Around The Corner

There is a corner in November – this year it was two Thursdays ago – when all of a sudden the temperature dropped and there was a very distinctive nip in the air.

Valley

Path

Darker

Full Moon

That’s when you are glad to have spent all your summer knitting away socks, mittens, hats

Thom in his hat

Moss and Leaves

Birch Tree

How many gnomes and fairies live in there, I wonder?

Stream

Leaves Moss StickLogTurkeyTailonlogMoss

November is when I usually start all sorts of homely activities :

The day before my birthday, at the beginning of November, I made my very first demi-john of home made cider…. Which is now brewing quietly on one of my kitchen counter tops.

I won’t show you any pictures as it doesn’t look particularly interesting.

We have been trying it regularly for the last couple of weeks. A few days ago it tasted and smelled just like nail polish remover. Hopefully it will improve…

Thorn Wheel

In the woods, the colours of the heather have changed… the valley was purple and green only a few weeks ago, now it looks more like that:

Heather

On the knitting front I have been busy recently. I finished a few things I was working on simultaneously…

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I made a second Baa-ble hat, as a Lady I know asked me to knit one for Christmas for her little boy. He is slightly smaller than my Boy… So Boy above agreed to be the model…

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Nettle Tara and Me
Boy took that photograph of us, during a walk in the woods… I’m proudly wearing my Baa-ble hat and my trusty cardigan which I wear all the time in Winter.

I have made two baa-ble hats so far, using the yarn from my local biodynamic farm. They sell lovely organic yarn, fleeced from their very own Lleyn and Jacob sheep. The raw fleece is washed, carded, spun and dyed with organic dyes at The Natural Fibre Company in Cornwall and comes back to the farm as beautiful, soft and airy yarn.

I love spending time with the sheep who grow the wool I use…

Here are some photos I took while hanging out with the sheep at my local biodynamic farm on various occasions.

Meet the sheep who grew the wool I knitted my baa-ble hats with:

Sheep3Sheep2Sheep1

For quite a while now, I have been using only their wool. The only down side is that I’m limited with the only shades they have… which is not that many.

So now I feel more and more the need to explore other wool dyed in various shades, grown by other sheep living in different parts of the country, to feel the difference in my fingers.

What weather and what landscape do the sheep who grew that wool live in? It makes a big difference, to the sheep and to the quality of their wool.

A little while ago, I painted this flamingo and wrote a post about them.

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Painting a flamingo made me want to knit them and I thought that it would be a great occasion to give Shetland grown yarn Jamieson and Smith 2 ply jumper weight a go, in order to knit the flamingo mittens, which I finished recently…

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FlamingoMittens1

FlamingoMittens3

FlamingoMittens4

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The pattern is from Spilly Jane.

Back when I was at YAK on my birthday, I came across some really nice shades of ethically sourced wool. I did buy a few skeins… Well three. Which is not as bad as it could have been, had I been more prepared with definite projects in mind. I also bought a few tools to make my life easier, such as portable rolls to store my double pointed needles and current portable project in (such as socks and mittens) and a pair of sock blockers.

The shop keeper of YAK was lovely. She is a knitter and a very knowledgeable spinner. She gave me plenty of great advice on the craft of spinning and looked online on various websites, to show me different spinning devices. I bought my drop spindle following our conversation!

So a few weeks ago I also made my very humble debut with spinning (see pictures below), as I ordered myself a drop spindle for my birthday. I’m very excited about this. My first attempt resulted in quite chunky and uneven threads of yarn (which is politely called Art Yarn…) and as I kept spinning I started to get better at drafting, getting to understand the fibre I’m working with, how much I will need and how to feed it to the spindle in order to get the result I wanted.

I really love the process of spinning. A drop spindle is portable enough that you can take it with you and I’m pleasantly surprised at the result!

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imageIt’s actually very hard to take a picture and use a drop spindle at the same time…

image Here is my very first yarn…

I have a big bag of raw fleece in my shed that I got from my local biodynamic farm a while back. I was using it for needle-felting animals, but now I think I will wash it, card it, spin it and dye it!

This year I had declared that for my birthday I wanted a pint of good cider and a good veggie burger. So we headed to the Prince George afterwards. It’s my favourite pub. It’s a veggie pub which has received a lot of awards from different animal rights organisations.

My wish was granted! I got a pint of the lovely Aspall cider and a very tasty veggie burger. Boy had his usual portion of chips but they didn’t go down very well as he started to feel unwell at the pub. He was under the weather for a few days. He is all better now. Such a shame he didn’t get to enjoy his chips (ahem… I did).

Boy and I also got around to visiting our allotment plot. We hadn’t been there for a few weeks and I was a bit uneasy at the thought of having to walk through all these perfectly manicured plots. Some of them look so perfect and orderly. I imagine that these people’s lives must revolve obsessively around their allotment plots… mind you why not!

I was expecting to find ours so overgrown that it’s been filed by the UNESCO as a nature reserve harbouring a wide range of wild plants and animals. To my surprise, it didn’t look like that at all.

We dug up some more potatoes. What I really mean is, we dug up treasure! Each potato we dug up was a gold nugget, that idea kept Boy very excited about the whole thing. He happily dug up a lot of our plot, being very ecstatic every time he found a nugget. He proudly carried the bag of treasure home.

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We also harvested raspberries, which were our rubies and some leeks which are… emerald sceptres.

We then headed off to the hair dresser’s…. I got my usual choppy bob with short fringe

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Boy got the Harry Potter haircut…

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He drew the mark on his forehead himself, do not worry, it was not a miss from the hair dresser…

I’m sorry to inform you, that since that photo was taken, Boy decided to cut his hair all by himself, like really short at the front, right in the middle… here’s a more recent photo:

Thom in a tree

A few weeks ago I have started knitting a moose head trophy, using some of the browns from the stash of vintage yarn from the 70’s – early 80’s that my Mum gave me:

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It’s coming along nicely… I’m pleased to inform you that the head is finished, I just need to knit the antlers and the ears.

And I’m also working on a dress, which is going to have to be on standby soon, because the farm ran out of the shade I’ve been using and I haven’t found a suitable replacement yet.

I have been using straight needles for the moose head and for the dress.

As I’m making an attempt at designing it myself, with a fair bit of stranded colour work, I find it easier to work in panels, using each of them like a blank canvas rather than trying to knit it all in the round.

This way, “There is no Around the Corner anymore…”:

10 thoughts on “Around The Corner

  1. Wow. You’ve been so busy. I think every child gives themselves a haircut at some point so it’s a rite of passage better done younger. He’s a handsome lad so he pulls it off. I have a friend who loves spinning as well as knitting. She’s become quite addicted to it. Love the flamingo mittens.

  2. I’m so happy to see you back! And wow, have you been busy! As usual, I loved seeing the photos from your walks in the woods, and your latest knitting projects are awesome! Plus I love the idea of meeting the sheep who provides your yarn. Hope Boy is feeling better too 😀

    1. Thank you :) yes he is, do you know that he locks pirate beastie in his treasure chest full of coppers, to give him a treasure bath. Apparently he loves it and needs to do it every now and then… ???

      1. That’s good 😃 As for treasure baths, there might well be something in that… Did you ever watch “Duck Tales”? Wealthy Scrooge McDuck could regularly be seen taking a dip in his giant pool of gold coins!

  3. I love all the pictures you included here. Your mittens and hats are gorgeous! One day I hope to learn to knit, but alas, no time just yet…. I really enjoyed reading today!!!

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