Friday, 19 September 2014

There and Back Again!

Last weekend we travelled up that motorway again!  This time it was to move Jay into his new accommodation for his second year at university.  At least we moved his belongings into the flat, he goes up there this weekend.
One of his flatmates has already moved in and she has made it homely.  Hopefully the other students sharing this flat will keep it tidy, as Jay was always cleaning up after his last flatmates!
 We popped in to see Fay, before returning home under the setting sun.
 In the car I got on with knitting my Curious Collective 2014 Shawl, designed by Helen Stewart.  I am altering the shawl slightly to make it larger, which meant working out where to start the pattern repeat on the longer rows and somehow I managed to drop a stitch, so I had to redo the lace pattern!  Actually I still wasn't happy with it when I got home, so I took it back past the lace section and added a purl row before the 2nd colour change to make it neater.  In this photo you can see where the pale heather colour pulls into the darker raisin colour.  I wasn't convinced that this would straighten once blocked so I redid it the next day! 
 We have been out and about a lot recently and our newer allotment has been rather neglected!  Sunday we harvested a lot of beans, both runner and dwarf.  The dwarf beans are almost finished, but there are still more runner beans growing.
The radishes had gone to seed, but all is not lost as the seed pods are edible.  They can be quite hot and peppery and make a tasty snack.  We eat them raw, but they can be cooked or pickled.
 This caterpillar, of the large white butterfly, was munching on some leaves in one of our raised beds.  We garden organically, so although it is annoying when too many of our vegetables are eaten by little critters, we mostly have a laissez-faire attitude to our gardening and use barriers to deter the worst offenders and use white oil on aphids and white fly.
Other than that we rub along with our mini beast neighbours and are rewarded with the pleasure of observing them.
Although I have to admit to wishing that there weren't so many holes in our potatoes!  Next year I plan to grow some in an old water butt that we have used successfully for growing potatoes in before.
 The sweet potato plant is growing well and escaping from the raised bed!  Hopefully they won't have so many holes in them, but I'm not holding my breathe! ;)
 I'm hoping for a good crop of parsnips
 I dug up some of the carrots
and huge beetroot.  We have been eating these roasted.
This carrot looked like an alien to me and Jay said it looked like a cartoon slug! :)
 We have been picking tomatoes from the allotment as well as the greenhouse, but touches of blight have appeared, so if they don't ripen I will make green tomato chutney with them.
 Pak choi is on the menu this week
 and one lonely butternut squash.  My pumpkins started off well at the newer allotment, but then they disappeared!  Luckily we grow most of the pumpkins at the older allotment, so I will have to take a trip up there soon to harvest them.
 I grew sunflowers along the perimeter fence
 and cosmos amongst the (non-existent) pumpkins and courgettes.
Back at work now it is like the summer holidays never happened!  This week I made this genre display for the corridor.  I'm not totally happy with it, but I'm so busy that it will have to stay for a while.
 At home I have been working on my Curious Collective Shawl.  I'm roughly at 35% now, with a stitch count of 293.  I have bought some beads to add to the final section; I just need to work out where to put them.  I have recently discovered a fabulous bead shop in a local business park. :)
Tomorrow I'm going to The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace.  If any of you are going and you see me, please come and say hello as I would love to meet you.  I have my day arranged so that I am at the needle felt decorations workshop at 11am, in the super theatre with Kaffe Fassett at 1pm and taking the weight off my poor feet at 4 pm with World Pomination in the grand make theatre.  I have sent off my 30 pompoms previously, but thought it would be fun to make some more at the fair.  I have also planned my day so that I have plenty of time for browsing and shopping! :)  I'll try to take some photos to share on here.
I hope to see some of you there.
Best wishes, Pj x


littleRamstudio said...

Envious that you can knit in the car. It always makes me nauseous, reading also...
Your squash looks much better than here, we are nurturing 2 tiny butternut specimens, if they reach maturity they will be consumed with much gusto!
Heather :)

thesnailgarden said...

I used to be the same Heather. I can only knit on motorways, going round roundabouts and corners is a real no no! :) I love butternut squash, so I'm really hoping there are more at the other allotment. Best wishes, Pj x