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Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Spring Garden

Yes, I'm knitting, but I've just realised I've done 18 rows of ribbing on the wrong sized needles!

So instead of knitting I'm going to show you my garden, or rather close up shots of what happens in spring in my garden.
Freesia's next to our front door.

The nectarine, tends to be prone to leaf curl; have sprayed already.

Plum tree, hope to get fruit off it this time now that I know to look out for nasty wee aphids.

I love lichens, can live anywhere!

Though they look best on trees.

And then there's the interesting fungi.

The almond is also flowering.

Narcissi; these smell divine!

Love this hellebore
Hopefully I'll do better on the knitting after this.    Got to go and bake a chocolate brownie now for Father's Day and then frog the socks.   I'm also planning what I might do for the Wool Lover Blog Hop (see my sidebar).
At the moment I don't have the guidelines, but it'll either be a knitted shawl (Bosom Friend) or possibly a sewn paisley shawl or a fichu.   There might be some cat toys as well; we'll have to see how we go for time yet.   If it's either of the shawls that should also work for my outerwear challenge for the Historical Sew Fortnightly.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Getting stuff done

I think it's that time of year.    I've just sprayed weeds in the garden, sprayed the fruit trees with copper and cleaned out the freezer
Ice sheets, 1.5" thick!
I'd been putting the freezer off until it occurred to me there had to be a better way than what mum and I used to do with the bucket of hot water in the bottom.   A little googling later and I had my answer.   I never use my hairdryer for hair, but it's great for drying plaster, paint and it turns out for melting ice off the walls of the freezer!    Took me 25 minutes from when it was empty to when I refilled it.

I've also finished the cushion cover thanks to Carol who made the felt for the backing and gave me the right buttons.
Love it.

and such a cute back; the buttons are non-functional.
I've also got my sock past the gusset, so now on the home stretch

Actually further along than this, and the yarn is just starting to turn orange.
I might also have cast on for a pair of knee-high colourwork socks; no photo's yet as I'm only 6 rows into the ribbing of the first one; not very interesting.

The stays are pinned to their straps, hoping to get that sewn today.

Monday, August 26, 2013


Got the last of the eyelets finished today; hand sewing almost 30 eyelets is not fun.    Getting the ribbon through them all and then sufficiently long to let me get into them, interesting and time consuming.  
Getting in and out of them is not a task for the faint hearted; nor is it for me to do alone!   I'm going to have to do some research on the best way to do the lacing so I can self-dress.

Silly grin, but I'm happy with how this has gone so far.  

Also need to work on Dh's technique to get the lacing even.
Next step is to make the shoulder straps and then bind the top.    Not sure how long that'll take, but the end is in sight!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

And now, it's finished!

Well, the knitting part is finished.   It still needs to be backed and have a zip put in so I can truly call it a cushion.   As this is to end up at the guild rooms (which are getting closer; the concrete slab was poured this week), one of the other members has offered to felt a backing for the cushion, also in natural wools.  Looking forward to finishing it.
Starting to cut the steek

All cut, you can see the floats on the back; insufficient light for a decent photograph

Blocking on my ironing board; I steam blocked it which I haven't done before.
I also did the heel turn for my sock; no photo of that I'm afraid. 

Yesterday there was also a reasonable amount of spinning; some at the guild and then when I got home we had a visitor so I pulled the wheel out so I could keep busy but still be present (I can spin and interact at the same time).   Thomas' cousin I think quite enjoyed watching me and his parents while surprised (I normally knit) weren't unhappy.

