Lovely Lichen

My knitting prompt this week came while tidying some winter damage on the apple trees with my volunteer colleagues – the branches carried a range of coloured lichen, in amazing patterns and textures …

I believe it’s possible to dye with lichen … I haven’t tried it – have you? If so, I’d love to hear about it!


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The opposite of unravel

I’ve been unravelling this week – just some knitting, you understand 😉

It occurred to me that I often “unravel”, but I’ve never used (or even come across) the opposite word “ravel” … So I looked it up to check it exists, and sure enough, “ravel” is both a verb and a noun …


1. (Ravel something out) Untangle or unravel something.
‘Davy had finished ravelling out his herring net’

2. Unravel; fray.
‘a shirt with a ravelled collar’

3. Confuse or complicate (a question or situation)
‘I’d prefer you to keep your nose out of my business and not ravel things further’


A tangle, cluster, or knot.
‘a ravel of knitting’


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘entangle, confuse’): probably from Dutch ravelen ‘fray out, tangle’.

I have to admit I find the above definition of the verb rather confusing, with its use of the word “unravel” as part of the description. The confusion is appropriate, I suppose 😉

No, “ravel” is not a word I’m going to be using in everyday conversation. How about you?

Have you discovered any new words lately? I’d love to hear about them!



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Winter Sun

The temperatures hit freezing again overnight, leaving a sprinkling of crunchy frost to greet us this morning. The sky was clear and blue, calling to me to escape for half an hour, so I put on my knitwear and headed to a nature reserve that I discovered recently, hidden away between a motorway and a housing estate!

I spotted a few creative patterns along the way. How about this path reinforcement?

Or this frozen puddle?

It was only a short walk, but it was lovely to be outside in the winter sunshine. I’ll be back soon!

That’s one new year’s resolution sorted! A good excuse for more knitted accessories? 😉

Have you spotted any inspiring patterns this week? I’d love to hear about them!

Happy new year!


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Finishing off the year

It came as a genuine surprise this week to realise that I only have one knitting project on the needles … No project bags tucked out of sight, no languishing WIPs, no unloved UFOs (unfinished objects). Just one project, and I’m actively working on that one. This, I have to tell you, is unheard of!

This year I have made a conscious effort to work through my projects, and finish – or frog where necessary – those that had been around for a while. Nevertheless I was surprised that I had cleared so many!

Across the Finishing Line this month have been …

1. My rose red long-line cardigan, Water and Stone, which is still a little crinkly from its previous incarnations

2. An enormous Tess d’Urbervilles Shawl made for the Black Country Living Museum’s costume department (free pattern)

3. A 4 ply Wolfie hat (free pattern) as a Christmas gift

4. A Nancy cardigan by Debbie Bliss in Drops Lima – another Christmas present so here’s a sneak preview …

5. A Ramona cardigan by Elizabeth Smith, which had just needed buttons to get it over the Finishing Line – also a Christmas present, so here’s another sneak preview …


The remaining ‘live’ project is the Nutkin socks, the first of which is coming along nicely …

As we head towards the end of the year, I’m enjoying the sense of achievement gained from finishing so many projects and clearing the space for new ideas. There are no prizes for guessing that this single project status is purely temporary! My next knitting project is already planned, so watch this space! 😉

Are you going to be casting off and/or casting on any projects over the Christmas period? I’d love to hear about them 😀

In the meantime, I wish you a peaceful Christmas and happy knitting!




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The sock so far …

I was after a simple sock pattern – not completely plain, but easy enough for everyday knitting. My friend – and knitting guru – had recently recommended Nutkin, a free pattern by Knitzi (available via Ravelry), and I decided to give it a go.

Most of the sock yarn in my stash is self-patterning, as I tend to knit “vanilla” socks while I’m travelling or waiting for appointments, and the multi-coloured hues add a cheerful dimension to the basic stocking stitch sections without the need for a complicated stitch pattern. In this case though, I discovered that my first choice for Nutkin turned out to be too busy for the design, and I wasn’t enjoying it, so it didn’t get further than this …

Regia 4-fädig Indio Color

My second attempt has got off to a better start, using a hand-dyed sock yarn from Artists Palette Yarns …

APY Pebble Sock, 365m, Merino/nylon, hand-painted, Doorstep colourway

The subtle shade changes are much better suited to the gentle waves of the travelling stitch pattern, letting the shapes take centre stage. I have replaced the original turned hem for a standard cuff, and am now well on the way towards the heel section … This is the story so far …

I will let you know how it goes!

Have you had to change yarns this week? I’d love to hear about it!




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Let it snow!

Today’s knitting inspiration was two-fold – the dusting of snow makes me reach for my cosy knitted shawls and mittens, and as the snow settles it creates patterns that could be knitting and crochet designs!

As I write this, the snow is beginning to fall in thick flakes … Brrr … Time to finish off some of those knitting projects, I think!

Let it snow! 😀


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Made it!

With less than a metre of contrast green remaining, I breathed a big sigh of relief as I finished my Selbu mittens this week …

A good soak softened the cream Masham wool, which bloomed nicely and evened out the stranded knitting.

I didn’t manage to get the inner part of the thumb pattern to line up exactly, but hey, I won’t tell if you don’t!

I enjoyed making these very much and predict that there will be more on my needles in the future …

Have you finished any projects this week? I’d love to hear about them!



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Crocheted Antique

This week’s knitting inspiration took the form of a crocheted bedspread at Wightwick Manor …

Apparently, this handcrafted masterpiece dates to the 1870s and was donated to Wightwick in the 1950s by the family of a lady called Mrs Casey.

So much work! It certainly deserves its place in this Arts and Crafts style house, where it can be admired and appreciated.

Have you seen a masterpiece this week? I’d love to hear about it!




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Spontaneous Snowflake Cast-on

It must have been the sudden drop in the outdoor temperature that made me want to cast on a pair of warm mitts this week – it’s not as if I haven’t got several WIPs on the go already 😉

I’m using King Cole Masham DK for the cream base, and Drops Lima for the contrast green, and it seems to be working well so far. However, I am running a very real risk of not having enough green yarn, as the ball was a left-over from a previous project and only weighed 45 grams, so it’s a bit of a gamble!

The pattern is Selbu Mittens by Skeindeer, and uses a stranded knitting technique to create a snowflake design on the back and a small diamond pattern on the palm.

I have finished the body of the first mitt, and will make the thumb when I know how much (if any!) green wool I have left after working the second mitt.

At the halfway point, the scales suggest I will have enough green for the main body of the second mitt, and hopefully there will be a little left over for a touch of colour on the thumbs … Plan B will be plain cream thumbs, or who knows, even a surprise third colour for added impact! 😀

I’m enjoying the pattern so far – well-written with clear charts and helpful explanations – and I’m pleased with the tension and sizing too.

What are you working on this week? I’d love to hear about it!

Have a lovely week!



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Just knitting in the rain

The heavens opened today …

… so I was grateful to have my knitting with me while I waited for 10 minutes in the car park …

It is a shawl based on Louise Tilbrook’s 4 ply Fuss-Free Festival Shawl pattern, except I’m using Sirdar’s Sylvan yarn, which is very soft and described as “a thick and thin chunky yarn” so I’m using 6.5 mm needles.

I love the colour and the texture, and it’s a lovely warm project to knit on a cold, rainy day!

Have you knitted in the car this week? I’d love to hear about it!


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