Posts Tagged ‘colour’

This weekend is Wonderwool, so Littlest S&S and I tootled off together yesterday to see what we could see. (Littlest S&S slept pretty much all the way through in her sling, oblivious to all the admiration she garnered. By the end of the day I felt like having ‘My baby is 9 weeks old’ written on my forehead, but that’s what happens when you take a cute baby out, I suppose!) I had plans to meet friends at lunchtime, so once I got the knitting needles I knew I needed, I spent the first hour and a half moseying around, browsing aimlessly and taking photos of all the lovely yarn and fibre. So many pretty colours and lovely textures. Want to see? Of course you do.

Pretty coloured fibre:

Purple yarns aplenty at Fyberspates:

Jubilee yarn at EasyKnits:

Lovely subtle colours at Natural Dye Studio:

Gorgeous threads at Oliver Twist:

Gorgeous natural colours at Jillybean:

Recycled sari yarn:

Silk and sequins:

And some lovely natural fibres:

Then came lunch – a Scotch egg from the marvellous Scotch egg man (he makes lots of different types including a gluten-free version, God bless him) and a chat with some friends, and then more ambling and purchasing until it was time to go home. I tried my very best to be restrained as I absolutely don’t need any more yarn, and was moderately successful. If anything I was even more inspired to use up my stash, as I want to go back next year and be able to stock up on new projects. I saw some utterly beautiful needlefelting:

and the most gorgeous crocheted throw:

and some gorgeous yarns which I long to be able to justify buying.

So, are you wondering what came home with me? Well, a relatively modest haul, for once.

The needles and cable I knew I needed:

Some lovely stitch markers I knew I didn’t, but couldn’t resist:

And um, about that not buying yarn… and especially not laceweight because I have far too much. Well. I bought this:

The photo doesn’t do it justice – it’s called ‘Treacle Toffee’, but I think it’s the colour of new pennies and I’d not seen anything quite like it before. It’s silk and merino laceweight and I tried very hard to be strong, but I kept thinking about it and then I figured that if I was actually taking people to the stand to show them the yarn, I had better buy it. I’m already pretty sure I know what I’m going to make with it. Mr S&S is very rude about it and keeps making remarks about the Bristol Stool Scale, but knickers to him; I think it’s lovely and unusual.

I also picked up this magazine in return for a donation to the Air Ambulance:

I like this pattern for a girl’s coat:

And this shawl:

I also bought some shell buttons and a pattern for a very pretty tie-front cardigan. All in all a good day and apart from the yarn, no real extravagances, which is nice.

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I’m a bit late posting about this, but thought you might like to see some pictures from this year’s Festival of Quilts, held at Birmingham NEC last week. We took the train up, and despite delays, we had a lovely time.

The lighting was much better this year, so I was able to get much better pictures of the Traditional Quilts. Last year I was totally blown away by the art and contemporary quilts, but this year, although there were some amazing quilts on display, I found myself satisfied with a quick glance at most of them. Talking to others, this was the general impression. Maybe last year was an exceptionally good year. However, there were still some lovely pieces of work:

I really liked the colours in this – and the techniques and shapes in the quilting were lovely. (They should show up if you enlarge the picture).

I’m not really one for the Union-Flag-everywhere trend, but I did think this was clever – it’s made up of lots of smaller Union flags, in all orientations. It doesn’t really show in the picture, but the fabric choice is really clever.

The picture didn’t come out brilliantly, but I just loved the colours and movement in this.

I loved this one. I heard some people commenting that ‘it didn’t make sense’ and helpfully pointed out that it was a Welsh alphabet quilt, and did make sense if you spoke Welsh. It was gorgeous – beautifully done and some lovely pictures.

I especially loved this little chap, for ‘Dd is for Ddraig’:

Again, great colours, amazing cutting and sewing and lovely fabrics:

The art history student in me appreciated this one:

And this one was lovely – my second favourite fish quilt of the show.

Because this was my favourite:

Here’s a detail:

I love the combination of shiny, plain and the odd unexpected floral.

But if the art quilts weren’t perhaps as good as last year, the traditional ones (which I adore anyway) were mindblowing. Absolutely amazing. There were also big crowds around some of them, which meant I couldn’t get good photos, but I hope the following will give an idea of what I mean!

