Thursday, 19 April 2018

Summer!



I've been meaning to sit down and write a post for days but a miraculous thing has happened in the UK - Sun! Almost over night the weather has gone from cloudy, rainy and a bit chilly to brilliant sunshine. It was even warm enough to wear shorts today. Although after months and months of jeans my legs are impressively white. Perfect sun reflectors.

Thanks to the sun the flowers have come out in the garden. There are tulips, poppies and forget me nots and a few slightly bedraggled looking bluebells. The shots of colour these flowers provide are wonderful and have thoroughly shaken away the winter look of the garden. Harvey likes to sit behind the taller flowers and either pretend he is a flower or it's his secret look out for birds. I have my fingers crossed for no furry or feathery presents on the doorstep.




On the way to the beach, the fields of mustard flowers are currently in bloom. This is where my blog's main photo is from above. This is West Wittering beach and I have watched this field in it's cycle of rich brown earth to little shoots of green, tall waving plants and finally a burst of yellow spreading as far as you can see. On the other side of the road is the car park and you definitely don't need to see that! 


The beach was packed today. I think everyone is relieved the sun has finally appeared after a very long winter. We have no idea how long the sun will last in this country so it felt like everyone got the same memo to run to the beach and buy every BBQ set in sight ready for dinner in the evening. Not that I'm judging - it's exactly what we did! Fingers crossed this lovely heat continues, I think it makes everyone relax and feel happier. There were also local school groups on the beach and you could see how happy they were to be out of the classroom and enjoying the beach. I hope the teachers enjoyed it too.


I finished the day with a new cast on and a typical British BBQ ie on a tiny charcoal tray from the local shop.


This is going to be a Flax Light jumper by Tin Can Knits. And if I have cast something on, that can only mean something has been finished! More on that later. I am knitting with a mix of 4 ply Purple Berry Tart by Easy Knits Yarns and Delirium by Third Vault Yarns. I think I'm a little bit in love with this project. The colours of both yarns blend together so well that I can't always tell which yarn I'm using. I am alternating the yarn every two rows which is causing a bit of yarn tangling but it's worth it for the end result.


The sausages and turkey kebabs are from a local butcher just 100m from the house and tasted so good! I wouldn't be able to afford the prices for every meal but the difference in taste is really noticeable. And, when possible, I like supporting local business whether it's a butcher or a yarn shop or any individually owned shop. Do you have any independent shops near you? And any new projects for the summer?

Fingers crossed, summer is finally here! 

Have a lovely week, Charlotte and Harvey x

Sunday, 15 April 2018

A ramble along the seaside



It's been a lovely weekend! It started with a quick visit to Dunelm with Mum. For those who haven’t heard of it, Dunelm is a chain of shops that sell everything from curtains and haberdashery to garden ornaments and crockery. I last went about three years ago as our local one is nowhere near a public transport route. Mum was going anyway to buy some curtains and I thought I’d tag along for the ride as I was really impressed by their fabric and craft sections last time. On my last visit, there were three aisles full of yarn, haberdashery and craft tools for various hobbies. Clearly this hasn't been a successful part of the shop and has been reduced to half an aisle since then. The pictures below cover most of what was available except for a sad looking shelf of yarn which wasn't worth a photograph. Oh well. On the plus side, Dunelm still has a good fabric selection and I bought a metre of fabric with bees on it. Potential project bag perhaps?




After that, I packed a small bag and headed to the south coast for a weekend with the boyfriend. Woohoo! We tried our hands at homemade pizza and made some happy dough.


Which turned into tasty pizza - chopped and puree tomatoes, grated cheddar and ground beef, yum!


Although the weather in the UK has been grey at best so far this year, there was a mix of misty mornings and lovely sunshine in the afternoons. 


I felt a bit like I was walking through a Victorian murder mystery. Beyond the line of grass in the photo above is the sea. It was eerie hearing the waves but not being able to see the water. 



This bit looked like the Pirates of the Caribbean right at the beginning with Elizabeth Swan sailing across the seas.



Next to the huge war memorial on the sea front is a far smaller memorial for 48 sailors who died of yellow fever on HMS Aboukir while in Jamaica in 1873-4. I thought it was a strange thing to remember but clearly had enough of an impact at the time to merit a stone memorial. 

The weather steadily cleared as we walked and resulted in hot chocolate sitting outside a pub in the warm sun. 


Followed by knitting in the sun back home.


I think I brought a few too many projects with me for one weekend!


Despite a bit of rain we headed out again onto the seafront in the other direction to the Round Tower. Inside you can still see the tracings on the floor for the canons.




Clarence Pier to the left.


Watching a yacht entering Portsmouth Harbour. The tides were strong and we could see the yacht's engine was finding it difficult to propel the vessel against the current.


Further out to sea are the three forts built in the late 1800's to prevent any threat from the sea. They were never really used and are now privately owned hotels and a museum. You can actually go for lunch on Spitbank Fort just for the day. 


My boyfriend's flat has a lovely view which on sunny days end in beautiful sunsets. Although looking at the photo above, I think we need to clean the windows! 

