Sunday, July 19, 2015

Irving a BT Cabled Hat and....a straw bale veggie update!

Italian Pink Bicolour Eggplant

I hope I find you all enjoying a great summer's day today. I was watching the weather ( praying for a rain icon to appear) and I couldn't help but notice all the weather extremes our planet is experiencing this summer. It seems that either it's a drought or a deluge in many parts of this continent. I see there has been cool weather in the UK and it is very hot in Southern France. Don't worry, I'm not going on a global warming rant here!

I have been knitting a few hats lately. It might seem odd to be knitting hats in a heat wave/drought but they are small projects and I am determined to be ahead of the eight ball where C gifts are concerned. (I am not mentioning that holiday by name, it is the C word for the time being). I figured being well medicated on pain killers may prove a challenge but strangely enough it appears I am a better knitter when I am full of anti inflammatories!! Go figure!!!

Anyways I really like this pattern, it is a basic cabled hat knit with a worsted weight yarn. It knits up fairly quickly. The pattern is Irving, a BT design. I used some Debbie Bliss Luxury Aran. I love this yarn, I have used it before for Skiff-a BT hat and for Bray -my daughter's sweater. I didn't get gauge with it using a 5 mm so I used a 4.5 mm needle . It did make the hat a bit smaller in height, but with all those cables the hat is perfect width ways. It fits me perfectly but for a guy or a woman with a bigger head or lots of hair, I would do an extra cable repeat before I started knitting the crown. I thought of that at the time but I have a habit of rethinking and restructuring patterns a lot and I thought to myself for once knit it as it is written Chris! I also didn't think my brain was working at optimal levels!!!

I really liked how the crown on this hat was designed. I always look at the crown of a hat before I start knitting it. Some crowns look too dorky to me or too saggy or sometimes they are nice but look too girly for a guy. That's just my opinion but this one looks great for anyone and it is formed and shaped nicely. It doesn't have a weird point to it. Yadda yadda yadda, love the hat and will knit it again.

I started another hat and knit a few more inches but I didn't like it, so I ripped it out. After all these years clacking my needles I still find ripping out projects so annoying! But you just have to cut your losses and move on. I have a few more finished hats that I will take pictures of at a later date.

Eggplant blossoms are so pretty!

 At the top of my post was a picture of one of my baby eggplants. We have never grown eggplants before. Now with these bales, anything seems possible. We just can't get over it.

Sweet green bell peppers

Anaheim pepper

Beans, carrots, kale and chard

As you can see it is getting pretty dried out here now. That's OK, come fall when hopefully we get some precipitation, it will green up again. There have been a lot of hits with the bales, but a few misses too. Our radishes didn't bulb up, it could have been weather related too. We have had crazy hot dry spells since May.

Armenian Yard Longs-16 inches

This is an Armenian yard long cucumber. Yes. they can go to 3 feet long! I saw these in a nursery and thought they looked interesting. Bit of an impulse seed selector! I'm much more disciplined with my yarn purchases. I read about them after the fact, and evidently they are quite sweet, like a cross between a melon and a cucumber.t Looks like we are going to have lots of them lol!

Cuke bale

What has been most amazing is our tomatoes. They are insane!


Brent has pruned back the suckers twice now, and they just keep on growing. They are becoming so heavy they have pulled over their cages. Yikes!!


Hang on dowels!

We have reinforced the cages with some wooden dowels. You can see they are getting quite bowed with all the weight. Next step...rebar? We are getting a daily supply of tomatoes now and they are lovely. No bugs, no blossom end rot, just lovely tomatoes. We have a great climate for tomatoes and the bales keep the roots warm. I think that is a huge bonus for veggies such as tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.

Not too exciting here, hats and veggies. What have you all been up to? how are all your gardens? Do you craft a lot in the summer? Good reads? recipes? trips? I know, so many questions but you are all so interesting!

 Keep cool, keep dry, keep on keeping on and keep smiling!!



