A Reason to be Cheerful? It’s February!

I don’t want to wish the year away, but I’m never sorry to wave goodbye to January.  There’s an optimistic feeling to February, an anticipation of Spring, even when it bitterly cold and wintery.

I have to work a little harder at being cheerful this week because Tim went back to work yesterday, so Higgins, Henry and I are  keeping the home fires burning while he’s away.  It’s good for me that, in Tim’s absence, I have to do more Higgins walking, even when the weather isn’t very nice, like yesterday…

Back at home, exciting things were happening in the garden.  My gardening gurus were giving the whole thing a once over, clearing out ‘ground cover’ plants which have been threatening to smother us in our beds (and have certainly smothered quite a lot of pretty plants in theirs…) creating fixings for over enthusiastic climbers and generally getting things into shape for Spring.  They also mostly finished off what I had started in the veg patch, which has always been my responsibility, so I’m still on target there for when the weather starts to warm up.

The excitement for Higgins was the appearance of long lost toys which have lurked in the undergrowth for months.  He didn’t know where to turn!

Another cheerful thing has been the arrival of a wonderful piece of equipment.  I’ve been wanting for ages to dye some more yarn, (you’ll remember the adventures I have with dyeing here and here) but I’ve struggled to  prepare the undyed yarn.  The yarn arrives in 100gm hanks and I dye it in 25gm mini hanks, in the microwave.  A while ago I bought a winder, not the beautiful antique one I would have preferred at a vast sum, but a cheap and cheerful annoying one, which has never, ever worked properly. There was no where I could easily attach it, every time the yarn got tangled it fell off etc. etc… And the whole winding thing just became such a time consuming back breaking faff I just haven’t bothered.

Until it was mentioned to my friend Bill.   Kit (my buddy and partner in craft) is married to Bill, and Bill, apart from being an amazing artist, a builder of cars, and all round good egg, does like a challenge, even a little one like making a wool winder.

So I now have a be-yoo-tilful wool winder or ‘Swift’, made of mahogany, which will sit on the table and twirl merrily as I get the wool ready for  the dye…

And today, as you can see from the photos of Higgins above, has been glorious…

if very cold.

I had hoped to have finished a new project to show you, but I may have to squeeze in another post instead!  Instead I shall add the Linky on the end, and hope that you have some Reasons to be Cheerful to share.  And if you haven’t got a blog, you can still join in via the comments.

Looking forward to hearing from you…

see you soon ! x


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This entry was posted in Art, Dyeing, Gardens, Higgins, Nature, Norfolk, Reasons to be Cheerful, Veg Patch and tagged , , on by .

About penny

I live in Norfolk, England in a cottage on the edge of the Norfolk Broads where it can be peaceful and beautiful, or wet and muddy, or occasionally wild and windswept. With me is husband Tim, Henry the elderly and opinionated tabby cat, and Higgins, the miniature dachshund with a massive personality. You’ll find me chattering on about wool and textiles, knitting and crochet, recipes, books and patterns, exhibitions and shopping and of course, the adventures of a small dog! Planet Penny has a Facebook Page, you can find me on UK Handmade and I am featured on Channel4/4Homes Favourite Craft Blog List.

14 thoughts on “A Reason to be Cheerful? It’s February!

  1. Toffeeapple

    What a beautiful piece of equipment! To have such workmanship is very fortunate.

    It’s been very freezy here today and I would not have wanted to be Higgins out-doors! Love that first shot of him, all feet off the ground! Like a speeding bullet…

    I hope that Tim is not away for too long.

  2. Penelope

    Penny, how wonderful to have a friend like Bill and to see such hand crafted beauty from wood. I can appreciate how frustrating it must be to have a winder that is more of a pain than pleasure. I would love to dye my own yarn someday.
    As for Higgins, he is in doggy dreamyland with all his lost toys, bless him I can just imagine him not knowing which way to turn! I was hoping to see a pic of him in his red jacket, maybe with this weather staying we might see him looking fine and dandy in his little coat? Thanks for your comment about me ducks, I feel elated at the memory of my grandparents home living on in mine. Andy and I have decided where it’s best to hang them and no doubt I will have a pic or two to share xox Keep cosy and warm, I’m sure it’s never easy to get used to Tim going away. Keep cheerful and enjoy the extra walks with Higgy xox

  3. Mrs. Micawber

    Cold and clear is always better than warm and cloudy, in my opinion!

    Love the Higgins montage. And what a lovely swift! Mahogany is such a beautiful wood. I like the adjustable pegs.

    So glad you’re having nice weather. Happy February!

  4. Alice and Raymond

    Love your new swift Penny! It is absolutely gorgeous and handmade tools are always the best. my Mum’s niddy-noddy is handmade by a spinners husband and it is so beautifully balanced, I covet it!
    Happy Feb, it is so ridiculously hot here I’m dying at night in bed, looking forward to the cooler months!

  5. Magic Cochin

    It was a glorious day yesterday, wasn’t it! Even though it was cold I just had to go for a walk.

    And s for that contraption, that’s a super deluxe wool winder if ever I saw one!


  6. Rachel J Fenton

    Beautiful winder – what a great friend.
    I’m cheerful because a good friend returned from her long holiday to the UK and we had a good catch-up natter!

    Your garden looks fab – snowdrops soon?

  7. Ginnie

    Even in the dead of winter, your grass is so beautifully green! Higgins is such a charmer, and you are fortunate to have a skillful and generous friend – the winder looks beautiful.

  8. Pingback: English Country Gardens - planetpenny.co.uk | planetpenny.co.uk

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