Friday, 3 December 2010

Snow and Knitting

It's been snowing!! Just a little bit ;)

Eep, That's Deep!

Outside The Front Door

I love the snow!! It's my favourite weather of all :) I love the absolute silence when the snow is falling, and it just looks amazing! I've lost count of how many inches of snow has fallen on my little corner of Scotland, but I've been taking lots of pictures of it.

Lovely Snow Covered Tree

Winter Trees

Snowy Hills

My flickr set with lots and lots of snow pics is here:

I've been knitting something to keep me warm in this cold weather. I was listening to the "stash and burn" podcast, and heard Nicole talking about the Kerrera cardi she was making. I looked up the pattern, and decided I liked it very much :) I had just frogged my slob-about sweater (rav project page and blog post) because it was absolutely massive, and I had never worn it. Not once. It weighed about 700g, and the rib pattern I used just stretched and stretched and stretched. It would have fit Santa Claus!! So I'm using the yarn (James C Brett Aran with Wool) to make myself a Kerrera cardi. I'm up to the armhole seperation now, and it's quite warm and toasty sitting on my lap as I knit :) Just what is needed, really :)

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Dipping My Toe Back In

Hiya :)

Gosh, it's been nearly two months since I last wrote here :( I've been having some issue with confidence and general motivation, so it's been hard for me to take photos and write about what I've been doing or making. I think I'm coming out of it now (fingers crossed!), and I've been really missing this little place on t'internets!

I have been knitting a lot of things, I just need to get around to taking pics of them all! I had a brief spell the past couple of weeks where I couldn't knit anything - I hurt my elbow ironing :( Too much repititive motion lifting the heavy iron up and down for 2 1/2 hours trying to get it all done. I've learned my lesson though, I'll never do that much ironing again (if any,lol!) It was so hard not to knit anything, but it just was so sore if I lifted my arm anywhere near my body or straightened it, and I didn't want to injure it any more than I had done already. I'm back to knitting now, but not too much at a time. My arm still hurts when I first get up in the morning, kind of a dull ache up from my elbow, and sometimes throughout the day, so I'm taking it easy for now!

I couldn't believe how many things I use my right arm for - just about everything! I couldn't even lift the kettle at one point to make a cup of tea! :( And I also couldn't believe how I just cannot sit and do nothing. I get so bored and antsy, it's quite ridiculous. So I read three big books instead :)

Let's see, I've got a few photos of my knitting on flickr, what is there?

I made a couple of pairs of socks from self-striping yarn:

Self-Striping Sock - Orange

Self-Striping Sock - Honey

The yarn was Fortissima Socka Mexiko, bought from Twist Fibre Craft Studio. I did a short row heel with the yarn from the other end of the ball so that the colour repeats would keep going. I like these socks, but I've decided that I'm really not a fan of the short row heel. It's fun to knit up, but it just doesn't sit right on my feet :/

I made the World's End Fingerless Gloves by Deborah Gall of the SavvyGirls podcast. I love this design, as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted them! My pic is a bit rubbish, very overexposed. It's only on flickr because I liked the effect. I'll take better ones soon :)

End Of The World Gauntlets - Overexposed

And lastly I have pics of the Rippenschal scarf that I made. This pattern is by Margarete Dolff, and is another one that I wanted as soon as I saw it.

Rippenschal Scarf

Rippenschal Scarf -RS

The wrong side looks pretty cool too :)

Rippenschal Scarf - WS

I made this from a blue acrylic yarn, possibly Robin DK but I'm not sure.

Wow, that was a longer, more involved post than I thought I would write! It all comes flooding back! :) I'm planning to take more pictures, and get more involved in the online world again :) See you all soon!

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Jewel of Yorkshire October 2010

Jewel of Yorkshire this year was amazing!!! I think I've just about recovered now to write about it :)

BTW, this will be the last dance related post on this blog, I think. I've got this other blog Arcadian Rhythm and I'm going to start writing about dance over there. I think it's all getting muddled and lost over here, and it's about time I separated it all. So crafty things will be here, as well as general life stuff if I'm posting any, and that space will be only for dance stuff. I'm going to copy the last few posts that I've made here over to there, but I'm not going to delete any of it from here. It's just that there will be no more dancey stuff here. But of course, you're very welcome to subscribe to that blog, in fact I'm hoping people will :) I'm hoping the separation will make it easier for me to actually get round to writing without worrying about the muddle.

