Monday 26 June 2023

Garden Update June

The vegetable plot is looking pretty good, despite us having a little trip away during the very dry spell, which was a bit of a worry. But with some early morning watering before we left, nothing seems to have suffered too much. I have been very thankful for some of the heavy rain we have had recently.

As usual some things seem to be thriving, and others not. I am pretty pleased with the sweetcorns, and the runnerbeans, which are almost ready to pick. And we have been picking some stawberries, which are under the netting. Despite a combination of straw and fleece they are still getting eaten by slugs and snails, so some I am ripening on the kitchen windowsill. On the left, near a poppy that I just let grow because it looked pretty, you might be able to see the carrots, which have not been eaten at all as in other years. Are they just some more resistant type? No idea, but it has made me pretty happy, so I have planted a second row.

One thing I forgot to mention last time, is that my husband bought 6 grape vines. We thought quite hard about where to plant them, and in the end decided that in the vegetable garden was best, to keep them from the deer and rabbits in the field. There are three different types, and although we will not get grapes this year, they seem to be doing well. Arrived as little sticks in the mail.  
Although the veg garden and polytunnels seem to be my area, he is in charge of the tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse nearer the house, but now he has a special reason to come over to the veg patch.

Other things are doing fine - potatoes, courgettes (only 3 plants this year), pumpkins and squash. But I have been worrying about my brassicas. There is a great plant exchange in the village, and as well as giving, I took three lovely cauliflower seedlings. They were doing really well, but now the leaves are being eaten. Is it the same little pests that completely ate the kale? My plan was to pick off any caterpillars from the underside of the leaves, but so far I have not seen any, and on some plants there is no underside because there is no leaf! Same thing started on the sprouts and broccoli, so I have covered these with fine mesh, but perhaps I have just made a nice breeding ground for butterflies.

The other thing that is usually really reliable are the raspberries around the edge of the veg plot. I did my usually pruning last year, but the plants are really sparse. I have just looked up that raspberries live about 10 years, so as we have no idea how long they have been there perhaps they have just come to their natural end. I am picking a little pot every evening, and adding it to the freezer, and perhaps will have enough in the end for one pot of jam. We may have to buy a few new canes. The other fruit that was abundant last year, were the cherries. But this year I think I may just get a cupful of fruit. No idea why, perhaps it was something in the weather when the blossom was out. No point worrying, perhaps next year will be better.

Cucumber Plants

In the polytunnel I have some tomatoes, lettuces, and tiny cumcumbers on the way. Also some aubergine (from the plant exchange), which have grown a lot, and a cucamelon! 


Friday 9 June 2023

Teddy Bear Photo Update


Just been looking through some of my patterns and updating the photos. Somehow I had not added these photos to my Teddy Bear pattern, as I think they were taken when it was a work-in-progress. They were just snaps, but now looking back I think they are nicer because of the lighting than the photos where the finished bears went off to the park and had a picnic (much to my daughter's embarrassment).

The pattern is available in all the usual places, (ravelry, Etsy, and LoveKnitting) and although might be a bit more complicated than some bear patterns, because you need to use toymakers joints, you will finish with a classic vintage style bear. He has all the features you would expect: a slight hump at the back, a muzzle, paw pads, a round tummy and a slightly serious expression.

He is knitted flat, so there is some sewing up, but this means he has curves in all the right places. The finished bear is 17 inches or 43cm tall. You will need 120g of the main shade and 20g of the paw pad shade.

I am currently working on an animal-themed garment, which I am writing in larger than just baby sizes. As usual it is taking me much longer than I had expected. Actually I like this garment so much I may have to make an adult-sized one for myself!