Bristol Harbour Festival

Last weekend was the annual Bristol Harbour Festival.  As I’ve been here just under a year, this was my first one, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

I have to say, it was pretty fab – considering it was a free event run by volunteers.

We began the day watching a rather awesome band called Adding Machine at the Louisiana.  Now I’m not the best person for describing music, but I have to say I loved their 80’s sound, described as a cross between Depeche Mode and Sioxsie Sioux, which went right through me and made the hairs stick up on the back of my neck.  Yup.

We spent most of the day at the Amphitheatre, sat with friends sampling local beer from Bath Ales and Bristol Beer Factory.  These photos are in no order and are just of things I saw that looked photogenic! This train was powered by solar panels.

My camera died at this point, so the rest of the photos were taken on my phone, hence the slight fuzziness!

Irene Ship Bristol Harbourside
This is Irene (the ship, that is.  That’s Chris taking a photo of me snapping him).  She was built in the early 1900’s and sailed through two wars and the great recession.   I’ve never been big into boats, but this one was beautiful!

Spot the odd one out?

The festival was massive – much bigger than I expected, and I was gutted that my camera battery went so early on!  I was also sad that we’ve not been practicing our swing dancing – the lindyhop session looked like fun but we couldn’t remember any moves!

An Inspirational Saturday at Bristol Southbank Arts Trail

An Inspirational Saturday at Bristol Southbank Arts Trail

I woke up yesterday morning feeling like death warmed up.  A combination of a full working week, followed by my first shift in the pub and a sleepless night left me in urgent need of some coffee and some good food.  So after my friend Lucy asked me to meet her at the Old Bookshop I was more than happy to find this in front of me!

Breakfast at The Old Bookshop, Bedminster

We were about to embark on the Southbank Arts Trail, and I had no idea what was in store.  As it turned out, this breakfast was to set us up for the day, as we hit the streets on our bikes for the next six hours to cover only half of what we wanted to see.

One of the first places we entered was The Bed Workshop, which was decorated wall to wall with illustrations and would be hosting a ukelele rock opera later in the day.  Sadly we didn’t get to see that, however I did pick up these lovely cards by Melanie Wickham.

Bristol Hand Printed Card by Melanie Wickham - Southbank Arts Trail
Handprinted by Melanie Wickham

Handprinted Card by Melanie Wickham - Southbank Arts Trail

I also bought this print by Lou Archell, who I have just discovered also has a lovely blog!  I fell in love with this print – I seem to be rather attracted to tree type imagery at the moment.  Now to find a frame!

Lou Archell Tree Print - Southbank Arts Trail
My lovely new print by Lou Archell

We entered an array of houses and public spaces exhibiting everything from illustrations and photography, to pottery, glassware and textiles.  It was a real inspiration how motivated these artists are, and I found myself feeling a little bit overwhelmed!

Divaweaver's beautiful patterns - Southbank Arts Trail
Divaweaver’s beautiful patterns – click for facebook page

The artist that stood out the most to me was Angie Parker – aka Divaweaver – who took the time to show me how she makes her beautiful rugs and upholstered chairs.  I’ve never seen any weaving done before and was mesmerised by the loom and how the fabric came together.  Angie also had a great tub full of coloured yarn that I clocked as soon as I walked in, from which she had chosen some wonderful colour combinations for her rugs.

Heading homeward I decided I need to be more proactive when it comes to making things. I’ve been having trouble sitting down and getting things done recetly – I’m hoping this will all change when I finish working full time.

My knitting machine set up
All set up and ready to go!

So after knitting a few rows of my bolero and feeling sorry for myself this morning, I thought I’d give my knitting machine another go.  I want to make some fair isle purses for Art on the Hill, and that means knowing how this thing works!  I persisted and learned how to programme in my own pattern, taken from an image I’d found online, which I converted to a bitmap in Photoshop.


This is where I need some advice.  To programme in your own pattern on the Brother KH965, as far as I can tell, you have to sit for ages pressing one of two buttons, which makes the same shrill noise every time you press it with no option to turn the sound off.  I know this is an ancient piece of kit, but after an hour and a half this drove me nuts!

Finally I finished programming and rechecking, I’d done some practice rows of knitting, so it was time to knit the owl 🙂  I hadn’t anticipated what to do when the stitches come of the needles when you are knitting with two colours.  When hand knitting, I always fix mistakes from the right side of the work, but with the machine you have to work from the back, which is hard because you can’t see what’s going on in the pattern.

