Friday, 14 January 2011

Tweetie birds, a birdwatch and more knitting

Another week over, where does the time go? I am a bit naughty to say that really as I don't work Fridays!! :O I work longer hours earlier in the week to compensate but I do love the long weekends.

Today was an eventful one for different reasons. The tickets to see Yusuf Islam (was Cat Stevens) arrived. I am very excited about going to see him later in the year. I have been a fan since I was a kid and although he is not touring in the UK he is in Europe so it means a trip abroad in June, oh shucks, well I guess one must ;) There may be another trip on the cards for the summer which is mega exciting. I am looking forward to lots of things this year :)

I had some dental work done earlier today so I came straight home and slept off the anaesthetic and watched the birds in the garden from the 'bird cinema' :) I tried a bit of knitting but only managed about four rows. That was when I realised it was time to sleep it off. Feeling loads better now though :)

So what did the bird cinema have on today? We had:

"Batman & Robin" (didn't see much of Batman though...)
"Into the Blue" Tit
"The Great (Tit) Escape"
"The Long (Tailed Tit) Kiss Goodnight"
Atticus (Chaf)Finch in "To Kill a Mocking Bird"
"The Wings of the (Collared) Dove"
"Star(ling) Wars"
Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Carribbean"
"Bye Bye Blackbird"

I have some shots of these for you. Please excuse the fairly dodgy camera work... that'll be me!! The lighting isn't great around here at the moment and I was taking them through a window... I'm pretty sure that would be one of the first Do Nots of photography... But here goes:


In the UK, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) is running the Big Garden Birdwatch on the weekend of 29th and 30th of January. You only need to do an hour over the entire weekend but if you register beforehand they'll send you a pack and you get 10% off bird food from them. No prizes for guessing that I'm already signed up and very excited about the prospect :) I'm already planning the cups of tea and cake situation for the event :) My other half is into the birds as well so we'll be booking our seats in the bird cinema for that weekend. Excellent!

If you want to see a funny bird video clip, check this out and click watch video :) Also, have any of you seen a tv series called 'Walk on the Wildside'? They personify animals (something I'm eternally guilty for) and it does make me laugh. I love this bird one. :D

I promised a knitting update and I apologise again for the lack of photos but they will be coming soon, I promise. I had a few hours to kill in the week so I took myself off to a local cafe with money for a coffee in one hand and my knitting in the other :) The guy who owns the cafe came over and said in the 20 years he's owned cafes no-one has ever knitted in one! I said I found that hard to believe but he said it was true. The cafe was moderately busy and within next to no time everyone was talking about knitting, how they learnt, whether their mothers had knitted... and so on... I couldn't believe my knitting presence would ever have had that effect. I felt a bit bad because I had my ipod and just wanted to get on with some knitting but people just wanted to keep talking about what I was doing or what they had made etc. I did talk to people as I am a friendly type but I couldn't help feeling when I left that I wasn't sure if I'd go back as it wasn't quite what I was after. Does that sound awful?

I have a busy but exciting weekend ahead of visitors and lovely food to cook. I've also done an online food delivery for tomorrow so that I don't have to mission it around the shops inbetween seeing different people. I am strangely excited about its arrival :) Hope you all have a lovely weekend.

Until next time,


Sunday, 9 January 2011

Lights, camera, action!

"You don't take a photograph, you ask, quietly, to borrow it." (Author unknown)

I have a new camera! :) It is a Panasonic DMC-TZ10 and although I am only just starting to find my way around with it I am enjoying every minute! I was in the 'bird cinema' earlier (the far end of the lounge where we've turned around one of the sofas to face the patio doors for viewing purposes) and I took a couple of snaps of a great tit.

Great Tit 1 Great Tit 2

Today we have seen: blue tits, great tits, coal tits, long-tailed tits, dunnocks, robins, collared doves, starlings and blackbirds in the garden. I also think I saw a great spotted woodpecker though it didn't stay around long enough for me to get a good look. I am hoping (s)he will return so that it ceases to be a UFO! ;)

Staying on the bird theme, here is a little ditty about a pelican that I found and made me smile:

A wonderful bird is the pelican
His bill will hold more than his belican.
He can take in his beak
Food enough for a week,
But I'm damned if I see how the helican
(Dixon Lanier Merritt)

Just a little post today as I'm exhausted after a busy weekend. More knitting updates in the next post. Looking forward to next weekend already though :) Have a great week.

Until next time,


Friday, 7 January 2011

Sitting Knitting

First week back at work, done! What a stark contrast between sitting and knitting in front of the fire over the holidays! :D Glad it's the weekend now.

So, given all this time I spent sitting and knitting, what was I up to?? (Apart from the inevitable starting of new projects without finishing others first!) All you knitters out there, how satisfying is it to cast on a new project with a lovely new ball of yarn? And if you've had to buy new needles for the project as well, even better! :) I have finished a few projects though, a beanie hat:

Beanie Hat

I knitted this in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in shade 028 (charcoal). I used this pattern for the Dublin Beanie. I modified the pattern after reading reviews on Ravelry that the hat seemed snug for a man. I used straight needles then used mattress stitch to do an invisible seam at the back at the end. I also increased the number of stitches by 10% and added in an extra couple of rows when decreasing to keep the hat in proportion. It turns out it is a perfect fit! :) The only modification I'd make next time is to increase the number of rib rows around the rim as it seems to want a slightly chunkier rim. The next time will be soon as I've just ordered two balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in shade chocolate.

