Sunday, 28 June 2009

Let the feast commence.

Hubby dragged me down the plot today.

Because I've been a bit of a coward.

The thing is.... you know that hysterectomy surgery, well I believed them, you know the part where they say... 'and you can now lead a normal life' after twelve weeks. Well I tried, I did, and it did not work at all well for me. I would work for an hour, no more, and then I suffered for a week. Even now, for some reason the right hand side of my scar deep inside pulls really badly,, that it hurts.

I am a great believer in that time heals, I'm also a believer that scary situations should be avoided..

Which is why I needed a hubby to drag me back down the plot. (you have to remember that everytime I have gone to the plot, it has resulted in pain)

Today, was different, there are lots of light jobs I can do.

Firstly there was photography,

cucumbers the first we have ever successfully grown.

globe artichokes, such architectural plants.

courgettes are doing well.

as are the parsnips

carrots on the other hand have done very badly, although..

the carrots in the new experiment which might be protected from carrot fly are doing very nicely.

the raspberries, well, Wow,

haven't they done well.

I only picked just over a row, I have work to do tomorrow.

There were peas that I picked. And potatoes that hubby harvested,... Kestrel, which looked wonderful. Potato blight has come in, so hubby has pulled all the tops off to leave the potatoes safely in the ground.

There were many little gem lettuces that are ripe and just about to bolt, they will make a lovely braised vegetable dish, with a little onion, a little chicken stock and a dash of cream..

Our harvest for today.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Kiri

The lace bug has bitten and its bitten me very hard, I'm really enjoying knitting lace. To the point that it has taken over my life, I will randomly call a cat, child, hubby to look at my beautiful, beautiful lace.

May I present the beginnings of my very first lace shawl, Kiri, in Wollmeise lace - Terra di Siena.

I can see a very tiny flaw where a stitch twists the wrong way, but its staying put. Now I really must go and have a shower, get dressed and think about what I am going to feed those children.. (its only just gone five... - p.m!!)

Monday, 15 June 2009

Beads on Lace.

I am at the start of a new adventure, my first lace shawl. I'm attempting Kiri designed by Polly Outhwaite. I'm not finding it easy, for instance, today, 2 hours, maybe more were spent knitting, then I found a fault, but I'm not adept enough at reading the stitches to work out exactly where or what the problem is. So, today I have accomplished one row of knitting for two hours work.

I'm hoping it will get easier.

But, there is a plus. We have a lovely new bead shop called Beading Crafty. They used to be located at Hatton Country World and they have moved there bead shop to Kenilworth. Which is wonderful, as I then get to look at beads whenever my heart desires, without a loving husband, looking bored to tears in the background.

And as we know, I will need lots of stitch markers to try and keep track of where I am on my very first shawl.

So in between the showers, I popped up the town and bought the necessary tools and beads to make my very own stitch markers, mainly starting with a mixed lot of beads in which I found some lovely treasures.

Do you like?

I fear, I have much to learn.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Tales of a strawberry Sprite.

What luck, I seem to have a Sprite residing in my home. He has been bringing me strawberries every morning. The first time this happened he delivered them to me in an old plant pot and left them for me before I woke.

When I woke I was quite shocked and just a little giddy at the sparkling fruits before me and I gobbled my share of the fruits up very quickly.

Then the next morning I found the Sprite had left me a huge bowl, full to the brim of strawberries,

and this time I managed to control my eagerness just long enough to add a few to my breakfast.

But then this morning,

well,

I found these little gems in my fridge,

He is a very clever Sprite.

I must look after him very well.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Meet the yarn monster.

This is Pip,

Pip is a Lurcher, we rescued him, we love him and he loves us. Pip was very badly beaten as a young pup and is terrified of putting a paw out of place. (he also doesn't like his photo being taken). As time has gone on, Pip's character is developing, rather than being frightened of just about everything and shaking in the corner.

And one of his little ways that he has developed is to become the resident Yarn Monster. You see Charlie (golden retriever) is the resident bamboo/wood needle muncher but Pip just loves yarn. And in this way, I know who has been taking a keen interest in my knitting if I carelessly leave it within reach. Within reach are the key words in that sentence, Pip can reach a very long way.

What happens is this, I finish my knitting for the evening, carefully place knitting on top of the other yarn/knitting that is residing on the buffet (posh word for very old cupboard) there may be slippage, (we have discussed my house keeping abilities before, haven't we?!) and toddle off to bed.

Come the morning, hubby makes me a cup of tea and brings it to me in bed. Then he starts his morning routine and generally whilst he is in the shower, I found out that a) he's left the living room door open and b) Pip has found my yarn. The sound of a herd of gazelles leaping around my living room comes drifting up to my bedroom. At which point, depending on the complexity of the current knitting project there may be an exclamation come from my lips whilst I (as quickly as humanly possible bearing in mind I've probably only been awake for three minutes) crawl out of bed, find specs and amble at a rather quicker rate than I really wish to down the stairs and into the living room.

Depending on how quick I am will determine the level of damage. Generally if I'm reasonably quick its rescuable, however, there are times when because the living room door has been left ajar (this is a teenagers pet project) when Pip has had a lovely afternoon playing with yarn.

