Thursday, December 31, 2009

31 December: Irresolute

A White Christmas - snow fell on 17 December and is still here; there have been a few starts at a thaw, but never enough to clear the packed and frozen snow before more has fallen again. The only consolation of a fresh fall of another inch of snow this evening is that it reduces the chances of being woken in the middle of the night by post-pub fireworks.

Now that neither of us has to go to work (we stay at home and they just pop the money into the bank for us), we have a whole fresh New Year ahead, full of all sorts of possibilities. My Dear Husband has found a new interest, and who knows where that will lead; I have just turned 21 again, and have a list of things to try out at least as long as my arm.

But no New Year resolutions. That's just courting disappointment. Hope for the best, expect the worst, and life is full of delightful little surprises.

Friday, December 25, 2009

25 December: A breath of fresh air

We finally braved the snow and ice, and got out for a walk. After yesterday morning's fall of about 3 inches of snow, there had been a slight thaw, then a freeze overnight. But the sun shone on the path through the wood -

And the pond was sheltered from the wind -

Apart from three or four cars and two dogs taking themselves for an unaccompanied walk, we saw nobody; it was lovely and quiet.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

17 December: A rug - and yet another hat

Winter time is just right for making a rug - thick and heavy spread over your lap as you work. Even after my attempts to use up all my stash of rug wool, there was an awful lot left; perhaps something to do with my carrying home an enormous bag full of old Durham Carpets yarn from the Guild one day. They acquired a lot of carpet yarn when the factory closed, and I liked some of the colours.

It's made by hooking lengths of wool into knots on rug canvas, using a latchet hook. Each knot is worked individually. There are 23 rows of 6 sections, and each section is 20 stitches wide and 5 rows deep. Each knot has 2 strands of wool, which have to be cut from the ball or cone. It took nearly 3 weeks to make (not a lot worth watching on TV lately).

The design is simple, based on a couple of carpets seen recently. One was sampler in John Lewis, showing all the available colours in one carpet range, and the other was seen in a shop window in York when we were having coffee in the cafe opposite. My version is 3 feet each way.

There's another hat, too. This one is the Joined Up Thinking hat - it needed a lot of thought (and many pages of squared paper) to work out how the design would carry into the top shaping.

It's come out rather small, though.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

13 December: Holly, ivy, and sloes

Part of this afternoon's walk was along a sunlit hedge, festively decorated with holly -

- ivy, and lichen -

- and sloes! This is the first time we've seen fruit on these sloe trees, though they have plenty of blossom every year.

Perhaps the birds find them too sour to eat until everything else has gone.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

10 December: More knitted hats

The knitted hat seems to be the current favourite project - a good way to try out a new stranded pattern, but quick to knit and using modest amounts of yarn. Here are two more recent ones -

They are called Choc button hats, because the pattern reminds me of chocolate buttons, and the purple/brownish coloured yarn reminds me of Cadbury's chocolate wrappers.

The black one has a slightly higher crown, as I absent-mindedly decreased in a different way from the intended one. So now it would suit a wearer with bigger hair.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

6 December: Welcome sunshine

The sun shone on our walk round Gibside today. Look at the clear blue sky -

and here is a photo of the sun shining over the pond -

This one shows rather better what the afternoon was like -