Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two whole finished items

I don't seem to have blogged about knitting for ages, but I have had several projects on the go, I just kept forgetting to take photographs in suitable light. But now that Spring is well and truly here it's a lot easier!

I've finished working on the wrap cardigan in Twilley's Freedom Spirit that I resurrected for the Ravellenic Games. I just had one sleeve to finish, plus the border to finish and sew on. I remembered whilst I was finishing the sleeve how much I'd loved the colours when I was first knitting it several years ago.

And this is it all finished and blocked. I think my tension changed slightly over the years and I'm a couple of sizes bigger now than I was when I started knitting it, so it has to be worn as an open cardigan rather than a wrap one, but it's still wearable, and I think will be a useful garment. I (briefly) considered frogging it and starting again, but Freedom Spirit is a nightmare to frog and I couldn't face the thought. It's a little bit pulled at the front, where the border was sewn on.

And I've finished another one of the cabled hoodies for my nephew's eighth birthday. This is size 9 - 10 years, so should hopefully last him a while, and took 4 balls of Sirdar Supersoft Aran. Despite being acrylic, it's nice to knit with and I know washes well, as the last hoodies I made for him and his brother three years ago have lasted well.
This is it pre-blocking:

And post-blocking, where it looks a totally different colour! It's actually more of a burgundy red, like the picture above! Monkey couldn't resist getting in on the blocking action too.

I enjoyed reading the Yarn Harlot's post about blocking the other week and realised that I, too, had been guilty of thinking there was no need to block acrylic. I can certainly see the difference in the pre and post blocking pictures anyway!

I'm now busy working on a couple more Beyond Puerperiums for a friend who is expecting twins, so there should be another knitting update before too much longer.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Garden at the beginning of April 2014

I really wish now that I'd taken garden at the beginning of the month pictures last year, as that was the year of the never-ending winter. I've enjoyed seeing friends' this year and last year pictures on Facebook for the contrast this week! I know from my garden record book that last year's temperatures were well below 10°C colder than they are now.

Meanwhile, this year there is now a lot of colour in the garden as more and more plants start flowering. The birds are all nesting and eating up the hordes of tiny insects which presumably weren't killed off by the mild winter.

The daffodils are virtually over now, but most of the tulips are out, plus all the Aubrieta.

I love the Dicentra flowers, and it seems to be doing particularly well this year - must be the wet weather!

Close up of some more Aubrieta. Three years ago I bought a four pack of different varieties from the garden centre, so we now have clumps in a mixture of purples.

And the first sighting of some apple blossom!

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Days out: Gainsborough Old Hall

I went up to Mum's for the Mothering Sunday weekend and we had a day out to Gainsborough whilst I was there. We mooched around the newish shopping area, Marshall's Yard, where we had some lunch, before heading over to Gainsborough Old Hall. I think I last went there on a school trip 25 years ago (how time flies).

It's a Medieval Manor House, visited by Richard III and Henry VIII, and also housed some of the Separatists, who engaged in Puritan worship in the hall. Later on some of their group would travel to America on the Mayflower.

The internal photos are a bit fuzzy as I didn't have my flash on.

I climbed all the way to the top of the tower to have a look over the rest of the building and surrounding bits of Gainsborough. It was a lovely day.

Rather unfortunate model of Henry VIII, complete with enormous codpiece!!

I could remember a few parts (mainly the Ghost Corridor) from when I visited years ago, but there's a lot more to see now, and I think it would be a great place to visit with children.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Days out: Clandon Park daffodils

We were getting into the whole daffodils thing, so decided to go and visit Clandon Park, down near Guildford, which has a field of daffodils in front of the house. A few years ago we visited and the daffodils were just over, and we'd always said we'd go back and see them properly another year.

So we did. Except when we got there we discovered that the house and grounds are closed on Saturdays (and Fridays), as they hire them out for weddings (hmm, there is a picture of a bride in a swanky dress in front of all the daffodils on their wedding hire website). Should have checked the website...

We had to admire the daffodils from a distance.

However, we then went on to the wonderful Clandon Park Garden Centre, an independent one, and had a cup of tea in their cafe, before buying lots of plants!