Tuesday, April 28, 2009


We were wandering around Kelvingrove Park this morning taking pictures of all the pretty 'Spring is in the Air' flowers that have burst forth when ...

... ever so quietly, so we never heard them coming ...

... the Glasgow Pigeons re-enacted The Birds. 'Twas a bit spooky.

In other news, I am thinking of Christmas already with the arrival of a Bookmooch pattern book. These are so cute, and knitted in a chunkier yarn, so probably the best first attempt at colourwork. If I start now I might be done in time for Christmas!

After all, I only started Rogue in Sept 2008 (the second attempt. Prior to that, my first attempt had been around for more than a year.) OK! So really I started Rogue in around summer 2007.

And I've now caught the bug - it's a surprisingly quick knit once you get into it. I'm loving the cables - the detail is from the waist-shaping. I'm at the back now and can't wait to see this all come together. The yarn is a lovely boingy Blue-faced Leicester aran-weight from Texere yarns, and is just yummy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hat trick

I got home from work tonight to a surprise - I won a competition! A pattern book: Rowan's Organic Wool Collection (Rav link) What a great start to the weekend!!

And lookee - a finished object!! Some gloves with Fyberspates Merino/Tencel sock yarn and the Web of Wool glove pattern.

I liked it so much, I've started another pair in some more sock yarn - this time dyed by Ysolda. I've followed Julia's knitting rule - you can cast on something once you've cast off three works in progress.

I cast off the never-ending scarf, and the gloves, and also Luna Moth shawl in Handmaiden SeaSilk (when I say cast off ... for the last project I actually mean pulled off the needles and made into pretty balls of yarn once more. It just wasn't working, and with the yarn costing £18 a ball I wasn't prepared to let it's destiny be a shawl I merely felt 'meh' about)

So where is the never-ending scarf?

Well, to be honest, I'm sick of talking about it, and sick of thinking about it. It's still to be blocked, and that's going to take 1,000,000 pins and probably my thumb pads too. So I'm just enjoying myself for a bit before I get back to it!

Some squirrel high-jinks in Kelvingrove Park.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Domestic nerdess ...

The boy and I have had quite a nerdy couple of weeks ...

... we went to do some stargazing as part of Glasgow University's contribution to Moon Week, 2009 being the International Year of Astronomy apparently.

We went to the University's observatory and had way more fun than we were expecting to have. We saw the moon up close and personal - it was like a concrete block really. And we learned that the dividing line between the light side of the moon and the dark side is called The Terminator - nerdalicious!

I saw Saturn and it's rings - which was quite unreal. The astronomy guy pointed to a star, and when we looked through the telecope it was Saturn! I never really thought about space before - I mean, sure, it's up there and all. But we don't often see any stars in Glasgow with all the light pollution, so I guess I don't really think about it that much.

Then we saw some constellations, and the astronomy guy blew my mind saying that we were viewing a star as it had been 45 millions years ago ... I googled light years, and speed of light, and I guess that I get it ... but ... whoa ...

Then on Monday we lost our minds a little and got up at 4am to do Caperwatch at Boat of Garten. We were staying in Elgin for a couple of days, so it was only an hour away - slightly longer if you count the time spent going at 2 miles an hour behind a hare trapped in the headlights running in the middle of the road.

We arrived at 6am, just as the sun was rising, and found the hide in darkness, with silent birdwatchers inside cramming all the hide's viewing holes. We visit this reserve all the time but the atmosphere was quite different so early in the morning. These were the serious birdwatchers, and there was no way that any of them were giving up their viewing space to layabouts such as ourselves, who sloped leisurely in at 6am (!) ...

However, eventually a Capercaillie was spotted on the monitor and they all flocked over for a look (get-it, ho-ho) giving us the opportunity to stare at empty fields for a bit. After 30 minutes or so, one of the helpers came in to say that the Capercaillie could be spotted from the other hide (not usually accesible to the public) and tickets 130-140 could go along to see.

