30 isn't all that bad...
At the end of May, I turned 30. 30! When asked what I wanted for my birthday, I replied with wool. More specifically, sock wool. My friends and family heeded my request and acted appropriately!
Back in March I won tickets to The Knitting and Stitching Show and spent a day there with Mum. There were hundreds of stalls selling pretty much everything knitting and stitching you could think of. One stall that really caught my eye was that of Sincerely Louise. She has a range of 'faux taxidermy' and I loved the knitted heads she had mounted on display, the fox and dinosaur were adorable. (I've just tried to find photos on her website, I couldn't see the ones I wanted but if you have a good look through her Instagram account there are lots of photos there.)
Mum and I left the stall to keep wandering round, but I couldn't stop thinking about this fox head. When we sat down for a (very expensive) cup of tea, I decided I had to have this fox head. Mum agreed to buy it for a birthday present and so off we went back to the stall to buy me a fox head. Yes, it is ridiculous, but I think it's wonderful. Definitely more photos to follow when I have the time to sit down and start it properly!
I had my fingers crossed that my lovely knitting friend Vikki would buy me some sock yarn: socks have been the main topic of our text message conversations (aside from her children, we talk about them too) for months now, and we often email each other with gorgeous sock related things we find online. I got home from work the day before my birthday to find a parcel that looked suspiciously like a ball of wool. It came from Wales and I do not know anyone in Wales, but I presumed (hoped) it would be some sock yarn Vikki had bought online and had sent directly to me.
It was! I'm going to make WATERMELON socks!
Isn't it amazing? It's from Hand Dyed By Kate and is utterly amazing. When it's knitted into socks, it looks like watermelon (not sure if it's clear in the photo, but there are little black bits to be the seeds!). I absolutely love it (love it!) and cannot wait to turn it into socks.
The above sock wool is Manos Del Uruguay Alegria and is soft soft soft soft soft. So soft. The skein on the left I chose and a relative paid for it (the best sort of shopping!) and the skein on the right is from Ben (chosen all by himself after I gave him a few instructions about the art of buying sock wool). He now knows how expensive sock wool can be, but this stuff is so soft, it's worth every penny. It's also from a women's co-operative group in Uruguay, so it does good too.
At The Knitting and Stitching Show Mum and I spent a lot of time squishing the wool on Mrs Moon's stall. Just stroking and squishing the lovely lovely soft soft soft wool. It's very expensive (that softness does not come cheap) so I didn't buy any. If I had all the money in the world, I would make myself a blanket using this wool and just hibernate in the softness. So I was very, very pleased to find that Mum had remembered the specific wool I had liked and had bought me some. It is so soft (probably ought to stretch my vocabulary and find a new word for 'soft').
Just when I thought there couldn't be anything softer, I opened this little present which is baby alpaca wool. Oh my goodness. It is ridiculously soft. I sat and squished it for a bit before it was passed round other people so they could squish it too.
I have no idea what I'm going to make with just 50g of wool but right now I am content to just sit and hold it.
Not wool-related, but these glasses are just awesome - they say 'c'est chouette la vie' which is apparently a French play on words - 'chouette' as a noun meaning owl and as an adjective meaning great. They're just the right size for a gin and tonic.
Thank you to everyone who sent me birthday wishes, cards and presents - I had a lovely weekend and I'm looking forward to this new decade!