Saturday, 1 October 2016

Granny stripes

The granny-stripe blanket I posted about last time is finished.  It's not quite how I originally imagined it would be as I rather stuffed up the initial foundation and it's a lot smaller than the one Lucy from Attic24 made, but I'm happy with it.

It was supposed to have 242 stitches, which I diligently counted as I did my first chain, but not being particularly good at crochet, when I'd done my first row of double crochet followed by the first row of treble clusters, I ended up with 125.  I'm not entirely sure how I managed to lose over a hundred stitches, but I did, and that made what should have been a sofa cover sized blanket rather narrow!

No matter.  It looks good, the border hides a multitude of sins, and my new blanket is actually perfect for using in the car to keep myself warm when housemate has the AC blasting.  I must be one of the very few people who wears a hat, gloves and a thick coat in the car when it's 30 degrees outside, then practically strips off when I get out of the car into the heat.  My new granny stripe will do away with the need for all the extra layers in the car :-)

I've now started another blanket, which will be a cover for my bed.  Something I suspect I"ll be needing in the coming months as I have a feeling we're in for a cold one.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Granny cushion

I've been practicing my crochet of late, a craft which has taken me many years of frustration to 'get' and I still wouldn't say I've managed to master it.  A bit like my knitting, my technique isn't right at all and I'm sure crochet aficionados would frown at how I go about it, but the result works so I'm not too bothered!

Anyway, I made a continuous "Granny" square to 20" and decided to turn it into a cushion cover, so made a back to go with it.  After crocheting a border to join 3 sides, I was waiting for the cushion inner to arrive, which it did this morning.  I've now closed up the final side, and even if I do say so myself, am rather pleased with the result. I'll probably regret closing it in rather than putting a zipper in it as knowing me, I'll probably spill something on it.  However, I'll cross that bridge at a later date.


One side
T'other side
And this, is the next project.  I discovered a blog called Attic24 and I really like how Lucy, the author, puts colours together.  I would never have dreamed of putting some of these next to each other, but they do kind of work.  I'm using the set of "cosy" colours to do a Granny-stripe blanket.  I've done a few more stripes since this photo was taken this morning, but this one's going to take a while!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Jam, glorious jam

It's that time of year again when it's nose to the grindstone, or in this case the jam pan as the end of summer harvest comes in.

I've done well with fruit from the allotment this year, with lots of raspberries, red and black currants, and quite a few strawberries - although not quite enough for our annual strawberry jam quota so still had to buy a few in from the local pick-your-own.

Foraged damsons
Elderberries and blackberries
Foraged apples
Now though it's been time to harvest the late summer/autumn fruits of blackberries, elderberries, apples and damsons.  I was lucky enough to happen across an area with an abundance of wild apples, damsons and elder so have been frantically making jellies and enough elderberry cough syrup to hopefully see us through the winter.  It's just a shame that the farmers rounds-about are very vigilant in their hedge cutting, otherwise we'd probably have a bucketful of foraged hazel nuts too.  Sadly, most seem to have suffered the chop :-(

The photo shows only part of the year's jam making efforts; the rest are tucked away in the cupboard.  Have we got enough jam?  Only time will tell!

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Compost heaps

The garden and allotment have been ticking over nicely the last month or so, and I'm very pleased with what we've managed to grow this year.  We've had lots of nice cabbage, both the spring variety (Wheeler's Imperial) and the round head variety in Golden Acre.  Peas have been a bit of a disaster but those we have had have been delicious.

Potatoes of various types have been pretty respectable, and I'm mightily impressed with the "Orla" spuds we've grown.  A lovely flavour and a good yield.

The best haul of all though came out of the compost heap!  I was busy turning that today, and while I knew there were a couple of potato plants growing in it, I didn't expect what I found.

The peas in the trug are some that Small grew, so we had those for tea along with some sausages, some of the spuds as mash, and some (more!) cabbage donated by a fellow allotmenteer.

In the poly-tunnel, we found our first tomato of the season, which was scrumptious. Only a little one, Gardener's Delight I think, but a sign of things to come.

The fruit, apart from apples, has come to an end now but we managed lots of mixed summer fruits jelly, and a respectable few jars of gooseberry jelly which is one of my favourites.  Now we're just waiting on the sweetcorn being ready which shouldn't be long now.

My poor runner beans were decimated by slugs/snails when I planted them out.  They persevered though, and re-grew and I was pleased to see they had some teeny, tiny little beans forming.  Hurrah for home grown!

How grows your garden?