Sunday, 29 November 2009


Well lots has been happening here. Lots of building stuff (more of that later) and hen stuff (more of that later too) but first is the knitting stuff.

I've been swatching for a second Garter Yoke Cardy. I love the one I knitted earlier in the year and my mum knitted one in pink which she gave to my niece after she took a fancy to it. It's such an easy sweater to knit and as I knitted mine in Robin Aran with Wool I can chuck it in the washing machine and it survives....which is just great for work.

So, I had been thinking about making another and I had purchased some green Sirdar Aran with Wool from my moms LYS when I went up there in September, but I kind of went off the green and fancied grey instead....with green buttons.
Que....trip to the yarn store, oh yay!

So I went to my favorite yarn store Get Knitted in Brislington, Bristol and spent a couple of very enjoyable hours squidging and squeezing yummy yarns. I did have a bit of a dilema though... between the lure of pure wool....Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, Rowan Wool Aran or Cascade 220 and the lure of convenience i.e. chucking it in the wash; Sirdar Aran with Wool and Patons Wool Blend Aran. The Rowan Wool Aran is superwash and I almost had that but they did not have enough of it and I wanted to get going as soon as I got home so I plumped for the Patons Wool Blend Aran which is 63% wool and 37% acrylic so completely washable and great for work.

While I was there I also made a few "off topic" purchases (you just know it don't you lol!)
I found some very soft and yummy Royal by Blue Sky Alpacas look......

 We need "feely vision" because this yarn is the softest, cloudyness ever. It is sooo soft and lovely and I have enough for Margot a sweater in the Fall issue of Knitty. I'll make it after the Garter Yoke Cardy though...must try to stick to the plan!
As I had not really spent as much as I thought I also purchased this

Its a needle holder for Knit Pro needle tips and is now keeping most of my needle tips all in one place. I say most because, inextricably, it does not have slots for all the sizes they make! What's that all about then? It's missing 3.75mm and 3.23mm....mmm weird...anyone know why this is?
Anyway, I like it although it does somehow remind me of chemistry class...Mrs Nicholson would be proud...then again maybe not lol:-)

So to get back to the swatching, after all the shopping I returned home and swatched and got this

16.5 stiches on 4mm needles over 4 inches. So more swatching is needed as I need to get 18 stitches over 4 inches.

In hen news, the hens are almost fully feathered now ....
here is Callie

here is Caroline

and here is Miranda

They are almost imposible to photograph all together. They are so funny. Their little personalities are really developing now and they come over and talk to us whenever we are in the garden. I have seen them talking with Postman Paul as well. He comes down the path and stops off to say hello to them and they all come over to say hello to him cute.

The builders have been working hard and its been so wet this week it's a wonder they got anything done at all, but they have. DH reports they are very helpful and are explaining what they are doing as they are doing it. This week they finished hacking off the rotten bits of render, sealed the stone work, took down both chimney pots and repointed the chimney stack. They also started filling in the bits of render that they hacked off. This needs to dry and then they will put the finishing render on. So we need a bit of dry weather please!

So, thats kind of it for to swatch some more!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Winter warmers and builders

Today I have been doing lots of cooking. I have made...
Rabbit and pork casserole
Beef and beer casserole
Parsnip soup

Also I pulled our first beetroot today. Here it is all unsuspecting in the garden growing away and not realising what I have is store for it!

Next it is in the sink with its friends the carrots, also pulled from the garden, and ready to be cooked for our tea...mmmm yum

So tonight we are having left over rabbit stew from Friday with three root mash and cooked sliced beetroot. The other casseroles will be saved for week night dinners while the parsnip soup is for taking to work for my lunch.
I will add some linkies to the recipies later in the week.

Also, this week we have had some progress with the building work we have scheduled on the house. Basically we decided a while back that as we had some money saved up we should get the outside of the house sorted out before the winter so I had our very nice builder Mr Parnell come and take a look. All was well and we were set for the off in September but then we found out that as the electricity wires are close to the chimney stack they would have to be shrouded before the guys could get up there. So, to cut a long story a bit shorter, we all had to wait of the electricity company to come to shroud the wires, which happened last week - yay!
So this week the scafolders came and put up the scafolding and the builders have started on the render - yipee!:-) I am kind of excited because we will not be the "scruffy house" anymore. Infact we (our two neighbours and us) will all look very smart:-)
Here are some "in progress pictures"

In hen related news.......
The hens are doing well. They were pecking me today! pulling at my jeans and jumper as I was cleaning out their little house and generally chit chatting to me as well - very cute. They do not seem to be phased at all by the scafolders, scafolding or builders.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Firework Party and other things

Last night was Johns firework party. A whole bunch of our friends are firers for a firework display team - Skyburst. We had a groovy time with yummy food and the fab company of our friends. Here are some pictures of our evening.

