Thursday, 26 June 2008

Salad anyone?

The first produce from the vegetable garden! This is only some of the radishes so far - the rest are a little smaller and can wait a bit before being picked. They do taste a lot stronger than shop bought ones but I did read that the bigger you let them grow the stronger they taste.

The tomato plants are also on the grow with a few yellow flowers but no fruit as yet - there will definitely be an update when that happens!! The peas and beans are growing up the sticks imperceptibly but the lettuce is nearly ready to be picked. All we need is a warm, sunny spell for salads!

There has been some more planting going on and I will get photos of the new flowers soon but for now, here is the viola and marigold border that is the main view from the kitchen window (taken from the side so you can see the full expanse of the flowers).

Other garden progress - at last the peony has decided to flower for me. The bud has been sitting there for a while and then all of a sudden, bloom! A huge, big, blousy flower head. Just the one. Is this normal for peonies?

Anyway I love the pink! It's survived the heavy rain showers so it must be quite sturdy. And as always, all garden progress is being monitored....

Aren't you finished yet?

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Sundara and Lace

I've been meaning to show you this for ages - my first sundara aran silky merino hand dyed yarn called Spiced. Having drooled at the website, read about others attempts to buy anything from the limited edition (sold out in two mins!!), I decided to go the more conventional route and buy from the normal range on the website. This was my treat for not being very well this last month so I don't feel guilty, no, not really.....;-))

As it's only 100gms (200yds), it's a little small for most projects. Being 50% silk and 50% merino, it will also be very soft and prone to bobbling/pilling. I don't have anything in mind for it yet so it can sit in my stash for me to sigh over its loveliness for a while. If you want to have a look at Sundara's range check out her new updated website here. She doesn't always have a lot in stock - as it goes very quickly - but she delivers quickly and is good on the communications side.

I've also been looking for patterns on Ravelry and I keep picking patterns that come from this book - Lace Style by Pam Allen & Ann Budd. So I decided to get it and have a look. It's always hard buying books online when you can't see inside them. I usually go into the library or the bookshops to have a peek and then buy them on Amazon if they're any good. But I took a risk on this as I've not been about much at the moment.

Tailored Scallops by Pam Allen

I always get disappointed with knitting books and magazines. There is always an overdependance on traditional forms and ill-fitting ones at that so I was keeping my hopes modestly low with this one. "As long as there are a few patterns I like and feel it is worth owning then I'll be happy." I thought desperately as it came through the post....

Actually, it is a very well balanced book that, yes, has a few less well-shaped garments, but it has a nice range of hats, shrugs, shawls, tops etc. to keep everyone happy. It does lean towards more traditional forms but there are nice touches of retro feel such as the 'Katherine Hepburn cardigan' and the 'Greta Garbo garden hat' which give a more glamorous feel.

Little Silk Shrug by Pam Allen

The scallops and this little shrug have jumped out at me the most so far but this tends to be a book that when you dip back in again, you see more details and aspects than before and patterns grow on you - like this shawl...

Lily of the Valley Shawl by Nancy Bush

I always like the shawls but never actually get round to knitting them because I get bored really quickly and shawls are a definite dedication of time and are usually in so fine a guage that it takes forever to knit an even an inch. Just look at the close-up detail of the pattern:-((
Forever I tell you!

Close-up of the lace pattern

Well, I can look and 'think' about one day knitting it for a special occasion - but maybe I should start now as it'll take me so long - knit, knit, bored now....

Monday, 16 June 2008

Cable shrug, grafting and a lot of patience...

Despite my intentions of starting the Gretel beret designed by Ysolda, I've found myself starting this shrug. I bought some DK and aran yarn - 500gms each - enough to make a garment or two with possibly a beret or a bag with the few remaining balls. And that's the trouble. If I make the beret first, what if I don't have enough left for a top? So the answer seems to be knit the top first and to make sure I have enough, a small top - a shrug?

So off I went and researched shrug patterns. It's amazing how many are for aran and DK weight (which is just as well as that's what I bought), but you would think they would be a lighter weight as they suit summer strapless dresses or vest tops best.

