I got the best result with the crochet hook, although they still don't look as neat as the ones in the picture in the book.  You can probably tell that the nupps in the upper part of the swatch are tidier than the ones at the bottom.  I found it hard to get the needle through all seven loops doing it the traditional knitted way.  The alpaca is also surprisingly scratchy, almost more like a mohair, so I am going to wash and block the sample to see what happens to it.

I'm looking forward to KnitNation this coming week.  It sounds like it is going to be really good, perhaps not the high octane excitement of Sock Summit in the US, but nevertheless a very full event with loads to do and see.  I'm not planning to buy much, apart from I need some more 3.5mm tips for my Knit Pro interchangeables because it just seems like every project I do needs that size, and I have to keep stealing them from other UFOs.  I certainly don't need any more yarn or patterns... but don't hold me to that!


Daisy said...

Hmm, sounds like I need a trip to Wallingford as well as Knit Nation...

Quilter Kathy said...

Your disappearing 4 patch turned out great! How was it received by it's new owner?!?

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