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Knitting

Sad news about Colinette Yarns

I received a really sad email yesterday from Sam at Colinette yarns saying that they’d dyed their last hank and had closed their shop in Llanfair Caereinion. Colinette is the yarn company that hooked me into knitting back in 2001. I was on holiday in San Francisco and bought a copy of Interweave Knits magazine on impulse. I hadn’t knit since I was a child and couldn’t cast off or do the perl stitch but there was an amazing looking sweater on the cover of the mag that grabbed me. It was in Colinette’s famous Point 5.

At that point I didn’t even know that the company was based in Wales and dyed their yarn here. I loved reading how Colinette was an artist who had first turned her love of colour to yarn in the 1980s and had been coming up with new shades ever since. I loved her colours. I couldn’t find anything like them in Cardiff back in 2001, it sounds trite but those colours were life changing. You couldn’t buy anything knitted that was close to them back then.

When I got home from SF I ordered enough of Prism, I think…, in Fruit Coulis I think.., to make a sweater. At that time I was knitting really badly. I’ve since tried to unravel the sweater and I must have split the piles or something because it’s proven impossible to undo the work but I still loved the yarn. I’ve bought so much of it over the years back when it was impossible to find a lot of the American brands that I lusted over. While American friends were felting Lamb’s Pride Worsted I was horrifying them by felting Colinette’s Skye Aran. I made a fantastic pair of Theresa Vinson Stenersen’s Fuzzy Feet from Knitty in it that are worn out now.

I remember going to the Knitting and Stitching Show with Jeni from Fyberspates, the first year that she sold her own yarn on the Get Knitted Stall, and being blown over by the Colinette Stand. We went there at least twice over the weekend to buy bags of yarn. Of course I still have some of it unknit! When I was with Andy we made a few trips to the fantastic Colinette shop. It was a really amazing place. Although it closed its doors early this year you can go back in time and take a tour via the magic of YouTube.

There’s still plenty of yarn left in the online shop so if you’ve ever held off ordering from them this may be your final chance to do so.

Today I made what’s probably my last ever order from them – One skein of Jitterbug in one of my favourite shades – Alizarine. I don’t know if I’ll knit it up straight away – I have to tidy up my craft room first ha! – or if I’ll just gently place it with the other yarns of its brethren.

Colinette has held such affection in my heart as being the yarn company that swept me into the knitting world fifteen years ago and I will miss them so very much. I wish the best to Colinette and her team for the future.

14th Blogiversary!

Oh poor neglected blog. It’s about eighteen months since I last posted.

So a little catch-up: I’m still knitting, but not as much as I used to. I have an inprogress cowl from before Xmas that I haven’t picked up since then. What I am doing though, is reading. I’ve been taking part in the GoodReads yearly challenges for the last few years and last year read over 100 books. This year I’ve challenged myself to read 40 books. So far I’ve read 14 but whether I’ll reach my goal remains to be seen but since I read all of The Expanse series, most of which are over 500 pages long, perhaps I’ve actually read twice as much 😉

I got to spend Christmas and the New Year in New England in the USA. Eric’s from there and his parents invited me to stay for the holidays. The time flew by. I did buy some local yarn while I was there and many books. Oh and there were blueberry pancakes!  🙂

More later…honest…

Fabric Houses

I was in Bath this weekend for my friend Helen’s Hen do. It was a crafty affair with a jewellery making session at The Makery followed by a little shopping.

First in the patchwork shop I picked up a half meter piece of this great house fabric. It’s going to become either a bag, a cushion or both. I love the colours.

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And then a little jaunt to Wool where I found this beautiful alpaca silk.

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Second sock is still coming along. I’ve turned the heel now and can’t wait to finish it 🙂

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Just about to cast off…

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…the first sock. Will cast on for its mate tonight. Hope to have a pair by the end of the week.

Quick Sock Update…

…because, yes. I’d forgotten about last week’s decision to try and blog on a Monday.

So here’s my sock a week later. Have just been doing a little while I watch Bones – currently on season two.

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I’m now on the heel flap. Would have finished the flap yesterday had I not made a mistake and tried to knit it with the heel pattern instead. Had to flog 20 odd rows. Ah, well!

Plain Vanilla Socks…

…and yet I never get bored of knitting them.

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Started knitting on the weekend using my usual toe up pattern and some Lang Jawoll Magic in shade 6475. I’m knitting it on my new Hya Hya 2.5mm circs that I bought in Lacis during my trip to Berkeley and San Francisco last month.

I also have a Foxy new project bag from my friend Hannah.

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I’m going to try and see if I can do the blogging on a Monday thing again since this poor blog has been sadly neglected again. I even missed marking my 14th blogiversary back in February. Will see if I can do better once the 15th comes around!

Knit All the Things…ish

Remember Jabba?

 

Jabba on his couch...

Jabba on his couch…

Here he is installed on Eric’s sofa. He takes most of it up!

I had all of these grand plans for the Christmas break. I was going to knit all the things and read and watch all the things, too. Of course the reality is that I was only able to knit, read and watch some things. I do seem to go in phases of knitting certain accessories. Berets have been a favourite recently but cowls are my current obsession.

Burnished Leaves Cowl

Burnished Leaves Cowl

 

I bought this Mini Mochi yarn in shade 102 a couple of years or so ago from The Sock Yarn Shop. I’d had various ideas for it but I finally settled on the Burnished Leaves Cowl by Chrissy Prange. Somehow I managed to accidentally skip the several rows of garter stitch at the beginning, I plan to pick up stitches after I finish and add them then. A little of this yarn appears to go a long way. I think it’ll take under one 50g ball to finish this so I hope to make some coordinating finger less mitts to g with it.