Here is Martin setting up a battery of mortars!
Yes, they were BIG and they were LOUD.

Here are a bunch of rockets.....

......and here they are on the frame used to launch them. I think there were about 50 in total.

The guys got all dressed up in their gear; here they are lighting their firing sticks.

We all had to wear hard hats and goggles because it was a lot of very large fireworks in a small city garden!!
Here are some pictures of the explosions. I have never taken pictures of fireworks before so bear with me:-)


In other news the hens are continuing to do well. They have put on more weight and feathers.

While I was cleaning out the hen house they were very busy helping me. 

Also, now that the trees around and about have nearly all lost their leaves there are some cool shapes....this is next doors Walnut tree. I think it is a truly beautiful tree.

 And these are interesting don't you think?

They are runner bean beans from inside the runner bean pods. I have cut all the pods off of the bean plants and am going to save the beans to plant next year, as a bit of an experiment. Also, in the post this week arrived this.....

There are some really interesting old varieties of seeds, in particular peas, that are as tall as runner beans and crop over a longer season than the peas that are available from "ordinary" seed merchants I fancy trying them, along with some Pole Beans and various types of Summer Squash.
Take care,

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Home sweet home

Gosh, well, this week was quite busy really. I went away for work on Sunday evening and returned home Wednesday evening. It's so nice to be home. Don't you find that nowhere is quite as good as home? So nice to sleep in my own bed and I missed DH lots. Home is brill:-)

While I was away this plant popped into flower on our driveway and I thought it rather pretty. Is it Cow Parsley?

In other news the hens are coming along nicely. They are getting feathers and are getting the hang of generally being hens. There has been flapping wings, running about and a little bit of "hen talk". DH reports that they have started following him when he goes past their enclosure to go up to the gararge plus they are kind of getting the hang of going into their house when it starts to get dark, but really they need a bit more practice. No eggs yet but it's early days and they need to concentrate on getting feathers and putting on weight.
There are's just that I was unable to get all of them in shot together!

 Also, yesterday we had our first carrots out of the veggie patch....look....arn't they pretty?

There are plenty more still in the garden.
These went into a rabbit and cider stew half of which is in the freezer and half of which is in the fridge in preperation for weekday dinners.
The Woodland Shawl is trundling onwards....ever onwards. It seems to be taking a while but it's an enjoyable knit so I'm plugging away at it:-) I'ts a good project for boring hotel rooms and it will be coming along with me again during the next week as I will be away for three nights. keeps me sane!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Maybe Winter is coming

Today the weather is not nice at all - rain and wind - ugh:-(
Maybe Winter is coming.

..................not very nice, brrr!.

The hens are hiding in their little house away from the wind and rain, poor things!

On the knitting front, though, there has been some progress!
Oh yes:-) I am getting on with my Woodland Shawl and it is growing...slowly. The yarn is just right for it (thank you Ali:-)) all lovely and green...mmmmm. Green is definitely my favorite colour.

Here it is on the hearth rug - sorry not a very good picture but you can see that I have completed four or five pattern repeats.

I have added to the width by adding three pattern repeats to the original pattern; so instead of casting on 89 stitches I have cast on 125 to make it wider as I have two skeins of yarn instead of one as in the Thifty Knitters original.
And now...for some close ups......


Also, this arrived in the post earlier in the week.

It's a bunch of sock yarn from the UK Blankiemania Group on Ravelry for knitting the "Sock Yarn Blanket" by Shelly Kang. I have named mine the "Insanity Blanket" because it's just going to take an insane amount of time to complete it....each little square is about 3.5 x 3.5 inches! and I'm making this for a DOUBLE bed!

Anyway, the idea is that the bag of yarn gets posted from one group member to another and each member takes out the yarn they like and replaces it with an equal number of balls/skeins of yarn from their own stash of sock yarn. The idea is that we don't all have to knit 100s of pairs of socks to generate the left over yarn needed for the blanket or, indeed, spend a fortune on buying whole skeins of our own sock yarn and it's a really good way of amassing a varied collection of yarn for your blanket.
As you can see my blanket is still rather small! but some people in the group are on to their second and even third blankets!

I intend to knit some more after I have completed the Woodland Shawl; I guess it's just a project that ticks along in the background really.


Related Posts with Thumbnails