Saturday, 26 April 2014

Yarn Shopping

You know I'm supposed to be stashing down, right??

The bergere de France is all earmarked for particular projects, but the pink Noro Aya was bought just because it was pretty. My bad. I'll add it to the large amount of pretty yarn I bought previously, and which is not yet knitted.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Love Sewing magazine

A new sewing magazine has just launched in the UK. Since Sew Hip closed, I haven't regularly read a sewing magazine. I've bought Pretty Patches and Sewing World a few times, but neither of them has really engaged me. Anyway, the introductory special offer was pretty tempting so I thought I'd give this one a try. 

It wasn't very good! But at least it was cheap! And there was a "free" Fat Quarter of fabric included, so it wasn't a total waste of money. Equally, though, I don't want to write it off just yet, as I was unimpressed with the first editions of Sew Hip and Sew magazines too, and Sew Hip went on to be quite a fun magazine, before it started going downhill towards the end.

I mainly found the patterns in this one uninspiring. The shift dress (on front cover, pictured above) really didn't appeal, and I found the accessories unattractive (some of them even elicited the word "hideous" from me, but for fear of offending a designer, I'll gloss over which). There was the inevitable piece of girl's clothing, and nothing for a little boy - although as my son is now eleven, he is really rather big to be sewing stuff for, so I shouldn't be so exercised about this. Still, old habits die hard...

I quite liked this one, for a little craft case (to hold pencils and notepad. Or you could adapt it for crochet hooks, perhaps)

There were two nice baby projects too, which were both book extracts. But I don't have any call for baby stuff at present.

I probably wouldn't have bought it in the shop, and it's a pity, because I'd like to take up sewing more actively again.

Hopefully it will be better next month. My initial offer was for three months' subscription, so I'll see how it goes. And if it's better, I'll report back!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Visiting the Doctor

Here I am again with one of my what-we-did-in-the-holidays posts! Being British, I am very fond of the sci fi hero known as the Doctor. You might also know him by his alternative name, Dr Who. Ds and I went on a train trip to Cardiff in Wales, where the series is filmed, at the BBC Cymru drama studios and also on location in the city itself.

Picture heavy post follows!

Our first stop was at a location that fans of the programme will recognise as the entrance to Torchwood. The building with the writing on the side is actually the Millennium Centre, a concert and theatre venue.

Cardiff has stood in for various locations, including Central Park NY - this is a show made on a comparatively low budget, so flying the actors over to the real deal isn't really an option! Instead, they did things with digital images, I presume.

Our trip was also attempting to control costs, so rather than joining an organised tour, we used the mobile walking tour available free to download from the BBC website, in conjuction with a free street map given to us at the hotel and assistance from various very helpful Welsh people. We spent a very pleasant afternoon re-living various episodes. For example, the Senedd building pictured below, home of the Welsh National Assembly, was the setting for the Lazarus Experiment (we got to go in, which was awesome!)

The main event, though, happened on Thursday. This way to the Daleks...

The first part of the exhibition is an interactive experience that is lots of fun. And there were Daleks, so be warned ;-)

Then ds and I spent a couple of hours looking round the exhibition.

Keys to the Tardis

Costumes belonging to my Doctors

The interior of the Tardis of my youth!

Ds is inside! See him peeping out there! 
Being rather hungry after all the excitement, we went for lunch in an American diner which turned out also to be a Dr Who film location. Ds was overjoyed at being able to sit at the very table where Dr Who had sat (the episode was the Impossible Astronaut)

If Dr Who is not your thing, Cardiff is a beautiful city with cultural, shopping and sports attractions. Here's the Millennium Stadium (multiple Dr Who episodes).

We were very lucky with the weather, as you can see. What a great trip! And I also did knitting, on the train. Started my second sock :)