This is not a good idea, a) because I think its quite dangerous to allow dogs or cats to play with yarn unattended and b) because it destroys my yarn.

So when I say, this next pair of socks is something I have no idea what the yarn is, that Pip played with the yarn for a full afternoon, that it sat languishing in my stash for over a year because it was far too pretty to just throw away, and then that it took me three hours to wind enough for a pair of socks, I'm sure you will understand.

There has been other sock knitting,

a nice thick pair of grey socks to keep my tootsies warm in the winter. These are made from Schoeller & Stahl Limbo colour 2523 with a 52 stitch cast on using 3.00mm needles.

and a finished pair of Spring Forward to Sunny Days by Linda Welch. I knitted these in Wollmeise 100% sock yarn, colourway Baba Jaga using 2.5 mm needles. I think the pattern is lost in such a variegated colourway, but it was a wonderful experience to knit them. The pattern is lovely, nice and simple and very well written, the softness and smell of the yarn was heavenly and they are wonderfully cozy. What more could a girl want!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Birthday Treats.

For my birthday this year I decided I really wanted to see the deer at Charlecote Park.

Hubby has always persuaded me that this might be a bad idea as the deer are notorious for disappearing across the river so that all you ever see of them is in the distance. But after twenty years of marriage I thought I would just chance it and see what I could see.

First there was a Heron,

and then we saw deer (across the river!)

and then there were cows,

and then we found the herd of Jacob sheep.

(swiftly followed by another photograph of Jacob sheep. I thought they were very pretty.)

We watched the Jacob sheep for about twenty minutes and just as we were about to turn around and head back to the house, look at what came around the corner...

A herd of Fallow Deer. We froze and they continued to get nearer,
and then (and could it really get any better) a White Hart came into view.

contented deer drifting nearer.

and nearer

and nearer, this deer must have been as near as 12 feet.

We eventually left them after half an hour as rain clouds were gathering. Of course we viewed the house and gardens, but you all know that what really made my day was my close encounters with the Fallow Deer.

A quick snap of the birthday girl

and the birthday girls lovely hubby,

before I leave you with a video of just close the deer were and how we were very nearly surrounded!

Ravelry Day 2009


I awoke very early on Saturday morning to find that it was still raining very heavily. I've had some of my best adventures in the rain so this didn't deter me in the slightest, I was more than just a little giddy so a little drop of rain wasn't going to dampen my spirits. After a false start or two we were off, I completely forgot my camera, which was so annoying when I eventually remembered that I'd forgotten it. There are plenty of photographs on the net of knitters laden down with shopping, stopping to chat in the pouring rain. I not sure that we even noticed it. Its only when you look at the photographs that you realise quite how damp things were.

First port of call was the outside shopping, so much to choose, so many lovely sock yarns. I bought from Babylonglegs, Old Maiden Aunt, Artists Palette and The Knitting Goddess.

I also found New Forest Mohair, we immediately recognised each other from The Royal Show and Francis showed me what she had been dying. At The Royal we had talked at length about Francis trying an autumn colourway and she had dyed some beautiful baby kid mohair in a gorgeous colourway. It was a trial of six skeins and two had already sold. I fell instantly and deeply in love, she'd taken my ideas and developed them into something truly beautiful. I bought the rest, there was no way in this world I was walking away without them. This photograph doesn't do them justice, when I've made them into something beautiful I shall take the time necessary to photograph them in good light and show you all just how stunning they really are.

Once inside the church I was nearly knocked off my feet as Jo launched herself towards me with a Very warm welcome and I then found Cheryl and Tanisha together. We had a lovely chat, I haven't seen them for so long.

Diane and I bumped into each other and wandered up the stairs to see what we could see and found more stalls! Diane is a very good enabler and was thrusting ideas at me left right and centre, but I had a secret plan. I'd read that Jo was selling Knit Pro needles and my plan was to purchase a pair or two. As you can see from the pictures it may have been just a little more than a couple of pairs. Fortunately my boys have come to my rescue (financially) and offered to buy them for my birthday present.

On my travels I met the girls from Coventry Knit Wits and we oggled each others purchases.

Hubby and I had coffee and a delicious toffee cake and then it was time to go. It really was a lovely day and Jo should be very proud of herself.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Oi! Who pinched my strawberry!

Remember the strawberry, the first strawberry that was going to ripen..

This strawberry in fact..



Its gone, its been pinched! (We were just left with an empty stalk, very upsetting it was) By what we do not know, its not slugs as they dig in have a feast and leave fruit damaged, not pinch the whole thing. It could be a bird, again the whole thing has disappeared there are no little tiny bits of fruit lying around. It looks suspiciously like another human.

I have this view in life, if someone pinches a cabbage or a few spuds then its probably because they need it and if they need it that bad they can have it. But for someone to nosy around my plot and then pick the choicest of morsels (and the First! which is the main thing really) well that's a bit mean spirited. There is also the wandering about my plot in the first place!

Hubby has now found a padlock to lock the gate with. So they will have to climb the fence if they want to pinch my strawberries. Which is easy enough to do, but its easier to spot by the other plot holders and then question why somebody is climbing a fence to get in.