Saturday, 30 May 2015

Spinning has stalled

I have written previously about spinning. Over the last couple of months I have hardly been to my spinning wheel (looks like it was February, according to my blog), this is mostly due to time and choosing other projects over my spinning.

Looking at my lonely wheel there was some fibre on the wheel but sadly it has been sat there for a few weeks, I felt sorry for it every time I went into the office/craft room and see it looking at me all expectant!

The fibre is some I have had a while and kept in a bag un-labelled (this is before I was organised with my fibre storage) so I am not sure what it is, spinning it up didn't take too long to spin up as there wasn't a great deal there. As you can see it is full of bright colours. A rainbow on my wheel.

I have noticed that every time I spin I do indeed get much better at it so I know that if I put the effort and time in I could really produce some yarn that is usable (not that my other yarn is not usable, its okay if you want a chunky uneven hat haha).

So, I how now finished this fibre and plied  the yarn and it is resting. I am really not happy as it has been over spun and now all twisted, I guess that comes from neglecting  my spinning.

At the last knit group I took the drop spindle that I have owned longer than my wheel but never really managed to master the art. One of the lovely ladies at knit group uses a drop spindle and I find watching her memorising, so I asked her to show me and help me out, over a couple of hours she helped me master (well at least use it) the drop spindle and everyone in the group had a go too, it was great fun. I think as part of the Weekend WIP Along I will try and achieve some spinning time.

The advice is to achieve 10 minutes everyday on the spinning wheel, the problem is, as any spinner knows, Spinning is completely addictive so 10 minutes kinda turns into an hour!

Friday, 29 May 2015

Weekend WIP Along #2

Did you all have a good bank holiday weekend? productive I hope?

We went away for the weekend in Daphne, a nice long weekend in the caravan in a field where we could get away from all the jobs at home.

As predicted I didn't cast on the second Tsunami sock, there was just too much going on for me to cast on. Luckily my yarn did arrive on Friday so I took my hap away with me but sadly I did not finish it. The rounds take so long now and there is so much counting. However I do only have 3/4 rounds left to do and with a weekend at home I am hopeful to have it finished this weekend!

I accidentally cast on another project! I say accidentally, while I was searching for a project bag to store my hap in I found the cuff of a cardigan I cast on in March ready to take to Edinburgh Yarn Festival but didn't take with me as I didn't have the right needle sizes. I bought the right needle sizes while in Edinburgh but then promptly forgot about it. I literally only knitted 5 rows of the cuff so its sorta a new project. The cardigan is for little lady and its a Tin Can Knits pattern called Old Growth.
I finished one sleeve while I was away but that is all. I do love Tin Can Knits patterns.

This weekends task is to complete my Hap. This is my priority really now, with only 3/4 rounds left it is completely achievable.

I hope you can join in with the Weekend WIP Along. I would love to see all your projects. Just post a link to your blog and link back to here on your blog so we can all see each others project plans.
Have fun.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

What is Normal?

Lets start with the Oxford English dictionary definition:
'Conforming to a standard; usual, typical or expected'
hmmm, conforming it is not something I like to do. Normal may be a word in the dictionary and indeed in the English language but it is certainly not a work I recognise. I do not wish to be normal!

You may be asking right about now, what this has to do with anything, and to be fair you have a valid point so lets start at the beginning shall we...

I was approached recently by an individual whom I was aware of but not really acquainted with and we were generally discussing our weekend. The conversation went something like:

Me: Yes I did enjoy my Sunday afternoon, I went to my knitting group ans caught up with my friends really.

gentleman: erm,.. how old are you?

Me: I am 35, why? (I did protest slightly at this question, especially at the tone he used to ask the question!)

gentleman: well that's just not normal is it? 35 and knitting, surely that's something your grandma does?

Me: Why is it not normal???? (I kind of got a little irritated at this point) just because I am 35 this means that I should not knit. Why is there this idea that knitting or crafts in general are for older people and also confined to women?
Yes I am 35, yes I knit. I also read, sew, spin yarn, crochet and peruse various other hobbies (when indeed I have the time to do so). Lets discuss your hobbies shall we and I shall recall some rather bizarre stereotype in which I can use to pigeon hole you into!

Gentleman: I see your point! sorry to offend!

Me: I should think so!

