chunky knitted hat

I'm all for intricate knits and now that I'm a more confident knitter I don't tend to go for chunky yarns but last Christmas I wanted to make some quick handmade gifts so I came up with a pattern for a simple chunky hat! It's super quick to knit up and when I remembered that I'd lost my hat on a bus earlier in the year and I was about to holiday in the slightly cold area of Shetland I was grateful to find some chunky yarn in my stash so I could whip one up for myself! 

It keeps my head nice and warm! Sometimes it's all about quick, simple knits! 


floral fever

I've gotten into drawing flowers recently and have been starting to experiment with surface design patterns. These are some of the things that I did when I first started. Above is some dyed papers layered with my drawings + these are some sketches...
I've gone a little bit floral mad, which is odd because as a gardener I'm much more focused on herbs & vegetables. What I want to do next is play around with adding colour and creating surface patterns. So far I've had a play around with making my own brushes in photoshop & using them to create repeat patterns...

daily outfit: 9th October

poncho/cape/scarf combo Dorothy Perkins 
cardigan second hand 
dress handmade (more details) 
tights uniqlo 
shoes converse
bag Matt & Nat 

Me and Matt won some vegan donuts in an Instagram competition (score!) so we spent our Sunday enjoying all the food up in brick lane after collecting them. I'm enjoying that is cold enough to start wearing layers again and wearing red is making me want red hair again (especially when I see my roots from that angle, wow!) 


shetland wool week 2016

This year I decided to leave my career as a Teacher of Art and Textiles and one of the first things I thought after handing my notice in was 'Oh my god! I can finally go to Shetland Wool Week!'. Having long admired other knitters experiences through instagram and blog posts I was finally not restricted as to when I could take a holiday (wool week having always fallen in term time before) so booked my trip! I also booked myself in to a dying workshop with local knitwear designer Nielanell
The workshop was so much fun! We experimented with a range of different techniques; hand painting hanks, immersion dying on the stove, microwaving (!), sprinkling & baking and painting sock blanks. We also worked with a mix of fibres so I've got a lot of stuff to play around with now that I'm home. To be honest it's a good thing I spent the last year trying to downsize my stash as this is what I've come home with... 
Of course I had to make a stop at the two famous yarn produces in Shetland Jamieson and Jamieson & Smith. We even went out to the Jamieson spinning mill, it was amazing to see the jumpers in production on the machines! 

Another place that we came across by accident was Harbour Knitwear in Scalloway. The front of the shop was a beautiful collection of knitwear for sale, then out the back was a mini exhibition set up by the owner of the largest collection I've ever seen of fair isle patterns and swatches. It was insane! I spent quite a while looking through! Sadly (although I completely respect the decision) photography wasn't allowed. I took a photo of the beautiful store front though. 
I would 100% recommend Shetland Wool Week! It was an amazing experience and it's such a beautiful place to visit. We were incredibly lucky with the weather as well and had some beautiful sunny days so throughly enjoyed the scenery, going out for walks, beaches and seeing some awesome wildlife as well, I mean you can't complain if you get to see a seal every day of your trip can you! 


daily outfit: 4th October

Top tee & cake for topshop 
Cardigan  urban outfitter
Skirt  vivienne westwood (oo! a rare flashy piece of clothing) 
Tights  uniqlo 
Shoes Converse 

My first ever daily outfit post... not sure why I've suddenly decided to document things I wear but I had an urge so I'm gonna see how it goes. I'm not sure why I used the term 'daily outfit' either because I already know I will just do this randomly but I guess it's today's outfit anyway! + I'm sorry in advance as if you ever like anything I'm wearing you probably won't be able to buy it as it'll be 5+ years old, secondhand or handmade. Today's all fall into the 5+ years old category. 



April's knit project was to complete my Intrepid Fox! He's been in my work in progress pile for quite a while (Matt got me the kit for Christmas 2014) so it was about time I got this one finished. The pattern is by BomBella designs you can find it on Ravlery if you want to make one too! If you can get the kit it's lovely as the yarn inside is hand dyed by the Skein Queen. The knit itself was not one of my favourites to knit, knitting on double pointed needles in the round on a small scale is fine when I've got a nice day off to knit but it's not my favourite pick up in the evening/take on my commute as it requires me to pay a little bit more attention! Once you get going though it's satisfying to see the little guy coming together! 

Four months in and I'm finding my complete a project a month goal very satisfying. My knits in progress and yarn stash are slowly decreasing in size! Anyway here's my Fox out in the garden enjoying the sunshine... 


baking bread

Well it's been a little while since I used my baking tag on the blog but I think I'm going to have to start using it more often as I'm baking and cooking a lot more and based on the few posts I've shared in the past I'd say I'm getting better at it too! My dad is pretty spectacular at baking bread so recently we spent the day baking together to he could share some tips, recipes and techniques (my kneading pre this day was terrible) and since then I've gotten a lot more confident. The above loafs are white loaves made using a sponge starter. Using a starter was definitely something new for me I've always just used dried yeast but now that I've tried this method I don't think I'll go back. 

Since making these loaves I've been trying a few different types, mostly sourdough. My dad started  two sourdoughs and I happened to be visiting on the day when you cut the starter back to 100g so I took some to continue feeding and baking with. My dad has named them after both my grandparents, which I think is lovely! He started them on the 9th March and was telling me that people keep them going for years so we're gonna see how it goes! I've attempted to make sourdough three times now and I'm tweaking it and learning as I go on and I think improving, thankfully it's been edible each time. Up to now I've always made two loaves from each batch but I think next time I'm going to try one larger loaf to see what happens! This is how I'm getting on so far...