In Search of Sunshine


We have returned (at last) from a slightly longer than planned dash around the UK looking for the sunshine. It is raining here. This explains why we were away for a little longer than we planned.

We have seen castles and mountains and gardens and lakes and beaches and the sea; And the Cumbrian Pencil Museum. Finally we are at home.

I have lots of wonderful pictures and stories to tell of our expeditions but for now, shall we cut to the good stuff – the crafting!

All the travelling means two things: (a) H drives and (b) I knit and read the map, which has an end product of a fair amount of knitting time.

My main knitting project this week was (another) little elephant. You must know by now that I show my appreciation for a really good pattern by knitting it at least three times (think Alphabet Blankets and Baby Surprise Jackets). This is the final little Ysolda Elephant for a while, and happily she gets to live with us for a couple of weeks before heading off to befriend a very special little girl.
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I cast on as we set off for Scotland on Sunday, and put the finishing touches in place in the car on the way back from the Lake District. She has been to castles, to beaches, and most importantly, to Hill Top, and for that, her name is Beatrix:

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Peggy, who will be her new best friend, is about to turn three and it struck me that a three-year old might rather enjoy dressing Beatrix so she needed some clothes.

As she is named for Peter Rabbit’s creator, it seemed right to give her a Peter Rabbit blue jacket (using the same pattern as for Arthur), and some leftover stripy fabric from my Swallows and Amazons cushions turned into a pretty skirt.

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For more informal days, a pinafore dress is de rigeur for a little elephant – this one is knitted to the dress pattern for Poppy from Whimsical Little Knits in Baby Cashmerino left over from Peggy’s own dress (which very probably no longer fits her – the matching Baaa the sheep is at least one size fits all!)

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Beatrix has settled in very well to our little family of elephants; she is casting covetous glances towards H’s painting and drawing stash so I think he might have to keep a weather eye open. She has also developed a decided taste for lettuce!

Before we went to the Lakes we chased the summer up as far as Edinburgh and spent a few days staying with H’s sister who has fallen down a beading and jewellery making rabbit hole.

Never one to pass up on the opportunity to acquire another stash, I mean skill, I asked for lessons and we took a wonderful trip to the Little Bead Shop in Edinburgh for supplies. And here are the fruits of my labour:

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A bracelet of flowers which matches my crazy stripy skirt;

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And a set of earrings to match!
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My favourite part is the fish hidden among the flowers – totally random and yet it seems perfectly right somehow! It also gives me the chance to tease H – we were walking along a country lane while I was wearing the bracelet and he spent some considerable time looking at the hedge to work out what sort of cricket or other bug was lurking there before he realised it was the soft rattle of glass flowers.

I have a spare bracelet base and a good collection of beads so I suspect that this will not be my last bracelet by some way!

And in all of these things new and old there must be a constant, and here it is:

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The sum total of my sock knitting in the last two weeks!

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