Once they had gone to the airport we got back in the garden.   Vege patch has been turned over, don't know if we'll get anything planted in it this spring though, it'll get trampled when the garage is going in.    George got to chopping a tree branch that Thomas had brought down; had a great time with the axe after he was taught how to use it properly.
My little lumberjack.
He finished chopping through this bit shortly after the photo's were taken.   Today his grandfather is bringing the chainsaw over to finish the rest; he's not wanting (or allowed) to use that though.
This tree had to come down despite it being a nice tree as it was going to be in the way of the new building.  
Speaking of that, there have been some developments with the garage.   We got a call from Skyline to say the council wasn't going to let the building go ahead due to flood plains.   Since the earthquakes the flood plain has moved; we weren't originally on it, but now we are.   Also they're using the 200 year flood, not the 50 year flood that they previously used.   We needed to raise the floor by 30cm!    That's a lot and is not something we'd expect our neighbours to agree to, not to mention the large expense involved.  Skyline talked to the council and have come back with an alternative.    It will now agree to let us build on the current level if the building is no longer containing sleepouts, the rooms will now need to be a games room and office; and the walls have to be concrete up to that 30cm level (more cost).   We won't be able to sell the place as including sleepouts, but I'm sure people would use then like that anyway.   The gib plasterboard will start at the top of the concrete.   We're just waiting on cost now, they can do it by forming and then pouring concrete thank goodness which is cheaper than doing it with blockwork.

In the meantime I'm going to keep crafting and I'll update you if there's further progress.   
Still hopeful for a garage by Christmas, but not holding my breath.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Almost Finished!

My most challenging knit to date is the sheep cushion front I've been knitting using handspun (2 different weights).    If I ever do this again I'll use magic loop; the shorter needle with supposedly the right length is really hard on my hands.
I've got 8 rows and the cast off to go, if I pushed it I could finish it tonight, but I'd probably cripple myself in the process so instead I've stopped for tonight and will do some more tomorrow and the next couple of days.   I expect it to be finished knitting on the weekend at the latest.
Bad lighting photo of the almost finished item.
Once the border is completed the next step will be my first ever steek.  Not sure if it'll be a crochet or sewing machine steek yet.   I have done a steek allowance on it so either should be fine.    I've then got to find the perfect fabric to back it with, and hope the size is right for the cushion insert I have.

I've got some work done on my Hermione's Everyday Socks too.
Such a simple pattern, yet so effective.
The yarn for this will start to change colour on the foot I think; looking forward to that.  I'm using HappyGoKnitty's merino/silk blend sock yarn.   It feels a bit crunchy at this point, but I'm expecting it to soften once it's washed.   It's nice to knit, no splitting which I like.

Next thing will be to cast on for something new.   I was going to do a hat, but not sure if it'll get the wear as it's so close to spring; youngest wants more socks, Thomas wants slippers, but I'm seriously considering some colourwork socks for me.   Would be nice to do colourwork on magic loop, with fine yarn.  Neptune High is the pattern I'm going to use, in the same colours as the original which were part of a prize I won from Wandering Cat Yarns.   

I also want to cast on Aurora Australis which is a lovely crescent shawl; the designer gifted the pattern to me a while ago.   I have some red sock yarn that will be perfect for it.   I should also do some work on the jersey I have on the needles, which is currently sitting in my Ravelry projects as hibernating; would be a great spring jersey.

Tonight though I'm going to try and do a few more eyelets in my stays.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

One Step at a Time

First two bound eyelets in my stays.   Can't get them sufficiently open, but I'll thread the ribbon using a needle I think which should overcome that issue; I won't be removing the ribbon till my cord is complete anyway.

Speaking of cord, this is the beginning of it on the lucet.   I'm getting faster and definitely getting a smoother result; nice to know that the end result will be pretty much the same as what was used in the eighteenth century.

My spinning bag that Joanne made me; can't remember if I've shown you this before or not.  It got used today for two wee bits of rubbish from my spinning.

And this is the progress on my current spinning of the Merino/Silk blend.
I have 25 more eyelets to go, so this is going to take a while, also probably at least 8m of cord too; it's going to take a while too.

Working on the cushion cover for the guild and socks for me.  

Thursday, August 15, 2013

He Loves Them!

Ian that is, he loves his new socks.   I finished them yesterday morning, removed them for long enough to trim his nails and then he wore them all yesterday; put them in the wash and then this morning he rescued them to wear them again today.  I'll need to steal them soon to wash them I think.

 I'm a bit miffed with Blogger, my insert images button isn't coming up with photo upload options; it seems to be linked to google docs only so I had to drag this photo from my files; hope it works ok.   If this sort of thing keeps up I may have to shift back to Wordpress.

The new Scott Base socks; notice the matching stripes!

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