Monday, 23 April 2012

Weekly Round-up

It's the calm after the school holidays and everything is back to normal. Much as I love the school holidays, when I still have to work too, it's just hard and means my routine goes out of the window. Anyway, order has been restored.

The garden is improving bit by bit, but at a much slower pace than we'd hoped for- the weather has just been awful. Still, the herb bed is now finished and planted, but the digging and re-grading continues slowly. My biggest concern is that my veggie beds aren't ready yet and I have nowehere to sow my seeds in preparation since the greenhouse was cruelly cut in two- no workbenches for seed trays and the tiny space is full of perennials waiting to go into the borders...Still, we have finally chosen some new patio slabs, so hopefully we can get those ordered and delivered ready for the May Day bank holiday weekend, along with a tonne of top soil and quite a  lot of turf! You have been warned- it will rain now!

Digging a hole in the garden- it doesn't take long before you hit the sand layer- quality soil. That's what you get for living close to the beach!

We have wildlife amongst the weeds

Hailstones - we had a massive hail storm on Friday night and they were still all over the garden on Saturday morning

The herb bed- it looks sparse with little plants, but they'll soon grow

Last Tuesday I missed my monthly WI meeting (and the reports I got back have all been that it was a great one!). I wouldn't normally miss it, but we went to see David Ford play a gig in Bath. David Ford is an amazing singer/songwriter and almost completely under the radar, so you've probably never heard of him. He is well worth a few minutes of your time if you want to look at his website: or look him up on you tube. It was a fab night, awful weather on the way to Bath, but well worth it!

Rainbow on the way to Bath
David Ford

Knitting wise, I've been recovering from the blanket, but I have started on a pair of bootees for my Cousin's baby which is due next month. Not much to show so far, but I aim to finish them in a week or so, just in case of an early arrival! I have also finished the Woolsack cushion, so that just needs sewing together, writing a label and posting it off.

Books- well I still haven't read much of Mrs Dalloway, in fact the classics just aren't doing it for me at the moment. I have just read 'Fifty Shades of Grey' by E L James, which I was told was the next big thing, a more 'grown up' version of Twilight (I don't mean that in a bad way as I adore Twilight). Grown up it certainly is, quite an eye opener and not for the feint hearted! I'm saying no more than that!!

Have a good week

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Tah Dah!

Well, it has finally happened and I can have my 'tah dah' moment....

The blanket is finished!! I started it in March 2011. It has taken me every night this week to sew it up, and I finished knitting the top edge this morning so that I could take it along to knit club. I am really pleased with how it has turned out- I love the colours and the different stitch patterns. I'm looking forward to cuddling up in it on the sofa watching tv or reading- I just need to keep Fat Cat and his claws away from it!

To re-cap, the pattern was from the Rowan/Amy Butler 'River Camp Knits' and they call it a picnic blanket. My blanket is not going outside! I decided to go with just 6 colours rather than the huge amount used in the pattern, and cheekily knitted it in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK.

Tah dah!

The finished blanket- it won't be going on my bed, but I had to get it somewhere flat for the photo - you can see the 'v' pillowcases I made in the background too!

Close up of the different stitches

Had a lovely morning at Knit Club today along with my fellow bloggers Pickle-Lily and Mrs D. I never cease to be amazed at the projects people pull out of their bags for show and tell and there were some fantastic ones today. Also got a sneak preview of Suzie Johnson's new knitting book which is looking great- I can't wait to buy a copy!

Other good news today...Liverpool beat Everton 2-1 in the semi final of the FA Cup. I am delighted as I was convinced the odds were stacked against us, as we've had our first and second choice goalies sent off in previous matches (unjustly of course) so were having to play with a third choice goalie, Brad Jones. He did us proud and I am really pleased for him as he's had terrible personal tragedy this year. Our goals were scored by Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll both who have had trying seasons so far. Bring on the final! The match was supposed to be played tomorrow, but was moved out if respect for the anniversary of the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy. You'll never walk alone xxx

Andy Carroll celebrating his FA Cup semi final winning goal
Not much progress on the garden, although the weather forecast is looking promising for tomorrow...will keep at it and post photos as and when.

