Sunday, 31 January 2010

What I Didn't Do.

We are swinging from spring sunshine to flurries of snow in Cornwall, though nothing to what I read the rest of the country is undergoing. Much as I love snow I want it gone now and fortunately there is no sign of it today judging by the sky unfolding outside my window.

The weekend was calm and peaceful with lazy starts and plenty of cuddles with a certain little girl under the covers, knitting, the papers and a full pot of coffee. A very lovely way to start the day.

I seem to have caught up with my 20 minutes a day crafting as suggested by MarmaladeRose. If you haven't popped along for a look please do now as this is a good one to join. Other than this though I have to admit to doing very little this weekend. I didn't pop down to the sea which has been mostly leaden for the past week...

I didn't search out brightly coloured boats nestled by river banks and quays...

or the wonderful textures of old weathered rope...

or rusted moorings

I didn't do much more than browse the wonders hidden away inside these covers, dreaming of delicious meals rather than actually creating them.

And mostly I lazed and knitted and beat Dave at chess (sometimes)and snoozed the weekend this

Bliss! x

Friday, 29 January 2010

A Slow Unfolding (and a long post).

Signs of a waiting spring with the slow unfolding of new life. I find more sweet crocus every time I step into the garden, though the absent sun means they are not lighting the scene with their starry faces, petal thrown wide to celebrate the gentle warmth.

The first of our primroses peeked its head above the cold soil and said hello with a soft yellow almost-unfurling of skirts, deciding at the last it seems to wait a little longer before shaking them out completely. It had only stopped flowering a short time before Christmas, so I guess it deserves a little rest.

The winter flowering cherry slowly, slowly fattens its tiny buds. I love this dainty plant with its elegant branches which suddenly explode into masses of beautiful blossoms making me feel spring is truly here even if it is really too early to be so.

I received the loveliest surprise from my dear, wonderful friend Diana this week in the form of the most beautifully decorated envelope containing knitting patterns. How perfect is that! Actually, how perfect is the envelope which Diana decorated with a collage of all varieties of witch hazel, one of my very favourite plants (yes, I know I have lots).

There is the most amazing witch hazel along the road from us which is now a mass of bloom scenting the air with the most beautiful and delicate perfume. I almost crash the car daily as we pass by in my attempts to negotiate the busy road and drown in the breathtaking beauty of this most beguiling of tiny trees.

Isn't it beautiful?

And there was one of Diana's equally beautiful photographs which is now firmly in place on the fridge door where I can gaze often as I virtually live in this one room.

And knitting patterns...woohoo! I think I may have to show you these in another post as they are so gorgeous, but I am desperate to start a new project and just having these to look at gives me the incentive I need... keep going with this. I have nearly finished the back - 2cm left to do - and can honestly say I don't know what I think of it. It is light, soft to the touch and warm, but so odd that it needs to be completed and made up before I can commit myself.

It certainly isn't a grabber in photgraphs taken on such a dull day is it? Well, I'll stick at it and see how it goes. I hope I like it as I can't bear wasted effort and I really could do with a jumper like this.

In contrast, Mr Davey's knitting goes on apace with the last sleeve now started.

It is so lovely and I am really proud of his first attempt at a garment other than a scarf. I do love Crofter wool!

Well, that was a mammoth post, so I will leave you now with a huge thank you to dear Diana for making my week and another thank you to those of you who made it to the end of this post without losing the will to live!

Have a wonderful weekend x

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

A Chilly Morn.

Aren't the early morning skies incredible at the moment? The view from the edge of our front garden looks down over Penryn and Falmouth, over the fields, eventually reaching the sea in the distance. Today it offered another glorious display of deepest pink and velvet blue as the light gradually broke through to reveal a bitterly cold morning.

The children sat on the back of the sofa watching the dawn break through the window and I grabbed the camera to capture the display before it was over.

The icy morning held light wrapped in frozen air, colours cast onto sea and land that shimmered and changed so quickly that it was hard to catch one scene before another evolved.

A softer rose and gold landscape with hidden charcoal depths emerged by the shore, the slumberous sea quietly rolling in its sleepy state, the waves barely breaking the chilled silence as they shifted against the rocks.

Even the quay showed signs of the cold with stars frosting the wooden sleepers lining the edge.

Amazing how cold air seems to mute the palate leaving a misted scene without the mist - does that make sense?

Of course, even the cold could not dampen the bright colours of the boats on the banks.

Keep warm won't you? x

Sunday, 24 January 2010

A Visit to an Old Friend.

Such beautiful weather this weekend. I realised little Isabella and I hadn't visited the beach for far too long and on Friday it called to us. Sparkling seas rolling busily onto the shore, seagulls riding the frothy crests and a blueness to the water that the photos didn't capture.

Weed needing to be thrown as far into the depths as a three year old can manage (which isn't very far as it happens).

Crashing waves throwing spray into the sky. We felt it sprinkle us as it was carried on the breeze.

