34a) Yeah, right! – Why??


Also, thanks to Mary deB:

You’re Lolita!
by Vladimir Nabokov
Considered by most to be depraved and immoral, you are obsessed with
sex. What really tantalizes you is that which deviates from societal standards in every
way, though you admit that this probably isn’t the best and you’re not sure what causes
this desire. Nonetheless, you’ve done some pretty nefarious things in your life, and
probably gotten caught for them. The names have been changed, but the problems are real.
Please stay away from children.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

34) So, how did the weekend pan out?


That list?

  • Sow the seeds due this week
  • Dig more veg. beds – no, but I dug over an old one (see below)
  • Make significant progress on the current knitting project
  • Write up my plans for A&S50 (no, haven't mentioned that here yet)
  • Wind up some dyed yarn
  • Bottle the lager
  • Stabilise the wine
  • Maybe start another brew?
  • Look through my fabric stash.

Pretty darn awesome results, I say – and what's more, I enjoyed myself hugely.  The vilely changeable weather we've been having this week cleared up today and I've spent much of it in the garden, attempting to defy J's prediction that I'm going to knacker myself out and be good for nothing the rest of the week.

Apart from planting tomato, chard, cabbage and lettuce seeds, I got the mini-greenhouse put up:


…and last years' bean and pea poles taken down (seen here stacked behind Jessie, the concrete greyhound).  The chitting potatoes, plus all the seeds, are now resident in here…

To my delight, I discovered several abandoned plantpots which actually contained plants corresponding to the seeds that I originally sewed in them.  I therefore have two rosemary plants, a thyme bush and a marjoram bush, as well as two mint colonies and some flat-leaved parsley all grown from seed.  A bit of TLC, removing the docken and other oddities that had moved in with them (ungrateful squatters!), some fresh compost and, in some cases, a larger pot to grow into, and I have some plants that may actually be of usable size some day:


Parsley, marjoram and sage (which I think used to be a supermarket pot).


Rosemary and thyme.  Sounds like a song…

And I've rescued the Big Veg Bed that I've been using for the last three years.  Again, I have volunteer survivors from previous crops:


Perpetual spinach (leaf beet), and some leeks.  Invisible to the eye are a fair few self-sown landcress plants, which is a true delight to my heart, because I have run out of those seeds and not been able to get any more this year.  It's lovely to start digging over a plot only to find there are harvestable plants already growing in it.

Although the whole garden is south facing, this bed gets a lot of shade, and isn't therefore ideal for lots of veg.  I'm going to try lots of slow-growing veggies in here this year; the stuff I expect to be sowing now to harvest next winter and up to this time next year.  It will also be ideal for the sort of thing that can't take too much sunshine without bolting.

On the whole, very satisfying.  But I haven't knit a stitch all day!!  Must.. rectify…

33) Make like a V-neck…

…and split!


Yes, this is definitely Significant Progress.  I'm realising that I was classifying 'significant' not so much in terms of the number of stitches, but in hitting some kind of landmark in the sweater after spending so long going round and round in the same cable pattern.  This project has been remarkably landmark-free thus far, being knit in the round with no waist shaping and a minimal rib at the hip, so starting the armholes AND the V-neckline is almost more excitement than I know what to do with in one day.

This sweet little split of the cable just below the V-neck is one of the details that, for me, pops this design from 'OK' to 'rather nice, actually'.  One day, I will develop the photography skills to do it justice… or not, actually, because I don't seem to have the drive to actually sit down and learn them!  That's more J's thing.

The rest of the weekend-so-far has been remarkably awesome, also.  The wine is stabilised, the beer is bottled. I've found a place for the brew tub to live in the garage, whilst in use, so now the weather is heating up (relatively speaking), we can brew out there and not clutter up the kitchen sides with a 40 pint bucket, and last night I wound some yarn.  That's 4 out of 8-and-1-maybe goals for the weekend achieved, right there.  I don't know about you, but I'm impressed.