So as you can see my point is, there is no normal, Its a fictional word developed to make us humans feel safe. what one person considers normal another considers abnormal. I am happy to be me, to let people know the little quirks of my personality, there is no one quite like me (thank goodness) and there is no one quite like you. Be at ease with who you are, you were designed that way, don't conform to what others expect of you. I always encourage little lady to be herself, not to follow the crowd due to pier pressure and be proud of who she is because I am proud of who she is.

I don't hide who I am and I am not ashamed of who I am. As I write I am 35 years old, I am married and I have a 7 year old daughter. I work in Marketing and in my spare time I enjoy crochet, knitting reading, spinning, listening to all sorts of music including classical and rock. I attend yarn events with my friend and I love cake and gin! I am often insecure and worried about how people perceive me. I generally worry I don't work hard enough and can always do better. I am happy in my life and love my family.

There is one thing that I am good at and that is being me!

Be yourself, don't conform to what others say you should be it only makes you un happy. Your quirks make you the beautiful individual that you are. Maybe together we can break these stereotypes.

I am not normal and I am happy with that. Rant over :)

Friday, 22 May 2015

Weekend WIP Along #1

I would love to be an everyday knitter but the fact of the matter is that I am not, I am usually out of the house around 10 - 11 hours a day at work Monday to Friday as well as being a mother and a wife, so I don't often knit/crochet in the week, if the opportunity arises then its a bonus, however I have come to accept that this is how it is and I take it as it comes. So that said most of my yarny pursuits happen from Friday night through to Sunday.

I thought I would start a little link party if you would be interested? I will post up on a Friday all my WIP's and what my intentions are for the weekend/week ahead and my progress from the previous week. These can be any projects you like, knitting, crochet, sewing, embroidery, spinning or whatever you have to share! Would you like to join in? pop your link in and let the fun commence, lets see how this link along goes? If it turns out that you would like to join in I will make a button for it.

So here at Little House in the Corner I have a few projects on the go. Well three to be precise:

The Tsunami Socks, I have one sock completed and the other still to cast on. I find these difficult to work on with people around as every row is pretty much a pattern row, hence the slow progress! I am not sure that I will be casting on the second sock this weekend though.

My Crochet Hap for the #Hapalong, I mentioned in my last post that I was worried about running out of yarn, and even though I swatched, tested the gauge as well as worked out my yardage, I did indeed run out of yarn so I placed a new yarn order & luckily I managed to acquire the same dye lot! not much left to do on this project now. As long as my yarn arrives, this is my project of choice for the weekend. I am eager to get this finished now.

I also have another crochet project on the go which is something that I have had on the go for a long time now. Its something I just pick up every now and then. Crochet squares to make a blanket at some point in the future, I am in no rush with this one so it just sits in my project bag until I feel inspired to make a few squares.

So that is my W.I.P's this week. As it is going to be a bank holiday here I am hoping for a little more time to work on my project. I am currently resisting the urge to cast on more lovely project too! I must stay strong!

So what will you be working on this weekend? I look forward to seeing all your lovely projects.
Happy Bank Holiday.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - Susanna Clarke

You know that you enjoyed a book when you are sad that it has finished!

I am a little late in posting about my Year in books post this month but rather late to the party than not at all right?

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke

This book is a BIG book coming in at 1024 pages, probably one of the biggest books I have ever read (if you exclude text books). I felt quite daunted by this book, even more so reading the actual book to start with. I switched to the kindle version when I went to Edinburgh to save space (= increased space for yarn storage on the return trip) and in the last month I alternated listening to the book in the car and reading it at home, best of both worlds.

I found it such a slow book to begin with but assured by fellow book lovers that it would improve, I stuck with it & I am so glad I did.

Beyond the main subject of magic set  in the early 19th century it tells the tale of two magicians that return magic to Britain. There are many sub plots which although I feel are not entirely necessary they do add a certain quaintness to the story and re-enforce the British humour throughout the book, which had me smiling throughout.

Mr Norrell comes across as a single minded, determined, selfish person who wants to be the only magician in Britain, Mr strange on the other hand, who becomes Mr. Norrells apprentice pushes the boundaries of magic and explores the magic of the Raven king. Their two differing perspectives make for an interesting read. Beyond these characters, Clarke has developed and amazing breadth of characters and back story that make for a compelling read. I love the attention to detail in this book with an immense amount of footnote to help develop the magical theories and historical events further.

