Oh Serendipity, you wondrous thing…

Goathland1
Night falling over our camp

Last half term we took a very welcome break from the electronic world and all its intrusions, and returned for a blissfully happy few days to Abbots House Farm on the North Yorkshire Moors, a campsite with clean, basic amenities (loos and hot showers) along a beautiful drive, right in the place where the television series Heartbeat was filmed.ย  Goathland has retained its latterday charm and a walk into the village from the site sees you navigating wandering sheep, roaming free wherever they choose. It’s about as picturesque as you can get.

Goathland4
Goathland

Our field was entirely empty apart from us. We set up camp with three hikers’ tents and a tarp, under which we constructed the fire pit barbecue where we cooked our suppers every night. And along the bottom of the field ran the old steam railway with half-hourly trains providing plenty of waving opportunity for the children.

Goathland5
Getting ready to wave

No screens, no social media, no intrusion… we even had a visiting squirrel allow us to feed and stroke it.

Roddy

The time not spent hiking saw us whittling, reading and – of course – knitting. The picture at the top was taken from the doorway of my tent. Other than a 100-mile stint on the Pennine Way before my youngest was born,ย  I don’t think I’ve felt happier or freer.

Our beloved Teddy was diagnosed with autism back in 2012 and it feels as though we are just emerging as a family from the restrictions such things (happily now mostly in the past as he continues to develop and amaze us) as major meltdowns and flat refusals can put on daily life and especially on outings. Camping and hiking are just perfect for this little whirligig – totally content and always exploring.

Goathland2
The beautiful drive leading to the campsite
Esk Valley Trail1
A walk along the Esk Valley Trail introduced us to this lady, happily grazing totally unflustered by the many walkers passing her.

Other than simply describing our last break, what is the point of this post, you ask? On a knitting blog, you ask?

Well, the most wonderful thing happened this morning.

I received a message through my Facebook page containing this link: http://www.pitchandstitch.co.uk/

Yes, ladies and gentlemen of the yarnie persuasion – an entire weekend of camping AND knitting! In the most idyllic setting….

I’m in. Who’s with me??

Sprouting again – baby sleepsack and hat

Do you remember the Sprout?

sprout1

Matching baby cocoon / snugglesack and little hat. In the picture above, it’s knitted in James C Brett Woodlander self-patterning yarn, which you can find here.

Weeeeellll….

Do you also remember the Luscious Long Socks?

ll3

These were knitted in Cascade 220 and, more importantly, Lang Yarns Tosca Light – that gorgeous self-striping stuff… (find it here).

The socks only used 40g of the 100g ball, so I thought I’d make another Sprout with the rest. And look!

sprout7

I completely love it.

What do you think?

โค

 

 

Hobbit Hat (free pattern)

I find myself here, on the beautiful North Norfolk Coast. Wide, sandy beaches, and sunshine that has taken us by surprise.

But… you know… it’s February.

How in the world did someone who knits hats not bring enough?!

15

My new moniker is, apparently, “The Wool Psycho”, so it goes without saying that needles and yarn had found their way into my essential packing list.

Quick – cast on!

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This hat fits us all, from Teddy (aged 6, above) to me. Though it might be a bit of a stretch (no pun intended) for beloved husband, since his bonce is quite spectacularly large. Probably the brains ๐Ÿ˜‰

For this hat, you will need a ball of Rico Creative Melange Chunky (in this case in CurryGreen), a 7mm circular needle and depending on your speed, a couple of movies.

hobbit-hat1

So without further ado:

Cast on 64 stitches and join in the round without twisting.
Knit 1 round, purl 1 round and knit the 3rd round.
Then begin the Knit2 Purl2 rib for 10 rounds. This gives a hat that is super slouchy without folding up the rim, or nice and snug if you do.

Knit for 34 rounds.

Then K2tog all the way around.

Then knit around.

Then K2tog all the way around again.

Cut the yarn leaving a long tail, then sew the tail through the live stitches and pull tight. Tie off securely and weave in the tail. Sew in the ends, and wear to your heart’s content.

