I haven't heard whether the fabric has reached its destination, but if it hasn't yet it should soon, so I think it's probably safe to post the pictures now.
I found this sheep fabric in the random fat quarters basket at masons and got the "meadow" one cut to match. The whole thing conjured up visions of a pleasingly pastoral quilt to me. If only they'd had some cloudy sky material too. Anyway, I hope it will be a success where it's gone.*
I finally finished and blocked the Swan Symphony doily this week, having completed the edging sitting at the back of W's brewing meeting on Wednesday receiving curious glances from the (male) regulars in the group while they discussed mashing, hops, etc. I only blocked it this weekend though as I then decided to go back and decapitate three of the four swans in the hope that crocheting the necks a little more carefully and less speedily would help reduce the spiral effect. It seems to have worked and after blocking they are more or less uniform so I think that was a good decision.
On the whole it's just as well that I finished this at the end of the week though, since after a weekend of long overdue garden maintenance my hands are now in no fit state to cope with anything more complex than stocking stitch.
This weekend we finally bit the bullet and replaced the section of fence which blew down last year and which we had just patched up on the basis that it would be better to replace it when the four clematis that climb up it had died back. The immediate problem was how to get the fence panels in the first place. They clearly weren't going to fit in the car which left us with the options of a) hiring a van for £50+ for the sake of transporting £40 worth of fence about half a mile or, b) walking the half a mile to the builders merchant and carrying them back.
We opted for the latter but though they didn't seem all that bad when we first picked them up, by the time we'd got across the road my arms were already screaming and threatening to snap off at the wrists. The whole thing wasn't helped by the fact that the 6ft square fence panels (which we had to carry laid flat) took up the whole of the pavement and a bit more besides, so that every time we passed a parked car, a bushy hedge etc. they had to be maneuvered so as not to get stuck. Also my fingers are only just long enough to get a proper purchase on the edge when carrying two panels together. As a result as soon as we started the walk the jogging motion meant they gradually slithered out of my grip taking most of my skin with them.
It took us about half an hour to make it half the way home, a walk that under normal circumstances takes about 4 minutes. Mercifully having finally turned the corner onto the estate and paused to catch our breath after negotiating a particularly traumatic cycle-path barrier, we spied the abandoned shopping-trolley of salvation, with whose help we made it home with comparative ease.
So today was spent painstakingly extracting bits of clematis from the old trellis, wrenching our the old fence, and (for C at least) hammering a huge metal spike into the floor with a 14lb sledge-hammer. As a result both C and I are now wandering the house wincing with every move and unable to lift so much as a glass of water without howls of protest from our aching muscles. The skin on my hands is so rough that I found I couldn't put down the grey tanktop (aka the probably jumper) because the yarn was sticking to my fingers. Still we do have a new fence. Fingers crossed that there aren't any more gales for a few weeks.
* Gratuitous plug. For anyone who is especially fond of Handel's sheep, the Oxford Bach Choir will we performing them (along with the rest of the Messiah) on March 8th at the Sheldonian.