Last weekend I took part in the Big Garden Bird Watch and I took a few photos as I recorded the birds that visited our back garden.
The Nuthatch is a regular visitor,
as are the Great Tits,
and House Sparrows.
I also saw Blackbirds, Robins and a Wood Pigeon during my hour of bird-watching.
This morning I was lucky enough to see 3 Goldfinches on the feeder.
The weather has turned colder, but we only saw a small amount of snow/hail yesterday. I do keep hoping for a good covering of snow, but this far south it doesn't happen often!
There are signs of spring in the garden. The leaves of various bulbs are appearing and the primroses are starting to flower, as are the yellow crocuses, but unfortunately the birds keep pecking at those!
I have set out our seed potatoes in the garage to chit
and started sowing some sweet pea seeds, which are on a window sill indoors. I grow my sweet peas in toilet/kitchen roll tubes, which can then be planted out without disturbing the roots.
As we are now at the end of January, it is time to announce the winner of my 7th blogiversary giveaway ... Congratulations to Joanne of Rose & Dahlia. I have just sent an email to you Joanne asking for your address so that I can pop your gift in the post. Joanne stitches the most amazing patchwork quilts, so if you haven't looked at her blog I urge you to do so. She also produces some gorgeous knitwear. I did make some mitts as intended, but I won't show a photo of them until Joanne has seen them.
I did crochet/knit a pair of Elf Clobber mitts, but I wasn't too happy with the result. They are pretty, but not very practical!
I'm planning on attending unravel next month at Farnham, so I thought I ought to knit up some more of the stash that I purchased at Unwind, Brighton last July. Sadly Unwind isn't taking place this year, so I'm on the lookout for other fibre festivals that I may be able to visit.
This yarn is Westminster, by Kettle Yarn Co in the colourway Florence. It is a lovely soft blend of 50% baby camel and 50% silk and is a joy to knit with. I bought it to knit the Noordzee Shawl by Rachel Brown. I fell in love with the test knit shawl at Unwind and bought the yarn that it was knitted in. Green usually isn't my colour, but this yarn is beautifully dyed in many subtle shades - I couldn't resist it! I searched everywhere locally for some beads that would do this yarn justice and ended up visiting Beadworks in London, where I still couldn't decide on the right shade of green! I ended up with 2 different colours of beads, both green-lined gold. This one was a slightly brighter green, which I thought would be suitable, but when I threaded them onto the knitting they didn't quite work.
Luckily I had bought the other beads that are lined with an eau-de-Nil green, which works well with the yarn.
I have finished the beaded pattern edging and I'm now working on the short row section of the shawl. I haven't knitted a shawl with a bottom up and short row construction before, so I have found it very interesting to knit.
I was going to finish up some of my WIP's, but instead I am about to start another project! This one has been a planned WIP since I bought the bunny patterns from Julie Williams of Little Cotton Rabbits. I bought the yarn to knit the girl bunny last year, but hadn't gotten around to casting on! Since Unwind I have discovered knitting podcasts and enjoy listening to them whilst knitting. My favourites are Curious Handmade, A Playful Day, Little Yellow Uke and Little Bobbins Knits.
Zena of Little Yellow Uke and Dani of Little Bobbins Knits are hosting a Little Along KAL, which seems an ideal time to start my Little Cotton Rabbit. The Little Along starts on Sunday and will run throughout February, so hopefully I will have a bunny by the end of the month and maybe I will have finished Noordzee too ... it I haven't been distracted by another project! ;)