Wanna see the yarn?  Really?  Oh, OK then…


32) Frrrriday!

That weekend feeling is definitely sinking in, folks!

It's gonna be (another) busy one; we are visiting family tomorrow, and J wants to go bike-shopping on Sunday.  Dunno whether we'll make it to archery on Sunday afternoon, but heck, we haven't managed that since early February, so why break a losing streak!?

And I have a nasty, hot, prickle in the back of my throat, too.

All this, though, doesn't stop me from filling up the hours lying ahead of me with plan after sparkling plan.  The sheer *potential* of a weekend is breathtaking right now.  Things I'd really love to do include:

  • Sow the seeds due this week
  • Dig more veg. beds
  • Make significant progress on the current knitting project (shouldn't be hard – above mentioned family visis equates to lots of quality car passenger time)
  • Write up my plans for A&S50 (no, haven't mentioned that here yet)
  • Wind up some dyed yarn
  • Bottle the lager
  • Stabilise the wine
  • Maybe start another brew?
  • Look through my fabric stash; as well as the gardening bug (and whatever bug is gnawing at my tonsils right now), I can feel the sewing bug starting to sew again.

Well.  If I achieve even a fraction of that lot, it probably means we've reached Wednesday and I've not even noticed.  And that's only the bubbling foam off the top of the inspiration-well.

31) That Gardening Itch

The gardening itch.  It strikes me every year, and every year I go nuts for a short while, get overwhelmed, get distracted and whirr off to other things that don't require me to stand up so much.

This year, I've dug one and a half veg beds, ordered forty quid's worth of seeds, and am at least still raring to go.  I am *determined* that we should be eating a significant proportion of our veggies from our very own garden this year, and hopefully through into next year,  too.

I've been intrigued by, and attracted to, the idea of square foot gardening for a while; the thought that an average family does not want or indeed need a whole row of radishes all coming ready at once is so obvious and yet so far-out in terms of normal gardening practice that, when I first heard it, it pretty much blew me away.  And the beds look pretty, too.


Well, they will.  Our garden is large (this is maybe a quarter of it?) and currently a complete tip, thanks to dogs, chronic fatigue and the aforementioned gardener's ADD.  My  vision, however, is *gorgeous*.  The sticks and bits of pampas grass do actually mark out beds; the bits I've dug so far are the obvious bit to the left of the photo, and the less-obvious bits to the far left of the photo, directly in front of the fence and flanking the shrub.

Yesterday, I looked through my seeds (delivered astonishingly quickly, thanks, Real Seeds!) and found I'd ordered three varieties of cauliflower, two of carrots, three types of tomato…  Have I gone mad?!  Well, I suppose it's always possible.  But the method behind my madness, in this instance at least, is that they are all varieties which harvest at different times.  J and I actually eat a fairly restricted range of veggies (onions, potatoes, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, some carrots, green beans) unless we're cooking something that absolutely *demands*, for example, baby corn.  At this time of year, precious little in the way of vegetables is actually in season, meaning that it's well worth the effort of ensuring some winter and spring crops.  At least, that's the theory!

So, now I've outed myself, and at least hinted at the grandiosity of my plans, will I stick to them any better than in previous years?  Only time will tell gentle readers; only time will tell!

30) Emergency cotte

A friend is coming to her first SCA event on Saturday; she is as tall as I am but can't wear any of my garb.

Enter the emergency cotte/tunic/bliautoid:


This used to be a curtain, but was swiftly repurposed.  A mere scrap of red fabric provided the trim.

Started working on it at 2pm, and was done, including a quick press, and dinner, by 10.  It is complete, but not finished, with a fair few taggy threads hanging out, but will cover R. in a garment that is the right shape for her first event.  If she wants to keep it, she can; if not, I'll donate it to the shire for loaner wear, or perhaps remake it slightly in a more sophisticated version.

28) Making Noro feel soft since 2005

Oy.  I'm really not kidding when I say that the Noro Kureyon I'm using for Lizard Ridge felt positively downy to my fingers when I picked it up last week.


