It's so exciting: I saw one of the osprey chicks take off and flap a couple of feet above the nest this morning, and stay there for quite a while. The chicks are a boy and a girl (like Angelina's twins) and I can't tell them apart, although a lot of viewers of the webcam can, and viewers have been placing bets on who would be first to fly, and when. When I say placing bets, I don't think any money's been changing hands except perhaps in donations to the RSPB. Most imaginary money has been on the girl, who is called Nethy or more prosaically, AY. AY is the name on her leg ring so that she can be identified when she arrives in Africa or anywhere she chooses to stop off, and 'Nethy' is the name she's been given by the wardens: it's the name of one of the local primary schools. The boy is AZ and Deshar.
This clip is from the week before last, and shows Mum arriving, and then Dad arriving with a fish.
They've pulled back the webcam, or switched to a different one, so that we can see the whole nest now. I can't get over nests: how do birds do that? I couldn't build a nest, and I've got opposable thumbs. The present camera is further away and hence we can't hear the chirping and shrieking, which is a relief sometimes and disappointing at others.
Anyway, knitting. The above is not entirely a diversionary tactic, as you might have suspected; there has been knitting. I re-did the first front shaping on Chrissy and started on the second: then I ripped them both and started all over again. I won't bore you with the details, but I will give you a piece of advice. Always check your stitch count before you divide for the front neck. But I expect you knew that already. I watched another couple of epsiodes of Law and Order while I did that. On the Hallmark Channel, Lennie Briscoe is alive and well. I've picked up the stitches for the neck and am progressing round and round with that, although I am sort of thinking of ripping it and changing to a 3 x 1 rib, instead of the 3 x 3.
I wound another skein of the handspun and did a few more repeats of the baby shawl. It's very comforting knitting. I hope Baby finds it comforting to wear; although the mother-to-be has mentioned that it's high summer in Queensland in October, I think they have air con so the little mite will probably need a warm shawl after all.
And there has been dyeing. I had another go at the hank I did before and strengthened all the colours. I felt a lot more confident this time so I really worked it and I had also realized that the dye is actually attracted by the yarn and leaves the water very rapidly, so I made use of that.
Although the yarn is Knitpicks' Bare and is intended for dyeing, it is superwash and some nylon so it's not going to take the colours very richly, but I'm happier with the results than I ever expected to be. They're bright in a springlike way, rather than a totally garish way. If I knitted socks, I'd be perfectly happy to haVe a pair of socks made from it. But I don't knit socks.
When I visited Jean this week, I sneaked a peek at the Princess, which is awe-inspiring. I can see why she's itching to get back to it even although the idea of tackling such a project makes me feel faint and panicky.
This is more my speed. Yes, it's another Forest Canopy Shawl, folks. A friend was round the other evening when I had some balls of Kidsilk Haze scattered about and she was very taken with this shade, which is Meadow, 581. It's a very soft green, which always makes me think of Spring. It's the colour I used for the Scaruffle. So I decided to knit her a little froth to wear around her neck. It's like knitting with whispers, and amazingly quick. I did this bit last night while catching up on last week's Midsomer Murder. I'm using bamboo Addi circs, 4 mm or size 6. Addi bamboos are varnished so they're not as sticky as plain bamboo, but they're not as slippy as metal and it's zipping along.
I'm glad everybody was so taken with Italian for Beginners. I have to confess I've never read anything by Maeve Binchy, but it hadn't occurred to me that the setting was at all un-Danish... whatever that might mean. Apparently it's the highest grossing Danish film ever, because it took off in the U.S.
I can relate to your seeing it in Florence, Joan - in Danish with Italian subtitles - because once when I was in Amsterdam I went to see a film called Made in U.S.A., which turned out to be a Jean-Luc Godard film which even his fans say is 'not too accessible', in French with Dutch subtitles. It was in the days when you went in at the beginning of the film and stayed there until it was finished. My comprehension of written French isn't bad, but I can't follow the simplest conversation so I was totally lost - I probably would have been all right if it had had French subtitles, but of course it didn't.
Judith, since you obviously record the same films as I do from BBC4, have you watched The Poisoner yet? It's absolutely staggering. I'll do a post about it later, because there are things I must do this afternoon.
Where about in Tollcross is your flat, Mcknitus? I could have a look next time I'm in the area. I used to be up that way when visiting HK Handknit of blessed memory; I don't have much cause now but it's not that far away.