Happy knitting! ๐Ÿ™‚

hobbit-hat3

Spindles and Looking Glasses

So I’ve picked up my spinning wheel. It is a thing of beauty!

spinning-wheel3 spinning-wheel2 spinning-wheel

I haven’t a clue how it works, as I have mentioned before, nor even if it has all its requisite parts. So this morning, before dragging my bones out of bed to cook brunch for a million small people (and two big ones), I looked on YouTube to see if I could shed any light on the situation.

I didn’t get further than this (a fabulous lady who goes by the name of Biddypunk on Tumblr too, and who I follow for her fibre adventures):

from which I learned that I didn’t need the spinning wheel at all!

So, I’ve bought one of these on eBay:

Hand Spindle
Hand Spindle

Now, instead of picturing a rather haggard mother-of-five trudging her way steadily forwards on the treadmill of packed lunches, homework, nappies, laundry, cooking and trying to remember if she brushed her hair this morning, I can imagine myself like this:

The New Me
The New Me

I promptly bought myself a kilo of black sheep wool (which tickles me… the Black Sheep part, for reasons I’d better not share ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) and am waiting for spindle and fleece to arrive so that I can get cracking with it.

There are also videos a-plenty on YouTube for advice on how to wash fleece without turning it into a great big lump of felt. Felting is all well and good, but better when it was intended – I speak from experience (though I have always made good use of his shrunken jumpers afterwards… shhhh!)

This morning, the postman’s knock at the door bore my copy of Alice in Wonderland for turning into an English Patient-type journal. At first, I was concerned it was too big – there had been no dimensions in the listing and it is a large copy. But as my lovely other half pointed out, we are not world travellers, so lugging it around isn’t going to be too much of an issue. And the really really good news is that it is just beautiful.

Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland

Alice-journal2So I am champing at the bit to get started on that, too.

This afternoon, though, I have finally completed the crocheting together of the top of my granny square waistcoat. Which will probably be more of a long, sleeveless coat, but let’s not fret about names ๐Ÿ™‚

I took some photos in the mirror, as I always think these things look more real when they’re on a body, rather than lying on a table or floor, but… I’ll try to upload them tomorrow, and get better pictures when it’s nearing completion. Don’t watch this space. And certainly don’t hold your breath – you’ll turn blue! This is a lengthy process.

Off to cook supper.

Toodle-pip

Old films and new spinning wheels…

I had a lovely afternoon yesterday. My man and my youngest babe are both poorly, so we all snuggled up on the sofa – well, the littl’un snuggled into his daddy and went to sleep – and I spent a very happy couple of hours crocheting and watching the English Patient. The top of my granny square waistcoat is now in one piece, though I have discovered I need four more squares to make it meet at the front. In other words, I went from making it for a giant to making it for a supermodel. I’m neither. Oops. ๐Ÿ™‚

One of the upshots of watching the English Patient was observing Ralph Fiennes’ character – Count Almasy – and his notebook/journal. What we realised is that it was a copy of Herodotus into which he had stuck his memories, sketches, observations… What a fabulous idea! I have ordered an old, hardback copy of Alice in Wonderland and am going to do the self-same thing.

Count Almasy's JournalThe English Patient
Count Almasy’s Journal
The English Patient

But then, cruising Tumblr this morning, I came across this rather synchronous and totally beautiful thing:

Crochet Sampler
Crochet Sampler

Isn’t it dreamy? So I’ve decided to make one of those rough, thick-papered notebooksย  and am determined to master the rather more intricate of lace patterns, .which I have so far avoided as too difficult and fiddly. ๐Ÿ™‚ At some point…

And today I drove to a gorgeous farmhouse the other side of Durham and picked up my spinning wheel!! Here is a not-very-good picture of it:

spinning-wheel

I have no idea if or how it works, but plan to do some research this weekend and see if I can make head or tail of it. I haven’t the first clue about spinning, other than to be careful not to prick my finger in case I need a big kiss from a handsome prince in a century’s time… (Though, frankly, I could do with the sleep)… It came with these two carders and these books, but is missing its manual, which the lady selling it to me has promised to post on, should it resurface:

books

So, I have a voyage of discovery to embark upon this weekend.

And a letter home saying my 6-year old needs to bring a decorated egg into school by Monday. So he and I will be busy, too.

Happy weekend, all! x

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