Tuesday, April 01, 2008


It's the school Easter holidays, so I've been busy. How is it that two weeks holiday seems like endless amounts of free time at the start, laden with limitless opportunities for cinema trips, parks, outdoor stuff etc...then next thing you know it's almost over. Where did the time go?

Well, much of Easter weekend I spend on the allotment. Recent weather had meant I was behind with the spring preparation work, but three days of hard labour has almost brought me up to speed again. I was helped by the completely unexpected offer of assistance with some heavy lifting from my Hubby. When I tell you I've had the allotment for eleven years now and Hubby has visited it perhaps five times you'll understand why this offer was so unexpected!

It snowed here on Easter Monday. I wasn't going to let him off on a technicality like this though. And the kids thought it was great.

Hubby lugged a years supply of bags of mushroom compost to various beds, dig out an entire cubic metre compost bin and barrowed it to other beds and finished digging out the wildlife pond the kids and I are making. It took him about an hour in all. It would have taken me about two weeks, given the current state of my increasingly fragile back. I hope he comes back again next year!

The kids were also there to help, but got distracted.

Not often they're allowed to do this sort of thing!

But it was a good family outing and pretty cheap labour...it cost me three Cream eggs, two Cokes and a bottle of beer.

On a knitting front, I also finished the Forest Canopy over Easter weekend.

This took 260g of HipKnits Aran Silk, so about 450yards. Lovely stuff to knit with...I did this on 5.5mm needles and for me, it was a very fast knit at 11 days in total. It measures about 30" long at the back and 60" across the wingspan but this is unblocked....I'm not expecting it to expand significantly when blocked, given that it's silk. I do love the colourway but have no idea as to the name...this silk was a gift from the lovely WyeSue at SkipNorth. Thanks again, Sue!

I'll definately make the Forest Canopy again. It was a fun knit...each repeat is only eight rows and four of these are mostly purl so it rattles along and you really feel you're getting somewhere after each repeat. I might make a bigger one from a nice sock yarn or 4ply as my holiday knitting project. Just as a note, however, I calculated that the border repeat + two row cast off takes 1.5 times the amount of yarn as your last main repeat...I had to rip back six rows of my last optimistic repeat and knitted the rest with the remaining yarn sitting on my digital scales. There was a little bit left over, but nothing useful so I was pleased to have made this shawl to the maximum size for my yarn.

I've also been knitting a Noro scarf from the Harlot's One Row Handspun Scarf pattern. This is my second scarf from this pattern and I have to say it's the ultimate in max effect for least effort scarf knitting I've ever come across, and just perfect for showing off colour transitions in Noro or indead handspun. I'm knitting this one really long and am halfway through the third ball of three, so pictures soon.

Apart from that I've only got a sock on the needles (Violet Green Sock Generator, Lorna's Laces in Rainbow) and have stalled on my Noro waistcoat, alas. I want to finish the scarf asap and start on a lacy cotton cardigan for summer soon though. I want to knit Sirdar 5103 (will have to take a picture of the pattern as can't find it on the web) in Sirdar Indigo, which is one of these denim type yarns that shrinks and fades after washing. I have a lot of this stuff in stash, bought when it got discounted to about 50p per ball a couple of years back and it's about time I used some up.

Finally, in response to some of the comments on my doomed Noro Bettna jacket in my last post. Diane, it's not that it's too big (though it is, a bit), it's just that it's the wrong shape for my shape, period. And Anne, nothing short of radical surgery is going to change that, let alone the removal of the button. Easier to do the radical surgery on Bettna than me, I feel. Helen sums it up with this immortal quote "That awful moment when the garment you thought you were knitting turns into the garment you were really knitting." Yup, that's it in a nutshell, Helen!


Queen of the froggers said...

The allotment looks fab, your pictures take me back to the times me and my sister spent at the allotment with my parents! Well done to the spinning fishhusband too, looks like he deserved his beer!

yvette said...

Your forest canopy is gorgeous, I love knitting that pattern, its kind of mindless but pretty too.
Your allotment is looking all ship-shape for spring.

grannypurple said...

How's the kitchen renovation going?

Helen said...

RU OK? Or are you on remand for assaulting the builders?