off the wagon

I’ve been trying to write this since Mothers day, then the target was the end of March, now it’s nearly Easter.  Ah well.

Mothers day – I allowed myself one cake, even though it was lent and all.  The following weekend I went off the wagon properly, a hard week, disturbed nights and I just needed cake, and mini eggs.  Lots of them.  Then there was chocolate brownie made by my youngest stepson and that had to be tried, followed by chocolate ice cream and and and …. suffice to say, I didn’t stick to the plan after that.

Yet again however, it’s a large collection of photo’s rather than a snappy weekly update so they’re getting grouped by theme rather than date.

Lets start with nature shall we?  I do like photographing the changes of the seasons, particularly when the season is spring.  We’ve a mix of different things here – blossom, raspberries (seriously early for them to flower but hey), local views, a swan … whatever caught my imagination on the day.   There is one truly awful photograph in there – you might see a small blue vertical line – it’s a kingfisher.  Oh to have had my big lens that day, what a beautiful bird and out of 100+ photographs on my phone, this was the best of a very very bad bunch.

 

12 down …. 9 to go.  Next up some knitting (and a sneaky extra pic).  I started these socks about 14 months ago and they’re finally progressing – the colour way is macaron so the extra pic is of some lovely macaron’s from Karine’s in Morningside.  Then there’s a pic of the knitting shop I visited in London – squeezed in between meetings.  I just *needed* some new needles and this saved on postage.  Finally, my mother’s day knitting.  This will eventually in a very long time become my Birlinn blanket  and I enjoyed taking time as the wee one napped to make a start on it.   It’s my next travel project – as each square is knit individually it’s perfect for the train.  I just need to finish my socks first.  The blanket is by the same designer as my jumper that I’m working on.  There are no pics of the jumper as it’s a bit boring just showing sleeves – maybe next time when I’ve joined it all together (that’s for Easter weekend!)

Last but by no means least, my muses.  The poor dog had a nasty cut (bite?) so was contained in her cone for a few days but is back up and enjoying life again.  We’ve also pics from waving at planes, waving at trains, throwing balls for the dog (and that jumper had to be worn like that apparently) and going for a walk.  It’s a hard life being nearly 18 months you know.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter.

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Ahead of the game

More photographs than days.  This is an odd feeling.  Not all the images are very good really though.

First up (Jan 12th) is a lovely chunky warm hat using some wonderful yarn I was gifted at Christmas.  It’s Rusty Ferret B.A.M.F yarn.  You just have to love something called Big Ass Mooshy Fluph.  Shame the pic isn’t quite wonderful – the model didn’t have her makeup on or hair done or even think that having the kitchen sink in the background isn’t the best idea.

That said, the next image of yarn (Jan 18) which is mostly Little Grey Sheep Stein Fine Wool Mini Skeins and a little Ripples Crafts Suilven isn’t much better.  Wonderful yarn that I spent an hour happily winding and then I take a photograph on my phone using lamp light at night rather than the amazing sunshine of the following morning.  Still, it’s squishy.

One of these days I would love to be better at photographing knits.

Next up a trio of scenery images.  Two of which I like and one is just a bit grey.  Last Friday (was that the 13th?) we’d had the snow the day before and it hadn’t quite melted.  This was just as the sun was coming up on the loft window.  I just liked it.  Short focal depth and quite zoomed in but the ice patterns were pretty.

Yesterday (although the date on the pic is the 19th as I’ve saved wonkily) I enjoyed a rather early morning dog walk.  This morning was even earlier so there was no light in the sky.  It resulted in a slightly camera shaken iphone image of the sunrise which I liked.

Finally, Monday’s image (although the saved date is wrong – Monday was 16th, not 15th) was taken on the dog walk.  Unfortunately it was grey and dull and a bit yawn so I’ve kept the image thumbnail sized.

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Last but not least we have the random pictures.  The trainers (Saturday 14th) are a bit boring from a photography perspective but really important for me.  I went to a pilates class and walked there wearing trainers.  See – I told you – a bit boring.   The significance is that

  1. I’m well enough to do a pilates class
  2. I’m well enough to walk there
  3. I’ve not been well enough to wear trainers in about 4 and half years … it’s a big thing.

