In search of sheepy

This year’s Big Family Holiday took place in Scotland. For those that don’t remember, or haven’t been around that long, every couple of years we gather together with all of my mum’s side of the family, for a week’s holiday together. There’s usually around 40 of us though we were missing a few this time, so it was closer to 30, although one cousin did manage to make it all the way from Australia especially!

We had a great week together as we always do, cooking meals in teams, venturing out in smaller groups on day trips around the local area and further afield and playing games, drinking wine and sharing stories in the evenings. We even had a mad circus-themed morning with lots of great costumes and silly games.

The biting midges were awful and I shall be spotty from their nasty bites for a good week to come, I think. The midges and the ticks were a major downside, but we still managed to have fun walking the hills and building dens in the woods. The boys had a great time with their cousins and second-cousins and were sad to leave them all at the end of the week.

Being Scotland, I was hoping to find something suitably sheepy to bring home with me. Sadly, the closest I got was a long walk led by my uncle, consisting of bog-snorkelling, ditch-vaulting and electric fence hopping during which the sheep stood eyeing us all suspiciously from a safe distance. Wise sheep. Seriously. I got very muddy, and managed to electrocute myself! Despite which, it was still strangely enjoyable!

Even a day trip to the Isle of Arran was a bust on the sheepy stakes as there wasn’t time for mooching and browsing even had I spotted a promising looking shop.

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I did stumble across some gorgeous crocheted jewellery made by Red Squirrel Crafts. I especially loved her leaf designs, but, not really being one to wear much jewellery, I reluctantly refrained from purchasing anything.

I consoled myself with the prospect of visiting the Yorkshire town of Skipton on our rather indirect journey home. Skipton is the home of Lucy of Attic24. I don’t follow her blog particularly closely these days, yet it remains one of my favourite blogs. I love Lucy’s designs and am in awe of her sense for colour. Her Neat Ripple pattern was the one I chose to use for Pickle’s special baby blanket, and it’s my go-to design for baby blankets generally.

One of her most recent blog posts was about Yarn Shop Day, back at the start of May and so from that, I knew there was a great yarn shop in Skipton and I was looking forward to having a browse and had warned my husband that I may well emerge with some form of yarny purchase.

We had limited time in Skipton, so we parked up right next to the canal and wandered into town, only to find that the aforementioned yarn shop was closed. Waahhh!

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So the consolation to the consolation prize, was to find the little cafe ‘Coopers’ where Lucy has her studio upstairs. It was a good choice for lunch as the food was excellent and the staff friendly, and though I didn’t bump into Lucy herself, it was nice to see her surroundings.

I wish we could have stayed longer in Skipton – it seems like a lovely town- but alas we had to drive on, and I remained empty- handed.

Clearly, the Crazy Stripes must be finished before any further yarn purchases can be permitted.

On the plus side though, I have learnt how to solve a Rubik’s cube. I can’t say it was ever a strong ambition to do so, yet it feels like a great accomplishment to have done so!

 

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Ripple reveal

The ripple blanket for Pumpkin’s teacher is finally finished. She goes on maternity leave on Friday, so it’s done with plenty of time to spare. I used the Attic 24 Neat Ripple Pattern as usual, which is such a simple but versatile and striking pattern.

FO: Baby Ripples

It’s taken just under a week, and it is finished!

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I don’t really like working quite so fast – I was hooking in every spare moment I could find, including finishing the edging between scenes at rehearsal last night! – but it’s such a lovely simple pattern that it was easy to do quickly. I found a little ‘hand made with love’ label that I sewed onto the bottom corner which just finished it off beautifully.

Pumpkin gave it to his teacher at the end of school today. It was rather emotional all round. I think he’s really going to miss her.

Speedy Ripples

Pumpkin’s teacher is going off on maternity leave at the end of next week, so I thought I’d better whip something up quick. (Yes, I have known about it for months and I definitely should have started it sooner!) I’ve made a couple of blankets before for Pickle, using Attic 24’s Neat Ripple Pattern and Stylecraft Special DK. Stylecraft is great for baby blankets. Soft and easy to wash, and wears pretty well, and I have plenty of leftovers to choose from. The ripple pattern is simple but effective, rhythmic and relaxing to hook, so the choice was pretty much made for me.

I have no idea if she’s having a girl or a boy, so I tried to pick a fairly neutral colour scheme. I’m not the best at picking colours (though a little better than Pumpkin who wanted yellow, red, purple, pink and blue. Or ALL the colours.) but I think these ones work pretty well together. Yellow had to be included as it’s Pumpkin’s favourite colour, and I think it just lifts the others from being too much in the cool blue spectrum.

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A starting chain of 84 gives a great width for a small car seat or carry cot sized blanket. I began work on it yesterday evening, and a couple of hours this morning has put me at a third of the way through.

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I think I might just about manage to get it finished in time! Paired with a handmade card from Pumpkin, it’ll be a lovely gift.

How do you make colour selections for this kind of project? Do you have any tips or tools that you use to help you?