The garden was white with frost as I looked out over the breakfast washing up.
But alive with birds. Several coal tits were busy on the feeders, 2 or 3 blackbirds were getting aggressive round the frozen birdbaths, the usual dunnock (actually 2 of them this morning) in the border and on the path under the feeders, a couple of collared doves patrolling the paths, TWO robins (local robins are very shy, and normally on their own), a stray sparrow visiting the feeder, and most charming of all, a small flock of goldfinches!
They were first on the ground under the birch tree, then in the tree itself, all pecking busily at the bare twigs (what are they finding? the tits do the same), and one tried the apple tree, but soon returned to the birch. One came to the feeder, but didn't stay there.
So many little creatures, all simply going about their business - wonderful!
And still on the topic of the cold weather, I realised the other day that DH's normal hat is an old black acrylic watch cap he bought years ago from the Scout and Guide Shop. He has a nice thick Shetland hat (hand spun, dyed, and knitted) in a blue and grey fractal design, but says it is too warm for ordinary use.
A challenge - no self-respecting spinner/knitter can have their spouse favouring something not hand-spun and hand-knitted, so a replacement has been made.
The old hat is a double cap - an old design, popular in Scandinavia, where one layer folds inside the other to give a double thickness.
This is a simple but effective design, and not wishing to make it too warm, I decided to use fine yarn. And there is plenty of black Wensleydale (dark brown in reality), which will make a nice sober cap. But what about the other half, should that be terribly sober too? How about some colour? There are several balls of variegated BFL in different colours - how about combining them in one-row stripes like the recent odd socks?
So, here it is -
The more sober side -
And the more colourful side -
And of course either side can have the bottom edge turned up to provide a contrasting brim. "To suit your mood", as they used to say.