Yorkshire Skies

Yorkshire Skies | Whims And Fancies

 

There really is no doubting that the Yorkshire countryside is a beautiful place.   The hills, valleys, limestone cliffs, heather and waterfalls make for a very tranquil setting.  For me, being in the north and the remoteness of the places adds another sense of enigma to Yorkshire.  Last year, during our roadtrip through England, we spent a few days in Yorkshire, visiting the countryside that I dreamt of so often.

Many months ago I got a beautiful skein of yarn very aptly named Yorkshire Skies.  I just had to make a pair of mitts with it before we visited Yorkshire.

 

Hermione hat and mittens with Yorkshire Skies Yarn | Whims And Fancies

 

I was looking for a pattern that would show off the yarn, and came across Hermione’s Fingerless Gloves on Ravelry.   I managed to finish knitting the mittens the night before our flight.  I was so determined to wear them in Yorkshire that I finished weaving in the stray yarn during the one-hour travel time to the airport. 

Once we were back, I noticed I had enough yarn left to make a matching hat.  The hat pattern was written for worsted weight yarn.  Since I was using smaller size knitting needles for my fingering weight yarn, I added two extra cables to my hat.  That resulted in just 1 extra stitch at the end after the decreasing was done.  It was a tad big for my head, but one run through the dryer in low heat setting made it just the perfect size for me.

 

Malham Cove Yorkshire | Whims And Fancies

 

View from Malham Cove in late summer

 

Malham Cove Yorkshire | Whims And Fancies

 

Malham Cove in late winter

 

As we peregrinated the streets and countryside of Yorkshire, I was smiling happily while wearing my mittens.  My husband and I fell in love with Yorkshire so much that I planned our next England roadtrip earlier this year fully around Yorkshire with a few added days in Derbyshire.  I took both of these photos from Malham Cove, one of my favourite hikes.

 

Whitby Sea with Winsor Newton Waterbased Oil | Whims And Fancies

 

Sunset At Whitby

Of course, very soon after our return I had to paint a picture of the beautiful skies we saw in Yorkshire.  This was my first time playing with oil, and I could not have picked a better subject to paint.

 

Sailboat Quilt Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

The painting, in turn, had me look back at a pattern I had designed a long time ago.  Sewing this block is going to be my One Monthly Goal for this month.  I know I will be thinking of the beautiful skies.

 

Yorkshire Moors Heather with acrylic | Whims And Fancies

 

I am also very sure that Yorkshire will continue to surface now and then in my paintings.  Currently I am working on this acrylic painting of heather in the Yorkshire Moors while listening to stories.

 

My Orange Maine Coon Kitty | Whims And Fancies

 

My kitty sleeps and purrs beside me, hopefully dreaming of a happy place.  I love a peaceful life.  Whenever I can get it, I enjoy it to the fullest!

 

See you next time,
-Soma

 

I am also linking up on Through My Lens, Our World TuesdayWednesday Around The World, Seasons, and Friday Photo Journal along with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

Daydreaming

Derwent Watercolor Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

Yarn and colour pencils have taken over my world lately.   In between designing and sewing paper piecing patterns, I am finding myself gravitating toward knitting needles and colour pencils.  Not only are they great for keeping the hands busy, they also share a common thread for me – travel.  As I knit a warm piece of clothing, I imagine myself wearing it in a far-away land, exploring.  Later on, I revisit a favourite travelled place through painting, specially an old stone abbey or other ruins.

 

Dryburgh Abbey Scotland Derwent Watercolour Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

A few months ago I was travelling to England and I wanted to take a painting project with me to fill in the long 10 hours of travel time on the plane.  Of the places we visited in Scotland, Dryburgh Abbey is one of my favourites.  I found an old photo and it instantly became the subject of my painting. 

The picture you see above is how much I finished on the plane.  Sadly, after I came back, I moved on to other projects and it was left unfinished.

  

A little review of Stillman And Birn sketchbooks

 

At the time I didn’t have a travel-size sketchbook.  I am very heavy-handed with water when it comes to watercolour, so the new sketchbook had to be able to handle that.  