I only took one photo of the quilts as they’re displayed – don’t know why as it gives quite a good idea of the scope and range of quilts on display:

The work on this was meticulous.

A lovely take on the traditional hexagon flowers:

This was utterly traditional but the colour choice makes it look fresh and modern, I think.

I love this. I want it for my bed:

Again, great colours and absolutely meticulous cutting and stitching:

I love – and admire – wholecloth quilts, and there were a few on display. They are just breathtaking, in an unassuming way:

And this was the winner in the traditional quilts section. And I can quite see why.

Here’s a detail:

But possibly my favourite quilt was this one, called ‘Becky’s Dresses’:

Beautiful, hand made, hand-smocked dresses, incorporated, very cleverly, into a quilt.

And after the quilts, was the shopping. And oh my, the shopping. I bought quite a bit of fabric that I didn’t need but that I definitely wanted. Including some uber-synthetic black taffeta spangled with multi-coloured shiny stars. I love having kids as an excuse to buy things like that. I hope to be able to show you what I’ve planned for my purchases…

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On Friday, we took a little day trip. Some friends were en route to their holiday in Snowdonia, so we met them halfway at Welshpool. We started off at the Dingle, a lovely garden and nursery. I was very good and didn’t buy any plants (I have too many waiting forlornly in containers while I decide what to do with them) but we had a lovely walk around the gardens and I took lots of pictures. It is an amazing space, not least because it is comparatively small, and on a steep slope, and yet it feels spacious and the planting is lovely. It is mainly shrubs, but the many little paths take you to lovely prospects, cute little bridges and shelters, and interesting specimen plants.

I love paeonies, and this one, ‘Bowl of Beauty‘ is a stunner.

There had been some rain, so I was able to indulge my habit of taking photos of water on leaves, in this case, a rather splendid hosta.

The occasional splashes of colour in among the many shades of green could be quite startling:

I loved the colour of these poppies.


This was some of the planting by the lake:

And one of the little paths:

After a picnic lunch, my friend and I left our children with our husbands and took ourselves off to the Colinette mill, and more importantly, the sale room. I do not need any yarn. I have alluded many times in this blog to my extensive yarn stash. But I defy any knitter, however steely of resolve, to come out of the millshop empty handed. I adore Colinette’s colours – each yarn is available in solids, heathered semi-solids and the most amazing variagated colourways – and a shop full of the stuff is just amazing. Better yet, there’s a room full of yarn which is discounted – in some cases heavily so.


This is some of what somehow found its way into my basket – I have a project in mind and I’m quite excited by it.

I now have to do a lot of knitting and whittle down my stash in order to justify another visit…

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Today I took a little day trip to Presteigne – a very pretty little town, almost on the Wales-England border. One of the nice places to see there is a warehouse of oriental carpets. They have hundreds – all sorts of sizes, from the size of a hearth rug to carpets big enough to cover the drawing room of your local stately home. There’s a variety of designs and every colour imaginable – all piled and stacked and rolled.


Here’s one in the process of repair:


And here you can see the edges of several carpets, all in a pile:




There’s something I call the ‘abundance effect’ – it’s when my eye is caught by a display of something, and the variety of colours is dazzling. It can be a pile of yarns, lovely fabrics, glass vases. I remember a breathtaking display of silk scarves in a shop in Venice. I look for ages, drawn to that purple, this blue, this wonderful pink, this vibrant green. I decide to buy one of whatever it is – but as soon as I pick one up, although it’s still lovely, it loses something when it’s not part of the spectrum of colours. Removed from the context of the display, although it is still beautiful, it loses its impact. And then I realise that I don’t actually want a silk scarf or a glass vase – what I want to take home is a little bit of that abundance, that colour.

So it is with these carpets. Even if I could afford one (which at the moment, I cannot) I wouldn’t be able to choose. What I love is the abundance of colour, texture, shape and design. And fortunately, the owners of the carpet shop are happy for people like me to come and enjoy that for nothing.

There were more lovely things downstairs … and I’ll tell you all about those tomorrow.

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