A Year of Slow Crafting.


Hello folks and a very Happy New Year to you all. I know I’ve been remiss in the extreme, my only excuse is that my brain needed time to stage a reset after life changes – but here I am and I shall try to be more consistent 😊

This year the plan is not to keep casting on All Of The Things but to take pleasure in the making. I’m someone who likes to be doing numerous things at once (plus I have the attention span of a 🐠) so I’m constantly seduced by the next project. Now my seventy twelve WIP’s are not going to dissappear overnight but I’ve made a start. These are the totally stunning Late Bloomer Mittens and I really enjoyed the embroidery finishing.

The pattern is from Kristin Ledgett from Making Magazine no 10 / Intricate.
I’m using some of Lichen and Laces gorgeous yarn, Marsh Mohair in Amber blended with  Rustic Heather in Pollen bought from Loop London .

Another project I absolutely loved was the Meadow Wrap from Dee Hardwicke https://deehardwicke.co.uk/ . This was a Christmas gift for my mum and it is so gorgeous I think I shall be doing another for myself at some point. This was knitted in Knit by Numbers merino from John Arbon which is wonderful for colourwork. Also talking of Dee I’m hugely excited to be attending her art & knitting day at Kew Gardens in March. As my fine hand movement leaves a bit to be desired my art is likely to be a tad abstract 😁. I’m going with a good friend who is also a talented artist so she may take pity on me and help…..

This year, triple vaccinated n all my plan is to learn some new things and get back out into the world a bit. Along with DeeΕ› class I’m hoping to attend one of Erica-Janes ( https://wilderstitch.com/ ) workshops. Erica makes the most beautiful fairytale creations as well as wonderful kits so her website and Instagram page are certainly worth a visit.

My big indulgence project for the year, which will encompass slow crafting in the extreme is to join in Marie WallinΕ› Fairisle 7 group. The end result should be a stunning fairisle jacket crafted in a number of pieces using some techniques I’m familiar with and some not so much ( Steeking – πŸ˜±πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ not one of my superpowers) The yarn for this arrives in the next few weeks and the project commences mid February so I’ll post updates and cries for help along the way.

Along with taking my time enjoying the craft journey I need to pay a little more attention to my health and get it into my skull that I’m not going to beat chronic disease and mobility deterioration ( it’s only taken me since 2006 to accept this so not too bad). Therefore I’m declaring a truce. Next week I’ve planned an immune superboost week with lots of cold pressed juices and green soups, And No Crisps! I’ve also got on order the most perfect cross between a stick and walking staff being made by the incredibly talented Stck Man. Instead of having to flex my wrist as with a normal stick which my joints find problematic this is taller. The head is carved into the shape of a Hare with a thumb extension rest between its ears to keep that particular joint in place. I can’t wait to take it on walks with the Lily hound.

Just before Christmas himself and I took ourselves off for a few days to stay in Winterton Lighthouse https://www.wintertonlighthouse.com/ This was the perfect spot to hide away with good food, books and yarn. It was seal pupping time too so there were seals everywhere. It was the perfect spot to finish mums Christmas present.

We are still househunting as our planned move to the coast hit a large stumbling block when our house purchase fell through in the autumn. In the meantime I’m packing and organising my yarn / fabric / craft room ready for viewing folks – wish me luck πŸ€

That is me off to do some sorting and inventory now so I’ll say goodbye. Do let me know what you have planned for the year ahead.

Lots of love

Magpie 😘

Hello Autumn. πŸπŸ‚

So here in Blighty the nights are drawing in, in fact 20:00 hrs last night found himself watering the plants by torchlight. Helpfully assisted by the Lily hound.

Now I don’t imagine I’m in the minority here in liking sweater weather, woodland / coastal walks and a roaring fire. Quite aside from the knitty element my autoimmune conditions do not like the heat and really make their displeasure known. I am therefore delighted to have finished my autumn version of Ghosthorses which I used Spincycle’s dyed in the wool in Stay Out of the Forest. I love everything about this.

Ghosthorses pattern from Boyland Knitworks.

I’ve also almost finished my first memory piece which is Andrea Mowry’s Rose Cardigan. I’ve knitted this in memory of my close friend Jacqui who died in December. She loved roses so it seemed a fitting piece. Throughout the project I remembered the fun and not so fun times we had shared in over thirty years of friendship. She and her husband John were like honorary siblings and I do miss them ( John died suddenly a few months before Jacqui). Regular readers will know this is how Lily came to live with us and now happily rules the Magpie roost. I used yarn from the lovely Bernie Bear ( A Bear in Sheeps Clothing ). The colours used made up the Cognac colourway. I’ve just finished the edging so need to attach and then give it a final block.

Rose Cardigan in Cognac colourway ( awaiting edging ).

