Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Garden action plan

I  was going to take pictures of the barrow-full of new plants we've bought for the garden recently, but there's currently some variant of sleet or snow falling from the sky - it's neither sleet nor snow, but it is white - and I have a cold as it is. Just looking out the window at it makes my head ache a bit more. Instead I will be content with the garden inside the flat. I bought some Tete-a-tete and a forced hyacinth bulb to cheer us up a bit inside, and on Sunday I managed to sow some sweet peas (night and day mix) and eating peas (the very early variety, spring) in toilet rolls to get us on track for eating in 2010.


Top tip for toilet roll sowing - tie them together in groups of three so they don't all fall over like skittles when the cat wonders past. The precarious position is a result of necessity, not desire: we have one window sill in our flat, one! And it's tiny! I dream of a kitchen with long, deep, tiled, window sills..... and every winter I would fill them with paper whites and hyacinth bulbs.


Also managed to sit down for an hour or two and plan the garden for next six months or so - as in what to sew when, depending on what we want to eat. Next jobs on that list:
- sew green manure on the front plot (get a green waste collection from the council first!)
- get a first line of carrots and parsnips in
- pot on a few lettuces I've got and sew some more under cover
- sew purple sprouting broccoli
- and broad beans
- and leeks
- AND aubergines when the seed arrives
(and some morning glories)
- transfer the strawberries to their new bed

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Owl and the Pussy Cat

I've been in a bit of a funk lately. I blame writing my thesis and spilling wine on my laptop, amongst other things. Fortunately my laptop recovered (almost unbelievably) and even more fortunately I didn't loose any data (hurrah!) - so I'm gradually cheering up a bit. In the mean time it was Valentines Day, and now the event is over I can put up some pics of the Valentine I made for Dan. I was keen to make sure I equalled last years effort - which I was pretty chuffed with - and I think I managed it.

Owl and Pussy Cat


The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea

    In a beautiful pea green boat,

They took some honey, and plenty of money,

    Wrapped up in a five pound note.

The Owl looked up to the stars above,

    And sang to a small guitar,

'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love,

      What a beautiful Pussy you are,

          You are,

          You are!

What a beautiful Pussy you are!'


Owl and Pussy Cat


Pussy said to the Owl, 'You elegant fowl!

    How charmingly sweet you sing!

O let us be married! too long we have tarried:

    But what shall we do for a ring?'

They sailed away, for a year and a day,

    To the land where the Bong-tree grows

And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood

    With a ring at the end of his nose,

          His nose,

          His nose,

With a ring at the end of his nose.


Owl and Pussy Cat


'Dear pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling

    Your ring?' Said the Piggy, 'I will.'

So they took it away, and were married next day

    By the Turkey who lives on the hill.

They dined on mince, and slices of quince,

    Which they ate with a runcible spoon;

And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,

    They danced by the light of the moon,

          The moon,

          The moon,

They danced by the light of the moon.


I got a bit carried away with my flax before I realised the boat should be green, but never mind. I could see myself making a whole set of these - One for each verse.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

the first garden exploits in 2010

The first snowdrop

Daffodils in the lawn

A confused, and no doubt chilly (blurry) bee on the winter flowering honeysuckle

Snow flakes on sedums

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Bicycle love

I  had a pretty successful weekend on the knit front - two more FOs to my name. My own anthro scarflet fell off the needles and the (much needed and long awaited) mittens I've been making for Dan for over a year (bad me) were finished off too. No photos for my scarf yet, and my model for the mittens was feeling shy I think because I was only allowed one quick snap on the way to the corner shop.



The colours of the mittens, though perhaps not to everyones taste, were specifically chosen from the vast range available at Jamiesons of Shetland to match Dan's much loved Bob Jackson bicycle frame. There were several reasons the mittens took so long:

1. they were my first real colour work project and I only got the knack of knitting with two colours at the same time when I picked up the second mitten about a week ago. Something clicked and I suddenly had the ability to hold both colours in my right hand at the same time, instead having to drop one or the other strand the whole time and get tangled and cross. At one point during the first mit I even tried knitting normal and continental at the same time (as was recommended in one of my books), but this was awful. Me and continental style knitting do not get on. I must have an inner Shetlander hidden away somewhere, cause I've no explanation as to why it suddenly started working.

2. Whilst having a break after the slog of the first mit, something terrible happened to Bob. Dan hit a london pot hole too hard on his way home and his seat tube cracked. The frame is repairable, but I feared the site of me knitting his gloves inspired by the frame would depress him further - so I held off until the new bike was up and running at least.

Bob (and my Nova) in happier days


The completion of the gloves marks, for me at least, the end of a long period of shame regarding Dan's gloves. The ones he had were grim, cold and definitely not handmade. And, honestly, nothing screams "My Girlfriends a Knitter!" quite like these bad boys...

P.S. Matching seat covers and handlebar bags over on etsy. *love*