It's been a busy week. I've travelled as far North as Chester and as far South as Cheltenham. I did a fair bit of walking round both. I'm not much of a shopper these days, I prefer to shop like the men in my family do... only when they really need something. In Chester and Cheltenham I window shopped with Christmas in mind, gathering a few ideas. I found cooperative crafts shops in both of these towns which was surprising. It's a great idea; each crafts person works in the shop on a rota system as part of the deal for renting space in the shop. The Chester version was a bit wacky but I did buy some unusual beads for jewellery making.
Mostly though, I walked, looking up a lot, observing the architecture of each place, spotting statues I'd not seen before, the small details too. I haven't been to Cheltenham in a very long time. When I lived in Oxford I used to pop over quite a bit, for a change of scene. Unfortunately it rained all day this time which made hot coffee taste so much better when I finally did get out of the rain. Ladies who lunch seemed to be a common sight. That all seemed like too much hard work to me. I was happy with my coffee, watching the world go by.
The rain in Lincolnshire has been pretty persistent. Today we had two spectacular hail storms. It's been so chilly too and my creative thoughts have turned to woolly hats. I've made three and I've started a fourth. I'm on a mission to create a sturdy but modern crochet hat. The grey hat in the foreground of the photo is an attempt at constructing an all rib hat using dc through the back loops. It makes a nice thick fabric but now that I've finished it there are a few improvements I want to make to the next one. A longer body, htr's instead of dc's (for speed and a thicker rib pattern) and a neater way of reducing the top so that it gathers nicely when it's closed up. If I manage to achieve all of those I will let you know and share the pattern. I've got a certain look and feel that I'm aiming for... you know how it is when you've got something in mind and none of the existing patterns are quite right?
The little hat to the right now has the cutest soft grey bobble on it. I had some left over yarn from the adult hat and just crocheted a random sized small hat. I'm hoping it will fit my niece but I'm not very good at guessing sizes. She may well end up with lots of teddy clothes at this rate!