Sunday, September 30, 2007

... just missed ...

I knew that it was close to the date that I started blogging, and just checked.
In two years I have racked up 111 posts. That is a lot more than I had expected.
Now on to today's business.
We had a day out yesterday, so had to do a lot around the house today.

The rudbeckia is still going strong, and looked glorious in the morning sun.
The flowers are at my head height. They are interfering with the pears, so I don't mind cutting them, and as you saw already we have had some in the house for weeks now.
This year we planted a couple of blueberries. This one yielded 5 dried up little aplogies for fruit, but is making up for it with a beautiful display of colour now. The other one had one fat fruit, that I cut in half for our cereal a week ago.This charming character was lazing near our pond this afternoon, and unusually made no attempt to move when I arrived. If only we could train these cats to use their own gardens rather than ours for a toilet, I'd feel a lot more friendly towards them.
And here are the promised sock pictures. I started out with the remainder of the red yarn for Sylvi's socks, and tried it out with a ball of rainforest Parrot. It was promising, but lacking something.

Then I tried the Parrot out with this yarn. Again it was promising, but also sadly lacking in character.So I went further than usual, and added them together. Here is the result. Juggling three balls is a bit of a pain, but the result is well worth it. With three strands being carried, it may prove to be a bit thicker at the beginning of the round. I'll have to wait until they are finished, worn and washed to see how it all works out. In the meantime, the effect is just right for me.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

She gave me Smiles

Back in the spring at one of the shows in the NEC, WyeSue handed me a paper bag.
In it were a handful of seed potatoes of a variety new to me, Smile.

We squeezed them in with our other potaoes, but all of our crop has been a disappointment this year. Due to our 3-bed crop rotation, they were in the worst bed this time. This is the driest, most shaded one, near the hedge and ash trees.

This weekend Ian dug out all the remaining potato crop, and it came to just one bucketful. I couldn't see any noticeable Smiles in there. So, it looks as though they never produced a crop at all. We will have to try to get a few to try again next year in what will be a far better position.

Knitting wise, I am working on a pair of socks for myself, that I need to photograph.
I am also untangling a skein of laceweight cashmere yarn, that got extremely tangled up. It is on my swift, and I am having to use my magnifying headband to see to sort out some of the tangles.

Of course my brain is racing away with all sorts of projects. I have a couple of small projects good for travelling. One is a small skein of indigo dyed cotton that I was given, which is crocking, and making an interesting record of the way that the yarn passes through my hands. Next time I work with it, I will have to get someone ese to take a photo.

The other is a skein of laceweight mohair from Mobair that I am slowly knitting into a scarf with two of a set of ancient bone dpn's. This helped me to remain sane last Wednesday, when I was a very short distance from the station at Loughborough and saw my train go. I had been rash in thinking that I could catch that one. The result was that I had to wait an hour, and then it took 45 minutes rather than 10 to get to our station. (The last train of the day doesn't go direct, but rather diverts to Nottingham and back again).
So there I was sitting at Loughborough slowly churning out froth as it was raining steadily in what appeared to be a horizontal way. Earlier I had trouble controlling an umbrella, and it wasn't worth the effort to walk back to get to a pub for the wait.

Now to hang out my second load of washing, to join the lot that has had an extra rinsing of rain. It is showery here today, but not as bad as it was early yesterday when one of the mini "tornados" caused havoc less than a mile away.

Then before I get further sidetracked, back to do a bit of spinning. I have a sample of an interesting wool/silk blend that I want to play with.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Sheep and shows

Last Saturday I was at the rare breeds show at the Melton Mowbray cattle market, representing the KCG (Knitting and Crochet Guild).

I took my camera along, but only took a few pictures of sheep busy breakfasting.
I can't even tell for sure which breeds they are.

I think that these are North Ronaldsway. Seconds after I took this, a bit of friendly rivalry broke out, and horns were pointed in a menacing way.

These are longwool sheep. Just think about spinning their fleece.

And these sheep seemed to be waiting for something to happen. It was only 07.15 in the morning, so it was very quiet in the sheep pens.

The rest of the day was fun. We knitted, and talked knitting and crochet with passers-by. The Leicestershire guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers had a stand next us as usual.

SP11 has got off to a good start. I received this little package on Tuesday. It contained the perfect colour of Zephyr (Plum), and a Chibi. I used this to good effect when sewing up a cardigan that had been knitted by a friend of mine.

Yesterday was the first day of the autumn shows for me. I was at the NEC for the Knitting and Stitching show on the Relax and Knit stand. We had fun, and taught several people how to knit.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Blowing in the breeze

Last week much was going slightly wrong.

Well, here is a success story:

The yarn that I dyed on Monday, still on the line on Tuesday.

And looking a little better from this side:

I'm not sure about a couple of the skeins, and may resort to ovedyeing. They are meant to be fairly subtle in colouring, so I might just wait until I've wound them off into balls.

This was hard to show off, but we have some very tall rudbeckia this year. It was planted a couple of years ago, and vanished. This year it was suddenly all over the place, and is flowering at nearly 2 m.

As it is pushing up into our overladen pear tree, I cut a stem off and brought it in to the front room. Full marks if you can make it out against the cotinus outside.

I did eventually remember to photograph a couple of our floor surfaces for one of my sisters.

So, although you may have seen them before, here is the kitchen/back lobby flooring: a composite tile with coloured glass inclusions.

And this is the bamboo that covers much of the remainder of the ground floor. This is probably quite familiar, as it is the background of many pictures in earlier posts. This is the most walked on segment, just inside the front room. It was installed about 6 years ago, and still looks stunning.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

... slipping

This seems to be the theme of most of my posts. Time is slipping away, and all those thoughts that I have when sitting at traffic lights when cycling in to town never seem to get onto the page.

So, as a dreary type of drizzle is making a mess of my line full of laundry here are a few thoughts.
Some aren't quite as complimentary as I'd like.
Those are the ones about why the sock yarn I dyed is now getting gradually wetter, when I want to check out the final colours.

And here is one I prepared earlier, an account of last weekend:

We had a great time last weekend.
On Saturday we walked around Long Eaton, running a few errands.
We had lunch at the cafe in West Park. This only opened about a month ago, despite the building having been finished a couple of years or so ago.
Then we hid from the sun for the afternoon, and did a bit in the garden in the evening.

On Sunday we did a bit more in the garden, then drove to Stapleford near Melton Mowbray to see the model railway.

This was great fun, and on the way back we visited a few of the churches nearby, starting with the Stapleford estate church.
We walked through the gardens to get there.

We went on to visit the churches at Garthorpe and Saxby:
The church at Saxby is in the process of being sold at the moment, and we couldn't get in.

On the way back we stopped off in Sawley for the flower festival in the church.
There was also a good display about flooding in 1947.
Then we had a quick visit to the beer festival at the Harrington Arms.
We could have walked there, but we were passing in the car, and that limited the amount of beers we tried.

On the Bank Holiday Monday, we had another outing.
We took the train to Willington, and then walked along the Trent and Mersey canal towpath to Burton-on-Trent, a distance of about 5 miles.
On the way we stopped off to visit Claymills pumping station, which was in steam.

On Tuesday I attempted to do all the things I had been thinking of doing on the other three days before we decided on having so many outings.
So the garden was full of laundry.
The house was full of chaos as I sorted out some of the many piles of paper etc.

This is likely to be the scene again tomorrow!
And I must take a photo or two of the latest socks.