Tuesday, 20 March 2012

New Knitting Wool - and Spring Flowers!

This is the yarn for my baby jumpers, heading for Cavern4. Each jumper will be mostly cream, with stripes of either Mint or Mulberry - I hope they'll be nice. Mind you, they are currently taking second place to my on-going crochet dress project. I'm hoping that this evening's trip to Knit and Natter at Lavenham's Cafe Knit will help me to make headway! Easter seems to be looming large and I don't want to be crochetting in the passenger seat, while the Lady Friend hurtles along the A428....

Mum's daffodils  - and sticky buds! A family tradition - and what you get for being the daughter of a primary school teacher! The buds are from the horse chestnut in my parents' garden and are, along with the daffs, such a lovely sign of Spring.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Journeys through the light exhibition at Hungate Medieval Art, Norwich.

Yes, this picture makes Norwich look rather dark and dreary - but, in fact it was just that, yesterday. Still - I wanted to see the new Journeys Through The Light exhibition at the Hungate Medieval Art centre in Norwich. The centre itself is tucked away in a corner, just a few streets from that centre of Norwich, Jarrolds Department Store- but it feels like it's a lot further away from the 21st century than that. The ancient pargetted houses of Elm Hill are just round the corner:
I have been there before, when the exhibition was of medieval stained glass from Norfolk churches. That had all been removed and loaned elsewhere, but the multi-media exhibition, their first modern show, was interesting to see. I must say that some pieces didn't strike me as quite as inventive as their medieval inspirations - but there was a really striking video installation, called Light by Susan Bowman, which showed light rays flickering and beaming across the dark background - there was something quite mesmerising and contemplative about this, and it benefitted, I think, from being in a contemplative setting. If the medieval stained glass windows were attempts by artists to communicate their understanding of God, then perhaps this does the same: it reminded me of pictures illustrating how the Big Bang might have looked - and perhaps that, too, complements a modern Christian's faith today. The space in the church is fantastic, and they have some beautifully produced leaflets showing where in Norfolk medieval stained glass can be found. There is always something thought-provoking on display. I hope they continue to show contemporary, exploratory pieces as well as the stained glass. You can find out about the exhibition - and the centre - below:

I spent the afternoon rummaging for knitting wool in Jarrolds and having a lovely lunch with an old friend - so the perfect mixture of high and low brow pursuits!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Knitting up the Loose Ends - and a Scary New Crochet Project

This is the week that I really am a Completer-Finisher: green jumper done, and now this scarf, which I've been knitting on and off for ages, is done, too.  The yarn is King Cole Comfort Aran; it's a 70% Acrylic, 30% wool mix. I bought it at Wibbling Wools because of the colour: the photo doesn't do it justice, but it's a gorgeous teal colour. Quite economical, too - the comically huge ball was only £11, and there's a third of it left. The pattern is from one of my favourite blogs: from the New York knitting shop, Purl Soho. This fantastic blog has numerous free patterns with excellent instructions and their photos are so stylish:

Now, the next project is rather intimidating: to crochet a bridesmaid dress in a month.  I bought the new Debbie Bliss book, Simply Crochet, at Cafe Knit and on the cover is a beautiful slip dress.... which I've somewhat recklessly resolved to crochet as my bridesmaid's dress for one of my best friends' weddings on Easter Saturday. I keep telling people that "crochet is mostly holes", but now that I have to start the project, I'm not quite so sure....

Sunday, 4 March 2012

I Venture Cross-Country to Cafe Knit!

Yesterday, I headed off, clutching my OS maps, for a trundle around Suffolk (partly unintentional), to meet up with my friend, Steph Knits,  in Lavenham at this gorgeous cafe.  Victoria Beech opened this cafe, on the High Street, in November and it is just lovely. I don't know Lavenham that well, but it was beautiful on this sunny, Spring day: all gorgeous, ancient, timber framed houses and wide, grass lined streets - and it has masses of free parking! The cafe is in a prime position, looking out on picture-postcard houses.

Inside, the walls are lined with wool, tending towards the classier makes: Debbie Bliss, Louisa Harding etc. In this picture, just by the till, are balls of fantastic DK wool produced in Orford, by sheep farmed (I think) on National Trust Land. I saw these advertised on Cafe Knit's website and I want to plan something to knit with them: it's a shame if all wool comes from Turkey or Peru. Lavenham's history is in the English wool trade, so it seems appropriate that Victoria stocks local wool!

Now: the coffee. I'm always apprehensive about this part - I really want to like a cafe, especially if it's an independent - *especially* if it stocks wool... but I am prepared to make a mental note to have peppermint tea next time, rather than endure watery, murky 'coffee' .... but, luckily, Cafe Knit did not disappoint - phew!

Can you see the word, "Gaggia", on this machine?! Hooray! The cappucino was just what I was hoping for: dark, bitter and strong. Fabulous. I'm glad I didn't wimp out and opt for a lemonade. I didn't have a cake because I'd, er, only just had a few pains au chocolat for breakfast - but they looked lovely too.

Back to the wool: lovely leaf-green Louisa Harding wool for gloves in the sale? Check. Pattern for crochet bridesmaid dress currently under discussion with bride? Check. Unnecessary but cute reuseable cloth bag advertising said cafe? Check.

Steph Knits goes pretty much every Saturday; the Lady Friend may not agree, but  -  I want to join her!