Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Wednesday's WIPs and books

KNITTINGNuvem by Martina Behm using Drops Lace,
 Windward by Heidi Kirrmeir using Fyberspates Nef Sock

I can't believe the summer holidays are almost over and next Wednesday BOTH of the littles go back to school or pre-school. These last five weeks have flown by, and my knitting and blogging (not to mention the housekeeping) have all been seriously impacted, but I'm really not ready for them to go back yet! It'll be far too quiet without them. Some distractions are in order and I've lined up a couple of giveaways, some book reviews that I'm really looking forward to sharing - and also a new Knitalong (details coming soon!) In the meantime I've managed a couple of hours of knitting this week, mainly on Windward which I started on the train at the weekend. The pattern is really fun, with simple stitches - it's all knit and purl apart from a couple of different increase and decrease stitches - but the modular construction is something a bit different. I'm finding it quite fascinating as I haven't made anything in this way before. I'll tell you more about it when it's done - which may be a while as I'm seriously distracted by another WIP at the moment...

Do you remember I showed you our 'new-to-us' playhouse last week? Between showers we have added the first coat of paint and it's starting to turn into 'The Beach Hut'. We have the second coat and the inside to paint (cream) before the decor and accessories can be added. I'm hoping to have it done this week but the weather forecast isn't great and the paint needs 8 rain-free hours in which to dry. The kids have painted the left side and the back (they can fit in the small gaps), while Mum and I did the  more 'visible' sections. Listening to them chat to one other while they worked - oblivious that I could hear - was one of my favourite parts of the summer so far *chuckle*.
I'm still really not feeling the love for my book club book (Allende's The Sum of Our Days) and so have been dipping in and out of The Crystal Bible. Knowing very little about crystals or rock formation in general (wish I'd studied Geology at school) it's quite interesting and I'm more than a little fascinated about the notion of healing with crystals. Any comments on that would be great. 

So that's it from me. I'm joining in with Tami and Ginny where there are more works in progress and books. Enjoy the rest of your week - I'll be back soon xxxx

Monday, 27 August 2012

Brighton, Baby!

There are some people who are so much a part of your personal history it really doesn't matter whether you see them regularly or once a year, it's just so natural and comfortable to be with them. This weekend was like that. I took the train to Brighton to catch up with my two oldest friends. We've known each other for 27 years and still keep in very regular contact via email/text, but due to location (Rachel lives in Dublin) and lifestyle (Jo is a global contractor who flew out to the States early yesterday morning) don't get to meet up very often. A weekend away seemed the perfect way to celebrate Jo's upcoming nuptials! 

We had a relaxing and very wet weekend including some lovely food (I'd highly recommend The Ginger Pig in Hove), a stealth tattoo, LOTS of stationery shopping in Paperchase and a few too many Mojitos. Rachel introduced us to nail-varnish that actually stays on for days without chipping (Maybeline Forever strong Pro), Jo found me the perfect ring, and I was able to introduce the girls to Texts from Dog (incredibly funny but not for the faint-hearted!) and the aesthetics of Paul Walker

Thankfully the rain ceased yesterday and I managed to snap a few photos with my trusty iPhone... 
....there are more on Instagram, which can also be viewed on my Instacanvas Gallery.  

It was lovely to catch up and to be "Sarah" not "Mum" for 48 hours, but I REALLY missed my little pickles, who were having lots of fun without me. Of course, travelling by train meant I did get chance to make some progress with Windward...
The yarn - Fyberspates Nef Sock - is absolutely beautiful and I'm completely smitten with it but not sure whether it's a little too soft and drapey to fully show off the pattern. We'll see.... 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Some Beginner Tips (or "Things I hadn't thought about before learning to knit")

Image source: Tangled

When people see me knitting or find out I write this blog, they often ask me how long I've been knitting (20 months), how I learned to knit (mostly by watching online videos) and if they're interested in learning, whether there are any tips I can give them. I always assumed that most of my readers are already knitters or crocheters, but a number of emails and comments I've had recently lead me to believe there are quite a few of you here who are just starting out or are thinking of taking up knitting as a hobby, and so this post is mainly for you and includes some tips - not of the "how to knit" variety, but the things I didn't really consider before I started. If you're already a knitter (and there are many readers here who are far more experienced than I) please do read on and add your own tips in the comment section below,  I'd love to read your thoughts.

