Monday 28 August 2023

Every Day is a Learning Day

I imagine that, probably like most knitting pattern designers, I am self taught. Years of knitting, and then the worry of whether it was allowable to sell items from other peoples' patterns at fairs, led me to design my own. I gradually developed my own style, often using short rows for shaping and stranded colourwork.

I have to confess that many of my patterns do not contain a gauge, as for a small item like a shell or insect, the finished size is not desperately important. But I am trying to work my way into designing some clothes, so now realised that a gauge is essential.


A term I have learned recently is grading. Nothing to do with passing exams. My manager at work said she had sent a pattern off for grading. This means it has been written in one size, and then goes off to be scaled for multiple sizes. It made me laugh, as this is what I have been doing with my latest design. I have knitted the smallest size, and with an accurate gauge, and standard body measurements, I have been grading it to other sizes. It is not an easy job, and I have used a lot of pages of paper. So although I think it is graded, because I have not done this before, I am going to knit some of the larger sizes. But here is a sneak peek of part of the smallest version.


Tuesday 8 August 2023

Garden Update July/August

A bit late with my garden update for July. We have been a bit distracted by the arrival of three chickens. I'm including them in my garden update, as although we have only had them a week, I took great delight in the barrow of chicken poops that I took over to the veg garden a few days ago.

So meet Goujon, Barbie and Nugget. We have spent the week getting used to each other, and introducing them to the dog and cat. We are giving them the run of the back garden, which I guess has a slight risk, but we haven't seen any foxes near the house. They are cute, as they go around as a little gang. No eggs as yet, but hopefully soon.

In the polytunnel the tomatoes are coming along, and I've included a picture of an aubergine flower, which was a plant from the village seedling exchange.

The veg plot has been easier work this year, because of all the rain, although it has made the weeds grow. We had a bit of trouble with rabbits getting under the fence, but they did not cause the chaos of the deer the year before. Holes in the fence have been blocked.

Things that have gone well are the runner beans, courgettes, and carrots. I even have a second lot of carrots coming along. The sweetcorn have grown tall, so took a bit of a battering from the wind a few days ago, but may be ready to pick soon.


I am hopeful for the potatoes, pumpkins, squash, leeks, beetroot and celeriac. The broccoli plants are doing fairly well, with the aid of a net to keep the bugs off, and I have three small cauliflowers (plants from the village exchange). If the celeriac don't do well with all the rain we have had this year I will not try again.

Flops this year have been the peas and broadbeans. I'll finish with a photo of the lovely sunflowers, which have just come into bloom. These are not tall, (Lemon Striker), but are very pretty.