Most of the patterns are knitted across the way from the sleeve, split at the neck and work back down to the other cuff. The pattern I chose looked simple enough - cable shrug from Interweave knits summer 2005. But as I was knitting along, I looked ahead on the pattern and saw that the two sleeves are knitted separately and 'grafted' together in the middle. AAARGH! If I get that wrong then it's going to look like a really ugly seam right down the middle of the back!

I looked on Ravelry at other finished projects of this shrug and some don't show the back - helpful - one shows a great big ugly seam, and one shows a perfect join. Now, did she graft it properly or has she altered the pattern like I was thinking and just carried on knitting to the end of the cuff???

I haven't got to the decision making stage anyway. So far, I've followed the sleeve increases and managed to keep my head following the continuous cable pattern. I've now increased the sides for the body of the shrug - the small rib bit at the right end of the needle - and have another 8cm to knit before I have to make a decision.

Two plans of action: try out the Kitchener stitch to see if I can actually graft two pieces together - new technique for me, and/or contact the maker on Ravelry to tell me what she did to get the perfect seam.

Hohum. I'll let you know how it goes......

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Cat Tales

Well, I've come out into the garden to see what the fuss is all about. How on earth can they spend so much time out here? Don't they know there should be laps to curl up on and scratching of ears going on? I have to go out to THEM!

Everything does seem to be growing and there a lot of flowers about. Lots more shady places to hide in this hot weather - it's hard having black fur in summer. Personally I prefer a nice cosy bed or lap to snuggle into.... hint, hint!

There's this great big plant/flower thing which I have to avoid as it's covered with bees - I've heard it being referred to as a triffid as it is so tall (I think it was a joke....)

And this is where they seem to spend time in the mornings, sitting around this table for breakfast eating unappetising dried flakes. I offered them a mouse but did they want it? No.
Anyway, these chairs aren't comfy enough to merit the effort of getting up there. Maybe if I had a big, plump cushion?

But they seem to like the view from the table. Yellow, red, pink and white roses are out, the wild flowers are blooming and everywhere has some flower appearing.

They've been working on the path that goes around the vegetable bed this week; levelling earth, laying stones and generally ignoring me. Looks like I'll have to catch another mouse to get their attention - off hunting......

Or maybe I'll wait until they fall asleep and jump about on the bed - that one works well too ;-)

Thursday, 5 June 2008

lazy days...

Well, hello there! I live next door and I've come on over to tell you what's been going on in this here garden..... They've been digging and making windy, curvy paths, then planting and planting. Not that you can see much as yet but if you look real close, there are some small flowers bordering the path, don't you know.

And the daisies seem to be loving the sunshine....

But that's not all. Down the end of the path, off to the left they've been planting vegetables. All sorts of green stuff that humans seem to like to eat. Beans, peas, lettuces, radishes, spring onions, spinach and tomato plants that are growing like weeds.

Spouting french beans......

Even bigger than this now. That'll be all the rain I 'xpect. But haven't got all day to be rambling on ya know, must be looking out for that darned cat - she always hops over the wall to sun herself in the garden......

Yawn.....lazy days.......

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Memory lane...

As the weather turns warmer now and everyone is thinking about taking the layers off their beds, it's only natural that, due to my contrary nature, my thoughts have turned to throws and quilts. More to the point, a quilt I started during the christmas holidays not last year, but the year before. I was really into this and worked three days solid to get all the colours and tones worked out in each section, then I caught a really bad flu and moved house about a week later and never got round to unpacking it all again.

So why now? Well now I have some time to plan and organise the sewing of all 20 squares, I'm aiming to get them all done in the next month or so. No rush though - it's waited this long and if I'm lucky, it might even be finished before the weather gets chilly again! Once I have the top layer sewn then I will have to try out quilting the whole piece together and deciding what to use on the back. Hopefully inspiration will strike before then or I'll find some really nice fabric on ebay or in a charity shop.

All the fabric strips come from vintage and modern retro flower fabrics my partner used to sell on ebay. Anything he cut off or didn't use I stashed away. So it's my retro recycled quilt! It's also full of memories and I think every quilt should have a story......


Related Posts with Thumbnails