Left: mistakes after 5 months of
making these.
Right: how it should look 
Be prepared to make mistakes: It's important to remember that in addition to being a relaxing and productive hobby, knitting is a skill that takes a good deal of practice - when I'm learning new techniques and stitches, or even trying new needles, I make plenty of mistakes. Sometimes I also make mistakes doing the simplest of things (..... but luckily my skill in identifying and fixing - or bodging - the mistakes is improving all the time).  I found it incredibly frustrating at first when things just didn't turn out how I expected them to and I wasn't always sure why. If you're not prepared to make mistakes, then this probably isn't the hobby for you - in my experience it's a huge part of the learning curve. 

Knitting shouldn't be a headache: This sounds really obvious but you’ll need to be able to see small stitches (close up), to read patterns, and when you're more adept, probably to watch TV/movies at the same time - all of which can strain your eyes.  I didn't give this a second of consideration before picking up yarn and needles, but when I started knitting regularly I had lots of headaches. It was only during a routine vision test that found I needed a different prescription. If you feel like your vision could be a bit sharper, look into some corrective options from a reputable company like Acuvue and see if there might be a way of improving your short-range vision and visual perception of small details so you won’t have to worry about it once you start learning your craft.  Crafting somewhere with good light will also be a huge help - poor lighting, especially when you're using small needles and/or dark yarn will make mistakes more likely. 

Get (a bit of) the right kit: Of course it would be madness to purchase a full set of expensive needles and a mountain of high quality yarn before you even know whether you will like knitting, but after buying a pair of horrible (thick and heavy metal) needles and the very cheapest yarn, which kept splitting apart when I tried to knit it and was incredibly difficult to undo when I made mistakes (see above), I almost gave up before I began. It was the gift of a small set of good needles and a ball of still-cheap-but-better-yarn for Christmas that really got me excited, because they just made it so much easier to learn - I used those to make a doll's hat. It was so much easier with these, I made my first trip to the not-so-local LYS and bought a skein of lovely yarn (for about £8) to make myself a cowl. After that I was hooked! For the price of a cinema ticket I got hours of enjoyment and practice AND ended up with a wearable garment. I'm not saying you should all rush out and buy the most expensive yarn, but that while the cheapest in the shop may seem like good value, I think it's a false economy for learning to knit because it can be much harder to work with and is unlikely to give the results you want. Buy something you really like and that you'll want to wear and you'll be much more motivated to get it right.
My first "real" project using Noro Sekku and my KnitPros 
Find a mentor: You can teach yourself to knit from books, and there are LOADS of great videos on the Internet (I've listed some of my favourite links here), but at some point it's likely there will be an issue you'll need help with (for me it was usually figuring out where I'd gone wrong when I got to the end of the row with too many stitches.... or several missing). It's much easier, and less frustrating, if you can get your answer from a real person. Not only can this help you to develop basic techniques more efficiently, but it may also give you some shortcuts and tricks that will be useful as you progress. If you don't already know anyone, there may be a local knitting group you can join, or a class run by a professional teacher - if you can't find a listing in your area, ask at the local yarn shop. 

It's not a race: One of the most important tips I have for beginners is to take it slowly. Any activity that involves using your fingers in intricate ways involves a lot of practice, and it is important to slowly develop muscle memory. Think about other activities you use your hands for, whether it’s typing on your computer, playing an instrument, or even something simpler like tying knots. Each of these activities goes slowly at first, but the more you practice, the more quickly your fingers move in the ways you want them to. Taking it slow at first with knitting will allow your fingers and muscles to become accustomed to the movements so you can become quicker later. Who knows, you may even become ambidextrous

And finally, it's addictive: I'm sure that if you're reading this blog, you've already figured it out, but I feel any 'Preparatory Tips' post would be misleading if it didn't include this point! Once you're bitten by the bug it's quite likely that your friends and family will think you've gone a bit.... mad obsessed. If this is the case, I'd heartily recommend the hilarious book Knitting Rules! by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka Yarn Harlot) which will be sure to make you feel a whole lot more 'normal'.
Online Knitting Class
Friday, 24 August 2012

Ta-dah! Flaming Peacock Capelet

I'm having no end of problems with my photo host and leave for the train soon, so it is a very rough Finished Object post from me today:

After deciding to 'ditch' a load of my unfinished objects earlier this week, it seemed fortuitous that Spectra was almost the perfect shape for a capelet. A few rows, two buttons and a crochet edging later and it was finished in no time.  It doesn't look like much in this picture but Little Miss looks adorable in it - it comes to her elbows and has just enough 'swing' when she twirls around. I'll have to get a modelled picture onto the project notes when I update them properly.

