Countryside cast-on

Last night I picked out some yarn from the pile that I’d previously earmarked for the big stash busting blues poncho/cape – I found this sock yarn I picked up from Flying Tiger a while back.

This has too much green in it to fit in with stash busting project. I’ve really enjoyed wearing the last pair of socks I made, so need more – especially now I’ve become more confident about sock knitting and recovered from One Sock Syndrome. It seemed obvious to use this sock yarn!

I needed to start a new small portable project, something that I can stick in a small bag to do in the car, waiting for appointments and to take to knit and natter groups. Socks knitted on tiny circular needles are perfect for this (though when I turn the heel it might need a bit more concentration and nattering may cease for a while)

It was blustery this morning, but looked beautiful and such a joy to feel the warmth of the sun on my face when I was out of that cold wind. Sitting in the car in a lay-by while K walked Buddy nearby, I cast on the first sock – if I’d been more prepared I’d have brought straight needles in a larger size (casting on with thumb method, using 2.5mm circular sock needles is fiddly) – I wanted to try this to ensure I kept the cast-on nice and loose. Anyway I just concentrated hard not to pull it too tight and managed to complete the cast on and knit a couple of rounds. The top of the sock is in k2p2 rib so it’s lovely and stretchy – it would defeat the object of that if the cast-on is too tight,

I love the colours of this yarn – they include a deep blue with a very dark green, shading lighter into almost yellow green. At first this made me think of rocks by a deep blue sea, strewn with yellowish brown seaweed below high water mark and crusted with yellow lichens above. Then I looked out the window, spied this puddle and saw similar colours in the sky’s reflection, the grasses and conifer saplings around me.

The woodland is managed here, with fencing and rabbit guards on the young trees.

We couldn’t stay long as household tasks awaited – but it was nice to be out in the sunshine, thinking about the colours in the landscape.

Do you get inspired by your surroundings ?

What a Difference a Week Makes

How the weather has changed since I posted this time last week in the same place. The rain has stopped and the temperature has dropped. While K walked the dog I put my knitting on a picnic table while I took photos – It was freezing, so I was soon back in the car to get on with my knitting before my fingers got numb.

The body of the poncho cape has grown and I’m really enjoying putting the different blue tones together. I’ve just joined in the turquoise colour you can see on the left – it is an oddment left over from the Valdres Sweater. The number of stitches is increasing rapidly, so I’m about to change to circular needles. You can see how this needle is absolutely crammed.

Last week’s breakers have washed up loads of kelp, The sea is a lot calmer now and it’s so good to have sunshine and blue sky. Coquet Island was clearly visible this week now the rain and fog have gone. The island is an important nesting site for the Roseate Tern – one of our rarest breeding seabirds. Other species breed there too, notably the Puffin.

Even though it was only about 2pm, the sun was very low in the sky, but then it is December. It made the Aln Estuary look beautiful.

Knit and Natter Friday #3 – 29 November

More lovely knitwear for our charities.

Those attending today’s Knit and Natter group at Alnwick Medical Surgery, once again brought along an impressive haul of beautiful handknitted items. The little angel tops for premature babies are proving popular with some of the knitters, along with hats, baby cardigans and bootees. The item in the foreground is one of the “fish and chip baby” tops that we’ve made for a maternity clinic in Zambia, Knitted items were needed because newborns were being wrapped in newspaper (like fish and chips) to keep warm. We are grateful for all the donations of yarn and knitting needles that have been donated to help us make these items.

Over the weeks we’ve also swapped knitting and crochet patterns, taught each other new techniques and made some good friends. Sometimes there’s more nattering and laughter than knitting!

We were all pleased to see that the refurbishment of the room where we meet is going well – we now have new lighting and windows!

The practice staff are very supportive and have totally embraced knitting too – here is Jon, who managed to find a spare moment to knit in a break from officiating at a swimming gala.

I wonder if he read my post Where Do You Knit?

Where do you knit?

Please note that the car was safely parked, ignition off, handbrake on!

One of the things I love about knitting is that it’s so portable – no bulky equipment required – you can take it almost anywhere. It’s easiest with a reasonably straightforward project, so you don’t need to follow instructions carefully. That way it’s possible to knit the odd few stitches or rows any time you find yourself with time to kill. It works pretty well for me, especially on circular needles, as long as I’m not using stitch markers, which have a nasty habit of dropping on the floor!

That’s why you’ll find me knitting in a supermarket car park on most Thursday mornings. That’s when I take my Mum to do her shopping – I sit and knit while she buys her groceries, much to the amusement of my daughter and her work colleagues. Their office is nearby and I sometimes see them on their way to buy lunch.

I’ve knitted on trains, ferries, in doctor’s waiting rooms and often in the car (always parked), sometimes in places with spectacular views, often in supermarket carparks!

Where do you knit? What is the most unusual place you have ever knitted?