Sunday, 8 May 2011


We have germination – yay! and only a week after planting seeds, look:

These are tomato seedlings on our bedroom windowsill, they emerged this morning. The courgettes and beans are still under the surface but I am hopeful that maybe by next weekend we will see some seedlings, especially as we have had some rain at long last. The garden is looking better for the rain with flowers coming out all over.

I’ve also been having another go a spinning long-draw. This is where you card fleece into rolags and then spin them from the end into a floofy woollen type yarn.

Longdrawjames has recently put up a vid on You Tube, here it is.
Longdrawjames shows how to hand card and spin long draw from rolags
Suitably inspired I got stuck in with the Romney and a couple of rolags later I had this:

I kept on going until I had about half a jumbo bobbin full and then Navajo plied it. Here it is soaking in the sink:

and drying out on the line; a bit breezy!

Here’s a closer pic. It’s about double knitting weight and is quite floofy, I like itSmile

This is the time of year for new fleece and although I am saving myself for Woolfest (not long now!) I could not resist a bargain; so I have some Jacobs fleece coming in the post from a Raveler. She bought a whole bunch of fleece off of EBay and has divided it up for about ten of us. We are sharing the cost of the fleece and then just have to pay for postage so I will be getting about 1.5kg of well skirted fleece for £1 plus postage! brill. It should be here some time next week so fingers crossed that we get some sunny weather next weekend so that I can wash and dry it all.

The rhubarb fest continues and we are still loving rhubarb and Greek yoghurt. However in case of overload I think that I may have to experiment with some form of rhubarb cake thing so if anyone out there has a recipe for rhubarb cake please feel free to drop me a line with the recipe.In the meantime here’s some rhubarb!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Easter Hols

Well I hope you all had a good Easter and enjoyed the Royal Wedding last Friday. I’ve been busy in the garden and I also finished spindling the first of the Romney fleece.

The fleece first:
After I finished spindle spinning the two spindles of Romney I plied them together into a two ply yarn on the larger of the two Kevin Rhodes spindles that I recently bought from a fellow Raveler. As there was some singles left over on the smaller Kevin Rhodes spindle I had a go at Navajo plying and it worked out really well, actually it was easier than doing the two ply as the singles were easier to control. When I’d been doing the two ply I got in a bit of a tangle with the singles as they came up from my box Kate (made from a cardboard box, drinking straws and knitting needles). DH got roped in as my tensioning device but I will need to think about rigging something up with elastic bands for future plying efforts as there is only so much tension the poor man can cope with! luckily it was only a small amount of yarn; or I could just cheat and use my wheel, but where’s the fun in that?

Here are the results; the ball on the left is the two singles plied together while the ball on the right is the Navajo plied yarn.

The ball at the back of the Jacob that I spun long draw at Guild in January.
Here’s a better pic of the Jacob.

All the yarns have come out quite soft and squidgy so carding and rolags are definitely cool :-) I haven't weighed it so I’m not sure how much each ball weighs.

On the gardening front, it’s been so sunny and with no rain for ages I’ve been able to get lots and lots of gardening done.

I’ve cleared all the weeds (well most of them) which included the meanest nettles in the known universe; for those I wore DHs biker gloves which are made of leather and have Kevlar in them. Kevlar is the material that bullet proof vests are made of!!

I managed to get forty petunias for six pounds – bargain! I filled all my pots and tubs with them. They are really small at the moment but they should fill out and grow pretty quickly as long as Amy stops eating them!! naughty chicken!

I’ve planted tomato seeds and courgette seeds in little pots and put them on our bedroom window sill to germinate and I’ve planted French beans and runner beans out in the garden by the front wall. I emptied the compost bins out onto the bean plot first and then left Miranda and Amy to spread the compost about, which they obligingly did.

DH also mowed the lawn so that everything is neat and tidy.

I also sanded the round garden table and oiled it with Danish oil. Now I just need to find a beach umbrella for it and it will be all sorted for a summer of tea and cake in the garden with a spot of knitting.

We have our first crop from the garden already – rhubarb. The rhubarb plant is really pumping out loads of stalks this year and we have become completely hooked on Greek yoghurt and rhubarb; it’s yummy, yum, yum.

I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures of our pretty flowers and our river.


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