Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring is in the Air

And doesn't it make a difference? As the weather gets nicer I've been spending more and more time in the garden which has been a bit neglected of late. Gradually it's getting a good seeing too but first off it's a good old hack back of all those died back plants and such. We had a lovely shrub at the end of the yarn which gave a lovely splash of colour to see from the lounge window but this extreme winter seems to have been too much for it. One day it was full of leaves then next they'd all fallen off - it left such a gap as well as such a huge pile of leaves. Out came the rake and once they were gone there was plenty of other emerging plants revealed. With the addition of some new plants relocated from elsewhere in the garden such as bluebells, cowslips and chocolate foxgloves I can at least be promised some colour and interest later on.

Gardening may be hard work but oh how it seems to lift my spirits - seeing all the plants coming up and buds beginning to form is all so full of the promise of Spring and Summer. And the birds seem to think so too. There's a pair of Blue Tit's looking to nest in next door's bird box (conveniently easy for me to see as well) and the trees backing on to our gardens are full of life from fluffy tailed squirrels (grey) to Long Tailed Tits which are so sweet.

We have a flock of them that go from tree to tree searching for insects to eat and I could watch them for hours (if they'd stay still long enough!). Today there was one lonely one along with a Greenfinch hopping about. Still it's enough to entertain me and make me get my slippers dirty for!
My urge to go out and garden may be one reason why my latest knitting project is progressing so slowly. This is pair number 5 of my planned 11 in 2011 - the first 4 seemed to fly by but this one is p l o d d i n g along. I think also I'm just trying to make myself do too much right now. The list is huge and a bit overwhelming. This weekend though Mum is coming up to try and help me out with one item on the list - a pair of flower girl dresses for my brother's wedding. The bride-to-be was going to be coming to help but we managed to pick the weekend of her Hen Party/Weekend so it'll just be the two of us sitting in amongst piles of very pink tuille. Not too complex a dress to make, just time consuming. The complex one on the list of things to do is mine which is a reprint of a 1960's dress which I've some bronze/gold silk for. It's mostly cut out and ready to sew but I'm a bit worried that I've bitten off more than I can chew. Still I've a back-up dress so no real worries!! And I've a month to make it in.... plenty of time?!

I should also add my Thanks to you all for the welcome back to blogging you've given me. It really is nice to be back and to be back reading all yours in return :)

And finally finally I've just got to make some of these - don't you agree?!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Doesn't Time Fly?

Life seems to whizz by.
I don't know if having a small child in the house makes it go quicker but it seems as if the weeks disappear as soon as they arrive. I was going to say before you know it it'll will be March.... oh dear! Proof that I am loosing my grip on the awareness of the passage of time if ever I had it!
Of course I do know it was St Davids day yesterday. I'm Welsh therefore how could I not know! Yesterday was also the first time that spring seemed to be marching closer to us (no pun
intended). Seemingly everywhere I went yesterday there were fields being mown, or mowed which ever is right, the smell of cut grass was in the air and the sun was warm on your back.
Shame I can't say the same today, the wind is biting so it'd not quite time to put any mittens into hibernation yet!

This Winter, despite saying that time flies by, seems to have dragged. Now I like Winter, to a certain degree, because as a knitter it is a season that seems to justify the purpose of being a knitter. I will not be cold - I will be wrapped in as many layers of hand-knit woolliness as I can manage for I am a knitter! But after a while the novelty wears off and I've missed those fresh new leaf greens which are only now just starting to show themselves. Still, we're not going to have one of those Narnian Winters that last for hundreds of years, Spring is coming so I shall keep my eyes peeled!

Spring as we know is a time of new life and new beginnings. As I type I'm currently having new glass put in our windows - a new era for our little old house! No more rotten frames! And I've been embracing new ideas and joining Mum in trying out some Art Yarns - no pictures today but really good fun to play with.
My lovely knitting friends have also been dragged into this era of newness with a little bit of dying as Birthday treats. Both recently had Birthdays and a hand-dyed present seemed a novel idea and something they were excited to try. So last Sunday we invaded Nadine's kitchen and got the dyes out...

The results are lovely and each of them are happy with their efforts (I dyed one as a demo and then let them dye their own) and rightly so. I think there may be some people buying dyes at Wonder Wool later this Spring :)
And the new skill learning didn't stop there. Last night Jude tried out spinning with a spindle after having tried, and not enjoyed, spinning with a wheel. And she went for it!! The concentration was immense and before long she'd nearly filled the spindle. I think there might be a new spinner out there now!
The only thing we could do with now is more practice, both in spinning and in skein winding....

I'd like to say that Tilly the cat helped but I can't! Still it looks lovely wound into a cake and is now ready to knit which is all that matters.

On a final note I'll go back to it being St Davids day yesterday. One of the items in our Etsy shop was featured in a St Davids day treasury which is a lovely compliment and I love how it looks in amongst all the other lovely green Welsh themed items.

So to my Welsh readers (if there are any other than my Mum!) I wish you all a belated Happy St Davids day and to everyone else Happy Spring watching!