This morning, when we came downstairs and went into the conservatory to have our coffee, we were greeted with this, much to our surprise.
Nothing too amazing, really - just a delicate, simple little white flower - although not entirely what one expects in January. The surprising thing about it was the plant it belongs to.
Yes, that is a Venus Fly Trap - and yes, that stem is more than a foot long. It looks very out of proportion to the little ground-clinging plant from which it springs.
We bought this in the local garden centre last autumn, and it has seemed to be happy on the windowsill in the conservatory. It needs to be watered with rainwater - we use filtered water, as we don't have a waterbutt in the garden.
During December it started to grow one alarmingly long stem, with a collection of flower buds at the end. We've heard that the thing to do is to remove this, because flowering weakens the plant, but we wanted to see what the flowers were like. After all, when the plant is such a strange alien little thing, surely the flowers must be something spectacularly interesting?
It turns out that they aren't particularly alien at all, just a simple little white blossom about an inch across. We haven't the heart to clip them away just yet.
I did wind up the Blue Moon Lenore and Bella Coola yesterday.
I love both of these yarns, but particularly the Bella Coola. This is my favourite out of all the 2007 sock club yarns, without a doubt. The difference in size is because the Lenore is STR lightweight, and Bella Coola is mediumweight. Both are nicely squishy. I've put them away on the shelf for the time being.
I thought you might be interested also to see this.
Here are the 'Emergency Sock Yarn' skeins which came with the Blue Moon Rockin' Sock Club 2007 shipments. From left to right - Monsoon, Walking on the Wild Tide, Firebird, Flower Power, Lenore, Bella Coola. Nice, hmmm? And a good wide range of colours, as well. I'd hope there would be something there for everyone.
I've joined the Blue Moon Sock Club again this year. I wonder what Tina has in store for us this time? Certainly, the 2007 yarns and patterns will be a hard act to beat.
I also wound up something that I haven't shown you yet.
This is Duet Sock Yarn, made famous by Stephanie. My yarn is the original DK weight, and there is 360 yards of lovely thick soft hand-dyed merino there, in a gorgeous blend of deep dark aubergines and beautiful soft purples, together with a little skein of plain dark aubergine, for co-ordinating toes and heels. I'm planning to use this for some toe up socks, pattern as yet undecided, but to include a short row heel so that they look pretty.
By the way, my daughter gave me this for Christmas. This colour is called Midnight Secret, I believe. She has excellent taste, if you ask me.
I did get the BFL plying done, although it didn't go smoothly at all. The single kept breaking, over and over again, literally dozens of times. I lost count. It really became annoying, and then of course I was getting tense, and that just made things worse. I was thinking that I just hadn't put enough twist into my singles - but that turned out not to be the case.
Finally I realised what the problem was. It wasn't my spinning - it was the new bobbin that was holding the singles. Because it was brand new and the washers at each end have no wear on them at all, it was being held in place rather too firmly. So the single wasn't strong enough to get the bobbin to turn, and when I tried to pull the next length of single out - it broke. Solution - push the bobbin halfway off the Lazy Kate, so that only one of the two washers was on the spindle. Not ideal, and still rather too solid, but workable.
Anyway, I've been finishing the yarn this morning, using Patricia Gibson-Roberts water treatment method. Simmer, cool, rinse. Spin, snap, and dry. So far, we've got as far as the cooling bit.
And there are just two days now until I start work for Rowan - it still seems unreal.....