I think it is safe to say that I loved this book and I was especially pleased to finish just days before the TV adaptation of the book is aired on the BBC. This means I don't have to be to sad that I have finished the book as the adventure continues!

Will you be watching it? have you read this book, what did you think?

Megan's Reading Corner is to follow, as you can imagine from previous posts she has read rather a lot of books over the last two months.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

The eventually Socks

Mr. M has been waiting for sometime for his socks. I tried to knit socks some time ago (around July last year), I have occasionally visited the subject on my blog, not knitting socks was when I eventually gave up on his socks but inspired by the #socksurgery and my sock course at Edinburgh Yarn Festival I have picked up my DPN's and persevered with Mr. M's socks. Hence these socks are called the 'eventually socks' as they have been some time in the making.

I set out very confidently knowing that with a well written pattern and my newly gained skills that this time I would be successful. I already had the yarn from my previous attempt. I think I bought the yarn at woolfest 2014. The yarn is WYS Signature 4ply yarn. They have a range based on country birds. I chose Bullfinch as I loved the pattern it produced and the colours perfect for Mr. M.

I was inspired while in Devon (which is where I finished the socks) to find out about the Bullfinch bird, I was surprised to see how close the colours of the yarn matched the picture of the bird I found in Aunty J's bird book.

Aunty J, loves birds and has many books on the subject along with a gorgeous garden designed to attract birds to the garden. I love to sit near the window and look down the garden to see the variety of birds that visit the well stocked bird table.

Anyway, as usual I digress, the colourway is based on the male bullfinch which has a bright reddish pink breast (the female is more yellowish). Bullfinch live throughout the UK and tend frequent the woodlands, rarely visit garden feeders.

Aren't they such gorgeous birds?

Back to the socks! The first sock took me a little while, stalling slightly, as usual, around the heel but I got stuck in! I started the second sock before we set off to Devon and continued to knit in the car on route. You may recall my little story about the lost dpn in the car (at this Mr. M has made mention to not knitting with dpn's in the car again!). The second sock was finished in no time and I have to say I am feeling rather proud of myself in this accomplishment! Mr. M did insist on wearing the socks immediately with no blocking.

The pattern I used was a free pattern from and is called 'socks for him. I had no issues following the pattern at all. I would highly recommend this pattern as a basic plain sock to compliment some lovely self stripe yarn.

I pretty much got the pattern to match on both socks too! 

That is now two pairs of sock finished this year the first were Little Ladies 'Rye' socks, so the next socks which are already on the dpn's is a pair of socks for me me me me me. I have however purchased some more of this yarn in another colour way as Mr. M tells me he loves these socks so much that he would like another pair!

I will keep you posted.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Welcome Daphne

Say hello to the newest member to our little family. This is Daphne...

The first picture of Daphne on wet and cold day
We eventually took the plunge and bought a caravan, it is something I have wanted for a long time but Mr. M took some convincing. Once convinced it took us a little longer to get round to purchasing our very own little Caravan.

So at the end of March (on a rather wet & windy day)  we went and collected Daphne, it was a strange feeling towing a van on the back of our little car. I have grown up in a family that always went camping or caravanning, so I was desperate for Little lady to have the same experiences that I had as a child. Anyone that knows me will know that I have a terrible fear of flying and avoid planes wherever possible so holidaying abroad does not happen much for us. I believe that the U.K has so many beautiful areas to explore and hopefully the addition of Daphne to our family will mean weekends away and holidaying far in the UK and perhaps when we are used to caravanning a trip out to France. 

Of course most caravan interiors look the same so I have set to in making Daphne look like it belongs to us. I have taken down one one of the granny stripe crochet blankets I made ages ago to cover one of the seats and I brought home the rather plain looking cushions and I made a cover for it with some scraps of DK yarn left over from other things ...

Not bad for a weekends work hey? The cushion was simple enough to make but if you would like me to right up how I made it then I am happy to do so.

There will of course be more home-made additions to Daphne's interior in the future to make it a little more homely.

We can't wait to get out for a weekend in Daphne.
Happy Bank Holiday weekend.