Monday, April 28, 2014

A Walk Through Bluebells

There's something special about a carpet of bluebells.

Fran and I had nipped over to Arger Fen (part of Suffolk Wildlife Trust) and even on a dull day they were beautiful.

The contrast with the new green growth on the trees was soul lifting.

Some were in areas with other wild flowers, Greater Stitchwort and Yellow Archangel here.

We also saw an Early Purple orchid and heard a chiffchaff, cuckoo and a blackcap.  (The blackcap  warning call was identified thanks to the amazingness of twitter).

Close up bluebells always amaze me with their delicacy.

I've now discovered that I can walk from our country park to another Suffolk Wildlife Trust reserve, Cornard Mere - it has Water Rail, I am rather excited. I'll let you know how I get on.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Touch of Lace

Whilst sitting around giving the needle eating cat lots of attention and cuddles I've managed to finish a knitted lace shawl/scarf.

It's a beautiful, fine, baby alpaca and silk yarn from Eden Cottage Yarns which I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show in October.

The pattern is from Ravelry (Daisy Chain Shawl)

I've never used beads in knitting before but they were surprisingly easy to do and add a nice weight and slight sparkle to it.  There's one in the centre of each flower and one at the end of each point.

And just as I was wondering what I could knit next the latest Brooklyn Tweed pattern book fell into my inbox, so that sorted that one out - new yarn ordered and pattern downloaded, oh and more knitting needles ordered as despite having a drawer full I don't have the right size ones to knit Merle (how can that be?)!

As for said cat, he's fine, 100%!  Enjoying a little snooze in amongst some fabric earlier on

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Everything's Coming Up Tulips

Over the last few weeks the tulips in the garden have been beautiful. Some I planted and know what they are like these:

Doll's Minuet

Black Parrot

Spring Green

I love how the rain makes them bend over and then they ping back upright in the sunshine

Others were here when I moved in so I have no idea what they are but I always love this purple one as it contrasts so beautifully with the exochorda above it.

When the sun shines these red ones in the front garden open right up to reveal their yellow centres.

Other just appear from nowhere.

Apart from taking photos of tulips and planting seeds not much has been done in the garden this week due to a certain black cat deciding to swallow some thread and the attached needle on Tuesday evening.  Cue emergency dash to vets where the needle (and thread) was removed from his throat under sedation.  He's recovered fine, it's taken me longer!

Whatever you're doing this Easter weekend I hope you have a lovely time (well mainly be avoiding needles!).

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fashions in London

Yesterday I took myself off to London for the day.

It was a beautiful sunny day and after a cuppa at the Festival Hall I wandered off along the south of the river, past many sights, to the Fashion and Textile Museum.

It was my first visit here and I'd taken Gina's advice to go on a Wednesday when there's a free talk at 1pm.  The talk and the exhibition were fascinating, tracing the history of 20th century art in textiles.

It's hard to pick favourites but here are a few:

1950's Designs by Andy Warhol

Screen prints by Estelle Laverne (1947), Ben Rose (1951) and Angelo Testa (1947)

1955 dress designed by Clare McCardell in a fabric designed by Picasso 
and these gorgeous dresses from Horrockses in the 1940s and 50s made from textiles designed by Alastair Morton and Graham Sutherland.

I also loved the smaller exhibition by Sarah Campbell 'From Start to Finish' (of course I knew I would as I'm a big fan of her work) - a room showing a film about her and her work and huge boards like this on the wall showing the journey, from start to finish, of a design  (this one is for M & S bedding 2013).

After spending quite some time in the museum I then wandered up to Somerset House as I wanted to see the Boro exhibition.  These are items made by the Japanese poor who couldn't afford the new cotton cloth so literally pieced together scraps and rags to make clothing and household goods.

Some were quite geometric whereas some really revealed the original shapes of the scraps of cloth.

Outside Somerset house, a costume drama was being filmed, so I stayed and watched for a while. 

I have no idea what it was, or if any of the actors are famous, but it was fascinating to watch and the costumes were amazing.

Finally I made my way to John Lewis, really to look at curtains for the lounge but I seemed to end up in the dress fabric department and ended up coming home with this little lot (and no curtains!)

There's a distinct 1950s influence in the fabric I bought isn't there!