Tuesday 9 November 2010


The weather these last few days has been wet and wild. It's a case of batten down the hatches, or get outside and embrace it. We've been doing the latter, dodging the deluge of rain, splashing in puddles, and taking in the energising effects of the wind. It's bracing stuff!

Enjoying the reflections and the occasional hint of blue skies....

....along with the stormy ones, and the amazing light that lingers around this peninsula.

Do you like this weather, or loathe it?

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Thank you to everyone who entered the draw for Homemade. It seems there are many of us who miss Elspeth, and the joy and inspiration she spread around blogland. The winner of the book is Caireen, which please me greatly. The Patchwork Dress was one of the first blogs I started reading, and Caireen then inspired me to start blogging way back, so this seems rather appropriate.
Sometimes, what goes around comes around....I was lucky enough to win a giveaway myself yesterday. If you're not familiar with Arounna's work, and her journal bookhou at home, prepare to be inspired.

Saturday 6 November 2010


Despite being busy these last few weeks, my needles have been quietly clicking away in the background. I make time to knit most days, even if it's just a few rows. I find it incredibly calming and soothing and the perfect antidote to the jumble of things that I seem to carry round in my head.

I've moved on from swatching and have made good progress on my first jumper. This top-down pattern is perfect for me. I'm tall, and my proportions are generally 'long everywhere' which often makes clothes buying a real chore. In fact, I rarely buy clothes, and consider myself to be rather scruffy! I've modified this pattern as I've gone along, adding extra inches and shaping in the body. No longer will I be tugging the hem of a jumper in the vain hope that it will magically grow in length.

I also like the raglan increases - once I'd read the pattern several times and then started to knit, I could see how easily it was all going to come together.

Now I need to finish the sleeves. I'm trying to decide if I should go for three-quarter length or full-length, but I'll try it on as I go.... then, just the cowl, and it's done.

I've also had a very simple ribbed scarf on the needles, using this wool which has now been discontinued. I picked up quite a few balls at less than half price. I started it with the idea of a possible christmas present, but I think I'm in love with the all-over squishyness (is that a word?) and the colours. I may just have to keep it... pictures to follow once I've cast off.

Tuesday 2 November 2010

homemade - for you

Yesterday, a quick rummage in one of my town's many charity shops produced a surprising and rather wonderful find - a near-perfect copy of Homemade by Ros Badger and the late Elspeth Thompson. I can't imagine why anyone would want to get rid of this beautiful book. It's one of my favourites, and I'm sure many of you have a copy too. But if you don't, now's your chance as I bought this copy to pass on to one of you.

If you're unfamilar with the book, here's a quick peek:

I covered this coat hanger a while ago. It was a quick and enjoyable knit, and reminds me I must make some more. Maybe for christmas presents?

This book has something for everyone: recipes, re-vamping furniture, knitting, crocheting, crafting, gardening and more.... and it's printed on lovely thick matt paper, with the addition of beautiful photographs by Ben Murphy.

Leave me a comment if you'd like to be in with a chance to win, and I'll draw a name next monday. Good luck!

(this is open to anyone in the UK)

Monday 1 November 2010

autumnal reds

Following on from my last post, just a few more photos I want to share. After a little googling, I've realised that the red-leaved climber is in fact Boston Ivy, and not Virginia Creeper (a close relative). Both Boston Ivy and Virginia Creeper turn the most glorious shade of red as summer turns to autumn. It reminds me too of our family home, where the creeper's (and which plant was it? I'm not sure now... memory says it was Virginia Creeper) tendrils and little adhesive pads clung to the brickwork on the back of the house. It was alternately cursed for the damage it caused, and then celebrated for the vibrant red of its leaves in the colder months.

At Berwick Manor the creeper climbed up the back of the house, and also smothered a west-facing window.
I found myself mesmerized by the changing shadows and patterns of the leaves on the interior wall.
The creeper crept up the clapboard, providing a lovely contrast with the red leaves against the white paint.
Thank you for all your lovely comments lately - especially for Walter's birthday, and for my images in my last post. I so appreciate each and very one. I'll be back tomorrow with an unexpected giveaway - another lovely book picked up for a song.