Now as usual I’ve far far to many things on the go, let alone those projects I’m waiting to start on. The three that I’m hoping to finish over the next few weeks are The Nili Sweater by Xtinawithwolves. This is knitted in Germantown from Kelbourne Woolens. A totally new yarn for me and a departure from my usual UK fine yarns as it is a US worsted. I’m very impressed so far. I’m only a few rows in but you can see the design developing.

Nili Sweater.

My second project is for Mr Magpie. He said he would like a fine knit merino, not a fussy design to replace a rather lovely one than has a few pesky moth nips now. The So Basic Sweater from Max the Knitter fits the brief perfectly. I’m using a really nice 4 ply from Fyberspates in Bronze and Silver. It must be love as the blooming thing is on 3.5mm pins.

So Basic Sweater – Max the Knitter.

Lastly in this current phase are the Lucky Sunflower Mitts from Charlotte Stone ( Stoneknits). These are great trans – seasonal mitts for autumn and I’m using stash yarn from John Arbon for the mc and contrast in the form of Mad Tosh’s Unicorn Tails.

Lucky Sunflower 🌻

Finally you may remember I said I was writing a few bits for KnitIQ- those of my favourite blocks. This is a post I wrote last month on my thoughts on knitting & fast fashion. If you have chance to read it I’d love to hear your thoughts. https://knitiq.com/blogs/articles/is-knitting-becoming-fast-fashion

Now I’m off to continue to try and bring some order to my post lockdown life, I have no idea where all this yarn has come from……

Until next time stay safe & crafty.


Magpie. 😘

Yarn, Yarn and more Yarn!

Hello Everyone.

I do hope you and yours continue to be well in these ever stranger times.

Now as some of you know around the time of my last bout of surgery the collective opinion from my various medical teams ( the majority of whom were also work colleagues & friends so pulled no punches) was that I needed to give up work for good to maximise my health situation. It wasn’t easy but I did so and have now formally retired from the NHS after thirty five years, some fourteen years early.

I am the eternal optimist but was very concerned about filling my time and using my brain. Surgery, finishing work and going straight into Shielded status for Covid has been surreal to say the least. I don’t quite know what I’ve been doing with the time (although I’ve embraced the advice for an afternoon rest and 14:00 finds me and the Lily hound on the sofa, with a blanket and audiobook. These ninety year olds who go off climbing mountains would do well to take a leaf out of my book)!

Now when I say I don’t know what I’ve been doing a glance into the spare room suggests I’ve spent most of this time buying yarn. I shall show you as I start projects or you may think I have a problem πŸ™ˆ

A special skein of Quivet that comes in it’s own leather case. More on the reason for this indulgence later. The bag is one of my beloved #03 from Nu at Hide and Hammer. Gin and Bear it was a gift from Bernie ( we did manage a virtual G&T last week).

Now projects. The giant charity blanket was finished and the lovely lady who won the bidding for it was delighted (see title pic for the finished beast). I have to confess I was quite nervous until I heard from her. She also wanted a special date on it but being herringbone it was impossible to incorporate so we decided on a separate knitted panel appliquΓ©d on.

All complete.

Last time we spoke I was about to cast on the Ingalls Sweater by Caitlin Hunter (Boyland Knitworks) in some fine dk from John Arbon Textiles. Not only did I cast it on I also finished it and adore the slouchy design with it’s dipped back hem.

Comfort summer knit.

I still have too many WIP’s and still can’t manage more than around three hours yarny stuff a day but never mind. It is making me think more about each cast on. One such project is one of my memory pieces. Having lost so many friends and family in a short space of time I decided to knit things that would remind me of them individually (as well as the planned Harlequin Blanket that I don’t yet have the dexterity for).

The first of these is the Rose cardigan from Andrea Mowry which will remind me of my friend Jacqui who died in December (Lily’s original owner). This is a lovely cardigan in a fade reminiscent of a rose blooms. Jackie adored her roses so this seemed fitting. It is in a pallet called Cognac dyed in Ireland by the lovely Bernie (Bear In Sheeps Clothing) and I bought it from Tribe Yarns in Richmond (Milli always has a fab selection of goodies so well worth a virtual or when able a physical visit).

Now the gorgeous skein of Quivet I showed you earlier. This was a total indulgence I admit as a form of celebration treat. Regular readers may remember in the past I’ve chatted about a young company called KnitIQ who I first encountered after purchasing some of their brilliant blocking mats. Anyway they dropped me a line asking if I would like to write for their blog occassionally. After establishing it actually was me they had meant to email I jumped at the chance so if you pop across to their site at any time you may come across a post by yours truly. My first one is on their now, all about washing your wool. 🐏 https://knitiq.com/blogs/articles/how-to-wash-wool (In the interest of transparency they do pay me for articles but there are no affiliated links). I just added this in cos I’m a little bit proud 🦚 that they liked my writing and that is why I treated myself to the Quivet so that I remember that lovely things can happen when you least expect them too.

Stay safe everyone and here is to more settled times.


Magpie. 😘