Saturday, 26 January 2013


Over the last couple of months or so I've made some more blankets to go to Battersea Cats and Dogs Home in London. At the moment I don't have anything else to make so this fills in the time until the daylight gets better and hopefully I can get back to handstitching and machining. My cataracts are progressing but controllable with yet more specs and I'm within the legal limit to drive, the optician/optometrist told me. So I knit.
 It has surprised me since I spent a day in Wycombe Hospital having an angiogram (the preliminary to an angioplasty) when I had so many 'visitors' who were interested in my knitting as if it was an exotic pastime! Another patient across from me was amazed that I can knit without looking at what I'm doing. Well, I've been doing it for 75 years so bloomin' well should be able to!
This first blanket is using the same stitch as I did for the larger ones I 've made, - treble crochet in random colour stripes. All these blankets are roughly 24" 'square'. The border is a base row of double crochet, a row of treble and a final row of double again.
The second one is a small version of the harlequin or diamond knitted blanket I made some months ago. It looks complicated but is very easy to do and takes hardly any wool per patch, that's why I like it. Took it with me when I had my angioplasty a couple of weeks ago and knitted almost a row of diamonds - about 5 patches, I think - though no more after the procedure. I've even sewn in all the tails this pattern leaves for later, unlike the larger one already used as a throw on the settee without being finished 'on the back'... The lady in the bed next to mine hadn't knitted for donkey's years but intends to try again. I hope she's made it!  

 I made the third blanket by beginning to use up all the oddments of a few yards of wool which I couldn't bear to throw away. I based it on a Quilt As You Go design where each individual square is randomly pieced diagonally then put together in a pattern. I chose this diamond (again) design as it seemed to fit better into a small space. Each square measures about 6". The downside is it has to be crocheted together...

Now what can I do???

At least the snow has gone today, there's a blue sky and sunshine although it's still only 4 degrees C. outside.
The bird feeders are filled - again - the empty half coconut shells which contained suet are replaced and a scoop of bird seed thrown on the path for the blackbirds and one solitary (this year) pied wagtail to use. I had a surprise last evening just as I was packing up to go to bed. I turned on the patio light to see if it had started to rain and there was a badger licking up the bird seed which has been hidden under the snow. I've fetched peanuts from the bottom shed and put a handful or two under the 'cage'meant to keep large birds off seed etc. I know the badger can lift the cage with its snout so I'll find out whether it comes back again tonight. Never a dull moment.

Thursday, 10 January 2013


Some days ago I walked round the garden looking to see what signs of renewal there were. I found a few including clumps of primroses in flower. The odd looking item on the right hand side of this clump is one of those solar lights and this is the light collecting cell on the top.
This clump is at the bottom of the garden with dead leaves and what looks like some couch grass, too...

I love catmint and so do local cats. It's just beginning here but it's a bit early for it to start growing.

Gillian  brought me a planted planter as one part of my Christmas present - an innovative use of a a brass magazine rack  which has a row of pansies in the nearest compartment and primulas in the back compartment. It makes a bright spot of colour.

My next door neighbour's fence - again. After any particularly strong winds I walk the garden to see what's been done to the plants and/or hard structures. He doesn't and also isn't particularly prompt about repairing or moving the panels. Luckily this is behind the shed in the 'utility' area so there's nothing to ruin. Even so I hope it's not there for too long.
 I asked Gillian to come yesterday, a bright blue, sunny and 'warm' day, just to clear the sunflower husks from the path (she collected a barrow load) and cut the leaves from the hellebores. So far it's just the white/cream/greeny flowers coming through. The purple ones are usually a bit later in the year.
I blogged this sheep which lives on the surround of the pond a couple of years ago but it didn't have such a lovely green mossy overcoat at that time. It'll keep it warm when the snow comes....
I took some more photos, too - lilac is just coming into bud, globe thistle is sprouting well, about 12" high, lots of daffs poking through, several inches tall plus clumps of self sown snowdrops showing through. The Comtesse de Bouchard clematis had several tufts of leaves, too, but that's been cut back so all gone for now.
There are lots of long tailed tits this year and though they are usually in bunches of noisy chatterers it's a case of get them while you can, they don't hang about! Tiny little birds with much longer tails than the other tit family members.
I'm having yet another unexplained problem this time with Browsing for photos - where has it gone to??? Will it return lo its own??? Don't be silly!!!