PATTERN: based on Spectra by Stephen West
YARNS: EasyKnits Superwash merino/silk in 'Flamingo' 
and Noro Silk Garden Sock (colourway ??)

I'm linking in with Tami's Amis today although I won't be able to visit the other links until after my weekend away with my two oldest friends *squee* - it's been at 8 years and 4 kids since our last weekend away together! Hope you all have a great one... I'm pretty sure I will!!! 
Thursday, 23 August 2012

WIPs and books, a day late

Yesterday we went to Brighton. It was a beautifully sunny but incredibly windy day, especially along the seafront. It's the first time we've taken the children, and will probably be the last for a while as Little Miss didn't much like the crowds and My Boy wasn't very impressed by the lack of sand on the pebble beach (luckily we are close to the south coast and have other options!). As we were out until the evening, I didn't have time to post my usual Wednesday post, so here, a day late is my current "WIPs and books" update. 
KNITTING: Nuvem by Martina Behm
ALSO PICTURED: Windward pattern by Heidi Kirrmaier
2 x 100g skeins of Fyberspates Nef Sock 70% baby alpaca/20% silk/10% cashmere

I haven't added much more to Nuvem since last week but on a very restrictive cable, the narrowest part is 64 cms wide (without any stretching) so it is growing slowly but surely. I really wish I'd kept knitting it before our holiday - thinking it was a perfect project for travelling I purposely held back and now it feels as though it's been around for ages. I'm going away this weekend so I'll take it for the train journey and hopefully I'll be able to add a few rounds. 

On Monday I talked about sorting out some of my WIPs and one has now been turned into a Finished Object, ready to share tomorrow. I also mentioned my latest hexipuffing efforts on Tuesday, so there has been a bit of work going on this week when I've had the chance and inclination. It is with this sense of moving forward that I'm planning to cast on Windward this evening. Since spotting the pattern a few weeks ago I've been wondering which yarn I could use and finally settled on some gorgeous Fyberspates 4 ply. It's supremely soft and squishy and I can't wait to wind it into a ball tonight so I can get going. The pattern has an interesting modular design, unlike anything I've made before, which I am REALLY looking forward to figuring out. 

I have one more WIP, and whilst this isn't a yarny project, it affords Mum and I plenty of scope for making things....
A friend wanted to make way for a new greenhouse so we jumped at the chance to get this playhouse for a bargain price. It's taken "us" (mainly my Mum, who is much stronger than me) most of today to dismantle it, carry it to our house and then put it all back together. I can't tell you the relief when the roof eventually went on!  Now we're busy planning which colour(s) to paint it, who will make the curtains, tablecloth, bunting etc....  

Amidst all that I've managed to read a bit more of The Sum of Our Days by Isabel Allende for book club. I'm about 100 pages (of tiny text) in, and not really sure about it. It's a family history, told by Allende to her deceased daughter. She is "telling" her daughter things she would have known before she died, in order to explain things to the reader, and the awkwardness of this is getting in the way of the stories she is telling. It feels too contrived, and to be honest, none of the 'stories' so far are especially riveting. If this wasn't a book club choice I'd have abandoned it already.

On that note, I shall have to abandon this post, for I have children to feed, bathe and tuck in, clothes to iron and pack, hair to wash... and that's before I even begin to think about knitting! Au revoir xxxx
Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Five In One Day

It's not that I've forgotten about my Beekeeper's Quilt or the aim of making one hexipuff a day, it's just that it hasn't happened lately.... but I managed five today to compensate for general slackness. I didn't get a picture of them all together as we were out and about all day and they were in my handbag in various stages of completion, but I posted this to Instagram earlier and I'm hoping it conveys the general 'flavour'.

