Gardening and knitting.

Tomatoes ready to ripen

My little back-yard garden is coming along nicely, considering that I really don’t give it the attention it should have.  I do water it most days but haven’t been overly active on the feeding side of things.  I should really because my tomatoes and cucumbers are abundant with fruit just waiting to ripen. 

Little cucumbers

Whilst they were still very small, I thought they were not going to survive so I planted a second crop as back up, some trailing cherry tomatoes to put into nice pots.  Now they are growing too and I’m not sure what to do with them!  I have put one of them in a tall pot with some mini surfinas and a basil variety called Minissimo with tiny leaves to keep them company

Trailing toms, basil and mini surfinas

and I have another two that are still languising in their little nursery pots as well as a cucumber.  I’ll ask Patrick, if he wants them as I don’t know whatever I will do with all these tomatoes if these ones crop as well as the Latah.  Mind you, as they’re not yet even flowering, whether they will fruit whilst the summer is still here to ripen them is unknown to me, being inexperienced in tomato growing as I am.  I also have some Pepper plants which are flowering and one or two of them have tiny fruit on, it’s very late in the year now though so I’m not overly hopeful about the success of these.  I must be earlier with my planting next year! 

Pepper plant in flower
Carrots, radishes and salad leaves

Finally, I have carrots, radishes and salad leaves, the radishes and carrots haven’t come to much yet but the salad leaves are fine, pity they’ll probably all be gone to seed by the time the tomatoes and cucumbers are ripe!

On the knitting front, I finished the Ishbel for Patrick’s sister Coral a few weeks ago and she was very pleased with it.  Here it is blocking. I really enjoyed knitting this and I’m sure I will knit it again and again.

I decided to bead the last section to add a bit of interest.  I was particularly pleased with how it turned out as it was my first attempt at knitting with beads.  I knitted a little sample of the edge chart to practice with and also to decide which of the 4 different beads I had bought (because I couldn’t make up my mind!) to use.  In the end I went for some dark green iridescent ones that I thought looked really effective against the pine green yarn.  The yarn I used was Cygnet Wool Rich 4ply in colour Pinemix.  Below is the beaded edge detail, the yellow things are pins not beads!

Bead detail
Bead detail
 I am almost finished with my Traveling Woman Shawl http://feministy.com/patterns/traveling-woman/ and am now on the last section and adding beads for a bit of bling.  I’m pleased with this and have enjoyed it more as I’ve gone along.  At first, I wasn’t getting on with the lace pattern, although I have to say it is incredibly easy to remember, I just seemed to have a mental block and kept having to count all the time.  It just clicked after the first repeat of the chart and I got along with it fine after then.  I really wanted to have it finished in time for the weekend because we are going away but I don’t think I can have it finished and blocked in time.  I am also STILL doing the boyfriend’s Hug Sweater!  Mind you, if I actually did some work on it instead of just saying I am still working on it, it might get done a bit faster!!  I can’t say that I’m hating doing it, I’m not, it’s just a bit tedious and there are so many other nice things I want to knit.  I know I will be thrilled once it’s done and I can present it to P, I thought of knitting him a sweater because I wanted to give him a gift that I had spent time making….and believe me, I have certainly spent a lot of time with this one!  Once I finish my shawl though I think I will concentrate on getting it finished.  P just cannot comprehend the constant flitting from one project to another but I know that all you knitters out there will understand perfectly 🙂

Shaggy

When I came to write this post, I found the previous one still saved as a draft which is why we have two posts in the same day!

We had a scare on Sunday night. Our elderly dog, Shaggy, had a Vestibular Syndrome attack http://www.nutrecare.co.uk/Product-2245/Dog-Diseases/Vestibular-Syndrome.  Basically, he looked like he’d had a stroke, he was tilting over to the left, falling over and being sick.  I honestly thought he was dying and it was horrible.  I phoned an emergency vet and after talking through the symptoms with her and establishing that he was settled and rested, decided to wait to see our own vet the next day.  Monday morning arrived and he seemed worse, I thought we would be taking him to the vet and not bringing him home again.  Michael, my eldest son and I had slept downstairs with him all night to make sure he was ok during the night.  I say slept, I dozed but woke and sat up at every little movement from Shaggy.  I had cried a lot during the night, thinking that we would be saying goodbye to him the next day.  When Michael woke up, I told him what I thought and he was devastated.  I mean really heartbroken, sobbing, it was awful to see because I couldn’t do anything to ease his pain.  Shaggy is very much Michael’s dog.  He all but lives in Michael’s room, coming downstairs only for food and toilet needs!  He sleeps on Michael’s bed, shares Michael’s snacks and is generally all-round devoted to the boy.  Michael is almost 19 now but still that devotion is mutual.  He stands for a lot of what most owners would draw the line at, getting up in the middle of the night to take Shaggy downstairs because he needs to go outside, having to curl up uncomfortably  in a small area in his own bed because Shaggy (who is a fairly small dog) has decided that he will stretch out and utilise almost all the bed for himself.  Shaggy also smells!  He is an old dog at 16 years of age and makes some pretty nasty smells at times.  Michael just doesn’t let it bother him, most people would be throwing him off the bed in digust but Michael just laughs and gives him a hug.  So, I’m sure you can imagine how the lad felt thinking that his beloved pet was about to be put to sleep.  So, off we go to the vets, both sobbing all the way.  My ex-husband met us at the vet with younger son Mason who is almost 16 who wanted to say goodbye to Shaggy.  In we all trooped, crying!  The vet and his wife are the parents of Mason’s best friend so we know the family fairly well, Mike the vet called us through and the boys and I went in, me carrying Shaggy.  I explained the symptoms and was surprised to see that Mike wasn’t perturbed by this at all.  He went on to explain that it is fairly common in older dogs and is treatable with drugs and most dogs make a full recovery in about 10 days!  All that grief was unecessary, thankfully!  Michael has now decamped to the lounge with his mattress and bedding and computer equipment so that he can still be with Shaggy who cannot manage the stairs at the moment.  I don’t know if he ever will be able to again so I really don’t know what will happen when Michael has to go back upstairs to his room but for the time being, we are happy to still have him with us and will do whatever we can to keep him happy whilst he is recovering from a very unpleasant experience.

