Mindful Magpie Makes: 2020 week 25



I love crafting as an outlet for my creativity and it satisfies my need for variety. As a maker, I am always experimenting, tweaking, embellishing; I am not always interested in "going back" and making more of the same design. I like to mix things up by keeping my products as unique as possible. I am probably still trying to find the balance, between making what I enjoy, and making repeatable ranges that strike a chord with my lovely customers. After several weeks where sewing has been the main focus, it was nice to kick back with The Knittea Retreat and their virtual weekend retreat. I really rediscovered my knitting mojo as you can see below - they had a fantastic bingo card to really encourage interactions with other virtual retreaters, and it made for a fun couple of days!


#5 - Blues and Twos (knitting)

I finally finished my second pair of socks! The first one was cast on 10/01/20 in a fit of enthusiasm after I completed my first ones; and I really didn't think it would take me so long. To be fair, the first sock was done after 5 days, the second sock made it to the toe by the 1st of February, and then, other projects just took over. However, one of the bingo squares was to "Finish a project", so I pulled these out of the WIP pile and cracked on!


I am pleased with them, they fit a lot better than my first attempt. I modified the ball band pattern to add a slight ribbing pattern to give them extra elasticity, and l made the heel flap a bit longer to cope with high insteps. They're still not perfect, but I gather sock knitting is a journey! I think going down a needle size may help now that I am getting familiar with the construction




#4 - Seaweed Shapes blanket (knitting)

Once I had a win under my belt with the finished socks, I needed to "Cast on" a new project. Each square in this blanket is like a new project, right? I had decided to make each square a different texture - no repeats (apart from a "blank" moss stitch square in each of the 4 shades). Working out what texture to pick was like a project in itself... I cast on & completed two squares this week; the first (#30) was a 3x1 rib in the slate grey yarn, and the second (#31) was a 4 stitch twisted cable in the shellsand shade. Which means, only 5 more squares to go!


#17 - Rainbow Wave (knitting)

I was given a lovely swift for my birthday (see top picture) and I just wanted to cake up some yarn with it. On the swift you can see a beautiful colourway from Carolien at Colourful Creativity - this is No Rainbows Without Rain on her colourful smooth sock base. Carolien has designed a beautiful sock pattern that shows off the colour pops in this yarn; but I thought it was way too pretty a yarn for my feet, so I looked for a pattern for a simple one skein shawl. I chose Wave by Kristen Finlay. It alternates sections of garter stitch with sections of simple lace, and is very soothing to knit


### - The Garden

This has been my other big focus during lockdown. Garden centres were shut for around 8 weeks here in Wales, so I tried growing things from seeds for the first time, with a pretty good success rate overall. I've had strawberries (from an established plant) and a few handfuls of mangetout already, the garden has leeks (for the flowers), carrots, beetroot, runner beans and courgettes; a blackcurrant bush which is remaining resolutely weedy looking. I've rosemary, thyme, sage, chives and lemon mint for the kitchen, and for decoration I have fuchsias, sweet peas, night scented stock, lavender and my acer trees.



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