Monday, February 28, 2011

My tomatoes were exterminated by a knitted dalek

My tomato seedlings have keeled over and died.

As they were in the same room as the knitted dalek, I blamed it for their demise. See, it looks innocent in the photo, all cuddled up with Monkey and his offspring, but we all know it isn't really.

Except I then realised I'd probably sown them too early, and then moved them on too early, so maybe it wasn't the dalek after all?

Spring is definitely on the way. Although it's been too dark when I've remembered to take photos of knitting, the garden is showing more signs of life. The daffodils I planted in the autumn are appearing.

Although the postman stood on some of them en route to the front door, so they had to come inside to open up!

And the camellia has flowered.

I have been doing some knitting. I've got my first blanket square finished, and am well on the way with the Out of Town in London Fog socks as well as a cowl, I just don't have any photos...

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Yesterday I left the OH reading his paper and headed off into London.

to meet several people from the Archers Listeners forum on Ravelry at a pub for knitting/crochet and some lunch.

 followed by a trip to the Finborough theatre nearby, to see a play called "Accolade". The reason for all this? Well, way back in January, there was supposed to be an event that would Shake Ambridge To The Core (it became known as SATTC on Twitter, which confused some non-Archers people who got it mixed up with Sex and the City). It turned out to be Nigel Pargetter falling off the roof of Lower Loxley and being killed. Thus removing probably the best loved member of the cast from the programme (for people who are already  totally lost, the Archers is an incredibly long-running radio soap on BBC radio 4. You should listen to it.).

Anyway, Archers fans all over the world (yes, you can hear it on iplayer) couldn't believe that the Evil BBC and particularly the Spectacularly Evil Vanessa Whitburn, the Editor, had killed off Nigel. Much grumbling ensued on the forum, and some people even gave up listening. But then someone discovered that Graham Seed, who played Nigel, was appearing in a play called Accolade, at a tiny little theatre near Earls Court. One thing led to another, and several of us from the forum ended up buying tickets and greensideknits organised for us to meet up for lunch beforehand.

The play was great, incredibly contemporary, we could hardly believe it hadn't been put on since the 50s! At one point the female lead does some knitting and I'm glad she can't have been aware that about a fifth of the audience were knitters, as she really wasn't very good(!).

And the best bit of all, we lay in wait in the wine bar downstairs after the play, and met Nigel Graham Seed himself!

We were slightly gobsmacked, I think, to get a chance to speak to him and hand over a card, but he was very charming (despite us taking his time away from meeting his friends and insisting on having a photo!).

It was a lovely day, and I really enjoyed meeting up with some more knitters, who all felt like friends straight away!
I also really enjoyed the theatre, it was a tiny, very intimate venue, only seating about 50 and the furthest back people were only about 3 metres from the actors. I'm already thinking about a trip back to see something else.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The train journey from hell & a tea cosy

I got the tea cosy finished in time to take to church this morning and give it to the recipient - who loved it, thank goodness! It wasn't a bad knit, just tough on the fingers keeping the tension right. Still, I'm pleased with the way it turned out. I put four pompoms on the top instead of two (looked more fun) and it fitted our teapot perfectly so should also be fine on hers.

And I got started on the (January) blanket square for the mystery afghan blanket knit-along. So, it's mid-February now, never mind. At least I've started it. This yarn is one from my collection of British sheep breeds - Pure Hebridean wool, aran weight in dark brown. It looks like one square should take about 50g of yarn.

I did have a go at making the square using some Peaches & Creme from my stash, but it wasn't happy on that size needle, and as I was knitting it on the train to Lincoln and back on Wednesday and Thursday I didn't have any other needles with me to try it out on.

 The first part of the trip went well. Journey north after work on Wednesday was fine, my great-aunt's funeral on Thursday was also fine (although it threw me as the coffin came in and Pachelbel's Canon started up, which we also had at our wedding as we signed the register!) and everything was going swimmingly until I boarded the 17.00 at Newark to head south and ended up in a load of total chaos caused by the signals failing at Finsbury Park. After spending a lot of time sitting at Peterborough station, that train was cancelled and we got shifted to another one, which eventually made it down to Kings Cross hours later - this was the scene at Kings Cross, as every train had been cancelled and the place was filling up with people and police trying to stop people getting squished.

So much fun. I eventually made it home at almost 10pm, in just enough time to fall into bed. And I was very zombie-like at work the next day.
But the trip up north did give me a chance to see Mum's cat, Sweep (as well as Mum too, obviously).

Meanwhile, back at home, the amaryllis is venturing closer and closer to flowering. One of the buds actually got so heavy it fell off, which I'm not convinced is meant to happen?

 I set up some tomato and sweet pea seeds in the mini propagator on the spare bedroom windowsill and this is the sight a week later!

 And for all those people who've been waiting with bated breath to find out exactly what it was coming up in our garden at the beginning of January, all can now be revealed. It definitely wasn't grass seed - it was little tiny crocuses! Bizarrely in lilac and purple (our wedding colours, I didn't plant them and they weren't there last year?!?!?)

I tried to read Any human heart but got fed up by about page 100 and gave up. I just couldn't bring myself to be interested in what the main character was doing so it seemed pointless carrying on any further. Since then I've been reading Philippa Gregory's The red queen which is much better. Not great, just better. I'm finding the main character, Margaret Beaufort (Henry VIII's grandmother) a little one-dimensional though and it definitely isn't as good as The other Boleyn girl. It sounds as though it should be read alongside The white queen though (which follows Elizabeth Woodville) to get a more rounded story.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Garden at the beginning of February

I've had a busy weekend and no time to blog, and this week looks a bit mad too, so I thought I'd just do a quick update of the garden at the beginning of the month (well, 5th Feb, still not much daylight when I get home from work).

Not much has changed since last month. The OH painted the fence with wood preservative, and that's pretty much it.