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Saturday, 29 August 2009

autumn comes closer

but every now and then in this dysmal summer we did get a few hours of sunshine - and the butterflies come out in droves as soon as this happens. their favourite feeding spot is this eupatorium - there are still some left, even though at least half of them fluttered away when I came closer.... this plant is great for them, we have several around the garden and all of them are covered in butterflies when in flower! I read that they are real thugs in the garden, but apart from their impressive size after a few years I had no problems; I wouldn't call 2 seedlings in about 10 years "thuggish":)) though they would probably be too big for a small garden - when in flower they grow taller than 2 m and need at least 1 m square!
we had a pretty bad year for fruit-bearing plants as well (again!)... barely any apples and pears, only about 2 kg of plums, not many strawberries and so on... but on the plus side are the rosehips again! never mind bad weather, constant rain or storm - those roses carry a lot of hips - which we transform into rosehip jam every year! admittedly it's a lot of work to scrape out the seeds and seed hairs, but the end result tastes so good that it's worth it!
I didn't just lounge around and pick a few hips - I unravelled my grey cardigan and started to knit it all again! I did like the pattern in the new twistcollective, so I set out to make my own (i.e. I usually change pretty much everything:)). this time I'll only use the main yarn to make the cardigan less heavy - though I am still thinking about putting a lining in... we'll see, I finished the first sleeve (I usually start with the sleeves, saves me from doing large samples), the second is halfway up. I started with the cable, put it together with kitchener and knitted an attached i-cord at the bottom. then I knitted the sleeve into the upper border - in the round. mindless knitting, but for fiddly I started the new hp socks for DS - I think I'll better embroidery Hedwig after doing the sock or it'll be far too complicated....
we're also painting several of the rooms - DS's is finished (can't remember it being so clean and well sorted for a long time:)), the bathroom is in the making, the living-room will follow last. the kitchen was done last year - and my room can wait until next year:)) this will be a major job - not the painting, but the dragging out of boxes and bags, filled to the rim with fibres and yarn:(( I'll better not think about this - it gives me a slightly panicky feeling (probably a sign to reduce stashes all over?)
oh yes, the dyepot is filled again as well! when I passed some goldenrod on the way to town, I had to cut and use it - but it's not finished yet, photo to follow. same for the tibetan madder (or not?) - which is still in the bucket for soaking.....

Saturday, 15 August 2009

wakey, wakey, little snakey:))

I finally managed to take a photo of the Nagini-Socks. I had planned to knit the snake as a cable along the sock leg - but when I knitted the "Guinevere" socks, I decided that it looks nicer to knit an i-cord along the top, with a loose tail and head. DS is delighted with his snakey socks - I just hope that the flicking tongues will stay where they are - or I'll have to knot new threads in after every wash:))

they look rather nice in the photo - the green is stronger in real life and makes a good contrast to the black - they look rather dangerous:)) pity that I couldn't find green sock yarn that glows in the dark.... I am still looking for glow in the dark fibre - I could spin some whacky sock yarn with it:))
my second try at socks with "Harry Potter" themes were the shadow/illusion knitted socks with a gryffindor lion. my first try looked rather foolish, because the 4 rows of knitting for each row of pattern made the normal shaped lion (rampant lion in heraldry) look rather elongated and too narrow as well. so frogging was in order - and this time it looks much better. when seeing the pattern straight, you can only see yellow and red stripes with a few purl stitches...
but from a different angle the rampant lion is clearly visible. maybe it's a bit childish, but I think it's fun to knit a "hidden" pattern like this!
not everything was a success though - I thought of knitting the same lion into the heel, but changing the pattern every second row would have led to too many rows! so I knitted the pattern every row - which ended in a blotch of purl stitches:(( I think even with a lot of imagination noone could see a lion from this blob... but DS insisted it stays like this, so it stays. kept me from frogging again as well:)
tomorrow I will embroider wands on sock pair no. 3 - only 9 more pairs to go in the 12 pairs of harry potter related socks (one for each month... though I hope they get changed a bit more often than that:)) maybe next in line will be something halloweeny - with orange? pumpkins maybe? or black bats knitted into the orange? or vice versa? also on the list is the snitch of course. I had an idea for each month, but we haven't finished discussing the recipient's wishes fully yet. to be continued.....

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

visitors....

a few days ago we had a visitor again - she was here once before, stuffed herself on fish - and left a day later.... I think she's only in it for the food, but DS, who'd love to have a kitten (a no-no with three dogs, who aren't fond of them), was excited about it.
first scene: come on, let me in - it's raining!
sorry, no photo of the second scene - when she devoured half a tin of cat food DS bought when she first visited....
but then: bliss at last, a nice dry spot in the glasshouse - and the dogs are safely locked away:)) living the good life?
she spent the night - and in the morning she took off again - no wonder, the sun came out for a few hours!
what surprises me is the eucalyptus in this wet weather! it doesn't only grow on - it even flowers in the constant rain! the whole tree is covered in white fluffy flowers - it looks really pretty!
on a textile note - I finally started the promised gryffindor socks for DS in shadow or illusion knitting. and I spun some more of my natural browns and beiges, dark brown BFL and some in "humbug" - the lightest colour is going to be the main colour for a vest, supersoft merino with 20 % possum mixed in (from jamiepossum). still a lot of the main colour to do though....
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