Monday, 31 January 2011

Bye Bye January

I have to admit I'm a little sad to be waving goodbye to January. After wishing and wishing that 2011 would hurry up and come it feels like it's hurrying buy a little too fast now. Well they do say that time flies when you're having fun, and January has definitely been a fun month. I'm hoping that it's set the fun bar for the rest of the year! So far this year I've partaken in a lot of knitting, tea drinking, beach walking and started doing a fair bit of archery - love it!

But I'm hoping that moving away from winter might bring us some warmer weather. Yes I know, I know, I shouldn't really complain about the cold as I've been championing crisp, crunchy days all winter, but boy is it Baltic today! We've run out of oil so the cat and I are huddled around a little blow heater whilst the huge bonfire the boat yard next door has lit is taunting me through the window! I even took me a cup of tea to the beach to warm my hands whilst I walked. Brrr. The sand was once again covered in sheets of ice. I don't think I'll ever get used to seeing that. It's so bizarre!

I spent the last day of January volunteering at my local Eco shop. I had a lovely day, and managed to get a fair bit of knitting done in between serving customers. But you can't work in a place like that without being inspired to do more at home so I've brought the compost bin up from the bottom of the lane and am itching to get planting again. I had decided not to plant anything here because we're not sure how long we can stay, but if I plant herbs and flowers it'll be lovely for whoever moves in here after us. There are a lot of bulbs and plants in our potting shed - who knows some of them could be revived yet!

But in the mean time I'm keeping my eyes out for the year's first snowdrop - they're late out this year! Anyone seen any yet?? There's always hope for spring and growth and life when those little pale blooms stretch out of the frozen ground. :)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Well first of all I need to give you all an update on the shawl from hell. It is sitting on my bedroom floor about 70 rows in and there's another mistake. Several actually. They're all 2 rows back so I'm gonna try and get back to it. Or just throw it out the window! No I wouldn't, I couldn't waste the yarn for one thing. Gosh this is frustrating!

Anyway I decided that what I should do is leave it for a little while and start a completely different project. I wanted something repetitive and easy to pick up and put down so I found a lacy repeat pattern and decided to make a scarf.

And where better to go do some knitting than on the beach?? Well I'm there every day so it makes sense to take my knitting sticks with me. There is something so gratifying about sitting knitting listening to the waves breaking under a rare warm sun ray. Mmmm.

It's knitted up really quickly and I'm very nearly finished. Yay! Then it's back to the circular needles and dreaded shawl. I can't even manage to take a decent pic of my progress so far. Maybe it's a sign! :S

Monday, 24 January 2011

Aberteifi Cardigan

Crikey I seem to have lost a week of blogging! Well my Internet connection has been driving me crazy and I had a lovely day of sitting about in one of those darling open backed hospital gowns on Friday – leave your modesty at the door! So by the time I was home from being poked and prodded I didn’t much feel like a Folksy Friday post. I shall be good this week though I promise.

Anyway I have exciting news to share with you lot. On Saturday I was lucky enough to be invited to meet with Lisa Hellier. Lisa is a graphic designer who had an amazing vision. Now at this point it’s probably worth mentioning that our local town is named Cardigan (Aberteifi in welsh), and 2010 marked it’s 900th birthday. As part of the celebration Lisa designed and co-ordinated a community knitted gigantic cardigan of Cardigan. Here’s the finished article, the Aberteifi Cardigan, in all it’s glory:

It measures a staggering 5m by 2.5m and was knitted by over 200 volunteers, from school kids to grannies and everyone in between!

I am in awe. How gutted was I to have missed out on being a part of this?? It would have been absolutely perfect for me. But there we go. I’ve always imagined the West Wales countryside to be like a patchwork quilt, but the different knitting stitches side by side gives it such texture. It is utterly beautiful.

Depicting the town from 1110 to the present day, many of it's iconic buildings and stories are represented.

It is a triumph, I'm sure I'll spend a fair few hours gawking at it again. It's currently housed at the Corn Exchange, Cardigan Guild Hall and believe me it's well worth a look if you're in the area.

And I'm excited that although I wasn't able to contribute there are plans in the pipeline for lots more similar projects. Yay!

