Sunday, 18 November 2012

making christmas pressents - son's blanket

For the last few weeks Ive been sat, feet up, quietly knitting long into the evenings making a blanket for the boy in time for xmas.  Here is the end result, stitched up and finished. Its now wrapped up ready for the 25th.

This is the first time I've knitted patterns and designs into a piece and even though I made mistakes with my measuring and counting its turned out ok

Detail of the stripes.
the entire blanket measures 4x4ft

detail of the "deathflake" I cant remember where I found this pattern Ive had it filled away for so long.

The blanket is double sided and the edges neatened with crochet.

Folded waiting to be wrapped.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

A new route

I always run the trails through the woods finding it infinitely more satisfying than pounding the pavement with the local running group. I get a really good workout, even if I only walk the route and for the last two runs Ive mostly walked this woodland trail. I can often hear its residents going about their business. Yesterday a woodpecker high up in the trees. Squirrels foraging amongst the leaf litter and all manner of small birds. On very rare occasions I spot deer and buzzards when running through the meadow.

I love it. The steps that tire me out and leave my legs aching, the track that runs alongside the derelict fort I often dream of exploring. The hidden remnants of WW2 defenses poking out from beneath the mass of glossy harts tongue and feathery fronds of lady-fern. Yet for the next few months I need a new route. One that is a little drier and wont lead to me wading ankle deep  through mud. One that will still let me enjoy the trees, the solitude and the challenging terrain that wears me out so well. One that will make me want to come out and run.  I think I may have found it.  Just a short walk away, across a brook, through trees towering over a narrow track and through an unassuming gate.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

sunshine, showers and gardening

Taking time out to tend to the garden is one of those pleasures I just cant get enough of. Even with winter fast approaching there are no end of jobs to do on my plot. Im not quite sure how big it is. My neighbour suggests its somewhere around a 1/3 of an acre in total - including my front grassy lawn and the plot the house stands on. some days it doesn't feel big enough, others too big.

At least a 1/3 of my garden is still over grown with brambles. Another 1/3 knee high grass and the rest is slowly being turned in to an assortment of raised beds for vegetables and herbs. Its a slow process with the heavy clay soil requiring a lot of work to dig out the weeds, mostly ivy and brambles.

Pots were scrubbed and put away in the old recycling box ready for spring. The boy cleaned his tools ready to go back in the shed until the spring before he digs anymore holes!

I began building a raised bed out of all the house bricks found around the garden. With plans to sink all the various types of mint I have into it in spring saving a lot of watering in the summer months. I first need to get a decent mix of homemade compost into the bed. Its in an ideal spot right next to the back door. It gets a decent amount of sun and shade in the early evenings, an almost perfect spot for them. I'll spend the next week finishing it off between rain showers.

Roses were pruned. A little weeding tended too. The leaves were swept from the path, some spread over shrubs and the rest bagged for spring. Bird feeders were refilled and tied firmly to new spots in the garden and I even had time to wash the outside of the windows probably for the last this year.

Its not quite ready for winter. Its getting there with jobs slowly being ticked off the list.