Monthly round up – May & June

Yep, it happened again, I failed to do a month. Whatever. I was busy. Deal with it. At least I managed an FO in the meantime though – check out my Curses Socks, they’re pretty cool.

What’s been going on?

Well first up there’s been a lot of wedding planning. My Fiance and I are getting married at the end of August, so our lives seem to be increasingly revolving around that, and as you might expect I have a few crafting plans for the big day (although I’m not sharing them until afterwards), so there are a few things I can’t share with you yet!

In more normal news though, we’ve had a few public holidays, which is always nice. We’ve had a few lovely walks along the riverbank near our house, and encountered a load of sheep that live in the fields on the route, including having to herd them back into said field a couple of times! I’ve had a girly afternoon with some friends and a makeup artist who gave us a lesson in how it’s supposed to be done, which was lovely and lots of fun. I hung out with my odd-children (non-religious god children!) who are brilliantly nutty, and saw a bunch of girl friends for cake and fizz. We had an afternoon in the Lake District with a friend, which was a glorious day resulting in lots of lovely pictures of pretty places.

London tourist things and the British Museum
London tourist things and the British Museum

Very excitingly, we had a few days away down south, including a trip to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, the British Museum, and London Zoo, all of which was just fabulous (if we ignore the hotel related drama, which we will), and resulted in several hundred photos as I took my DSLR camera with me to do some practicing – I’ve managed to narrow it down to a small selection for you!

London Zoo
London Zoo
Harry Potter Studio Tour highlights
Harry Potter Studio Tour highlights

We also had a lovely weekend away staying with friends in Birmingham, and I’ve been doing some singing, about which more below!

Told you it had been busy. It’s amazing I’ve had any time for crafting at all…!

What’s coming up in July?

Well first up (and clearly most importantly!), by the time you read this I’ll have had my birthday at the start of the month! I don’t know what we will do on the day (since for once it falls on a weekend), but hopefully something fun!

We have a couple of days away in Scotland for a friend’s wedding, but thankfully not much else booked in at the moment. I think we both need a bit of a rest before the madness that is August!

What’s on my needles/hooks/sewing desk and other crafty things?

So many things! I had a bit of an attack of start-itis this month, but I’ll come on to that in a minute. First up, WIPs…

Outeniqua sweater
Outeniqua sweater

My Outeniqua sweater is coming along nicely since you last saw it – it now has a completed body, and the start of a sleeve. The pattern for this is the Outeniqua sweater by Agnes Desmyttere which I’m enjoying immensely, and I’m relieved to find that the body fits! It’s a one size only pattern, but having checked the measurements on the pattern I was reasonably confident. I did lengthen it considerably from what the pattern recommends, because I have quite a long body, and I prefer my jumpers to not show my buttcrack when I sit down, but other than that I’m sticking to the pattern. There have been a couple of times where I’ve spotted mistakes in the cabling and have successfully managed to drop down the whole cable panel, correct the mistake, and knit back up again without losing any stitches, so as far as I’m concerned I’m a legitimate wizard now. I’m knitting it from Sirdar Country Style Double Knitting in colourway SH502, which is a lovely deep teal and doesn’t like to be photographed accurately, which is very annoying! It’s a blend of 40% nylon, 30% wool and 30% acrylic, and I’m knitting it on 3.5mm and 4mm KnitPro interchangeable needles.

Hither and Thither Socks
Hither and Thither Socks

The other ongoing WIP that I’ve been working on are the Hither and Thither Socks by Zoe Carter of the Pins And Needles podcast. I was hoping to have these finished by the end of the month, and had I not cast on two new projects, I would probably have managed it (oops!). Never mind. Anyway, I’m about halfway down the foot of the second sock, so these should be an FO very soon. I did the first sock as a test knit for Zoe before the pattern was published, then set them aside to finish WIP socks, of which this is the last one! The yarn is Easy Knits Deeply Wicked+ in colourway Kisses, and I’m knitting them on KnitPro Symfonie 2.25mm needles, as per usual for socks. I’m knitting the largest size (72 stitches), and they work up really nicely. Because the pattern is only on the front of the leg and top of the foot, they work up faster than most patterned socks, and the pattern is only a 4 row repeat really (it’s 8 rows on the pattern but the second set is just the first set offset by 4 stitches).

