Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Serious stash enhancement....

...aka hammering the bank balance. Ouch.

We were at Wonderwool at the weekend and unforts while it's good for selling it's also good for buying.

Some Amy Butler fabrics from a shop in the north half of Wales which I can't even pronounce let alone spell, but they were lovely people. I shall make two aprons from this lot (in my spare time). Mum wants to come for a sew-in (like a sit-in but different) - she said she liked team curtain making last time, and seeing as she got some fabric too and owns the pattern, sounds like a good idea to me! Actually I think she's just very covetous of my craft room.

Two lots of Manos Silk, the first a lovely rose sort of jumble...

Mmmm, silky rosey loveliness....

...for the Tea Leaves cardigan. Do you think it will work?

She needs to cheer up I think. Perhaps someone should get her one of those chocolate torte cakes from Love Patisserie. I would put the pic in of mum -erm- eating is not the right word - one of them but I think she might object. You know those 1950s pictures of children with chocolate from ear to ear? It was like that.

And some silvery greeny stuff for...

...brooklyntweed's Wool Leaves baby blanket.

I don't think gauge is too important for blankets. Probably.

Also some Malabrigo sock, maybe for a Damson or a Multnomah.

Some Yarn D'Amour Ariadne (63% silk, 36% cashmere).

And Sparkleduck silk/baby camel...

...and merino sock.

Check out Sparkleduck, she's new and was staying in the same hotel we were. Her yarn colours are yummo.

And some completely pointless yet amusing badges.

Not sure the one on the bottom right was quite true after the weekend, but we shall pretend it is!

Next week I'm back to France but at least we're in the posh chateau again and not in Paris. Hopefully the weather will hold because as a team we're walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks next month, and we're going to do some walking training during the brain training. What can I say, the three peaks seemed a good idea at the time....

Sunday, April 18, 2010


The garden giveth...

Lily of the valley! Look how much!

...and the garden taketh away.....

This time the reeds won.

Do you think they'll give me another one? I only had it a couple of weeks, the bar code is still on the back.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Full of yarny goodness

But first, a view of our kitchen table. Lovely spring flowers against a rare stroke of genius paint colour selection by the old house owners. The hyacinths smell lovely when I get home from work.

Some promised yarn! This is what I got from La Droguerie. Cassis and I forget what. Maybe some socks with contrast toes? Scarf with fancy ends? Fingerless mittens? What do you think? It's 100g and 20g. Answers on a postcard!

Some super dinky ribbon with radishes! This is made to trim some kids clothes I think. Little fingers would like to play with the fluffy radish tops.

And lots of Liberty bias binding! In fact the colours are a bit more peppy. It's almost proper daylight when I get home but not quite yet....

Some pics from the garden! Hurrah for the garden! There are some narcissi coming up in a mystery pot left to me by Grandma.

Some daffs already in the garden.

Large clumps of primroses discovered under the reeds.

And some wild strawberries!

Lots of grape hyacinths.

Some FOs, finally. Firstly the Bitterroot shawl in Fyberspates' Unicorn yarn. More notes on my Rav page. It was a quick and easy knit but the beads are spawn of the devil, seriously. The yarn is sooo soft and silky. I just love blocking out lace shawls, when you pull the points out to be all scallopedy. Pretty!

And the Whisper cardigan.

Supersoft Malabrigo yarn, surprisingly warm for laceweight, and quite boob-enhancing.

The colour is actually grey with undertones of purple. Love it.

You do have to get quite zen when knitting it because it takes foreeeeeveeerrr with teeny tiny yarn.

Flattering from the back view.

I have to say these photo shoots really help the diet. I can chart the gut over the months as I finish projects! The beady eyed among you may notice there are no pics from the front here. There are reasons. A month in Paris with no gym visits did indeed show...

One more pic of those lovely flowers.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Sorry for the lack of posts but I'd been sent by work to Paris for a month. Ooo how glamourous, you think. Well, unforts I'm one of those poor unenlightened people for whom Paris holds few charms. Which is a shame, because there are lots of good things.

Don't I looked tired? Yikes.

This is a life-size model of the Statue of Liberty's flame, situated next to the Seine. It's surprisingly small I thought. I always think of Liberty as being huge. Interesting.

Merci, found via Posterous, are currently doing a Liberty range. Want want want a vintage Fiat in Liberty print!! The Man won't let me do the same to my ancient Golf though. Shame.

Noticed via Not Martha, in Paris there are around 350 of these mosiac space invaders. The artist invades all sorts of cities around the world, there is a list somewhere. This is on rue Rambuteau where is crosses with rue du Temple.


A classic sort on rue Geoffroy Langvin. Would recommend the restaurant too, if you want pain, vin or fromage.

Others were also spotted on rue Renard and somewhere near Les Archives. There are loads, keep an eye out!

Cupcakes from Berko on rue Rambuteau (there's another branch near Montmartre). Yum.

Of course no self-respecting knitter can go to Paris without stopping by La Droguerie. The first visit turned out to be a recce only, I was overwhelmed.

(General apols for iphone pics btw, they're rather dark.)

One day I did a site visit to a perfume factory (the whole place smelt of Shalimar), got back into town at a reasonable hour so I went back to actually buy something. I flagged a girl down and said something like, 'pardon, je suis anglaise' to excuse my rubbish French, and she shrugged that Gallic shrug and said, 'ce n'est pas grave'. Like I had a disease or something but it was curable. Funny!

They have a really old-fashioned system. First, have a good look around and decide what you want. The yarns are mainly sock weight or so, there are ribbons to die for, hundreds of them and all gorgeous (you'll never decide), jars and jars and jars of beads and buttons and feathers and silk flowers, some jewellery making bits and pieces, and some fat squares. Once you've decided, flag down a member of staff, and they tend to work a section so do your best. They will then gather your items, cut the ribbon, count out the beads etc. The yarn at the front of the store is just for show, it's sold by weight (min 20g), so ask for what you need and they go out to the back and wind it off a cone into a ball. Then all the bits are given to the lady in the little booth (like at a really old-fashioned butcher's shop) and she does all the money transactions. If you try to speak a bit of French it's appreciated but I think they understand English quite well. There were a lot of tourists in there so they must be used to it!

They had dozens of spools of Liberty print bias binding. Be still my beating heart.

They've used this as trim on jumpers, to reinforce neckbands etc, or to trim up shopping bags, or to make corsages... How to choose? So many lovely patterns!

This made me smile - business class on the Eurostar on the final trip home. Knitting and champagne. Hurrah!

And bought for the Man (who doesn't do any chocolate fancier than Dairy Milk): coeur cheese and saucisson sec, eaten on it's own or with a very cold aperitif...

So what's happened since I've been back?

1. The sun has shone. Hurray for the clock change!

2. I've listened to the Glee soundtrack and grinned inanely at people as a result (Loon.)

3. Mum and I spent two and a half hours doing forensic gardening and discovering things like alchemilla mollis and wild strawberries buried under pampas reeds and ivy

4. £700 has been dropped with the garage but the car has stopped making strange noises so I suppose that's good

5. The Man has been over to Augusta to watch a few days of the Masters, which he was very very very very happy about (did I mention he enjoyed it?)

6. I've finished the Whisper cardigan and Bitterroot shawl. Pics to follow in a generally yarny post next time.

It's so good to be back!