SpaceCraft Rotating Header Image

Gardening

The End of the One Year Blogging Challenge plus 11 years of SpaceCraft…

So, this time last year I pledged to blog every Monday for a year. Why? Well, because my blogging had pretty much dried up. The last few years had come and gone with only a few posts to show for them. So to herald the eleventh year of this blog – yes, that’s right eleven years, I thought I would see if I could commit to writing another 52 entries.

I’ve been strict and I’ve held to it although it’s been difficult at times. Some Mondays I’ve only just managed to get the post up before midnight….

It can also be hard to generate the energy for writing. Content can also be a problem. This is primarily a crafty blog but, like everyone else, I go through periods where I’m just not doing anything crafty. That can be for a whole raft of reasons, I might just be busy with something else like my garden or decorating a room. With gardening I can take a photo and I guess I could of the room but that green paint stubbornly refuses to allow itself to be captured in pixels.

So this week I’ve been moving furniture back into my bedroom, sorting through old clothes, reading, going to the cinema and watching tv. Oh and of course working at my dayjob. I’ve looked longingly at my knitting several times but haven’t knit a stitch.

The things that I want to work on are these two cabled Ysolda berets. Both of them have been WiPs for a few years.

image

So hopefully I’ll be able to sit down and work a few rows on one soon.

Now that my Monday blogging challenge is at an end I probably won’t be blogging every week. I think I’ll only blog if I have something that I feel is blog worthy. I say that but I may feel differently next Monday, I may still blog then. Time will tell.

Meanwhile the indoor hyacinths are starting to bloom.

image

 

 

Making Monday – Earrings and The Spice Boys

The weather has been far too hot for much making but I’ve made some progress on my Lotus Tunic dress

 

Lotus Tunic front folded

That’s the front view and it looks a bit strange because I’ve had to fold the middle panel a little to take the picture.  I still have to cut, sew and attach the lining. Then attach the sleeves and hem.

I organised a bit of making last week by having my friends Karen and Hannah over for a crafty evening. I let them loose on my bead collection and they each made a pair of earrings.

 

Hannah’s zuni bear earrings

 

Hannah fell for the turquoise loveliness of my zuni bears while Karen was enchanted by some of my Czech glass beads.

Karen’s double heart drop earrings

I think we’ll be doing this again but maybe it’ll be another craft next time. Sewing maybe?

With the weather veering between tropical showers and sweltering heat I’ve barely touched my garden but I have got some seedlings.

The Spice Boys

As you can see the seedlings are different colours. This seed mixture is called The Spice Boys mix and it took me far longer to get that joke than it should have!

I love basil but I never have any success growing it. The last time I tried slugs munched their way through it all. But my love of fresh pesto keeps me persevering.  This time I’m keeping the seedlings on the kitchen window sill. They still face the threat of white fly but I’m hoping that my venus fly traps and other carnivorous plant will help fend that off. I can but hope!

Gardening Season…

We’ve had some great weather this past weekend so we’ve been busy in the garden. Nothing there to really photograph just yet as much of what’s been done is clearing, mowing and weeding and it’s not all sorted. I can raise nettles and brambles without trying 😉 I’ll be planting veg and flower seeds in peat pots (not really made of peat) later in the week. I also have two extra raised beds courtesy of my neighbours, they’ve given up on growing food, so I’ll have some extra growing space. Hopefully I’ll get a glut of something that I’ll be able to share with them. I’ll be growing red onions, peas, beans and tomatoes in addition to the corn, squash and leeks. If I get time I’ll get some potatoes going too. But I may have left it a bit late for that.

 

But this is where I am with the colourwork on She’s Electric.

 

I’m about nine rows in and I’m not really sure about the look of it, not sure if I’ve made some mistakes. I’ll need to do a few more rows before I’m sure.

 

 

Making Monday – Finishing

I’ll admit it, this is a bit of a rushed blog. I’m particularly dissatisfied with the photos which are far darker than I would have liked because they’ve not long been taken.

I’d hoped to space things out a bit more but I’ve been feeling pretty miserable with a chest infection for nearly a week. I’m asthmatic so they tend to hit me hard.  I realised that something was wrong during my pilates class last week, as I was getting out of breath a lot. By Thursday it felt as though something was pressing down on my chest. That pressure feeling has only just gone. Thank god for antibiotics.

Although I was feeling rubbish I did get some more rows done on She’s Electric.

Too dark photo of She's Electric progress

On Saturday night I sewed in the ends of my Cosmic Pluto Top Down Raglan. Here it is blocking on towels.

Another not perfect image of my top down raglan blocking

It’s not quite that bright in real life. This is, though –

Amaryllis in full bloom

I’m a bit of a sucker for amaryllis and have had several of them over the years. Getting them to bloom isn’t an issue but remembering to store them properly afterwards, is. I’ll see if I change that with this one.