To learn more about the cardigan and Lisa's work just follow the links, and I'll be sure to keep you updated about further developments!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Folksy Friday

Good morning! It's been a strange one over here at Jemima HQ today. I've had 3 hours sleep and they were filled with really random dreams. Then I woke early and couldn't get blogger to work so I thought to hell with it, I'm going to the beach!

Now let me tell you there's nothing like air guitaring along to your i-pod to clear your head! And the wind this morning is enough to well and truly blow away last night's cobwebs. Now the advantages of going walking that early I've discovered today is that there's no one there at that time in the morning so you can even risk a sing song too!

Anyhoo as I live between two boat yards and see the sea every day, I thought this weeks Folksy Friday could be nautical. Here are today's picks:

Kirsty Elson Designs makes these adorable little driftwood boats. I love the bunting!

This cute little Beach Hut Button Purse is made by BubbleBay.

This cheery little wall mounted driftwood boat was made by Driftwood Boat Builders.

Elli Moody makes these Custom Made Beach Huts.

And finally These Spotty Sail Boats are made by Handmade from the Heart.

So this weekend is shaping up to be music filled. I went along to my local open mic last night - that's become a regular occurrence these days, then tonight I have a recording session with the band and I'm going to a gig tomorrow night. Oh and maybe a folk night on Sunday! I may have to take my shawl with me some nights to get it done. More frogging has been done since my last post too. Boo! But I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend, whatever it is you may be doing.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Wishlist Wednesday

So at the weekend I thought I'd try my hand at something I'd never tried before. I bought myself some lovely yarn, found myself a beautiful pattern and went about knitting myself a lace shawl.

Well I'll tell you this shawl has become the bane of my life!! One little mistake and it's rip out and start again. If you lose a stitch you haven't a hope in hell of finding it again. I've spent the past 5 days frogging and after finally getting the hang of it and getting quite far I made yet another mistake last night and am having to begrudgingly rip the whole thing out again! ARGH!!!

I am definitely not giving up though. I have learned not to knit when there's a song on the radio that I love, when I'm around people or conversations, and definitely definitely do not answer the phone mid row!

Anyway whilst I get increasingly frustrated with my 5mms, here are some lovely lace shawls for your viewing pleasure. Aren't they soooo pretty??

Anyway watch this space because I'm determined to have at least some progress with the shawl to show you next week!

Monday, 10 January 2011

New Man in my Life

Well I thought it's about time to introduce you lot to the new man in my life...

Now I don't think I mentioned that I moved again last month, this time to a barn conversion beside the sea. And with the house came this handsome devil! Isn't he beautiful?!

We don't know how old he is, or what's happened to him because he is rather gammy looking. He has very little teeth, his two bottom ones stick out of his mouth at odd angles, his mouth is wonky, we don't think he can see 100% and he has about a quarter of a tail.

So we've decided to call him Mau, 'cause that's what he says all the time. He talks a lot and is very friendly. He is always hungry but he's very thin so he's allowed a few extra treats. His favorite things to do are sleeping as close to your head as he can and supervise my knitting. He's so clever sometimes he even manages to do both at the same time! :)

Friday, 7 January 2011

Folksy Friday

Happy New Year! The first Friday of 2011 marks the return of Folksy Friday over here at Jemima HQ. We were struck down with new year lurgy this week but we're all lemsiped up and raring to go now.

It's been snowing again here this morning, though I don't think there's much chance of it sticking unfortunately. So because I love snowy weather so much, today I've chosen a winter theme for Folksy Friday.
This Woodland Feast A3 print is by SweetArt.

Beckipom Illustrations sells this beautiful Band in the Snow print.

This Packhorse Bridge print is sold by Aileen Barnard.

Christ Anderson Art painted this acrylic Castle in the Snow.

Everything you could need on a cold winter's day - a giant teacup and a woolly jumper stretching down to your toes. This Patterned Woolly Jumper Teacup Woman Winter print is by Ella Masters.

Well I've really enjoyed putting together my first Folksy Friday for a long while. I'm really enjoying getting back into blogging full stop and I've got a few great features coming up so watch this space!