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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Dewi Sant

In honour of St. David's day we have daffodils and a poem.

a host of golden daffodils

Daffodils by William Wordsworth (1804)

I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

I still love this poem even after seeing it endlessly repeated in fancy type on countless picture postcards featuring views of Ullswater or Grasmere and, indeed, even though I always think straight after of the Beano parody which featured Plug of the Bash Street Kids and went something like this:

I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
The reason is I've skipped off school
Pretending that I'm ill.

I snapped these, not beside a lake, but in the grounds of Magdalen College (I managed to crop out the tossed away kebab van containers that lay amongst them - don't you just love Oxford students?) as I was heading to the local bead emporium after the boyfriend's degree ceremony in the morning.

R wonders if primary colours really suit him

The boyfriend is now officially D.Phil'd - although if he thinks I'm addressing him as "doctor" he's got another think coming, there's only one Doctor as far as I'm concerned.

Happily Bluestocking Ruth was also getting her MSt. at the same ceremony so I could support her too.

Ruth models the latest spring fashions

Enough of all this. "Where's the knitting content?" I hear you cry. Well I made really good prgress on the secret project today on my somewhat stressful journey up north (at one point it took the combined powers of June Whitfield as Miss Marple on the ipod, the Yarn Harlot in book form, and my knitting to keep me sane) but secret projects don't really make for good blog fodder. Let me give you a sample:

Well I ______ed the ______ before _______ing the ________ and _____ing the ______. Then I ______ed the ______ and _______ed in the _____ _____s and I was really happy with the result. Here's a pic ... no, sorry, can't show you that either.

Luckily for you I cast on a lengthwise garter stitch scarf last night with the fancy Italian yarn that the boyfriend's sister gave me for Christmas. Ever since I learnt how to do the long-tail cast-on for Tatami I've been looking everywhere for excuses to use it and a project which involved casting on 100* stitches in bulky yarn of variable thickness on 10mm needles seemed as ideal candidate.

Lengthways garter stitch scarf

I knit 12 rows in garter stitch and then cast off with the EZ sewn bind-off (fortunately the thin bit of the yarn is just thin enough for my big darning needle). The result, pre-block, is a skinny scarf, just long enough to go twice around my neck and tie in a knot leaving two short tails. Tomorrow I'll be blocking it (hopefully wider and a bit longer) and adding tassels (yay).

* This was pure luck! I cast on stitches until I ran out of yarn and needle and by some freak it worked out at 100.

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