Friday, February 29, 2008

29 February: Leap/spring

It's blowing a gale again today, but the last couple of days have had a hint of spring about them. Visiting a friend, I walked past the pond at the dli museum. (Durham Light Infantry, no longer in existence)

The tiny daffodils are out in the garden, and leaves starting to open on the philadelphus, and the day lilies are shooting out of the ground. Primulas are out, and the birds in the garden are now sometimes in pairs.

And there's another freshly-dyed skein of sock yarn , intended for DH, but it's come out a really good blue, and I quite fancy it myself. But of course, blue is not a colour I wear , and there are skeins of Violet, Blackcurrant, and Roaring Tiger still waiting in the stash.....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

26 February: Funny how time slips away

Nearly a week since the last offering! Not that very much has been going on here; a bit of spinning and knitting of course, a little gardening, some light shopping. Hey, I'm retired, remember!

The latest knitting project to be finished -

Wrist warmers, based on a pattern by Sandi Rosner; all I changed was the stitch, the needle size, gauge, and finish. They might be good for using on the bike, if I ever get out on it again.

Have you ever thought how difficult it is to photograph mitts on your own hands?

Several books have kept me interested recently - Labyrinth and Sepulchre by Kate Mosse, Missing by Susan Lewis, and Company of Liars by Karen Maitland. The current one is Dry Store Room No 1 by Richard Fortey. Perhaps they are the reason I haven't been here much.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

20 February: The frozen North

It's been chilly here for several days. The sun has melted the overnight frost in the places it reaches, but in the shade everything is frozen solid.

After yesterday's freezing fog the garden plants were encrusted -

And as I drove into Durham mid-morning the car told me that it was still -2 degrees C. The trees and hedges were simply breathtakingly beautiful. My little camera doesn't do it justice, but this was the view across the field from our front garden -

Monday, February 18, 2008

18 February: Surprise! more knitting

Wool-o-phobes look away now!

DH is now wearing more hand-knitted socks - here's a pair of dark brown ones that I call Choc Block Socks:

The felted bag came out so well that I used some more of the itchy yarn to make another, larger one. The smaller one nests inside it when not in use.

And on Ravelry I spotted a snail knitted by this blogger, and made a similar item -

You will note the realism of the beady eyes, and of the button-off shell.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

14 February: Oh, really?

The flower and plant stall in Durham had some interesting items on sale yesterday.

As well as MASCARI and CORDELINES, there were PALM'S, CROCESS, and my particular favourite, CYCLEMEN.

Ah, Marco Pantani and Miguel Indurain!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

12 February: Plenty of fibre

Happy Birthday to DD, and for yesterday to DDIL!

Greens the other day, now it's fibre - you can't say blogging isn't good for the digestive system.

Some BFL has been the subject of experiment with food dyes - the stuff used for cake icing - and came out like this -

I recently met another blogger who was de-stashing and had some sock yarns from her. Some of that yarn has become these socks -

Some handspun yarn which irritates my skin has been used to make a felted project bag -

And I made that nautilus. Mottled purple seemed a likely colour, and by chance I had just bought some buttons which made good eyes.

I don't really do cute, but this is dangerously close.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

7 February: 36 words and 4 pictures

The sun broke through for a while, and brightened leaves that are out early.

Some plants have flower buds -

And some flowers are open -

But best of all was seeing the leaves shine in the sun.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

3 February: It's Shaun the Sheep!

There's been quite a lot of activity this week designed to divert my thoughts from the minor surgery I had on Wednesday afternoon.

There's been a cyst on my scalp for a long time, but it recently became infected. The nice GP used to be a surgeon, so he was keen to keep his hand in by removing the offending excrescence. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

So on Wednesday afternoon I spent half an hour having one of life's more unpleasant experiences, and when I'd recovered from feeling faint (the nurse even offered me a cup of tea - I must have looked pretty awful!), I put my hat on and came home to lie low, moaning gently, for a few days.

There followed attempts to keep my mind off the 4 stitches in my head. (They are bright blue - is that so that the nurse can find them again, or did the doctor do what I usually do, and just use whatever colour comes to hand?)

Last time I was in Newcastle, I spotted a pack containing yarn and instructions to knit a Shaun the Sheep, so of course I bought it. Just the right sort of dead fiddly thing to concentrate on at a time like this, and here he is -

- posing on the TV, along with DH's plush Totoro, star of Studio-Ghibli's animations.

And browsing on the Internet I found a pattern for a knitted nautilus, so I might have a go at that. Wonder what colour it ought to be?