FO Friday: alllll the snuggles!

Finished Object: this snuggly cowl:

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yay! this is how it started life, as undyed aran yarn from Wooltops:

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and I used a long-gradient dye process so it goes from burgundy at one end, gradually down to the white yarn at the other end, with shading of lighter purple, red and even blue inbetween.

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the pattern is something I improvised, guessing that a diagonal slant would show off the gradient changes well, and I’m really happy with it!

Yarndale 1: mainly pictures of alpacas

This was my first time ever going to Yarndale, in fact to any wool festival, and it was even more colourful and cheerful than I expected! I have way too many pictures to put in one post, so this is a general summing up, and posts 2 and 3 will deal with the Scollayalong meetup, and the swag I got.

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The general atmosphere was welcoming and warm as soon as you arrived, mainly thanks to the lovely people working at the desk dealing with tickets. A little sheep stamp and a sticker later and you’re in, and immediately surrounded with colourful displays, from an entire wall of crocheted flowers for an Alzheimer’s charity, to the bunting that decorated the pens.

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The booklet everyone is given on arrival contains a free pattern for this little cutie, Dominic the sheep, here shown knitted up at the Toft stand. Then of course you are spoilt for choice choosing the yarn to make him with! I spotted a few other sheep on my way around, like this one:

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this one;

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and even the odd goat!

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Moving on to actual living animals, let me just mention my absolute favourite: THE ALPACAS! There were a few different alpaca businesses there who’d brought along some of their animals. This is how I learnt that alpacas make an absolutely hilarious whining noise, even when they seem to be quite happy chewing or nuzzling each other. As I noticed though, one of them did have poo on its head while it was making that noise, and tbf if I was in its position I’d probably be whining too.

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I even got to stroke one surreptitiously through the bars, it felt like pressing your fingers into the most springy and soft jumper ever.

My only criticism of the entire weekend is that I nearly missed out on a lunch due to the cafe not accepting cards! I actually had to throw myself on the kindness of strangers and luckily the woman behind me in the queue, who I’d been chatting to, stepped in. But even all the small stands had card facilities, so I’d just assumed that the cafe would! That is my only gripe, and it’s a small one.

Overall I had a great time and would definitely go again, and next time I am going to make it a personal goal to stroke more alpacas.

FO Friday! in which I finally finish a pair of socks

huzzah! the socks are finished! one pair down, one more to go before I officially have NO second socks ligging about. and then can cast on a new pair free from guilt.

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also, these are the first socks I’ve made with yarn I’ve dyed myself, so it’s pretty special to see them finished 🙂

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and this is how they started life:

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two little socks balls! 50g each, I had a fair bit of white left over from both. is it acceptable to have two balls of 40g I wonder? 100g always seems too much for one pair of socks!

goodies for my stash! from ‘the golden skein’ swap

I took part in a swap organised by ‘The Golden Skein’ (run by Jo of Shiny Bees podcast fame). the swap was for a project bag, and a skein of yarn inspired by a photo that the recipient chose. my inspiration photo was this one of a view from my garden:

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and this was what I received today:

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how amazing is that! close up of the bag:

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look at that stitching! I am so moved by the effort that my gifter put into this, and just the wonderfulness of having a bag to keep with a view that I love so much 🙂

oh and the yarn isn’t half bad either:

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Sock Yarn from Hedgehog Fibres in ‘teacup’ colourway. I am soooo tempted to cast on something right now, but I am restraining myself. (so far!)

so yes, my advice to anyone is to take part in any swap you can, it’s so rewarding picking gifts for a random stranger, and then you have the extra bonus of a wonderful gift for yourself!

What are we up to Wednesday?

for me this week is all about socks- I am trying desperately to overcome ‘second sock syndrome’ so I have all my unfinished pairs done before the Brityarn sock KAL starts in October.

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this stitch pattern is from Hermione’s Everyday socks, in Heart & Sole yarn. I LOVE this colourway.

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this is a plain stockinette to show off the long-gradient dye pattern, in China Blue, dyed by my own fair hands.

and of course I am still working on my Fika shawl by Karie Westermann- on the 10th repeat of the pattern now, after which I’ll start the border row.

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plans for today: sunbathing with Fred

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I think it counts as ‘mindfulness meditation,’ right? being in the moment, paying attention to your surroundings…even if my mind might have slightly wandered to planning my next cosplay outfit. lying underneath a tree is one of my favourite things to do (dirty hippy), especially when you can see blue sky through the leaves, and beams of sunlight falling through. lying out there with Fred was even better because his eyes are so green they look like they’re matching the surroundings. plus I can tell myself that he obviously really loves me, if he deigns to lie next to me, and miaows indignantly when I try and leave…

saying that, I had better get back outside!