This began life as a cowl inspired by one I’d seen on Ravelry. The original didn’t have details of the pattern so I made my own.

Looks like rib but it isn't...

Looks like rib but it isn’t…

It was from some Rico Designs Creative Poems yarn that I’d bought in a sale. But as I knit, although I loved the pattern and the softness of the yarn, I didn’t love the colours. They seemed too dark for me, they were more manly colours really. So I asked Eric if he’d like it instead but as a scarf, not a cowl. I’ve knit two balls but I think it could do with being a fraction longer so it’s currently on a stitch holder while I see if I can find another skein in the store. One more would do it. I’ll post the pattern here soon.

Charlie and Billie are well but I came home on Saturday to a catastrophe. They’d broken my kettle! They knocked it off the counter top onto the hard kitchen floor tiles. It didn’t enjoy its encounter with the floor and refused to work any more. I’d hoped I’d be able to fix it but it was too far gone. Fortunately I picked up a cheaper kettle in the Argos sale. It’s not as good as my lovely Bosch one which could heat water to several temperatures for different tea types, but it’s a kettle and it helps make tea and tea is an essential in my house.

I’ve been knitting for thirteen years now but in recent years I’ve been quite curious about crochet. But aside from being able to badly make a chain for a temporary cast on when knitting socks, I’ve never been able to fully get to grips with it. I tried learning last year at a crochet club meeting at St Fagans and that didn’t work out well. It wasn’t the fault of the tutor, just that I couldn’t seem to grasp it. Learning a new skill can be harder than it looks and I really struggled. Holding the yarn was one of the hardest things, I’m so used to holding in a certain way for knitting that t feels unnatural to hold it any other way. But I’ve been falling in love with Attic 24… Lucy makes lovely things and she has such a fantastic sense of colour.  If you’ve never seen her blog before go and check it out right now.

I went to a crochet workshop on Saturday and it was still a bit of a struggle for me but I understand more about the stitches now. My work’s quite messy but then I remember my first project when I returned to knitting in 2001. It was a scarf and I picked up so many stitches knitting it that it looked more like a weird sleeve at the end of it! I couldn’t even frog it as I split the yarn or something.

Granny Squares in progress

I started the yellow Granny square during the workshop and I began the multicoloured one yesterday. I don’t think I’ve joined the colours properly and my tension is awful but hopefully if I do enough of it eventually it’ll begin to click! I’m going to try and persevere and do a bit of crochet every day.

 

 

 

 

Eleven Years Ago Today…

I blogged for the very first time.

It’s still rather strange to think of old Space Craft is. Scifiville is even older, I bought the domain back in June 2000.

 

So I’ve made some new aquistions

 

I picked this up in my local Aldi for about £2.50 I think.

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It contains this assortment of various sewing thingies

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Perfect if you’re like me and have to have more than three of everything. 🙂

I’ve had the same pair of fabric scissors for thirteen years and unfortunately they had an untimely death recently. But really, I probably should have replaced them earlier.

I bought these at the same time as the sewing tin and I have no idea how good they’ll be.

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I’m visiting Helen this weekend and as well looking forward to seeing her my thoughts are also turning to which knitting project I’ll check with me. I’ll probably elect for something fairly simple and mindless. But the dilemma is whether is to start something new or take an existing project. I’ve not yet decided…

 

 

 

The End of the One Year Blogging Challenge plus 11 years of SpaceCraft…

So, this time last year I pledged to blog every Monday for a year. Why? Well, because my blogging had pretty much dried up. The last few years had come and gone with only a few posts to show for them. So to herald the eleventh year of this blog – yes, that’s right eleven years, I thought I would see if I could commit to writing another 52 entries.

I’ve been strict and I’ve held to it although it’s been difficult at times. Some Mondays I’ve only just managed to get the post up before midnight….

It can also be hard to generate the energy for writing. Content can also be a problem. This is primarily a crafty blog but, like everyone else, I go through periods where I’m just not doing anything crafty. That can be for a whole raft of reasons, I might just be busy with something else like my garden or decorating a room. With gardening I can take a photo and I guess I could of the room but that green paint stubbornly refuses to allow itself to be captured in pixels.

So this week I’ve been moving furniture back into my bedroom, sorting through old clothes, reading, going to the cinema and watching tv. Oh and of course working at my dayjob. I’ve looked longingly at my knitting several times but haven’t knit a stitch.

The things that I want to work on are these two cabled Ysolda berets. Both of them have been WiPs for a few years.

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So hopefully I’ll be able to sit down and work a few rows on one soon.

Now that my Monday blogging challenge is at an end I probably won’t be blogging every week. I think I’ll only blog if I have something that I feel is blog worthy. I say that but I may feel differently next Monday, I may still blog then. Time will tell.

Meanwhile the indoor hyacinths are starting to bloom.

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Something old, Something new…

I’ve been thinking a bit more about finishing off old half started projects.

 

This Onnen Cowl has been on the needles for a little while

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and in a variety of yarns. This time it’s in Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky. It could get finished soon. But I also have a hankering to return to my Rose Red.

But my next project will be a bit of a clearout. The decorating of my bedroom is nearly complete. The ceiling is white and the walls are this colour.

Soon I’ll be able to put my furniture back and then I’ll have a big sort out of clothes and jewellery. I also have to sort out some curtains and install a curtain pole. That might go on the back burner for a little while though…