End of summer

Those three words End . Of . Summer . felt pretty painful when I woke this morning. As I hung 2 huge loads of washing (the new giant slow washer of doom does have its plus side) on the line with the mist still thick in the air, I really felt tv that autumn was on its way. I plodded back indoors and made coffee ready to face my first child free day after 6 weeks of school holidays.

But you know what? By lunch time it was beautifully sunny and pretty warm! It averaged about 18C last week as we enjoyed our little holiday, but today it was about 23C, so not autumn at all. I noticed several posts on twitter today from upt’ North saying that the leaves we’re turning, including some very autumnal photos of golden leaves on the ground. It’s things like this that make me love the south coast, our summer is likely longer, our winters certainly milder. The weather makes up from being surrounded grockles (that’s tourists to us) half the year.

We took ourselves for the short hop on the ferry across to the Isle of Wight last week, to become tourists ourselves for once! The weather was mostly pretty wet, which was a little disappointing, but after the very hot weeks earlier in the holidays we weren’t going to complain!

I finished up these vanilla socks with a picot cuff before we headed off, so I could cast on some great holiday socks. The yarn is Drops Fabel, I don’t often see it in local yarn shops here, but there are a few UK sellers online and it’s super reasonable for sock yarn, even more so when on sale! And it is a nice soft yarn hard wearing sock yarn.
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The Isle of Wight holds great memories for me, I spent almost every weekend of my young childhood on our little catamaran sailing across the Solent to the island. Naturally I wanted to take my daughter there, to share those memories with her and make new ones. This is the fourth? fifth? time I’ve taken her and we always have a great time.
This year we spent lots of time inside the giant tin can (a.k.a static caravan) listening to the rain drumming on the roof and watching people dash past in the rain.

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Despite the rain we took trips to the zoo, the dinosaur isle, the donkey sanctuary, the needles, crazy golf and fireworks! One thing we love about the Isle of Wight is how much there is to do and see, regardless of the weather. If you do go it’s worth checking with the site you are staying with if they offer any vouchers/discounts for attractions and also if it’s worth using Nectar/Tesco/etc points to buy tickets. There are lots of savings to be had by doing this. Also lots of attractions offer free (or just £1) 7day returns, which is great if you didn’t get to see everything or you got rained off!

We saw some lovely lions and tigers in the rain, but these ocelots were our favourite big cats!

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We had jenga blocks with us, which are a surprisingly versatile you if you have a 7 year olds imagination, they became houses, beds for sick animals, race tracks and fun domino trails to knock over.

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There was of course knitting. We don’t much enjoy holiday club style entertain, go on, call us boring! So after DD has gone to bed there are a few hours to kill before bed. All the more knitting time!
A good friend of mine is expecting her 3rd baby, but her first girl, which is very exciting for her. She kindly gifted me some yarn, 200g of Robin DK in Red (she knows Em loves red), 200g of Robin FX DK in Baby Pink with little multi coloured flecks – like a traditional tweed only in acrylic, 200g of Robin Paintbox DK in ‘1115’ which I’d describe as Jolly!
When she gave them to me she asked me how much yarn I need to make something, as she didn’t really know, I said 200g would make a baby blanket or a jumper for a 5yr old or lots of baby items. She was pleased when I said the red would be enough for a short sleeved cardigan for Em.
I took the cue from the last 2 lots, especially the baby girl colours, that I should make baby things for her.
So they came with me on holiday.
I’ll take some nicer photos when they are all finished and blocked, but for now here you go.

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Wee Envelope, Aviatrix Hat and a crocheted Spring Bunnies cuddly all from 100g of the Robin DK FX, so I still have a ball left.
The Wee Envelope is a lovely new pattern from Ysolda, it came at just the right time as I’ve had the idea of knitting an envelope neck sweater in my mind for a few months but hadn’t found a pattern for one. It’s a an easy pattern if you can picture in advance how it is constructed, if you can’t picture it do check out her blog post on it and it’s actually straight forward.

I just bought the pattern, printed it, stuffed it in my knitting bag and thought nothing more of it until I got to the envelope bit, thankfully I caught on quick and got it first time, but I can see how people have struggled with it at first go. The blog post makes it clear.

The bunny despite it’s very strange proportions is quite endearing and I’m sure she will make a lovely baby toy once I have sewn her a face and sewn on some pretty fabric for the insides of her ears and for her paw pads. A really nice straight forward pattern.

Next on my list was a Puerperium Cardigan, it’s another great style for babies in my opinion. Nice not to have the buttons right under their chin, ready for chewing! I knitted this in the Robin Paintbox, I was right about it being jolly. It’s very similar to another multi coloured acrylic I have in my stash still from when I first started knitting, when I had no idea how crazy these yarns are knitted up! Not a yarn I would buy, but I hope as she chose it that she will like it.

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Some nice FO photos will follow when all these baby items are finished and blocked.
I made good progress on some socks too while we were away, so I’ll bring you an update on that and on my holiday spinning next time.

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