March 29th, 2011

I did it!

Quilt top is finished, with considerably more cat interference. but it’s ok, cos it’s doooone. There are a few mistakes, the piecing errors are due to me changing my mind on the design half way through making it, and the sewing errors are because, well, i can’t sew. But it mostly all lines up, and i’m really happy with it, to the extent that i look at it and can’t actually believe that I made it.

Now to learn how to quilt and bind and all that other fun stuff.

quiltfinished

March 27th, 2011

Crazy hour. It’s like happy hour with no booze required.

I really really should have remembered. Every evening at around 9 is crazy hour in my house. British summer time only started yesterday, so i guess their internal clocks were still a little off. It mostly involves the cats tearing round the living room trying to break the sound barrier and destroying everything in their way. Often it involves one of them ‘hiding’ under the throw over the sofa and being attacked by another. It is generally amusing.

Tonight, it was less so. I finally got round to working on my quilt again, and after sewing a few bits together today, I had a nap, then decided to press them ready for the next joining stage, and lay them out so I could see how big it was going to be and work out whether i was going to sew them together as planned, or change it up a little.

It was going pretty well, all the pieces were laid out, so I decided to get the camera. At some point between walking upstairs to fetch the camera, crazy hour began. I came downstairs to find this:

argh3

argh1

I must say it was only babycat and mummycat involved this time, Snargle has been asleep on top of my wardrobe for at least 4 hours. I think she is saving up her energy for a 4am mountaineering expedition across my desk. After the crazy cat train made its way noisily upstairs, I thought I was safe to start again. I was wrong. I got half way through before they reappeared and trashed everything again.

BUT I WON. Because, as yet, cats are unable to get inside my photoshop.

option1

option2

option3

option4

Now I just have to decide which of these layouts, if any, I want to use. The pros of the last two are that it’ll probably make it large enough to cover my bed without me needing to cut more strips to make into yet more squares, and it makes it less eye-searing to look at. The cons are that I will need to buy more fabric (not a huge issue as i need to go to the shop for more thread tomorrow anyway), and i’ll have to figure out whatever magic method is used to sew long strips between panels.

March 22nd, 2011

I win…for now

So, I bought and erected a fence around the veg area, so the chickens can’t get in and trash everything. They are pretty unimpressed, they saw me heading that way with a fork earlier, and came running after me hoping for wormy treats, but they were foiled by the gate. It all looks chicken-proof, but i am taking bets as to how long it’ll take them to break in.

patch1

patch2

The compost bin I had was full, and over winter I’d just been putting the straw from cleaning out the chickens in a big bucket. So the other day I built a new compost area out of chicken wire, and emptied the bucket and old compost bin into it. The straw from last year had hardly broken down at all, the whole thing was too dry…I need to use more kitchen scraps on it. And possibly pee on it. Hopefully the wire will allow for more water and airflow than the bin, so it’ll start working its composty magic all by itself now.

compostheap

Now I just need to figure out what to plant. I have the remaining strawberries and raspberries, and I’m going to fill that bed with more of the same, and I have 3 blueberry plants in pots which have also been relocated to the veg area…they did ok on the patio last year until Polly started eating them. The newest bed will be for peas to help make the soil nicer, and because I love peas, but I’m still not sure what to put in the other two beds. I’ll definitely do some radish and lettuce, but I’m undecided as to what else. I may ask my LSG hoars for suggestions.

Oh, and i made this crappy panoramic pic of the garden just for reference so i can see how it changes over the year/s. Though now i want to try and do a proper one with a lens that doesn’t have crazy distortion at the edges.

garden

March 19th, 2011

It’s that time of year

Well, it’s been that time of year for a while, but I’ve mostly been in bed for the last 2 weeks cos I had a horrible cold. Now I’m just slightly coughy, I thought it was time I got on with stuff I’ve been putting off. So I cleaned out the chickens, sorted out the big bin I store the feed/corn/straw/medicine in, and started on the veggie patches. The furthest one in the pic had awful soil in last year, so I grew potatoes to break it up, which seems to have worked. The other 2 weren’t so bad, but were very weedy when i got to them today, so i dug them as best as i could, and spent most of my time just sitting on the edge of the bed pulling weeds and squishing lumps of soil with my hands. Most of the raspberry plants have survived, but only 3 strawberries made it. Before I plant this year I’m going to build a fence so the chickens can’t sit on or dig up everything. And when I say ‘I’, I mean, hope gren and or my dad will help me.

vegbeds

Every time I turned round today, I had a row of chickens following me. I kept telling them not to eat ALL the worms, but I don’t think they listened.

chooks

Before I got ill, I discovered the eye-searing Oranje on Knitty. Orange is SO not my colour, but I decided I had to knit it. I am trying not to buy yarn, so I had to knit from stash. I chose Faithful Beauty Bugga! for the main colour, and a green and a blue for the CC’s. It knitted up SO fast, and although it was my first project involving steeks, it was all very easy and uneventful. I put plenty of notes on my rav project page if anyone else is thinking of making it and is unsure of anything. I mostly followed the pattern, but made the collar a little shorter and did the bands differently as I’m going to be using a zip rather than buttons. Currently the zip is tacked in place, awaiting a battle with the sewing machine. Here’s a zipless pic.

fi2

The pattern looks a little daunting because it’s so long, but that’s a good thing, because it means it’s really clear and easy to follow. HUGE props to the designer for writing such a good pattern, and for generally being an awesome person. This is the first colourwork I’ve done on a garment (other than little things like socks, gloves, and hats), and the charts were easy to follow, easy to remember, and even the few rows that involved 3 colours in one row weren’t too traumatic. I love it so much I’m considering making another in worsted/aran weight so I can wear it as a jacket.

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