Sunday, 4 December 2016

CHRISTMAS IS COMING.......



There has quite a lot of quiet anticipation over the last couple of weeks, since my Opal Advent calendar landed chez Snoops'. It was a birthday gift back in July from my dear friend Josiekitten, but it was only recently delivered. I suspect she didn't trust me!!!

I have to say, it is quite the most exciting Advent calendar ever. There's definitely no weekend lie-ins when you have the next mini-skein to discover. Oooh, the anticipation!


Here are the first four days worth. Cute aren't they! Such sweet, dinky little mini skeins of sock yarny goodness. The only shame is that I'm still up to my eyeballs in Christmas knitting and so am in no position to cast on imminently. I suspect that when I do, it will be to make a pair or two of random multi-coloured socks and maybe crochet some little squares too. Who knows! I am saving that delicious delight for the Christmas holidays, when I will have a little more time. In the meantime....... well, more anticipation  of course.


Mr Snoops has been to this afternoon, playing in a Bridge competition, so I have made the most of a peaceful house and not too much school work to get done, to get my new beast of a sewing machine out and start work on another cushion. This one will be a Christmas gift for the younger Miss Snoops. Then I have the fabric ready for another for Miss Snoops the elder. Hmmm, time is definitely not on my side. 

I'm loving these little squares of spotty gorgeousness and I'm loving the re-discovery of stitching. I just need a lot more hours in every day. I think this will look lovely once finished!


December is certainly marching on with giant strides and the early dark evenings have rushed upon us. I love our city at this time of year, with it's array of twinkling lights, trees and festive garlands. 
Despite the rush to reach the end of my shopping list, I never forgo time to just soak up the simple beauty of this lovely time of year.


We strolled down into the city centre in search of coffee this morning and were greeted with this wondrous sight. Well yes, I guess the clear blue sky was pretty impressive, but so too the smokey smiley halo settled protectively over our city centre church. Perhaps a very special visitor was inside!


Have a good week!

Sunday, 27 November 2016

SOCK LOVE.....



It's all about the socks again. I haven't been in such a 'sock' place for a long time, but let's stay with the hygge and keep those little red 2.5 DPNs smoking! These are the completed pair of Pheasant Socks, which will be a Christmas gift. The yarn is from the WYS Signature 4ply, 'British Birds' range, in 'pheasant' colour way with a 'nutmeg' heel and toe. The yarn isn't the softest and I've yet to see how it works after a couple of washes, but the subtle colour mixes are just gorgeous. I've used Rachel Coopey's 'Dave' pattern again, as it just works!


Of course, the next colour way in the range was then ready to go. These will also be a Christmas gift! The colour way this time is 'mallard' with a 'juniper' heel. Such relaxing stripey knitting!


Let's hope the sock love continues, as I still have another pair or two to complete before the big day!


Sunday, 20 November 2016

COSY BLANKET


How could I have forgotten to show you my finished Attic 24 'Cosy Blanket'. It's just beautiful! This has been a constant colourful companion for a good few months now. It's been my 'go-to' when I've needed something cheering and relaxing. It's kept me warm whilst I've beavered away with row upon row of paintbox gorgeousness.


Following  the colour plan set on the pattern, enjoying each new colour change and knowing that my little beauty was waiting patiently for me has kept me happy and warm inside for a good long while. I didn't rush, I didn't stress (except when I temporarily ran out of one of the border colours!) I just enjoyed the ride!


So, now it's done! The space beside the sofa where my Cosy has lived is now empty.


A new-born blanket beckons. I'll bide my time until the new Attic 24 Moorland Blanket CAL begins in the new year. Before then though, the yarn pack will be bought and welcomed into it's new home.


This little beauty is currently residing on the back of a sofa, ready for evening snuggliness duty.


 Such warm, happy and welcoming  colours!


Here's a taster of what's coming next! I'm already in love with the gorgeous colour mix. 




Sunday, 13 November 2016

SHADES OF AUTUMN.....


My sock mojo is running wild at present, which is pretty handy as there are lots of Christmas gifts in the queue awaiting my attention. I'm loving the gorgeous colour ways and stripes of these West Yorkshire Spinners yarns. They are not the softest of sock yarns and I've yet to see how well they wash and wear, but for sheer eye candy they are definitely a hit!


This pair will be a Christmas gift for the younger Miss Snoops, to keep her toes cosy and toasty in her little Victorian London flat.


My knitting mojo has centred itself firmly around the production of small items that won't stay on the needles for too long. Hats for the grandchildren fit the bill perfectly! I searched Ravelry for quite some time before finding just the hat shape that 'floated my boat' to keep little Evie's head warm. I had bought the Wendy merino DK yarn to knit Mr Snoops a new hat for his Oscar-walking, but realised there was not enough for a large man-head. 


The pattern is 'DROPS extra 0-906' by Drops Design. It's made in the round and took very little time. I love the gorgeous shape created by the crown shaping!


This photo is from earlier today, as we walked through the park on our way to find coffee. Oscar just loves the Autumn when the leaves have fallen and and are wet from recent rain. He keeps his nose firmly on the job of sourcing the best smells around and taking Old Snoops with him!

Sunday, 6 November 2016

HOLLY BERRY SOCKS


The clocks have been put back an hour, the beautiful reds and oranges of this year's stunning autumn leaves show have swirled their way to the ground and the word burner is lit. Autumn is truly under way! It's been the most spectacular show this year, in our little corner of the universe. A sight to help remind us of the beauty to be had all around us in the wonderful natural landscapes of our earth. 


