I needed a break from all the Christmas knitting which for some reason all seems to be fiddly and knitted on teeny-weeny needles this year.
A quick rummage unearthed just the right mind-numbingly simple pattern using one of my favourite yarns; Rowan Summer Tweed in the colour 'Swirl' which is a blend of very pale blues. It's one of those yarns you either love or hate as it has a very dry handle so can be hard on your hands. However, once washed and worn it is beautifully soft and I love the range of colours, many of which are flecked with matching bits that tone so well with all the other shades.
|I've knit several jumpers from this book but I've also used this yarn for crochet|
|A nice, simple stocking stitch jumper with raglan sleeves and a ballerina neckline|
In crochet, I've made several pairs of these super-cute bootees, my crochet manadala and cushion, and one of my favourite blankies, the woven crochet afghan.
I made the knitted entrelac shawlette from Jean Moss's book 'Simple Shawlettes' using 2 shades and I made a sweet little scarf too but I can't find a photo of that. This little top named Sunshine by Marie Wallin is one of my favourites.
So far so good. Several silly asthma attacks whilst doing speedwork and one which seemed to be brought on by this pretty flower:
|Impatiens Glandulifera aka Himalayan Balsam|
Although it is very pretty, and is loved by bees and insects alike, it has become a pest along our waterways where it shades out our beautiful native plants such as marsh marigolds.
It has a brilliant mechanism for distributing its seeds.
|Seedheads with coiled spring mechanism|
When the seeds are ripe, the merest touch to any part of the plant causes the pods to burst open and a very clever spring mechanism broadcasts the seeds far and wide.
The reason I know it was this that caused my problem was the overpoweringly sickly smell of the pollen which always makes my nose run and my throat starts to close up.
Apart from that I seem to be running well (touch wood) and am hoping that I can make a good showing at the Brighton 10k in November. I still haven't finalised my fund-raising plans for 2014 though so I need to get my thinking cap on pdq!
OK, it's that time of year again; the time when I take loads of photos of all the beautiful and/or unusual fungi I see out on my runs.
I'm going to try not to show any I've shown before which is easy because I've seen loads of different ones this year, although the Scarlet Elf Cup I spotted last year is still one of my favourite finds.
|I think it's a newly emerging Parasol Mushroom|
|The Blusher (Amanita rubescens)|
|A Common Earthball growing on a mossy bank in mixed broadleaf woodland|
|Don't know what these are|
|Armillaria, aka Honey Fungus, of some sort growing on a rotting tree stump|
|A slightly out of focus Hare's Foot Inkcap - it looks completely different when it first emerges|
|Sulphur Tuft on coppiced Sweet Chestnut|
|I have no idea what this massive fungus is - it was growing low down on a Birch tree|
|It looked like a giant oozing sponge close-up!|
|Boletus in grass under Oak trees|
|I found one nearby which had been knocked over and like many of the Boletus, it's flesh had become slightly blue upon cutting|
|In decay in should be re-named stinkcap as it really did pong when deliquescing!|
|Fairy Ring Champignons, loathed by those who like a neat swath of grass, growing near an old manure heap|
|Beautifully sculptural gills|
|Trametes versicolor, a stunning bracket fungus, on a pear tree|