Wednesday, July 09, 2014

slow progress

Not much has changed since last week. I'm still knitting the orange cardigan, it's taking much longer than I would like and I'm finding it boring, which means I am knitting less and so progress is even slower! I need to just get stuck in and finish it, I think. 

Last night I knitted a couple of rows on  this premature baby blanket that I am knitting for Project Linus UK. I also knitted the flower - we decided at WI that the Committee should have some identifying feature at meetings, and settled on a yellow flower. They will be different, as we're making our own and customising them to our own taste. I used a button that belonged to my Auntie Doris for the centre of mine. I inherited her button tin and I love to use her buttons on my craft projects when I can. I might bling the petals up a bit, what do you think? 

I've been a slow reader this week too, I'm further into The Secret Keeper, but it's one of those books that goes back and forth in time and has more than one narrator and I am getting a bit confused. I am enjoying it though, when I can get the plot straight in my head and remember who is who.

Joining Ginny and everyone else for Yarn Along 

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

The Happy List

smoked salmon and salad for lunch

decluttering a small area each day - an online challenge I'm taking part in and finding very cathartic

the prospect of one day finishing the orange cardigan that seems to be taking forever (see what I did there?)

feeling less stiff and achey since starting the new diet healthy eating plan

losing 6lbs

waking up early in the mornings - not sure why (the change of eating habits?). I always struggle with mornings, but lately I'm bright and breezy (fairly) early 

reading a good book 

Joining in with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

my first garment

This is my first attempt at making a garment for myself, not counting the Purple Ponch (almost finished), as  that doesn't have to fit, and it is basically like a blanket. This cardigan, like the poncho, is a pattern currently doing the rounds at the WI I attend. I was rather brave and chose orange. Normally I'd go for black, or brown, something neutral, but I have sandals in just the same shade and thought I would go for it! It's knitted in King Cole Opium, a bulky thick and thin yarn which is a bit strange to knit with but not difficult, and is a long cardigan with elbow length sleeves and  kind of floppy lapels. It's mostly stocking stitch. I can't seem to find a link to the pattern. My aim is to finish it by the end of July, so that I can wear it for a while with those sandals before the autumn sets in. Then I have to finish the Ponch (started in early 2013!) to wear in the colder months. 

Earlier this year I read Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, and for anyone who read that and liked it, I would recommend Ken Grimshaw's Replay, which I recently read and enjoyed. 

I have been lent The Secret Keeper by a friend and am only a few pages in, so I don't have an opinion as yet. 

Joining Ginny for Yarn Along  

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

back in time

In the early days of our relationship the Prof and I visited this little church at Bradwell on Sea. It was a a chilly, grey day and we said we would come back one day in nicer weather. So this weekend we packed up a picnic and drove to Bradwell. It's about a half mile walk from the car park - you can just see the church in the distance. 

Although it was a hot day there was a lovely breeze and we walked along watching the butterflies, who sadly wouldn't alight anywhere long enough for a photograph. We saw several wartime pillboxes in the fields. I remember those in other places when I was growing up and wonder why they were never taken away. 

The Prof has an interest in the materials used to build old Essex churches, so we often stop at them when we are out in the countryside. Sometimes I join him, other times I sit in the car and read. Today I was very happy to lie on the grass while he wandered around and took photographs. It's a lovely place, especially in the June sunshine. You can imagine that very little has changed in the thousand-plus years since the church was built. With fields all around, and the view out to sea, it's like taking a step back in time. 

Photos by me and the Prof  

Also featuring this weekend:

A very ill doggie late Friday night and a trip to the vet on Saturday morning. She improved very much overnight, and you wouldn't know that there was anything wrong to look at her now, but the vet told us to be prepared for bad news in the future. We are trying to be optimistic, and giving our girl extra cuddles and treats. 

Managing to stick to our diet healthy eating plan, despite considerable stress and an almost sleepless night. 

Knitting, of course. Always knitting. 

Weekending (belatedly) with Karen at Pumpkin Sunrise

Onward and Downward

This is me, a couple of weeks ago. It's not the most unflattering picture I've got (as I'm putting it on the internet!) but this is one I'm going with as a 'before' picture. 

We joined Slimming World last week. I don't get on the scales very often, but every few months when I do, invariably another few pounds have gone on. It's a slow inexorable upward trend and I finally came to the point when enough was enough. 

We have a fridge full of veggies, lean meats and low fat yogurts, two very full fruit bowls and bagfuls of motivation. We missed weigh in on Saturday as our poor doggie was very unwell and we had to take her to the vet (she's ok now, but we have to keep a very close eye on her for the foreseeable future). According to my scales at home I have lost 5lbs.

We're finding the plan surprisingly easy, so far.  I even managed to have a meal out with the Young Philosopher at Pizza Express and stayed on plan. We have a few events coming up in the next few weeks that I am a little worried about, but I'm hoping we can plan for them and still lose weight. 

Discovery of the week: Mullerlight coconut and lime yoghurt with raspberries added to it is one of the nicest things I have tasted in a long time! 

Saturday, June 07, 2014

In Remembrance

Philip and I are so very sad to hear of the passing of our friend Matt, otherwise known as Leofwin. We spent many an evening together over a pint and several fun days in Saxon mode at West Stow Anglo Saxon village and Sutton Hoo. He was a very genuine person, kind, generous and good company. Whenever we met, he unfailingly told me how lovely I looked, which was very kind of him and I am sure not always true. He taught French, and used his gift for languages to learn Old English, writing and illustrating his book 'Learn Old English with Leofwin'. He did a beautiful reading in Old English for us at our wedding, and as a gift he wrote it out in his lovely scribe's hand, illustrated it with a drawing of us, and framed it. It hangs on our living room wall. Just recently he emailed me to ask if he could include a drawing of us in his new book, and of course I said yes. I also said we would have to get together soon for a drink. I wish we had.

Goodbye Matt, and rest in peace. We'll miss you. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Yarn in the post!

A parcel of new yarn is one of my most favourite things, and I just love Deramores online shop- as long you order by 5pm, the yarn arrives next day - super service, no? (they're not paying me to say that!). This is Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend Fino in Bramble. Isn't it absolutely gorgeous? I've knitted a bit with doubleknit Manos del Uruguay yarn before, but this is my first time with the 4ply. This is for the Miss Winkle knitalong from Crafts From the Cwtch. It's my first KAL, and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone else's creations developing. 

And why is it called Miss Winkle?  There is an episode of one of my favourite programmes, 'The Big Bang Theory' in which Leonard is dating Leslie Winkle and they disagree over the correct version of Quantum Mechanics, String Theory or Loop Quantum Gravity. Leonard says that he prefers his space 'stringy, not loopy'. Leslie strongly holds the opposite view ("How will we raise the children?" she says), so this  loopy scarflette is named for Leslie Winkle. As the pattern writer Martina Behm says ' honour of all women scientists and all women who know what they want and don't let any man talk them out of it!' 

I can't wait to get started, but first I have to wind the yarn into balls, which is a job on a par with sewing my knitted projects up, ie NOT my favourite. I need a minion to do these things.