PATTERN: Beekeeper's Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits
YARN & NEEDLES: various (unknown) sock yarns on 3.25mm circular needles
WEEKLY TALLY: 5 hexipuffs

I'm linking in with Carole and the other One a Day posts today and plan to be back tomorrow with an update on some books and my other projects, and maybe even a new one - depending on whether the postman gets here in time. 
Monday, 20 August 2012

Liberating the flow (UFOs)

Last week I wrote that I had little motivation to do anything and whilst I still have lots of ideas and a list of things I really want to make, SOMETHING has been stopping me. As I was sorting out my stash and planning my next Year of Projects item over the weekend, it struck me that I have rather a lot of UFOs (unfinished objects) and that, in all probability, this is a major cause of my "blockage". I can't relax and enjoy starting something new knowing there are so many unfinished things lurking around. 
The Purl Beret I finished and then partially ripped back a few weeks ago has been sitting on my table waiting for some attention, and hidden at the side of my chair is a basket containing the partially knit Leisa Loop cowl and Bunty Mitts as well as Spectra. Leisa was started so long ago my knitting has changed a lot so I'm pretty sure the best thing I can do it rip it out and use the yarn for something else. The mitts are going to be quite small and after getting this far, I read that there was a problem with the measurements for the kit so that there may not actually be enough yarn to finish them - a provisional cast on is now suggested for the main section and for the rib to be added on later, so this has blown my desire to finish this one. And as for Spectra, I love the pattern and the yarn but it's just been TOO long - it may already be big enough to make a little capelet if I cast off and add buttons. Oh and there's also the foot of a single sock, heel turned and ready for the leg - I'd totally forgotten about that! 

So it's time to liberate some of these projects, and hopefully my flow. I'm starting with the hat... 
.... and it feels surprisingly good! 
Sunday, 19 August 2012

YoP Update #5*

Hope you're all having a great Sunday. We've been enjoying the glorious sunshine this weekend, the highlight of which was our first sunflower!!! I have to tell you about it as this was a true team effort - Grandma bought the seeds, Nanna planted them with the kids, I watered and nurtured even using my best chopsticks to support them, and D almost killed them when I took the kids away (by neglecting to water them). After they were planted in the garden, the now infamous July-of-horrendous-weather gave them a real battering and we really didn't expect to see any flowers, so it seemed a little miraculous when we spotted this yesterday... and there are more to come. 

For the last few days I've been browsing Ravelry and sorting my stash into new storage with my YoP  goals in mind and I've decided on the next of my 'list' items - Betty by Nancy Atkinson from the current issue of Let's Knit magazine. I've been through my stash for something suitable but the only chunky yarn I have is in bright colours so it won't be a stashbusting project and I can't cast on yet, but I think she's very cute and I love the idea of using some of my minuscule fabric stash to dress her. 
You know, there are a few folk I've met since blogging that I am sure I'd be great friends with in real life, and Gilly of Tickety-boo is one of those people. We have a lot in common and share many of the same tastes so it was a wonderful surprise when I received a little package of goodies from her before my holiday including sock yarn 'scraps' for my Beekeeper's Quilt (and a lovely glass star she'd made for my Cwtch, which is already in the window - I'll get a better picture for another day). 
My beret is still not finished, and I'm seriously thinking about casting on another Hitchhiker with yarn from my stash,  so I have plenty to be getting on with this week. How about you? 

*I'll consider the stealth FO update I posted on a Friday as number 4.5!
Friday, 17 August 2012

In limbo

I feel horribly unsettled at the moment. It's probably the combination of post-holiday blues (still have laundry/ironing to do as it's been raining almost every day), the night away mid-week and the knowledge that next weekend I'm going away for a reunion with my oldest friends.* I can't sit still, can't settle. My mind is all over the place. It's why I haven't done much crafting since we got back and my motivation to do anything at all is pretty low. It took most of this morning just to tidy the kids' bedrooms as having both of them with me 24/7 means I am constantly being nagged asked to do something, reach something, peel an apple, get a drink, go to the pool or ballet or football, get a not that dress.... Days like this make me dream of silence.

I shouldn't moan as I did manage to escape yesterday. After taking D to collect his (belated 40th birthday) motorbike, I parked up and took a train into London. Despite living so close, it's not something I do very often - especially in August when it's raining outside but still unbearably hot underground. I'd already chosen what I wanted to buy and had to hurry back for the kids, so I only went into two shops but it was nice to sit on the train quietly with my book and of course to visit Bond Street - my favourite place for retail therapy - another thing I don't do much of these days. 

