Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Of Bluebells, Quilts and Purple Hair

Hello my lovelies. Let me apologize in advance for a rather photo heavy post; it's been about 3 weeks since my last one, so the pictures have accumulated somewhat. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter. Both my babies were home for the holiday, so all felt right with the world. The roofer finally came (!) and I made a quilt out of multiple pairs of old jeans. I've been gathering them for a while: some were outgrown, some worn out and some oil or paint stained. I cut out 5 inch squares from where I could, reversing the worst to hide the stains, and spent a merry couple of days sewing them all together, backing them with red, starry fabric and doing some hand quilting. I admit that this was entirely an exercise in distraction - I didn't want to leave the house in case the roofers downed tools and disappeared, but their radio was driving me crazy, so I drowned it out with my sewing machine!

I also started to make scrappy quilt blocks out of some fabric that E bought me one year. I admit that I struggled a bit with these - if there is a shape equivalent of dyslexia, I'm convinced that I have it. I just cannot hold a shape in my head (jigsaw puzzles are a dead loss), so I'd cut out the triangles, line them up ....... and then sew the wrong edges together! Whichever way it could go wrong, it did and my unpicker was working overtime. I feel that this project may take me a while.
Sorry, I forgot to rotate the photo: 
 Other happenings over Easter:
Our wisteria flowered:
 Our own little Easter bunny enjoyed having L and E home again:

 We went for a walk to the castle and then back home through the woods to look for bluebells:

 The blossom finally arrived:

R bought a mig welder on ebay and we had to drive to St. Albans in Hertfordshire to collect it. I'd never been there before and it was a lovely place. We had lunch in the centre and then had a little wander round. The cathedral was beautiful.

 E decided that she wanted afternoon tea!
 My bulbs did turn out to be Narcissi: 
 I balled up some yarn to make the Pavement Sweater. The colour is called 'Lettuce'!
  R and I went to see Twelfth Night at our local cinema. It was a very gender fluid performance and we thoroughly enjoyed it. After last time's 'picnic of shame', I made sure that we were better prepared food and drink wise .........
.......... homemade veggie sushi, complete with chopsticks, dips and G&T in a tin (thanks for the tip Leanne!):
 .......... and L dyed her hair purple! It really suits her and who wouldn't want a purple-haired barrister?! 
Finally, after months of injury and being too scared to go running in case it flared up again, I plucked up the courage and went this morning. I went on my usual circuit which I used to do twice without any bother. This time I took it slowly: I did it once and stopped to walk 3 times. It wasn't pretty and it was rather frustrating when I think how easy it was a few months ago, but it was a glorious morning, I was out there and it felt wonderful.
Well, that's all for this week. Well done if you made it to the end! Wishing you all a fantastic week.

Toodle Pip for now. x

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Feeling the Blues

Good morning all. I can hardly believe that we're into April already. Spring has definitely sprung round these parts, although my cherry blossom isn't quite here yet. The title of this post doesn't mean that I'm feeling melancholy or depressed, it's more a reflection of my recent projects and wips. I only realised when uploading the photos that blue is definitely my colour of the moment. Here are a few of them:
The socks that I made for E in West Yorkshire Spinners' 'Peacock' colourway:
I always like to have a pair of socks on the go, so I immediately balled up the yarn for my next pair. They will be 'Hermione's Everyday Socks' in Norah George's 'Elsa' colourway with contrasting blue heels, toes and cuffs. I've already started these and the yarn is super soft and squishy!
This is me standing on the coffee table trying to take a photo of my finished 'Worsted Boxy' sweater by Joji Locatelli. It still needs blocking, but that hasn't stopped me from wearing it as it's really comfy and cosy. The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in the 'Reflecting Pool' colourway.
Next I cast on for Amy Meekes' 'Random Act of Colour' shawl in some Madeline Tosh yarn that I bought at Loop last year. I have to admit that I've struggled a fair bit with the eyelet sections. It takes better concentration than I apparently have and I've had to tink back quite a few times! I'm keeping it in my blue project bag!
Blue fabric this time - I was having a little play making a drawstring bag. I do love camper vans - R and I went to a Classic Car meet at the weekend and whilst he was looking at the old MGs and minis, I was lusting after these vans. 
I think it will squish up nicely for out and about sock knitting.
I even made a slightly uneven dpn cosy to go with it:
This week's library books - I suppose only one of them has a blue cover!
Mother's Day cookies from L. She was actually mountain climbing in Snowdonia on the day, having booked a weekend away without realising that it would be Mother's Day! She did , however, post me some homemade ginger and cacao nib cookies which were delicious and they miraculously made it through the post unscathed.
She and E also bought me a beautiful bowl of bulbs - they are supposed to be Narcissi, but I think the bulbs may be a little large so I'll have to wait and see. It all adds to the enjoyment.
I do love where we live. It has lots of beautiful countryside, is near to Oxford and Bristol so I can visit my babies and is handy for London on the train. It is, however, quite a way from any bit of coast and I do miss the sea. Leanne's posts, with her stunning photos of Cornwall, have me drooling, so when R asked me where I would like to go for a day trip, it had to be the coast. We drove down through the New Forest with its friendly horses and donkeys to Milford on Sea, just to the East of Bournemouth.

This donkey was particularly friendly and came up to the car to be patted:
It wasn't the most picturesque bit of coastline, but it was blue, it smelled nice, sounded nice and chips may have been eaten by it!

..... and it had a view of the Isle of Wight, the Needles and the lighthouse:
There were also blue beach huts!
Thursday saw me beetling off to Oxford for the day and to meet L after work. This is the Martyr's Memorial outside Balliol College. Anglican Bishops, Latimer, Ridley and Cranmer were burnt at the stake for heresy here in 1555/6 and it is claimed that scorch marks from the flames can still be seen on the door of Balliol.

There may have been a little visit to the yarn store!
The main reason for my trip though, apart from seeing L, was to see the Degas to Picasso exhibition at the Ashmolean. It covered the rise to Modernism and was fascinating.

Finally, I have been sifting through my stash trying to 'Find my Fade' for Andrea Mowry's shawl. You start with 1 colour and gradually progress, choosing skeins which contain some colour element from the previous skein. As you can see, I started with my favourite blue/greens, moved through golden brown and ending with purple/green. I'm a pretty monogamous knitter though, so I won't be casting this on until I finish my Random Act of Colour.
Anyway, that's all for the moment. Enjoy the spring in your part of the world and may your week be filled with blues of the best kind - or yellows, pinks, reds, greens ................

Toodle Pip for now. x