Wednesday 27 February 2008

Solar gain

Gloriously bright today, I got so much sunlight into my eyes at lunchtime I almost overcharged my batteries. Much of my energy and positivity were used up preparing a PowerPoint presentation this afternoon but I am still feeling the benefits. I was home before dark and did a quick check in the greenhouse but no growth yet from my weekend sowing, patience must be such a virtue.
Here are the pots I have at the front door, I do like to have something welcoming and seasonal to greet visitors and these do the job very well. The primroses and muscari I rescued from the bargain bucket at a garden centre, £1 each, the cyclamen coum were from a local flower shop. They can all go into the garden once they stop flowering and should be good for years to come.
Payday tomorrow, Opal socks on the needles and we are almost into March, I really am positive +++ aren't I.

Sunday 24 February 2008

Ending and beginning

The Cashmerino blanket is finished, apart from stitching in a few ends. I so enjoyed knitting this, the pattern is Bunny Hop from Crystal Palace, now its finished I feel bereft. Its like reading a good book, wanting to get to the end and then finding a gap in your life. As you can see the pattern is pleasingly reversible, I selected it because it doesn't have a wrong side. I still haven't been able to capture the true colour but trust me it isn't the dingy grey it looks here but a subtle shade of teal that will be suitable for boy or girl (we won't know which until late March if things go to plan).
I'm back to socks for now, always a good standby and yarn using option while I consider what to do next.
Meantime, I've been busy in the greenhouse, its far too cold to be outside today, blustery winds with the odd shower of hail and sleet, yuk. Mr FF presented me with these assorted seeds for Valentine's day. I've fired up the propagator and sown the sweetpeas and tomatoes, potted up some dahlia and canna lily tubers and had a really good tidy up in there. I thought I might have disturbed the frog that lives in the greenhouse but he wasn't about, quite right its far too chilly. I'm off for a bath to get some heat back into my body, what a pity I won't have the cosy Cashmerino on my lap tonight.

Friday 15 February 2008

February Fiber Fest

I am currently working with some really luxurious yarns. First of all I just finished these socks using Araucania handpainted yarn, fabulous. The pattern is Hedra from
Then I started a pair of simple cabled socks from the Last Minute Gifts book using Jaeger dk with alpaca. The wool is so soft and cosy, the photograph is not good and doesn't do it justice.

and finally, drum roll, I have six balls of Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran to knit a baby blanket.

The colour is light teal, its gorgeous and again a rubbish photograph. I am feeling dog tired today though obviously not too tired to knit and these yarns are a great comfort. I may never go back to cotton again but I will try to take some better photographs once I get my strength back.

Sunday 10 February 2008

It must be spring

Definite signs of spring at last. I've spent 3 good afternoons in the garden this weekend and Mr FF joined me today, he's out there now putting in more beech hedging and chatting to our neighbour. Each day we've had some brilliant sunshine although today the mist has come down and there's a chill in the air. Apparently a few miles down the road its been foggy all day so we can't complain.
Other signs of spring
Its been warm enough for Cleo to sleep in the conservatory when she hasn't been out in the garden with us, and
we had (wholemeal) pancakes for breakfast instead of porridge, and
Mr FF got his bike out yesterday, gave it a quick once over and took off for 20 miles or so.

Wednesday 6 February 2008

Blue sky thinking*

It was a fabulous day today, cold but bright. I should have taken my camera to work as during my lunchtime walk I saw some uplifting images of bare silver birch trees silhoutted against a clear azure sky. I am fortunate to work in a smart residential part of Edinburgh, convenient for a local library and with many beautiful gardens for me to admire whilst I stroll. I mark the progress of my own garden against those in the town and I am certainly a good week behind. Hopefully I'll have something to report by the weekend, especially if we get more sunshine.
As I didn't have my camera I offer a window of blue that I snapped at the Getty Centre in Malibu last year, same sensation of sky and texture as I enjoyed today but with heat.

* an irritating bit of mangement speak that apparently means brainstorming, a creative technique designed to generate ideas

Friday 1 February 2008

Finished items January

I'm not sorry to have said goodbye to January, my least favourite month. The time drags, the days never lengthen quick enough and the snowdrops still aren't out in my garden though they are in Edinburgh. It must have been a long month as I've already read three books and finished four knitting projects. I managed to prise Cleo off Mr FF's New Lanark sweater long enough to stitch it up but she soon took possession again. I eventually moved it one day while she was out and put it aside for Mr FF, but I found Cleo asleep on it again, he'd given it back to her. So its still on the sofa and she is still sleeping on it every night, if I'd know this I'd have knitted her a blanket and not bothered with all the shaping and stitching, but that wouldn't have been half so attractive to a cat.
I've finished the socks to match the marmalade and also this

Its for Matthew who was born early in January. Its size one year as apparently he has quite a lot of baby clothes. I'll give it to his Dad next time our office IT system goes haywire and he comes in to fix it. The pattern is by Louisa Harding from Miss Bea's Rainy Day, a gorgeous little book from Rowan. Speaking of which my Rowan magazine came today, it was waiting when I got back from yoga so I sat down with a coffee and had good browse. Lots of desirable patterns and some whacky ones too, maybe when I reduce my stash a bit more I could embark on something. But that won't be for ages as I was at the closing down wool shop near my office yesterday and came back with 5 x 100g balls of yellow cotton dk and 9 x 100g balls of dark blue aran cotton, all half price. Maybe one of these quantities might match up with a pattern in the Rowan magazine but its bound to one of the whacky ones.