And I have a final piece of hip news – I had my follow up appointment at the hospital today where I was told that I didn’t have an impingement at all and wouldn’t be needing any surgery.

Of course, this is brilliant news but I can’t help but be quite angry for the time I lost worrying over a surgery that I never needed to have. Several months have been lost and my muscles became weak and I’m still in the process of building them back. I will never get that time back. It’s an anger that can’t go anywhere. People make mistakes and what if there had been something wrong and it had been missed? That would have been worse. But I have gone through a very emotionally wrought time and I need to process it all.

I can’t just buy flowers…

…and put them straight into a vase. I have to check first to see if I can take any cuttings from them.

 

Wish I'd grown these!

 

So from this bunch of chrysanthemums I also have a glass full of little cuttings that should root

Chrysanthemum cuttings

Plus this

Chrysanthemum heads

Although some of the flower heads had popped off I couldn’t bring myself to just throw them away

 

In hip news I’m still in limbo really. Still waiting to hear when I have appointments with the hospital. I’ve also had some blood tests done since I seem to be bruising a lot since taking the anti inflammatories. Will get the results of those next week.

Knitting & Daffodils

It’s St David’s Day today so here’s an obligatory shot of some daffs I have in a vase

Daff close-up

and some more

More daffs close-up

They are the national flower of Wales but they’re also one of my faves. I particularly love the cute little Narcissus ones and always have a few pots of them. This year I have about six pots in the garden. Some of them were destined to go into the tubs in my front garden but I’ve not yet had the energy to plant them. They’ll get in there ready for next year though.

I have managed to knit one thing while I’ve been ill. It’s the Starving Artist hat by Laura of The KnitGirllls videocast.

Starving Artist with Flash

Starving Artist - Close up with Flash

This is a great pattern and very easy. Normally I could have made one in a day but this one took about four days. It’s currently in my study, laying on a towel blocking on a dinner plate.

Blocked Starving Artist with flash

Blocking

It seems a bit big. I should have gone down a needle size while knitting but couldn’t find my 6.5mm needles. I really like the colour and the yarn – It’s an odd skein of Colinette Graffiti in Alzarine topped up with a tiny bit of Colinette Skye (worsted/aran weight yarn) in the same shade. The ribs make it look a bit like the spines of a sea urchin to me. Once it’s finished blocking I’ll try it on again, I hope it’s not too loose.

Starving Artist Blurry

Blurry close-up

Belated 9th Blogiversary or Late, Late and an Update…

I’m behind in blog entries, no surprise there and sadly not a surprise that I’m again blogging when ill. Really must get into the habit of blogging when I’m well. The short of it is that I have a chest infection which has effected my asthma. As a result I’m really tired and have low energy levels. So, Pip, you have your answer 😉

Now, normally having over a week at home away from work would be fabulous because I’d be able to finish the last bit of tidying on the house – rather crucial now because one of Doug’s pinball tables is going to reside here! – weed the garden and ready it for spring and also, make some stuff.

Instead I’m finding it difficult to do anything without getting really tired.

Fortunately it doesn’t take much energy to watch my hyacinths begin to flower on the windowsill.

 

Pink hyacinth in flower on my living room windowsill

 

 

I have four, two pink and I’m assuming two blue, although one hasn’t shown its colours yet.

 

Blue hyacinth just starting to show his colours...

 

One of my Xmas gifts from Doug was a Magimix le micro food processor. It’s perfect for making up batches of fresh pesto. At the moment I’m having to buy fresh basil leaves but I’m hoping that these little basil seedings will grown soon so that I can can have home grown pesto over the summer. 🙂 I grew a lot of basil last year but it wasn’t successful because of slug interference. Hopefully this year will be better!

 

Basil – Spice Boys Mix

 

 

 

My Blue Arbour

I love the colour blue in a garden and when Doug said he wanted to get me an arbour for my birthday, I knew exactly what colour I would paint it.

image

It’s been a work in progress for a while. The staining, with one of Cuprinol’s garden shades, took ages and we still missed little bits. It also didn’t help that just as we were getting to the last of the painting, the heavens opened and it poured down with rain. Rain that washed sections of blue off 🙁

We hoped to assemble it the same weekend but yet again, the weather went against us. The wind was pretty bad and it would have been a nightmare to errect. But yesterday it all went together. It took a few hours and was hard work, even though Doug did the really hard bits and I held things in place.

It still needs more stain and to have some grass brushed off it and then a base to stand on but aside from all that I think it’s beautiful. I did a double take when I looked out of my window and saw it this morning while making tea. 🙂 It’s going to be the perfect place to relax, knit, read or surf on my netbook. I expect my cat Emma will be fond of it too 🙂

KnitCast – episode 32 where I meet Mags Kandis and chat about her new book Gifted, the love of making stuff, colour and Frieda Kahlo is now online. I’m also giving away a copy of Gifted. For the info head on over to Knitcast.com 🙂