Sunday, 26 February 2012

Suburban Crocus

Penstemon Cuttings
In the cold frame are my various Penstemon cuttings (Czar and King George V)- largely looking ok at this point. They have survived the snow and frosts so far - fingers crossed they will provide colour to my garden bed this summer.

Geranium Cuttings
 On the second shelf of the cold frame are some Geranium cuttings - frankly I'm surprised they've survived, I hope they can hang on a bit longer and make it through to the summer tubs.....

Winter Tubs - Back
 My winter tubs still looking lovely - with bulbs now poking through - I can't remember what bulbs I put in there but I think they're Tulips.
Winter Pansy - Second Blooming
 Beautiful jewel coloured pansy.
Suburban Crocus
 I love the little Crocus tab telling me I'd planted Crocus - it's good when everything goes to plan.
More Suburban Crocus 
Hmm - must get on and do some weeding soon......

On the other side of the garden there is life too.
Camellia Bud

Magnolia Bud
Lots of buds on both the Camellia and the Magnolia - I really hope that we don't get another cold snap now or else they will shrivel up and die......

Saturday, 25 February 2012

WIP Report - 2

How many WIPs? 5
How many WIPs finished since last report? 1
How many WIPs started since last report? 0

Photo Gallery
Rustic Prudence
 Pattern = Prudence Easy
Yarn I used = James C Brett - Rustic Aran
Any changes I made to the pattern? I used 4.5mm and 5mm needles (instead of 5mm and 5.5mm)

This is a very thick and warm sleeveless pullover, as the pattern says, it is slightly oversized but I like that - it's why I chose the pattern. My son says it looks like something from the 80s with big shoulder pads - a fair point but I still like it. It was a very quick and easy knit, there is another version with a cable detail at the front, which I might make next winter, although I think it would be best to use a plain yarn for that.

Grape Vine Leaves
 I have made quite a bit of progress on this but it has taken hours and hours of TV time - several films and Dancing on Ice and Call the Midwife and anything else I could find on catch up. I have decided to do the back in rib only - no pattern - or else I'll never finish it.
Rainbow Sox
 Some progress made on these at last - a nice easy cable pattern and gorgeous jewel colours that blend into each other.
Noro Sox III
Some progress here too. I'm using 3mm DPNs this time, my previous Noro Sox were done on 2.5mm and as much as I like them, I think that Silk Garden Sock is better suited to 3mm as it's not so stiff.

No progress since last report:
Soliloquy Sox
Lime Spiral

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Out and About - East Sussex

Last week saw us getting away for an overnight stay in East Sussex. The getaway began with a traffic queue to get through the Dartford crossing, about an hour on the M25, watching the roadworks and edging our way to the toll booths. Luckily I had Lime Spiral with me so the hour wasn't wasted and much progress was made on the little blanket.

We stayed at The Bell at Iden, a lovely little B & B pub just outside Rye, where we ate a lovely meal that evening. The service was very friendly, as was the pub dog, who was resting by the fire after a long day.

The next morning we headed into Rye and had breakfast - well brunch by that time - at the The Ship Inn

I had the most amazing poached egg and smoked salmon on toasted muffin - to be recommended if you are ever in Rye for breakfast. 

Having joined the National Trust last summer we decided to spend the day visiting not one but two castles in the area. (Teenage sons were gutted they missed this). First on our list was Bodiam Castle, a proper, full on moated castle. 

Wait for it.........

Inside is pretty much in ruins but you can go up to the top of the towers - if you don't mind tiny stone spiral staircases - good for leg muscles!

There is also a 15 minute film playing on a loop, which is a potted history of Bodiam, worthwhile watching if you go - puts it all into context. 

Following Bodiam we headed to Scotney Castle. This was a very different place altogether. On top of a hill sits an amazing Victorian house and down the bottom of the hill sits a ruined, but very pretty 14th-century castle. 

Let's have quick tour round inside..........

I loved the 1950s china in the kitchen.

Look carefully at the dress in the painting - then see if you can spot it again....

 Here it is - they found it in the attic and had it restored.

 Molehills in the garden.

Snowdrops in the garden.

And at this point my camera went dead ....... I do have more pictures on my phone and will up load them as soon as I can, meanwhile click on the link above for more info on Scotney.

Out last port of call was a very nice dinner in The Five Pointed Star in West Malling, Kent, before hitting the dreaded M25 and heading home. 

Friday, 17 February 2012

WIP Report - 1

How many WIPs? 6

Photo Gallery

Soliloquy Sox - no recent progress - but I do love the colours. 

Noro Sox III - no recent progress - still looking like string. 

