Counting sheep

January has ended and what a month it was. Weather, health and circumstances have played their part in my commitment to updating our blog. I could count on one hand the times we have been out and it isn’t difficult to count how many clicks I used up on my DSLR. 

I have had so many thoughts and ideas but sometimes my confidence or lack of it holds me back from expressing them. My blog today is taking a different slant and doesn’t include our usual repertoire of nature photographs. I feel we all take time to give thought to what we are doing as the year closes and a new year commences and in my case thoughts are still ongoing and some decisions still need to be made. I guess a lot of us feel run down at this time of year and for the first time I know the grim weather has had an effect on how I feel but I wouldn’t dwell on this as I have found going back to hand crafts is proving an excellent source of help to me. My now retired doctor always encouraged me to keep my focus on creativity and yes, this advice has proved its worth today.

I trust even if my photographs of knitting projects aren’t the reason for coming to our blog that everyone will understand when I get through some difficult days ahead and hopefully the weather improves we will have more to share of our adventures and the fun we have even when we come home extremely tired!

I must add that being involved in knitting and Ravelry online has added a new dimension to social sharing as people who love craft just enjoy viewing each others work and being inspired without leaving me feeling anxious about posting openly online. I have received some lovely messages and the kindest gestures from people I only know through the groups I enjoy in Ravelry.

I completed a Sheep Heid by Kate Davies in December and went on to stumble my way through trying to knit mittens to match using elements of the design. My notebook on Ravelry shows the headaches I had but eventually I knit mittens which I can wear but would hope to perfect from the lessons I learned while knitting them. I was knitting with pure Shetland wool which isn’t dyed and represents nine colours of the sheep in Shetland. I love this wool and the way the colours blend making an outfit for me with the tam and the mittens.

In January I set my plans to attempt to knit another of Kate’s designs Rams and Yowes. A blanket or throw which is proving to be most enjoyable although I am prepared to ‘eek!” a lot as the blanket is knit on circular needles and currently doesn’t look like a blanket. The secret is in knitting extra stitches in the round ‘steek’ stitches which I will then have to reinforce with a crochet hook and then hold my breath and dad may just leave home as I have to cut right up the middle of my blanket and then create a ‘steek sandwich’ picking up a lot of stitches around each edge to knit the border on several sets of long circular needles. I possibly have lost you when trying to explain this but ultimately if my stitches don’t unravel I will have learned how to steek which is something that fills me with fear yet I need to learn this technique as Kate has some beautiful patterns for cardigans which all need to be steeked! I will be thankful when I reach the iCord bind off and hope I can then enjoy the warmth of the blanket which will be super warm as the stranded design adds layers of warmth. The blanket will have 120 yowes and 48 rams when completed.

I haven’t stopped planning my knitting as I have a kit to knit Kate’s Deco cardigan (dad is the skein winder) and have just received more Shetland wool to knit Kate’s Scatness tam which my good friend has started so I am already behind! I think I have more needles than most shops have in stock!

I may upload photos of the colour I will be knitting Deco in and the hat I knit, another of Kate’s designs which use one of the colours in stranded work.

Thank you for reading and understanding our blog will go on but just at the moment I have added a different type of post. Beverley