  1. As always, Nice knitting ! And your garden ... great veggies ! Here in France it's very very hot and ont only in the south ! Today we have clouds but it's still to hot ! I need rain .... have a lovely week !

    1. I was listening to the news and there was a clip on how hot it is in France. Not nice at all! I hope you get some rain and cooler weather soon. Our tomatoes and eggplants sure love this heat, I can't understand how they are still alive! Hope you have a cooler week ahead GĂ©raldine.

  2. Wow, that bale gardening method is amazing isn't it!!! I didn't not expect it to work - if you see what I mean! - but I am stunned at just how well it has worked, far better than I could have imagined and far better than you imagined too by the sounds of it! So many great things to eat!!! xx

    1. It is truly amazing isn't it Amy?!? I'm sure my friends thought I'd lost my marbles on this one. It is fantastic and we are sold!! Our veggies are delicious!

  3. The weather in the UK - especially here in Northern Ireland - is awful. You'd think it was winter today instead of the middle of summer. Your first hat is very like one I knit for my husband. I had to rip out my first attempt. I laughed, for he never said anything about it but knew I wouldn't be happy with it and would start again! I hate having to rip things out but am coming round to it more and more as there's no point carrying on with something that just isn't right.

    1. Gillian that's awful to hear. Summer is supposed to be warm and sunny, not like winter- winter is long enough. Ripping out knitting is a necessary evil . I always think if I keep knitting it will get better but as you know, it never does! I really have to pay attention to that little voice that tells me " this ain't working!" I hope the sun pops out this week for you!

  4. I am JEALOUS of that gorgeous garden of yours. I finally had to pull all my plants out as after the cut worms I got mites, really I just wanted a few tomatoes and cucumbers. I did end up with some tomatoes and we are finishing those off now. I will be waiting for cooler weather before I plant again.

  5. Oh those garden pests!!! Between your cutworms, mites and alligators and water moccasins you have a lot to deal with. As its so bone dry here I think most of the bugs left long ago or shrivelled up n the heat. Too bad you weren't a bit closer or I'd be doing a home delivery to you! I have lots of zucchini and not a lot of takers:). Home grown tomatoes are the best!! Hopefully by the fall your pests will have buzzed off!

  6. Look at that glorious goodness up there! Holy cow my buddy! Your veggies are just extraordinary! You have inspired me with the bales....and those tomatoes! My veggies are pretty blah. We have been hit with so much rain that it killed my carrots from rot. You are right about this environment situation. It scares me for what is to come with how extreme the weather has been. But onward and upwards right? Your hat is stunning and you had me cracking up about the C word! Now if only you could teach me to knit! Happy week you! Nicole xo

  7. We are eating lots of veggies and making deliveries to our family members. Too bad you weren't close and I'd be ringing your doorbell!! The zucchinis are going bonkers too but I have no takers 'lol! Wow after your cold winter now you are having a wet summer., that really bites. I am on a bit of a hat knitting spree right now, I wonder if it will ever be cold enough to wear it. Have a great week !

  8. Those bales are amazing!! I gave up on tomatoes because they develop so much disease/drama in my climate. As for books, I'm currently reading The Painted Kiss by Elizabeth Hickey and I love it! It's about one of my favorite painters, Gustav Klimt, and his lover Emilie Floge, who is the woman in my favorite painting, The Kiss.

  9. Hey Tammy! Thanks for the book recommendation, sounds very interesting! This climate is perfect for tomatoes and other heat lovers. There are vineyards and wineries everywhere in the Okanagan/Similkameen are too. I don't have grapes but lots of people grow them here. I'm thinking that might be a new project for the garden! Have a great weekend!

  10. Good for you getting started on those presents so early. I like the look of that yarn with the little colored flecks all through it.
    Your tomatoes are amazing. I haven't had a really good crop for the last 3 years. I'm thinking hay bales for next year!

  11. Well hopefully I won't give them away before Christmas! One thing about hats , they are quick!! honestly the bales are the way to go, it's really so much easier than in ground beds and there is no weeding. I can't believe the veggies that are coming from these bales, it is amazing.


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