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New Pattern: Sand Dollar Dish Cloth

Sand Dollar Dish cloth

 

Sand Dollar Dish cloth

 

Sand Dollar Dish cloth

Sand Dollar Dish cloth
Sand Dollar Dish Cloth Pattern £1.50

 

This is the Sand Dollar Dish Cloth. I’ve been knitting and using these cloth for about a year and I’m still completely addicted to them. They use about half a 50g ball of DK cotton* so you can get a nicely matching pair from one ball, or just use up those bits and pieces of DK cotton that seem to collect in everyone’s stash.

There are knit from the outside in, which means that seem to speed up the more you knit them! No. More. Boring. Dishcloth. Knitting!

The trickiest bit is the cast on, and making sure the first row isn’t twisted. After that it’s a race to the end. :) They’re perfect for carrying around in your bag, or car knitting, since the pattern is easy to read once you’ve established it. And the finished cloth is the ideal dish cloth or wash cloth size.

They have become my default dish cloth, as they are the perfect size for getting the washing up done, and when they need a thorough cleaning they machine wash and wear really well.

I hope you enjoy knitting them. I can’t wait to see what they look like!

 

 

 

 

*(I know! My first pattern that’s not free and it’s not even in OxfordKitchenYarns yarn!)

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Oliver and S Rollerskate Tunic

 

Oliver and S Rollerskate Tunic

After the Festival of Quilts last Saturday, I was itching to try out the Oliver and S Roller skate dress pattern I picked up. I couldn’t use any of the new fabric I bought because it was all drying on the line, and I wanted to check the size and fit before committing new shiny fabric to the pattern so I looked through the stash and found these two fabrics, plus an old shirt of W’s for the lining. The pattern came together really well, and it was the first time I’d done a notched neckline.

I’m really pleased with the final top, and LR has worn it twice an really likes it, even though it’s not a colour she would usually pick. So I’m calling it a success!

There are more of these in my future, I can see, and I’ll be picking up the bigger sized pattern too, since LR is going to size out in the next year or so.

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Festival of Quilts 2014!

The post-festivalof quilts fabric wash

The post-festival of quilts fabric wash

This year was the first time in 6 years(!) that I was neither pregnant, nor had a small baby with me at the festival of quilts. It was strangely liberating. :)

After all this time, Jaq and I have our trip down to a fine art. We arrive as the show is starting on the saturday, we don’t buy a programme so we have no idea where anything is, we go up and down the aisles, and take photos of the booth numbers when we find a place we want to go back to, we ignore the quilts completely (sorry!), and when we arrive at The Eternal Maker‘s booth, we spend a bit of money, and then stop for lunch. (In the last couple of years we have learned to take a packed lunch with us. This saves time, and money.)

Then we carry on where we left off, looking at the rest of the booths, then we go back and hit all the places we want to go back to, including dropping more money at The Eternal Maker. If we need anything from Doughty‘s then we do that last. At about 3.30pm we look at each other and say ‘are we done?’ and then we go home. We get home before W and the children come back from whatever they are doing, have a drink and a snack and a sit down and go through all the things we have bought.

This year (probably due to it being just the two of us, as I said), felt really relaxed. The walk ways between rows of booths felt wider, and though it was busy it didn’t feel squished. We both bought great stuff – I got some great pompom kits for the children (which I’ll do a post on after I give them to them), and Jaq got a brilliant ruler and foot set for quilting.

As for the fabric – the yellow flowered piece is going to be a curtain for the back room, there are camera and Charlie Harper trousers for FB, a toucan dress in the pipeline of LR, and a snail top for HB. Plus honey bee’s and princess’s and peas, and grey and yellow linen that will be made into good things over the next year.

It’s always so exciting to go to the festival for me. I feel like a buyer for my own tiny home label – it really is a good 80-90% of the fabric I’ll be using for the year, it’s the trousers and shorts and dresses that my children will be wearing in the next year or so, and most of it is picked in a frantic 20 minutes in The Eternal Maker booth. I love it! And I can’t wait to do it next year!

 

(Note for readers – I’m not affiliated with any of the companies I’ve mentioned. I don’t make any money off them. I just really like them. )

 

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updated exhibit poster

(I really liked it.)

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updated exhibit poster

Rachel setting up at Oxford Cathedral

Rachel setting up at Oxford Cathedral

I don’t do many commissioned dye lots right now, as a general. It’s something I stopped advertising through the shop* once life here started getting filled with small children.

But every so often a request comes through that is too interesting to turn down.

Would I like to dye nearly 11,000m of yarn for an artist who is exhibiting at the Cathedral? YES!

So off to the woad pots I went on a wet sunday afternoon, and tonight I get to see what has become of the yarn. It’s very exciting, especially having seen the test pieces, and wallowed in the colours (oh woad, I do love your magical soul!)

 

 

*Shop update: having currently neither the time nor the patience for zencart I have moved OxfordKitchenYarns to etsy. I’m planning to open the shop in the next month. More news to follow.

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It is what it is.

