Thursday, 26 November 2009

reflections - a year of p/hop

Hmm the link doesn't seem to work. Click here instead.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Hanging on

This oak tree has been hanging on to its leaves despite the wind and rain of the past week.

The people of Cockermouth and Workington have not fared so well.

They have had a terrible time - many of them will have lost almost everythign as the water levels rose to 2.5 metres in places.

Sadly a policeman died as he warned people not to cross a dangerous bridge.
Last weekend I suggested to MrBeanz that we go to Woolfest next summer - now it seems even more important to go and support the businesses in this stricken community.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Feed the birds ...

We bought a bird feeder for the York garden this weekend. There are so many hedges close by, I thought we'd be sure to attract some birds.

The starlings found it first and were queuing up to eat the fat balls.

Their noise attracted the great tit in to the nuts and then I began to see other birds hovering in the hedge the other side of the wall - including blackbirds, a bullfinch and a wren.

My camera will now sit by the window waiting for more pics - I need a longer lens.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Why do I knit?

The Craft Council wants to promote crafts in the UK.

I'd have thought that was their raison d'etre?

So they have a campaign going at the moment and you can register your support.

Here’s the text from their website:
If craft is important to you, we want you to let us know. The Crafts Council believes that Craft Matters and we want to show that it matters to thousands of people across the UK as much as it does to us. The government’s own data tells us that “17% of the population took part in a craft activity in 2008/09” – we want to show what that statistic looks like in real support so that everyone can see that craft is highly valued. So, sign up today and pass this email on to friends and colleagues. Together, we will show how much Craft Matters.

Why do I knit?

Knitting gives me an opportunity to be creative in a busy day; provides moments of calm for thought or meditation; allows me to make beautiful things for my family and friends; has given me the opportunity to make new friends.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Making connections

A couple of weeks ago I picked these up and they have been sitting on my desk, gradually drying out and losing their glorious gloss.

Today I made the connection with this, which is also sitting on my desk, maybe sold as an 'executive toy', but also called Newton's cradle. You may be familiar with it, if not watch what it does. It was always a fascination to someone in a physics class.

But what about this - a newer physics toy and don't blink when you press play or you will miss it.
Superficially it is similar to the above both have ball bearings, and you might expect it to behave in a similar way, but in fact it behaves very differently.

Come back tomorrow for more on this.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


I don't know if you have been watching David Attenborough's latest series Life, but t is full of amazing photgraphy. It is about survival and adaptation. But surprisingly DA does not use the word evolution because, apparently, according to reliable sources, it would be much harder to sell the series in the US.

Last night's programme Birds had a particularly wonderful sequence about Clark's grebe and its courtship behaviour. The sequence was filmed with a background music trackand just a few words from DA.

You can see it on iPlayer (maybe only in the UK?) at about 35 minutes into the programme - it follows a gruesome section showing pelicans eating live gannet chicks! I suspect it will be on YouTube soon - currently YouTube just has the finale of the dance in a trailer.

Sunday, 8 November 2009


This is a late post for Saturday.
It was a glorious morning and I had to walk down to the Post Office to collect a package. I took my camera, wondering what the theme for today would be.

As I walked along ther road it became obvious resulting in a strange woman taking photos of blank walls!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Modular Knitting

At first sight modular knitting might seem the complete antithesis of the freeform knitting I did last week.
But because modular knitting happens in little chunks it is possible to make decisions as you go.
So my sock yarn blanket (also in my avatar) is made of lots of little squares knitted from many different yarns, I have been using colours semirandomly.

The modular waistcoat (left) I am now building is from just one yarn and I have been just adding squares and seeing how it goes - actually that isn't quite true, I did sketch out a design on squared paper, and am recording how what actually happens.
I need to finish it as I want to wear it at work. And then I can get on with other projects!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Local Hero

Remember, remember the fifth of November,
The gunpowder treason and plot,
I know of no reason
Why the gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot.
Thanks to local hero, Guy Fawkes we went to a great Bonfir Night this evening.
Guy Fawkes was born and educated in York, so no Guys on the bonfires here!
There was a fire juggler - with his lovely assistant who had a fire hula hoop!

And a bonfire.

And fireworks.

And the safe alternative to sparklers - the led whirly thing.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

there and back again

I set out early for work but paused to admire the avenue of trees, just sycamore but still they look good - I wonder who planted them for my benefit?

The leaf litter is appreciated by blackbirds, I counted at least eight rooting around as I walked along - plenty of hedges for nests around here.

About three minutes later I realised I had left my work keys on teh shelf at home. So I turned to walk back and had the view back along the avenue towards my house.

I continue to marvel at my luck at having such a pleasant walk to work.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Travelling = knitting

I've spent a lot of time on the train today - an ideal opportunity to knit. I can listen to music, or a book or a podcast or simply reflect on the day.

The fact that I use the time productively makes me resent the long day much less.

The current on the train knitting is a minimochi scarf. The combination of a luscious yarn and a simple pattern makes for a very effective scarf.

The photo does not do this justice - I haven't seen much daylight today to take better picture.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Autumn colour

Last week I was walking to work on gloomy mornings and thinking I'd missed the chance to take any autumnal photos this year.
The clocks went back, the Sun came out and it all looks different.
It can't be bad when the path to the office goes this way.

After the workshop last week I am going to be a little more systematic about keeping images whose colour might inspire a knit. Here is a good start - a beech tree on my route.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

a blog a day keeps a blogger alert

Apparently November is blogging month, so I am going to try and blog each day.

It may not always be thoughtful but will include a photograph taken that day.

I have had a few days leave this week and took the opportunity to go to a knitting workshop. Jane Thornley from Nova Scotia has an amazing eye for colour and has a style of knitting called 'freeform'.
So take some yarns you like and knit. The class was in a yarn shop, skeins in Glossop, and of course Carole had lots of beautiful yarns that would enhance my wrap.

This is where I had got to at the end of the day.

And close up:

Like a lot of knitting, it is strangley addictive; just few more rows, another repeat of the pattern, another colour. So when I came home I continued the knit and this is where I am up to today. It will be a jewel wrap.