I’ve had such a lovely weekend break pottering around Yorkshire. We headed up to Whitby very late on Thursday and stayed for a couple of days. It’s always absolutely heaving over Easter weekend with day trippers, weekend visitors and Mods and Skins there for the annual Scooter rally.

Mum lives about a mile outside of Whitby which means a short walk down the path along the railway track, or a boat trip if the locals are messing about on boats, and you’re in town. There’s always so much to see so a few picture postcards for you starting with Spring lambs:

Lambs along the riverbank

The seals can be spotted lounging on the riverbank at dusk:

Seal on the riverbank

One of my favourite Springtime flowers, Gorse:

Gorse

New boats being built at the harbour:

New boats being built at Whitby

And some older ones. Mr K has his eye on Snow Goose:

Snow Goose

Buoy flags:

Faded flags

Lobster and crab pots:

Lobster and crab pots at Whitby

Looking out across a choppy North Sea:

The North Sea

Abandoned ice cream vans:

Abandoned ice cream van

Fish and crinkle-cut chips with mushy peas at Royal Fisheries:

Fish, chips, scraps and mushy peas

Accompanied by a bowl (yes, a whole bowl) of golden crispy scraps:

Scraps!

Wrapped up in newspaper and the story of the cow shot by armed police following a hunt involving a Sea King helicopter.

Runaway cow

Don’t you just love local news!

A thank you to everyone who entered the True Brit Knits knitters notebook giveaway and a big thank you to Wendy and Belinda for the fab prize. Mr K has picked a winner from his hat and I’m thrilled to say a notebook will be winging its way to Katherine Grant.

 

There has been a lot of reading for work over the past couple of month with numerous copy edits for forthcoming craft books. Processing 50,000 words over 2 weeks can take it’s toll and by bedtime the last thing I want to do is read another word so ‘the year in books‘ plans have gone slightly by the wayside.

Fowler's Modern English Usage cover

During this period, the one book I keep returning to is the pocket edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage. Fair enough, it’s not a work of fiction or possibly even something you would necessarily class as a good nightime read, but it’s absolutely fascinating.

Whilst the internet gives us quick access to check grammar, word usage, spelling and vocabulary, it also brings with it conflicting information and overload, so when I want a straightforward consistent answer to a query I turn to Fowler’s. The explanations are clear, concise and come with excellent examples of words in use.

Want to know the difference between the usage of ‘lay’ and ‘lie’?
Why is there a preference for ‘dispatch’ over ‘despatch’?
When to use ‘onward’ rather than ‘onwards’ or ‘program’ over ‘programme’?
Fowler’s tells you all this and more.

It’s an absolute must read for editors, writers and grammar geeks alike. I keep dipping in and out of it as and when needed, but it’s also become a bit of a guilty secret by coming to bed with me for a quick word fix before lights out!

I’m taking a very short Easter bunny blog break to go in search of new lambs in the wilds of Yorkshire, but will be back later next week with pictures of my travels. You can keep up to date with any new posts by following me on bloglovin’ who will send you a daily roll call of new posts from all your favourite blogs.

Oh, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the fabulous True Brit Knits Knitters Notebook which closes at midnight on Monday.

Have a lovely Easter weekend everyone!

 

Photographs of sunrises and sunsets can feel a little bit clichéd, but with views like these over the past few weeks who can blame me for wanting to show the skies off!

Sunrise over south-east London

Morning over south east London

Sunset over Denmark Hill

New moon over Denmark Hill

There are benefits to waking at 5am and magical sunrises are definitely one of them. Likewise, watching the sun go down on a clear night with a new moon also takes some beating.

Aren’t the colours wonderful. No filters, no touch-ups, just taken as I saw them.

 

I spent Sunday afternoon in the company of two dear friends as they got to grips with crochet.

Sam arrived as an accomplished knitter having done a little bit of crochet in the past, but Michael had never held a crochet hook or knitted and came to the craft as a brand-spanking new learner. As Michael is a left-hander and I am right-handed, it was quite tricky to show how crochet is worked the opposite way round but Sam was on hand to explain things in a much clearer way. If any of you are left-handed crocheters and have any tips or links that I could share with Michael they would be hugely appreciated.

After a few hours getting to grips with holding tools, learning about tension and being reminded not to ‘knit’ with the yarn he had created a shoelace long length of chains and moved on to working rows of double crochet:

Michael crochets

There’s a wonderful point every yarn crafter reaches with a project where you suddenly realise that you have created a piece of fabric. From nothing to something, with visible results of your efforts and everything falls into place. As a seasoned knitter, and relatively seasoned crocheter, it still happens to me; turning a sock heel, working a ribbed hat brim in the round, fastening off the end on a granny square, even something as simple as knitting a swatch. Something from nothing.

We sent Michael off with a new project bag and visions of him quickly surrounding himself with crochet, knee deep in newly acquired yarn stash and us having to perform an intervention!

Did you learn anything new this weekend?

 

Remember that discussion we had about taking and keeping track of notes? How are you all getting on with that – still scribbling on the corner of newspapers and back of envelopes? If so you’re going to have absolutely no excuses as this gorgeous notebook, ‘designed by knitters, for knitters’ dropped through my letterbox last week.

Knitters Notebook || True Brit Knits

It’s the brainchild of the talented knitwear designers behind the pattern label True Brit Knits. There’s Wendy and Belinda, who you met on the blog at Christmas with a brilliant festive New York report.

A simple knitting needle motif is embossed in foil on the heavy cardstock cover:

Knitters Notebook cover ||True Brit Knits

Open the notebook and there is a whole host of practical treats.

The A5 pages are plain on one side with graph paper on the reverse which makes sketching, charting, and maths a cinch. There’s also a few perforated pages at the back of the book which you can tear out without damaging the spine:

Knitters Notebook graph paper detail

If you have forgotten which chart symbols are which and how to cross your cables, fear not as there’s a handy abbreviations list inside the front cover:

Knitters Notebooks inside front cover

The back cover has the essential piece of kit I am often missing when knitting-on-the-go, a ruler. Brilliant, and so handy for quick checks and much easier than trying to remember which fingertip is an inch long!

Knitters Notebook inside back cover

Isn’t it fabulous! Absolutely no excuses now for keeping your knitting (and crochet) notes all in one place.

Knitters Notebook cover ||True Brit Knits

As if the notebook wasn’t exciting enough, I became the proud owner of a True Brit Knits ‘Knitter’ prefect badge!

We didn’t have prefects at school, so these badges were only ever something I read about in Enid Blyton boarding school stories. They are available in four colours; red, blue, green and my choice, yellow.

Knitter prefect badge || True Brit Knits

You can order the Knitter’s Notebook via the True Brit Knits online shop and for now, please contact the TBK ladies if you are interested in a Knitter badge. You will also find their fabulous designs and ephemera at most of the UK knitting shows over the coming months so stop by their stand and have a browse and a natter.

Knitters Notebook back cover

However, I have a notebook to give away to one of my lovely readers. Simply reply to this post leaving a comment, feel free to leave a notebook story or note-taking hint or tip in the comment as well, and Mr K will dig in his knitted hat and pick a winner at random. Entries close at midnight BST on Monday 21st April 2014 after the Easter Bunny has been!

Thank you to the True Brit Knits ladies for sending me this fabulous notebook, it’s an absolute joy!