Marmalade Mysteries

My local yarn store has started its own hand dyed yarn line. They’re all named after Agatha Christie novels, characters and places.  What’s not to love! At present they’re all on 4ply sock. The house yarn ‘A Murder is Announced’ in regular and self striping sock.

‘Sleeping Murder’, One of a kind colourway, ‘Greenway House’

The orange is ‘Evil under the sun’ and the blue ‘Murder on the Orient Express’

Basket of loveliness!

AAAAND! Maxine died this for me for my birthday! 

And they’re doing stitch markers.  I love this one

Fab 😊

Knitting · Yarn

New yarn! 

I went a little crazy in the Countess Ablaze online store last week! This Aran weight one-of-a-kind colour way is intended to be a new Woolly Wormhead hat pattern: 

And these are due to be a Stephen West Starburst shawl:Grey with neon speckles. I’m in love. 

I’ve already cast on the hat – I’m doing the Fabales pattern – but I will save the shawl until my holiday in January (probably!).

Isn’t the yarn glorious?! 

Family & friends · Yarn


There’s the non edible type. 


Making the cakes: 

And the finished cakes! 

Back left Countess Ablaze, Lord Kitchener’s Lace in colour way Bad Girls Club; back middle, Devon Sun Yarns, Aran in colour way Spring Rainbow; back right Cat and Sparrow fibres, DK in colour way Great Ocean Road; front left Mothy & The Squid, sock yarn in colour way Hummingbird Stripes; front right Mothy & The Squid, sock yarn in Grey Skies, Rainbow Brite. 😊

And then of course there’s edible cake! 

It was my Mum’s birthday. My niece decorated the cake. She operates on the family principle of More Is More…

Yes my Mum is that age and no, she really doesn’t look it. (Side note I take after my Dad…)

Friends · Yarn

Where Claire buys yarn

Some friends came to visit today to go to the Frome Independent Market. One friend had offered for sale these two wonderful skeins of Devon Sun Yarns Aran weight, which I snapped up because I want to make my stepgranddaughter another Entrechat Cardigan in this colour way!  

While we were wandering about the market we came upon a new-to-me independent dyer ‘Cat & Sparrow Fibres’ 

There was no chance I was going home without some! I did love the pinky orange at the top left but it was lace, so I chose the blue at top right. It’s DK weight and called ‘Great Ocean Road’. Gurt lush! 

We finished the day off with flapjack and ginger cake in my garden. Just perfect. 

Knitting · Yarn

A new project 

I’ve been inspired to pick up my knitting needles again by this pattern by Corrine Walcher: 

It’s made in lace weight and reviewing my stash I didn’t have enough lace to make it. Do having thought seriously about the self imposed yarn buying ban and also that this is the first thing I’ve actually wanted to knit for several months, I decided to buy enough lace to make this cardigan. 

And this happened: 

2 skeins of lace wth some silk content for drape. Can wait to cake up and start! 

Knitting · Lace · Lace shawl · Yarn

Boo Knits MKAL

I’ve been excited about the Boo Knits April Mystery Knitalong ‘Danse Macabre’ for as long as I’ve known about it. I persuaded my friend Salpal to join in, I picked my yarn, I bought the beads, I bought a new project bag specially (this is slightly excessive but I did want a new one) and I noted it in my diary. I didn’t check I had the needles because I have a whole huge tin of circular needles and of course I had what I needed. 


Turns out I don’t own a 3.75mm circular. (Well I do, but a 40cm one for knitting hats isn’t going to get me very far.) So last night I ordered the correct needle and paid for next day delivery to get it on Saturday. 😱

Salpal has already started! Being in the US she got the first clue on Thursday evening… I’m not VERY envious at all. 

Anyway, I’m mostly ready.  

I will be using some gorgeous I Knit Or Dye London 50% silk, 50% baby camel (!) lace weight in a semi solid pink. This yarn is GORGEOUS to touch and squish. I’ve had it for a few years and I’ve been saving it for the perfect project. Which would appear to be this one! 

I’m making it for my sister. I gave her this choice:  

 She picked the pink. You’ll notice it isn’t the pink I’ll be using. That’s because the pink in the choice picture was actually a skein I bought for and gave to my friend Maxine for Christmas! I accidentally used the wrong photo. I don’t think Gayle will notice or indeed mind. 