Anyway, back to JoY. We traveled down on Friday afternoon, and got to Yorkshire about 6ish I think. The journey down was lots of fun, 4 women in the car making rude jokes all the way down, nothing better than that! ;) We had dinner at the Tapas Tree restaurant, which is a great place to eat; the staff are wonderful and the food is soooooo good!!! And apparently the restaurant has a website: It's directly across from the hotel, so it's very convenient.

Saturday, most of us had workshops first thing in the morning, so it was up early, eat breakfast at the hotel, then walk along the canal to the venue. It had been pouring down with rain the day before, so the path was a little(!) muddy, but we got there without getting too wet or dirty. (I wore heeled boots, I'd learned from last time!)

My first workshop was with Razia, an American dancer based in London. (her website is here: ) She is amazing!! She's so friendly and approachable, and a lovely person. And her dancing is beautiful!! She was one of my favourites from the hafla at night (but more on that later). The workshop was on vintage American Cabaret Style. I learned a lot about how bellydance developed in America from Razia, and how the moves, music etc evolved. She's a great teacher, and I would highly recommend going to see her or taking a workshop from her if you have the chance, she's awesome!

My second workshop was straight after that: Tribal/Goth makeup with Beverley Spracklen ( This was a lot of fun! She showed us how she puts on her make-up for tribal shows, and the influences from eighties punk/goth artists. She gave us a list of brands that she uses too, which was really helpful. I'm not usually very girly, so the whole make-up thing kinda passed me by. I can slap it on, but I'm definitely an amateur! Her information made me feel a whole lot more confident about it though, and she even showed us how to get liquid eyeliner to go straight! (small lines at a time, and plenty of wetted cotton buds) I've had such problems with that in the past :)

The third workshop was Vamp Up Your Wings with Christine Emery. This was so much fun! She showed us some vampire inspired moves to do with Isis Wings. More old-style threatening vampire than teenage sparkler, much more my kind of thing!! I'm planning to do a vampire Isis Wings dance at a hafla sometime now because of this workshop, it was so much fun!!

The rest of Saturday, I shopped. The first thing I looked for was a cabaret costume, as it's about time that I got one. I got a purple/pink one from Farida Dance, which I really like. No photos of me in it yet, but there will be soon! ;) Then I had a look about for more costume pieces, but I couldn't really see anything that I liked enough, and that I would actually wear. There were a lot of tribal fusion type clothes that I liked, but I'm doing more Oriental dancing just now, and I just couldn't justify spending the money when I wouldn't be using it. So I went to the Aladdin's Cave stall and bought lots of DVDs. I got

On Saturday night there was the hafla with performances from the teachers. There so many amazing dances! I didn't take any photos this year, I decided to sit and just watch the dancing for once, and not get distracted by the camera. This was a good idea! My favourite dancers were (not in any particular order) Beverley Spracklen (dancing to Rob Zombie's Dragula, yay!), Razia (just beautiful!), Ozgen (I was just breathless after watching his energetic dance, amazing!), and Candi Bell. This was her last dance at JoY as she's retiring, and boy, was it an exit and a half!! There's a video on YouTube here: it was just amazing! I'm sad she's retiring, she always dances with such joy and happiness, her expressions just radiate that, and it makes me feel happy watching her dance.

On Sunday I just had the one workshop. It was another with Razia: Flawless Floorwork Fundamentals. Let me tell you, I was sore for days after doing this, but in a good way. Not hurt at all, just my muscles complaining that I don't always work them like that! She did a really comprehensive warm-up with us and some strength training exercises for our legs and core muscles, which made it a lot easier to actually do the moves! Again, she's so friendly, and has such an infectious sense of humour that two hours of hard work was lots of fun! I want to go to more of her workshops!!! (pout!)

And after all that, I was knackered. We came straight back up to Scotland after that, another 6 hours in the car. (Thinking about it, that's probably why my legs were stiff!)

I had a great time at JoY! I always come back so energised about dance after this festival. I've got April's list of classes, now I just need to find people to go with... (off to bug all my friends now!)

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Another Video

I'm heading off to Jewel of Yorkshire tomorrow!!