During my research, I came across Stillman and Birn watercolour paper.  Their Alpha series sketchbook with 270 gsm weight paper seemed ideal to me.  I also like the white paper of the Alpha series.  So I got a 8.5″ x 5.5″ sketchbook.

The sketchbook did not disappoint.  A lot of watercolour papers cannot handle too much water, they often get a lint-like effect.  The Stillman And Birn paper stayed smooth, I didn’t see even the tiniest bit of lint effect.  I couldn’t stretch the paper since it is in a sketchbook, but it warped very little.  I was able to easily fix the little warp afterwards. 

 

Dryburgh Abbey In Scotland with Derwent Watercolour Pencils | Whims And Fancies

 

I recently started making slow progress on it using my Derwent watercolour pencils.  The colours are less intense than Inktense pencils and are easier to lift off if needed.  They also blend beautifully.   As I was painting, I was reliving the moments of standing in front of the quiet Dryburgh Abbey Chapter House all on my own, soaking in the atmosphere of an old, wet stone ruin.

 
 

Derwent Watercolour Pencils Shade Card | Whims And Fancies

 

I always like to make a colour swatch of any paint set I acquire.  Even looking at these colours makes me happy!

 

While going through my sketchbooks searching for more unfinished drawings, I found one of my old pen sketches from another place we visited in Scotland.

 

Jedburgh Abbey Scotland Drawing | Whims And Fancies

A doorway detail in Jedburgh Abbey

 

Knitting Yarn | Whims And Fancies

 

A while back, my husband got me a set of yarn from the local yarn store.  I was browsing on Ravelry for a hat pattern and noticed one that has a striking resemblance to the design in the Jedburgh Abbey doorway.  I fell in love with the pattern and the red yarn was perfect for it.

 

Paragon Toque Knitting Hat Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

It is called Paragon Toque.  Instead of cables, this design is done simply with knit and purl.  I made the large size hat since I like my hats to be a bit on the loose side.   I had made a simple hat for my husband before, but this is the first hat I made for myself.  I think I will be wearing this one a LOT.  I love it!!

I am enjoying this daydreaming escape through knitting and painting.  Here’s to more daydreaming for all of us!

-Soma

 

I am happy to link up with Wool On Sundays and Winter Project Linky Parties.

I am also linking up on Life Thru The Lens, Through My Lens, Our World TuesdayWednesday Around The World, Photo Friday, and Friday Photo Journal along with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

A Long Overdue Finish

Men's Knitted Pullover Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

A little self-inflicted toe mishap has me currently home-bound.  I am finding myself knitting a lot during the times when I would rather be outside hiking a beloved trail.  That’s not so bad, since I managed to finish this sweater for my husband before the passing of another winter.

Three years ago, while visiting a yarn store, I found myself buying a set of yarn to make a sweater for my husband.  A daunting prospect considering all I could make at the time were simple scarves.  A year and a half later as a more confident knitter I started looking for a pattern, but I couldn’t find even one for the amount of yarn I had purchased.

 

Men's Knitted Pullover Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Since a long time had passed in the meantime, I couldn’t just buy the extra yarn needed because of mismatched dye lots.  So I had to end up ordering another complete set of skeins with matching dye lots to make this sweater for him.  I learned a big lesson find a pattern first, then buy the yarn.

I have already found and purchased another pattern to make a sweater for myself with the original skeins.  I don’t mind at all since I was secretly wishing to make a sweater for myself in that colourway.

 

Men's Knitted Pullover Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

I learned short row during this project.  It makes for a little higher neck line on the back of the sweater.  Short row on the round can be a bit confusing at first, but it worked out quite well in the end.  I was initially worried because it looked a bit bulging, but blocking the sweater removed the bulge completely.

 

Men's Knitted Pullover Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

Although the majority of the sweater is knitted in stockinette stitch, there are two sets of cable design on two sides of the sweater underarms.  It’s an easy cable design that I could follow without paying too much attention.

