Monday, 15 April 2013

Could it be Spring? Shhh....

Amazing how a bit of sunshine lifts your mood. Today has been really glorious and I can't tell you how much brighter it made me feel. Odd isn't it, I wouldn't have necessarily said I'd been feeling a bit low, fed up with winter, for sure, but this weekend I've suddenly felt much more motivated and got loads more done.

Its been getting there over the last week. We've had some nice bright days and less wet and grey but so cold still! Last weekend, I joined a friend and some of her 'fitness' pals for a walk. They are planning a trip to do the Yorkshire 3 peaks at the end of May and this was the first 'training' walk. I'm not sure a meander round Norfolk's country lanes is quite the Yorkshire hills equivalent but we walked about 10 miles so it was a reasonable distance.

It was pretty chilly, but lovely if you kept moving. The sunshine was trying through trees that still look incredibly wintery.

Norfolk has lots of pretty little churches and this one was tucked away...

No leaves on the trees, but proper blue sky!

The trouble is, when you stop to take photos...

Actually, we all did a bit of fiddling about and stopping and starting, which was quite nice as it meant there was a chance to talk to different people, most of whom I'd never met before.

The walk took us through what was aptly described as 'a rather scruffy farmyard'...

Past some gorgeous calves...

Sadly, I suspect these are not destined for particularly long lives as the sign on the gate the other side of the shed announced itself as a 'prime meat' farm... I don't eat a lot of meat, but I'm not vegetarian either, so I have to accept that what ends up on the plate comes from somewhere, but the proximity of the information was a bit close for comfort for me!!

We walked through a tiny village with lovely houses and gardens, one of which had a pond and these...

I'm not sure I've ever seen black swans before. They were a bit smaller than the usual white ones and made a quite different noise. Very striking birds.

Believe it or not, given this was the end of the first week in April, this was the first proper full on lot of daffodils I'd seen too...

There have been a few odd ones here and there but mostly they've been really slow to open. But there was definitely some evidence that we might be reaching the end of this very long winter...

At last! Green shoots!! 

And lambs!

These were very cute, but difficult to photograph as they kept running around!

It has to be said that in spite of the blue sky in these pictures it was still cold if you stood still for too long and the evenings and nights have been freezing. Literally. I have still been scraping ice off my windscreen most mornings. 

So although I have a bit of a love hate relationship with it, I have been quite glad of the blanket that I feel I've been working on forever (albeit a bit sporadically at times). Its big enough and thick enough now to keep the legs warm as you work - my evenings sorted then!

This was the 'trying to get the colour distribution right' session...

I'm still not entirely sure I did, partly because I'm not mad about all the colours. Quite a few were ones I just had odds and sods of wool left over as this was supposed to be a 'use up' project. Ha ha, famous last words! The bottom right is a bit of a red herring. I was thinking of doing a row of crochet round the edge of each one; I thought it would even the squares up and make them easier to sew together and I also thought it would add a bit to the size. This was meant to be 144 squares but by this stage I was soooo bored with the squares so stopped at 108... But after I had edged one row of 9, I decided I didn't much like it and pulled it all out again!

I have joined them all together now, using the crochet method as I think it gives a strong join and I did enjoy looking at it hung on the line today...

I do still have a few issues with this 'affectionately' named Wretched Knitted Squares Blanket - the mish mash of colours being one and the fact that the patterns meant that the squares all came out slightly different sizes which made it a nightmare to join! But hung up here, it is sort of growing on me...

The other thing I'm not keen on is that, unlike crochet, there is a very obvious right and wrong side. I don't mind the contrasting joining stitches showing but it does look a bit messy from the back...

I suppose it won't matter when its in use. So just the border to go now!

It was lovely to sit outside with a cup of tea and a piece of fresh brioche this morning...

I've never made this before but thought I'd give it a go. It was a bit messy (loads of melted butter in it!) and it has to prove for a very long time (I left it overnight) but it wasn't difficult. I didn't have the right size or shape of tin, hence the odd shaped loaf! But it was delicious; though I say it myself, it was way nicer than the stuff you buy in the shops.

I even dared baring my legs to the world (well the back garden!) today, lovely to feel the warmth of the sun.

Lets hope the frosty mornings are over and we'll get some more of this cheerful weather!



  1. OMG! Bare legs! It must be warm down your way. It's slightly warmer here, but nowhere near time for bare legs!!!
    I've never seen black swans either.
    I totally agree with your simple things too.
    Kathy x

  2. Looks like you have been having a great time, I like the look of your blanket.

  3. Hello Sandra, so good to catch up. I really like your blanket, I think it looks fab and a border will finish it off nicely. I can imagine the sun is very welcome, it has become cold here,although to you it would be still warm, today was grey and raining all day, was happy to be at work! Beautiful countryside on your walk.
    Take care xx Sandi

  4. Aren't you brave getting your toes out! I haven't quite done that yet :o)

  5. Our legs are so white we have decided we need to wear tights to a wedding on Saturday !
    Black swans are striking aren't they ? What a lovely walk. Good luck to your friends.


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