Am just back from a glorious trip to Bulgaria where a profusion of Mock Orange, Acacia and Elder was scenting the air and the hedgerows were filled with pink/orange plumes of wild Smoke Bush. Temperatures of 25-30C were such balm to us sun-starved Brits. My daughter Anastasia and I drove over the famous Shipka Pass, where the Bulgarians and Russians fought back the Turks and the Ottoman Central Army in 1877 – an event still celebrated today – perhaps understandably as they were ruled by the Ottoman Empire for 500 years!

Image

Back at our little house with garden full of wild flowers and fruit trees, we picked and bottled buckets full of the most delicious juicy cherries!

Image

 

 

 

Apple Blossom

Image

At last the apple blossom has arrived! – almost a month later than usual. In between the showers there are signs that early summer might be on the way and the colours in the garden and in the bluebell woods do their best to ward off the winter blues which keep biting with every gust of cold wind and shower of rain.

Image

Image

Image

Image

On my walk round the garden I come to the window of my workroom and see everything waiting for me to get lampworking again!

IMG_0460

Image

And this tulip is giving me some great inspirations for glass beads …. maybe even some knitting?

We were beginning to think it would never happen…. but the grey skies have finally lifted and the sun is shining!  What BLISS after weeks (months?) of rain! The large open space behind the house is resembling a field again after looking more like a lake for ages now. The garden too is drying out so that the grass got its first cut of the year today….

Isn’t it amazing how much these things matter in one’s effort to stay healthy and happy and altogether functioning well?

This hellibore is a special ‘new’ variety that hasn’t got an official name yet.  I love it!  The crocuses are nothing special, except that their colour and brightness can’t help but cheer you up!

Image

Image

Image

Image

What a process it has been to produce this pattern!  Having ‘made up’ patterns for years, I had thought it would be relatively easy! My admiration for all you knitting designers has grown enormously!

The hardest part was to work it out for different sizes without having to knit it yet again… and then all that checking and re-checking! Oh dear….. BUT, its finished!   … and, although I will have another go at getting better photographs when my son and the sweater come home in a week or two, it IS available for download through Ravelry

(Scroll down for more images)

Now for the next one….  ??

 

Fingal front detail

FINGAL is the name I’ve given the pullover I have finally re-knitted and written the pattern for. Its been a long time in the making, many get-togethers with my son Dan in order to create a garment that is comfortable and manly, that doesn’t have cables (HOW can a son of mine not want cables!), that isn’t too unshapely, not too fussy….  it was hard to discover what we DID want. This is the result and we are both very happy with it!
The first version (see hannaknits1 on Ravelry) was knitted with a wonderful British yarn from Lesley Wickham  (http://www.lesleywickham.co.uk/) who breeds different varieties of sheep on her farm in mid Wales.  It was inspired by Elizabeth Zimmermann’s brilliant construction ideas in ‘Knitting Without Tears’, in the section on knitting sweaters in the round without seams.  The second version is made from Berroco Ultra Alpaca yarn, ultra soft and a joy to knit with. I like them both, as does my son.

The pattern will be available on Ravelry within a few days.

Fingal and treesFingal back

So much for my ‘special project! I’m about to unravel it and use the yarn for …..?  another special project!! :-I’ve tried it several ways and a fitted sweater is just not me these days. I couldn’t bear to frog it straight away, but now that its been lying in the bottom of a knitting bag for several months, I’ve lost my emotional attachment,  – not to the garment, but to all that work in the knitting!  Time to move on and stop being pathetic!

I’m already looking forward to beginning something new! This gorgeous cashmere  yarn becomes softer than ever after washing and I am envisioning something quite baggy and snuggly with long ribbed sleeves…

This did have some nice details... but it didn't quite work out.

This did have some nice details… but it didn’t quite work out.

Continue Reading »

Winter Sun

Autumn Sun

A beautiful sunny day recently when Alice could help with the leaf raking! and model the new hat! (I’m still looking for a name for it!)