Saturday, 2 November 2013

Forced to add to my stash... Oh the horror

Today we spent the day in Northamptonshire conducting a recce on potential places to live.  I can report that I nobly rose to the occasion and purchased stash additions in three different places primarily as an excuse to chat up the vendors for their opinions on the area.  However, DH does not seem nearly as impressed with my sacrifice and ingenuity as he should be  :)

The three yellow fabrics came from Poppy Patch, a really nice quilt shop in Great Doddington, a small village outside Wellingborough. The shop is in a barn conversion in a converted farm yard, and has a really nice vibe inside which reminded me strongly of quilt shops in America.  She had a good range of fabrics with lots of basics as well as focus fabrics.  There was an unusually large selection of yellows, always a hard colour to find, so I snapped up these three butter yellows, so much more attractive than the more common acid or harvest gold yellows. The owner was also telling me about quilting groups in the area - she herself does occasional workshops in her attractive upstairs classroom, and apparently there are groups in Highham Ferrers, Kettering, Northampton and Earls Barton.

The tape measure print fabric was a steal at £4.50 a metre on a market stall selling fabric in Wellingborough.  Although he didn't have a huge selection, there were some remarkably good quality quilting cottons on his stand at very reasonable prices.  Also in the market was an absolutely huge haberdashery stall spread over many tables of buttons, ribbons, zips, acrylic yarn, bows, buckles etc. - so unusual to see these days.  Wellingborough also has a fabric store (didn't go in), a model railway store selling useful tools and terrain for dollshousing, and a new knitting shop, JanKnits, which had a good selection of workhorse yarns in acrylic and wool, including Regia Silk, Jamieson & Smith 2ply jumper weight (I bought the four balls pictured), some nice merino wool and a small range of needles and accessories.

So it seems like there are a lot of crafts going on in Northamptonshire which is very promising.  We also managed to talk to four policepersons (two sets of two) as to what they thought of the area, several random shopkeepers and a passerby on the street.  So I feel like we've done some good research.  Their verdicts were a bit lukewarm, there was a general theme of 'buy in the villages, stay away from the towns / town problems' but we didn't hear anything that really put us off.

In the car I was knitting on the Harvest Moon cardigan - it's top down and I've made it as far as the pockets.  They are knit integrally in a way that I don't really understand yet, but I am faithfully following the instructions for knitting linings.

The big finish this week was my Morticia mystery KAL shawl in Scrumptious Lace with beading.  The objective was to have it finished and posted on the MKAL thread by Halloween which I achieved.

Although I am proud of my achievement in knitting it in a month, I don't think I'm actually going to wear it.  It's far too delicate - I prefer a shawl knit on a tighter gauge to be more robust for normal living like commuting to work.  Not really sure what I'm going to do with it, to be honest.  It drapes well because of the heavy beading along the edge.  I thought about giving it to m-i-l but DH doesn't think she would wear it either.

I'll finish with a picture of my new mice which I ordered as a birthday present for myself from DH.  They are so cute, so detailed and really giving off a Brambly Hedge vibe.  On the right is Miss Bobbin, centre is Miss Purl, and left is Dandelion.  They are handmade by Gail of 'The Mice of Rosebud Lane'  in South Africa.  I saw Miss Purl in a UK knitting magazine and really thought she was cute, then when I looked at the website I realised I could make a craft-themed vignette. Dandelion is supposedly a gardening mouse but her 'tomato' looks just like a tomato pincushion.  You can order them in different colours of felt  but I wanted my three mice to match.

Thank you for the sympathetic comments and emails I've received on our loss of Lucy earlier this week, it is much appreciated.


Katie Flanagan said...

I think you should have had a reward for all the "research" by more trips to yarn shops! ;-)

diegoagogo said...

Love the shawl!! Maybe you could put it on etsy? Or you will find someone for whom it is the perfect gift.
Research trips require ney NEED purchases. Let's face it, you would not want to move in & find all your budget goes on fuel to drive to a far away shop. Perish the thought!! LOL

m said...

I love the shawl!
It's so elegant.
How about wearing it for special events?
It would look stunning with a plain coloured dress, and would keep the draught out without getting in the way.

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