Monday, 11 June 2012

Back in the groove

Over the last few posts I seem to be continually writing either that we are going away, or that we have just come back - this time we've been back for more than a week, though, and I've been very remiss in not posting.

This time we went down to Bath.  Not very far really - about 10 miles by road, it would take about 20 minutes by car, I suppose.  We took our time, there and back in a just about a week, with stops wherever we felt like it.   The weather was pretty much perfect.

Baby ducks everywhere, it seemed.  We saw one mama duck with 14 ducklings, I could not catch all of them in shot at the same time.  So sweet!

A swan on her nest - four eggs, we heard from some walkers.  And on the subject of swans, we are all hoping that our local pair will manage to hatch their second clutch of eggs - the fox took the first lot, very distressing for our neighbour who heard the night-time combat which took place.  Feathers to be seen all over the place in the morning, and no eggs in the nest.

Back to happier things - more free-range sculpture.  The pink-and-purple 'tepees' near Dundas have disappeared.  Perhaps they blew down in the recent high winds?  However we spotted more of these little entertainments as we continued towards Bath.

First there was this, tucked away at the edge of the water.  Something like a dresser with plates, except that it is a boat, of course.

And then this.  The writing announces 'Ceci n'est past un canoe', except that it obviously is a canoe.  Would Magritte have approved?  I wonder.

And then this little thing, which must have been interesting to place.  It looks something like a weathervane, or perhaps a compass rose.

I think these things are perhaps best described as artistic gestures.  Who makes them, and places them, I wonder?

Anyway - Bath.  We did not stay long, just overnight.  Long enough to go for a walk in Sydney Gardens, a place that I love, the atmosphere is so reminiscent of Jane Austen's novels.

We turned around at Sydney Wharf, which really doesn't look as if it is in a city centre, and headed homewards again.

I do love the bridges, going through Bath.

On the way back, we always seem to spot some things that we missed on the outward journey.  This boat, for instance.  No, I have no idea what that is about.

Decoration at the stern, too.

So right now we are at home again, it is pouring with rain outside, and I am knitting socks.  There have been quite a few pairs recently.  First, a standard pair for my husband, in one of Kaffe Fassett's Design Line colours - they are not blue at all in reality, my camera is playing tricks again - they are olive green with shades of rust and chocolate brown, teal blue and purple.  That sounds appallingly bright, but is quite muted really.

Then a pair for myself.

These were made with some yarn given to me by my daughter a while ago now - TM Sock yarn, from LuLu's Yarns, 50% merino and 50% tencel, which means that they are very soft and silky.  The colour is called Alpi.

I decided to work these from the toe up - very unusual for me.

Proof positive.  I used the Turkish cast-on, always my favourite in such circumstances, it is so straightforward.  And yes, it is entirely possible to work it using dpns.  After all, Turkish knitters have been doing exactly that for a good while.

The heel is something new - Fleegle's heel.  For directions, I refer you here.   And for the cast-off at the top - the interlock cast-off - it is all here.

I am rather pleased with the end result.  This is a well shaped sock and it certainly fits my foot quite well, better than a short row heel, definitely.  Visually it is very attractive, and the cast-off at the top looks exactly like a long-tail cast-on, and just has the right amount of stretch.  I think, however, that I still prefer the traditional sock architecture.  This sock has just fractionally more fabric around the back of the heel than I like - I could put in a panel of heel stitch, perhaps.  But is it worth the effort?

Finally one more standard pair for my husband, in Regia Cotton.

These were a very quick knit, the yarn is surprisingly pleasant to work with.

It seems doubtful that we will manage any real length of time away on the boat this summer, there is still uncertainty over my remaining surgery, and also the weather has decided it is November and not June, we have had so much unseasonal rain and wind over the last week.  So we are just going to take things as they come

And on those lines, I will leave you with another picture taken from the boat, an image of summer as it ought to be.