Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Yarn Dale 2014

Well what can I tell you about Yarndale? I loved it and I can't believe it is over already!

As Skipton is only 2 hours away Mrs. ID drove us there and back in a day, leaving at just after 7am (to make sure we got parked okay) we arrived not long after 9am and took a walk to the park where there was a frenzy of activity with runners and dog walkers, Yarndale is set in such a beautiful location, I am envious of the beautiful rolling hills and glorious views.

We were very organised about our visit and made a list of our must visit stands and made a beeline for those stands first not being distracted by anything else, spending our hard saved pennies on the most important stands, which included

Eden cottage Yarns, Daisy Bum boo, John Arbons, Hilltop cloud, Little Grey Sheep, Baa Ram Ewe, Skein Queen, Blacker Yarns, Yarn Garden, Tin Can Knits (I was so excited to get my copy of road trip and chat with Emily too) amongst other stands too.

We had some lovely conversations with the stall holders, Victoria at Eden cottage & her partner are just lovely, we had to depart quickly though as the stall filled up quickly (obviously after purchasing the most deliciously squishy yarn). The lovely lady at Hilltop cloud explain the yarn gauge for me to help with my spinning, I just love the Little Grey sheep stand, she is so passionate about her products. I love the Baa Ram Ewe stand which we have visited at every event (we must actually make it to the shop one day) although it gets ridiculously busy and me with my weird phobia about being trapped start to panic and hyperventilate. I could talk to you for hour (or pages and pages) about the lovely stall holders who are happy to talk about their products.

Once the must see stands had been completed we popped of back to the car to put the purchases in the boot, before heading of the the Instagram picnic where I met some of the lovely people I have followed on Instagram, we sat round the front on the grass and ate our lunch while having a little chit chat. I have to say it was a little chilly though and we didn't stay to long.

Then we took a leisurely walk around the rest of the stands making a few more purchases to add to our stash.
Yarndale 2014 purchases

At 3pm we joined the podcasters in the cafe for a meet up, where I was (as I usually am) a little nervous. However there was no need to, I met Amie from Knit spin cake, Louise from Knit British, Jo from Shiny Bees, Claire Devine and several other lovely ladies (sorry not to mention you all but I have yarn brain and forgotten everyone's name) and we chatted about lots of lovely things, I epecially had a lovely long chat with Louise from Knit British about her purchases and Amie about her spinning and the new shop. They all wore their lovely Lush Cardigans from the lush pod kal (I didn't participate). It is so nice to actually put faces to names of all these lovely people that I follow via the social media world and listen to through the wonderful podcast world.

After this we took a slow walk back to the car and Mrs ID drove us home, I must confess to being mentally shattered, the day had really taken its toll on me as there was so much to take in, so many people to meet and talk to and my knee held up very well (signs that it is improving).

I unpacked my purchases once home and looked lovingly at it all. The only issue I now have is that I felt so inspired to cast on so many new projects, I just don't have enough hours in the day!

Roll on 26th and 27th September 2015 for the next Yarndale. The Yarndale team which includes Lucy over at Attic 2014 did a totally amazing job! Both Mrs ID and I even found our own mandalas in the wonderful display, Mrs ID's was fairly easy to spot as it was in the minority of knitted mandalas where as mine was more difficult but after much searching I did actually spot not to far away from Mrs ID's. I wonder what the big project will be for Yarndale 2015?

Did you go to Yarndale? What did you think? I would love to see your purchases too!
Sorry to ramble on, I blame the overwhelming excitement of so much yarny deliciousness

Monday, 29 September 2014

Knit Me KAL

For the first time in my very short knitting history I joined a Knit Along (KAL). I have never really had the time to join in due to other projects or being busy with work/study, But when Mrs. ID made me aware of this KAL I thought I would join in.

The project is the Knit me Shawl by Louise Zass-Bangham.

Looking through my stash I had some yarn to use (when it came to cast on though I didn't like the original choice and I chose another yarn, again from my stash). The only thing I needed to buy was some size 6 beads so the idea really appealed to me.

