Monthly Archives: February 2014

Rainbow railings in progress

Eight out of ten colours done on the monster rainbow stained glass window afghan. Watch this space.

Meanwhile, a spot more yarn-bombing, because sometimes a lass needs a break from crocheting round and round (and round) and round a stained glass window.

So, I have a plan, now. This:-

Yarn-bombing plan

Yarn-bombing plan

will be applied right about here, on the tower of our brewery:-

Railings, just begging to be yarn-bombed

Railings, just begging to be yarn-bombed

So far, we have a few of the railing-cosies:-

image

And we have knitted pigeons:-

Pigeons. Because the twinnage asked.

Pigeons.

Watch this space…

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Yarn-bombing the house at last…

OK, before we get on to tonight’s post proper, here’s a peek at a bit of the afghan WIP:-

crochet rainbow afghan... getting there...

crochet rainbow afghan… getting there…

When it’s done, I’ll buy y’all a drink to say thank you for your encouragement. And I probably won’t crochet any more afghans for a wee while… although some even crazier projects are in the mental pipeline.

Anyway, this is mostly a piece about yarn-bombing. Because as I’ve posted before, plans have been afoot to yarn-bomb the house. And I had a little reminder to get on with it the other day, when out wandering in the village with the toddler twinnage. Last year our village was beautifully yarn-bombed (no, not by me.) Road signs, bus stops, barriers – all were fair game. Sadly some of it has gone, but we came across this bit that I’d not noticed before:-

yarn-bombing

yarn-bombing

Pretty funky, no? Someone has a goodish stash of fetching yarn, and the inspiration to use it. So this was a prompt to get on with my own project – yarn-bombing the railings of the balcony half-way up our tower. The yarn has arrived. (Yes, I’m still having a bit of a rainbow moment.)

rainbow yarn

rainbow yarn

And unbeknownst to the stoic spouse, I’ve started knitting long strips that will be sewn in place around the railings of the balcony. First some red:-

red railing

red railing

Then some orange:-

orange

orange railing

Sadly, I then ran out of time. But I’m on my way. Photos to follow…. shortly before the neighbours sue me for lowering the tone of the neighbourhood.

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Waving not drowning

A soggy hello from – as Bembeezle has excellently dubbed it – Oxfordshire-On-Sea. 🙂 (For readers from far-flung corners of the globe, I should point out that Oxfordshire is about as land-locked as you can get in the UK.)

I’ve been enjoying everyone else’s pictures of meteorological madness lately, so I just thought I’d continue the theme.

Here we were the other day, beside a field near the twinnage’s muchly-liked god-parents’ house in west Oxfordshire.

Flooded Oxfordshire 2014

It’s easy to identify fields round here: they’re the squarish areas of water bounded by hedgerows. But this one has also developed – look! – a BEACH! Can you see it, in the foreground of this photo? We really are becoming Oxfordshire-On-Sea.

Anyway, never mind that. Have you heard about Lizzy Yarnold’s winter Olympic gold? I write this as a sport-o-phobe, who only goes running to admire the wildlife, but not only has this woman won gold in the Skeleton event, but she KNITS! My question is, How? Because if it was me, I’d be saying, “Yeah I’ll come and train in a minute… Just got to finish this row… And this one…” Congratulations, Lizzy!

More on the monster rainbow afghan very soon. It’s nearly done…

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More rain. More crochet.

Yup, it’s another post whilst the monster rainbow stained glass window afghan grows and grows behind the scenes.

And it’s another waterlogged post.  Because really, this rain is getting silly now. You’ve made your point, rainclouds, or maybe you haven’t because I’m not sure quite what your point is, other than the fact that we’ve ballsed up the climate and everyone is having bonkers weather of one sort or another this year. I’ve been pottering around Oxfordshire again, this week accompanied by my lovely aunt who has come to stay. She seemed to be under the ridiculous illusion that this footpath was impassable:-

Image

So instead, we went to look at the river, which has become, in the words of my wise old toddlers, “the sea”.

Image

I took a few pictures of the watery craziness, because it was so, well, crazy. I talked to complete strangers as we all stood about staring at the water, and commiserated with those whose houses were threatened by the rising Thames. The flooding has broken down social inhibitions, as well as physical boundaries. It’s hard to even see where the river usually ends.

Oxfordshire floods 2014

Oxfordshire floods 2014

And another one:-

Thames flooding

Thames flooding

Naturally, my knitting got a look-in, too:-

imageBut tearing ourselves away, we wandered into Wallingford. Here, at the 16th century George Hotel, we found some gratifying quirkiness. Legend has it, in our bloody 17th century Civil War, that a Royalist by the name of John Robson was fatally stabbed in the bar-room. His betrothed fled grief-stricken to her room, where she mixed her salty tears with soot from the fire, and painted tear-drops on the wall.

By luck, the ‘tear-drop room’ had not been booked tonight, so we persuaded the staff to take us up there, where we saw this:-

Tear-drop room at the George Hotel

Tear-drop room at the George Hotel

I’m not sure what to make of it. Are you?

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Weaving in ends (or possibly obliterating the hairy blighters with napalm).

Yesterday, I promised a crochet post. Predictably, it’s about the rainbow stained glass window afghan.