Well pandemonium ensued, as telescopes were lifted and watchers did that walk/run thing to try and get to the front, without appearing too childish or rude. And then the hide was nearly empty so we watched the pair of Ospreys surveying their territory in the rising sun. It was very peaceful.

Then it was our turn, and we got to take a look. No sooner did I have my eye on him I was told to move and let the next person see. So we did a rotation so everyone got a look - it was great to see his Caper'y head poking out of the reeds. Especially as we learned there had been no sign the previous two mornings. ! I didn't realise this - I mean I know that when watching nature, nothing is a certainty - but it hadn't occured to me that getting up at an insane amount in the morning might have all been for nothing.

Luckily for us, we saw him. Then we went for a wee wander about the Loch - which was stunningly still so early in the morning. I must add that all the pictures in today's blog post were taken by the boy.

So what's with the 'Domestic' part of the title? Well, thanks to Lynette for pointing out the Easter weekend offers - we have just bought a Dyson Animal Ball - the Bentley of vacuums, with a whopping £130 off! All the cat hairs in my living room are gone - I'm so happy (and not a bit weirded out that I can find bliss in a vacuum ... teenage me would be so disappointed)

And the other domestic'ness? We've spent the last 4 back-breaking days in the garden, and now have a vegetable patch - with a handmade bamboo net frame to protect against birds and slugs (thanks Girl Guides for teaching me) and loads of seed beds all over the house. Strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots we hope.

And in knitty news; the scarf is complete. Oh yes, you heard correctly - complete!! Finally there should be more knitty content from now on as I move on to other WIPs that are more photogenic. But for now, more Warcraft!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

All about the birds ...

The boy and I were away last weekend at Loch End Chalets, near Aberfoyle in Stirling. It was so tranquil, and just what we needed. I hadn't realised that I was so stressed until we got there and I felt so relaxed.

This was the view from the dining area, and just outside on our wee patio (that's the Loch, right there). We just got the telephoto lens before we left, so there's lots of photos playing with it ahead!

We spent the weekend vegging out on M&S food and DVDs at night, and driving around during the day. We went on the Inversnaid RSPB reserve walk - 400 mere metres (!)... very much uphill, with not a bird to be heard.

Lots of lichen though - rare lichen apparently. I don't know about that, but I do know that in the spirit of Bill Bryson walking the Appalachian Trail, I spent some time on the ground facedown, in sheer exhaustion with lichen stuck to my cheek examining the lichen.

The ducks at Loch End were hilarious - we may have taken quite a few duck shots - they were accomodating! From the moment we arrived they were at the patio doors tapping with their beaks to be fed. All in, there are about 12 of them, and they seem to spend their day going from patio to patio gorging on bread given by guests.

We also discovered that they were quite happy to work for their food. The one below being so keen that he jumped right out of shot (This would have been a fab shot if I'd got him all in it)

I must warn that there is no knitting content in this blog post - it is all birds from here on out. Feel free to wander off ... or alternatively overdose on our pics here if you like.

Quack - that just cracks me up!

The one above I took at Kelvingrove Park this morning - I'm so happy with it (bigger version here), so crisp and clear - think I'm getting the hang of this digital SLR malarky.

The two Kelvingrove Herons - the newcomer above (a real 'ned'dy looking creature) has scared 'Kelvin' the regular Heron from the pond and was spotted a couple of days ago shooing a couple of gulls from 'his' pond. Then he does victory laps around the central island making sure his reign is secure. I'm sure that there's a bottle of Buckfast under his wings...

Poor, civilised West-End Kelvin looks on at his old home from the path. He tried a landing just after this shot - there was a squawking and then he flew back to the river again. Hopefully to plot a decent revenge (although in the manner of West Enders, this will probably involve an harshly-worded but polite letter to the council, and a petition)

My final shot is a great tit looking at the floor. In the bigger version you can see all the feathers around his neck - I'm getting seriously addicted to this photography stuff!