Thursday, 16 June 2016

June Gardening and Knitting

Oops! A whole month has gone by since I have posted! At this time of year it is all go in the garden and at the allotment, so I have been busy weeding and planting.  We have had lots of rain, so the garden is very lush
and full of busy bees.
June is the month that the roses start to bloom





and when the foxgloves put on a lovely show.






The garden is filled with the sounds of the young blue tits calling to their parents for food
and the sparrows still seem to be nest building.

The plants in the pots and baskets on the patio are beginning to fill out and bloom.





The two water troughs that I painted have been situated at one end of the patio.
This area is still a work in progress.
At the allotment everything seems to be growing well, including the weeds!

We have had our first strawberries of the season.
When it has been raining, I have finished a couple of shawls.  My Cabin Retreat Shawl
and my Spindrift Shawl.  Both patterns are by Helen Stewart.
On my needles I have another of Helen's designs, The Talisman Shawl.  This is the first pattern for The Shawl Society KAL.
There are 6 designs in total and I hope to knit all of them over the coming months, so I guess I am going to be busy! :)
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Tuesday, 17 May 2016

On and Off My Needles/Spindle/Sewing Machine

First off my needles recently was my TARDIS Shawl.
It is knitted with fivemoons Luna Plus and I followed Kate Atherley's pattern Bigger on the Inside and made a few modifications.


My modifications:-
1.  Time vortex = beginning 13 rows, 8 pattern repeats on increase section, 3 centre increases, 8 pattern repeats (plus 7 rows) on decrease section and end 13 rows to make wingspan and depth of shawl bigger than original design. Total of 441 rows along which to pick up stitches for TARDIS section.  Blocked this section to aid picking up the stitches.
2.  I picked up the stitches evenly along curved edge without counting them and then did the maths.  I had 419 stitches and as I wanted an odd number of TARDIS, to have a centred pattern at the back, I added an extra stitch to the background either side of the motif (one in the repeat and an additional one in the start/end panel).  I also allowed for 4 background stitches at both ends of the shawl as I plan to curve the ends more than the original design by increasing into the front and back of the stitch beside the knit 2 edging. = 19 TARDIS
3.  Not happy with the bobble as it didn't stand out enough and left holes in the background (could be my yarn choice) so frogged back and added clear, silver-lined size 6 beads.
4.  I swapped the original ribbed edging for Casdena's lace edging and added beads to each point to match the lights on the TARDIS.
After blocking the shawl grew to Dr Who scarf proportions!  It measures 2.5m x 0.5m which is a very wearable size.  It wraps around my shoulders like a shawl and the long tails hang like a scarf.  I have already worn it once, but the main reason for knitting this design was to wear it to Comic Con in London.
I am continuing to knit the hexipuffs for my Beekeeper's Quilt.
During April I completed 35 of them.
I am trying to finish off my many WIP's this year and so to encourage me to crack on with my Festive Flock I have joined in with Molly's (A Homespun House) Spring/Summer Stellina KAL.  Appropriately enough I am knitting these little birds with some of my homespun yarn!
The final knitting project that I am working on at the moment is my Cabin Retreat Shawl.  I am using the Cabin Path Shawl pattern by Helen Stewart and I hope to finish it this week.  The yarn is Diana 4ply by fivemoons and it is lovely to work with.

On my drop spindle I am spinning my Snail Garden colourway that I blended on my board.  I started this at the Curious Handmade Country House Retreat and have nearly finished it.  I plan to ply it and hope to have sufficient to knit a hat.
The sewing section of this post isn't about a project, but about a purchase.  After much deliberation I have bought a new sewing machine and I decided to upgrade from a standard machine to a computerised one.  I have bought a Janome Atelier 7 and so far have just tested it to see that it works ok and I am impressed with it.  I'm itching to make something, but I need to complete more of my outstanding WIP's before I can start nothing new!

There has been some serious woolpiggery going on recently! :)
I have received the final two instalments of the LITLG's Spring Club.
This is Limpet, the skein I received in April.
I may pair it with the March skein Jellyfish.
This month I received Beach Lavender.  I so desperately want to cast a shawl on with this!
All these skeins are singles and I am so impressed by them that I have already signed up for the Summer Club, but this time for the sock base just for a change.
I also couldn't resist these beautiful yarns from A Homespun House.
Xenophilous Explains the Deathly Hallows on Jenness Fingering
The Half Blood Prince on Soft Sock
Another new to me indie-dyer that I wanted to try is Gregoria Fibers, so I ordered these pretty minis.
My final purchase is rather a treat to myself.  I have long admired Kristin's (Voolenvine Yarns) beautifully dyed yarns, but have previously been put off from ordering them by the postage fees.  I ordered 4 skeins a) to keep under the £137 import tax threshold and b) to make the post office charges more acceptable.  I had to pay £13.56 to the post office, before my parcel was delivered and £8 of that was their handling charge, so divided between 4 skeins I felt that that wasn't too bad and the yarn is seriously worth it!
Each skein is on the Nouveau base and the colours are stunning!
Faerie Hair
Jilted Rose
Dirty On Purpose
The last two I may use together.  As these are all single they most likely will be shawls - not such a surprise! :)
I think I may need to be on a yarn diet for a little while now ... at least until Fibre East! Maybe!! ;)