Time is flying by and I have not been writing since February … it does not seem possible that it is June already.
So many things have happened in the last few months!!
First of all I lost my job. This was quite sudden and a bit of a shock to say the least!!
Fortunately I had 1 month garden leave to find a new job, and I have found a nice job very close to home, 9 – 5 which allows me to get home at about 5.30pm latest! Furthermore I am allowed to wear casual clothing so I ride to work nearly every day, weather permitting.
I have also started to do some exercise and once a week ride my bicycle to work, about 26 miles round trip and hubby and I have started to go swimming at least once a week. Hopefully I will see some improvements soon!
The garden has developed in the last few months. The veg patch is up and running. When it was time for rotivating I still did not have a new job so we decided not to spend the money to hire a rotivator and we did it by hand. It was such a hard work!!!
At the moment we are having lettuce and radish, the cucumber plants nearly died when I moved them out form the green house whilst the courgette plants completely died! I have now replaced the latter with some bought shop plants but I think it will be a long time before we will get any veggies! Fortunately the tomatoes are doing really well!
We had a few problems with the strawberries to start with; this year we were prepared for the slugs so no problems there, however we were not expecting the birds to eat all of them. We have now solved the problems with some bird netting and had the first bowls of delicious sweet fruits!
We have also covered the cherry tree with some bird netting and hopefully this year we will taste our cherries as for the last 2 years we have not yet had any.
Lots of things have progressed with my knitting.
After finishing the hat for my hubby I decided to make him a matching scarf. It took me ages and I got very bored with it! Now that is finished though looks really good!
Whilst I was working on the scarf, I also made a top for my god daughter, in a beautiful orange/yellow/cream cotton. I have not yet seen her wearing but hopefully it will fit her just fine.
In the last few months I have also discovered that 3 of my close friends are expecting babies, so I have started knitting for the new arrivals. They are all due between November and January so winter knitting for new born babies.
So far I have completed the first hat and matching mittens and they look really really cute. I have now started on the second set and I am really enjoying doing them as they are very quick.
I have also found a nice pattern for a bolero to make with some mohair wool that I bought for myself last winter. I will be starting on this soon so that I have it ready for the winter.
I think that’s all for the time being and I must write more frequently.
First of all, it was Valentine’s weekend and I had a fantastic time with my lovely hubby!
Finally the weather has improved and on Sunday it was dry, warm …ish and not windy: perfect for the first bike ride of the year!
I had forgotten how fantastic is to be out on the road, just enjoying the freedom of my bike! The new VFR is perfect, the right size, the right positino, the right power … I am so pleased I have another one! Now I am simply looking forward to better weather for more rides.
Hubby and I left home for a short ride as we were not sure how well my right wrist would behave as it was only the second time I had been out since last year’s accident and the first itme this year.
The final destination was Tunbridge Well for a nice cuppa, but the long way round. The ride took us on our local road – the B2096 Heathfield to Battle – towards Battle. We then picked up the A21 all the way to TW, for a mixture of nice long bends and some dual carriageway. We took it nice and easy, just over 30 miles in about 50 minutes.
I was riding in front at the start to set the pace at my own level. Hubby took over after a short while; it is always a pleasure to have him riding in front of me for several reasons: firstly and foremost I love watching him and he looks really sexy on the bike … but on a more serious note I always learn something new watching him, from the lines he takes to the way he overtakes, to his observations and lifesavers. A very useful reminder and refresher lesson on good riding!
My main worry was to feel pain in my wrist, as mentioned already, and general discomfort and back pain after not having been on the bike for so long … however not of it, the bike felt just perfect! The only minor hitch was some pain in my left wrist (bizarrely enough the ‘good’ one) every time I was pulling in the clutch.
Javabean, the coffee shop in TW high street we wanted to go, was shut (a real shame as they make fantastic coffee) so we ended up for a not so good pizza at Pizza Express. They were very very busy so that may have been the reason.
The return home was much more direct on the A267. Hubby rode at the front for most of the time, whilst I was lagging behind as by now my left wrist was really hurting at every gear change. Still hurting today … hopefully it will go soon.
Once arrived home, we went out for some more riding, of a different sort. We went down the Cuckoo trail with the push bikes to give the dogs a good run. We left Horam towards Polegate. Not sure how far we went, but we were out riding for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. It was so nice not to have to rush around to get stuff done before dark as at 5 it was still nice a and bright!
