Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Birthday Treat

Hi everybody

It was my birthday last weekend and to celebrate me and mum went off to Liverpool to see the Royal De Luxe Giant Spectacular.

It was absolutely amazing and so much better than I thought it could ever be.

Just thought I'd pop on to share a few of the videos and photos I took on the day.

Thanks for looking.

Take care
Tanya x

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Using A Drop Spindle

Morning all

Well the lovely sunshine from the past two days has disappeared and this morning we've woken up to grey skies and rain. Boo!!!  Let us have the sunshine back please, pretty please. It makes the world a better place and everyone seems so much more happier and friendlier.

Anyway, while we're waiting for the sun to return I thought I'd share with you my spinning news.

As an avid knitter and crocheted I've always been interested in yarns and so that's why my recent visits to Woolfest were like a dream to me. It seems a natural progression for me that I'd want to spin my own yarns. The satisfaction of having spun something that is now being used to knit or crochet with makes me squeal with delight.

So last year I bought a drop spindle as a spinning wheel is a considered purchase and is something I want in the future.  Drop spindles are so much more cheaper and a joy to use. Or so I thought. I really couldn't get to grips with it at all. I watched You a tube videos and read about it and just thought it was something I wouldn't sadly be able to conquer.

That was until Woolfest this year when I came across a lovely lady called Louise from Spin City UK.

She had the most amazing drop spindles and I really needed one when I saw it so I asked Louise if she had time to show me what to do and she did, bless her. Very patient and informative too, Louise was able to guide me through where I was going wrong and informed me of the park and draft method which I hadn't heard of.

I bought some rainbow merino silk in gorgeous blue tones from Wingham Wool Works and a lovely drop spindle from Louise and went on my merry way.

However back in our hotel I tried and tried but could not get it at all.

So back to day two of Woolfest and I approached Louise again with fibre fluff and spindle in hand. And voila like magic she had me spinning and I'm pleased to report that I've been having a go for the past week and am in love love love with it.

I still need to get the yarn to be uniformed in thickness but I'm quite liking the thick and thin bits. I'm hoping once it's all been spun and I've spun a peachy merino silk fibre too that I can ply them together to make a beautiful yarn that I'll use to make something for myself.

Here is a picture of my progress.

Pop back soon to see what else I've managed to spin.

Thanks for looking.

Take care.

Tanya xx

Monday, 7 July 2014

Weekend Away at WoolFest 2014

Hello everyone and welcome to a new week

Just blogging today about my trip to the Lake District and Woolfest 2014 at Cockermouth last weekend.
Word of warning though, the post is very picture heavy.  

Last year me and a friend went for one day only and then travelled back home, but we had such a good time that this year we decided to go for the whole weekend and take in a few sights too of the Lakes.

We kicked the day off with breakfast at 9am at Tebay Services.  And unlike last year it wasn't raining.  The ducks and birds were frolicking around in the water.

Woolfest doors opened at 10.00am but we arrived there slightly after this so we didn't have to wait in the queue outside.  The clouds looked very bad in this picture but the weather was quite warm

Once in there we had a good look round and admired a bit of the livestock around including the lovely Angora rabbits.

and the Cashmere Goats

and of course the Alpacas

and the award winning Jacob sheep

and these lovely little fellas (whose breed has escaped me)

but I do know that the chaps below on the top left are the Lake District sheep called Herdwicks
Once we'd had a look around the stalls and ooh'd and ahh'd at many many lovely things we went off to watch and listen to the sheep talk in the main ring and then we went back to the stalls.

I've wanted to have a go at Tunisian Crochet for a while now and so bought a book about the different type of stitches and plan on working my way through the book from the start to finish and making a few projects on the way.

Last year I bought a drop spindle and couldn't really get to grips with the spinning mularkey but didn't want to give up so when I saw these lovely resin spindles by Spin City I couldn't resist.  Glitter and butterflies - what's not to like.  After a quick run through from Louise of Spin City I got to grips with spinning and bought some fibres to have a go.  I will be blogging about my escapades with the drop spindle throughout the year.

We moved onto another stall then called Laal Bear and I bought a kit to knit some lovely fingerless gloves which incorporate beads and will be getting to grips with them when I have finished a couple of other projects which are on my needles and hooks.  Gorgeous hand dyed yarn and lovely blue beads, together with a set of DPNs and lovely knit stitch markers and a teeny tiny hook to use for putting the beads onto the yarn made this a great buy.

I bought some lovely hooks and a pair of needles all Knit Pro.  The pink crochet hooks fit the screw on cables I have with my needle set I already have and I haven't tried the Knit Pro hooks before so I thought I would give the 3.5mm one a whirl when I make some 4ply crocheted socks later in the year.  The needles are 2.75mm and are from the Knit Pro Karbonz range.  I've already given them a whirl and they are so light and fab and feel great to hold and the yarn glides on them with no problems at all.

