Monday, 20 February 2017

Unravel, Welford Park and Other Bits and Bobs

Good morning! I hope you all had, or are having, a wonderful, relaxing half term. It seems strange now that E is at uni not to have one as I used to love those mid term breaks. I've had a jolly week of my own, however, with my first trip to Unravel, our annual trip to Welford Park to see the snowdrops, a quick trip to Oxford to see L and a few crafty bits and bobs. I apologize in advance for what is a rather photo heavy post! Here goes:
On Friday I set off for Unravel - the festival of knitting held at the Maltings in Farnham. I had been to the Maltings once before when E was acting in a Shakespeare play there, so it was vaguely familiar. I arrived early and was lucky enough to get a space in the car park. I was then able to sit and work on my socks until it opened, whilst watching the drama of the car park unfold before me. It filled up quickly and instead of being designed in a nice convenient circuit it ended in a cul-de-sac, which meant that everybody worked their way hopefully to the end and then had to either do a three point turn or try to reverse out again with a queue of cars behind them. Most people were patient but occasionally tempers frayed! 

The festival itself was wonderful with lots of stalls, talks and workshops. I was thrilled to meet Amy from the Stranded Dyeworks podcast and she was just as sweet as she seems onscreen. I was too embarrassed to ask for a photo but I did make a couple of purchases from her glorious stall.

I looked round all the stalls but it was very crowded by that point, so I was happy to leave with my goodies and bequeath my parking space to a very grateful lady. Just because I like seeing what other people buy, here are my Unravel acquisitions:
 A new project bag from Emerald. The colour isn't showing up very well in the photo, it's actually a brighter green than it appears.
 2 skeins of sock yarn from Stranded Dyeworks - Mint Imperial on the left and Industrial Kingfisher on the right. Looking at them I think they'd go together very well in a Find Your Fade shawl.
 A circular needle for a new project that I'm about to start, some needle end stoppers and a couple of pairs of vintage needles:
Despite the crowds and parking difficulties, I would definitely go again next year.
Other happies this week include:
My trip to Oxford to see L and lunch in Wasabi. I can thoroughly recommend their veggie noodle soup.
We pottered round the covered market and spent a while watching the cake decorators working:

Back home, it had been a while since I had done any sewing and I felt the urge to get my machine out and make a mini quilt/table mat with my scraps of fabric:

Then on Sunday R and I went to Welford Park. Every February they open their grounds for charity and people get to see their marvellous snowdrop display.
 If you look very closely at the photo below, you can just about see the different coloured grass where the Great British Bake Off marquee was positioned last year. I don't know if it will still be held here now that it is moving to channel 4 and I'm not sure if I will be boycotting it this year. I'm disappointed that it will be moving from the BBC, but I do love a reality series - Bake Off, Sewing Bee, Allotment Challenge and, my current favourite, the Painting Challenge on a Sunday evening - I watch them all!

I finished my Rainbow Pride socks for L. They don't match and, in retrospect, I think that a Fish Lips Kiss heel may have been better in terms of the stripes, but I do love a heel flap and gusset! I'm going to cast on a pair for E next in a West Yorkshire Spinners' Kingfisher yarn that she chose on our trip to Bath.
Finally, our woodpecker remained still for long enough for me to grab the camera. I was a little panicked though and he (or is it a she?) is still a bit blurry.
Anyway, that's all for this week. I'm just off to the supermarket and then for a run at the gym. After my chest infection, my running has taken several steps backwards and I'm eager to get back to where I was before Christmas. I think it may take me some time ...........
Toodle Pip for now. xx

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Ninjabread, photography and signs of spring

Hello there. It's been a while, so I thought I'd take half an hour to clear my camera and have a bit of a catch up. January, sadly, was virus ridden. I had one day when I felt relatively okay and disease free, then I collected E from Oxford where she had been spending a few days with L before the start of term. In the few days that she was home before I took her back to Bristol, I managed to catch her latest cold which went straight to my chest and I've been coughing ever since. Running is a no go at the moment. I went swimming for the first time in ages yesterday and I've been doing a bit of yoga when I can, but otherwise I've been taking it slow. I was supposed to have had a day in London as R had managed to get tickets to see a radio show being recorded. I cancelled as I didn't think I would be very popular hacking away in the audience. E and I managed a trip to see 'The Kite Runner' before I was very bad and that was excellent. R and I watched 'Murder for Two' at our local Watermill Theatre which was also good, but I was trying to time my coughing for the relatively noisy bits and was still very aware that the gentleman sitting next to me was getting rather annoyed (I put up with his sweet wrapper rustling, so it did go both ways!). I would thoroughly recommend both productions though if you're close by and fancy an evening out.

Anyway, here are the photos that I've found on my camera:
Hamish and I enjoyed one snowy day but, unfortunately, it didn't stick around for long:
 Supermarket tete-a-tetes:
 I won a give-away run by the lovely Penny at I'd actually forgotten all about it until it dropped through my letter box. It's mindfulness in crochet form and I'm looking forward to making some of the lovely projects. Thank you Penny!

 When R and I went to Stow on the Wold in the autumn, I picked up a Ninjabread kit for the girls from a lovely kitchen shop. They spent a merry morning in Oxford making them and they were surprisingly tasty:
 E and I popped into Bath again on the way back to Bristol. Tea was taken at the Bath Bun tearoom:

 Having finished my latest pair of socks, I've cast on another pair for L. The yarn is 'Rainbow Pride' and it looks like being a very jolly knit:
Here it is with my Moomin progress keeper:
On Sunday, I drove to Bristol again to meet my friend S. We were going to M Shed to see the Wildlife Photography Exhibition being held there. It was great and had photographs by both professional photographers and children. To be honest,I preferred the ones by the children. Some of the others had special effects that made the photographs look more like paintings. There were some taken with a Go Pro as the photographer shinned up trees in Borneo etc. compared to some of the children's which were just taken in their local park. I took the one below before noticing the 'no photography' sign - oops! My favourite was a silhouette of 2 goats against an evening sky. The mother goat was plodding along slowly and her kid was pronking away behind her. It was taken by an under 10  and was just perfect. The exhibition is on until March and there is ample parking close by and lots of other things to look at at M shed.

We had lunch here and their pizzas were delicious and huge! I saved half of mine and donated it to E when I popped in to see her on the way home.
Another thing off my needles this week is my 'Because I love you' wrap by Amy Meeks. I actually got a little carried away and did one more orange stripe than was intended. It does make it extra cosy though!
  There are signs of spring in the garden:
 .......... and this is what I have planned for the rest of the day. Gillian at Tales from a Happy House made some recently and it reminded me that it's marmalade time of year again:
So, that's all for the moment. I wish you all a happy, creative and disease free week.
Toodle pip for now. xx