I hope you have had a great weekend whether it's been relaxing at home or out and about wherever you are.

Charlotte and Harvey x

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Nepali Weaving



Hello! How are you this morning? I'm currently sat with a fresh mug of coffee with Harvey keeping my left leg warm. Apparently he doesn't care about my right leg. He says he can only do so much and I should be grateful for his presence. I think someone needs some cat coffee this morning...

Anyway, I've popped by this morning to chat about weaving in Nepal. It was purely by chance that I met a fellow weaver and it was halfway up a small mountain. My friends and I had the weekend free and decided to climb Sarangkot which is a nearby mountain to Pokhara, the city we stayed in. Most tourists hike up the day before and then get up to watch the sunrise at the top. Which is exactly what we did. The hike was a bit difficult mainly due to the heat of the day and the steep ascent up to the top. But with regular stops and sooo much water we made it! The views were stunning.


As was the sunrise despite the haze.


The shops opened soon after sunrise and on the way down from the viewing platform we had a browse through a few of them. One of the shops had a large loom to one side with a half finished piece of work on it.



Of course my curiosity was piqued! The woman running the shop clearly noted my interest and sat down to weave.





The loom has two shafts which you can see in the video. She used her fingers and the thread to move the warp to create the pattern. I can't figure out if she uses a clasped weft in-between the colours?

Below are two samples of a finished shawl. The main fiber in the shop was yak and it is incredibly soft. I bought two shawls to bring home with me:



One for me and one for Mum. I wore mine on the flights home and it kept me very warm!



Mellow Mornings



Good morning, how are you? I flew back from Nepal on Sunday and since then my body clock has woken me up at 7am sharp every morning. As a natural night owl, I don't usually see this time of morning without the aid of an alarm clock and a strong coffee! I'd like to say I can watch the sunrise or the sky get brighter but it's still pretty grey in the UK at the moment. On the plus side, I feel like I get so much more done before midday at the moment. Let's see how long this lasts!

I was in Nepal for two weeks and before I left I knit a holiday hat out of Rico Adriafil DK.


Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Unravel 2018 Stash Enhancement




Stash enhancement! A magical phrase for any knitter. Occasionally combined with a hint of guilt, naughty pleasure and always happiness.






Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Unravel 2018



Edit: I thought this had been posted a week after Unravel so apologies for the delay! I blame my revision brain.

Now that the yarn fumes have faded a bit I thought I would mention my recent trip to Unravel in Farnham. What a great day! Farnham is in Surrey which is the opposite side of London to Hertfordshire where I live and takes around two hours to get there. So I hopped on a train around 9 and made my way down there. It was only three stops down that I realised I forgot my train knitting - oh no! Luckily I had updated my podcast app and instead listened to some great podcasters on the way. I would definitely recommend the Pom Pom Quarterly podcast from the magazine of the same name, Curious Handmade with Helen Stuart and The Knit Girllls. 


After a lovely coffee on the train I arrived at Farnham! To get to Unravel, the quickest route was through a local park and it was a rare day which almost felt like spring (if only we knew about the imminent snow!). There was a little stream to walk over:





Sunday, 28 January 2018

Sleepy Sunday



It's been a strange week! I've settled back into my room after moving back from a hospital placement, started a new placement in the community and then tried to get through the day despite some weird headache flu thing. Cue slightly sleepy and grumpy person stumbling onto trains for my new lengthy commute! After lots of naps and general sleep over the weekend I am feeling a bit more human. Not sure what other species you would be instead? A sloth probably judging by this week....

Anyway! Lengthy commutes mean knitting! (And falling asleep and trying not to lean on strangers, especially in London. Awkward...)

I started a pair of socks for the Grocery Girls Sock Bash but midway through the month and have run out of time. Unless I can knit the second sock in the next four days which is not going to happen. But that's ok! Because I have really enjoyed the pattern and the yarn. The pattern is the Easy Lace Socks by Winwick Mum which can be found on her website and Ravelry. Despite one setback at the start of the lace part (post here), the first sock has come along really quickly. 




This pattern has been a really gentle introduction to lace knitting. The video tutorials which come with it have been helpful especially after my confusion of Slip Slip Knit (SSK) which it turns out I have been doing wrong for aaaages. The yarn is Cascade 220 4 ply in Purple Grape. I use 2mm circular needles although I would like to try the mini circulars again if I can ge hold of a 2mm version. 

In other WIP news, my Flax jumper is so close to being finished!! I am roughly 45 rows away from finishing the second sleeve and then I just need to weave in the ends. I cannot wait to get it finished. I'm already looking at other jumper patterns to try next, my only hesitation is I have no idea how to gauge the pattern difficulty level. Any suggestions?

Will post photos as soon as it's done!

What are you knitting? Are you taking part in any Knit-alongs?

I'll leave you with a picture of Harvey. I took all my yarn out of the yarn cupboard to have a look through it for inspiration and Harvey decided that he should take it's place:



Have a great week everyone x