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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Jurassic Berkshire

I met up with Felix in Reading yesterday for and epic walk that seemed to take in most of north-west Berkshire! It's a bit tricky to plot on Map My Walk without the OS map to hand but it was at least twelve miles.

After a yummy lunch (sourdough bread, goat's cheese, gooseberry jam and salsa, followed by stewed rhubarb and yoghurt) at Felix's flat we set off eastwards along the Thames path to Sonning Lock

Sonning Lock

and on to Shiplake before heading north to our first pub stop at the White Hart White Hart for a much needed shandy and some tasty freebie bar snacks. After the White Hart we headed through some gorgeous forest and across Binfield Heath and started making our way south back towards the Thames. After another shandy stop we finally made it back to reading train station at five minutes past eight (we set out at two!) just in time for me to leap on the Oxford train.

As well as the wondeful walk the day included lots of crafty goodness. Before lunch we popped into Jackson's so Felix could exchange some yarn and I picked up some poly beads - just the thing I had been looking for for ages - for an Amy Butler necklace project. Then I introduced Felix to Bollo the bifflosaur (he's made from handspun bfl). I knit Bollo on Friday evening after receiving an email from Kirsty asking if anyone fancied knitting a dinosaur for a production at the National Theatre*. I didn't have a dinosaur pattern but just cast on at the tail and increased or decreased depending on what shape I thought the dinosaur should be at that point (Felix told me about this method for knitting fruit and vegetable) until I got to the head. Then I attached four stumpy legs and my favourite black beady eyes and voila.

Bollo the bifflosaur

Of course Bollo had to have an adventure whilst he was out with us.

Bollo the bifflosaur

He enjoyed sipping the Brakspear shandy and nibbling the bar snacks.

Bollo the bifflosaur

He was a bit scared by the Egyptian geese though and stayed in the backpack.

Egyptian geese

Finally I got to try out my make-do-and-mendy walking skirt which I made during the Murray-Wawrinka match on Monday.

Walking skirt

The skirt used to be a pair of coarse linen cropped trousers from Topshop. Always snugly fitting they had now become rather too snug around certain areas so they were a prime candidate for refashioning. I ripped up the inside leg seam to the crotch then sewed a straight seam down the back as far as I could and added a triangular insert to the front. I used some leftover Amy Butler cotton for the detailing. The skirt was extremely comfortable for walking in and as practical as trousers or shorts. I really love the large front pockets which held my camera or my suncream comfortably, much more comfortably in fact than when they were trouser due to the A-line.

* if you too want to knit a dinosaur for Matthew Robins production you can find his contact details here. And if you just want to knit a dinosaur I'll be putting the pattern for Bollo up as soon as it's written.


Lara said...

I love Bollo - he is splendid... As ever I am so impressed by your productivity - a skirt, lovely walk, dinosaur and knitted flower all in the same week!! Hope you and Felix had a lovely walk - it looks really nice! (And I love the sound of goats cheese and gooseberry jam...)

Kate said...

Bollo is marvellous, and clearly a very discerning dinosaur - what an excellent choice of beer.

Of what yarn is he fashioned?