This Jamiesons Soft Shetland is kicking -if not my butt- definitely my fingers.  I am averaging only a round or two per night; I've knit eight today, and that's definitely a record.

Given that this stuff made my fingers bleed when I made my Dad's Christmas Sweater in 2007, and it's now proving tiring in the extreme for my fingers and wrists, I am actually startign to wonder how committed I am to the remaining 220 skeins of the stuff that I have in stash.

Seriously.  220.  Skeins.  That's over twenty-four kilometers, dudes.  What was I thinking??

Still, it does make quite a nice woven fabric.

27) Sw-sw-sw-sweeeeeet!

J and I just cracked open the first wine brew I bottled (well, bagged!) and the title of this post pretty much sums up my tasting notes.

I was pretty surprised as the colour of the wine was what I could only describe as thin, and it smelt somewhat thin, too, and somewhat acidic.

The taste, though, is light, fruity and very, very sweet.  J described it as being 'like a desert wine', and though I wouldn't go quite that far, he's also not all that far wrong.

However, there are no 'off' notes or strange flavours in there, so who knows?  It may all come out in the wash.

26) Weaving courses – what would you do? Also, Q for Blogspot people

OK, I have been planning to go on a week-long weaving course in July, but I'm now thinking that it might be a bit too basic even for me.  Here's a synopsis:

"Learn to weave on a four-shaft loom. In this course you will have
the opportunity to sample a variety of different weave structures,
experimenting with colour combinations, yarn qualities, surface
textures and effects. End results can range from braids and fringes
for soft furnishing, to cushion covers and scarves. Looms will be
threaded up ready for beginners. Weavers with previous experience
are also welcome, and are encouraged to discuss their ideas with the tutor before the course."

OK.  I've warped my own looms (4 shaft and rigid heddle) before.  I weave, occasionally.  I've figured out how to do 2/1 twill on a RH loom with two heddles, and 2/2 twill on my little sampling loom.  I'm generally pretty smart, with a good grasp of theoretical things, and a tendency to work stuff out on my own.  What I haven't already done is weave on a floor loom, but the synopsis doesn't state floor or table looms.

Then, there's this course:

"Tapestry weaving is an ancient process so simple in principle that
it may be taken in many directions, from the creation of complex
imagery to bold colour-field pieces. Play with texture and colour
and learn a range of techniques. Bring along ideas for a project
of your own or play with the geometry of the warp. It is suitable
for students of all abilities from beginners to those with some experience."

I've never done any tapestry weaving, but do I really need someone to teach me?  Either course would set me back £200, plus five day's holiday.  On the other hand, I'd get to meet a local teacher, local weavers and have the use of the other facilities (swimming pool!!) after class is over for the day.

£200 seems a bit steep just to play with a floor loom, or learn a bit of tapestry.  Maybe I'd be better off saving for a more complex course?  Or even putting towards a loom of my own?

Maybe I should take the holiday, and set myself a learn-weaving syllabus for the week?  What would you do?  (Feel free to substitute another hobby if you can't get behind the idea of learning to weave…)

But how do I comment? – Blogger people, please let me know!
Right.  Blogger bloggers, blogspot bloggers.  What is the best way for someone like me, who has a blogger profile but doesn't blog there any more, and who has a separate blog, to post a comment?  I remember that blogger is a PITA when it comes to passing on email addresses; it generally doesn't let you reply to your commenters.  It's one of the reasons I switched to Typepad.  But what works best for you?  Should I comment via my blogger profile (which, incidentally, send replies to my comments to the wrong email account)?  Should I use my name and my blog URL, which definitely leaves you with no way to contact me?  Is there a good way to work this thang?  Again, answers in my comments please – whence I shall, really, be able to reply to you.

25) Haven’t seen one of these for a while…

Lizard ridge square #3:


And would you believe that it's from this ball of yarn?


Sneaky Noro.  Well, I cast on for the next square right away, with the remnants of this ball.  Let's see what come out this time!

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