Friday, 17 February 2017

a burst of colour

Happy Friday!

It has been an odd sort of week, being off on Wednesday breaks the routines in a way that is not entirely perfect. Not a working pattern I will aim for when I reduce my work hours to 0.8 FTE in ten days. Still, it was nice to be off and have some leisure time with the younger ones. We spent the day with my friend Emily and her girls. There was a fair amount of running wild. We also went for a dog walk and watched a movie. I am really looking forward to the day when I will not have to go and see Lego movies anymore, unless I really really want to. The latest version is a load of pish if you ask me but James and Alistair beg to differ.

Anyway, I thought I'd show you something colourful today. Colour is good for the soul, particularly if you feel a bit worn down by the greyness that is a British winter and the general craziness of the world.

For now particular reason, I have decided that I needed to use up all my DK yarn stash from previous blanket projects (for example this one) or abandoned blanket projects (like this one, which I have turned into a cat bed never even bothering to finish the row of hexagons). I have a whole bag of assorted Drops Karisma and Sandness Garn, both essentially the same. I love these yarns, particularly for blankets. It is maybe a little more pricey than the ubiquitous acrylic Stylecraft Special DK but it is softer and well worth saving up* for.  Of course you have to treat a wooly blanket with more care but most washing machines have a wool cycle nowadays. Sheep put their wool through all kinds of stress and that's good enough for me. I have made two Stylecraft yarn blankets. I don't think they retain their initial softness after a first wash and they have an unpleasant feel to it that I find hard to describe. To me, it is the tactile equivalent of the screechy sound that chalk makes on a blackboard (if you are as old as me you'll know what I mean). Moreover, wool is biodegradable, which is an added bonus for the ecologically conscious mind. I just can't talk myself into liking acrylic yarn. There, I have said it, I am a yarn snob. Please forgive me.

So, with a bag full of remnants I needed to find a pattern that accommodates short lengths of yarn without being a granny square type blanket that needed assembly. On one of my random internet wanderings I came across the Scrappy Happy Blanket written by Annette at My Rose Valley. It is a V-stitch pattern with a boarder that offsets the randomness of the stripes. Perfect. I have now made 22 rows and have yet to repeat a colour. It is a bit boring to be honest but works up quickly, particularly with a good audio book on the go. The weirdest thing is that I already feel anxious about not having enough yarn and maybe needing to buy some more.... I will resist.

On the note of colour, you all liked my colourful candlesticks. To answer the question of their origin, I am not sure. We stopped for lunch in a French town many years ago and I saw them in the window of a small shop. I went in and blew my savings without thinking. I have never regretted the purchase, the candlesticks have the magical ability to brighten up my mood any day. I cannot remember the name of the town, let alone the shop. It was somewhere in Brittany if that helps :-)

*Drops is often on special offer at the Woolwarehouse. I have bought big woman jumper amounts of Drops Alpaca for about £15 twice.