Monday, 22 September 2008

Season of Mist

Well, here we are again, at the Autumn Equinox. Light and dark/Day and night in balance. Now we start the gentle slide into Winter. Not all bad, of course. Cold weather comfort food. Knitting by the fire. Misty mornings.Bonfires.
And Dahlias. Mad shapes, and clashing colours. Wonderful, just right for now.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Real Life

The knit-picks needles sat unmolested for a week, while I finished other projects. Then I cast on for a lace scarf, the idea for which has been fermenting in the back of my mind for a little while. Well, I can see why people are so enthusiastic about these needles! The stitches just slip along, like using metal pins, but warmer, and lighter. I think I'm in love.

Honey for sale. As I said before, not a big harvest, but good to have been able to run a few jars this weekend.

The tomatoes are coming to an end. Possibly one or two pickings left.The veg garden has not been a huge success this year, but the tomatoes have been wonderful. I know everyone says it, but the flavour and scent of the home-grown article is beyond compare!
Are these just Hobbies? I feel that this is the real life we work to support.


We took a day off on Saturday.I packed a picnic, and Poppy, and off we went to Exmoor. We wandered as the mood took us, starting at Dulverton. Lunch was taken above Winsford, looking towards Dunkery Beacon. The heather is starting to go over, but still scents the air quite strongly, and we saw lots of Bumble bees working it keenly. It was sunny and bright, but the wind was keen. Even so, wonderful to be out, after all the rain.

Turning for home, we came down Worthy Toll road. This is a truly magical place, if you can find it. The beautiful stream cascades down the steep hill, alongside the road, skipping and tumbling over the rocks and stones, now and then making little pools. It is overhung by ferns, and the banks are covered in mosses and lichens. There is an almost overwhelming sense of peace and stillness.
Exmoor is my favourite place, and I try to visit as often as I can. I am lucky that Best Beloved loves it as much as I do.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Made with love

At long last, I have finished the waistcoat I was making for my sister,Nicola.It was to be a birthday present, last February. Nicky chose the pattern, so I had to convert a seventies machine knit pattern to hand knit. All went beautifully, until I came to the borders.It didn't make any sense. And I went off knitting big time. Anyway, a few small projects (baby hats,etc.),got me going again. So here it is....

The yarn is 70% mohair/30%lambswool. Unbrushed. It's from a local Farm, the owners have the yarn spun at a local mill, and sell it themselves. Good to support local enterprise, particularly when the product is SO gorgeous.

And again.....Harvest

On Sunday, we welcomed a few friends around, to pick Apples. The capital is because apples are a major problem for us at the moment.
When we came to this house ( nearly eleven years ago ),there were dozens of apples trees. Not an Orchard, just random rows of them. All planted far too close together. I have to admit cutting down and uprooting nearly a hundred. However, what I did was take out the damaged,diseased and spindly trees. They had all been planted at about eighteen inch spacings. Mad! The ones that are left are more like ten to twelve feet apart.They have shown their appreciation by growing to between twelve and fifteen feet high , and producing masses of blossom and fruit.Every year.

We also (naively) planted a proper Orchard. Which is now coming into production. With the bees in the Orchard, we have an embarrasment of fruit. It usually starts towards the end of August and goes on until the Russets are ready,about November. (depends on the weather).
So, we were delighted when Ness, Lisa and K., Jacquie, and Andi were able to come over. Lots of bags of apples were picked and stowed in cars. Discussions about the names of varieties. Watching of Butterflies landing on some of the over-ripe fruit. And some eating of fruit.
Then indoors to drink tea and eat cake. (And a tiny bit of knitting!)
I love it when friends visit.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Harvest - continued.

We did the Honey harvest yesterday. It is quite a long winded affair, as we have to do it in the Kitchen. So I have to do an especially careful and thorough clean before we start, then a somewhat sticky clear up afterwards.
This year, as last year, has not been good. The weather has prevented the Bees foraging, and there has not been as much blossom for them to visit ,anyway, for the same reason. We did get a harvest, though. Other Beekeepers haven't been so lucky.
As I cut the cappings off each frame, I notice variations in colour.This is a particularly clear example of how the Bees fill each cell before sealing it. There were obviously two strong but distinct nectar flows going on when this frame was filled. Isn't it beautiful?

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Tobys' kimono

I have just realised, that with all the excitement of the Ravelympics, and working on the House, I did not show the finished kimono which I made for Bella's new boy,Toby.
It is from 'Natural knits for Babies and Mums' by Louisa Harding. I substituted Jeager matchmaker for the recommended yarn, as I like working with it, and it will be an Autumn/Winter garment. It was very easy, and knitted up quickly. Buttons from Hayes wools,Taunton,as was the Yarn.

On Leave,but no Holiday

Best beloved has been on leave for a week, and has been instaling a solar hot water system.It was so exciting to hear the pump going, and know that it would be making an impact on the electricity bill.
So this week, I am on leave too. We have had a flurry of finishing off small projects, like hanging blinds in the bedroom,and the study. Yesterday, we went to Bristol Ikea. Not a bundle of laughs, but we bought another blind for my sewing room (sounds grand, but it is also the spare bedroom), some lovely off-white linen curtains which I will re-make as curtains for our bedroom,and various teatowels and the like in Scandinavian blue and white. Yes, blue and white in the Kitchen again.
The fun bit of the Ikea trip -We went via Get Knitted. B.B. was very good,had a wander around,then sat and read various magazines, while I drifted around the shop in a daze. It is as amazing as I had heard.Quite a large shop floor for a Yarn shop. Well laid out.The staff were very helpful indeed, in a calm,unshowy way. And patient. What did I buy? Only a few little things....All five sizes of cable, and a Knit Picks Harmony 4mm and 5mm tips, and a 4mm tips in the metal. Some buttons for Nicky's waitcoat. A sweet pattern I will make up as a present for someone special. And a few things to go in my Gifts box, against the coming of the giving season.
And I managed to complete a knitted blanket on the way home.(B.b. was driving!).
Poppy says 'I thought Holidays were meant to be Fun.You two are boring.'