Monday, 19 October 2020

Conker and Shell

One subject that I have revisited from time to time is conkers. I just can't help picking one up at this time of year and slipping it into my pocket. Putting my hand in occasionally and feeling the lovely smooth surface. Then I get home and give it as a gift to someone. I think I also do the same thing with pebbles if I am walking along a beach. Do you have anything that you like to pick up when out for a walk?

There seem to have been more around this year than others, and we have a little pile on the mantlepiece. I have just made this conker and shell for a customer on Etsy. Photos not great, but it is already on its way to Scotland. You can find the pattern on ravelry here if you want to make your own. Or I make then to order from my Etsy shop. I made this one in a very long evening, although the version with the whole shell would take longer. Making all the spikes is a bit of a fiddle, but I am always please with how it turns out.



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Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for October. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Garden Diary September and October

I am a bit late with my garden diary, because I am back in town.  I tried to persuade my husband to write something, and although he has been keeping me up-to-date, he did not seem keen on this. But fortunately I have been down for a long weekend, so have been able to see how all the vegetables are.

All the beans, peas, and courgettes are over. But we still have lots of vine tomatoes. I think next year I will try some other varietes of tomatoes. The peppers are also looking good, and we are waiting for them to perhaps turn red. My husband says he is going to make some chutney, perhaps with the tomatoes and apples.

Somehow the broccoli plants (which I nearly gave up on at one point) have pulled through. And the turnip seedlings, which had also got eaten, are hanging on in there and plumping up.

We have dug a few potatoes, and although the early ones were not very big or many, the main crop seem good and roasted nicely. I have memories of my father digging all the potatoes and storing them in the garage, but we are just digging a few plants as and when we need them. I guess when there are signs of frost we may dig all the remaining ones. Also planning to dig the Jerusalem artichokes and make and earthy soup. 

We have put aside some of the older runner peas, french beans and peas for seed for next year. Sunflower seeds we are planning to let the birds eat. I have also picked some sweet peas and poppy seeds. It just seems sense to try and save some seeds.

We also had a second crop of raspberries - enough to make a crumble. I think these are the ones that I may have over-pruned in the spring.

The squash and pumpkins are still looking great. We picked one of the squash, and it was really good. This is a pumpkin. I have mislaid the seed packet, and cannot work out what sort of pumpkin it is, but it is clearly a bit different from the traditional orange ones.

Our other big project is brewing. There are several apples trees, and although I have picked some of best to store as eating apples, we have so many that we decided to make some cider. So far we have started two batches, and I think there will be enough for a third. So we spent a very jolly morning chopping and pressing. Very hard work, and with blisters from all the cutting, but it was a nice family activity, and even my son joined in. Only seemed fair, as I am sure he is expecting to drink some of the finished product. 


So that is it for now. I am not sure if I will do a November/December diary, as I will have to see what there is to write about. So you may next hear more of the garden in the Spring.

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Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for October. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

 



Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Ginx Woolly Linx Party October

 

Most months I get around everyone's blog and comment, but this time the end of the month has rather snuck up on me. So apologies, but I have visited all your blogs, and really enjoyed all your projects.  I did not even get my garden diary post written this month, so am going to go for a two month summary in October. 

Alexandra of Eye Love Knots has a lovely pattern for this Through the Window Hat. There is also a Through the Window Scarf. I think this stitch and the colours used is just magical. 

Leyla of Silk and Wool has working on macrame. Lots of lovely projects, and my favourite was this bag. We really don't see enough macrame. 

Sandra at Hakelfieber has made a stunning dreamcatcher from this lovely mandala.

And finally I had to pick this sunny top from Liz at Howling at the Moon. My daughter is also at the age when she loves a crop top, and she would really like this one.

Thank you all for joining in the party. Rain is pouring down outside, and although I love knitting at any time of year, we really are getting to that time of year when you need to hunker down for the evening with a good old project. So don't forget to share what you are working on in October.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
 

 

 


 

Saturday, 26 September 2020

A Cauldron of Bats

I did not know that the name for a group of bats is a cauldron. So here is a cauldron of bats, the grey one above knitted by me and some by other people from ravelry who have used my new pattern. I do love it when folk link their projects back to the pattern, so I am hoping I may see a few more before the end of October and Halloween.

Thank you to everyone who has given me permission to post their photos. 


 https://ginxcraft.blogspot.com/2020/07/ginx-woolly-linx-party-august.html

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for September. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

 



Monday, 14 September 2020

Bat

Bats keep appearing in odd corners around my flat. I have had in mind to knit a bat for a while, and although it is still a while until Halloween, this new pattern will give you time to knit a few. 

This is a fairly quick knit, and although all my bats are knitted with doubleknit wool, I think you could use this pattern to use up any wool oddments you have left over in other thicknesses, so long as you adjusted the needle size. Children could have a lot of fun if their bat were put on an elastic thread, and I am also thinking of stringing mine together to make a bat bunting.
 