I absolutely loved the Yayoi Kusama window display at Louis Vuitton - so cheery and colourful and the wax model was freakishly lifelike - those red and white spots gave me a few ideas too. Our next Big Project is a kitchen makeover - we are quite unsure about the style we'll go for - mainly because D and I like different things but I'm really hoping that red & white (and retro) will feature, and because I have an obsessive personality I've already started pinning some ideas. *grin*

If you were hoping to see some knitting today, I'm very sorry to disappoint, but am planning to be back with something yarny and pretty very soon. Hope you have a great weekend xxx

*Not that I want you to think they're old, just that I've known them since we started at the "Comp"... which was 27 years ago.... which probably means we are ALL quite old - aaarrrgghh! 
Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Wednesday's WIPs and Books

KNITTING: Nuvem by Martina Behm
and an improvised top-down cardigan for Little Miss

Last night I finally picked up some knitting and managed to add a meagre round or so to Nuvem - it's getting big but next week I'll try to get a decent photo to show you the size. I also started a cardi just before we went away and I'm not sure I'm happy with the YO increases - the holes are so big in relation to the width of the garment, so I'm thinking of frogging it and using KFB instead....

This last week is the longest I have gone without making anything since I started knitting (20 months ago) and I'm surprised at how quickly my hands 'lost' the speed and agility they usually have. Definitely need to rectify this asap. 

What I lacked in knitting during our holiday, I made up for in books. Since last Wednesday when I'd just finished one book, I read another one and a half. Firstly Hurry Up and Wait by Isabel Ashdown which had rave reviews on Amazon, but frankly left me unsatisfied. The book is very definitely set in the 80s and for much of it I felt that the setting was emphasised far more than the weak story. I kept reading it because I was hoping to come across some amazing ending (the ending was so heavily sign-posted throughout the book, it was totally expected) or a point in the story that would have made those reviews worthwhile. Sadly this is one book that really didn't do it for me and I'm glad I paid only 99p for it in the Amazon Reading Marathon sale.

Also from the sale, I'm now onto Broken Places by Wendy Perriam, being half way in I'm not yet sure how it'll work out but so far the writing is very enjoyable and I'm interested in the main character Eric Parkhill, a neurotic and quite tragic character - I'll let you know next week!

It's our wedding anniversary so I'm not hanging around today - the kids are off to my Mum's and we're heading off for a post-holiday mini-break! I'll leave you with a look at the splendid Sussex skyline from last night and the links for WIP Wednesday and the Yarn Along.

Enjoy the rest of your day xxxx
Monday, 13 August 2012

Back to reality...and a ton of ironing!

What a week! I've said it before and I'll say it again, holidays ain't what they used to be ..... but all things considered, our Tunisian break was as good as it gets with a clingy 3 year old and a boisterous boy of 6.

For the first time since our honeymoon we went on an all inclusive package to a holiday village, not that it was quite the same as a deluxe fortnight in the Maldives, but still. It was actually really good! My Boy went to the Kids' Club every morning for various themed 'Play and Learn' activities, then whole afternoons were spent en famille in the children's pools. When we needed a break from the heat, the incredibly hungry (boys) and fussy (girls) amongst us found plenty to choose from. I can't speak highly enough of the Tunisian resort staff - they were efficient, lovely with the children and all spoke good English. (According to the tour guide, the average Tunisian is in education until the age of 25 and is tri-lingual!)

Had it been possible for the kids to stay awake there was plenty of evening entertainment, although we didn't see any of it as we were ALL in bed by 20:30 every night. D and I came home having had more sleep in one week than at any other time in the last 7 years. We didn't make full use of the all inclusive activities or the plentiful food/drink, but the holiday still represented really good value - in fact we liked it so much we've already booked another holiday village for next year. Hopefully Little Miss will be ready to participate a bit more in the fun, and we might even get an hour or two of relaxation, because truly this year we were lifeguards rather than holiday-makers.

If you saw last week's update, you'll know there was no crafting while we were away, and I'm trying not to pick anything up whilst there is still laundry and ironing to get through, so I'll have to get back to you on that tomorrow!
Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Wednesday's WIPs and Books

We arrived in Tunisia (North Africa) earlier this week for a family break, and it's so hot I can't really think about knitting anything despite Nuvem and a lovely new skein sitting in my bag with hopes of becoming a(nother) Hitchhiker. Never mind, there'll be plenty of time for that when we get home. In the meantime we're enjoying very early nights with exhausted children (lots of much-needed sleep for us), SUNSHINE, splashing about in the many pools and (far too much) delicious food.
We're not here long enough to do any real exploring but the resort is beautiful - lots of palm trees, stunning flowers and LOADS of things to do, if one were so inclined. Our children are a bit too young to make the most of it, especially Little Miss who won't leave our sides, but My Boy is having a wonderful time with daily activities and a new little friend. If you want to see more photos, check out my Instagram feed (@craftsfromthecwtch).
As its Wednesday (I think!) I expect you're here for an update on WIPs and books, so I'll attempt to link in with Tami's Amis and Ginny's Yarn Along...

