Adventures in Knitting – Spring Things

My knitting seems to be following a springtime theme at the moment.

I managed to persuade the Minx that she’d like a little shrug in, horror of horrors, SPRING GREEN (and not her favourite colours of red or hot pink) by promising to embellish it with little pink beads.  If I’d been left to my own devices I would probably have used lilac, aqua or white beads, or more probably still, saved myself a whole lot of trouble and not used any beads at all.


Most importantly though, the Minx herself seems delighted with the result and may actually deign to wear it. I’m not convinced a modelling career beckons though.

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I’m also working on a crochet scarf for me. I like this as it looks fiendishly difficult but is actually pretty basic (it has to be as it’s only the second thing I’ve ever crotcheted).


The beauty mostly comes from the Noro Silk Garden yarn.  I love watching the yarn unfold in all its different colours and textures. It sort of makes me want to take up spinning and dyeing in all my copious free time (ha ha!).


Apologies for the light posting recently.  Life has been a getting in the way a bit. For those readers who consider the approach of summer to be an excuse for excessive drinking rather than excessive crocheting, may I point you in the direction of my latest post on Shelterrific, where I attempt to educate the US in the ways of Pimms.


Abigail Percy’s Hyacinth Watch

One of our very favourite suppliers is Scottish jeweller Abigail Percy, who makes, among other things, our very popular Sweet Horse Chestnut Earrings.

She has a wonderful blog detailing her inspirations and the creative process in her tiny studio and has recently been taking us through a project she calls  ‘Hyacinth Watch’.

Together we’ve watched her hyacinths grow, seen her sketches, marvelled at the limited edition jewellery she created from the sketches of hyacinth blooms, and you can now buy her photo postcards, wrapped in a brown paper band printed from one of her hyacinth sketches.

Do yourselves a favour, wander over to her blog and see the process for yourself.  Or, even better treat yourselves to a necklace or a set of postcards.





  All photographs copyright Abigail Percy.  Find her Flickr here.


After Party – Laura Letinsky

I’m feeling very inspired today by these pictures by American photographer Laura Letinsky, who is currently exhibiting in London until May 30th.

Letinsky has put together tablescapes showing after-party disarray, with crumpled tablecloths, spilled wine, half-eaten cake, fading flowers and the dregs of drinks. Her spare compositions and pretty pastel colours give her images an inner stillness and wistful beauty but intrinsic to all is morning- afterish sense of melancholy, emptiness and decay – the party is over, the people have gone and only the washing up remains to be done.







What A Difference Some Stain Makes

When the landscapers were doing the hardscaping for our back garden we asked them to build a fence in order to corral the Minx.

They left us with an large orange structure which we naively believed would soon fade to an attractive weathered grey.



I don’t know what the wood was treated with, but we waited and waited. And the other new wood such as the trellis faded. But still the fence glowed orangely in the corner. (And as you can see it didn’t even do a very good job of corraling the Minx).

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So about a month ago we bit the bullet, dodged the Spring rain showers and attacked it with the dark brown stain we’d used on the deck. It took forever – it needed two coats and it was a pain in the behind getting under the chicken wire. But in the end it looked like this. I can’t tell you what a difference it makes to the whole garden.




Here is a somewhat random picture of a raccoon in the garden at the weekend admiring the fence.  (You should have seen us all marvelling when we saw two raccoons – we are SO British).



Adventures in Knitting – the Blue Period

I’m still on my massive knitting jag, though I was amazed to find that for a couple of days after the accident my head was so all over the place that I found even that difficult.

Here’s what I’ve been working on recently.


IMG_0905Firstly I managed to turn the yarn barf into this. You can’t see very well, but I beaded the ends instead of adding a fringe. I’m absolutely delighted with it, and have been wearing it often












Secondly, I knitted these on the way to and from Portland. It was a revelation to me that I could knit in the car, as reading anything usually makes me very nauseous. I’m really pleased with these as well, though the Husband does start singing ‘Gotta pick a pocket or two’ every time I wear them. Ha ha. NOT.



Finally I’m working on a wrap/shawl thingy since I’m now very addicted to both Sea Silk and lace knitting after the Yarn Barf Scarf and Megan’s Garter.  It’s the first time I’ve knitted anything this lacy but I’m really enjoying it.  It’s knitting up quite slowly as it’s pretty dense, but my aim is to get it finished for wearing on the deck on a summer’s evening while sipping margaritas.  Apparently lace looks awful until it’s pressed out and ‘blocked’ at the end of the process. The little white threads you see running through are ‘lifelines’ made of dental floss.  If I make a horrible mistake I just have to rip back to the closest lifeline and not right back to the beginning of the work (and let me tell you, if you drop a stitch with Sea Silk all hell breaks lose pretty quickly.)



More details, including patterns etc., are, as usual on my Ravelry page.




I’ve recently come to know Jessie Oleson of Cakespy. She is a Seattle-based artist and illustrator who does cute watercolours showing the adventures of Cuppie, an anthropomorphic cupcake, and  also writes the blog Cakespy, where Jessie hunts down various cakes and desserts.  At which point I fully understand if you’ve all fled there en masse and are no longer reading this post.

As part of this month’s Wallingford Art Walk Jessie was exhibiting at Trophy Cupcakes showing pictures of Cuppie in various Seattle locations.  Given my borderline obsession with Trophy anyway, wild horses couldn’t keep the Minx and I from attending.

I did buy a couple of little watercolours which Jessie will be sending to me. In the meantime the above is the promotional postcard for the event, which the Minx absolutely adores and which I will probably also frame for her. She particularly likes the ‘Mummy and Minx buying a box of cupcakes’ (yes she is fairly familiar with the appearance of a Trophy box) to the left.

If you’re in Seattle, Jessie’s work will be on display at Trophy through to June 1st.  She’s also exhibiting at Schmancy in downtown Seattle on Friday evening.  For all non-Seattleites, her work is available online here. 


Cars & Tulips

I’m back!


Thank you so much for all your good wishes. I was quite taken aback by how badly affected I was by the shock of it all. The first couple of days I was all over the place and after that I was very, very tired – presumably as the adrenaline left my body.  Fortunately the only major physical injury was to my tongue, which I managed to bite, and to my jaw, which I think was bruised by the seatbelt and which seemed slightly misaligned and made eating hugely difficult.  I’ve had some bodywork though, and if you are in the Seattle area I can’t recommend my chiropractor Dr Ted, who straightened my back out, or the magic fingers of Anne the rolfer – who managed to straighten my jaw out – highly enough. 

The car was a complete write-off though, so we’re currently in the market for a little practical runaround. My head tells me that I should be getting a little fuel-efficient and practical hatchback, though such things are as rare as hens’ teeth in the land of the Hummer, but my heart is telling me to get a VW Beetle.  If anyone’s got any experiences, good or bad, to share then I’m all ears. 

This might have to be a light week of posting, as I’ve got a lot to catch up on with mirrormirror, but here are some photos from the annual tulip festival in Skagit County that we went to the weekend before last. I’m also writing some posts over on Shelterrific if you can’t get enough of me.