An early Spring.  That’s what we were supposed to have, not day after day of endless grey and cold.  Really, it’s felt like that.  The sun did shine on Saturday afternoon, briefly, it might have been a whole 10 minutes.  I really can’t recall, it was over with too soon.

I’m not in the mood for card making at the moment, but I do have to get my finger out as I have three, yes three, of the dreaded mens cards to make, two for teens and one for my BIL.  Ach, three at once, what did I do to deserve that!

I have been doing something though, apart from sitting by the fire wrapped in a blanket!  Knitting.  I like knitting.  I can take it anywhere with me, well, within reason.  I haven’t knitted outside the house yet, but I have knitted in a few rooms, and I can knit and keep Andrew company at the same time, instead of being shut in my room doing cards.  I’ve been thinking about bringing knitting to work for my lunch break but I’m scared I might suddenly look up, realise it’s time to leave and I’ve spent the entire afternoon knitting!!

So, since Thursday I’ve finally finished this:

And cast on the second one of the pair which is about the same length as the first one was when I took that photo.  I’ve also been collecting and printing patterns for gloves, hats, scarves and cowls.  I’m not done with sock knitting, not by a long shot, but since I finished Andrew’s hat I want to make something else, and socks I can always go back to inbetween other projects.  I also received a pattern from Deb at Country Lovin’ Card Maker for a lace scarf, thanks Deb and sorry for not getting back to you yet!!.  But I like the look of the pattern.

So on Friday evening I looked at my ever expanding yarn stash, and discovered it’s either cotton for dishcloths, fingering weight for socks, ruffle yarn for scarves and a couple of odds and sods that I really don’t know what to do with yet.  Nothing fit my newly printed patterns and I had an itch I needed to scratch!  So on Saturday, after some grocery shopping we went off to Plymouth, a local town about 10 mins South of us that has a lovely lot of ecclectic shops mostly arranged around a large park like square with a central fountain.  In the warmer months it’s beautiful, in the colder months the little restaurants and coffee shops are packed because people still want to come here.  Coffee was our first stop, The Plymouth Coffee Bean, an outstanding independent coffee shop in an old Victorian house, to warm up and partake of a snack too!  I tempted Andrew to come with me with this place, I saw his eyes light up at the prospect!

Quite by chance, after coffee, we bumped in to a work colleague and his wife, and quite by chance they were walking their 13 week old Golden Retriever puppy called Brinkley, who completely melted my heart!  So much so in fact, that I had to go to his desk this morning and ask what his wifes name was!  However I can remember the pups name quite easily which says a lot about me!!

Onwards to the yarn store. Michigan Custom Boutique & Fine Yarns, what an amazing place, I have never seen so much wool/yarn in all my life!  There was a walk up/get help class going on that had participants as young as 10 all the way up to people in their 60’s, I was surprised at the mix.  Another table was conducting a one on one private lesson, and the rest of the store was yarn, yarn and more yarn.  Quite amazing.  I showed the nice lady my patterns and she steered me to a section that was good for what I wanted to do, and even the choice there, in just DK weight was staggering!  In the end I simply couldn’t pick, so I let Andrew do it!  This was his choice:

It’s Malabrigo Arroyo yarn in Colour 870 Candombe, 100% washable Merino Wool.  It’s from Uruguay, quite a lot of the South American yarn was from Uruguay.  I do have my eye on a 50% Llama/cotton mix yarn too, incredibly soft, like goose down, I think I need to visit this place on my own another time!  I also think I might need to take out a second mortgage though!

And this is my pattern, you have to click the link to be taken to Ravelry.  Autumn Garden wrist warmers and cowl.  I’m making the wrist warmers first, if they go well I might go back to the store, get a second skein and make the cowl too.  I started them on Sunday, they’re knit on straight needles, as rectangles and them seemed up the side, leaving a hole for the thumb.  All I’m saying is that knitting in the round has ruined me for ribbing!!  10 rows of K2P2, three attempts to get it right!!  I put in a lifeline of waste yarn after the ribbing as it was looking really bad for the pattern if I couldn’t even manage a bit of ribbing, lol!  The lifeline stops you from pulling out too far if you have to take it off the needles and pull it back.  So I started on the first four pattern rows, having to learn how to make a new stitch as I went.  It went badly as it happened, looked more like I was knitting lace, so after four rows I had to pull it out to the lifeline and start again!  I watched the online videos very closely again and nailed it second time, moved my lifeline up and called it a day!  Four and a half hours for 10 rows of ribbing and 4 of pattern!!  I went back to the sock knitting after this experience, it was amazing how simple they seemed, lol!  The wool is looking really pretty, but the pattern isn’t worthy of a photo yet, not much to see.

So that was my weekend.  About three weeks ago they promised us an early Spring, and yet here I sit, knitting wrist warmers as I think Winter will be here until July this year!  Paper crafting is on hold until the weather improves I think!!  Or perhaps until my attitude towards it improves!