The knife really is Friday 13th’s image although I didn’t manage to either take the image then or save it in the right order.  It’s a lovely new santoku knife acquired using birthday money from 2015 at a cookery class gifted for said birthday.  I got to chop things, agressively, for a few hours.  It was a lot of fun.   Anyone in the region – I’d recommend the Waitrose Salisbury cookery school.   Once you get over the weirdness of being in the store and looking out on a coffee shop, it’s really really good.

Next up is an espresso complete with camera shake and focussing issues.   You’d think I’ve forgotten how to use my camera properly in the past year and I think you might be right.  My stepsons very kindly gave me a coffee grinder for christmas and I’ve been tinkering to get the right grind to get a wonderful crema.  On Tuesday, I just about got there.  Now all I need to do is photograph it!

Last but not least is a second image from yesterday, I stumbled across Leadenhall Market in London while looking for somewhere to take a work call.  It’s really cool so I snapped a photo to remind myself for the future.

It’s nice taking images again, and not worrying about whether they are on the camera or the phone.  It would be better if they were in focus or of better quality but that should come (slowly) as time goes by.  Hopefully you will have some patience while I get there.

Photo a Day 2015 Set 42

Just to buck trends, I’m trying to stay up to date and managed to take multiple pictures every day.  This may will not last.  In another break from tradition, I appear (with one exception) to have gone landscapey for the week.  The berries are reaching the end of season, there are fewer flowers and the colours / views looking up at the wider picture just appealed to me this week starting off with trees resplendent in their autumn colours compared to just down the road where it’s almost all still green and by the river where it’s a bit of a mix.

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From this, I spent a couple of days looking at some of the local buildings which is another departure from the norm.  We’re so lucky with a lovely high street and looking up towards the rooflines you can often see lovely buildings.  The church photo was acquired on a dog walk – another spot I’ve not made it to in a long time.  Think that’s the last of my usual haunts now within reach which is fantastic.

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Combining the theme of changing countryside and local churches, this was taken from the fields further north by my MIL’s house.

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Last but not least is the non landscape image – this was when I’d managed to go out with the dog, accidentally leave the camera behind, miss capturing a sparrowhawk hunt (even if I’d had the right camera, I’d have had the wrong lens as it’s been the 18mm wide angle all week, not the 60mm zoom).  Then I managed to not do anything for the rest of the day and just managed to take this as the light was fading – phew!

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Next week … well – all that needs said is that life will change, just hoping I can keep up with the photos …

2015 Photo a Day Set 24

Well,  this week was back to work and back to normality and back to British flowers.  Flowers are very cheerful and I find it interesting seeing what can be spotted each day and also how they change with the seasons.

Monday’s specimen I don’t actually know the name of and it proved surprisingly challenging to photograph – the white tended to be seriously overexposed so finding focus was a challenge.  This was the best of a not very inspiring selection.

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Tuesday was the turn of one of the many different grasses in the local field followed by one of the flowers on Wednesday (again without a name – I need to get a wildflower book).  The field proves to be never-ending as a source of inspiration for photographs for me as it’s different every day.

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Thursday I cleverly forgot to photograph anything and after working too late I didn’t fancy much of an evening meal so had a bowl of cereal.  The seasonal fruit (yay for it being strawberry season again – they taste so much better at the moment) served as inspiration.

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Friday I was suitably recovered from the food incident of the previous weekend to head out for a longer dog walk over the fields …. it’s not a long walk, just longer for me.  It’s been lovely watching the barley grow and the whiskers form and as I’m writing this a couple of weeks later it’s actually great seeing the fields turn slowly golden (I hope to get a shot of that before it’s cut but we’ll see) but on this occasion, I spotted a patch of red in the field adjacent to the footpath.   I’m hoping the farmer didn’t mind me nipping through the hedgerow to capture them.  Poppies are just beautiful.

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Saturday is a FO picture (finished object in crafting terms).  This was a gift for a friend with a newborn and I know it’s been safely received so I can safely post without spoiling anything.  You see some amazing garment or FO photography and it’s not a strong point – however spending hours choosing and buying buttons is.  I’m developing a collection and there are some fabby buttons out there.  Funky, quirky, cute …. just take your choice.  You can get them to match just about anything as well …. I need a bigger button box I think.

