Sunday, 23 April 2017

Enjoying the outdoors

When we drove south for the funeral a few weeks ago, we really noticed how much more built up the area where we used to live is, on the west side of London, with fewer green spaces and so much more traffic. When we lived there I guess we just accepted it because it seemed normal. It made us appreciate even more where we live now, in a much quieter town which has a defined edge beyond which is so much lovely Northamptonshire countryside.  In a very short drive we can visit so many lovely places in a 360 degree direction, without London sitting like a massive blockage over an entire eastern quadrant. I suppose the flip side is loss of easy access to one of the most amazing cities in the world but we can still visit on the train.

Yesterday we went back to Coton Manor to see their acclaimed bluebell wood.  Their nursery manager told us that it is 'patchy' this year and not as good as they are usually, but the effect was still pretty amazing.



The blue haze floating in the dappled sunshine was hard to capture in photographs although lots of people were trying.  There were other signs of spring in the garden, with this swarm of 13 baby ducklings attracting much attention and cooing.


From Coton Manor we drove on to Oxford to take DS back to uni.  We took him for dinner then said goodbye and went off for a leisurely walk in the early evening sunshine. It's such a lovely place. This is his last year and we are almost as sad as he is to be anticipating his time there coming to an end.  Looking back from Christchurch Meadows I snapped this unexpectedly bucolic scene with a herd of longhorn cattle grazing.


Crafts

I finished up the new bed for the Gamekeeper's Cottage dollshouse. I prepared the coverlet part ahead of time, then cut the bedframe in half and reassembled it in the room. Once that was dry, I added the prepared top part.  The coverlet is a authentically woven cloth that my aunt sent me decades ago, she bought it at an American colonial village but I can't remember which one. I had never used it because it was too big and too glaring white, but now that I am older I felt comfortable with cutting it down in size and tea-dying it to mute the contrast in colour.  I like it in here.  This room is difficult to photograph as it is a mezzanine tucked under the roof.


My gamekeeper spent the last year or so standing stiffly to attention at the back of the main room, so I took pity on him and made him more comfortable in the leather armchair in front of the fire, and gave him a beer. I think he looks a lot happier now.


I've done a few more hours on my Bucks Point lace bookmark and I'm about 2/3rds done now.

I've sewn several more blocks for my William Morris grid quilt, I'm just starting the heel on my second Fair isle sock, and I've just joined in the round under the arms on my second attempt at the top down leaf yoke sweater.  I've also cut out the penultimate applique block for my 25-block applique quilt and have made a start on it.

On my day off I knit the V-neck trim for my denim machine knit tee, then sewed it down in the evening in front of the telly.  I didn't do a great job on this. I forgot to mitre for the 'v' on one side but thought I would be able to fix it by sewing the other mitred side on top, but it doesn't look very tidy. Also I discovered far too late that I had somehow knit two stitches together (much harder to do accidentally on a knitting machine) and it really shows. I suppose/hope that non-knitters won't notice.


Today I linked on the sleeves and closed the side seams on my Hague linker, so I just need to handsew the seams of the hems and rib.  I've given it a quick try on, it fits although with slightly less ease than I prefer, so I may have to steam it a bit bigger. Also I think it would have benefited from being knit on a looser tension, the fabric is a bit stiff.  This is Yeoman Panama which I knit on a Brother 881 machine on T7dot. Being a cotton/acrylic mix, it may relax a bit more with wear.


I happened to look out the window to see a very odd bird sitting on our bird feeder.

Yes, that's our cat, and I'm not even sure how she jumped up there without knocking the whole thing over.

Our new bamboo arrived and has been planted in its little playpen.  Eventually it will grow into a clump which will fill the area up but hopefully staying corralled.

I'm not much further ahead on procuring a pergola. I tried a local company who didn't acknowledge the web contact form I submitted, so I called and they took my details for a custom quote but still haven't called me back over a week later. I think we are going to have to do it ourselves.  We are not great at DIY but I suppose a pergola doesn't have to be 100% right angles and vertical like a building would need to be, it will just add to the rustic quality if it's a bit wonky.

3 comments:

swooze said...

Looks like you got in time on all your hobbies. I'm curious about your comment about a linker. Is that s took or technique? Enjoy your eeek.

swooze said...

Week...

Daisy said...

The traffic is one of those things I really notice when I go up to my Mum's!

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