Sunday, 29 April 2012

Giving it a go

I'm not one for stepping too far out of my comfort zone, I've said before that I've been me for a lot of years so I know what I like.  I'd probably be happy to knit socks and baby items for the rest of my life but I've always had the inkling that I should try more lace knitting.  So this last week I've been tackling Afternoon Tea from
I used some 100% cotton I had in stock, brilliant more stash busting,  found a suitable sized circular needle, though I really don't enjoy knitting with them, and began.  The pattern is pretty simple if a bit confusing because it actually starts with 5 stitches which as if by magic become the centre of the top straight edge .  The lace border wasn't too challenging, a simple 8 row pattern that was easy to follow and correct as required and I did require to a few times.  I also discovered that it's not possible to knit lace, follow the subtitles and complex plot of the new BBC4 crime drama The Bridge and remain calm so don't try that at home.  

Afternoon Tea is a shawlette so it sits prettily on my shoulders, much as the pattern, but is also rather nice wrapped round my neck and will be a pleasing infill for a coat or jacket.  This lacework for beginners hasn't quite satisfied my desire to knit a stunning spidery family heirloom shawl for which I already have some gorgeous 100% cashmere in stock,  but it has scratched the itch for now.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

The roof is falling in

Mr FF bought this bird table for my birthday 25 maybe more years ago.  It was one of those gifts you don't know you want until you actually receive it, they're always the best and I love it very much.    It's been in constant use in the gardens of all 5 houses we've had and survived dreadful weather on the North York Moors and in Scotland but despite the wood being well cared for with regular treatment it's now starting to show its age.  It hasn't helped that the squirrel likes to sit on the roof while he forces his way into my so called squirrel proof feeders.  The crows also like to perch on the roof or sit on the tray and haul up the fat balls I suspend from the side so they can get a good peck, we even had the odd sparrow hawk land and sometimes the frantic bird activity has caused the table to fall from it's cantilevered hook onto the lawn.
My table came from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds but they don't seem to have a hanging model now.  Still I'm sure a simple re-roofing exercise will be no trouble at all for a retired engineer who already has a huge list of home maintenance work to complete.
Very bad snap taken through our bedroom window

Monday, 16 April 2012

Knitting now

It's been a while since I did a knitting post, lots of little projects completed so let me up date you.

A tiny 4 ply cardigan for Pam's expected grandchild, some wool she had in stock to use up.  I hope to be knitting more once the baby arrives.
A little cotton jumper for Amelia, some lilac dk ribbon yarn from my stock.
In Italy I made a pair of plain socks using some of this now discontinued for some mad reason because it is gorgeous Opal.  I can't show you  the socks as I left them in Italy, useful for those fortunately rare non flip flop wearing days
A pair of socks using the Regia World College Colour from the selection I bought at Kemps a while back.  

And a pair of Gentleman's fancy socks from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush.  I made these slightly shorter than the pattern suggests, by about one third but did include the shaping, they fit nicely and I like the look of them.  The yarn is Sunbeam St Ives 80% wool, I was given about 5 balls of this so the second pair of socks Mr FF has received in this colour, again I think the yarn is now discontinued.
So good stash busting work there.  I am still toying with the idea of a major project or some lacework but the lure of socks, how can I resist. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

That's a promise

Tuesday 10 April in Scotland
our garden
So sick of this weather, I was heard to tell Mr FF

'Next  Easter I'm going to be in Italy .....  and I'm having one of those giant chocolate eggs.' 

Hopefully it will be one of these beauties from our favourite bar in the village.
It's not snowing now, today we have torrential rain, thunder and lightning.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Happy Easter

Typical Easter weather with little lambs shivering in the field and spring flowers in my garden in the prone position.  There are however some positive indications
A few little eggs, there would be more but despite being brought up to save my chocolate until Easter Monday I've already eaten some
A pretty chicky tea towel from Paperchase
and a new black leather clutch bag (well the play on words is sort of egg related). 
 Hope you are having a lovely Easter weekend.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Welcome home

Who'd have predicted that we'd go to Italy for two weeks while Scotland had record breaking hot weather, we'd come home and it would snow again.  I was worried that my bulbs would be finished by the time I got back not that they'd be battered down under snow.  We are feeling the chill after two weeks of sunshine, breakfast on the terrace and the first flip flop session of the year and also exhausted from the work.
We have a very busy time, Mr FF and his brother took down the four large lime trees that were blocking the view, shading our lawn and starting to damage the retaining wall.  The wood is now split into logs and neatly stacked in the garden, though I'm told lime is not a great burner.  We managed to identify some replacement trees in the local garden centre, Crepe Myrtle that have a very attractive bark and lovely flowers in summer, they should be a big improvement and hopefully we can keep them under control.  We'll plant them later in the year.
The garden in Italy came on in leaps and bounds over the two weeks, buds opening, flowers appearing and despite the tree felling there is still plenty of foliage around the house.
It was a glorious time and I did quite a bit of gardening when I wasn't busy chasing round the plaster dust from last years work. 
I did imagine I'd be busy this week in my Scottish garden but apparently not, lets hope things improve for Easter.