It's also a time to turn to Christmas gift knits; not that I have very much time for such things, but I'll show willing and see what can be done. No pressure!


These gorgeous Christmassy socks were a quick and easy knit that I've enjoyed picking up in the evenings, after a bit of school prep. The yarn is from the West Yorkshire Spinners 'Signature' range of sock yarns. This colourway is 'Holly Berry'  and I've teamed it with the solid base colour 'Cherry Drop' for the toe and heel. If you visit the WYS website they have kindle produced a list of the 'Signature' sock yarns matched with a solid colour from their 'Spice' range.  It's the first time I've used a different yarn for the heel and toe and I have to say, I'm loving the results. Let's hope Mr Snoops does too! Sshhh! They're all ready for his Christmas stocking!


In fact, I enjoyed the yarn so much, that I had to cast on the next pair straightaway. The younger Miss Snoops had already chosen this colourway for her pair of Christmas socks and I'm just awaiting the arrival of the 'Juniper' solid for the heel and toes. You never know, the elder Miss Snoops may get her wish for a new pair of socks granted too! You never know when the sock mojo magic will end! You never know!

Sunday, 23 October 2016

AUTUMN DAYS.......



How time flies! It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted and a lot has happened that has got in the way of bloglandia. I spent a very lovely weekend in London with my youngest, taking in a couple of art exhibitions and then enjoying a brilliant trip to see The Lion King. It was fabulous! I love that she has learnt the art of 'welcoming'..... flowers, red wine and After Eight! :-)


The weather was rather grey and none too warm, but the river and skyline views from the bridges never cease to delight me.


The Lyceum is such a pretty theatre and it seems that a good view is had wherever you are seated. We were more than happy with our brilliant view of the stage  and also of the African animals and the extraordinary drumming skills of the percussionist (three more were hidden in the pit). 


I took with me the first of my 'secret' Christmas pressie knits. This pretty West Yorkshire Spinners 4ply will become socks for Mr Snoops. I'm thinking maybe I'll go for a solid red heel and toe. What do you think? Needless to say, not very much progress took place!


Last weekend saw us travelling up to Manchester for the Manchester Half-Marathon which was being run by Mr Snoops, our son and our youngest daughter. The day started out very cold and very wet, but our spirits were not dampened. All three did well. I'm very proud of my 'Runner Beans'!


By the time we walked through the park to our son's house for some lunch and a warm-up, the sun had come out and squirrels were busy collecting nuts and seeds.


It really has begun to feel very Autumnal here our little corner of the UK and the wood burner is being routinely lit in the evenings. I love the cosiness and warmth it gives!


After two weekends away, I relished a little bit of time during the weekday evenings to relax. I probably got a little carried away by the soporific effect of those dancing flames, or maybe my mind was elsewhere. Whichever was the case, my almost finished 'Cosy' blanket began to look rather misshapen! I have no idea how this happened, but needless to say ten stripes had to be ripped out and redone. GGGRRRHHH!


Back on track and the striping is complete.


Last evening saw the ceremonial sewing in of the ends. Yay!!!!!



After a glass of wine, to recover, I was ready to tackle the border. 


So much for great progress after an earlier setback, I've run out of yarn! GGGRRRHHH! I'm just going to have to take a break for a few days and wait for the best 'Yarn Fairy' in the world to bring me some magic remnants to complete the job!


I snapped these Autumn beauties as Mr Snoops and I walked Oscar through the local park yesterday.


A quick pop into my LYS and this little beauty decided to come home with me. I couldn't resist the purply grey stripes!


It is with a very heavy heart that I end this post, as I send much love to my dearest pal Helen, who sadly lost her darling husband a fortnight ago. There are no words!  XX

Sunday, 2 October 2016

GUERNSEY....


This one has been on the needles for way too long, but the good news is that it is there no longer! At last I don't have to feel guilty if I'm knitting some socks, or uptight if there's a beanie on my lap. It's okay not to be monogamous, I know, but somehow this little beauty has caused me a teensy weensy bit of a guilt trip. You see, the yarn voucher which enabled me, was a birthday gift from two of my children, fourteen months ago! Yes, it did then take me a while to decide on the pattern and the yarn. Yes, I know a sweater does take longer that a pair of socks, and yes, I know that no one has ever enforced a time limit law on jumper completion, but the fact that two of my children were the enablers.............. Let's just leave it there with the satisfaction of knowing that I now have a lovely warm woolly sweater, in a shade I have not worn before, to keep out the chills this coming winter. 


My Debbie Bliss 'Guernsey' has kept me going through road trips to the beach, holiday car journeys and afternoons unwinding in the garden. To be honest, I had quite forgotten the relaxation to be gained from row upon row of stocking stitch. It did take a 4ply while though!


I have to say, the yarn ( Debbie Bliss 'fine donegal' 95% wool 5% cashmere) is a little bit harsh on the
fingers, but it may well soften up after soaking. I hope so! The colours are really lovely though and a move away from my normal and colour palette of blues and neutrals. 


 I changed the neck slightly to avoid a two button neck opening. It's worked perfectly and  fits really well.


Strangely, I'm feeling a little bereft now it's finished and I don't have my long-term 'go to' stocking stitch buddy to keep me company any longer. Seems, I may have to begin searching for a new little friend to sit beside the sofa!