Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday afternoon distractions

In need of something practical and absorbing to keep my mind occupied, I thought I'd document all of my outstanding knitting projects at various levels of completion.

Above is the 4-ply jumper/vest from Vintage knits. Alpaca wool, which is so soft, from South America. I just need to sew it together and knit the neck band. 
Exact same thing in blue (also alpaca). I'm only on the first side. One whole side and two capped sleeves still to knit.
This jumper has been years in the making. I just have to knit a small V shape to insert in the V-shaped front, then sew it together and knit a couple of rows of neckband, et voila! I ran out of the green contrast wool towards the top of the second sleeve and had to use another green 4-ply wool I had. The colour is in the vicinity of the original! And the last ball of purple wool I used was defective, so every few yards it was frayed so I had to keep breaking it and adding it in at the side. And I've almost run out of that too. I may have to sew it together using a different wool. Rowan has discontinued the wool now, of course so I can't even buy additional balls.
The Scottish/Danish reindeer sock. I love it. Just need to concentrate to do the second reindeer (and not carry the white wool round the back, thus tightening the ankle pard, making it difficult to get on!).
And the not-yet-started chunky jumper. I made one for my friend Lynsey for her christmas. She's scared to wash knitted items I give her, so I should maybe go round to see if she wants me to do it for her. `This is a quick, exhilarating knit so once I get started it won't take too long. Relatively speaking.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday morning

My early morning view from the kitchen table :)
And then a trip down to Morningside/Bruntsfield, ostensibly to do some banking, but really so I could go to the new Costa on the corner and have a skinny mocha and read The Review. Costa loves me.

I like this area of Edinburgh a lot. There are a couple of coffee shops I like. Also The Edinburgh Bookshop, which has a well-chosen display of books, and a good card/gift shop, where I went to buy three wedding cards.

And then I got a text from my sister to say she'd been in a car accident last night. She, her husband and their little dog (poor Spike) are all okay but the car is a write off. So that was a shock.

Today I am in that no mans land of feeling tired but not tired enough to sleep but too tired to do anything productive. I lay down with Meg for an hour and that was nice and have woken up feeling a bit fresher. I really wanted to sew this weekend but moving the kitchen table away from the wall and setting up my sewing machine and figuring out where I am in the pattern seems like a lot of hassle. Maybe I'll go outside first to see if fresh air helps. A cycle ride even! I'm off! 

Monday, April 22, 2013

A hat and two pairs of socks

This is my manager's manager's hat. I think I'll have to get more wool and make myself a new one. I want to wear this so much. It's a Rowan recipe using Rowan Big Wool. I gave Tracey the option of pom poms, tassels or nothing at the end of the ties and she opted for tassels.
These are Bramble's socks, finally finished. I particularly love the pink socks because they're so soft (alpaca).
But I think these are quite groovy too.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My Birthday and, what else - the hens!

For my birthday I asked Hagos to get me drawing materials. I used to love drawing when I was at school, particularly drawing people. We went to Greyfriars Art shop in Dundas Street, Edinburgh. The woman was so helpful and I came away with some pastels, above.
And some pencils. I won't show you my efforts so far. I need to set up my 'art' space so that it's all much more accessible. This includes my piano, which I haven't played since my Christmas holidays.
These are my birthday books. I had to give away so many of my books when I moved to Scotland, I'm glad to be building them back up again. Kate Atkinson, Life After Life, is so readable, though the characters are recognisable from Case Histories and Behind the Scenes at the Museum. She's very good at that close, dysfunctional, funny family dynamics. Hoping for some slivers of writing wisdom from A L Kennedy. And some great new chocolate recipes from Green and Black's recipe book.
After my sad hen news in the last post, I thought I'd get in amongst the girls today and post some happy photos. This is little Rosie. She's the smallest hen, always on the periphery, especially when any food is being given out. I always scoop a little bit out and try to feed her off to the side, though even then she isn't always brave enough to come and take it. I particularly like seeing her running towards me because she has such short legs and such a pointy tail she looks really funny.
This is Malcolm. I'm a wee bit concerned about Malcolm as she seems to be spending a bit of time by herself these days. She's probably fine. I like them all to be together: safety in numbers, they won't be lonely (projecting human traits on them). I love Malcolm too as she's also a wee sweetheart. She used to be at the bottom of the pecking order but I've seen her stand up for herself a few times and hold her own. 
Godfrey, Vivian and Yoko. 
Chikarita, with her feathery feet. Her feathers have a lovely green sheen to them. 
Apple crumble for one. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now I just feel very, very full.

In knitting news: I made my manager's manager a hat. We bumped into each other in the queue at Cafe Nero on the way into work one morning and she asked if I'd knit one for her. I was a bit surprised as I thought I was the only person in the world who liked my hat (I love this hat and knit the same pattern every time I need a new hat). It's knitted in Rowan Big Wool, which is so soft and chunky, and it's so warm because it covers my whole head and has ear flaps. It's probably the only thing I'd agree to knit for anyone too as it is such a quick, fun knit. So I've finished that and will post a photo next time. I've also almost finished two pairs of baby socks for Bramble. I just have the toe to knit on the second sock. It shouldn't have taken me so long, but I have been so busy with work, and home life. Photos of all in the next post! 

Sunday, April 07, 2013

A Sad Weekend

I've had a truly horrible weekend.

I left work on friday night excited at the prospect of having a weekend to myself, and was planning to spend the whole weekend sewing, knitting, reading, walking, sleeping, and generally chilling out.

On friday evening I went a walk to see the hens and collect the eggs. Bow (above) wasn't with the group, which I thought unusual as she's always around when food's being given out.  A short distance away I found a clump of feathers. It took a moment to understand she had been taken by a fox. Bow was one of my favourites and actually my current most favourite. I loved the smoky-grey feathers that reminded me of those wide dancing skirts that ballroom dancers wear.

Then on Saturday my mother-in-law called to say her cat had died. He was 17 years old and had been her friend and constant companion all that time. I went through to see her today, and we had a nice day considering the circumstances. But I feel so sad about it and can't stop crying. I feel sad for him, and I feel sad for my mother-in-law.

So I'm sitting on the couch cuddling a hot water bottle (heat is comforting), watching The Great British Bake Off re-runs, and Paul Hollywood's Bread, knitting a very simple jumper with my own wee cat lying across my legs. And I can hear an owl hooting outside.