I'm ridiculously excited about this year's JoY. I've been literally counting down the days for the past two weeks! I'm doing workshops with Razia about American Cabaret bellydance, and one called Flawless Floorwork Fundamentals :) I'm also doing workshops in Tribal/Goth make-up, and gothic style Isis Wings. I'm so exicted!!!

Speaking of Isis Wings, I performed at a hafla last Saturday, and have uploaded the video to YouTube. Here it is:

I was dancing to Aziza by Hossam Ramzy. I love dancing with wings to this song, lots of spinny bits :)

The hafla was raising money for Clic Sargent, which is a totally worthy cause. We raised £302, yay!

I've been getting way back into dancing recently. I've been doing it for the past 6/7 years, and I feel right now like I did when I first started. I've got that excitement and enthusiasm about it back! I'll need to write a blog post about that soon. I'll try write some things while I'm at JoY on bits of paper, then post it properly when I get back!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

A Video!!

I finally worked up the courage to put a video of me dancing onto the internet (eep!).

I was dancing to Yasmina by Guy Manoukian. This was half choreographed/half improvised. By the second half of the dance I was getting more into the music, which I think helped my dancing a lot.

This was at a local hafla I helped organise - I was in charge of the running order/getting music together etc, as well as helping with general organisation. Tip to myself for next year - start getting info in June (the hafla's in August, I'll need at least that long!!)

It turned out to be a really good night, lots of fantastic dancers, including a couple of people soloing for the first time (I wish I had been that good in my first solo!!!), and we raised £400 for a local charity. :) We're already making plans for next years hafla!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

More Prizes!!

Yesterday was the local village annual show. Last year I entered my Bender toilet roll holder and won a prize. This year I decided to enter again, and won more prizes :)

I entered this bookmark that I knit just after last years show, when I first received the list of items for this year.

First Prize :D

The pattern is the Kunststricklesezeichen Lace Bookmark by Utlinde. Here's the photo from last year :)

Leaf Bookmark

It's been in a book for the past year blocking out, and it seems to have opened up quite a bit since then. I was so pleased when this won first prize!

I crocheted this baby cardi (although it's a bit thick, it's more like a jacket lol!)

Third Prize :D

This is the Lazy Daises Layette Sweater from 100 Crochet Projects (this pattern designed by Michele Thompson for Coats and Clark). The pattern doesn't appear to be in Ravelry yet though. I figured it would be a fast thing to make and enter, and people are always having babies so it'll get a proper use at some point (not from me, before you get any ideas lol!). This one won third prize :) I added the flower just by crocheting a chain, then pinning it onto the front of the sweater in the flower shape, then sewing it on. I like the black on the lilac, it's quite unusual for babies, I know, but it just seemed to fit :)

I improvised a couple of designs for the show as well, this necklace:

Flower Power Necklace

And this robot toy:

Barnabus the Robot

(this is him before sewing and stuffing)

Barnabus Before Sewing

He's been named Barnabus the Robot by my friend's son. I think it suits him :) He was made for the "something made from scraps of wool" section.

These didn't win any prizes, but I think they're kind of cute anyway :) I'm thinking of writing up designs for these, but it probably won't be for a little while. Unless I go mad, and just decide to drop everything else I need to do right now. Which could happen, you never know. It does kind of tend to happen that way :)

I've got next year's list of items already, so I'd better get started on them! There's a lot of sewing in next year's list, so it'll be a good chance to get better at my sewing :)

Yummy Yarn Prize!

Look what I won! :D I came back from Knit Camp on the Saturday evening and this was waiting for me!

Sundara Fingering Silky Merino

Sundara Fingering Silky Merino

This was from a blog giveaway by Lina at photoknitdog. I was third picked out, and received this gorgeous skein of Sundara Fingering Silky Merino in Cactus Flower! :D

My photography isn't anywhere near as good as hers, she takes amazing photographs! you should head over to her blog and see :) She has two beautiful Havanese dogs, and knits such beautiful things. I love it when a new post pops up over there :)

I was so pleased to win! I've heard of Sundara yarn on Ravelry, and it's just gorgeous in real life!! So soft and lovely cololurs! It's out on display just now till it tells me exactly what it wants to become :) Thank you Lina!!!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

This is just a quick note to say that from now until the end of Sept 2010 I'll be donating 50% of all my pattern sales to aid for Pakistan after their disastrous floods recently. Links to buy the patterns are below, or you can purchase them directly from from my pattern store on Ravelry.