So how does the KAL work? The cast on date was the 1st September and runs to the end of September, The aim is to complete the project by the end although in this case WIP's are okay. The group is hosted over at Ravelry and the forum group provides a platform to chat with other members of the KAL and get support where needed. One member of the KAL in Ravelry will win a prize at the end of September

The Knit Me shawl can be made to the desired length, its such a lovely pattern to work and knits up really quickly too. I have used a lovely 4 ply rainbow yarn which I discovered in my Nana's loft with no ball band on it but its really nice to work with. I have had it in my stash for a while now (I didn't list it on my Ravelry stash as I don't know how much yarn there is or the brand of it so I kept it for such an occasion like this. I did think that the beaded boarder would cause me issues as I had never done it before but after the third beaded picot I had got the hand of it and zoomed off.

My only concern has been the serious curling of the pattern as I knitted, although the pattern and Mrs. ID had said that it may curl a little. I was concerned that mine was really bad.  I was assured by a lovely lady on the Ravely group after putting a post up about my concerns, that it would be okay after blocking so I persevered and pleased to say I am very happy with the end product.

Knit me took me around 3 weeks to finish and that's with mostly knitting in the evening after work (which is usually my only knitting time). I still have half the yarn I started with left which means I can use this for another smaller project or Hexipuffs!

Full details of my project are available on my Ravelry page where I put all my projects (purely as it is great to see what I have done when I look back), if you would like to take a look.

I am finding that with this pattern and the Chelsea waistcoat I am staying to one project at the time which is completely unheard of! I usually have several things on the go at once and can never keep up with myself! I look forward to my next KAL.

I am on Bloglovin if you wish to follow my blog that way.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Books, Books, Books

I love books (who doesn't). It is another thing that I just never seem to have enough time for or when I do have the time its at the end of another busy working day. I lost my reading mojo some months back when I was studying and mostly read heavy going text books, once study was over I have not managed to pick up a book and read for too long.

But encouraged by a friend I set off reading. Picking a book up that had been left neglected on the bedside table for a couple of months, I of course had to re read a couple of chapters to get back up to speed, but a week into it and i am over 70% the way through. I am certainly getting back the reading bug.

I had (yes had) to go to Meadowhall on Saturday (Meadowhall is not a place I enjoy going to as it is always far to busy and loud for me), I needed to get my phone fixed so while we waited Mr. and myself took a look around Waterstones and I found myself adding more and more books to my must read list which further inspired me to march on with my book. Then to add to my urge to read more  Mrs ID (my lovely best friend and yarny partner in crime) wrote a blog post about her lack of reading and joining the 'A Year in Books' organised by Laura of circle of pine trees which I thought was a great idea. Although I'm not sure that I would manage a book a month (unless we are talking exceptionally short stories here) but I will certainly give it ago so thank you Mrs. ID for the further inspiration.

So what am I currently reading? I hear you ask...

Broken homes is the fourth book in the peter grant series which covers the supernatural, the strange happenings and the plain bizarre stuff, Based in London and the out skirt Ben demonstrates a vast knowledge of London. I have previously read books 1 - 3 and although each story does stand alone there are some running themes that could be missed if you have not read the previous books. I hope to finish this book by the end of the weekend and then I can tell you a little more about it.

You can follow me on bloglovin too if you wish

Tuesday, 23 September 2014


The one where I bare my sole!

Addiction comes in many forms, the most conmen and I guess ones we most associate addiction with are Alcohol, Cigarettes and drugs but we forget there are other addictions that can be just as serious.

I have witnessed addiction, I would say my entire life. My father is/was an alcoholic he left my mum and I when I was 2 and I have had an on off relationship with him ever since. The one thing about him is that he works very hard but he drinks just as hard, why he drinks I never found out but I guess it was because his father was also an alcoholic. I offered help some years ago before my little lady entered the world but I guess at that time he was just not ready to give up the drink and wouldn't admit that he had a problem. So is addiction a genetic illness (I say illness as that is what I see it as)? I have always been so very careful to not go down that route, being dependant on substances is not great but I have always been aware that I have an addictive personality.

Before you judge anyone please consider their circumstances. I have never judged anyone for their addiction or illness there must be something that drives them to their addiction in the first place.

So where am I going with this? I have an addiction. My addiction is to sugar. I have had a dodgy relationship with food all my life. I have gone through stages of not liking food and managing to hardly eat anything at all to the complete opposite where I constantly eat, as you can imagine I have therefore been very small fitting into a UK size 6 to being a little chubby in a UK size 14. I have a constant mental battle with my feelings towards food but most in particular with high sugar foods which I often cant get enough of and is in most foods. 

