Sunday, 30 January 2011

Sunday Morning Bike Ride

Hooray! This morning I managed out on my first bike ride since the end of Nov 2010.

I started doing weekly bike rides pretty much when I started blogging properly which was June 2009. I noticed last winter that I didn't make it out over December and January either (due to Christmas, poor cycling weather and illness). Out of curiosity I checked back to see when exactly my last bike ride was, here is the post - and it turns out I followed exactly the same route today. Although the route is the identical I'm pleased to note that the photos I've taken are completely different. Blogging has encouraged me to make an effort to see and notice different things around me so I'm glad it still seems to be working even after all this time.

Anyway, I don't set out till about 9am. It's rather a grey morning (yesterday was so much better - clear blue skies and sunshine but hubby had to work so I was with the children). As it is my first outing for 2 months I just do my favourite short route, about 10 miles. It does start off with a long hill, but although I'm not especially fit I do have reasonably strong leg muscles (I used to row competitvely and have always cycled on and off) which certainly helps and I manage slowly up the hill without needing to stop for a photo break (or breath!)

The brow of the hill. Orange beech leaves still line the road.

Looking over the fields at the top.

Approaching the crossroads beside the big stone (seen on the left).

Bike shot in front of the big stone.

Wild geese fly overhead.

A lost wheel trim prominently displayed.

Some hardy cows still out and about.

A lovely little knowe of winter trees (shame about the telegraph wire)

More tree knowes and sillouhettes.

Bike shot against one of the two red gates.

Gate post close up.

Red barn.

Spotty tree trunk and post.

A splash of colour - blue twine has been use for some rudimentary fence mending.

A beatifully grained telegraph pole.

The road ahead, I'm only a couple of miles from home by this point and it's pretty much all downhill from here, just need to watch out for the pot holes! It's been quite a cold outing, my toes are numb - too many photo stops! I'm keen to get back home to the warmth and also (while hubby is out with the children at Grandad's) to have a go at this...

...the result of another late night crochet session. I think it's going OK so far, just concerned about it fitting once it's done.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Another Crochet Shawl.

OK, I'm obsessed. I've made another crochet shawl and it's taken me less than a week (though it did involve quite a few late nights which I regretted when the alarm went off the next morning!)

I really love this one, much more so than the last one.

Firstly it's a nicer pattern, it's called Eva's shawl (the free pattern is available on Ravelry here), and consist solely of chains and trebles so it's really easy once you get going. The shape is better than the last shawl I made and it's not as holey so doesn't look so much like a string vest (despite these rather negative comments (and more to come) I do still like my other shawl very much too!)

Secondly I also used nicer wool, I used Drops Delight in colourway 05 (beige/gray/pink). The colours are gorgeous and I love the way they change gradually, and the yarn is lovely and soft too (it's 75% wool). It's available online here and is only £2.50 per 50g ball (I used 3 balls for the shawl). I'll definitely be using it again, I can't wait to try something in another colourway and I've already earmarked another couple of shawl patterns on Ravelry...

(I wish the sofa was purple and not fading red!)

I wore it today for the first time. I haven't bothered blocking it as I like it the way it is.

A closer look. I think this colourway turned out really well, it reminds me of...

... a recent sunset as seen from our back door. Just look at that bank of clouds approaching.

Also this week, a pack of bargain yarn from Kemps Wool arrived...

...I've decided I'm ready to try and crochet my first clothing item, watch this space...

The weather recently has been rather grey so I've not been especially inspired to take any outdoor photos. Today was rather pleasant though. N and I went for a walk round the village...

...and we found this little fountain which I never knew existed. It was down a little lane which is difficult to access with a pram - after five and a half years of pram pushing it's nice to be able get futher afield without it.

Off soon to craft night tonight. I'm being good as I'll be taking my blanket to sew in some more of the ends - a nice easy task to accomplish while listening to the banter and eating cake!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Crochet shawl ta da and a late splash of January colour.


I blame recovering from flu - once the children are in bed in the evening I've found it difficult to move myself from the sofa this last week. Fortunately I haven't been completely wasting my precious spare time and I've managed to finish crocheting a shawl.