My Mum said she liked the orange. I am suffering a real temptation to make her one too. I do have orange beads… I might cake the yarn up just in case I have time. Yes it’s a bonkers idea, but it might just come off. 


Yarny luck

My 2016 yarn diet has been well documented. I am fully intending not to buy any yarn unless I’m abroad or spending a voucher I’ve been given during 2016. As I’ve said before my stash is large and I’d like to get it a little more under control! 

So, although I did have a little splash out in Amsterdam, you can imagine my real joy when I heard I had won an Instagram giveaway! I just love owning yarn, as much for its own sake as what I can make with it! 

I haven’t been following Yan-Tan-Tethera Yarns (@yantantetherayarns) for long, but her colours are GLORIOUS and the giveaway gifts were fabulous. They’re all pictured below. A really thoughtful selection of yarn, notions and treats!  

 But while the whole parcel was wonderful, I must tell you how gorgeous the yarn is. 

The blue skein is  70% Bluefaced Leicester, 20% silk and 10% cashmere! I feels so soft and luxurious. And the colour is a delightful semi solid, rich in some places, paler in others. I can’t wait to cast on with this, it’s destined to be a really lovely beaded shawl. 

The second skein is this thing of joy and beauty!   

I had expected to love the other skein best as I adore blue, but there’s something about this combination of colours that just makes my heart sing. I keep smooshing it too! This one is a sock yarn with 20% nylon and 5% sparkle! It’s called ‘Star Struck’. Well I am with this yarn. No plans for it yet. This is a skein to savour. 

Please do check out the Yan-Tan-Tethera Yarns website; they’re on Etsy too. Beautiful yarn, highly recommended. 

Travel · Yarn


Damon likes to go away for his birthday and this year we decided to go to Amsterdam for a change. (We normally go somewhere warm. It wasn’t warm!) 

Damon invited my Mum to come with us. Here we all are on the plane (You can see from the pictures that I take after my Dad!!) 

Our hotel, Hotel Eresthea on the Singel Canal. It was LOVELY!  
Look how pretty the bar is!  

We visited the Palace on Dam Square, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum…  

 Mum and I are both wearing hand knit hats and Damon is wearing a hand knit scarf by our friend Caz! 

We had some lovely meals:   

On our last day Damon went to the Dutch Resistance Museum while Mum and I went to Rembrandt’s house. 

After we’d enjoyed that we went to Stephen West’s co-owned yarn store ‘Stephen & Penelope’ on Neuwe Hoogstraat – I was VERY excited!  
I saw the original Doodler shawl:  

And I made a few judicious purchases!  

Some Malabrigo Rios in colour ways Plomo and English Rose…

To make this cowl. I need to learn brioche stitch first: 

A skein of Hedgehog Fibres Skinny Singles in a custom colour way for Stephen & Prnelope called ‘Bike Bell’: 

And two skeins of lace in Delft pottery colours (it seemed appropriate!)  

A perfect trip really! 

Family & friends · life · Yarn

Taking Stock

Kathryn inspired me with her blog post on this subject, as she was by other people. It’s that time of year when you think about the past and future… 

So, without further ado, here’s my taking stock. 

Making: a pink knitted bolero for my niece in Rowan Cocoon and a lace scarf for my line manager’s birthday in Devon Sun Yarns’ Dazzler. 

Cooking: tomorrow I’ll be making chilli and a fruit pie for when D’s son and his family arrive for a visit. 

Drinking: mostly Prosecco and Baileys over the holidays. Not together! Presently indulging in some diet 7up. 

Wanting: my house to always be as tidy as it is now all the time with minimum effort (a girl can dream!) 

Looking: at a contented snoring Labrador lying under the Christmas tree! 

Playing: a board game called Mexican Train with my nephew & niece. 

Deciding: to read more history. I love it and have neglected it for knitting and audio books. I need to read more in 2016. 

Wishing: to really get to grips with being a vegetarian with a nut allergy who due to a bowel condition needs to eat a low (possibly no) lactose and low wheat diet. A friend gave me a book called ‘Deliciously Ella’, which is an offshoot of a blog of the same name, for Christmas which I hope will give me inspiration. 