Grape Vine Leaves - temporarily abandoned in favour of Rustic Prudence. 

Rainbow Socks - no recent progress - adore the colours though!

Rustic Prudence - just the neck and armband ribbing to go now - will hopefully be finished to wear for the cold snap this weekend. 

Lime Spiral - some progress made on recent long car journey - nice easy knitting for a car journey as you don't have to look down at it too much . 

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Sock Parade

It was only in August 2010 that I first made a pair of socks, since then I'm never to be found without at least one pair in progress. I always keep a little handbag with a sock project in it - ready to be grabbed for a long car journey. It would be difficult to pick a favourite pair but I do love Lang Jawoll Magic, such cosy socks and they wash up well too. Equally Malabrigo Yarn Sock is wonderful, so soft and comfortable. 

So - where did all this begin?

Back in August 2010 I used DPNs for the first time, I chose to use 3mm needles and DK yarn. The yarn was cheap acrylic - well I was worried it would be a waste of money! The pattern I decided upon was Beginner Socks by Kim Goddard (available free on RaveIry here) I managed to join the round and felt quite proud of myself, but it was slow going until I found my DPN style. I decided on a stripe pattern to use up some oddments of yarn and very soon the first sock was complete. As I was on holiday at the time I didn't get second sock syndrome and I immediately got on with the second sock, being DK it didn't take long. These are not the best pair of socks but I'm proud of them and they did start off my sock knitting addiction. 

Later the same month I decided to be brave and use 4 ply with 2.5mm needles, not only that I chose to have a small lace pattern to follow - Sunday Swing Socks by Kristel Nyberg, (free on Ravelry here). I used Opal Rainforest - Tiger yarn. 

The tiny lace pattern distorts the stripes and even today I'm still pleased with the effect. 

Next came Zara by Jane Burns (pattern from Let's Knit Magazine). I used yarn frogged from a jumper - Sirdar Juniper and 5mm needles. This time a cable pattern was involved. These were quick to knit and are worn on cold snowy days - perfect!

In an attempt to use up oddments in my stash I returned to Kim Goddard's Beginner Socks pattern and DK, but this time I added my own fairisle design. 

The result was a delightful cosy pair of hot pink socks. 

Being more confident now with DPNs I splashed out on some Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn, I had long since wanted to knit with Noro, I just love the randomness of colours next to each other. I picked jewel coloured yarn and Erika Knight's Jazz Socks pattern, which I found in Knitting magazine. However for the toe I reverted to Sunday Swing Socks as I didn't like the toe finish in Jazz Socks - I found it uncomfortable. I also learnt a Noro lesson here too, because when I frogged the toe the yarn went out of sequence an I ended up with different toes - not a massive problem but lesson learnt!

My son wanted some socks to match  a scarf that I made him (he's a student) so using the same Stylecraft Life Chunky and 5mm DPNs, I began Rugged Rambler by Lou Sugg (this pattern was from a magazine). The result ...

Apparently it is like walking on marshmallows. 

Another pair of Noro socks followed - with the toe lesson learnt. 

Then I received some Regia Jazz Sock yarn in a swap and so there was only one pattern I could choose ...

Jazz Socks by Erika Knight (however I still reverted to the Sunday Swing Socks toe). 

I wanted to to try some ribbed socks next, so using Basic Ribbed Socks by Kate Atherley (available free on Ravelry here) and Opal Surprise I made my Autumn Socks. Closely followed by my Plum Pie Socks using Lang Jawoll Magic, which I received in a Ravelry swap.

After frogging this Malabrigo Yarn Sock several times from various scarves I decided to do Paraphernalia by Tania Attila (available free on Ravelry here). I love these socks but I did manage to mess up the positioning of the second sock cable and it is in more or less the same place as the first sock - so I don't have a left and right sock - again lesson learnt. 

Back to Lang Jawoll Magic and Basic Ribbed socks for this project - I think these are my favourite in terms of colour. 

Then on to the Engima Socks from Let's Knit Magazine. 

This is a very simple but effective concept, you basically pick a colour to purl throughout (I picked pink) and it gives you a nice purly effect. This yarn - Araucania Ranco Multy - was perfect for this pattern. Again this was yarn received in a swap and I'm so glad I received it, I probably wouldn't have thought to buy it myself but it is lovely and soft and knits up really quick too. 

Well that is all of my completed socks so far but I do have three sock WIPs so watch this space...................

Knitting Knotes - Bremen Reyna

This wrap is so called because I bought the yarn in Bremen. I began making a pair of socks but wasn't feeling it, then I decided t...