A hand knitted shawl has been thrown in the air and looks almost like a bird in flight against a cloudy sky.

Tomorrow is the (re-)launch day for the new version of Llandudno Promenade! I’m really glad that I’ve done this as it will work with a much greater range of yarn now that the yarns I’m using are the more standard 400m/100g than the previous version. The undyed yarn is 100g (1 skein) of Preseli (Rigging) from Garthenor Organic (100% British organic wool) and the turquoise is a Gradient Mini Skein Set of 5 x 20g minis on Nene 4-ply from RiverKnits (100% British Bluefaced Leicester). Deb Bramham has done a fabulous job on the tech edit, and my lovely wife Sue kept my laughing throughout one of the windiest photoshoots I’ve ever experienced.

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Last week was half-term and, although I no longer work in a school, my lovely wife does. This meant that we had a slightly different routine from usual and even had a couple of mid-week outings!

Midweek was a day trip visit to Mum; games of scrabble, combined with take-away pizza and setting up new phones were combined with lots of chatting. My mum is a big fan of snowdrops – we have quite a few different varieties that she’s shared with us, but I hadn’t seen this one before – it’s especially splendid:

Snowdrops always seem so unassuming, keeping their heads down and getting on with things, but they are tough – they have their own built-in anti-freeze to withstand frost and snow – and utterly beautiful. I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there somewhere.

As we were able to travel together to visit Mum, I got to do some travel knitting and my new sweater, Umbriel by Sylvia Watts-Cherry, has come on in leaps and bounds! I’ve reached the underarms and divided for the front and back, with the back being worked first.

On the left is the pic I shared with you last week and on the right is from this morning! The colour looks so different, doesn’t it? Both pics were taken in the same part of the same room, but at different times of day. Last week was late afternoon, today was about 9am and the sun rises on that side of the house. I promise it’s the same sweater though!

I also seamed up the amazing Confluence Cowl, designed by Mary W Martin Knits. I used Amble Sock Yarn (another yarn from The Fibre Co!) to make it and it’s really soft and cosy against my neck.

The design adds a lot to the cosy factor as the yarn is held double (for most of the time) and the cowl folds over when worn, but if the yarn had been at all prickly that would just have created extra skin irritation. Amble makes it feel like a hug! I really like the fact you get to see both sides of the design simultaneously too.

One of our other outings during last week was to Powis Castle. We rejoined the National Trust while we were there and got to the see the Kaffe Fassett exhibition that is being hosted there. It’s on until September and I highly recommend it. Try to go on a sunny day if you can, as the lighting is quite low to protect everything. Patchwork quilts, knitted shawls and tapestry cushions have been placed throughout the castle. One of the guides told us that Kaffe Fassett decided on the precise placement of each item himself to best complement each room and it does work well. I also treated myself to a new book in the gift shop!

It’s an interesting book that shows how the different designs were inspired by different rooms or features of Powis castle as well as including the patterns to make the quilts yourself. I’m not a quilter (yet), but I’m fascinated by the construction of these pieced designs and the combination of colour and pattern.

I’ve also done a LOT of work on a new cardigan/jacket design, but I can’t show you anything of it yet. It’s nearly done up to the armhole shaping (back, fronts and sleeves). This is not the knitting as the yarn hasn’t arrived yet, but the calculations and pattern writing in ten sizes. It’s to fit a range of people from 28 – 66″ chests! That’s a lot of calculations – you should see my spreadsheet, it’s quite mind-boggling!

I can hardly believe that Buxton Wool Gathering is now less than two weeks away. In fact, in ten days I will be packing up the car and driving everything over there to set up my stand. The show is open 10am-4pm on both Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th March, and there will be over 50 different stands in Buxton Pavilion Gardens. I’ve got nearly everything ready – I just have two more patterns to print out; Am Byth and Bargello Aurora.

That’s everything from me for today. Stay safe, stay warm and do something that makes you happy this week. K x

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