Friday, 4 April 2014

Spring

Last weekend I finally found a moment to get excited about the garden.

 For the first time I visited a garden centre with gardening in mind (and also lunch) and I came away with probably more seeds than I really needed.

I planted a whole bunch of things pretty much the moment I got home. A few beans, leeks and pak choi into the bed and a wide variety of bits and bobs to start in pots.

Yesterday my first sproutling popped up from the soil.


This is a Dahlia 'Yam', hopefully the first of many green things to come.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Books I Read in March

A Mind of Its Own (Cordelia Fine)
The Secret Children (Alison McQueen)
The Virgin Blue (Tracy Chevalier)
The Light Between Oceans (M.L. Stedman)
Graceling (Kristin Cashore)




Thursday, 27 March 2014

Out and About in Budapest

One of the nice things about my work (when I'm appreciating it at least) is the fairly frequent opportunities to travel. Outside of work I tend to take few holidays and to use them for projects in the house or to volunteer -- I rarely go away.

This week I'm at a conference in Budapest and today my supervisor figured it would be a good idea for me to go out sightseeing... here's how my day went.

First a gentle start just a short walk from the hotel. I read a couple of pages of book in the park and then try (and fail) to find my first geocache. I spot some interesting but seemingly decorative only(?) bells and the first of many of these curious ladybirds. I haven't yet found the right search terms to identify the ladybird so would be happy if someone could enlighten me. I then head to the metro station to head into the city proper but get distracted by my first Hungarian geocache find in a small green space with the flowers and a collection of saints.



Just a short walk away and still not on the metro, geocaching led me to these interesting people who would not be out of place back home (except perhaps for one set of summery footwear).

Then onto the metro and a few caches before heading up many steps towards the Castle District. Once you've climbed so high it's easy to admire the views... (top left: lemon sorbet -- I ate it; top right: chain bridge - I crossed it; bottom right: Castle Hill Funicular -- closed for maintenance).


I spent around three and a half hours in the Castle District, admiring the locals.... (top left and bottom right: Matthias Fountain; bottom centre: statue of the horseherd).


Visiting key attractions: most of these are Matthias Church I think, but in the middle is the middle of Budapest (0KM Stone) and at the bottom right is Maria Magdalena Tower.


There seemed to be lots of shape and colour. If I had to pick a favourite it would be the door on the bottom right with the little door set into a garage door. I spent quite a bit of time staring at little doors here and there.


So there we go! I finished up with a shorter trip into the main shopping area and then headed back to the hotel just in time to go out for dinner!

Collages created with Fotor.com. I think it works pretty well :)

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Books I Read in February

How Bad are Bananas -- Mike Berners-Lee
Alys, Always -- Harriet Lane
The Rose Petal Beach -- Dorothy Koomson

This month started with an unplanned library visit.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Getting Over Excited

I love to plan things for myself to do. My expectations often seem to go beyond what I'm likely to achieve, but in my mind I'm a whirlwind of activity bouncing from one thing to the next.

Here's what's on my mental projects list right now...


Geocaching

  • Get out and find some things -- aim to beat current number of consecutive days caching.

Knitting (and other fibre-related activity)

  • Fix the hood on my Paulie so I can finish that garment.
  • Start a Pippin
  • Gradually progress the Riff scarf I've started.
  • Crochet a ripple blanket
  • Spin up that sample I planned to finish in January
  • Weave a scarf
Sewing

Inspired by the Great British Sewing Bee (I loved the first series), I've been making a gradual move towards learning to sew. Of course I don't want to start with cushions and aprons so I've been plotting an assortment of (mostly) garments and now have a mini stash of fabric for the following.
  • Circle headphone bag. The only thing I have lined up that's not clothing. I've bought a few blue fat quarters and a matching zip to give this a go.
  • PJ shorts (started in the summer). My first draft barely fit over my bum so need some modification. Once I've figured that out I have the nicer fabric I bought to sort a good set. Perfect for February... or not :)
  • Miette skirt. I have a lovely pink linen blend for this, plus some purple bias binding to have a go at some details like those on this version. Again a summer plan largely forgotten until now.
  • Wrap round trousers. I have a pair of these that I bought in London and are perfect for the very rare warm days we get here in the UK. The pair I have aren't a great colour though, so I've bought some practically coloured brown linen to have a go at crafting my own. By the time I get round to them it's bound to be a summer again, right?
  • Another skirt. I'd forgotten about this one :(
  • After resisting for a while I then bought another Tilly pattern, Coco and last week ordered fabric for two such tops. Every autumn/winter I somehow have a desperate lack of long sleeved tops and so I've convinced myself that these purchases will help me stay warm.
  • Trixie Lixie knickers. Eskimimi featured these on her blog last week and so I ended up with a kit to make my own spotty undies.
Phew!

Reading
Life
  • Make my house presentable. I should totally do this.
  • Make my own lunches. This used to be the default but recently I've been too lazy/busy and things have slipped.
  • Do my German homework each week, starting today.
  • Think about learning to play the Ukelele some more... this always leads to me thinking about joining a Choir again or getting some singing lessons or something.

Where should I start?

Friday, 14 February 2014

Travel Project

Working on some big knitting projects is great but doesn't fit so well with a few days of travel. So just last weekend I treated myself to some new yarn especially for knitting on a trip I was making this week.

I planned for one skein of either 4ply or laceweight yarn for either socks or a shawl. After some deliberation I went with this.


One Schoppel-Wolle Lace Ball.

After some deliberation I settled on the Rill Scarf as the perfect combination of mindless knitting (for the very early start) with a little sprinkling of interest.

Progress has been slow and the early start definitely resulted in more tinking than should have been needed so far. I'm still on my first colour but the pattern is starting to emerge.


Looking forward to seeing this progress but tonight it's back to the cardigan I think.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Tackling a Big Project

Now that work is easing up a bit and I'm allowing myself some free time, I've finally found the mental energy to resume a project previously abandoned.


This is Paulie. It's been nearly done for a while.

Swatched in June 2012, I finally started knitting over a year later in September 2013 and progressed well until I got to the hood.

There's no hood in the pattern and I wasn't happy with the shape of my first attempt. so I put it aside until this weekend. Fingers crossed that this time I get a shape I'm happy with so I can finish this one off (and weave in all those ends).

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