And what a busy craft-filled weekend it was!
In my first blog post I mentioned my friend Ellie whose adorable rabbit I had the pleasure of looking after over Christmas. She has recently moved house in Manchester and was throwing a house-warming-party-night-out combo on the Saturday. So obviously we decided I should go down Friday and stay through till Sunday to ensure we had time to knit and be giddy and watch terrible chick-flicks with hot chocolates in the most cliché way humanly possible.
I should probably preface this entire post with a couple of facts:
- Ellie and I have been the best of friends for eight years;
- Despite accidentally going years without seeing one another.
- Ellie is the most excitable person ever.
Since Ellie is relatively new to the whole knitting and crocheting she has bags upon bags of handed down supplies and a couple of magazine subscriptions. So of course the first port of call was to go through everything and get super giddy. I answered some questions, tried my best to identify yarn, and most importantly gave Ellie her house-warming gifts which I got in the Knit Nottingham sale! I swear by circular needles so it only made sense to get her a few sizes and some dpns. Picking yarn was much more difficult. Since we’re from Yorkshire she needed some Masham DK. The superwash kind to simplify things as I could only get one ball of black. I know one 50g ball can’t really do much by itself but it was 100% wool, and from Yorkshire, and therefore perfect as an accent with another DK. There was three balls of Schachenmayr Boston, Granite Marl, in the sale bin which just seemed perfect for a hat. Which was the perfect project to learn magic loop with. I think it’s safe to say Ellie loved it! And a hat was indeed cast on that very night!
The pattern called for double knit, and the magazine did not feel like helping and providing a gauge, so there was a lot of guess work with the chunky Boston. Especially since we weren’t using the recommended needle size, but that’s fine. For some reason Ellie trusted my guessing and off she went ribbing whilst I worked on the second sleeve of my current WIP.
After pottering around the house and seeing to Beans we headed in to town with loose plans of going to the Northern Quarter and a place called Ziferblat. The Northern Quarter was lovely. Full of independent shops with an incredible range of crafts. Of course we were drawn to &made after seeing knitting and sewing through the windows. We had a lovely conversation with the owner before I settled on this adorable pin cushion! She had so many beautiful things but this was the only one of my narrowed-down-choices that I couldn’t see making for myself.
We then wandered through prints, pillows, paintings, compositions, sewing, and jewelry. The Magpie’s Daughter had some gorgeous necklaces in their window, among other things, but since I recently decided I would start wearing necklaces I find myself drawn to them. After a considerable amount of indecision I chose this honey comb design and I love it!
I feel I was quite reserved in my ‘souvenir’ purchasing, but really happy with my two little things. Because if you’re going to buy souvenirs why not also help out independent shops?
After all this we really needed refreshments and headed to the mystical Ziferblat. Have any of you been to one of these places? I believe there’s only three in the country. You pay for your time there, so you check in and out, but you don’t pay for any of the things made available to you. Which includes coffees, teas, juices, fresh juices, water with fruits in, bread, toasting, cakes, biscuits, cheese bites, and just delicious things. There’s a whole bunch of board games and Lego, a piano and a CD player. Even tables where you can sit if you’re happy to talk and strangers will come and sit and do just that. I really quite enjoyed it. It was a really nice environment to relax in and get some knitting done. Oh, and you have to do your washing up afterwards!
And then it was home to get ready for people arriving and then I’m not going to lie, I can’t recall all the details that followed, other than staying in the club till closing at like five am or something. It was a really great night though, I got to see an old friend and make new ones whilst doing jelly shots and apple sours in the cutest shot glasses ever!
Despite the very late night, and being really confused why Ellie would be awake and talking to me at nine am, I surfaced at ten and climbed in to Ellie’s bed with mild regret. Though I rather quickly forgot about this when we started some card crafting! I’d never done it before and after seeing pictures of some of Ellie’s previous creations I was super excited to give it a go, so long as I didn’t have to get out of bed. Whilst making cards is great, I imagine it would be less fun without all the supplies and equipment Ellie has so I don’t think I’ll be making a habit of it. Sadly I can’t show you the card yet as it hasn’t been gifted. Though I’m ridiculously proud of it so I’m sure I’ll post a picture once it’s found it’s way to the recipient. Of course knitting and girly films followed this. I can no longer say I haven’t seen Mean Girls or Legally Blonde one and two. Did you know there’s two of those? Crazy.
Since Ellie had work her brother and I, mostly her brother, cleaned up the debris from the party before making the most tolerant pancakes ever. Between my lactose intolerance and his celiac disease it seemed like quite the novel creation. Delicious though. And of course, once Ellie got home we spent the evening knitting under blankets. And the hat was not only finished but sewn up, fit well, and looked adorable!
After spending the morning with Beans and doing some uni work I went in to Manchester town in the afternoon for a bit of a wander before heading to Pieminister to wait for Ellie to finish work. I was super early so had a good chunk of knitting time spent getting envying everyone else and their food!
I didn’t realise we had one in Nottingham either! If you like pie I really cannot recommnd it enough. We had planned to go see Deadpool after but we were both tired and not feeling it so we went home to knit instead. Do you see the pattern here?
Since the hat was finished Ellie needed to start a new project. And being the great friend I am I really suggested doing the flat lace pattern she liked in one of her magazines… on 3mm… using only a chart… and a provisional cast on. You’ve got to challenge yourself right? And what better time to do it than when there’s someone on hand who can fix and explain things? Although there actually is a better time than after nine when you’ve been up since seven and worked all day. So understandably there was a couple of hiccups. Less excitingly, I finished my second sleeve and did a couple of rows of my front.
With it being the last night we had to watch another chick flick and have one last hot chocolate with marshmallows! So now I have also seen The Devil Wears Prada, which was not at all what I was expecting to be honeset. I didn’t do much knitting because I have a love-hate relationship with the lace pattern of this jumper. Despite only being four rows long, two of which are just purls, I just could not get it right when I first began this project. So that’s kind of overcast the whole thing despite not making any mistakes when I picked it up on Tuesday.
Thursday was the last day of Ellie’s old house contract so we got up super early and made sure everything was sorted with that and we ready to meet the guy at the house for him to inspect it. But I just stayed in the car and untangled the fine mess her yarn had managed to work itself into as one final parting gift. And then it truly had been too long since I’d knitted a sock so that’s how I spent my train ride home with this beautiful Arne and Carlos colour way for Regia.
I thought separating it into days would be the easiest and best approach but then I started it and realised the whole week had melted into a big singular memory! In any case I had an amazing break from life and miss both Ellie and Beans. Even if Beans did try to get in to my Belvita biscuits.
Thank you to Ellie for pictures and letting me invade her house for a week. And what better thanks is there than featuring this adorable picture?