(NOT) KNITTING: Nuvem by Martina Behm
READING: This morning I finished The Scent of Lemon Leaves by Clara Sánchez which I enjoyed. I'd rate it 4 out of 5 - an interesting tale, the main characters were well drawn and the fact that many Nazis who had committed terrible atrocities did actually live out their days in comfort along the beautiful Spanish coast is quite thought-provoking. I would certainly read more by this author.
I have about 10 new books on my Kindle to choose from this evening, but first we have a whole afternoon to enjoy. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Is it a wind-up? (No, it's a Nostepinne!)

Do you remember the yarn winder which was jinxed by my nemesis yarn? Well it was replaced a little while ago, but in the interim I neglected to mention here that I'd repurposed a toilet roll inner to transform some skeins into centre-pull balls. It worked well enough, but was not exactly an ideal (or longterm) solution. After hearing about my escapades with the toilet roll, a friend kindly pointed me in the direction of some nostepinnes on Folksy. I had never seen or heard of them before and headed to YouTube to see one in action - this vidoe shows how the simple wooden tool is used to wind yarn into a neat ball....
Of course once I saw them, had to try one.  Mine came from Stewart at Tree Gems (excellent service and fast delivery) for a little over £10 and I love it. There's something very satisfying about winding the yarn by hand before using it, and so the nosty is still used for mini-skeins and chunky yarn, or if there is no particular hurry to cast on,  even though I have a new mechanical winder. What do you use? 
Friday, 3 August 2012

A quick ruffled FO

What a manic week it's been, so much so I *almost* forgot to join in with FO Friday and show you the finished Saffron 'shrug' cardigan! Luckily I managed to whip it out of the washing machine before switching it on and so here it is, looking slightly dishevelled and without my model to hand...
PATTERN: Saffron by Elena Nodel (project notes here)
YARN: Wendy Sorrento DK (cotton/acrylic) 
A lovely pattern, although I did have to tink* parts of the ribbed ruffle several times as it changed on each round which was not so good for my addled (school holiday) brain and so, by the end of the ruffle I was starting to lose the plot. Just shows how lack of concentration can make even the simplest patterns go wrong. 

This was inexpensive cotton/acrylic yarn which knitted up nicely and is very soft, washable and can even be tumble dried on a low heat so it actually ticks lots of boxes for a child's garment and I would use it again for this purpose although I found it to be a little bit 'splitty' in some sections. Including the buttons the finished object weighs in at 117g, and I've used up most of 2 x 50g balls of the main colour and half-ish of the contrast colour (I forgot to weigh what's left before storing it away) so this was also a good little Year of Projects stashbuster! 

*tink = undoing/unknitting stitches, one at a time 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Wednesday's WIPs and books

There's not much happening on the knitting/crochet front this week as we're busy with holiday preparations and daily swimming lessons for the lad. And a miracle - after three years of being absolutely terrified of the water, and hence us hardly ever venturing to a pool, Little Miss suddenly decided that she wants to go swimming today too. She's funny like that - so totally determined not to do something, and then when she decides to do it - in her own time - just gets on with it without a fuss. Should be an interesting afternoon. 

The upshot of this is that not much has changed since Sunday's post, except that Saffron is almost finished, just the last sleeve to knit. Here's the back - I'll save the front ruffle shot for Friday.
KNITTING: Saffron by Elena Nodel 
I've enjoyed making this for her so much that I've just bought some yarn to make something else. Yes, I am destashing, but this is some VERY bright colourful Marble DK (nothing like it in my stash) that she chose in the Deramores sale and I think it'll be a perfect antidote to yet more overcast and gloomy skies, which you can see from the picture taken this morning.

After finishing The Earth Hums in B Flat (which I enjoyed) last week, I've downloaded plenty of new books from the Kindle Reading Marathon. I've picked up some bargains and some unknown books I thought would be worth a try for less than £1. Last night I started  The Scent of Lemon Leaves. The book is told from the perspectives of Juliàn an elderly man with a terminal illness and Sandra, a pregnant single woman at a crossroads in her life. Their paths look set to cross via an elderly Norwegian couple who Juliàn has been led to believe may be former Nazis from his days in a concentration camp. The blurb tell me it's a tale of redemption, self-discovery and exploration and so far I like it. 

Looking forward to seeing the other WIPs and books when the links are up at Tami's and Ginny's
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