Monday, October 6, 2014

Thank you and giving thanks

I have had several emails recently from people who tell me that they have been inspired to support Alzheimer's Research UK either having read about what I do or having heard me speak. I was especially touched to hear from a young woman who is planning to run a series of marathons in memory of her grandma who, like my mum, suffered from dementia.

Thank you so much for taking the time to contact me and it really makes my day to think that I have managed to reach out to other people who have experience of this devastating disease.

I've had a really tough few months with my asthma and arthritis, both conditions have really affected my running and my crafting and have been getting me down. Then I heard of the death of an old friend, not old in years but old in the length of our friendship and it put my niggles into perspective.

So today I am giving thanks that I can still knit, crochet, enjoy my garden and put one foot in front of the other to run (albeit slowly).

Carpe diem indeed.

Better show some bits and pieces hadn't I then!

The weather has been really warm all through September and I was even wearing shorts at the weekend. The Autumn colours are getting more and more vivid and I felt inspired to rummage in my yarn to dig out some colours that reflected those around me in the garden.

The colours of this beautiful Echinacea scream 'look at me!' don't they.
Green leaves turning gold and brown
This gorgeous Euonymus is ablaze with pink and red tints
Shades of brown and pink tingeing this Hakonechloa 
Sunlight illuminating this beautiful Carex 'Ponytails' 
Buff and brown on the dried flower heads of this hydrangea
Vivid yellow against dark bark
Virginia creeper in all its autumn glory
So why did I go rummaging in my yarn then? I've got a new jacket to replace my old favourite which  you can see here. I loved that green cord jacket but I've lost some weight and it was way too big for me and so it's gone off to a charity shop for someone else to enjoy.

The new jacket is a very dark navy and for some reason I felt the need to crochet a cowl to go with it. I've never really fancied cowls before but the idea was in my head and so had to be pursued.

I fancied the idea of large hexagons interspersed with small squares so I got out a few old doilies to see if there were any interesting patterns I could adapt. I wanted something light and airy to suit the yarn (which is Rowan felted tweed leftover from a colour work cardigan for a friend).

The shape of a snowflake or a star suits a hexagon well as they have 6 points so I played around with that idea until I got something I liked the look of, using just 3 colours. I've restricted myself to 7 colours for the motifs plus a pale blue for the joining chains.

Blocking before adding an edge
Tilly inspects it for me 
Experimenting with the hexagon sides

We treated ourselves to a swing seat at the weekend having always admired them but never found just the right one to sit happily within the wilder area of the garden. That is until we spotted this one, reduced in price in the sale. Mike soon assembled it and then we moved it around until we found just the right place - and it wasn't where either of us had thought it would go!

It's on the edge of the orchard.

See, still wearing shorts at the beginning of October!
It's a lovely place to sit and knit……. 
…and take in the view across the pond
We've been starting to clear the area around this pond, cutting back trees, clearing scrub etc. There's a long way to go yet and it will take us quite a while to get it done but it's just so lovely sitting there amidst the wildlife. Last night we took a bottle of wine down there and watched the ducks, woodpeckers, squirrels, rabbits, dragonflies and assorted other creatures going about their business.


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