Sunday, November 27, 2005

Stinking cold

I've been battling a cold all week, and it finally won on Friday. Unfortunately I was in the office on Friday - an office where the temparature fluctuated all day between lukewarm and bloody freezing as the heating came on and went off, came on and went off. The new office is lovely, but does leave a bit to be desired on the facilities front. Hopefully these are just teething problems.

So, after a thoroughly miserable day, I was never so glad to be home and warm. I spent all of yesterday in bed. What luxury. Eddie walked the dogs, fed the animals, and even did the weekly trip to Sainsbury's (and managed to forget only 2 items). He brought me soup, Lemsips and cups of tea. I finally got up about 7 pm and had pizza and watched telly for a couple of hours before going back to bed.

I haven't knitted all week - a true sign that I have been dangerously ill.

I feel much better today, though am still coughing my guts up.

You'd have thought the recent cold snap would have killed all the germs lurking about. We have so far escaped the snow, but we have had some fantastic winter weather recently - hard overnight frosts, and brilliant sunny days. I took these pictures last Sunday morning when we walked the dogs:

This was the view in the Oak Tree field. Yet, surprisingly, just a few hundred yards further on, where the edge of the field meets the woodland...

This part of the land is in a dip, and it's obviously a lot more sheltered in the woods.

The view across the river:

I love this winter weather, and relish it even more after spending 7 years in Cornwall where, although a beautiful place to live, the winters were unrelentingly wet and miserable. I always spent the winter feeling utterly depressed, and with a generally wet spring as well, it seemed to drag on forever. Back in the south east I love the colder, dryer winters, which seem so much shorter. Dry weather makes the farming much easier too. Wet = mud, and even though the goats are inside in the winter, when it's wet the damp seems to seep into the barns. I think they prefer the dryer weather too.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Monster profile

I couldn't resist this, from Wooly Warbler's blog:

Your Monster Profile

Wild Worm

You Feast On: Peanut Butter

You Lurk Around In: Nude Beaches

You Especially Like to Torment: Crybabies

Sunday, November 20, 2005

A trio of FOs

Glossing over the recent lack of proper posting, I have been busy on the knitting front and have recently completed three items.

First we have the Noro hat

Knit from the one ball of Silk Garden left over from Klaralund. The pattern is the Silk Garden Beanie, and was knit on 4 DPNs. Well, it was to start with, but I found I hated knitting this many stitches on DPNs so much, I switched to a short circular until I got so far along on the decreases I had to switch back.

A quick and easy knit, this was a train project which was done in a week.

Next up, my second Clapotis

Like my first Clapotis, this was knit using Hip Knits silk, in random stripes of Cafe au Lait and Teddy Bear. I love this pattern, it's such a satisfying knit. I made this one quite a bit smaller than the first - using about 300g rather than 400 - as I have found that the first one has stretched - the nature of silk I guess. I wear mine all the time as a great big scarf, and I love it. This one is for my sister in law for Christmas. I think I like this one more than my own, so I hope she likes it too! I reckon I have just enough yarn left to knit myself a small scarf version....

And thirdly, drum roll please - I present Penryn. First the non-modelled shots

And now the modelled shot

I love, love, love this sweater. It has turned out far better than I ever could have hoped. It fits perfectly (the sleeves are perhaps just a tad longer than I'd normally wear, but still just fine), and the chunky wool doesn't add pounds and make me look like a Weeble.

It was a very quick and simple knit, and putting it together was pretty straightforward too. Getting the set in sleeves right was the biggest challenge, but they look absolutely fine.

My second wearable sweater - woo hoo!

This pattern was Penryn from the Jaeger Natural Fleece and Fur Collection (JB36) pattern book. Knit in Rowan Chunky Print, this took 6 balls of Pebble Dash on 9mm bamboo circs. Time on the needles - less than a week.

I would definitely knit this again. I didn't knit it in the Jaeger Natural Fleece because The Knit Tin didn't have any colours I liked, but last time I was there they had a much better range. There's another very similar pattern in the book which is a plain v-neck, but again fitted like this one. The sleeves are foul however, being a mix of the Natural Fleece and Fur, but looking at the two patterns I could easily use the sleeve pattern from Penryn instead.

Mind you I have plenty to be getting on with at the moment. I have finished the back, and am about a third of the way through the first sleeve on the Anniversary Sweater. I'm knitting this in worsted merino which I managed to get my hands on last year. It's so soft - an absolute joy to knit. But lots of cables - every 8 stitches and every 4 rows. So I took the plunge and looked up how to cable without a cable needle. It works, it's great.

Also in progress are two mini versions of the Irish Hiking scarf for my two nephews, and a full version for my brother. I have to get these all finished by 18th December. I may have to put the Anniversary Sweater aside....

Outside of knitting like mad in every spare moment, work looks like it is going to be very busy from now until Christmas. The office move went well, although I don't think they put the heating on early enough in the new offices. On the days I go into the office I'm generally at my desk by 7.30, and although the radiators are going full blast, the office itself is freezing, and doesn't really warm up until about lunchtime. I think words with the building managers may be in order. In the meantime Cozy & Clapotis are keeping me warm.

Today we sorted the sheep out into their winter groupings. We have 2 groups of 8 ewes who have been put in with the rams. We should therefore start lambing in mid April. The other 21 are mostly this year's lambs - 6 wethers (castrated males) will go for meat in a few weeks, and we have two old ewes who unfortunately we have to cull this year. The rest are ewe lambs who are too young to be put with the rams. Our new young ram Larry is very excited by it all. Ronnie & Reggie are much more laid back, although as they have to share their ewes there's a bit of argy bargy between them. The winter is always the time when the rams seem to be at their happiest - not that they're exactly unhappy the rest of the year, but they always seem just a bit more contented when they're with the ewes. Bearing in mind that all the hanky panky is generally done within the first 2 to 3 weeks, it can't just be the sex. I guess like us, they simply like the companionship of the opposite sex.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Busy, busy, busy

Life v hectic. Although no time to post, have been v busy on the knitting front. Pics will follow this week.

In the meantime, swiped this from Purlpower's blog:
Your Birthdate: October 7

You are an island. You don't need anyone else to make you happy.
And though you see yourself as a loner, people are drawn to you.
Deep and sensitive, you tend to impress others with your insights.
You also tend to be psychic - so listen to that inner voice!

Your strength: Your self sufficiency

Your weakness: You despise authority

Your power color: Maroon

Your power symbol: Hammer

Your power month: July

Sums me up pretty well actually!

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