 

This pattern is available on ravelry, Etsy and Love Knitting. I hope you have fun making some spooky bats.

 https://ginxcraft.blogspot.com/2020/07/ginx-woolly-linx-party-august.html

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for September. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Saturday, 5 September 2020

Rosie's Boots


I just wanted to show you these booties, which were knitted from my new pattern Moss Stitch Baby Boots, by Jennifer as a present for one of her coworker. I love the way she has used two colours, and the little bows that she has added.

It is lovely to see them on baby Rosie.

I do think every cute baby deserves a cute pair of baby shoes.





 https://ginxcraft.blogspot.com/2020/07/ginx-woolly-linx-party-august.html

Just a reminder that there is still plenty of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for September. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

Monday, 31 August 2020

Ginx Woolly Linx Party September


 Thank you to everyone who joined in the party for August. Some really amazing projects.

Leyla of Silk and Wool has made two wonderful crochet dresses by designer Nadia Dunaeva. The red one has a bit of a rustic peasant feel, and the gold one is very elegant. It is worth visiting her blog to see both.

Ulrike of Ulrike's Smaating has made this cute little vintage caravan for a competition. It really sums up summer.

Linda of Linda's Crafty Corner's Indianna Afghan is made with mosaic crochet. I just love the mix of colours and design.

And a very different style blanket from Tonna of Sew Crafty Crochet. She has shared this beautiful undulating waves blanket. Love this pattern and the wonderful textures of the wool.

Looking forward to seeing what you have all been making next month.

 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

 

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

More Moss Stitch Booties (and My Photograph Spot)

It is hard sometimes to find a good spot inside for photographs. It is probably why I often take my photographs of knitting outside. The light has to be just right. Plenty of light, but not direct sunlight, which is usually too harsh. In my old house there was not a lot of choice, as there were no window ledges, and my favourite place was at the top of the house, under the velux window. Even that was difficult at times, and I might arrange a raised surface to get more light, or use material as a backdrop.

My new home is a cottage, so has its own problems. The windows are fairly small, but I have found my self a photography spot. One of these fairly small windows on the stairs has a deep window shelf area, all painted white, which is perfect. On a nice day (although we have not had many of those recently) there is light, but not too direct. I really like the plain white background. Positioning the camera is a bit difficult, as I am standing on the stairs, but I think I have found my spot.

 
 
As you can see I am still knitting moss stitch baby booties. I must thank my pattern testers, Jennifer and Jo, who have both knitted booties from the pattern, and helped me come up with some corrections. All they get is a copy of the pattern, but I am incredibly grateful for their help. It is very reassuring to know that someone apart from me has followed the pattern successfully.

 https://ginxcraft.blogspot.com/2020/07/ginx-woolly-linx-party-august.html

Just a reminder that although we are approaching the end of the month there is still time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for August. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.

 

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Cushions and Country Shopping

One of my concerns about moving to the country was shopping. I'm not really a big shopper, but in town I was very lucky being within walking distance of a big shopping centre on the edge of London. But even there, sometimes it was hard to find what I needed, and I have recently been buying wool online. 

But I have found that the small town that we live near in the country, Launceston, has more than one really good wool shop. The Cosy Little Wool Shop, runs knit and natter coffee mornings, and I am going to try and be brave and go when they start again. There is also somewhere out of town called Cowslip Workshops, which runs craft classes and has a cafe, but is only open by appointment at the moment.  

One of the other shops in town, Threads Designs, not only has wool, but a whole range of fabrics for dressmaking and furnishing, and everything else that a sewer might need. Nice ladies who can advise and cut whatever you need.

I have made these cushions, with everything needed bought from Threads Designs. I am going to take them with me to the flat. Less than two weeks now, and me and my daughter will be heading back to town for school. Her final school year. Perhaps then I may get back to a bit more crafting, as there seem so many outdoor distractions here.

What is nice in the country is shops tend not to be chains.  I have not even mentioned Cornwall Smallholder Supplies, where you can look at the large range of brewing and jam-making equipment. Or Maunders, more geared to agriculture, so among the gardening supplies, you can also find tags for your livestock and other more mysterious equipment.

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Just a reminder that there is still loads of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for August. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.



Friday, 14 August 2020

Gardening (and some foraging too) Diary August

This has been our month to finally reap the reward for some of the hard work earlier in the year.  As you will see from the above I have got a bit carried away with making jellies and jams, am only limited by how many jars I can get.

The main thing I have learned is to feed the soil and mulch. Before recently planting some pumpkins and turnips, I dug in some horse manure, and these plants seem to be doing so much better. It was too late to dig in manure for the broccoli and squash, but I have put it on the surface around the plants as a mulch, and that also seems to be working.

