Lurchers and Llamas

Ok, that’s it, we’re bored now…it’s all …too…WHITE….

 We were off to the other side of the county today for lunch with my cousin and after a lovely day yesterday it was a pain to wake up to frost, ice and gloom and then sleet. We had a phone call from said cousin to warn us they had a couple of inches of snow, but as it seemed the main road was clear and they had a tractor to get us out of any trouble we might run into on the track to their farmhouse we decided to brave it. 

Apart from the nice people, and the good food, we wanted to see their lurcher.   They have two – lovely gentle dogs and I do love  lurchers. ( We used to have one, an enormous blonde called Spike, who was a complete wus,  having little Higgins was really going from the sublime to the ridiculous!)  However the whole family was devastated about five months ago when the young one was stolen.  Despite the theft being witnessed (and the dog being microchipped) a poster campaign, a reward being offered and information being past all round the county there were no clues or leads and every one was so upset.  

Amazingly, and so happily, about three weeks ago she was found in a field somewhere near Skegness(quite a way from Norfolk)  by a lady who runs a greyhound rescue centre who just happened to be driving along a road she had never travelled on before who recognised her from the poster that had been circulated.  Because of her job she had a chip reader at home and was able to identify her and phone to give the good news.  The whole thing hung on so many happy coincidences it was incredible, and although she was very thin when  she first came home she is now looking good, and full of bounce (as the footprint in the middle of  Higgins ‘ little jumper demonstrated) 

So, a lovely Sunday roast, and syrup sponge and custard – heaven – and then a snowy, slippery walk to try and shift a couple of calories.

I did try to get a picture of both dogs together, but look at the difference in the leg length, Higgins never managed to catch up!

He did meet another creature for the first time….Fergus…

Which was quite interesting…

Mwah!

I don’t think I could cope with the real thing, but I did find another llama I would have loved to bring home…

Isn’t he gorgeous?

I found the monocrome theme continued…

…and although I love snowdrops…

I so long for some colour. So it was nice to get back for a cup of tea and look at my cousin’s latest knitting project.  Craftiness runs in the family, and she is an expert on spinning,weaving, knitting, crochet  and  dyeing.  This was a departure, freeform knitting and crochet.  I’ve done a little and it’s fascinating, but this was spectacular.  It’s a shame the light means the photos don’t really do it justice but WOW, after all that white, we need those colours!

It’s mainly hand dyed silk, with little bits of llama and hand spun fleece.  I’ve just realised I was so excited I didn’t ask what the finished article would be, a knockout waistcoat?

It was a busy day, and very exciting for a small dog with very short legs. A lot of sleeping has been going on.  Higgins has obviously been having colour withdrawal symptoms too.  I bought a new fleece blanket yesterday, with the sofa bed that is going into the studio in mind. Higgins is testing it…

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Too Many Cameras…

…and not enough photos.  The camera saga continues…sorry, I’m sure it will be resolved, just not sure if it will be this side of sanity.  I haven’t been able to get to Norwich to the camera shop so I’m still snarling at the Olympus.  In the meantime Tim, who is in the middle of the North Sea,  has bought me a second hand Fuji on Ebay.  We resolved the fact that it came without the Smart Card because I still had an old one from a past camera lurking in a drawer, complete with old photos I had forgotten about.  I have managed a few reasonable pictures this afternoon, and in doing so discovered that   the new old camera’s rechargable battery needs to be charged for six hours  to do 10 minutes photography.  Talk about swimming through treacle…

However, onwards and upwards.  This is what I thought was just what I wanted in 1995…

It was my first attempt at ‘Folk Art’ painting, a little desk which belonged to my grandfather and destined for the scrap heap.  It’s been in my studio and is crying out for something for something more ..er…restful …in the way of a paint job before it goes into the new studio.

And I have another doll. After I made the Fairy of Sensible Shoes I had to demonstrate how she was made to a class and so had another body tucked away in yet another box which surfaced in the clearout, naked and bald.  I spent a whole evening working on her hair.  I had some left over sock wool in brown, black and grey so I carefully cut all the grey sections out and painstakingly embedded each strand into her scalp with a felting needle. As I said, a whole evening.  How long for Higgins to do his own version of hairdressing?

Thirty seconds…

Some raging, tears and a good nights sleep later I tried again with a new head entirely, without rips, teethmarks and spit.  I abandoned the bandana and went for a miniature felt hat…

…with co-ordinating shoes…

I cheated with the socks, I now have a pair of gloves with the middle fingers missing!

Her little cardigan and bag are crocheted with Blue-faced Leicester wool left over from my hand dyed wool/scarf project, and the skirt is from the stash of fabrics accumulated during my recent ‘Polka Dot Period’ (any one can have a ‘Blue Period’), and here she is…

She sits on a VERY high shelf…

All Stitched Up

Having confessed to having such a butterfly mind even making two matching socks challenges my boredom threshold you will not be surprised to hear that I have struggled to complete one of my latest projects.  I am comforted to know I am not alone in this lack of application, I recently heard someone confessing to never sewing up her knitted creations, she found sewing the knitted pieces together so boring she always got her mother to do it. I’m not that bad, although I have every sympathy with her.   This being said it was probably asking for trouble deciding to make a Sophie Digence inspired scarf from my basket of hand dyed wool.

I first saw these wonderful scarves in Selvedge magazine, a year or so later I saw them on the Selvedge stand at the Knit and Stitch Show and this Autumn one graced the pages of an issue of Country Living.  I was not alone in being inspired, Vanessa of Do You Mind if I Knit was not the only blogger to render their own interpretation.  Sophie Digence’s take is in the finest wool, dyed in wonderful jewel or landscape colours, tiny, tiny postage stamp sized pieces of delicate crochet.  One initial reaction when finding the price is ‘HOW MUCH!’ but it only takes a short time trying to duplicate such fine work to realise they are worth every penny

I did have a few Higgins generated setbacks but  over the last weeks I have soldiered on, crocheting the little squares leaving short tails of wool with which to sew each one to it’s neighbour, and finally it is finished.  It could possibly be wider, and  longer, but the next project calls and it is perfectly sized to keep me warm and happy when I wear it.  I will announce now that is unique, no other scarf will be made using those colours in that wool, it’s price is above rubies as there is no ruby large enough to induce me to ever make another one!

Life is too short…