Temperature Afghan – April

We’ve hit a bit of a plateau this month. The weather has been fairly mild so I’ve been 20170505_094519getting chunks of the same colour. The temperature did dip a couple of times just to add a bit of diversity, but it’s interesting to see how the afghan has progressed since January.

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Temperature Afghan – March

A little late this month, so it’ll just be a quick update.

I’m late posting for a number of reasons. Family illness being one, the main one being I ran out of Cloud Blue and my local stockist has closed down. I had a little search online for a reasonable supplier, found a couple but still couldn’t come to terms with the fact that for the small amount of wool I wanted i’d be paying just as much for postage as I was for wool, so eventually ended up buying more wool! oh, well.20170413_153503

Anyway, Afghan is going well and with the mild weather I was able to introduce another colour, so it’s all coming together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Reading Roulette – March

Welcome a new month’s lucky dip, and the March winner was . . .2017-03-04_15-30-06_345  ‘The Running Sky’ by Tim Dee. Funnily enough, like last month’s pick, it’s another one from my non-fiction section.

This ended up in the ‘reading roulette’ for pretty much the same reasons as last months pick. I like buying books, I like nature, and I believed that expanding my non-fiction collection would somehow make me more intelligent!! Seeing as this book has also been sitting on my shelf for about 7 years, you can probably get an idea of how well that idea worked out for me.

So, onto ‘The Running Sky’ and unfortunately it just wasn’t my kind of book. It was nothing to do with the subject matter, I love birds, I was in the Young Ornithologist Club (As was Tim Dee), Bill Oddie is my personal hero! Possibly, I may not have been the intended market for this book, or my scientific mind may have still been engaged from last months ‘Field guide to Natural Wonders’, or maybe I should have looked more into the premise of the book rather than making an assumption.  Whatever the reason, unfortunately I just could not get into it.

The cover blurb reads – “ The Running Sky records a lifetime of looking at birds. Beginning in summer with clouds of breeding seabirds in Shetland and ending with crepuscular nightjars like giant moths in the heart of England, Tim Dee maps his own observations and encounters over four decades of tracking birds across the globe” So from this, my expectations were that I would be treated to numerous accounts of seasonal bird behaviour and extravaganzas. Instead I got an anecdotal account of Dee’s bird related stories and memories they’ve conjured up.

Don’t get me wrong, it is very well written, and in a tone very reminisce of the old style of nature writing, viewing the world from an emotional standpoint rather than a scientific one. Which comes across as being more of a love letter to the days of John Buxton, and J A Baker, than an engaging informative account of bird ‘sightings’. That is possibly where it lost me.

It does bother me when I don’t like books for no obvious reason, and I do like to look into things a little more to find out if I’m missing something that would have made my experience more enjoyable. So, after reading the book I did a little research. On hindsight, I do understand what Tim Dee wanted to achieve through ‘The Running Sky’ and I do believe that he has accomplished exactly that. Maybe if I had known this before I started I would have been reading with a different preconception and loved it, or perhaps not. Often I did feel like I was being told a story by my grandad, who then goes off on a tangent, and by the time he gets back on track you’ve forgotten the main point of the story he was telling you.

As much as I didn’t like the book I do still like to end on a positive note, so very much sticking to the theme of Grandads and their ramblings, I did learn an interesting fact about bananas from ‘The Running Sky’ which I think will stick with me for a while.

In one of Tim Dees many story tangents, he’s on an airplane leaving Shetland thinking about seals and seabirds. Then he randomly starts talking to his neighbour, who happens to be a supermarket Manager, about bananas being sold in the Northern islands like Shetland – “They arrive refrigerated from the tropics in a state of arrested development. Opening the box they have travelled in releases a ripening agent, but from that point the clock ticks fast on their sale ability. A banana reaching Shetland would have to be sold the day it arrives . . . therefore Shetland will have the only bananas in Tesco Britain that will ripen without assistance

Challenge so far. .

3 Contemporary fiction:

  • The Ghost by Arnold Bennet
  • The watchmaker of filigree street by Natasha Pulley
  • Illumination by Matthew Plampin

3 Classic fiction:

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Andersons Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
  • Emma by Jane Austen

3 Non-fiction:

  •  The Fry Chronicles by Stephen Fry
  • The Running sky by Tim Dee
  • The field guide to Natural Wonders by Ian Whitelaw

3 Hardbacks:

  • The long earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
  • Under the ivy: the life and music of Kate bush

Temperature Afghan – February

Before we get down to my afghan progress I’ll just share with you my new reference tool. Without 2017-03-02_18-08-29_237-2017-03-02t18_55_53-405giving away too many spoilers I’ve had a few colour changes this month and obviously I’ve removed the bands from the yarns I’m currently using so I needed more of a visual reference for my temperature gauge, so I came up with this.

 

 

 

So, onto my progress and what an interesting month it’s been, weather wise. I ended last month with only two colours on my afghan, and with temperatures teetering very close to my next colour change at the very bottom of my gauge,  I found myself secretly praying for a big temperature drop.

Well as February started and the temperature steadily flip-flopped between ‘bluebell’ and ‘cloudblue’ I thought I wasn’t going to get my wish. Then we had a sudden cold snap, a bit of snow, and I watched the weather reports with anticipation. Alas, it was an all too brief flirtation with the lower end of the temperature gauge.

Then a steady rise in temperature over the next 4 days found me adding ‘sherbert’ to my afghan, I was ever so happy to finally be working with more than two colours, then we had another steady rise in temperature and 4 days later and we were adding one more colour Aspen’.2017-03-01_14-33-53_293-2017-03-02t18_57_59-055-2017-03-02t19_05_45-364-2017-03-02t19_08_27-759

Sadly, that was all the excitement that February had for me, but admittedly ‘bluebell’ is slowly sinking to the bottom of my yarn bag now as the milder weather has me switching between ‘cloud blue’ and ‘sherbert’.

 

 

 

 

 

With the official start of Spring coming (The start of meteorlogical Spring being 1st March, and the Spring Equinox on 20th March) here’s to milder weather and more colours on my afghan.

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Temperature Afghan – January

So to my next challenge update, Temperature Afghan.

I’m actually having quite a bit of fun with this, watching it develop. If you remember these were the colours I chose for my afghan.tempafg

Well, as you can imagine there hasn’t been much temperature variation during January, it’s either been cold or VERY cold.

I’ve decided to do my afghan in straight rows, I had originally intended to do it in treble crochet (Double Crochet in US) as I was worried that any temperature changes that only last for a day wouldn’t show up very w2017-01-13_15-00-21_639ell. Unfortunately after a few days I began to realise that the resulting afghan would be huge! So I frogged the whole thing and started again with Double Crochet (Single crochet US)

 

 

 

 

Which is working out a whole lot better, and is looking quite interesting already.

I’ve also become a little obsessed with the weather, looking out for any significant temperature changes and getting excited when the temperature high for the day drops close to 0°C as I think that’s going to be a rare event and it’s such a nice colour on the chart. Oh well, Winter is not over yet, let’s see what February brings.