The vegetables that have gone really well have been the courgettes. Almost too well as despite the face I love courgettes, and have made soup and cake, we are still overwhelmed with them. The carrots have also been good, and are so much tastier than shop ones. The tomatoes are nearly ripe, and with the cucumbers we now have a game of "good cucumber, bad cucumber". I did not remove the male flowers very well, and the ones from male flowers taste bitter, while the ones from female flowers are tasty. The runner beans are starting to get big enough to eat now, and the sweetcorn is still growing. The broad bean plants were my pride and joy, as they looked so healthy, but did not really produce many beans.  

I have enjoyed the row of sunflowers, as I have never managed to grow these before. The sweet peas also gave us quite a lot of flowers in the end. But my other lesson may be not to plant wild flowers in the vegetable garden. I thought I had planted a wild flower mix, but the only ones that have done really well are the forget-me-nots and poppies. The forget-me-nots so much so that they started coming up everywhere. I do love them, and have potted some up, and am planting them other places outside the vegetable plot.

Apart from the vegetable garden, I have been busy foraging. There have been masses of blackberries. Perhaps it is a good year for them, as I have not seen blackberries like this before. Big and juicy, and I could go out and pick a bowl every day. We also realised we had a wild damson tree. Elderberries are also starting to ripen, along with sloe berries along the whole side of the field. My husband also keeps pointing out hazel trees to me, but we will have to wait a while for them. So I have been busy jam and jelly making. I seem to be a bit of a compulsive pickers, and every so often my husband tells me to leave something for the wild life. My dog very much enjoys picking the low down blackberries.

The apples and pears are also coming along. We don't know what type they are, but are hoping to eat some of the apples, and store them for the winter. We realised none of us are very keen on eating pears, but we have also got a small fruit press, and are going to try and make some fruit juices and cider. Very excited about this.


https://ginxcraft.blogspot.com/2020/07/ginx-woolly-linx-party-august.html

Just a reminder that there is still loads of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for August. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.



Saturday, 1 August 2020

Moss Stitch Baby Boots

We have had some dry weather, so I had to hunt around for a mossy place for my photo.

I have hinted at this new pattern for a while, but find it hard to believe how long it has taken me to write this one. I love the look of moss stitch, but found that working it into a pair of baby boots was harder than I imagined. These boots are like some of my other baby shoes patterns, Baby Bee Shoes and Baby Daisy Shoes, in that they are knitted in one piece, and the shape for the foot is created by turning mid-row. To do this, and work in increases and decreases, and keep the moss stitch, was not easy.

But don't let this put you off making a pair, as I have done the work, and they are an easy and fairly quick knit. There is just quite a lot of counting in your head. I do like how with PDF patterns you can print it off and then mark the rows you have knitted on the pattern to keep your place.

You can knit them in any doubleknit wool, and like my other shoe knits they are on quite a small needle (2.5mm), as I think this tighter knit helps give the shoe a better structure. I have gone for a mossy coloured wool, but may use some brighter colours for my next pair of boots. And unlike my other shoes, I have given these ones a little cuff to help keep them on the babies feet.

I also forgot to mention that the pattern include two sizes - 0-3 months and 3-6 months. These are written out separately, as I always find patterns with brackets for sizes a bit confusing. The pattern will be available on ravelry, Etsy and LoveKnitting.


https://ginxcraft.blogspot.com/2020/07/ginx-woolly-linx-party-august.html

Just a reminder that there is still loads of time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for August. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.


Friday, 31 July 2020

Ginx Woolly Linx Party August


I hope that everyone who visits here is having a good summer. Thank you for joining in the party with your projects, which I have great fun looking at each month.

I have picked a post with a tutorial from Raji's Craft Hobby. Aren't these boxes great, and I can think of so many uses for them.

Con Hilos, Lanas y Botones has made these lovely Glastonbury Socks. She has also given me some good ideas on how to photograph socks, which is always a bit of a problem.

Inekedc Blog has been making animals. This is just one, and it is always interesting to read about what inspired her, and to catch up on some cookery ideas too.

And finally I could not resist showing you this elegant herringbone bag from Howling at the Moon. Simply beautiful.



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Thursday, 16 July 2020

Vanilla Latte Socks

At last I have finished a knitting project - some socks for myself. The pattern I used is called Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeanes. It was easy to follow, and has a choice of heel turn and toe. I used the Eye of Partridge heel, and the Rounded Wedge Toe. The wool I used was Drops Fabel - Light Grey (115) 2 x 50g, bought from Wool Warehouse.


I am really happy with how they turned out. Despite these pictures, I am really not lounging about that much on a hammock, but need the socks to wear inside my wellington boots when gardening. I slightly regretted that I did not make them a bit longer. Always seems to be my problem when I am knitting socks cuff down with a limited supply of wool. So hard to judge how much you will need for the feet. But the left over light grey will always come in handy for something (perhaps some vehicle wheels).



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Just a reminder that there is still time left to join in my Ginx Woolly Linx party for July. Click on the photo above or at the top of the page to find the party. I would love to see what you have been working on this month.