This is the fibre I bought to spin on my drop spindle.  It is lovely and soft merino and the colours are so vibrant too.  Will keep you posted on my spinning exploits.

Last year I had my first go at dyeing some yarn using Kool Aid and so I went back to the same stall (DT Crafts) to purchase some more, this time with little silver sparkles in.  I also bought a blank sock canvas that I'm looking forward to having a go at dyeing, again using Kool Aid.  The blank canvas has been knitted already and once dyed should produce two identical 50gm balls of yarn that I'm going to crochet into a pair of socks.  The Kool Aids are in purple, red and blue colours so I'm hoping they will be bright.  I do know that they sell the Kool Aid range at Tesco and have some already in my stash to add to that I bought at Woolfest.

When I was browsing another stall I came across this lovely 4ply Araucania yarn called Ranco in shades of blue and green. (made in Chile) 
I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it yet but it's so soft that it will be a delight to either crochet or knit with.

My favourite stall had to be the Susan Crawford Vintage one, especially after seeing her lovely garment samples last year.  I had the A Stitch In Time Volume 2 bought for me last year for my birthday and had earmarked a project of a vintage 1930's short sleeved jumper and so bought the yarn to make it in the shade 'Powdered Egg.'

and it came in a lovely bag too.
I've now ordered the A Stitch In Time volume 1 and so when this has been delivered I will be choosing my next knitting project.  I've already made a start on making a garment from volume 2 and will be blogging about it very soon.  The pattern is really easy to follow and the yarn an absolute dream to knit with.

While browsing the many many stalls I came across these two items on display.

On the Friday night we made our way back from Cockermouth down the motorway to Whitbarrow and we stayed at Seasons, a lovely little hotel/timeshare place.  We booked  deluxe suite which was part of the hotel accommodation situated amongst cottages and houses.  It had a swimming pool, gym and a restaurant and bar but as the room we booked had a tv, wifi and a lovely place to chill out we just made a cuppa and settled down in front of the tv as we had eaten en route at a lovely little pub and we had walked our legs off all day looking at the array of stalls.

Day two came and the sun was shining still and we made our way up to Carlisle and had a cuppa at Linton's and then went back to Cockermouth for Woolfest.  We browsed and chatted with likeminded folk again and then made our way to Keswick where we had a browse in the shops and a bag of chips and a look round the market and then got back in the car and headed back off to Tebay services where we had a much needed cuppa and a look at the birds and ducks again and then headed off home to Lancashire.

We had such a fab time and are already looking forward to going again next year.  

Thanks for reading the blog and looking at the array of photos.

Take care
Tanya x 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Crocheted Gift

Hello everyone

Just a quick blog post to show you something I crocheted recently for a pregnant friend.  Her baby is due at the end of August/beginning of September and I thought I would crochet her something sweet and vibrant for the imminent arrival.

I used a pattern called The Layla Dress bought from Verity from Truly Hooked (available through Ravelry and also on Facebook) and I crocheted the first size (0-6 month old).

The pattern was great to follow with easy instructions clearly explained throughout.  The pattern has a range of sizes and I'm definitely going to be making some more of them as Verity allows people to sell the items made from the pattern.

I also made a little hat to go with the dress which I made up as I went along and finished off with a little crocheted chain border.

The yarn used is called Wondersoft Merry-go-round in rainbow colourway together with white Rico both in double knit and I used a 4mm hook as I tend to crochet a little bit loose.

Hope you've enjoyed looking at my crochet project.  I'm planning on doing blog posts on more of my crochet projects as I tend to spend a lot of my spare time hooking as well as card making etcetera.

Pop back later in the week to see more pictures and a write-up of my trip to the Lake District to Woolfest.

Take care
Tanya x 

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

July Christmas Card

Hello everybody

I've not really had chance to blog this past few weeks because I've been doing family things as well as lots of other things, which I'll be blogging about later this week.

I'm no longer a member of the Christmas Fun Design Team but I still have all the cards made for the rest of the months of the year so rather than not blog about them which seems a shame not to share them, I'm going to be doing my 1st of the month blog as per usual.

For this month I would like to share a miniature decoupage card featuring snowmen and a snowwoman.

The ingredients I have used for this card are:
  • Decoupage sheet printed from Giordano Christmas Creations CD by Joanna Sheen
  • Cosmic Shimmer Glitter Glue in Cosmic Twinkles
  • Decoupage put together using Pinflair Glue
The card measures 7.5" x 3.5" but is perfectly formed.

Hope you like my card creation for this month.

I'll be back soon with some more blog posts including a crocheted item I've just finished and also about my visit to the Lake District to attend Woolfest.

Take care
Tanya x