Sunday, August 26, 2012


My green Ribbon Twist jumper became such a staple of my winter wardrobe, that I was quite keen to knit another one (as the green one is now much-washed and much-worn and has felted a bit). Unfortunately the yarn is discontinued (or maybe fortunately as it was between £7-8 a ball). But I discovered that Cucumberpatch were offering the yarn at a discounted price, the only drawback being that they only had white with pink and blue ribbon, or beige. The white part is fine, but the pink and blue ribbon isn't so great. Anyway, it was only £2 a ball, so I get a new winter jumper for £16 including postage! Hagos suggested I dye the wool, and I plan to look for a deep blue dye. 

It knits up so quickly, I did this in one evening, almost the entire back! Quite fun after knitting so much 4 ply.
Though I do love knitting 4 ply. It's so comforting. This is my first finished yellow and yellow stripy sock.
And today I pulled up my First Earlies - Casablanca! I only bought Casablancas because of the name. Hagos and I love the film. I got a good crop, and most of them are now stored with the rest of my main crops.

Storing potatoes is a new thing for me. I usually just leave them in their tubs until I need them for each meal, but we have more this year as we grew them in raised beds. Plus, my main crop got blight, so I wanted to make sure they weren't left rotting in the ground. I laid them out to dry in the sun for a couple of hours, then brushed them all down before putting into hessian sacks. I so hope they keep as it would make a difference to my growing and planning for the future.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Golden Winter socks

In amongst ALL the seriousness of my day, it's important to make time for some light-hearted, silly, non-serious stuff. Like knitting. It's such a tonic. This is my next pair of stripy winter socks. The main ball is alpaca, and the small ball is tweed wool.  
I recently came across the quote: Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. I remind myself of this when I think someone is being difficult. It isn't always apparent what difficulties people are going through, or why they act in the way they do. People have varying levels of self-awareness, reasonableness, and sense of humour. Most people have emotional handicaps. Well, maybe the Dalai Lama is exempt? And then there are the very sobering medical conditions that some people endure but don't reveal to others. So, the silliness balances up the seriousness.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Frivolity only

My head is screaming STOP just now. It's full to bursting with information and can't process any more. So at lunchtime I went for a longish walk to John Lewis and bought the above material to make into a new Amy Butler A-line skirt, and more Rowan Tweed wool to make into another pair of winter socks. The colours and textures truly are a sight for sore eyes.
And at bedtime - escapism and imagination in I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. Nothing serious allowed.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Main Crop, and a Pussycat

We had to pull up all of our Maincrop (and some Second Earlies) as we got potato blight! Thankfully all the potatoes were saved. And only one had a slug-hole in it. So all of the above are now boxed up stored for eating. We still have another bed of potatoes to get through too. I've never stored potatoes before so it's a bit of an experiment.
And watching me all the while from her camouflaged vantage point - Meg! She loves the summer weather.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Egg Envy

Egg envy - at the Peebles Agricultural Show.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

New Socks!

I finished the first pair of winter socks! I'm very pleased with them. I have a little list of items I want to make before winter arrives: 

  • two more pairs of socks (a yellow and yellow stripy pair, and to finish off my muted purple socks with the orange/green/green stripes); 
  • two winter vests (the off-white that I'm halfway through knitting, and the same again in navy blue); 
  • and a TV jumper (at the moment I'm thinking off-white for most of the body and arms with just the very top/neckline and top of the arms in red).
I could also do with a couple of woolly cardigans, but I think I'll buy those rather than make them. I just don't have the time to knit everything! I also promised my youngest Godson that I'd make him a pair of Norwegian mittens to match mine and his mum's. We were out on a walk one day, and he kept saying how much he liked my mittens, and in a moment of generosity I asked if he'd like me to knit him a pair, to which he answered yes. I then forgot all about it till I next saw him and he asked me how his mittens were coming along. I was a bit taken aback, and said they'd definitely be ready by winter time. And almost every time I've seen him since (which is at least once a week) he asks if I've finished knitting his mittens. NEVER tell kids you'll do something for them because they NEVER forget.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

The animals have taken over :)

This is the very sweet toad that is living in our compost bin. He's been there for at least a week. I first discovered him when I went to empty our kitchen compost into the bin outside and had spilled tomato sauce on him, just as I tipped the compost into the bin. I had to dig him out (a bit of onion landed on his head) and I put a water bowl outside in case he needed to wash himself, but next time I looked he was sitting on top of the compost seemingly happy (and clear of tomato sauce). The only problem is - I now don't know what to do with my kitchen compost as I don't want to chuck stuff on his head again. Hmm.
And this little video is from a week ago. It's my grape-frenzied hens :)

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Holiday - Day Four

My favourite way to begin the day - cappuccino, knitting, and surfing knitting blogs at the kitchen table with the window open (and usually a cat on my lap).
Then a drive down to see my folks after dropping Hagos at the airport. I love this drive.
I listened to the Lodestar album REALLY LOUDLY! Lodestar was my husband's last band, and it's my favourite album in the whole world, ever. The music is astounding, and the range is epic, and Heitham's vocals are often moving. But the sensitivity between the bass and guitar is incredible and the drums are lovely. "Better Late Than Never" had to be played twice because it was so amazing and it made me laugh. 

I took no photos of my time in Dumfries; my great-nephew and -niece were there and it's fairly frantic keeping up with them. 
I bought blue nail varnish and so far have painted one hand (I know from experience you can't rush or force such things).
And knitted more sock! Now, continued sock-knitting, episode 7 of Borgen and a cat on my lap :)

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Holiday - Day Three

This morning I made chocolate chip cookies, from my trusty old Mrs Beeton's cook book. I love these cookies - they always turn out well, even though I substitute 50g of soft demerara sugar for 50g of golden caster sugar (I generally use golden caster as my default sugar). A few cookies, a cup of tea and surfing some Scandinavian knitting blogs :) 

I woke up super-early at 7am this morning. I thought it must be about 9am, but once I was awake I felt like getting up. I managed to clear all this from the back door before breakfast (after I'd checked on the hens). So I no longer feel like I'm breaking out of Sleeping Beauty's castle every time I want to hang the washing out or visit the neighbours. (There's lots more to do.)
I finished knitting a capped sleeve for my winter vest.
And cast on my second blue-and-blue striped sock :)
And I always have time to hang out with my little friend, though sometimes her looks can be particularly withering ("Why are you bothering me?")
But she is stunningly beautiful and very cuddly.

I also tidied the kitchen, so we have a clear table, and clear work surfaces. It's so nice to have a clear and clean home. And I also cleaned the bathrooms.

Later, more knitting; finishing off reading Affinity by Sarah Waters; and maybe we'll watch a film.