I have completed the ribbed cashmere hat for my hubby and I am very pleased with it. As soon as I get a chance to take some pics I will upload them. On Saturday I was very lucky, hubby and I went to London to the theatre – we went to see The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie; really really good, a must see for anybody looking for something different from the usual musical – and as the journey is 1 20 minutes each way I progressed really well!
Once change I am pleased I made was to reduce the length before the decreases. The pattern called for 10 inches, however at 8 inches I felt it was long enough and I started the decrease rounds; the length is now perfect!
One thing I will definitely do different next time is to use circular needles where possible rather than DPNs throughout as the joining stitches between needles are very long and loose. Also, I was finding working with 6 needles very fiddling and time consuming!
All is left now is to give it a good wash!
The ribbed hart is progressing very very slowly.
I am finding knitting with 6 needles very time consuming and fiddly. I keep dropping stitches … possibly also because most of the time I knit on the train and if there are sudden movements then I drop them … but also because I am not comfortable. The needles I am using are very short, probably only 7 or 8 inches long and I am finding it very difficult to hold them in my hand all the time. My normal knitting style is to use long needles and to hold the needles under my arms!
I am still determined to make more hats, but next time I will definitely get a circular needle in the correct size and use it as much as possible before switching to DPNs.
The weather outside is still pretty much grotty, the bike is sitting in the garage, waiting for some sunshine and warmer weather. Mainly because I do not want to take her out whilst the roads are being gritted (even though with the councils running out of salt they are probably not gritting much!).
On the negative side, as soon as the weather changes, I will be commuting by bike again, thus I will not have my daily knitting allowance time whilst on the train!
I have not spoken about my garden and veg patch for a while; springtime is almost here and my hands are starting to get dirty of soil again for the new season.
Over the last few weeks I have done some weeding in the flower beds at the front of the house, cleaned the strawberry plants and pruned various flowers. I have also done some jobs I should have done in October, such as spreading manure on everything, from the asparagus to the strawberries, all the flower beds and around the various plants. Lots of my bulbs have started to come out already and, as the manure was fresh, I do hope the green tender shoots do not get ‘burnt’.
I still have various sacks of manure I have collected from a nearby farm to put to mature so that I can spread it on the veg patch and rotivate into the ground in April.
The winter lettuces are just forming their heads and I will soon be ready to pick them … delicious!
Knitting is also progressing.
The current project is the *cashmere ribbed hat* for my husband. As I do not have round needles in the correct size I have started straight away on DPS and it is becoming a very slow project!
Also, I have had to undo it a few times as I kept making it too big … now I am a bit worried it will be a bit too small!
The hat is finally finished … not quite as planned as I run out of purple yarn (I only bought 1 skein of it in a charity shop) and could not find another one of the same. At the end I bought a pink skein and made it 2 colours.
The pattern also was not as planned. I was finding it very hard to repeat the yo, k2tog every other row so I limited this to one every 6 ot 7 rows.
The pattern does not really show up onthe purple yarn but looks really nice on the pink one.
Also, I think it may be a bit too big. I have mentioned to my firend that if necessary I run an elasticated line on the border to make it fit better.
I have also started a long sleeve bolero for my mum with ap attern copied form a magazine. I completedthe sleeves and was not happy at all. I tried to un do them but I have made it in a fluffy yarn with multiple plys so I am leaving it. In October my mum will be visiting me again and she is much more experienced than me and we will work out a solution together.
I have also just started a new beani style hat for my hubby. I have copied the pattern from the fig & plum blog. The yarn I am using is a very nice cashmere, silk and wool mix in grey. I can’t wait to finish it!
On Saturday night I have frogged te purple hat and started again.
I made a few mistakes:
- I kept dropping stitches on the other needles where I was not working on them
- It was far too big. I tried to work out the gauge before starting but I nust have got it completely wrong! It was absolutely huge!
Because of the type of yarn, some of it at the beginning became ruined and I had to throw it away … as I have only 1 skein of it I really do hope it will be enough!
The original patten I decided to follow was:
Round 1: (K1, YO) repeat to the end
Round 2: Knit
I was finding this very time consuming so I am know working as follows:
Work border in 2 x 2 rib for 1 (1.5) inches.
Increase Round: *K2, M1; repeat from * to end.
Rounds 1 – 4: knit
Round 5: K2 tog, YO repeat to the end
Round 6: Knit next round
Rounds 7-10: Repeat rounds 5 & 6 twice more to to have 3 rounds with the yo pattern
Rounds 11 – 15: Knit
Round 12: K2 tog, YO repeat to the end
Round 13: Knit
Round 14: Knit – 1st decrease round
Rounds 15 – 18: knit