Saturday, 26 April 2008

Another unexpected birthday

Actually it should read, another completely unanticipated/forgotten birthday, only this time it was a friend's big 4-0. Didn't realise till the morning of our brunch invite that this was actually a slightly premature celebration of her big day, and I didn't think going along armed with something I'd bought in our weekly shop was a good idea. Anyway, Milly made her a beautiful bracelet and a week later I posted these gorgeous gloves to her- frugally made with leftovers from the wrap I have just finished plus a ball of Louisa Harding 'Impression' I had in my stash.

I LOVE this glove pattern - its knits up so quickly, great for last minute presents, the Louisa Harding yarn is amazing and the end result is gorgeously frivolous flirty gloves. the pattern can be found in Louisa's "Knitting Little Luxuries" book. A book definitely worth having.

Wedding wrap

Another project completed! A few weeks after I started in earnest, I finished the wrap for my friend. She was suitably thrilled - she is wearing it to a couple of weddings later in the year and has bought an outfit to match. I can't get enough of looking at it, parting was such sweet really was a joy to knit and it looks amazing. Back to husband's jumper now (well actually I did quickly knit another pair of gloves before I picked it up again!)...

Gardening and knitting

Mmm, not sure gardening and knitting are the two most complimentary hobbies....

After spending two years renovating our suburban semi, we are now tackling the main garden (not the veggie patch which I sorted out the summer we moved in). But as a result of a few weeks digging and weeding, my hands are rough, dry and permanently soil stained, not conducive to snag-free knitting. However, much I slather my hands with hand cream, (I favour a L'Occitane one for very dry skin), wear gardening gloves it doesn't seem to make any difference...any advice?

Still, the garden is looking lovely, (especially if you don't look at the beds close up!), even if my hands are most definitely not . With a ceaonthus about to burst into bloom, blossom on the crab apple tree, a few scattered tulips, and our new wildlife pond it's definitely the best I've seen it...

Spuds, beetroot and spinach are in the ground (no signs of live yet) and in the greenhouse tomatoes, sprouts, broccoli , courgette, aubergine and a shallow pot of lettuce are sprouting. Just awaiting the chillis, peppers, cucumbers, sweetpea and nastursiums .....

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Matinee Jacket

I just had to post these pics my mother in law sent me. She has just finished knitting this beautiful matinee jacket using Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. Adorable! Almost making me feel broody again...(That's the best bit of being pregnant - getting lots of gorgeous hand knits for the new arrival)

The Good Life

With the threat of more bad weather to come this weekend and next week, I made what has turned out to be a very wise decision to do some gardening this morning. Specifically, I need to get my potatoes in the ground (they chitted fabulously under the stairs) and their destination in the vegetable plot was unprepared to say the least. So I managed to spend the morning digging and clearing, with a little bit of Milly's help, although her interest waned after about 10 mins, and she went to help daddy with the lawnmower. Power tools are always more thrilling!

Pic shows how vegetable plot looks now - you can see last years chard is still going strong -I'll post some more over coming months as things start to grow. On the agenda this week is getting those spuds in, if the weather is kind to us, and sowing some veggie seeds in the greenhouse. I have quite an ambitious list this year: chillis, peppers, tomatoes, runner beans, french beans, cauliflower, broccoli, courgettes, lettuce, cucumber, & sprouts (I'm sure I have left something out!) I tried aubergines last year, but they didn't flourish and I'm going to pass on the pumpkins as they simply take too much room.

I wasn't really looking forward to digging, but as always, once I started I really got into it. Digging is very therapeutic. The mind is free to just wander. Old memories resurfaced of helping my father and grandfather in their gardens. I remember my grandfather's plot being very neat and orderly, something I must strive for in mine. This year I want to really maximise my small plot and underplant the runner beans for example - see if I can't fit an extra crop in.

I came across three hibernating newts when I disturbed an old box of rubbish on the bed I was digging. Amazing what wildlife there is, even in a small surburban plot.

Good bit of news - we found out yesterday that Milly has got into our primary school of choice, which is only 3 minutes walk away. Compared to our lives in our small two bedroom central London flat, we really are living the Good Life! Just call me Barbara....

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Icecream, icecream, icecream

I can't believe it's been nearly a month since I last wrote. My only excuse is that we have been on holiday and only got back last weekend.

We wanted somewhere quiet and boy did we get it! We stayed in a lovely apartment ( which I would highly recommend. We went at what I guess was the beginning of the season so it was very quiet and not many other children for Milly to play with. So most days we zipped up the coast (in our upgraded-to-BMW, much to husband's delight) hire car to a lovely little resort called Santiago de la Ribera. This was perfect, still on the Mar Menor (Europe's largest saltwater lagoon), lovely soft sand, climbing frames for the little ones on the beach and two icecream parlours in view. Bliss! And every evening a little fairground opened up and Milly wiped us out of Euros - spending it on the super jumper trampoline ("I'm Peter Pan"), normal trampoline, bouncy castle and ball pool. Great fun was had by all.

And I even managed to finish back of husbands jumper and I'm a third of the way up the front. I WILL get it finished by the time we go on our next break (St Agnes, Cornwall) in early June.....