Saturday, 9 July 2011

Too Many Hobbies on holiday

We went camping this week, staying in a lovely country park just outside Southampton.  The good news is that we didn't get burgled this time.  The bad news is that the weather was intermittently appalling.  Wednesday night the gales were so strong that the entire trailer tent was shaking about as the rain lashed like a drum on the roof - quite interesting trying to get to sleep in that!  Thursday we gave up and drove home (an hour and a half) to spend some time in the dry and have a shower. Luckily we are well used to rain as it almost always does rain on us when we go camping, and we were able to pack up the awning all dried out on Friday evening when the weather improved, and then pack up the main unit in the sun today before coming home.  We had a nice time, and I got to do lots of shopping, plus we went over to Cowes on the Isle of Wight for lunch one day  (as you do...).

I took several knitting projects on holiday, and we also visited a couple of shops. The Dolls House in Whitchurch, Hampshire, is well-stocked with all the usual Dolls House Emporium imports, some Reutters, I think I saw a bit of Bespaq or Bespaq knock-off, etc.  I didn't notice any handcrafted miniatures, but they certainly have everything of the cheap import variety, including some DIY materials, glues, big wall of lights, and a small selection of 1/24th furniture.  I've been wanting to go to Liss Wools, also in Hampshire, for some time as their big ad is in some of my knitting magazines. They seem to have an online shop with a different name,  It was a welcoming spacious store, with two big red sofas inviting people to knit (I didn't have time unfortunately as we arrived not long before closing), loads of attractive knitted up sample garments, an attractive window display which included a miniature knitting shop done all in knitting.  They had Rowan Yarns, and I think Sirdar, Manos, sock yarns, Sublime, and they stock the Namaste knitting bags and accessories.  I literally only had about 10 minutes to whiz around, and to grab a 5mm circular needle for one of my projects, but I would certainly stop back in again next time we are going that way.

As well as the knitting projects, I took my 16th applique block and am getting on well with that.  It's probably about half done now, although I could only see well enough to work on it when we actually had some sun coming into the awning.

I finished my first Cookie A Sunshine Sock and cast on  for the second one, knitting on it in various restaurants and on park benches through the week.

I knit several rows on my Bergere de France Eyelet jumper.  This lace tunic has clever shading from one colour to another by knitting with two strands, and switching one strand for the new colour.  In the picture you can see that I am currently shading from green to blue.  I was having trouble with my cables having a loose stitch, but I've just discovered that if I knit the preceding stitches in the cable very tightly, then the cable row is a lot tidier.

I bought the 5mm circulars for my City Tweed Drop Stitch Shawl  in Knitwitches 'Seriously Gorgeous Swiss Silk with Kid Mohair' as I was finding it very awkward to knit with full length straights - the needle ends kept hitting the chair arms etc.  This is knitting up very quickly and shows off the yarn well.  It is supposed to be a big triangular shawl but I think I may stop increasing for a while and turn it into a crescent-shaped shawl, as it is almost as long as I want it already.

I started a new project which is rather complicated, so it was nice to have some peace and quiet on the holiday to get it started.  It is a DROPS sleeveless cardigan, pattern R-557, which is a free download.  And I am using the gorgeous Iris colourway of New Lanark DK that I bought during our (dis)organised excursion from Knit Camp in the summer.  As well as it being a complicated (for me anyway) cable pattern, you have to short row so that the top edge ends up narrower than the bottom edge.  This is because you are shaping the sideways yoke as you knit.  The picture shows one chart repeat completed, and the next one underway.  The chart is confusing as well, it uses completely different symbols than I am used to.  The chart is also entitled 'M-1'.  So needless to say I found the written directions rather confusing for a while, as I couldn't see where the patterning started after you had increased one stitch :)  I've coloured the chart in with crayons which has helped a bit.  I expect I'll get used to it.  The wool is knitting up fine, a bit splitty.  It's a traditionally hairy wool which feels a bit scratchy, but the comments on Ravelry suggest that it will soften up after washing.

And I even did a few rows on my Estonian Lace Shawl.  I am beginning to have a very bad feeling about this as it is starting to look far too wide, even unblocked.  I need to look at the book again to see what are their typical measurements for a rectangular shawl, but I am fearing that I have included too many repeats of the Lily of the Valley pattern.  By the time you add a border, this is going to be enormous.  I hope I don't have to pull back... all those noops.... whimper....

So it was a very crafty week, as I also took along some knitting and quilting magazines to get caught up on.  When we were home for a few hours on Thursday, I even did some sewing on my Stars over England quilt which I will add to the queue for the quilting frame.  Before we left for camping, I decided to turn one of my quilt tops into a quilt back  by adding bigger borders.  This was a top I made out of re-used vintage star blocks which were falling apart.  I took them off their old background, and appliqued them to new background squares and set them in a zig-zag.  Now it is going to be a back for my big vintage Lone Star quilt top.

I hope you had a good week too, with better weather!

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Ugh, your rain sounds horrendous, although it sounds like you found some good places to visit. And I realy hope you don't have to pull back that project...

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