Thursday, August 19, 2010

Garden adventures

The garden at our new place is a crazy patchwork of grass, paving, outbuildings and general stuff really. We love it for the space it provides and the potential it offers for vegetable growing, new chickens, a children's garden (complete with saucepan 'banging wall', inspired by The Creative Family) and no doubt more plans yet to be dreamed up. At the moment, however, with other priorities to consider inside the house, I am contenting myself with wandering around discovering just what is there and gradually deciding what we'll keep, what we'll reuse and what we'll get rid in no particular order are some examples- you decide!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Battenburg- a preview!

I'm really pleased with how it turned out! Coming soon to the Folksy shop- just need to dig out my sew-in labels from whichever box marked 'Craft' they're in and get the others in the 'High Tea' collection knitted.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Yarn and yarn

I mentioned recently that I was saving money while feeding my knitting habit by recycling the yarn from projects that didn't go right. Here you can see my winter wooly- 'Emma' from Big Just Got Bigger by Rowan. It's not the most figure-flattering of numbers, but it's soft and cosy and seems to suit the yarn better than it's previous incarnation, whose cabling and enormous foldover collar made it hang very badly in my opinion. Best of all, it's sort of a new jumper for free!
The next victim of my 'frog and remake' campaign is destined to be this 'Iceland' sweater in Rowan Cocoon yarn. I loved this when I saw it in Rowan Magazine #42. I loved the yarn when I looked at it at a knitting show and when C got it for me for Christmas a few years ago. I loved the way the finished article looked...until I tried it on. It hits me in all the wrong places and is completely unflattering. As a result it has sat in the drawer, loved but unworn, for far too long. I've decided to accept that it's not for me and reclaim the yarn for something I will actually wear.
There is a stay of execution for 'Iceland' just now, however, as this morning's post brought a new haul of yarn and a new issue of Yarn Forward. This, combined with a long awaited return to my local knitting group last night (with M in tow) means I am in knitting heaven just now. The yarn is the admittedly acrylic but nonetheless delightfully soft and knittable Sirdar Snuggly DK. It's destined for a number of teacosies I have in mind to restock my rather neglected Folksy shop. There's a theme for the designs I have in mind and the first- 'Battenburg' is already underway.

Monday, August 16, 2010

No washday blues here

I love hanging washing out on the line! Perversely, whenever I've lived in a place with no outside line (including the place we were in for the past year), one of my most hated domestic chores was hanging washing on indoor airers. C used to say it showed in the rushed and haphazard way the clothes were flung on, usually in a way that meant drying would take longer because everything was so bunched up. He usually acted as the washing fairy and sorted it all out.
Pegging out a wash on the line though, that's a different story. I find it calming and meditative in a similar way to knitting- maybe because in a similar way you can feel a connection to women from generations back, carrying out the same ritual to care for their household. Plus of course, you're outside in fresh air, ideally sunshine and a breeze, which can't fail to induce a bit of cheer.
I know I'm waxing on a bit, but there's something so life affirming about seeing washing hanging out. When you go to, or see pictures of, places where washing lines are strung between buildings or on balconies its like signal flags saying 'Life is going on here! People come home to this place and wash their clothes!' I remember when we first brought P home after his short stay in Special Care. Hanging the first load of tiny clothes out felt like putting out bunting to celebrate and tell the world we had a new arrival.
Due to a technical hitch involving hot and cold inlets on our washing machine (don't ask) we spent the first week or so in our new place with a washing line taunting me outside, but nothing to do washing in- handwashing was not an option with everything else going on. This was more than a little bit trying, especially with my limited wardrobe (most maternity stuff is too big, while a lot of pre-bump stuff is still too small) being regularly burped up on by M, plus her burped-up on clothes and those of the two boys enthusiastically collecting grubbiness in one way or another. More than that, I wanted to get washing to feel that we were really living here. Like cooking our favourite meals in the new kitchen, it's a root-sinking exercise. Which of course, I'm now doing regularly, especially in this perfect drying weather. Hang out the flags!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


It's been a pretty hectic weekend, beginning with a toddler imposed 6.30am start on Saturday, followed by everything from cleaning and tidying to load after load of washing in our now functioning machine to garden demolition work to home haircutting on P (thank you, how-to videos on YouTube, he looks okay and it must be easier than chasing him round a salon). However, amongst all this we managed to return to our old habit of going out for a walk on a Sunday. Tarn Hows has shown itself to be beautiful in all weathers, but today we were blessed with gentle sunshine and having hustled to get out the door early(ish!)we managed to beat the crowds. Happy weekend everyone!