I'd bought the wool (Regia sock yarn) from Kemps Wool last year as it just seemed too much of a bargain to miss, and had intended making some kind of lacy scarf with it. After a couple of attempts using different patterns none of which I liked I eventually checked Ravelry to see what others had made with the yarn (aside from socks!). That's how I came across this pattern.

It was very easy, and nice and quick. I actually wasn't too sure about it at first but decided it was worth keeping going and I love the end result! Although it's quite large (I can hold the top corners with arms fully extended, and the bottom corner reaches the base of my spine) it is light enough to drape beautifully and fit comfortably under my jacket.

The colours look a little flat on the pebbles.

A little bit of January sunshine on the bench helps.

I love how the colours mingle when it's all rumpled up for wearing, and it goes well with my jacket.

I wore it today for the first time. After a quick supermarket shop I decided to take N to the loch. It was just such a nice bright sunshiny day.

We parked close to the swans. N associates visiting here with getting and ice cream at the visitor centre. It seemed like a good idea.

After our ice creams we wandered along the foot path by the loch to the play park.

This play park is full of lots of climbing frames (our local one seems to specialise in roundabouts), N had fun. I enjoyed taking some colourful photos. I've been meaning to take part in Silver Pebble's Splash Of Colour event but have not been organised enough to blog my photos before the deadline, which I have missed again for January however I'll still add my Dec/Jan photos to the Flickr Group. Here they are...

Playground detail.

Red door, green grass.

Red polka dot love heart grafitti (awww!)

My gloves and scarf from an earlier sunny winter day.

Lastly, necklaces. They hang on the knob of the bedroom window shutters (which unfortunately don't work)...

...seen here on the right of the window. This photo is from when I managed to get the bedroom all tidied for Christmas. As you can see we have very slopey ceilings!

And finally...
...a t-shirt decorated by A when she had friends round for some crafting just before Christmas. I was rather taken with it. I've still to iron it to set the ink, it's being kept carefully away from the laundry pile.

Thank you to all who kindly commented on my last, rather moany post. I feel so much better, especially today (I think the sunshine helps!). Needless to say, I've still not got round to putting anything on ebay, and I've started my diet by eating anything with chocolate on it that I can find in the house, given that it's just after Christmas there has been rather a lot. I've pretty much succeeded in that task and weather-permitting, I should be back on the bike next weekend so things should start to improve. I've also been remiss in commenting on the blogs I usually follow though I have been visiting, again things should be getting back to normal now.

I must try and keep the house chocolate-free...

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Getting Back To Normal.

Happy New Year!

I'm late this year, and it's not been because I've been whooping it up and partying on down for the last two weeks. Christmas was lovely, then just before New Year I got walloped by a dose of the flu and a chest infection and spent six days in bed without eating. Antibiotics are now working their magic. Now that my appetite is back I'm trying not to binge and put all the weight I lost back on. Yes, I guess this year's resolution (that I probably share with many) is to lose a few pounds, OK a stone at least!

I was lucky to receive lots of nice books for Christmas. I'd already started to read (and admire the lovely pictures from) the Kirstie Allsop one which I was enjoying, the rest are as yet almost completely untouched - in some ways the best state as they still promise so much and have not had a chance yet to disappoint!

Another resolution this year is to have a good old clear out of the house. Even for me the clutter is becoming too much. It's free listing on ebay this weekend, I'll try and get organised...

This photo is from a walk I took round the village just after Christmas, but it would look pretty much the same today as we had another light dusting of snow overnight... only another five months to go till it looks like this (big sigh!). Maybe spring will come earlier this year.

Right, off to get my camera and try and photograph some things for ebay. Enjoy your weekend!

EDITED to say... was thinking about how long 5 months till the beginning of May seemed (when the photo with the cherry blossom was taken) and realised I'd made a mistake - it'll only be 4 months from now till the beginning of May, hooray! I'm feeling better already (just need to overcome the ongoing wheezieness and snottieness now...)


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