Monday, June 01, 2015

Garden at the beginning of the month June 2015

As you can see, everything is growing really big now. We've had quite a bit of rain so everything is a vibrant green as well. I've had to put nets over the strawberries in the hope of saving a few from the birds.

I don't think I can remember ever having this many flowers on the convolvulus before.


Gooseberries beginning to appear! I'm not sure how much fruit there will be this year, as the gooseberry bush is getting a bit shaded out by the blackcurrant bush next to it, and the rhubarb on the other side has gone enormous too.


Blackcurrants!

Both of the apple trees are covered in tiny apples. Wonder how many of them will survive the June drop? There are way too many to grow to maturity.


The armeria also has loads more flowers than I can remember it having before.


And the clematis.

The geranium is looking pretty. I took some cuttings from this one last year and they are doing well in another bed, and have almost as many flowers as this.


I'm particularly pleased with how this bed is filling out. The yellow rose was a wedding present, and the other plants I bought with garden gift vouchers given to me when I left a previous job. I was aiming for a purple and yellow theme, which is looking good, with a Physocarpus opul. little devil, Allium and Heuchera chocolate ruffles providng the purple, and two Euonymus emerald and gold the yellow, alongside the rose.

I finally planted out the tomato plants I'd grown from seed - the other ones I grew went to the plant stall at my church's May Fair. As there was a bit of a delay in getting them planted out one looks a bit the worse for wear, but I'm sure it'll be fine. And that will be more than enough tomatoes for us anyway!


Oh, and finally, the other Physocarpus has just started flowering. I think it's the first time I remember it having flowers! This is obviously the year for flowers and fruit!


Friday, May 29, 2015

Knitting update May 2015

There isn't a huge amount of progress to report, plus I have forgotten to take a pictures of my Samwise Gamgee socks, so it looks like I've done even less than I really have!

The only finished project this month is another Baby vertebrae, as a present for a friend's baby. This one is knitted with another ball of Patons Fab DK, this time in the "Halloween" colourway. Does it look anything like Halloween to you?! I like this pattern as it's easy to use up an entire ball knitting it - you do the body and the edging, then weigh the yarn that's left over and divide it in two to do the sleeves.


I've done quite a bit on the Ella Funt cardigan too. This one is knit the body and sleeves separately, then join the whole lot together for the yoke. That's the stage I'm at now. I actually started the fair isle using some leftover bits of yarn, but there wasn't enough for all the elephant rows so it looked a bit strange. I've frogged that back now and going to do the elephants again with a different colour yarn this time!


And that's about it for this month. My totals aren't looking great, due to the trip to Iknit Fandango ;-).
I've only used up 274.3 metres this month, but acquired 2687.9 metres! Oops. Still, that still means over the year so far that I have used up a total of 4848.9 metres, and acquired 3774.5 metres, so I'm still 1074.4 metres down this year. Just depends whether I buy any in June...

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Iknit Fandango

I'd booked a ticket for the Friday of Iknit Fandango a while ago, and on the day I had a cold and really didn't feel like dragging myself into London. I probably wouldn't have gone if I hadn't already got the ticket and didn't want to waste the money spent on it. And, I'm glad I did go. I only stayed for about 90 minutes, as I didn't really feel up to much more than that, but I really enjoyed it when I was there.

I liked the venue, at the Royal Horticultural Society's Lindley Hall.  It was nice and light, which made it easy to check yarn colours. It's not the biggest hall in the world, but this wasn't a huge festival, in fact, it was just the right size to see everything without getting overwhelmed with colour and people and stuff.


There were several rows of stalls to make your way round.  I did one complete tour of the whole thing, looking for yarn companies I know I particularly like and particular things I was looking for.


These animals are from Edward's Menagerie on the Toft Alpaca stand.


And another picture of their stand.

These are the ladies on the Knitting and Crochet Guild stand, who were winding skeins into balls for people.


There were refreshments on a sort of gallery level, provided by the Finchley Women's Institute too.

And what did I buy? Well, I was very taken with the yarn on display on the Triskelion, Easyknits (especially their Deeply Wicked line in amazing colours) and Sparkleduck stands.  But I was aware of the yarn diet, and in the end I was most tempted by the Wollmeise stand. This is a 300g ball (approx 1500m) of Wollmeise Lace-Garn, in the "Spicemarket" colourway. There is enough there to knit me a cardigan. Hmm, a cardigan in laceweight, that's going to take a while?! It also came with a little bottle of wool wash.


And from Toft Alpaca, I bought a copy of Kate Davies' Yokes book, which I've wanted for a while. Lots of lovely patterns, and lovely detail about the history of knitting. And it came in a cute drawstring project bag. I was also on the look out for some Knit Pro Symphonie 3.5mm needle tips, which I found on the Knitting4fun stand, so mission accomplished!


It was also good to see a few people that I knew from blogging and Ravelry, although I suspect a lot more were going on the Saturday.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fashion on the Ration

Last weekend I went off into London for the day, to meet up with some fellow knitting Archers Listeners for some knitting, lunch and a trip to the Fashion on the Ration exhibition at the Imperial War Museum. I have a rather low opinion of the Imperial War Museum at the moment, due to their plans to close their research library (very bad idea), and then to keep it open but with limited hours and charging for use (bad idea) but the exhibition sounded interesting, and I wanted to meet up with the others again.

I wasn't very good at taking photographs during the day, but there are a lot more, including of the exhibition itself, on Whitehart's blog. We initially met up at Iknit, near Waterloo, for some browsing, shopping and knitting.


Before moving onto the Four Corners Cafe for some lunch, then heading to the exhibition. I thought the exhibition was a good size. It took about 45 minutes to go round, so there was enough to see, without being overwhelming. There was a nice mixture of dresses, men's clothing and uniforms on display, supported by archival sources (including letters, posters and ephemera), film and sound clips. I really enjoyed it, I just wish I'd thought to take some photos inside! I really liked the Utility dresses, and thought it was very sensible way of ensuring good quality clothing that would last, but without using vast amounts of scarce materials.

Of course, a trip to a yarn shop meant that I did some yarn shopping. I'd spotted this cute elephant cardigan on Ravelry, but it was unavailable to buy online due to the VAT mess, and was a yarn shop only purchase. Fortunately Iknit does those, so I could buy it there. I'm intending to make this for the niece that's on the way later this year, so I purchased some Baby Cashmerino that will go with some that's already in my stash so that I could get started on it.

Last week I also acquired another skein of Madeline Tosh Sock, in a colourway that will go with the existing Sugar Plum colourway I have in my stash. This one came via ebay, where I'd got a search set up looking for this in particular. I'm intending to use these for a Byatt shawl.
The new colourway is called "Midnight Rendezvous"


And as you can see, it should look nice with the other skein!


I'll do an update on stash enhancement amounts at the end of the month! Oh dear, Iknit Fandango this coming week... But at least my purchases so far have been for definite projects which will mostly be started asap.