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Then finally we get to Sunday and I wanted to capture the Peonies in the back garden.   Unfortunately it was dull dull dull all day in terms of lighting so it’s not the most inspiring and getting the pink Aubretia against the huge peony heads to shine was a no-go (yes I could have spent ages post-processing to get them there but part of me still thinks you should just capture the image right, at the right time rather than post process – I may be a film photographer at heart still).  Still…. they’re stunning flowers and so many different ones about at this time of year … just lovely.

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An introduction to the Knitting

It’s not just knitting … it’s THE knitting.   I took this up in 2013 I think, after having learning to knit as a child, not doing any knitting for a very very long time and then with my previous rather energetic hobbies being now out of the question (although I do still live in hope of being able to run again – I don’t need a marathon, just even 5km or 1km would be a good start) I was looking for something else that was a bit more sedentiary.

Like photography, and the allotment, I’m not particularly accomplished.  I’m not even sure I’d go as far as saying that I know what I’m doing but it is enjoyable, relaxing and it does stop you going stir crazy when you can’t really get out and about.

So … I thought as an introduction, I’d just put up a few of the pictures of things that I’ve finished and introduce a couple of the projects I’m working on at the moment.

Lets start with the silly things – there have been a few toys knit (or crochet).   Dippy is one I’m fairly proud of, especially with today’s news that dippy is going to leave the Natural History Museum in London and go on tour.  I love Rhino’s as well so he just had to be crochet’d as well.

Thandi by HeidiBearsPuff (Dippy) the Magic Stegosaurus (Diplodocus) by HeideBears Girl Elephant by Little Cotton Rabbits

Then there’s the childrens clothes.  They are so nice and quick and easy to make.  That said I’m not very good at sizing so the little jacket being modelled was in a drawer for 6 months before it fit and the hat fits adults!

Baby Coat by Sirdar Rudolph and baby coat by Sirdar

Next it’s accessories.  The red shawl is one of my favourites, the hat was quickly knit last weekend to keep me warm and the stripy shawl has been gifted to a friend as I found it a little bit too pink for my liking.  I’m also not 100% sure about garter stitch.  Think I prefer stockingstitch.

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Lush by TinCanKnits

I’ve even tried a jumper or two.  Only one is finished.  The other has been sitting since last April waiting to have the ends sewn in.

At the moment I’m working on an Aran style jumper for my husband.  It’s not very far along and has been sitting languishing in a corner for months as my brain has not liked cables.  The recent hat has just shown that I can try again so I may try and start this one up again.   Then there’s a shawl for my mum (another Tin Can Knits design), a pair of socks which I’m using the wrong yarn for as it doesn’t show off the pattern and a crochet turtle for the youngest.  I’ll blog about these separately I think.

So … my mix of knitting … it’s fun and I’m learning 🙂 and I think I’d also like to learn how to photograph them better as well!

p..s i need to work out the links things but will update them so the patterns can be linked to as soon as I can.

Welcome

Well hello there.  What’s this you’re thinking, yet another blog?  That might actually be the case but I’m hoping you’ll find it amusing, possibly even interesting and enjoyable.  Grab a cuppa, some cake and have a read. A new blog deserves an introduction so here’s a little about me (oh where to start).   I’m Mhairi, in my mid 30’s and am in the middle of switching my life up a bit.   The stable things are my family and a rather daft but loveable dog.

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(I wish I could claim credit for this pic but that honour goes to my eldest stepson who is a photographer)

Beyond that, things are a bit changeable.    I developed a chronic illness approaching 3 years ago and my previous hobbies of mountaineering, running, cycling and swimming and anything outdoor are not really an option now.  So … I’ve taken up knitting, baking, photography, growing veg and switch between them depending on the weather, my mood and current physical abilities.

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On top of that, I am looking to change my health/life/work balance and have started thinking about a move away from my current career which involves a lot of travel, stress and long hours to something more flexible and home based which will hopefully mean I get to do more than work. So why blog?  I like writing informally and wanted to create an opportunity share not just the highs and lows of my current knitting projects, my photo a day for 2015 challenge or the overgrown disaster that is currently my allotment but also what it is like to develop a new skillset to change career path, hopefully start up a business and see where life takes me. I hope you enjoy reading :o)