There is a thread on Ravelry about donating pattern proceeds to aid for Pakistan. Other people who have pledged money can be found there. There are calls for a special tag to be added, similar to the Help-for-Haiti tag that was implemented at the beginning of the year. I ask that any of you on Ravelry add your voice to the call for such a tag. There seems to be a distinct lack of interest just now in helping the people of Pakistan in the same way... :( I haven't even seen much about it on internet news feeds that I subscribe to, it's so sad.

Even if you don't want to buy any of my patterns, please donate to whatever charity you want who is helping the people of Pakistan at this disastrous time. The people there desperately need help. I would like to do my own small bit to help, which is why I am donating 50% of my pattern sales.

Links to buy my patterns directly from this page (paypal required):

Hebi socks:

Monet Ellipse socks:

Bias Stripe Cowl:

Plumes Beret:

Ogawa socks:

Mariposa socks:

Spring Stroll socks:

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Knit Camp Day 2

OK, round-up of Day 2's purchases :)

My first purchase took place about 5 minutes after entering the marketplace :) Since I'd already walked around all the stalls twice the day before, I knew was was there, and what I'd be interested in, so I wasn't so concerned about doing a preliminary walk-through. There was a stall right at the front, beside the Vogue Knitting stall, which I assume was DT Crafts from looking at the marketplace map. It looks like they and WhiteLies and Annie Modesitt's stalls were swapped around for some reason. They had a box of yarns that were 5p per gram, and there were these three skeins of the same colourway, so I snapped them up.

Pretty Random Yarn
Pretty Random Yarn

They're very pretty :) A light-fingering weight wool, in lovely pinks and oranges. I've no idea what it'll become yet though.

The next yarns are in random order, since I can't remember exactly what order I bought them all in. It's a bit of a yarn-blur! :D

Pink Panther

This is a 4ply Whitefaced Woodland in the Pink Panther colourway from Freyalyn's Hand-dyed Fibres. Very pretty! I think this might become some actual socks. I know, sock yarn being used for socks! Whatever next!?!

I went back to Wool For Ewe's stall :) I just loved their yarns, they had wonderful Araucania yarns, such as this one:

Araucania Toconao Multy

Araucania Toconao Multy yarn in colour 413. I love the colours. Blues and oranges and Browns, very pretty. It reminds me of a more natural, toned-down version of the IrnBru colours. :D

Noro Cash Island
Noro Cash Island

And more Noro Cash Island :) I do like this yarn. This colourway (No 14) reminds me of tweedy kiltishness for some reason. I seemed to pick very Scottish colours, with the black tartan-y one on the first day as well... Again, this will probably become some sort of simple shawlette/scarf thingy.

The Yarn Yard sock weight yarn
The Yarn Yard sock weight yarn

We went to The Yarn Yard's stall so many times to look at all their pretty yarn! Eventually I picked one (I do remember that this was my last purchase as I ran out of money buying this one!) and bought it. This is a fingering/sock weight yarn in lovely natural brown shades, with a hint of green sometimes (I don't know if you can see that in my crappy pics!) So beautiful!! I don't know what this will become yet.

Artist's Palette Smootherino

One of my goals in going to the marketplace was to buy a yarn to make the World's End Fingerless Gloves by Deborah Gall (of the SavvyGirls podcast) First of all I picked this beautiful variegated grey yarn from the Artist's Palette booth. It's their Smootherino yarn, which has lovely subtle colour variations in it. Then I saw this other yarn, and decided that I wanted to use that instead.

Ba T'at yarn

This was from the Ba T'at stall, which had lovely dyed yarns. This is a smaller skein about 75g, and as that is what is called for in the pattern, I figured there won't be a whole lot left over when I make it. I'm looking forward to making those gloves in this yarn!

BFL/Silk Fibre
BFL/Silk Fibre

I managed to contain myself to buying only one lot of fibre, this Blue-faced Leicester/Silk from Wingham Wool Work. It feels so lovely!! I can't wait to spin it up!

