Saturday, 19 April 2014

Hooray, a long weekend!

It's been a lovely week because I only had to work two days and then we were into the long Easter weekend. Unlike the sorry thousands of people I saw queuing at London St Pancras station on Thursday night (five hour queues for Eurostar that filled up the entire lower concourse, unbelievable), we aren't planning to go away.

Instead we have a number of small indulgences planned.  Yesterday we drove over to the RSPB sanctuary in Sandy to enjoy the English spring tradition of a walk in a bluebell wood. The bluebells were in full swing, and there were still some daffodils in the mix although they were fading.  The temperature is about 15 C so it's warm in the sun but still fairly nippy when it's cloudy.

On the way back we stopped in the attractive market town of Kimbolton for lunch: I had homemade quiche which was very tasty.  We also picked up some fresh scallops from a fishmonger's van which we had wrapped in bacon for supper - yummy!  In the afternoon we went to look at a house just for the sake of comparison - it was really big and nicely done inside, but near a noisy road and had no character. Still interesting to look at though.

Today we are going to a tea room for a special Easter-themed afternoon tea, with sandwiches, Simnel cake, easter choc and of course plenty of tea.  Tomorrow we are going to the collectors' fair in Lamport followed by roast lamb for supper, and Monday we are packing DS up to take him back to Oxford where we will likely enjoy a visit to a museum and a few bookshops.

This week's activities

I did some more Fimo earlier in the week.  First I had a go at some Aubergines (eggplant) which came out fairly well.

Then I tried my hand at a more complex cane for Tomatoes, including the internal seeds.  This resulted in enough canes to make thousands of tomatoes, but I only cut up part of one into slices for now.  I can use them in sandwiches or salads.

I finished knitting my Slouchy Hat  from the Semi-Sweet Hat pattern by Erica Jackofsky in Elizabeth Lovold Silky Wool. I reduced the stitches to knit it fairly snugly because I thought the yarn might relax once washed, but it has surprised me by staying fairly taut. I showed this off at knitting group to lukewarm interest - I think because they don't realise the finer points like I did a provisional cast-on to pick up the hem, followed by a half-inch of linen stitch to hold it snugly to the head, and I knit it on 2.25mm needles for a really smooth fabric. I guess it just looks like a hat  :)

I also finished another square for my GAA Afghan.  This is the Dana Hurt square which is another big one.  These squares are never going to block to all the same size.  I think I will have to pick an average size and hope for the best.  Nine more to go.  The Dana Hurt square was fairly straightforward apart from you have to pattern the lace columns on the WS as well.  I had to draw out a couple of one row charts to remind me what I needed to do on that column on both WS and RS rows.

I found a ball of James C Brett Merino at my LYS which was a good match for my Crochet Slippers so I was able to finish them.  These are the 29-210-36 Room Shoes from Pierrot yarns, a Japanese pattern that is available free on Ravelry in translation.  I am a very poor crocheter so it took me quite a while to get these right, and I never did figure out the flowers properly for the band.  I like how the increases and decreases shape the slipper to hug the foot. I had to add an extra row to the slipper because I think my feet are a lot bigger than Japanese feet. They're not incredibly warm due to the mesh structure of crochet but they're about right for this time of year, particularly paired with some hand-knit socks.

I've knit a couple of tension squares getting ready for some new projects.  The darker blue is Regia Silk fingering weight for the Low Tide vest from Tin Can Knits, and the lighter blue is some Sirdar Breeze for a summer drop-stitch t-shirt.


Although I have successfully (and temporarily) whittled down my number of knitting UFOs, I was finding it annoying having to peek into every tote bag to work out what project was in which bag.  Totebags are good for travelling with knitting but for home use I wanted something I could see into.  After some trawling around on the internet, I found these shoe bags on Amazon UK, shipping from China.  They were very reasonable at £2.59 each and the quality is better than I expected.  They will hold small and medium size projects easily and I can see what's in them without having to open them.  I got three pink ones and three brown ones.

Happy Easter everyone!  I'm going to ignore my diet and tuck into a nice chocolate egg tomorrow -woo hoo!


swooze said...

6 totes? Does that mean you only have 6 projects going at once? >:D

Daisy said...

Happy Easter - enjoy the chocolate. I've just had my first chocolate for six weeks. What a great idea for the zipper bags.

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