Enjoying: not having to get up early! This is partly due to me being a night owl and finding it hard to go to bed at 11pm to get up at 6.30am. I prefer bed at 1am and getting up at 8.30am!

Waiting: to be inspired by my current knitting. I really wanted to knit with this yarn and I like the pattern but I’m not LOVING it. And I’m nearly finished!  


Liking: the laziness of the Christmas holiday period, when it’s OK to sit about reading or knitting! 

Wondering: whether I can be as organised about my knitting as I’m planning. Earlier this year I made myself a plan of what I wanted to make before Christmas and, by and large, I’ve achieved it. I have decided in 2016 to be more organised and work out what I want to make. The plus side is I’ve worked out what yarn I need – and it’s all in my stash! Of course, if I want to vary it I can, it’s not going to be set in stone. The only thing I have decided is not to buy any yarn in 2016. The only exception is if I’m spending a voucher (I have two saved up!) or if I’m abroad. I can buy yarn abroad. As I’m hoping to visit Stephen West’s yarn shop ‘Stephen & Penelope’ when I visit Amsterdam in January, this is a must! 

Loving: spending time with my family. Today my Mum, sister, niece and I visited Stonehenge! It’s about a 30 minute drive from where we live and we haven’t been since they built the new visitor centre. It was fantastic!  

 Yes, it was raining and windy and cold. And yes we all own the same size Cath Kidston handbags in different patterns! 

Pondering: my New Years resolutions. They’re all going to be achieveable. 

Considering: whether I should make versions of the Santa hat loo roll cover for everyone who liked it on Facebook for next Christmas!  


Buying: 2 history books when I visited Stonehenge today. ‘Britain AD’ by Francis Pryor and ‘A History of Ancient Britain’ by Neil Oliver. Oh and a toy sheep for my niece that she very appropriately named Henge. 

Hoping: that my 2 year fixed term contract will be made permanent in 2016 or I’ll be job hunting in early 2017. 

Needing: to do some exercise and hoping that my new bike will help me with that. I have been very sensible with my redundancy money, putting a good amount in the bank as I only have a short term contract, a new bathroom and lots of things for the house, including our new IKEA furniture:  

 Anyway, I decided to do two things for myself with it (as well as buying D really good Christmas & birthday presents), to go on the yarn retreat and to buy a Victoria Pendleton Somerby bike in mint green. I got it on the 19th and I 💚💚💚 it! It looks like this, only with a basket on the front!  

 Smelling: onion bhajis I cooked for D for his tea!

Wearing: an acid yellow Taking Shape knee length dress (this one, but don’t be fooled by the colour on the website, it’s the same colour as my scarf in the pictures above), a grey long sleeve top over that, black leggings and brown Timberland biker boots. My dress is basically a grown up version of clothes I would have loved to own when I was 15 in the ’80s. I adore it!

Noticing: I drive slower when I have passengers in the car. Also when it’s my Mum’s car! 

Thinking: about the possible options for my career over the next few years. 

Admiring: my Christmas earrings from D and the two project bags I was given for Christmas. One by my Mum and the other by my #stitching Santa Bekki!  

Sorting: my Ravelry queue. I’m actually going to use it this year! 

Getting: my house ready for visitors.  

Bookmarking: patterns I want to make on Ravelry! 

Coveting: I’m not really a covetous person. I have pretty much everything I want. Of course I’d love a lovely big farmhouse and to not work and to be able to afford  various things, but that’s just dreams. In real life, I don’t covet anything. 

Disliking: the amount of packaging things come in. 

Feeling: slightly concerned about Mollie who unbeknownst to me ate some foil that covers chocolate coins on Christmas Day (the only possibly opportunity) and has been subdued ever since and then vomited them up today… 

Snacking: not really a snacker despite my girth! But I did have some homemade fudge (smug face) after dinner. 

Helping: my sister is helping me by hosting a big family party for D’s family on Wednesday. Her house is a lot bigger than ours and we’re having a second Christmas Day with his grandchildren. 

Hearing: about the floods up north and thinking about the people affected.