 

Men's Knitted Pullover Pattern | Whims And Fancies

 

The sleeves were the hardest part.  Strictly following the pattern made for really billowing sleeves.  I had to frog the first sleeve twice before I figured out the rate of decrease to make a more shapely sleeve.  I reduced another set of stitches right before knitting the ribs to get a perfect fit around the wrists.

 

I used the Gamekeeper Pullover pattern that I found on Ravelry.  I had purchased DK weight yarn, while the pattern is written for worsted weight.  After quite a bit of trial and error, I figured out the right size for him that would work with DK weight yarn. The pattern was very adaptable.

The pattern itself is well written.  I like to learn as I work through projects, this sweater was perfect for that.  Other than the sleeves, I had no problem with the rest of the pattern.  I will definitely use this pattern again as a base for another sweater.

 

Ravi Sweater | Whims And Fancies

 

Once I finished making his, I started on a new cardigan for myself.  This is Ravi by Carol Feller.  The yolk is knitted sideways and the shape is created via short row.  I kept putting this one off because of the combination of short row and garter stitch.  Then I learned German short row.  It is so incredibly easy!  If you are interested, here is the video by Very Pink that I used to learn it.

My husband is all smiles about his new sweater.  Now that I can knit a little better, hopefully he won’t have to wait so long for me to finish the next one.

 

-Soma

 

I am happy to link up with Wool On Sundays and Winter Project Linky Parties.

I am also linking up on other linky parties on my Events And Links page.

 

Yarning For December

Knitted pullover for men | Whims And Fancies

 

Knitting is such a comforting and calming activity for me.  A few years ago, I started knitting and it stuck.  The prospect of working a piece of string with a couple of sticks to create a knitted cloth fascinates me.  Learning how to knit actual wearable clothes is quite exciting.  It is such a forgiving hobby too.  Worst case scenario, all you have to do is rip it apart and restart.

 

Wool On Sundays 

I did a lot of knitting in the month of December.  I showed a few photos in the previous Wandering Camera post.  My dear friend Janine from Rainbow Hare hosts the Wool On Sundays linky party.  It has been awhile since I linked up, so I thought it would be nice to elaborate on my yarn endeavours of December and link up on Wool On Sundays as well. 

I had been working on this sweater for my husband for quite a while now.  Following the pattern resulted in a really baggy sleeve.  Since my knitting skills are not much beyond apprentice level, I had to rip the first sleeve a couple of times before the sizing finally worked. I finished the sweater a few days ago.  I will share more once I block it.

 

Easy crochet blocks | Whims and Fancies

 

I was going through my cabinet and I found this set of crochet blocks.  I love the earthiness of the yarns and the simplicity of these blocks.  I don’t remember when I worked on them.  I also don’t remember why I stopped.  My last crochet project was so long ago, I don’t even remember how to crochet anymore.  So after a quick refresher course, I am ready to work on this one again.

 

Crochet Lace Blanket | Whims And Fancies

 

This is the one and only crochet project I have ever done.  If I was able to make this, then surely I should be able to finish the easy single crochet patchwork blanket.

 

Fingerless Mittens | Whims And Fancies

 

I really love making fingerless mitts.  They leave my fingers open to work my camera while keeping my palms warm.  As far as I am concerned, one can never have too many fingerless mitts.

I made this pair to give away as a celebration of Wandering Camera.  The winner of these mitts is Alycia.

 

 Arranged Words

Dixie’s Shop

My lovely friend Dixie from Arranged Words is fabulous enough to offer one of her paintings from her shop as part of the giveaway as well.  The winner of Dixie’s painting is Jo. 

I will email you both shortly.

I started working on another sweater already.  I hope you are getting to work on something that is soothing for you.

-Soma

 

I am also linking up on Life Thru The Lens, Through My Lens, Seasons, Our World TuesdayWednesday Around The World, Photo Friday, and Friday Photo Journal along with other linky parties on my Events And Links page.