 

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Poor OxfordKitchenYarns. With small children to look after, family has had to come first this year. The last few years have been a cycle of dyeing while pregnant, going on maternity leave and then coming back to restart things (yet again) but with the added excitement of another baby to add into the mix.

This is not a precursor to announcing I’m pregnant by the way, it’s a just a reflection on the fact that in November OKY will be seven years old (!) and, here I am, feeling like I’m (re)starting up again.

Regardless of all the starting and stopping, and the wonderful and exhausting chaos of family life with three children under six, I’ve never thought of giving up. The idea of not dyeing, not exploring all the amazing and surprising things that come out of my dye pots, has never struck me as an option. I love dyeing yarn. I love making things from my yarn and selling my yarn, and seeing all the things that other people make from it.

So yes, it’s been a hard winter, a wet winter full of many niggly small child illnesses, back to back grown-up colds and not enough time at the dye pots. It’s been a spring that’s flown by in a blur. But now it is summer, and my baby is now a small person in her own right. The sky is mostly blue, and there are designs on the needles, and yarn in the dye.

I’m starting over yet again, a little older, and little wiser and still in love with my tiny yarn business.

Thanks for sticking by me. I’ve lots of fun things to show you.

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Merry Christmas!

Wow December has been a battle of lurgy verses Christmas preparations. Ultimately lurgy pretty much won, throwing down a vomiting bug that took out 4 out of the 5 of us last week and meant that most of our cards have not gone out, including all the local ones.

Plus the only parcel that needs to go out hasn’t even really been started.- The cake that’s supposed to go in it isn’t even baked, so that’s something that will happen next week and get to my great aunt between Christmas and New Year.

But there are presents and food in the house, we don’t have to travel anywhere, and hopefully we’ll all be back to 100% by wednesday, so maybe, in the end Christmas has won after all!

Two bits of Oxford Kitchen Yarns newsDarn it and Stitch are getting a regular and stable supply of Oxford Kitchen Yarn into their shop, so right now, if you want some OKY yarn then they are your best bet.

(There isn’t much of the Chunky left for this year, so if you want some of that, better get their sooner rather than later, because I think I have about 5 skeins left to give them till next winter.)

And, in the new year, I’ll work on getting a new and improved online shop open, and regularly stocked. Finally! (again.)

Many thanks to all my customers, both old and new! I really appreciate you supporting my business, especially through another funny year of having a baby. I’m excited about all the new dyes (and YARNS!) I’ve got in the pipelines for next year.

 

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Yarn Preview!

Yarn!

More soon!

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As Promised – First Knitting in Months!

alpaca and merino hat for Aichbee

It was too hot, and Aichbee was too small, for me to be knitting very much this summer.

I did knit her a cardigan, which I finished while we were in Lyme Regis. However it somehow got mixed up in the giant pile of washing that came home with us and was shrunk in the wash. So sad. So I went back and bought the exact same yarn with the intention of knitting it again. I should start that soon to be honest.

However this is the hat that has just come off my needles. It’s a mixture of DK Toft Alpaca and some old Rowan merino which I once knit a jumper from. It was a mindless knit, small enough to get on and off the needles quickly despite the busy-ness of everyday life. And it looks wonderful with her new winter coat.

There is enough of both yarns for me to knit her some mittens to match, which are currently on my needles.

Next up – according to Ellarr – is a hat for her. In blue.  (Hopefully I’m getting to the point when I can start shopping from myself again and knit it in Oxford Kitchen Yarn.)

Talking of which, here is a sneak preview of this autumn’s dyeing…

sneakpeek for autumn

 

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Monday: A List of Things

homemade kite(The amazing kite Efbee made.)

A short list of things:

  • Autumn is my favourite time of year
  • But I’m not ready for it to be Autumn this year (probably because…)
  • We had a lovely Summer (even though…)
  • We didn’t do very much
  • We played at the park a lot and saw our friends
  • We set up a friday afternoon children’s craft meet up with a handful of other families
  • It was great
  • Now it is September we are officially a home educating family
  • And Ellarr has started at the same nursery that Efbee went to (and loved)
  • Aichbee is sitting up, eating with us at the table, cutting teeth, charming EVERYONE
  • I AM DYEING YARN AGAIN!
  • There will be yarn in stock at Darn it and Stitch by the end of the month (stay tuned!)
  • There will be Sock, DK, Aran and Chunky
  • I am planning to open my online shop again soon.
  • But it needs lots of work doing to it before that can happen
  • I am knitting (a hat for Aichbee that I will photograph and post about later this week)
  • sewing (fleece trousers for the winter for Efbee)
  • and gearing up to spin an important project (with a Christmas deadline)
  • we are also baking along with the Great British Bake Off
  • I left a bit of my heart it Lyme Regis this summer
  • We’re hoping to go back to check on it again in the spring
  • the image below amuses me a great deal
  • because – really – I’m still a bit of a child ;)

a left a bit of my heart in lyme regis(Dorset Knob Biscuits *snirk*)

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