Finally, I musn't forget that last Saturday we had a lovely evening at The Norty Corner and had a wonderful meal cooked by the equally wonderful Mrs Norty- thank you for a great time!

Here's to a good week

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Easter Holidays

Well, I should have put money on it. Last week was glorious weather, I was at work and school was on. This week, the weather is cold and dreary, there's no school and we both have the week off, with the primary aim of sorting out the garden...

Needless to say, we haven't achieved any where near as much as we wanted to, as the pictures below prove! It's still more of a bomb site than a garden...there is still much to do...We have bought a lot of plants for the long border (newly lengthened and narrowed) but due to the hard frost they are sheltering in the garage! Chris has started to build a small raised herb garden next to the house, my veg patch is cleared of weeds but now needs digging properly, the planters need filling with quality soil and seeds sown, the reduced size greenhouse needs to be fixed and positioned into the ground; the area at the end of the garden where Amy's trampoline used to be needs to be turfed; the raspberry canes by the wall need a good tidy up and new ones added to go all the way along the wall when the storage box is moved, and finally we need to take up and then re-lay a new patio...I feel it could be a while longer before I can share the 'after' pictures!

My beautiful back garden

The new raised herb bed under construction

My veg patch and newly tiny greenhouse (Chris cut it in half!!!)

Long border- it will have plants in it soon

There is some life in the garden- beautiful blossom
On the crafting front, I still have a mental block about sewing my blanket together (but I am going to finish it by next Saturday for knit club come hell or highwater), but I have done some more of my Woolsack cushion. It's not very adventurous, just grey/red on one side and grey/pink on the other, knitted in Rowan Scottish Tweed DK.

In getting on with this, if you look over to the right of my page, you'll see on my 'Knit meter' that I've now knitted over 1600m this year- that's over a mile!! I realise that compared to a lot of people I know, that isn't much, but I'm pleased...I wonder how many miles I'll do this year? I've already got my eye on a couple of things to do, but I need to finish the blanket first, then the cushion, then make a Harry Hill knitted character for Moira at work who is retiring in May (she's always wanted one apparently!) and some baby booties for my cousin's baby which is due in 4 weeks time before I can start anything else! I saw a gorgeous gingham design in the latest Debbie Bliss magazine too....My new WI Life magazine arrived on Thursday, complete with a knitting pattern for knitted 'paper' chains designed by my friend Pickle-Lily- it looks great!

I had an invitation this week- my road is having a street party for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. I'm really pleased as we had one when Amy was small (probably for the Golden Jubilee!) and it was fantastic having the road shut to traffic, no parked cars, chatting to neighbours you don't normally even see and for Amy to be able to play outside without the risk of being run over! It made me very nostaglic for the 'olden days' back when I was able to play out like that. I think I might try to make some bunting for the Jubilee celebrations too, so need to speak to my lovely friend Mrs D, who has made some beautiful springtime bunting, for some sewing tips!

Yesterday we had a quick but lovely visit from our friends that moved to Portugal about 8 years ago. They've had an eventful time there setting up a business and building a house. The boys are bilingual going to local schools and have settled really well. They popped in on their way from Torquay to Kendal, and although it was just an hour it was great to see them.

Amy, Lewis and Nicky

Me and Julie

It must be the time to be catching up, as tonight we're dining at 'The Norty Corner' which I'm sure will be blogged about by one of us! It's going to be a lovely night.

As for my reading list, I have to confess, I deferred reading 'The Grapes of Wrath' for a while as I wasn't in the mood. Instead I read the whole of the 'Hunger Games' trilogy by Suzanne Collins in a week and really enjoyed them. I've also read 'Welcome to Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams' by Jenny Colgan- a fab chick lit read! Now it's back to the heavy stuff, and my April book of the month is 'Mrs Dalloway' by Virginia Woolf.

Happy Easter all!