Thursday, 13 July 2017

Basket Weaving and Kayaking

Good morning all! I hope you've been enjoying the sunny weather that we've been having in the UK this week - it's been just perfect for Wimbledon fans like myself, although the garden is desperate for a bit of rain. I keep tapping the barometer hopefully and occasionally it does swing temptingly towards change but, apart from one day of light drizzle, there isn't the longed for downpour.
I admit that I have spent most afternoons this week glued to the sofa cheering on Konta and Murray, but there have been a couple of outings at the weekends that I'd like to get down here to remember:

The first was a basket weaving workshop at our local nature reserve. I have made a couple of woven baskets in the past - my initial wonky one sits in the hall, full of winter gloves and my log basket (a bit of a personal triumph!) is in constant use in the colder weather. I do love making baskets but I find that they are a bit tough on the hands. I remember after a weekend spent making the log basket, I was barely able to write out a birthday card to my friend! Anyway, this was a one day workshop to make a small round basket and here are my photos of the day:
The view of the lake from the studio:
 Different colours of willow:

 I'd like to say that these were all my own work, but they were made by the tutor! She had a photo album of her pieces, which included a dog basket commissioned as a wedding present for Will and Kate.
Here is the base of my small basket - I tried to do a striped effect with the different willows:
....... and here it is at home:
I really enjoyed the workshop - lunch was included which was yummy and I met some really lovely people. I would love to do some more (once my hands have recovered!) but, unfortunately, this particular tutor is moving to Devon.

At Easter, L and J had come to visit and we called in at the sports shop Decathlon near Oxford while dropping them back at their flat. We went to buy a few bits and pieces for our sailing holiday but, whilst we were there, L and J impulse bought a 3 person kayak! Their current flat is beautifully situated on the banks of the Isis (the bit of the Thames that runs through Oxford). They keep the kayak inflated in their garage and when they feel like a paddle, they can just walk it to the nearest jetty. Keen to try it, R and I went to Oxford last Saturday. I had a wee go at paddling, but have to confess that L and R did most of it while I sat admiring the scenery and taking the odd photo. In my defense, there were only 2 paddles!

 The cows in Christchurch meadow: 

 Wildflowers on the bank:
 The back of the Botanical Gardens:
 Magdalen Bridge:

 L's legs, showing how snug it was: 
It was a beautiful few hours, some bits were busy with people punting, but the parts where we had it to ourselves were lovely. My favourite bit was floating gently in the sunshine and listening to the church bells peel out a celebration of a wedding. You do get absolutely soaked though, so we collected J and then had to change before going for a well earned pub lunch.

Other recent happies include:
A trip to Bristol to help E move out of her Hall. She and 3 friends are renting a sweet, little house together next year and R and I helped to move their stuff across. It was a little sad as their Hall was fantastic but their new place is down a quiet crescent, close to the uni, shops, cafes etc. I think they will love it.
A squirrel in the Hall car park with a bread roll raided from the bins!
The Old Quad:

One of the ducks has started bringing her duckling to the back door to be fed. L has named him (her?) Timothy:

Wimbledon watching and sock knitting:
The finished socks - just a plain vanilla sock in 'Peppermint Swirl':
Well, that's all for this week. I'm just off to clean the bathroom and move a bit of dust around, then I've got a date with a sofa and Johanna Konta's semi-final this afternoon!

Toodle Pip for now. x


  1. What a lovely round up. Your basket is beautiful and the pottering about in boats sounded wonderful. I'm always in awe of your sock making- maybe I could commission you to make a pair of two for me? Xx

  2. Lots to love in this post. Very envious of your basket although I empathise with the sore fingers. I once made a straw hat. Somewhat wonky straw hat and I always said I would go back to make a basket. Must remedy that. Lovely kayaking photos. Hoping to get ours out soon, think the wrist might cope now, although I can just sit in the front a trail my fingers in the water :) socks perfect too, I'm back to sock knitting as well. My family feel I may have too many socks now! Enjoy the tennis. B x

  3. I love everything about this post. And I'm loving Wimbledon as well. Today is the big day.

  4. Oh I love your little basket, fantastic shape. I love making baskets but it is so hard on the hands! I'm hoping to grow some willow in the future so I can make some more baskets. Lovely photos of your trip down the river and the little duckling is just too cute :)

  5. Wow, loved your basket! How professional. What fun kayaking, I much rather sit back and let the others do the hard work. How sweet having a mother duck bring her duckling along to be fed, how she must trust

  6. I'm doing a bit of catching up with blogs after an absence, and it's lovely to read yours again. I know what you mean about basket-making - I made my first one last year and felt like I'd been involved in a wrestling match afterwards! Yours is beautiful - I love the coloured stripes, so effective. I also enjoyed coming with you on your trip along the river, but am quite glad I'm still on dry land. The socks look great too - another thing for me to try one day! x

  7. Your basket is super! Love the stripes. Kayaking on the river sounds such fun! Love Timothy the duckling too :)

  8. I love your basket, my friend. What a great workshop! Your photos are beautiful. I love kayak on the river. Although I love crocheting, I have never made socks. But yours are beautiful! Kisses.

  9. I missed this post somehow, sorry about that! I LOVE your basket, it's fabulous and that sock yarn is perfect for Wimbledon knitting! x

  10. I really enjoyed this post! Wishing you a beautiful week ahead!