Thursday, June 15, 2006

Garden delights

The combination of lots of rain followed by a spell of hot weather has led to the back garden being the best it's ever been.

This is the back border - lots of Welsh poppies, they're the yellow ones, but also got orange ones and yellowy orange ones that have resulted from a combination of both colourways. Lots of hardy geraniums, the pale blue ones break up all the pink. The silvery green plants are Lychnis coronaria and will be out shortly - again we have bright pink ones, white ones and white ones with a blush centre (the result of hybridisation between the two). Normally had problems with this border as it's so dry and shaded for much of the day.

This is the rose Tess D'urbeville which my MIL kindly bought for us two years ago. It's so lush, a deep red and is just getting better year by year which is surprising given the rather hit and miss way in which I prune it.

And this is a Cornus which I bought for M for his birthday, the first year we were in the house. It's amazing how the back garden looks now in comparison to when we first moved in. Note to self to dig out pics and post on site.

On the knitting front am getting on with a scarf using some Hip Knits silk Kerrie kindly sent me with an order back in Feb but coming around to concluding that it's a fraction to wide so might have to frog. Also aquired these the other week .

The smaller skein is a skein of Artyarns Regal Silk in colourway 111 - destined for another modular knit. The dark blue skein is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in Tropical Storm colourway which I was lucky to get at sale price. I was interested in trying this yarn and it's much nicer than expected and another tick off my list of yarns to try. Be interested to get some Koigu PMM and compare them.

It's now Sunday and raining and for once am really pleased. It's just been too hot to do anything so as it's much cooler actually have some energy today so had better get going and do some tidying and ironing especially since the in-laws are due next weekend.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Knitting news

Somehow due to much apathy haven't got around to knitting much since being back from hols. When I was in Cornwall did knit this

it's my Cornish Nautie. I used the A L de Sauveterre Whisper colourway Cornish Pixie - well what else could I use. I was extremely lucky to find some Rowan 4 ply Soft which matched perfectly and these eyes which roll when he's moved. He's a great reminder of a great holiday and now sits proudly on top of M's in-tray in the study.

When we were in Penzance with helpful directions from a very helpful lady in the bookshop found Knit Wits. If you're in the area it's worth calling in - good selection for a small shop including some Sari Silk and Hip Knits silk (unfortunately they only had a couple of skeins and in colours I wouldn't use).

However was tempted by this - although it's Opal I just love the colour combi

and this

which is alpaca yarn produced from alpacas on a farm in Devon - with such a cute picture of an alpaca on the label who can resist. It's lovely and soft and such a lovely shade of turquoise - they also do a yummy olivey/mossy green and rose pink as well as the natural shades.

About this time last year I treated myself to a skein of Hip Knits silk in a colourway which was called Oscar. The silk is a lovely quality and the colourway felt very springlike, bright yellow running into green and pale turquoisey blue. I didn't get around to using it and got to this spring feeling positively guilty about not having used it. I love Branching Out and having knit a few for other people haven't one of my own so started it in the silk

As you can see there's some pooling

As you can see the silk and the colourway is fine BUT.............................

I put it to one side and knit Nautie instead. When we got home found out there was a Modular knitting course locally but as it was my first week back at work couldn't really take 2 days out to go knitting. So bought the book by Iris Schreier instead. Most of the reviews on Amazon were good but there was one complaining about the lack of instructions on the actual technique. In some ways I can see how the reviewer came by this view but you have to be prepared to spend a little time practicing the techniques and also have a certain level of trust that it will actually work out because initially you wonder how.

As you can see I practiced my swatches but it also demonstrates how well the technique works for hand painted yarns. So after some practice VOILA

Started last weekend and finished today and I'm so much happier with the result. It's the Zigzag scarf and won't be the only thing I make from the book which is actually quite inspirational. The other advantage is that when you get into the rhythym of the pattern it's incredibly easy to do whilst watching TV, travelling etc