Monday, 29 February 2016

Starting with a night in York...


Well, I think it is just a quick round up for this blog post. 

Half term has been and gone. We offered daughter a choice of activities/short breaks but 
she chose a staycation - for her at least. Husband and I had a night in York while she had 
friends (all female!) round for a sleepover. 

Husband and I travelled by train to York, my favourite mode of travel, offering the 
chance  for a coffee, a read of my book and a few rows knitted on my socks. 

We have visited York several times but this was the first occasion in a long time for us to 
visit without children, an indication of how our life is changing as the children grow up. 
We felt in need of exercise and despite the rather grey skies and occasional 
shower of rain we decided to shun the museums and just walk. 
And we walked the city walls - something I have not done before but the walk took 
us through some interesting parts of the city and the heights of the wall gave a slightly 
different perspective of the city too. 

On the way home from York we stopped in Sheffield and had lunch with 2 sons and one girlfriend. The meal wasn't great but the company was fantastic which is the main thing isn't it? 

I didn't take lots of photos while away as I just wanted to walk and enjoy a wind down. 
York was a bit of a welcome break from this.....

Umm.... stripping wallpaper from the hall, stairs and landing. We haven't decorated these 
rooms since we moved in 15 years ago - we always knew it would be a big job and so 
kept postponing it but we decided we could do this no more!!

Underneath we have revealed a variety of paints and I quite like the rustic look we have
on some parts of the wall. What do you think? I have tried to persuade the family that 
maybe we don't need to decorate, we can leave the walls like this but I'm not sure they 
are so convinced!!

And please don't expect a "ta-dah" revealing a beautifully decorated halls, stairs and 
landing any day soon - it all needs a lot of preparation so this is definitely 
a slow-burn project. 

(The picture is one I cross stitched years ago for younger son.)

The weather has been bright recently here in the Midlands and I have made the 
most of it in between stripping!

These photos were taken on a now-regular walk of mine round the wood at the 
back of our house and across to the science park. 

I have made a few of these recently - yes toss-in-fruitcake, mainly for daughter. These are
 so easy to make. As the name suggests you literally toss everything in a bowl and mix! 

A friend recently gave us a typewriter.
Only a few weeks ago I had mentioned in passing how I thought daughter would like one. 
It was very kind of her to remember my words when she found one in the back of a 
wardrobe while having a sort out. Daughter thinks "it is sick!" and has even been typing 
up her physics notes.

 The rhythmic sound of the keys tapping, the ping of the bell as the feed roller 
passes the margin and the sliding back of the feed roller is almost musical. 

We have been watching more ladies football matches. Brrr, it was cold yesterday but boy
 was it a nail biting cup match. Sadly our local team lost 2-1 in extra time. But the crowd of approximately 100 was testament to how far the team have come this year.

And the chilliness continued this morning, a very sharp frost with a hazy sun filtering
 through the mist gave the hill behind our house a  warm glow. 

So nothing very exciting to report. Just a round up of recent events. 
Has the sun been shining for your recently?
Do you feel like spring is on its way?

Wishing you a good week

PS. Thank you for the lovely comments on my socks in my last post!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Sock knitting and sock supplies!


Today I'm coming clean about my love of sock knitting!
I know there is a whole community out there of keen sock knitters, and I am proud to be one of them. As many have said before, and in fact as I have also said here and here, socks are a great knitting project for taking with you when space may be at a premium. 
So train rides, weekend breaks, or even day trips all offer me the chance to get a 
few rows done. 

This is the first pair I knitted - smartly commandeered by daughter and as you can see, well used. 

I started off with some Regia 4 ply yarn and followed the pattern supplied with the yarn.

More Regia yarn followed. As you can probably guess, I like this yarn. It is hard-wearing but also comes in a great range of colours and patterns such as this latest one by 
Arne and Carlos. 

Other designers for Regia sock yarn include Erika Knight and Kaffe Fassett

So besides a healthy stash of sock yarn (all will soon be revealed!) I have also accumulated a few sets of DPNs (double pointed needles), small circular needles 
(which I absolutely love!) and er, one or 2 books.  

Well, actually 4 books in total which I feel is pretty restrained. 
But I do find all the lovely sock yarns hard to resist.  

Such gorgeous self-striping, self-patterning yarns. 
But also for a diversion I have some charming plain yarn waited to be knitted up too!

And some gorgeous yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners that I received as a 
Christmas present. This was sold as a Christmas special and the yarns are called 
Holly Berry and Cherry Drop. I am aiming to get two pairs of sock from these balls, 
using for each pair one ball as the main colour and using the second ball as a 
contrast for the cuffs, heels, and toes.  

And finally some old balls of Regia that I bought several years ago when it was 
on  offer - this yarn is at last on my needles and I'm trying a different pattern this 
time, one with an after-thought heel as I used this method on my Osen Christmas
 stocking and found it very easy to do.
 (This photo really doesn't capture the true colour of the yarn at all).  

And here is my sock yarn stash in all it's glory 
(well at least as it was yesterday).

So quite a few "pairs of socks" worth of yarn there, but alas, there are just
so many tempting sock yarns. I posted recently about how I was desperately 
resisting the urge to purchase more but as many of you guessed 
correctly, I eventually caved in to temptation. 
Let me introduce you to Delphinium (left) and Frost (right). 
Definitely a 'blue' theme going on here don't you think?

And finally, this pair of socks have just come off my needles and need to be finished. 
Clearly these have been on my needle a while as I was knitting them on this day trip to Matlock in May 2015! 

Well, with all that sock yarn in the house I'd better get knitting. 
And if you are on Ravelry please pop in and see me - I'm Caz3, and here is the link to see more of my projects. 

Are you a sock knitter? Do you have a favourite pattern? Do you knit cuff-down or toe-up?
So many choices....

Wishing you an enjoyable half term!