A poor attempt at machine knitting
Sad owl that looks like a cat

So here he is.. a sad, fat, pale owl because in my haste I forgot that I should have charted him in rectangles rather than squares, to allow for the fact that stitches are wider than they are high.  I felted him slightly, largely because I wondered how the yarn would react but also so it would like flat for a picture.   Not bad for a first attempt I suppose, though I am put off by the frustration I went through trying to programme this guy in.

I think what I really need is someone like this lady to come and rewire my knitting machine so my MacBook can talk to it:

Any volunteers?



Sunshine – Finally!

After what seems like weeks of rain, we’ve had a beautiful weekend in Bristol! Determined to make the most of it, we spent a very lovely couple of days out and about.

Ashton Court Bristol

When we moved here in August, I went straight into full-time work for the first time in years, and the 8 hour days really knocked the energy out of me for about 3 months.  By the time I got used to it, it was dark by 4pm and wet outside, and it felt like we’d missed the summer and the best time to explore a new city.

Two Trees, Ashton Court, Bristol

I’m excited now as summer approaches, and the 9 month contract I signed up to at work comes to an end.  It was the best way into Bristol and an opportunity I couldn’t turn down, but I’m looking forward to part time work again and the chance to do some freelancing, design more knitting patterns, and finally get out and see some of the area we live in 🙂

Red Tree

These first few pictures were taken yesterday at Ashton Court – our first visit and I am sure we will be back soon!  The weather was gorgeous and I got a little snap happy with all the colours around, it’s been grey for so long I was a bit over-excited!

Sunlight coming through the leaves

Ashton Court Bristol

After a lie in  this morning, a late breakfast of Spanish omelettes and a bit of Googling, we set off on what turned out to be about a 38 mile cycle ride to Clevedon.  I wanted to see the sea, and although Clevedon isn’t technically a beach (I don’t think) it was the closest place we could get to (and cycling meant it was free!)

Cycling Bristol to Clevedon - Approaching Pill

Portishead Cemetery

The wind was against us on the way there and it was more hilly than expected, but after a quick pit stop for lunch at Portishead Cemetery, we finally made it to Clevedon, and back!

Clevedon Pier

So this evening is all about stretching, eating curry, ginger cake and custard, Nutella from the jar, Game of Thrones and knitting.  Hurrah!

Monday Monday…

The results of a fun but not so knit productive week!


So it’s Monday again! I’ve been a bit preoccupied recently, knitting and frogging tension squares in a lace repeat I’ve been tweaking for my next hat pattern. So as a result I don’t really have much to show you knit wise, (except maybe pictures of the yarn!) so instead I decided to share a few photographs from the weekend.

I Love this Space Invaders Pattern!

We spent Saturday on Gloucester Road, checking out some of the charity and vintage shops and having a general mooch. I’d been keeping an eye out for yarn, but ended up finding two complete publications of Superstitch for £2 – which I think was a bargain, although the lady in the shop thought I was mad!

Puppets in SuperStitch

Superstitch was a magazine from the 1980’s which was collected by readers and filed into ringbinders – a guide to knitting, sewing and needlecraft. Ok I’ll admit most of the patterns in there are pretty outdated now, but the information is still relevant (and I’m a sucker for knitting and sewing books). And who wouldn’t want to knit these fairisle tanktops?

Matching FairIsle Tank Tops anyone?

Sunday we went to Porthcawl and I’ve never seen fog quite like it!


Everywhere was thick with mist – we had to walk right to the water’s edge to see the sea, and then when we turned around the beach was invisible – we were just engulfed in this white mass! It was crazy – almost dreamlike and certainly photoworthy, however fog is not the easiest thing to photograph.

I managed to sneak in three hours of working on my lace hat pattern while Chris was trying out his new custom made snugg wetsuit – our trips are great as I can get loads of knitting and sewing done without any distractions, and he gets to surf to his hearts content 🙂


What a lovely weekend!

Well that was fun! This weekend was spent in London, visiting friends, knitting and watching the Paper Cinema.  The Odyssey is AMAZING and is on until the 25th Feb and is selling out really fast, so I would book up now if I were you, you won’t be disappointed!

Ducks dancing on the pond at Clapham Common!
Southbank in the snow

Yesterday we went for a walk along the snowy Southbank, and went to the Tate Modern as it had been years since either of us had paid a visit.  The photo below was taken in the Turbine hall where Tacita Dean is exhibiting her 11 minute silent 35mm ‘FILM’

Tacita Dean's 'FILM'

On another note, I finished knitting up my new hat design! I haven’t blocked it yet so there are no photos, however they will be coming very shortly!  I’m still in knit mode today, so I cast on for a matching cowl as soon as I got the chance this evening 🙂