I made two ipod cosies following an owl pattern on Ravelry. If you'd like to find it, search for 'owl ipod' under patterns and it'll come up. It is very clever and looks like an owl just from a few cable stitches - nice! Unfortunately I didn't take any photos before I gave them away as presents. I will probably make some more at some point, and if I do I'll be sure to take pictires and post them.

I mentioned in my last post that I'm hoping to take on an extended knitting project this year. To give you the preamble, my cousin gave birth very prematurely about 18 months ago. Baby and Mum are both well but the early days were difficult for both of them. As a family we felt so helpless so we contributed where we could with clothes. I have a magazine subscription to 'Knitting' and in there they regularly write about a charity called Bliss. Bliss's moto is 'for babies born too soon, too small, too sick'. I read up on what I could do... knit!! There are patterns available on their website and there are many premie patterns available for free on Ravelry. I am using a Debbie Bliss pattern in garter stitch. It has knitted up really quickly and is almost finished. It is in a lovely soft lemon yarn (Sirdar Snuggly 4ply). The yarns have to be soft, non-irritable and washable. I am hoping to complete a load of these and send them off. Watch this space for more Bliss charity knitting action! If any of you are interested but you're not sure what to do, let me know and I'll try and help. Here is my little jacket so far (ok, so it doesn't look like a jacket yet as each panel/sleeve is knitted separately and then a yoke joins them all, this is what I'm doing now):

Premie Baby Jumper

The sleeves are big so that little arms don't struggle getting in. The yoke method is used to avoid unnecessary seams for fragile little ones to be leaning on. I do feel that although I can't help the sick babies directly I can hopefully bring some comfort and warmth to them.

I have a weekend of food, wine, fires, knitting and puzzles planned with a small trip into town tomorrow. Hope you all have a relaxing weekend.

Until next time,


Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Bits and bobs

It it so lovely to be back on the blogging scene, getting back in touch with my old blogging buddies and also meeting new ones already! :) Thank you for your supportive comments on my first post and I look forward to writing many more posts for you to read over the coming year and beyond.

As I still don't have a camera (yet!) and my new phone is a temporary downgrade until my contract is up I have been digging through my old pictures to try and find some interseting things. Firstly, I spent a lot of time in a seaside town called Clevedon last year. I love it there. Here are some of the lovely views I snapped whilst I was there:




Why wouldn't you love it there?? The sunsets are dreamy and it is really peaceful.

A good friend of mine had a baby last year and I managed to knit (what I believed to be) a unisex jumper in newborn size in time for the little one's arrival. As it turned out it did seem more boyish and luckily they had a boy! :D I really enjoyed knitting it and it really got me to grips with seaming which I hadn't done much of before.

baby jumper

I have another baby jacket on the go at the moment (for a different friend). Here are the old pics of it:

baby jacket update

I have almost finished it so I look forward to posting an updated picture soon (hopefully with the new camera!).

There are a few other knitting projects I have on the go which I will tell you all about in my next post. I have also given myself a knitting task this year which I hope will come to fruition...

So until next time,


Sunday, 2 January 2011

New decade, new blog!

Happy New Year!

Some of you may have followed me in 2008-2009 as Dancin' Puffin. If you did, hello again! :) If you are new to my ramblings, welcome and I hope you enjoy.

If you know me of old you may have wondered what happened, did I disappear off the face of the earth? Did I fall into a big hole somewhere? Did I get lost in the vast world of cyberspace? Well, life kind of just happened to me for about a year but I'm shrugging off the old and getting on with the new now.

A very good friend of mine suggested that I start blogging again, I thought about it for a while and thought yes, I definitely should. I loved blogging and following you all and reading about your wonderful adventures and crafting antics. So, here I am!

Life is very different for me now and if you keep reading I'm sure you will learn of all the new things in my life. Some things haven't changed. I am still knitting and cooking and enjoying the country life.

So, what's new around here? Snow! Boy did we have a lot of snow here in the lead up to Christmas. We had about 8-10 inches which for Somerest in the UK is quite a lot. Being about 3 miles from the nearest main road and up a hill limited any chance of getting out and about for about a week. I secretly relished the opportunity to be snowed in for a whole week in the lead up to Christmas. I knitted, cooked, wrapped presents and even made some presents (as I was unable to get to any shops!). It was my idea of home heaven :) Here was the view from the landing window:

snowy view

Christmas and New Year were very quiet around here. Food, wine, games and puzzles galore. Again, just what was required! :) Christmas gifts this year included mainly bird feeders and knitting stuff. I have been in my element!

I am really into wildlife and I love garden birds. So far in the garden I have seen: blue tits, great tits, robins, wrens, magpies, chaffinches, long tailed tits, starlings, blackbirds (Mr & Mrs), red wings, coal tits, dunnocks and a collared dove! This list has only been going for two months so I am sure as we move into spring this list will grow. I will keep you updated and hopefully, when I get my new camera (!), I will also be able to post some pictures.

The new camera is an exciting prospect. I am still researching and asking relevant experts for advice but I hope to have one by the end of the month. Then I'll be able to post better pictures on here.

I seem to be lacking in pictures on this first post so I am going to share a picture with you that I love and have had for a long time on my computer. I am not sure where it came from but I love the vintage nature of it:

vintage cartoon

That's all from me today. I hope to post again soon, hopefully with some pictures and updates of my current and recent knitting projects.

Until next time,