The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Longest Rainy Day

I've picked a great year to resume knitting. So it is meant to be a winter pastime, but tell the weather that. Been peeing down continuously here today...

I have just finished my fifth pair of socks - and I am getting better.

These used the Skew pattern by Lana Holden via An interesting pattern but very easy, just need to concentrate on what row you are on. Certainly my best effort to date.

So I have now progressed from Jean's basic top-down pattern (one 4-ply and one DK with two colours), a toe-up disaster pair with a 'waste' odd ball of dk, an OK toe-up pair with left-over DK from a jumper and now these with basic 4-ply sock wool. I have learnt how to knit on two circulars, almost mastered kitchener stitch and Judy's magic cast on.

I have been building up a good stash of quality sock yarns via Ebay and fellow Raveler destashes (I am picking up the lingo). So far I have resisted Wollmeise, which appears to be THE yarn - but it is very difficult to get unless you pay way over the odds. It can't be that good, can it?

My KF jacket is on hold again. I had resumed, but then ran out of the blue I was using for the current row of star outlines. More should be on its way from Inner Mongolia!

I have fitted in some scrabble. The Scottish NSC heat just over a week ago, and for the second year in a row I won with a 7-0 record. Simon almost beat me, having been ahead for the whole game except for the last move after I had made a second bonus opening leaving one tile in the bag. My final bonus played in both places - phew. I also was very pleased to spot (J)OL(L)ITIES in the game against Kate when OILIEST/IOLITES did not play. The Border Reivers (Allan, Stuart and me) also won the team event to progress to the finals later in the year.

Two days later I played my round 3 BEST match against Amy. I won 5-1, but it may have been very different. Game 1 and I got off to a flier, but Amy almost caught me back up before I surged ahead again - certainly had me worried. Game 2 was close, but a couple of phonies by Amy probably cost her that game. In game 3 I got away with ENTOTO(M)Y (misremembered TENOTOMY) but Amy was 140 ahead after CRAZIES and held onto it until I hit back with two consecutive bonuses (REALIGN (74) and then hooking FlASHED on to the triple for 110) to take a 25 point lead and empty the bag. With INSVWY she should still have won if she blocked my WINY for 36 on a triple but I think she was in shock so I scraped home by 9. A scrappy game 4 that Amy won when she had a play out of MIRAGE which I couldn't score enough in blocking it. Game 5 was mine all the way - a nice spot of DAMASSI(N) near the end and Amy conceded. Game 6 also went my way, opening with QUIRKY for 64 and then a bonus on move 2, a mid game bonus and a 9x final play of FID(D)LeRS for 158 saw me score 616 to Amy's not many.

I have only got out in the garden a couple of times. One foray up the high bank to pull out nettles and cleavers - it looks a lot better. Yesterday I got in a full day - mainly spent on the last section of the LBE, removing weeds, stone and clay from the bottom couple of feet, but ending with some enjoyment. A trip to Edrom nursery on Saturday so some planting. Two unusual yellow flowering hardy impatiens, both of which I managed to split into two .And two more saxifrages, one of which I could split, the other I didn't want to risk yet. And a few other things that still need to be planted... I also relocated a patch of baby hellebores that I was pleased to spot as their parent was long dead.

Now I am back to weather forecast watching. Rain doesn't look like stopping up here for the foreseeable future...

Monday, June 06, 2011

Early To Rise

I woke up really early this morning and just couldn't get back to sleep. So I decided to get up at 5.24 according to our bedroom clock. Cleared cardbox and went out to photograph the garden as although it was cloudy there was also no wind. And then just as I was finishing the sun came out and transformed the morning. Blue skies, birds singing, glad to be alive drinking coffee on the lawn morning. I fear Paul has missed it as it is clouding over again now and the trees are starting to sway.

The current highlights in the garden are:

Where does the time all go? Nearly three weeks since my last post and what have I done?

Well, I finished knitting the jumper that I had started and taken with me to Malta, and am currently wearing it. I love it. And then I knitted a matching pair of socks with most of the left over wool. And I have almost finished knitting another jumper in super chunky Araucania limari yarn knitted on 9mm needles - super quick. It will definitely not be worn until it gets a lot colder - winter dog walking insulation. Body finished, turtle neck completed and have almost finished the first sleeve. I will get back to my KF jacket at some point but Paul made me clear away all the yarn from the sunroom when we had a house load of guests for a BBQ and to watch the Jim Clark rally that came past our house again, and I haven't got around to laying it all out again yet.

And I have been gardening.

A couple of days weeding the long bank extension that had run amok whilst I had been away, trying to get it looking respectable before the JCR. And then pulling out the weeds I could see I had missed during a break in the JCR. It was torture just looking at them.

Veggie patch is now almost back under control. Weeded. Potatoes earthed up as best I could. Dwarf beans planted out. So far nine tomato plants in the ground, following Monty Don's advice to plant them deep - so mine are about half buried. Still have fifteen that need to be rehomed... The peas and mangetout are flowering away merrily, and I have sown the remainder of the row directly into the ground. The onion sets that I planted have already bolted and no signs that they are bulbing up. Bamboo wigwam erected ready for the runner beans - had a better success rate with the last ones sown with four out of five germinating.

Raised planters also in better shape now. Lettuces thinned out and two more rows from the thinnings. More rocket, spinach, spring onions, radishes sown. First sowings of carrots and pak choi. I think I may give up on trying to grow bulb onions altogether as they obviously don't like me - I sowed three rows earlier in the year and I may be lucky to have a dozen in amongst the weeds. The pickling onions and leeks that I sowed at the same time are doing fine.

I think today may be a pottering in the garden day - or I may get the energy up to scale the high bank on yet more nettle removal.

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