Saturday, March 21, 2015

It is Spring!

It's so cold! But things are beginning to stir and it looks as though Spring is really trying hard to get going. I go for a walk in the University Parks on Friday lunchtimes with a couple of my colleagues and usually end up taking a few pictures on my phone. Yesterday, it was looking very Spring-like.

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Things are moving on at home too. Over the last few weeks I've sown some sunflowers, radishes, summer and winter squash, courgettes, tomatillos, tomatoes, spring onions, dwarf broad beans, peas chillies, brussels sprouts, Kale and finally some more cucumbers for pickling as gherkins.

20150321-01The carrots I sowed a few weeks ago are just beginning to sprout as are the spring onions. The lettuces are up and looking healthy.

Everything inside on the window sills is going great guns. I'm fast running out of space! I really need that allotment but I haven't heard anything from the council yet. I've also put my name on the waiting list for another site so fingers crossed!




Sunday, March 01, 2015


Today started out lovely and bright but cold and breezy, now it is raining, cold and breezy! Oh well, at least the sun shone for a few hours!

20150301-01 This has happened twice in the last two weeks. Both times my pea, radish, and spring onion seed trays have been tumbled forward. This time around, the peas weren't too badly disturbed so I have left them particularly as some of the dislodged compost revealed that they are beginning to sprout! Only two radishes survived the first upending and this time, as with the peas, I can see that they have started to sprout. Let's hope they survive! Unfortunately, the brussels sprouts and spring onions didn't survive the first upending, and although I sowed another lot of spring onions, they were completely upended again the second time around so I have given up on them temporarily. I've now tied some garden twine around the tree and bush on either side of the grow rack and it passes across the front at the top so I'm hoping this is enough to stop it falling forward!

Seeing as today is the first day of March and March is the real beginning of the sowing season, I couldn't resist! I've sown four different varieties of lettuce and some carrots. The carrots are Paris Market 5 (Atlas) and are a round variety rather than long and I will be growing them in a container. The lettuce are Butterhead - All The Year Round; Little Gem; Lollo Rossa and Mixed Lettuce Leaves. I'm planning to do a bunch of successional sowings every few weeks so hopefully I will have a good supply throughout the summer.

The other seeds I sowed a couple weeks ago are doing well! Two of the three cucumbers have leapt out of the soil although there is no sign of the third. I've already moved the cukes to little pots of their own. Two of the Sweet Colour Spectrum peppers have sprouted and the day after I said I was going to give up on the Razzamatazz chillies, two sprouted and there is the merest hint that a third is also on the way!


20150301-03The tomatoes are continuing to do well and I have separated one lot into separate pots. Must do the same for the second lot soon.

And now the rain has stopped and the sun is shining again!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Back again...

It's been an awfully long time since I last blogged and, to be honest, I don't know if I will keep up the enthusiasm or whether it will all peter out again. Having said that, my enthusiasm for sharing my crafty endeavours has been reinvigorated by my increasing need to be less of a consumer and more of a producer. So this blog will now include not only my spinning and knitting but also cooking and gardening.

In May last year, G and I moved to a rented house in Banbury and I love the house! Look at the lovely cooker! The downside is that it has a very small, north-facing back garden and a minuscule front garden that at least has the benefit of facing south and contains a cherry tree and a pear tree in the front border/hedge. The pear is either Conference or Concorde and I did get to try one pear last year before someone pinched them all! That won't be allowed to happen again this year! Not sure about the cherry, the birds got to the fruit before I could check to see if it was ornamental or edible. I might have to try netting it this year.

The most exciting bit of news is that I am on the waiting list for an allotment! The very nice lady at Banbury Town Council said that I would probably get one this year as the list is quite short and lots of people give up their plots when the renewal notices go out in March.

Of course, I can't wait to hear whether I'll get a plot so I am planning and planting the veggie containers for the back garden with the hope that I will be able to transplant it all come April! About a month ago I sowed some tomato and basil seeds which have come up. The tomatoes are Gardener's Delight, a cherry tomato, and Tigerella which has a striped skin, the picture on the seed packet looks like an apple! I sowed six seeds of each and have had five of each come up.

The basil is a lot less far along than the tomatoes, still only the first two, not proper, leaves but I think nearly all the seeds have sprouted. I sowed two types, Red Leaved and Sweet Green.

This week I've sowed some Chillies - Razzamatazz (hot), Peppers - Colour Spectrum, Cucumber - Marketmore 76, Spring Onion - North Holland Blood Red, Brussels Sprouts - Evesham Special, Radishes - French Breakfast 3 and finally some Peas - Meteor. The cucumbers, chillies and peppers along with the tomatoes and basil will live on the dining room window sill as that faces south and gets loads of sun but all the others have moved out to the covered grow rack thingy I bought from Homebase yesterday. I'm tempted to call it my polytunnel!

I've also finished two pairs of socks so far this year.

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Hmmm... It's a little dusty around here...

Well, here I am blogging again after nearly three years. I'll start with a finished object - the Bear Beanie. It's a pattern from Wendy and uses their Merino Chunky. I did modify the pattern because it had you knit the muzzle separately and then sew it in place which made no sense to me so I knit it intarsia. I think it's mega-cute!


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tour de Fleece

Week 2 of the Tour saw me spin my first 4ply yarn. It was fun! The fibre is Shetland from Southern Cross Fibre in 'Koala'. It's about DK-ish weight, 105g and 174m.


Next up on the wheel is some more SCF this time Polwarth in 'Adelaide'. My home town brilliantly brought to life with fibre and dye!


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Tour De Fleece

Yes, it's that time of year again. Men in tight lycra are touring France and I am spinning for the Tour de Fleece.

I started really well yesterday and spun and plied 4oz of Spunky Eclectic May 09 club fibre - Romney in 'Pansy'.
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Today I have hardly spun at all... I started some Southern Cross Fibre Shetland in 'Koala'. The fibre demanded to be next in the spinning list by leaping off the stash pile and attacking me.
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It's great to be spinning again, it's been a looooong time...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

My New Idea

I've decided to do some occasional posts about my commute to my new job in Oxford and my explorations of Oxford itself. It's such a fascinating place!

Where better to start than with my view each morning...


Will the train ever come? ;-)