Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rise and sing

Bells ring
Rise and sing
I've work to do this morning...

A little more autumn in the birch tree as we come to the equinox, which is today and not conveniently on the 21st as Mary would always like it to be.  We wondered if that might be because we are heading towards the next leap year, needed to get the equinoxes back into synch.  Who knows?

This is quite probably work avoidance.  I have an essay to complete and the deadline is a bit close for comfort - but I do need to get to the end of the song first.

Though bright my song
the day is long
and little food I bring along.
Aspens call me hither, thither,
linden trees are soothing.
Brooms I make from birch tree branches till the dusk of evening.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

purely rhetorical

Why should I maintain this...

and this...

and this...

when there is clearly only one "go to" solution?

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Soggy Saturday

It is raining.  A lot.

As I listen to the downpour clattering on the skylights overhead I remember that only this time last week I was doing this:

on this beach in Scotland:

Friday, September 11, 2015

never that simple...

I can't believe it is so long since I last posted.  Life is just so busy and complicated - but you knew that.  So here I am about to make another attempt at recording the simple things that make each day.  That may be over-ambitious: maybe each week, say.

And hello Autumn!  We can lie in bed with just one blind lifted and see this birch tree in our neighbour's garden.  Betula Pendula can grow to 26m but lives no more than a century. This morning we watched this solitary Lady of the Woods begin to change her seasonal clothing.  I remember that when we were in Oslo this began to happen during the second week of August, so I suppose she has  had a month's grace.

Although this morning - photo taken at 7.30 am - is blue and cloudless, the rest of the week has been true misty-moisty back-to-school weather: and so DD heads back to college today and I must truly get my head into some books.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Poppies and Crosses

Tomorrow is the next meeting of our group and I haven't posted about the last one yet! So this will be short and sweet, especially as today is my birthday and I am busy, busy, busy…

 A few were not able to make it on November 7th so we were a small gathering. May told us about a campaign to knit poppies for wreaths to commemorate 1914 and showed us one she had knitted. Yes, I forgot to photograph it, so here is one I tried later:

It took about an hour and measures just over 3" across.  Knitted in cotton, it is a bit floppy.  I wonder if it would be more structured in super chunky to make giant poppies for really amazing wreaths?

Whilst May knitted away at another of her amazing hats, the rest of us worked on sorting out the technique for entrelac (or basket-weave) knitting, including the concept of knitting backwards (yes, really).  Because time was short we began our pieces with a chevron border to give us the required triangular base shapes for starting the actual entrelacs, although that turned out to be less straight-forward than we had anticipated.  Still, progress was made:

and June, Janette and Lynne took away written instructions to practise on.

Well, ladies, I do hope you made sense of it and look forward to seeing how you got on, or otherwise.  For myself, I have decided that this is not for me.  Although I like the idea of backwards knitting and can see that it will have other applications, I cannot see myself knitting entrelacs at any time in the future other than under duress!

The finished wristies are to the top of the above photo, by the way, but I have enjoyed knitting these pulse warmers for my friend Muriel much more:

I hope to get the design written up as a pattern at some point, as with these fingerless mittens that I am now working on for Tom:

…but as you will have guessed by now, it takes me a long time to get around to the writing up.  Too busy knitting!  Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Let's begin with the mystery object...

What could it be?   Answer later.

Next let me apologise for the poor quality of photos.  It was a really bright and beautiful morning and the whole kitchen was suffused with sunlight.  I just forgot to adjust the camera for that and so the pictures really just give you a rough idea of how industrious we were this week..

Ann, Penny, Jennie and June in silhouette

and on the right our newest member, Lynne.

So this week we knitted hats and mitts and sweaters and shawls.  We talked a lot about yarn and stockists and pattern sources.  And we had some cake:

 Beat 270g soft light brown sugar with 2 eggs.  Add 200g peeled, mashed banana.
Sift in 280g plain flour with 1tsp each of baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon and ginger.
Melt 140g unsalted butter and stir into mix.
Pour mixture into a lined loaf tin and bake at 170 degrees C  (Gas mark 3) for an hour.

Sift 300g rye flour with 200g dark brown sugar, 1 tsp gluten-free baking powder (Doves), 1tsp cinnamon, half tsp each of ground nutmeg and cloves into a large bowl.
Grate in one large apple, including peel, and mix through with 4 tbsps sultanas.
Make a well in centre and stir in 250 ml milk or enough to make a good smooth, thick batter.
Pour into a lined loaf tin and bake 60 - 75 minutes at 180 degrees C (Gas mark 4), until a skewer comes out clean.

We meet next on Thursday November 7th and I have been asked to do a little demonstration of entrelac knitting.  This involves learning to knit backwards, but I promise you will get the idea very easily.  So if you want to have a go you can either just do a test swatch or you can strike out and have a go at some entrelac muffatees.

You will need 2 colours of double knitting wool.   The muffatee pattern can be done in 2, 3 or 4 colours if you wish and part balls will be sufficient.  Either a circular needle or a set of double pointed size 3.5 mm according to what you like best will also be needed.

There's no obligation, though, so if you want to carry on with your own project and say soothing things to us as we get in a muddle, please do.  See you then.

Answer? Oh, yes...

A wheel of unspun Icelandic wool which Jennie found.  It's wonderful.  What does one knit with it?  Anything really.  Prjonaperlur - Icelandic knit-pearls by Halldora Skarphedinsdottir and Erla S Sigurdardottir has patterns for ear-warmers, cardigans, lopapeysa sweaters, mittens, hats, slippers and TV socks.   Aaaah, TV socks.....