And that's it for my purchases from the Knit Camp marketplace (finally!!) I went a bit overboard, but I love everything I got, and it's not like this kind of event happens round here very often. I really hope there are more events like this in the future, although I'm a bit worried in case people are put off by the organisational "difficulties" that this event had. I'm not going to post about those here, not today anyway, but if you do a quick google or ravelry search, you'll soon find out about what happened, if you don't know already. This post is all about my pretties!!! I'll have more pics and little bits and pieces next post! And you'll get to see what lovely, lovely thing was waiting for me when I got home on the Saturday!!!! (I'm such a tease, lol!)

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Knit Camp Day 1

(apologies in advance for the very long post, and the bajillions of photos!) :D

This week the Knit Camp event was held at Stirling University, which was really exciting as Stirling Uni is only a shot distance from where I live. I didn't go to any of the classes, but I went to the marketplace on Friday and Saturday with Blackmagpie, which was totally awesome!!!

The marketplace was filled with so many amazing stalls, I was totally overwhelmed. We made made a plan to walk around first and see what each booth had, then go back round to buy stuff, instead of spending all our money at the first few booths, which could quite easily have happened :)

We managed to go through two of the three rooms before we caved and started buying :) The first booth I bought from was Wild Fire Fibres. This is what I got from Vikki, who I'd met online, but this was the first time meeting her in person, and she was just as nice and lovely and awesome as she is online. And OMG, her yarn!!! It's not really surprising that her booth was the one that made me start buying! Here's what I got:

WFF Laceweight
WFF Laceweight

Tempo 4ply
Tempo 4ply

WFF Hathor Lace in "Atlantic Blue" and Tempo 4ply in "Shadow". My pics really don't do justice to the awesomeness of these colours. I love these yarns. I'm not sure what they're going to become yet, but I had to have them, they're so pretty!


From Wool For Ewe I got these 2 skeins of Noro Cash Island in colour no 13 (descriptive! :) ) It looks a bit like tartan to me with the black and green and red. Wool For Ewe's stall was amazing, they had so much stuff on sale and it was all so pretty. It was hard not to blow my entire budget here as well! I think I'm going to make this into some sort of triangular neck scarf. Just a simple pattern to show off the colours.

Pure Wool DK
Pure Wool DK

I got this pure wool DK from Freylayn's Hand Dyed Yarns - such pretty shades of yellow! Again, it'll probably become a scarflette of some sort, but I don't really know. I just like the colours!

Merino DK
Merino DK
Tiny Ball Of Opally Goodness!

I got yarn in my goody bag - Supersoft Merino DK from Colourmart and a tiny ball of Opal (so cute!) I have no idea what I'll do with the Opal, and the merino is going to be made into wristmarmers or something glovey.

New Spindle

One of my main goals in going to Knit Camp was to get a lighter spindle to spin thinner yarns. I got this 37g spindle from Scottish Fibres. I got 2 fibres from them as well to experiment with, this Soya Bean Fibre

Soya Bean Fibre

and this flax.

Flax Fibre
Flax Fibre

The Soya Bean Fibre is really quite soft to pet, but quite inelastic and it almost has a squeaky feel when pressed. It'll be interesting to try to spin it! :D


I also got this Bluefaced Leicester fibre from Wingham Wool Work. They had so many interesting and colourful fibres and fibre accessories. I kept going back to pet their merino /silk, but didn't get any of that unfortunately.

Shawl Pin

Oh, and I got this shawl pin from Textile Garden. Their stall had a lot of buttons, which I managed to resist, and I just loved their pins.

As for patterns, I got the Serpentine Valentine Socks by Katie Weston from the p-hop stall. P-Hop works on the principle of downloading patterns, and then you pay "pennies per hour of pleasure" and they give the money to Médecins Sans Frontières, which I think is awesome. They had samples of these socks and they were just amazing! I've never tried colourwork socks before, but I'm looking forward to trying this pattern!

I also got the MY Baboo Flower Cushion Cover from the MyBaboo stall. I just loved the sample they had of the giant flower.

I got 2 free patterns in my goody bag - the Frilly Filly Scarf by Gryphen Perkin from Stitch and Bitch Advanced, and the Alpaca Love Cabled Chapeau from Stitch Nation, and my goody bag also had a copy of Knit Simple winter 2009/2010, which has some really cute patterns in it.

Phew, longest post ever!!! And that was just day 1! Next up will be what I got on day 2. Yes, there is more. Much, much more :D