Well another week has flown past, so here we are looking back at what has made us smile. I have to say I am enjoying the Autumn weather. We are still enjoying lovely blue skies and sunshine, but the temperatures have dropped to a very comfortable level, so I have spent several afternoons, sitting out on the porch doing my crochet or reading my book.
But the sun goes down soon after six now and suddenly it becomes quite chilly. So the 'summer weight' duvet is now on the bed, and by 7.00 the fire is lit in the sitting room, so we have one place to be cosy.
The animals soon caught on to this idea, and on Thursday night I was in there knitting, and I had one cat on each chair for company, and one of the dogs, Kim, on the settee. My lovely long-haired ginger cat Tango, would have been sitting on me if I had let him, but the piece I was working on made it just not possible, so he curled up beside me instead. Last night when I went in there I found Kim had got there before me and what's more, he was sharing 'his' settee with Paco. Normally they have a mutual respect for one another but keep their distance, so it was a surprise to see them (almost) curled up together.
I said last week that I had started a piece of knitting. Although I have almost given up knitting large garments because they hang too heavy on the needles, I am hoping this yarn is light enough for me to manage in small doses. It is a chunky mix that I bought in huge 200g balls at Hobbycraft when I was in UK recently. The natural colouration of the yarn means it is knitting up almost stripey, but I am not going to attempt to match the stripes on the other pieces. It will all be used as it comes. The main pattern is a simple double moss stitch, and I am using bamboo needles. I have not got on with them very well before, but they are recommended for people with arthritis so I thought I'd give them another try, and so far they are fine. I am making a fairly shapeless slouch jacket, but it is coming up a little tighter than I was expecting, but I have a feeling it is going to stretch with use so I don't want it to start off too big.
Knitting is nice and easy for me to do if I am watching TV, but when I can concentrate more I have been working on this mandala, and last night I finished it. I just love it.
The pattern was released in three parts as a CAL (Crochet Along) by an Australian lady called Emily, and it is called Connie's Ray of Hope. It was designed in memory of a lady called Connie Johnson, who finally lost her battle after three bouts of cancer. Her brother Samuel wrote an inspirational blog post about her journey, and from that, the mandala was born. I chose to make mine in Christmas colours, and it will make a bright spot hanging on my wall throughout the festive season. It was a fairly complex pattern, but well within the capabilities of most crocheters, but I have to say the last four rounds, from where it was attached to the ring onwards, were very difficult. The galvanised steel ring is 350 mm - approx.14 inches, in diameter, so the finished mandala is around 430mm, so it was stiff and unwieldy to hold, and my poor shoulders and hands were complaining mightily this morning, but they have settled down now and I am so glad I persevered and got it finished.
My other project for this week was a final effort to get Christmas cards made. I ended up getting quite carried away, and made a run of 35 cards, all using the same image, printed and hand coloured, and then made into a card using a variety of papers, die-cuts and lots of glue. I can't show them yet as I will be using them for a Christmas card challenge at the end of the month. I now have enough made to get them all written, so I should be able to post my Uk ones before all the bank holidays start. We have three at the start of December, and I like to get mine posted before this disrupts the system and slows everything down.
When we set out with the dogs for their morning walk today, men were already at work trimming the trees that grow all along our road. The one by our gate looks really nice now. They have stayed so good considering the very small amount of soil they have in these wide, shallow containers. But I have to say, the maintenance department at the Town Hall deserve full marks for the way they look after our streets. In another couple of weeks there will be poinsettias planted around the base of the trees to add some colour as well.
We have had such lovely clear skies this week, but with little or no cloud, there has not been any notable sunsets. But as I glanced out of the window yesterday evening, the sky was such a beautiful colour. It went from a muted golden through pink, purple and then indigo. I tried to catch it on the camera, but this doesn't really do it justice. It is the best I could get though, so I am using it anyway! How peaceful is that?!