OK, new projects…

Huj Tub
Huj Tub

First up is a super simple laceweight cowl, in a free pattern called Hüj Tüb by Natasha Stiles, and it’s exactly what it sounds like – a huge tube! It’s a perfect opportunity to show off those one off skeins of laceweight yarn that we all buy because they’re pretty but then don’t know how to use! In my case, I’m making use of four different shades of red/pink that have been gifted to me at various different times, but that conveniently all fade rather nicely into each other. My yarns are a Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace in colourway 44006 Claret, two different colours of Juniper Moon Farm Findley in colourways 16 Garnet and 38 Deep Pink, and a skein of Malabrigo Lace in an unknown colourway (because it’s not anywhere on the label), and I think they go quite nicely together. I’m still on the darkest colour at the moment; I haven’t decided how long I’m going to make it overall, but “very” is probably the answer, as I like my cowls to bunch up nicely around my neck, and since this is very drapey fabric it’s going to take a lot of yarn to get the feeling I like. I’m knitting it on 5mm needles as per the pattern (hence super drapey-ness!).

Gloamin-Tide MKAL swatch
Gloamin-Tide MKAL swatch

The other new project has only started in the last week, and is the Gloamin-Tide MKAL by Ysolda Teague. MKAL is a Mystery Knit-A-Long; in other words I don’t know what it’s going to look like yet, and I only get a bit of the pattern at a time! Clue One came out in the last week of June, and because I cast on straight away, I’ve finished it already, so I’m now waiting for Clue Two (at the time of writing) which is due out on the 2nd July. We were told that we needed three fingering weight yarns which fade nicely into each other, which I think mine do. Some of the other projects on Instagram seem to be using yarns that are barely discernible from each other, but I like a bit more contrast in my yarns so I’m using three yarns from my stash. The only one I have useful details for is the middle one in the swatch, which is a Fleabubs & Lala Merino/Nylon blend in the colourway Disco 2000. The other two are a hand dyed sock yarn (the darkest one) which was done just for me by my lovely friend Cat, and a merino blend called If I Were A Unicorn (the lightest colour) but doesn’t have a dyer’s name on the label, which was also a gift from a friend.

What craft stash have I been acquiring?

Not a lot! I’ve not bought myself anything, but I have been given an early birthday present (which I opened because I didn’t realise that was what it was!) of some Felici sock yarn in the colourway Dark Side, which I’ve been coveting for a long time!

Knit Picks Felici - Dark Side
Knit Picks Felici – Dark Side

And that’s it!

Who’s been keeping me company?

I wanted to do a couple of shout outs at this point for podcasts which aren’t new necessarily, but are either new to me or have had changes recently.

First up, I wanted to do another shout out for the String Theory podcast, which was being done by Kayleigh and Alice, both from York (woohoo, locals!). Because of life stuff, Alice isn’t able to podcast at the moment, so Kayleigh is going it alone for the time being. She did her first solo episode recently, and it’s great! Much as I’m sure she misses Alice, and it’s great to hear from two people, it’s also marvellous to see Kayleigh forging ahead anyway!

Next up is the Geoknittrix podcast, by Josh, also known as Sword Of A Knitter. He hasn’t podcasted for a few months, but I’m hoping he’ll be back soon as he’s really entertaining. He goes at a million miles an hour, and is obviously one of those super creative people whose brain goes twice the speed of everything else, but he’s an interesting guy.

Finally, I wanted to shout out to a non-crafty/music podcast – Standard Issue (for alllll women – listen and you’ll understand that one!). Standard Issue was originally set up as an online magazine by and for women, started by comedienne Sarah Millican. It’s since morphed into a regular podcast. Some episodes are magazine in style with a bunch of different articles and interviews, and some are recordings of live conversations with a bunch of intelligent and funny women. It tackles some pretty big issues, and is always relevant to the news at the time (the magazine type episodes are recorded pretty much every week), and I highly recommend it if you want something longer to listen to.

What music has happened and is coming up?

I’ve done a couple of services with the Clerkes of All Saints since I last posted, both of which have been really lovely.

First up, in May I did a Sung Eucharist for Pentecost at a little church on the edge of the North York Moors in Lastingham. The music was great – Byrd’s Mass for Four Voices, Loquebantur Variis Linguis by Phillips, and Spirit Divine by Boon, and it was a lovely church to sing in (although the two sides of the choir felt a long way apart!). It was a glorious day too, which definitely helped with the long drive.

More recently, we did Evensong in Hull Minster – Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis by Jeremy Jackman, Responses by Clucas, and Abendlied by Rheinberger as the anthem. Hull Minster is a beautiful space to sing in – the acoustics are such that you don’t have to work to make yourselves heard at all. And it’s always nice to be invited back before you’ve even left the building, so watch this space!

Coming up in the next couple of months, it’s wedding season for the Clerkes! The only one I’m singing in is in York Minster, but of course that’s not a public service as such so there’s no point me telling you much about it (plus it looks like it’s going to be a Rutter-fest, which is not my idea of a good time…). The next ‘normal’ service isn’t until the Autumn, so I’ll tell you more about that nearer the time.

I think that’s all for this month. It’s been a busy few weeks, but hopefully things will calm down a little in July for me to have a breather before hen weekend and wedding in August, and all being well I’ll be back with an FO post for those socks before the next round up anyway!

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