Shaggy waits to come downstairs!

The Deep

Well I haven’t been around for ages but I thought I would check in and update.  I’ve been busy, my mum has been in hospital and is now in there again.  So what with working all day and then visiting in the evening, I’ve not had a lot of time to myself. 

However, a few weeks ago P and I decided to have a day out to the local submarium (that’s aquarium to the rest of you but when it was built, they wanted to make it unique so decided to invent a name!  That’s marketing types for you eh?!  Our ‘Submarium is called The Deep and it is built right on the junction of our two rivers, the River Hull, which flows right through our city and the River Humber which used to be one of the busiest channels in the country with docks either side in both Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.  It’s been a while since I visited the Deep and some new areas had opened since my last visit, we enjoyed our day and I took a couple of photos.  The first is of a Clownfish (aka Nemo), hiding in the fronds of an anemone. 

Nemo peeping out

The second pic is of some eels, They were tiny, about 3 or 4 inches tall (well the bit that was above the sand anyhow) and only about 1/2 inch, if that, in diameter. I can’t remember what they were called I’m ashamed to say.  I’m also ashamed that despite turning off the flash of my camera and taking one picture, the second picture automatically flashed so I probably blinded the little fellas!  Just as well there were no staff around, it specifically says ‘No Flash Photography’.  I didn’t do it on purpose, honestly!  Anyhow, how cute are these guys?

Eels
How Cute!

I’m still here!

I’m back again, things like work get in the way of what I really would prefer to be doing!

So. What have I been up to? Well, knitting-wise, I finished the waffly jacket and absolutely love it. I did forget to put in a buttonhole but actually I rather like it fastened with a shawl pin, it suits it. I’m also getting on really well with the Boyfriend Hug sweater. I’ve finished the body, all but the front neck shaping. It is knitted in the round so just the sleeves to do now. I’ve put it on hold for a while though because I am currently knitting an Ishbel shawl for my boyfriend’s sister. It’s a special gift for a special person who is ill at the moment and it means a lot to me that I will be able to give her a gift that is truly from me, with love. Flowers are lovely and chocolates are yummy but a handknit shawl is special. I am enjoying knitting it, it’s in Cygnet Wool Rich 4ply in the colourway Pinemix and I am going to bead the last lace sections.  I think it’s going to look quite fab 🙂

I’m at work at the moment so will finish this short post.  I’ll be back later with some photos hopefully.

Bits and bobs

Stash 2010
stash 2010

Here I am again, it’s been a while, mainly due to my illness and then just generally being very busy.

 A couple of weeks ago, I decided to drag out all of my stash to see just how much there is when it’s all laid out in front of me. You can see the result above!  I’m trying not to buy anymore until I’ve worked through some of this but sometimes a bargain is a bargain and you just have to have it.  I’m not actively buying put it that way, it’s only if something jumps in front of me that I may succumb 😉

Knitting-wise though I am almost finished with my Waffly Jacket, pattern can be seen here http://www.berroco.com/exclusives/mayer/mayer.html.  I’m just doing the collar and then have to seam it.  It’s really lovely in the variegated Patons Jet that I’ve used.  In between, I knitted a trellis beret from Woolly Wormhead, using Roman Romance from my stash I may add…polishes halo.  http://www.flickr.com/photos/35782787@N04/4564656977/.  It also is lovely and what with this flipping horribly weather, I’ve been wearing it too!  Next up I think is going to be Stolen Moments Wrap which can be seen here http://www.indigirl.com/blog/2007/09/simple-elegance/.  I have some James C Brett Marble chunky in greeny-blue colours that I won in our knitting group raffle and I think it will look lovely knitted up as this wrap. 

Gardening, my tomato, cucumber and pepper plants are all still doing well but I really need to pot them on soon and get them into my little mini greenhouse that my boyfriend put together for me at the weekend.  The cucumbers are flowering already!  We have done a fair bit of work in my boyfriend’s garden too over the past two weekends.  He had a wall built so that he could create a raised bed with a little pond and water feature.  We had a tonne of top-soil delivered on Sunday and got the raised area filled, the bucket for the pond sunk in and all the plants put in too.  We also planted up some hayrack type wall baskets (12 of them to be exact) and will hopefully be doing the hanging baskets this weekend so in the summer (hahahaha) it will be a riot of colour and we will have a pretty fountain to tickle away in the background whilst we sit and relax and enjoy our work.  I’ll get some pictures up when it’s all done.

That’s my update for now, I must try to keep up with this more often and to get pictures included too.