It’s going to be a few weeks until it’s finished I think, given that it’ll end up more than two metres across – that’s a lot of stitches. Someone on Ravelry posted that they’d finished the same design in more conventional colours within “about two weeks”. Even allowing for this meaning “almost three weeks”, and even supposing they spent that fortnight-and-a-bit omitting eating/sleeping/breathing in favour of their crochet hook, that’s pretty speedy. This thing is consuming my life. Give me a little more time, yeah?

It’s going well. I’ve done dark red, light red, dark orange, light orange, yellow, light green, and started dark green – with all the black in between, obviously. Just three more colours to go after the dark green.

But of course, as it grows, its swelling circumference adds hundreds of stitches to the round total. I’m a third of the way through (give or take) and each round already uses nearly a ball of yarn. It weighs 900 grams (1lb 15oz: hello North Americans!!) so far. That’s 18 balls of yarn. And the scary thing is that this much yarn remains, waiting to be hooked:-

yarn

Yarn. And yes, a gratuitous shot of my fern bench cushion. So sue me.

But the ends! My goodness, the ends! This is the reverse of the afghan so far:-

Reverse of afghan so far.

Reverse of afghan so far.

Someone on Ravelry calculated that this pattern generates nine hundred and summat ends to be woven in. Yeeks. And I’m working in cotton. These blighters are slippery. So may I cheat? Rather than neat weaving in, followed by annoying unravelling as the twinnage jump on the finished article, I’m knotting, then I’ll use thread to sew the knots into permanence. I’ve read that it’s the only thing that works for really slippery cottony yarn. It’s. Not. Fun. I may yet resort to superglue. Please don’t tell the knitting police.

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Rain, rain, enough already.

Boy, can it rain. Moody great clouds, you’ve made your point, yeah? How about you go somewhere else now? It’s been raining for weeks. I daren’t go down to the cellar because I just know it’ll have flooded a bit, and the labels will have floated off our wine supply. And our tinned tomato supply. And maybe even the twinnage’s baked beans. Oh, and can you imagine what it’s done to the industrial quantities of tissues that the Stoic Spouse buys in bulk? (And I do mean in bulk. Seriously, come the apocalypse, you really need to pop round to our house: we have non-perishables a-plenty.)

Did I tell you about the time the Stoic Spouse went down there without bothering to put the light on after it had rained lots, and I heard him plodding down the steps: thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, SPLASH. “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!” I shouldn’t say this, but his comic timing was perfect, a fact that was understandably lost on him at the time. Sorry, Stoic Spouse.

Oh, and whilst we’re on the subject of the cellar, rumour has it – stop me if I’ve told you this already – rumour has it that there was once a tunnel from our cellar (we live in a converted brewery, remember) to the pub over the road, presumably so the beer made here could be effortlessly transported to its destination. I don’t know whether there’s any truth in the rumour, but I’ve often wondered about poking about a bit down there, trying to find it. Wouldn’t it be cool to be able to scurry through the tunnel, just in time for last orders?

This was going to be a post about yarn, and the ever-expanding rainbow afghan, but it’s been derailed by water, wine, and beer. Tomorrow there will be a post about crochet, I promise. Unless you fancy some wine?

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And still the rainbow stained glass window grows

The monster afghan grows, and grows. We’ve achieved light green, with only dark green, a couple of blues, and purple still to go. It’s BIG.

stained glass window afghan in progress

stained glass window afghan in progress

So whilst I wiggle away with my crochet hook, allow me to present In Other News.

We’ve been out, the twinnage and I. We don’t get out as much as we should. The logistical demands of doing stuff with the stroppy twinnage make it tricky. And the stoic spouse firmly believes in parental efficiency, ie no more than one parent should be with the kids at any one time, leaving the other parent to do useful stuff, such as fix the leaky roof and walls and floor of this crazy old brewery. But sometimes, the twinnage and I have an overwhelming urge to go and explore the quirkier corners of Oxfordshire. So today, we did. And we found quirk a’plenty.

First, in a little south Oxfordshire village, was Maharajah’s Well, an unexpected corner of the Raj in rural England. It was built/dug in 1864 as a thank you from the Maharajah of Benares to some local Oxfordshire chap who’d sunk a half-decent well in India in 1831. Set amongst your typical villagey church, and shop, and school, it’s an unexpected sight. The twinnage was enchanted by its golden elephant:-

Maharajah's Well

Maharajah’s Well

Here’s another view from further back, photobombed by a smidgen of twinnage.

Maharajah's Well. Not what you expect in Oxfordshire.

Maharajah’s Well. Not what you expect in Oxfordshire.

And fairly nearby, we found this, a 17th/18th century brick kiln:-

Nettlebed brick kiln

Nettlebed brick kiln

There would have been several in the village, apparently, but only this one remains.

And in between the downpours (ie not often) we’ve had the occasional evening to go and meander beside the windbreak poplars:-

Windbreak poplars

Windbreak poplars

And again:-

Windbreak poplars

Windbreak poplars

I love the endless lines of them around our village. Here are some more, as I panic about the sun going down before I can persuade the twinnage home:-

Poplars at sunset

Poplars at sunset

I’d better stop posting and finish this ***************** afghan, hadn’t I?

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