I feel like I am constantly on a diet these days and of late my weight & self body image have really gotten me down but often the draw of sugar is what lets me down. I did try the 'I quit sugar' book but found it very time consuming to sort the menu's out for it and although we do eat fresh cooked food most days here in the little house in the corner and very rarely buy pre-packed processed food I do tend to eat sweets, chocolate, biscuits and high sugar foods because they are convenient. As much as I want to loose weight and be healthy I always struggle to give up the sugar, as soon as I have a little piece of chocolate I know I want more! 

So in my eyes the biggest step is putting it out their and saying 'yes I have a problem' granted I don't see this addiction as being as serious as alcohol/drug dependency but it can have serious health implications in long term, so I am holding my hands up and saying yes I am a sugar addict, I struggle to say 'no thank you' to the sugar filled foods so this is what I am going to do.

I am going to do something about it. Yes I will continue to bake my weekly cake but I'm going to look for low sugar alternatives and I am going to seek low sugar foods. I know that once I have sugar I will want more. I am not going to quit sugar entirely as I think it is not entirely possible but I am going to cut down on the serious amounts of sugar that I eat and look for a healthy more balanced diet.I am a big believer of a little of what you like does you good and the minute you restrict something the more you crease it.

Now that I have told the world that I am a sugar addict I am going to do my best to maintain a healthy balanced and low sugar diet.

Does anyone else suffer with this problem? do you have any suggestions for me to help me on my way?

Friday, 12 September 2014

Bake Day

It is a well known fact that us knitters love a bit of cake, I certainly do!

Baking has not been at the top of my to do list over the last few months mostly because time has not allowed. With studying and all the other things that come with being a full time employee, a wife and a mum. However of late with my new found 'don't give a s*** what people think' attitude I have decided that I am going to try and allocate some time to baking a cake over the weekend. I love baking, I love the smell of baking that fills the house and the cup of tea that follows while enjoying the cake that I made (that is of course if the cake is edible). And of course doesn't the Great British Bake Off inspire us all. Now I will never be anything but a home baker creating cakes following a recipe. I am not an experimental baker, I am just happy to follow a lovely Nigella or Mary Berry recipe!

So my first bake was inspired by a bag full of apples given to me by my Nana, we had a Apple Cake

Recipe from A Spoon Full Sugar 
I was not that keen on this recipe as is was quite dense (perhaps I should have whisked more) and since the butter was substituted with yogurt it lacked a little taste for my liking.

Then this week with a few apples left I made some mini apple loaf cakes, they were so cute. This recipe went down very well with Lil Lady and Mr. M so much so most of it went on the same day. I used 2 small stone loaf tins, the recipe suggests it would make two loafs but I cant see it myself. I was happy with my three little loafs though and it was so quick and easy to make too which is of course a bonus...

Recipe from BBC 
What shall I bake this weekend? Any ideas?
What is your favourite cake to make?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Social Knitwork begins

September sees the start of the new knit (crochet) and natter in the lovely village where I live.

I shall start at the beginning to save confusion. In June a new Tearoom opened in the Village called Axholme Licensed tearoom. The tearoom is quite unique and very quirky, which has a certain draw for me. The owners Mike & Jules brew their own Ale and Jules makes some of the most amazing cakes. This is made even more special by the fact that they have a 3 week old baby boy, who is such a handsome little fellow and I had the pleasure of some lovely cuddles this weekend. They also serve tea and some lovely food too.

They initially approached Mrs. ID (my best friend) about holding a knit and natter in their tearoom since they are trying to attract local groups and have a great interest in the arts and craft movement. Mrs. ID and I had a chat about it as we have had on many occasions previously and decided that it would be a great idea but it would need to be a weekend so to be accessible to those that work. Social Knitwork was born. The name given to us by Mike the owner of the tearoom.

Our first get together is on the 21st September, There is no charge, Tea is provided and its a great opportunity to treat yourself to some of Jules fab cakes. Jules bakes a range of beautiful cakes which include gluten free, egg free & vegan cakes.

If you are in the area or live local why not join us, or if you cannot join us in person join in the chatter on facebook or twitter. We would love you to join in the virtual knit and natter if you cannot be there in person. You can also follow Axholme Tearoom on Twitter where you can see the lovely cakes that they make!

I shall keep you posted on how the Social Knitwork gets on.