Friday, August 29, 2008

Sock it to me fungus and the 42 flowers

Here's where I'm up to with Pomatomus. The yarn is absolutely delightful to work with and I love the colours. The shade is called 'clover' and it really is the colour of red clover.

I'm enjoying the shell pattern too. Interestingly it's knit mostly on 3 needles to make it easier to accomodate the pattern and only changes to 5 after turning the heel.

It shouldn't take too long to finish now. This is my 3rd pair of socks and each time I've felt that it progresses really quickly after the heel. Not sure how much knitting I'll get done over the weekend as there's gardening stuff to do and I need to do a 20 mile run off-road on Sunday - the first of 3 in my schedule prior to the Beachy Head marathon in October.

Now for the fungus foray! It's definitely autumn now as they are popping up all over the place.

This one is definitely a Boletus of some description. I think it's Boletus edulis, commonly known as a Cep or Penny Bun and popular for commercial use, dried and used for flavouring in soups. I wouldn't eat it as I am uncertain and some Boletus can cause tummy upset.

It's about 7cm across and is growing in grass under an oak tree.

These are another Boletus - versicolor and are a gorgeous shade of red/brown. They are about 4cm across and are growing near the other Boletus.

There were others around but they had been nibbled by goodness knows what!

I put my clog in the photo to show the size of these beauties. They are Horse Mushrooms (Agaricus arvensis) which is an appropriate name as they are popping up all over the horses' paddock. They soon get nibbled by the wildlife.

The largest one is 15cm across. Aren't they magnificent?!

So where are the 42 flowers? They are wildflowers that I spotted on one of my runs during the week. I often amuse myself with spotting things en-route as it helps pass the time. I tried hard to recall all their latin names but had to resort to common names for several of them.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Every man should have one.........

....a digger for the weekend! We had some serious clearance work to do in the front garden and this was the most sensible way to do it. Mike was overjoyed to have a big boys' toy and took to it like a duck to water. We had a great weekend shifting stuff around.

To get rid of some of the spoil we had to take loads of it across the horses' field into the next one and that caused great shennanagins from the horses. Esther is surveying the scene with a look that says "I demand to know what you're doing!" Each time we crossed their field they came trotting over and tried to get through to the next field. Then when we shooed them off they pranced around snorting indignantly.

Anyway, we spent 3 whole days clearing stuff and now the heavy manual digging begins. GULP! I have been too cream-crackered to even pick up my knitting since last friday so I have only managed to knit the leg of the first sock. It looks good though (I should take a photo later....)

I spotted my tradescantia plant displaying transpiration perfectly this morning. If you look closely you will see little beads of water along the edges of the leaves. Beautiful.

Tinker is making an appearance because he's beautiful too and he isn't feeling very well so needs lots of virtual love and hugs. Poor little fellow. He's been to the vet many times of late and at 12 years old we can't help worrying. Paws crossed that he's OK.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

In the pink

I put the balls on the table, closed my eyes, jiggled them around and then touched one to choose it. Highly scientific. So there we have it - pink it is! Here's what I've done this evening. Too soon to make out the pattern properly.

Ouch, crochet woes and a dilemma

The Ouch Part:

I've had this niggle in the back of my right heel for a couple of months now. It doesn't hurt when I run, except for a slight pulling sensation on the inside of the heel, but when I get up in the morning I can hardly walk as it's so stiff. It loosens off after about 15 minutes and then is OK. The same thing happens when I've been sitting down for a while.

Mary Massage Lady had a go at it a while back but to no avail so I had to go and see Alison my trusted Physiotherapist. She poked around trying to find the bit that made me go "OUCH!" but it was hiding. After a great deal of detective work she got it sussed: Retrocalcaneal bursitis, Calcaneal apophysitis (which is supposed to only affect children!) plus a very tight Soleus

My arches are very high and my heels curve inwards and the angle of my foot to ankle is not as large as it should be (we knew this already but it hasn't caused a problem until now). She asked if I'd been running more hills than usual but I haven't. I have noticed that I go up on my toes more than usual when doing off-road hills though. This explains why the Tibialis anterior muscles up the front of my shins have become extra large as they have had to compensate for the tightness in my calves.

She zapped my heel in 4 places with a laser which was really interesting. The machine registered a higher number when it encountered a swelling (steady boys!). In 3 places it registered around 30 but in the really sore bit it shot right up to 48. After that she taped my heel to help get it back on track but I just couldn't walk on it so she had to loosen it a bit. Also I've got calf stretches to do 4 times x 2 minutes a day to stretch out the Soleus.

Good news is I can still run on it but not off-road for a day or so. Hoorah!

Crochet Woes:

I have been trying to find the solution to joining the flowers I made using the Lazy Daizy loom. Firstly I used 2 strands of mohair together which looked quite good but wasn't quite firm enough for the effect I wanted. I ripped it before thinking to take a photo, DOH!

A rummage in my stash found this yarn from the early 1980s! What I don't like about it is that they now look like granny squares and whilst I love granny squares it wasn't the effect I wanted. Plus I don't like the light background. Hmmmmm.

Then I remembered this brown chenille from a cardigan project I didn't like. The colour is nice and dark to show off the flowers but I think I need to adopt a more freeform approach to the joining. More experimenting lies ahead!

The Dilemma

I decided to make another pair of socks before embarking upon a big project and decided to have a go at the Pomatomus Socks by Cookie A. So I duly wound the yarn into 2 balls. But as I did so I fell in love with the colours so much that I didn't want to hide them away as socks. It's just that I can imagine the yarn as the background for a pair of gloves with a Fair Isle pattern.

So, I went and dug out the pretty yarn that I won in Amelia's competition. But again, I could see this as gloves or even a hat.

Decisions, decisions!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

There's been plenty going on......

There's been curtain making, crochet, counted thread cross stitching, gardening, running and some knitting too. I completed the Magic poncho weeks ago but haven't got round to photographing it yet.

Here's my first ever Monkey Sock by CookieA. I realise that I am probably the last person in the blogging universe to knit them but I have been slow to catch the knitted sock bug.

I deliberately used the same yarn as she did to take me out of my comfort zone even further as I wouldn't ordinarily choose fluoro yellow or green. As it happens, I rather like the colours as they are jolly.

I found the pattern very easy to memorise and they are great for newbie sock knitters as the pattern is well written.

Friday, August 8, 2008

None of us are free until all of us are free

I'm not really into political protest and stuff but it was hard to watch the amazing display of the opening ceremony for the olympics in Beijing without thinking of Tibet.

I feel it is important not to forget the situation in Tibet and to support those who struggle for their freedom.

Beverly at PoMo Golightly is having a contest.

You can win some pretty nice yarn from Pippi KneeSocks, so please take a look.