31 October 2010

honey, honey

There's definitely a chill in the air, which is of course the perfect excuse for a new cowl! Luckily just a few nights of sofa knitting are all that's needed to make a Honey Cowl in madelinetosh Tosh DK:

The only modification I made was to start and finish with the slip stitch pattern rather than the rolled stockinette edge.

The color pooled in places: a very dark gray stripe sits uncomfortably against an equally wide almost-white streak on one side. But I suppose that's part and parcel of working with hand-dyed yarn. And Tosh DK really is so fab to work with: such a lovely heft, more like a worsted than a DK.

This Honey is in Silver Fox, one of my favorite Tosh colors. But as I already have a yen to knit another--and it is Splash of Colour Week--I suppose I really should consider one of the brighter shades:

image: madelinetosh

But as usual, I find myself leaning toward Teddy Bear and Fawn rather than Tomato and Fathom. Sigh. One of these days...

27 October 2010

tasty toffee

G used to enthuse over my homemade ice cream. But now he's more excited about what we're putting on top: the Toffee Sauce from Rachel Allen's Home Cooking.

Just five ingredients weighed into a saucepan and five minutes of bubbling and stirring produce over a pint of liquid heaven. Poured on warm, it quickly sets into lovely gooey strings:

It apparently keeps for months in the fridge, but I don't think ours will be around that long!

26 October 2010

autumn color

As with most blog events, I seem to have missed autumn color week. But there's been plenty of color about, including rich browns at Petersham,

and more flamboyant reds and browns at Kew, on the trees

and in crispy piles below, perfect for a good shuffle:

There's been orange, too, including bushfuls of berries on the way home from the station

and pumpkins and butternuts piled high on the counters and in the shed, ready to be made into squash-y soups and sides--just the thing for perking up a chilly (and now gray) autumn day.

16 October 2010

pottering in petersham, take three

It may have been cold and dank this afternoon, but Petersham still had sprightly greens in its glasshouses

and in the Teahouse:

And the main shop, unlike the sky, was suffused with blue. The tables were laden with Murano glass,

including Scavo glass, crafted to resemble vessels excavated from ancient Roman ruins:

I was captivated by the sensuously smooth wooden pots, too:

But this is what really set my heart aflutter,

because who knew perfectly proper Petersham could be a Little Shop of Horrors!

08 October 2010

beautiful beans

Just as I'm the only blogger within reach of London to have missed Origin, I fear I'll be the only one to miss the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace. Sigh.

But it's not the yarn stands I'm bothered about, as the wonderful Mrs Moon is just down the road, and I really do have plenty of skeins stashed away. I'm sad about missing milliner Deirdre Hawken, who has an artist's stand this year.

I was fascinated by her beaded Cauliflower Headpiece in the 2009 Hats exhibition at the V&A. And later, having corresponded with Deirdre via email and seen more of her work, I fell head-over-heels for her Broad Bean Salad Hat:

image: Deirdre Hawken

Our fresh-picked beans from the plot may be good, but Deirdre's beans are fabulous!

07 October 2010

happy in hampstead

Ginger & White was heaving yesterday morning, so rather than elbow our way through, Miranda, her mum, and I headed down the street to Gail's, where I discovered true bakery heaven.

The cinnamon roll of my dreams--

really a cinnamon-sugar croissant--to eat in and a bag of two-inch-high English muffins for breakfast the next morning.

After browsing through the books at Waterstones, we headed to Judy Green's Garden Store, which was just as magical as Miranda had promised. Being a garden shop, there were spectacular orchids, new and vintage tools, and reels of twine:

But there were also simple and stylish homewares

and lovely linen and woolen accessories. Of course, these were what really caught my eye:

And they were in my size. But I was very good and left them on the shelf, as it wasn't my birthday yesterday--it was Miranda's! Happy Birthday, Miranda!

01 October 2010

sargent and the sea

G and I just managed to catch Sargent and the Sea at the Royal Academy on Sunday. My mum, who'd seen the exhibition in Washington, had insisted we mustn't miss it.

There were crashing waves, decks and rigging, beaches and coves, tide pools and fisherfolk:

John Singer Sargent, En Route pour la pêche (Setting Out to Fish), 1878, oil on canvas, 78.8 x 122.8 cm, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

We basked in the sometimes menacing, sometimes scintillating light and atmosphere, comparing and contrasting studies with completed works, and in the case of En Route pour la pêche, one finished work with another.

But most exciting was finding a painting owned by my former employer in the penultimate gallery:

John Singer Sargent, Neapolitan Children Bathing, 1879, oil on canvas, 16.8 x 41.1 cm, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts

While I actually prefer the many studies Sargent made to the painting itself, there's one detail I've always loved...the animal bladder water wings! Now who needs plastic swimmies?