The shore was heavy with seadweed of all types and I realised I had forgotten the names of most. Another aim for this year then: to re-learn and add to my knowledge of the beach flora and fauna, hopefully including the children in this journey.

I'm thinking we could make posters of our finds and name them as bringing home much of it for our nature table is obviously not possible. Lovely colourful drawings they will be won't they?

So, Friday was a bright, sparkling, unbelievably warm day which heralded the same for the whole weekend. So beautiful; so good to re-visit my old friend and be reminded of how much I love it in all its guises.

The search for the perfect wave begins again it seems.

How was your weekend? x

Friday, 22 January 2010

Jumpers and Jumping.

Ahh, Friday. I do so love it. The anticipation of snuggling under our new goosefeather quilt while drinking coffee on Saturday morning is almost too much. Of course, it may not be as fluffy as I hoped thanks to Miss Isabella who had a manic jumping session all over it despite my yelling at her to get off. In the end I decided to give in and try to capture some images instead.

Easier said than done as her constant need to move means they are all a little blurred.

But indulge this doting mamma please.

Ok, enough Pip!

My 20 minutes a day of crafting has gone by the wayside for the last two nights as the fireside has sent me to sleep. Wonderful company for the rest of the family as I loll on the sofa, no doubt mouth open, dribbling and snoring to boot, but I am determined to make up for it tonight with a long and happy session of knitting my new project. It is, as I said before, a jumper in a charcoal wool called Nomad of which the colour range was very limited, but I felt I needed a few items in tones that would go with anything, particularly as my dresses tend to be on the colourful side.

The images make the wool look very coarse, but it is a strange mix of fluffy and bobbly, soft to the touch once knitted without the awful hairiness of mohair (which I can't bear as it sheds so appallingly). A fine, light knit that I can already tell will be so snuggly and warm to wear making it perfect to throw on over lighter weight clothes in the coming months.

Now for the down side: it is a b**g***r to knit with. All is well if you keep track of what row you are on, but the texture means it is almost impossible to see whether the row is knit or purl. I am using a row counter to help with this and that seems fine, but I would think if you are prone to dropping stitches you would lose the will to live. Fortunately this is not one of my problems - I'm so going to regret saying that! There are tiny loops that create the wonderful texture, but again this could be a problem if you knitted into them by mistake. I can generally tell by the tension if I am trying to get the needle into the wrong bit.

On the plus side, it is relatively quick as it is knitted on 5.5 needles, straight sided and very basic in terms of patterning, worked in a stocking stitch. We'll see how it goes BUT if you are after an easy knit, quick and wonderful, this is the one for you: as requested, here is the pattern for my tank top/vest top/pullove...whatever you want to call it. Sirdar knitted in only 3 balls of Crofter yarn and it even says 'easy' on the pattern front. Please note, I chose to knit the round neck as shown in the top left hand corner by the headless model. Knew I got the idea somewhere!

That's me for now.

Have a wonderful weekend x

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

A Long Wednesday Wander.

Not a lot going on here at the moment apart from the clicking of knitting needles. Projects move on and new ones are started, but more of that in a moment. Last night I could be found clicking away on the camera rather than knitting pins as the fire's rich light called to me to preserve it for those dull days ahead.

The more it flickered the closer I went with the lens, the hypnotic flames curling fingers of orange up the chimney.

Hot, molten, liquidy heat....such bliss.

Anyhow, enough of that. Much excitement for Isabella this morning as a little fishing boat arrived on the quay on the back of a lorry. "That's not right," she announced to the driver, which I suppose is true really.

The tide was in and the river was quite busy with boats moored all around.

I love the contrasts of textures, the peeling paints and rough rope with a myriad of different knots, the names of which I have no idea.

Home again and look what I spotted peeping though the weeds while feeding the ducks.

Which led me on to look for more signs of spring.

And the more I looked, the more I found as is so often the way... if we only remember to look.

Ok, now it's on to the comedy part of the piece. I wanted to show you my tank top which I actually finished knitting on Sunday morning, wearing it out to lunch with friends Sunday lunchtime. I am so very pleased with it as it fits perfectly and I actually finished all the seams properly for the first time ever - what a differece that makes I can tell you. Unfortunately getting photographs has proved a challenge as it is dark early in the day and too dim again later on; this means I have tried to photograph myself! Welcome to Pip's Comic Gallery!

Please try to focus on the knitting and not the fact that I am clearly headless (deliberate I may add)

Suffice it to say that this was a very quick and easy knit, one to do while watching the tv, and is so lovely to wear that I have virtually lived in it since Sunday. It looks fab with jeans and over floaty dresses and smart skirts too. I really recommend trying it.

I'm already well into my next proect now - a jumper in soft charcoal wool with a bubbly sort of texture, but I think I have gone on quite long enough for today. Thank you to those who made it thus far and I'll get me back to my paperwork now (yes, you can see why I waffled on so long now).

Have a great Wednesday x