Monday, February 20, 2012

A little gardening, quilting, knitting, and a laundry fiasco

Now nearing the end of February, nights are noticeably lighter and warmer. I even put the clothes line back up outside. The first battalion of daffodils now have arrived in my back garden with many more forming buds. I've even done some work--digging, hoeing, planting. That reminds me; I need to check on my seed trays out in the cold frame. Cabbage and celeriac so far, with more to come soon.

I called on my neighbor with the greenhouse and she says she's lost the key so we can't get in. I hope she finds it soon--I want to put some seed trays in there! If not, I may have to forego my tomato dream. Or maybe break down the door...

I completed the quilt; I machine quilted it--just straight lines following the patchwork on top, then finished the binding a few days ago. Not too heavy, but toasty warm. Franklin's been sleeping wrapped up in it. Pictures to follow.

I also knit myself another pair of warm, happy socks. After the success of Partner's wool/cashmere socks, I decided I needed a similar blend. I love cashmere--amazing for socks. I admit, this pair is not the most beautiful of footwear. But so so soft!

I just realized I never posted a picture of Partner's socks. Here's the only picture I have, but rest assured: there are two of them.

I had a washing machine disaster last week in which several items of knitwear, including a new cashmere pullover and my pair of stripey socks shrunk. I can't explain what happened. I put them on for a woollen wash in the morning, the same as I always do. Franklin and I then went to our play group, and when we returned two hours later, the machine was still running, pretty much everything in it ruined. Partner thinks Franklin tampered with the dials when I wasn't looking but I'm not convinced. All surviving knitwear will be handwashed in sink/tub until the machine is trustworthy again.

I'm more upset about my socks than even my cashmere pullover; it cost me £6.50 at a charity shop. The socks took me many hours of work including unraveling the yarn, dyeing it (two colors), and knitting it. And I only got to enjoy my efforts for about a month. So sad.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Sewing projects, snow

Starting from the top, here is my simple draft excluder. Those buttons I bought for Franklin's coat? Well, they came from an ugly women's jacket, 60% polyester, 40% viscose. Since it was rather a nice color, I used its sleeves to make this.
We got our first snow of the winter (technically the second snowfall, but the first didn't actually land in our garden, strangely; it landed in our neighbor's two doors down, but not ours). Here's a before/after picture of my garlic bed.
That tall grass-like plant in front is actually a bulb iris.
First snowdrop, too!
I made a small cushion from a hat belonging to my grandmother Patrisha, who is no longer with us. I don't have many of her possessions, just a few pieces of jewelry and this hat. Though I love the colors and it's likely she crocheted it herself, this hat just isn't my style. Rather than keep it hidden, unloved, in a box, I stuffed a small round pillow and covered it with her hat.
Why yes, that is a lobster.

I at last have the backing fabric and woollen batting to finish the quilt for Franklin's bed. This means I need to get to work before it's too warm for a wool quilt! Perhaps this summer I will make a wholecloth quilt for our bed, using two cotton sheets and some natural-fiber batting. I've always wanted a luxury duvet, but could never afford a commercially-made one.