Rainbows 

So I’ve been doing lots of knitting in July. In my last stash update I reported the purchase of three balls of West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK yarn in the rum paradise colourway.

This was intended to be knitted up into two Conscious jumpers for LO and her cousin, who is three months older. Three balls should be just about enough for two jumpers in 2-3 year size.

Here we are in progress. The first jumper I was really careful about matching stripes on the sleeves. The yarn is nice to knit with and the stripes are a really sensible size – would look lovely as a pair of socks!
Ta da, here is the finished jumper for my niece.

I weighed the yarn leftover and realised that I had used more than 1.5 balls of the Aire Valley DK already, so decided to use some turquoise oddments someone had given me to finish the sleeves on the second jumper. This is LO’s favourite colour so I thought she’d like it like that. I used up every scrap of the Aire Valley, hence the non-matching sleeves on this one.


 Then, disaster. LO and I went to visit her cousins, and I discovered that the smallest one can’t wear wool, so LO now has two rainbow jumpers!

And I now have four balls of Louisa Harding Noema yarn (a cotton/acrylic mix) to make a non-wool Conscious. It’s a good thing I enjoy knitting this pattern…

Anyone had a similar change of plan with their knitting?! 

Days out: RHS Wisley 

LO and I visited Wisley (one of the Royal Horticultural Society gardens) recently with a friend. It wasn’t our first visit, but it was our first with a toddler!

It’s a brilliant place to take a toddler. There is a huge amount of space for galloping around.

There is a playground for slightly older children, plus an indoor soft play for pre-schoolers at the Glasshouse Cafe. We didn’t actually use either of those though as there were so many things to see.

There are steep paths to climb and rough ground to scramble over. Whilst there are steps there are clearly marked accessible paths which are totally fine for a none-off-road pushchair. 

The rose garden was so heavy with scent it almost felt visible! We had fun smelling different flowers. 

In the soft fruit fields there was a strawberry tasting event taking place. LO loved tasting different varieties of strawberry, including a white one, although she seemed equally keen on all of them! 

There are good children’s facilities, including several baby changes, all clearly signposted. The Glasshouse Cafe has children’s lunch boxes which LO loved. 

Stash update

It’s been a while since I updated my stash/yarn diet tally on here. I keep a spreadsheet to track it as I go.

My stash totals for February, March and April were quite respectable. Well, I didn’t buy any yarn, and in February knitted up 300 metres and in March 182.9 metres, giving a total used up by then of 759.4 metres! April and May I didn’t finish any projects, so haven’t got any used up totals from then.

May and June it all went a bit off the rails though. I bought three balls of West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK cocktail collection in colourway Rum Paradise to make jumpers for LO and her cousin.

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Then I discovered that our local yarn shop/haberdashery was closing down, so decided to go along and see if I could get enough yarn for the sample jumper I’d admired in there, as everything was 20%off.

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That resulted in seven balls of Stylecraft Alpaca Tweed Chunky coming home with me to make the jumper I’d been eyeing up. Plus a couple of balls of Head over Heels sock yarn to make a shawl with (a simple shawl, that should be compatible with TV knitting).

Of course, this didn’t do much for my stash totals. But then a knitting group friend posted a link to City Knits who were offering a special edition of WYS Signature 4ply to raise money for Marie Curie. And they had suggested coordinating solids to go with it… One of my friends is having cancer treatment at the moment so…

 

Yes, I bought three balls, in the Marie Curie colourway, plus blueberry bonbon and butterscotch. I’m intending these to be knitted up into cardigans for LO and her cousin for Christmas.

That means that my stash in total suddenly became 2941 metres for June (OOPS), although someone then got in touch on Ravelry wanting to buy some yarn I had in my stash from a John Lewis sale, so that meant 1800 metres headed out again, which has balanced it up a little bit. I’m still hoping to have used up more by the end of the year than has come in.

Still, I do have plans for all of it, and am excited at the prospect of these projects, so that’s the main thing. Not like my early days of knitting when I bought more random stuff just because I liked it…

 

Garden at the beginning of July 2017 

Slight delay getting this first picture as there always seemed to be washing out on the line to get in the way! 

The lawn is yellowing a little with the hot weather we’ve been having – mostly over 30 degrees for several of the last few weeks. Luckily a storm meant the water butt got refilled so we’ve almost entirely managed to keep the garden watered from that.

The containers I planted up at the end of May have really come into their own now. I chose some cheap mixed packs of Impatiens.

The sempervivums are flowering. I love their flowers- they look like alien species! They are loving the hot weather.

Lots of things flowering at the moment. The bees can barely keep up 😉 

I accidentally got these matching pinks without even thinking about the shade when I bought the second plant!

Love this apricot coloured rose. No idea what sort it is as it was already in the garden when we bought the house.

Allium seed head on the lawn. Another candidate for alien invasion?! 

More pink from the spiraea. This was here when we moved in too but I’ve rejuvenated it with some Serious Pruning and it now flowers a lot more. Insects love landing on those large clumps of flowers.


Think that’s all for now. 

Garden at the beginning of June 2017 

The garden is beginning to look summery as all the bulb foliage has died down.

Looking across the patio to the lawn  with the herbs in the foreground 


Both of the apple trees have plenty of fruit forming despite some low temperatures when the blossom was  there.

Escallonia ‘Apple blossom’ bought on a holiday a few years ago and covered in flowers despite a lot of pruning earlier this year!

We spent the bank holiday Monday last week at the garden centre buying container plants, which I then planted up that afternoon. LO was meant to be helping but had an epic three hour nap instead!

Some of the containers in situ. Just have to remember to keep them watered but luckily LO is a keen plant waterer so it shouldn’t be a problem.

Salvia flowers- a present for LO’s Christening last year.

This rose is always covered in flowers each week too. I like the contrast between the flowers and the purple Physocarpus behind.

The blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes are covered in fruit and the rhubarb is getting huge.

Not socks 

This is Hey Teach in progress, I love the way the pattern has knitted up. The yarn, Pakucho Organic Cotton, is lovely to knit with and doesn’t feel harsh on the hands as some cottons can.

I knitted the front and back, then joined the two with three needle bind offs at the shoulders.

And blocking. I washed some of the yarn at the same time as it is designed to shrink slightly and I didn’t want to sew it up, then find the seams shrank! I used a sleeve modification pattern I found on Ravelry to make longer sleeves, as I thought I was unlikely to use a short-sleeved cardigan, but that three quarter length sleeves were more useful. I could have worked the mods out for myself, but just don’t have time at the moment – my knitting time consists of collapsing in an exhausted heap in front of the TV at about 9pm on most evenings!

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So, the sleeve mod is where it went wrong. The sleeves have ended up too tight to be confortable. I can get it on, but it isn’t practical to wear over anything but a tight-fitting t shirt, and I’m not sure how comfortable it would be to wear for long. Disappointing after this much work, so I have put it one side for the time being and think I will reknit the sleeves in the next size up once I rediscover some umph.

Tell me about your knitting disaster and cheer me up!