Warm and cosy in Wales

Feels so good to be back in the countryside.  I'm sitting here bathed in sunshine at the kitchen table looking out across the garden to the other side of the valley.  The Rayburn is lit, kettle boiling, wood stove burning and I'm thinking it's the first time in days that I've felt warm.  Several people in the US have asked me what a Rayburn is, so here's a picture. I love my Rayburn and have spent whole days in the coldest weather, holding onto the rail with my back against it keeping warm. Unlike Agas, the Rolls Royce of cookers,  Rayburns can also heat the water, run radiators, and cook the food as well, plus the kettle's always on for tea and coffee.  A real comfort blanket.
The kitties love the Rayburn
First time in Wales this year and the house was very sorry for itself when we arrived after being ignored for a couple of months.  But we're old hands now at the get-in and within the hour we were warm and cosy with a glass of wine in hand and food in the oven, electric I might add, the Rayburn takes a little longer to get up to speed. We didn't arrive till five in the evening, would have been earlier but I love to stop en route at Lion Quays, a great place to break the journey.  It's a super-duper spa, hotel, gym, restaurant complex, but they're perfectly happy for you to plonk yourself down in one of their comfy seats by the log stove, order a cup of coffee and read the papers, all for less than it costs in Starbucks. And in the summer you can sit outside and watch the narrowboats passing by or mooring on the beautiful Llangollen canal, a haven after two hours of hurtling down the motorway!
Lion Quays
Right now the snow at the weekend feels like a million years ago, not a sign of snow here, even though we're 600 feet up.  The garden in York was still covered when we left yesterday, with the cats having quite different reactions to it. They're both under a year old and neither had seen any snow before.
Arlo takes cover
Curiosity gets the better of Django

Sunday afternoon was spent celebrating Izzi's 5th birthday.  She wore her birthday outfit from my mother, her great-grandmother, and wanted me to take a picture of her doing a twirl, so apologies for the slight  blurriness.
Happy birthday Isabella!
On Monday it was back to work in earnest for me as I've just realised there's a fairly imminent deadline on my next book. So there I was, lost in my own world in my office, when I heard something rustling in the corner.  The projects from Sweet Shawlettes arrived back from the States last week and I hadn't got round to unpacking them.  Django said I've been eying that box for days now, thank you very much for opening it for me before duly squashing himself down the side of it.
Django squeezes himself into the box of shawlettes...

... and takes a nap
Finally, you may have noticed I don't post many pictures of WIP of FOs.  This is because although I consider myself a product knitter, I still find it hard to finish anything. Most of the things I'm working on at any particular time will be swatches for new designs and I tend to knit no-brainers to relax with.  So I'm delighted (and slightly amazed) to be able to share my first FO of 2012, a little cardy for my one-year old grand-daughter, Lyra.
A rare animal indeed for me, a FINISHED OBJECT!!
However, true to form, I just can't decide whether or not it's finished.  I do like it as is, but originally intended to add some tiny knitted rosebuds along the left front curving edge, with a single rosebud on the right sleeve in the contrast colours.  So am now agonising as to whether that would be just too OTT and unnecessary or whether to just knit it and give myself the option. What do you think?


  1. Beautiful as is, rosebuds would be too much, I think.

  2. So sweet! I am loving "Sweet Shawlettes". You, my lady are a GENIUS - I have finally understood the directions for a piece of entrelac after quite a few frogged horrible tries! THANK YOU!

  3. That is a very sweet piece - perhaps just the one rosebud on the sleeve? just to be unpredictable!!!

    1. Think I've just finished it. Combination of all - see today's blog. Thanks for your suggestions.

    2. Think I've just finished it. Combination of all - see today's blog. Thanks for your suggestions.


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