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Quintessential: Farmers’ Market by Jen Day

I seem to mostly be tech editing shawls! This is another recent one I have worked on, designed by Jen of Pharmhouse Wool Preserves.

Jen designed this shawl to make use of The Plucky Knitter’s “Fall Quintessential Plucky Palette“.Β  A straightforward knit with interest coming from the use of the beautiful colours (there are 12 colours in the Fall kit!).Β It’s a really nice size (approx. wingspan 95.5 inches / 243 cm; depth 59 inches / 150 cm) but should be a fairly quick knit as the yarn is a DK weight so you will soon have a beautifully warm shawl to keep you cozy!

You can find Jen’s pattern for sale on Ravelry here.

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Raspberry Cheesecake shawl by Jess LaBlache

Jess has recently released her ‘Raspberry Cheesecake Shawl’ which I tech edited for her. This triangular top-down shawl can be knit in any weight of yarn you like! The sample shown here was knit in a fingering weight yarn and used a little under 400m.

The shawl is made up of 5 different sections with some nice textured patterning. You can buy Jess’s pattern on Ravelry here.

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Sisterlove Shawl by Avril Liljekvist

Avril has recently released this lovely shawl pattern which I had the pleasure of tech editing for her.Β  This half-circular shawl is designed to be knit using a lace weight yarn (it uses between 600 – 800 metres). Instructions for the lace section are provided in both written and charted format. You can also add beads if desired.

You can purchase Avril’s pattern here.

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Eureka Shawl by Katalin Beth…

I recently tech edited Katalin’s ‘Eureka Shawl’ pattern. Knitted top-down and almost entirely in garter stitch, the lovely shale border worked in different colours adds interest and texture. The shawl is finished with a knitted-on edge – I love this technique – don’t be afraid to try it if you haven’t come across it before! It’s so much more fun than simply casting off lots of stitches πŸ˜‰

The shawl can be knit in DK or fingering weight yarn. You can purchase Katalin’s pattern here.

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More dyeing experiments…

We’ve been doing a bit more dyeing – testing out the dyes at different concentrations (all in a very scientific manner, thanks to Andrew and his spreadsheet!) We ended up with a nice rainbow of colours. My friend saw them and wanted some to knit a set of mini advent stockings – seemed like a nice idea so we dyed up another rainbow and we are now both knitting stockings! I wrote up a pattern which takes a bit less than 5g of yarn & will make it available once I’ve tested it properly. I’m a bit behind with mine as I’ve only knit 5 so far but I’m hoping to get them finished in time to use this year!

I also had a go at dyeing a semi-solid – really like how this one turned out and it is probably destined to become socks:

My last experiment was a variegated yarn. I thought I’d messed these two up because it was looking a bit messy in the pot but I’m really happy with how they turned out. Both dyed at the same time – one is slightly pinker than the other. Looking forward to seeing what they are like knitted up:

I’m hoping we can have another dyeing session soon – I’ve got some merino/tencel lace weight which I want to have a play with and we still have quite a bit of sock yarn to experiment on too πŸ™‚

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The last camping trip of the year…

We have had some amazing weather so far this month and last week we decided to make the most of the sunshine and squeeze in one last camping trip. We decided last Monday afternoon and after a quick look online, booked a pitch on a Haven site near Mablethorpe in Lincolnshire and then packed the van as quickly as we could! We arrived quite late after a 4.5 hour drive and were shown to our pitch (in the dark!) Luckily we still had time to get a takeaway pizza as we hadn’t got much with us!

We usually stick to much smaller sites in the summer but at this time of year it’s nice to have some extra facilities and it was a bargain too at Β£36 for 4 nights (including electric!) We’d not been to this area before and the site is right next to the beach.

The next morning we went for a long walk on the beach (it is massive!) and then into Mablethorpe. The weather was fab – very sunny and very windy too but not really cold. There was loads of ‘sea buckthorn’ – the berries are a lovely colour (I’ve eaten ‘sea buckthorn’ ice cream once – very nice!)

We stayed for 4 days, mostly sitting out in the sunshine in the afternoons doing a bit of knitting. We were very lazy and ate at the onsite restaurant in the evenings. We ate out at a place called the ‘Fat Seagull’ one lunchtime (it’s near Sandilands) and had the most amazing homemade sausages! We also had some superb cheesecake at Lady B’s Cupcakery πŸ™‚

Pippin having fun on the beach:

It goes without saying that Mablethorpe is a ‘traditional’ seaside town – with amusements!

I’m pretty sure that will be the last of the camping posts for this year! We’ve been so lucky with the weather and had some great trips, which was just what we needed post-shop. I promise a change in post content soon! We are going to be trying out something new in the next month or so (you’ll have to wait a while longer for news) and I’m also going to be spending some more time getting some of my patterns ready to publish now that the weather is a bit too cold for camping!

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The Welsh tour…

We had a really nice couple of weeks in Wales last month and apart from a couple of super rainy days, we had great weather! Unlike our Scottish trip, we booked all but our first night’s camping in advance (and most of the sites we stayed at were pretty full due to it being school holiday time). We spent a peaceful first night in a car park in Brecon – most Powys council car parks allow you to stay overnight (for 1 night) so we started our trip a day earlier than we originally planned, which meant we could take our time getting to our first campsite near St David’s.

St David’s cathedral

We took advantage of the lovely weather and did quite a bit of walking, including some parts of the coastal path. This was taken on a walk around Dinas head:

The views were amazing!

Pippin enjoyed some time digging for rocks on the beach…

He likes to hunt for them in streams too (strange dog!)

We ate some fab food – I think Pizza Tipi (Cardigan) was one of our favourite places.

I’ve recently changed my camera kit – as much as I loved my full frame Nikon and amazing fast lenses, I decided I wanted something that I could actually manage to carry around all day without being crippled by the weight! I have now got an Olympus OMD EM1 and I’m loving it. It’s a great camera – very light (compared to the Nikon) but extremely capable and there are a lot of excellent lenses to choose from too. I tried to remember to take shots for a panorama each day. These were all handheld (and put together in Lightroom).

Rather appropriately, the wet weather caught up with us for our stay at Tyn Cornel campsite which is next to the River Tryweryn and just a short walk from the National White Water Centre. Despite the rain (lots of rain!) we had a great time watching the action on the river.

Pippin made a friend!

Another highlight was walking over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct (not recommended if you are afraid of heights, although I have to say I’m not that keen but I found it ok)

We came home via Shropshire where we spent a relaxing couple of days with Gretel – we ate too much and talked a lot and I had the honor of receiving some 1:1 painting tuition!

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2,600 miles…

I think we have just about recovered from our monster 3-week trip to Scotland (having put almost 2,600 miles on the van)! We got home late on Saturday after a very long day driving (the weather was pretty awful the last few days of our ‘tour’ so we decided it was time to go home). We had a great trip – the weather was actually pretty good most of the time. We have walked on lots of amazing sandy beaches, driven along some crazy little roads with incredible views, saw a whale, seals, puffins and an otter (well, Andrew saw one – I missed it!). We heard corncrakes (they are on the red list and the Western Isles is probably the best place to find them), saw eagles (lots of eagles) and ate rather a lot of cake πŸ˜‰

I will do a proper write up of our trip soon – I have rather a lot of photos to sort out first!