Sunday, April 19, 2015

Kelpie-a Hap and the Rapunzel Project

Spring has hit in full force in our neck of the woods. Hopefully all of you are finally, finally saying adieu to Old Man Winter and are starting to see warmer days and greener landscapes. It's been really busy here at Chez Chrissie. We have both been doing a lot of yard and garden cleanup. Our backyard has been neglected for several years and the front really needed an overhaul too. This coupled with crazy man Archie tearing up the yard has given us a ton of work!! That's OK, it is just so nice to be outside and muck around in the garden. I was complaining about all the dirt that was getting tracked into the house till I realized the dirty footprints were mine!! Oopsies!!
 I have a lot of perennials in the front but unfortunately the garden plant bullies had taken over and crowded out the nice well behaved ones. As a result there has been a lot of digging and weeding I have been reading up about edible landscapes a lot lately and I am going to try to incorporate some edibles in the front. We have deer to contend with so I have to think about that too. If anyone has any ideas on that topic I sure would like to hear from you!

Update on the Rapunzel Project

Well it is all about the straw bales now!

Since my last post, the bales have been going through their conditioning treatment. For a 10 day period they received a dose of fertilizer every other day and water every day. This is to start the composting action in the bales. By the end of this period the bales should be heating up. Well our guys hadn't read the memo! They were still quite cool inside. Our weather, although warm, wasn't overly warm and we were still getting quite cool temperatures and good frosts over night.This is typical April weather. I think we were all getting a little excited about our unseasonably warm winter and spring (I know, I know, I have family in Eastern Canada and they DID NOT want to hear about that). So we thought we would wrap our bales in heavy plastic to keep them warm and cozy overnight.  Fortunately we had a roll of plastic in the shed ( I don't recall why we had it, but we did). We looked out one morning and some of the bales had big black spots on them. I got a little freaked out as I am thinking spontaneous combustion but in fact it was some weird mushrooms. Obviously our bales were a cookin'! Off went the plastic.

 The next step was the installation of drip lines on top of the bales. Brent hooked them up to some of our irrigation heads so we can flick a switch to water (hopefully) rather than hand watering all the time. This man loves a contraption so he has been busy rigging up a system. I think only one or two bales will have to be manually watered.

We have started to plant some of the bales this weekend. Basically a layer of potting soil is pressed down on top of the bales and the seeds are popped in. This bed will have Watermelon Radishes. These are the best radishes ever! They are green on the outside and hot pink inside. They are  sweet and crunchy and are my absolute favourite. If you see them in the grocery store, get some and try them. We have also planted kale, chard, peas, scallions, lettuce and probably a few other things in some of our other beds and in the garden space in front of the bales. Everything is coming up so it is all pretty exciting . The drought in California coupled with a weak Canadian dollar was made us both do a rethink on our garden. Ergo edible landscaping ideas!!

That is about it for progress on the bales.

Before I forget, you have to go visit Nicole's blog, for two reasons. First, it is a wonderful blog, she is a busy super creative, rocket gardener mom of three beans  and secondly, she has written an interesting post on Permaculture. You will love her!!

Kelpie-A Hap

I have been working a bit more and gardening but there is still a bit of time left for some knitting. I finished this shawl or hap sometime ago. A hap is a Shetland shawl or wrap. Typically there is a garter stitch main section, with borders in the feather and fan or old shale pattern and often a knitted edging. There are lots of great articles written about this style, hopefully I got my facts straight. I have knitted a few from different designers. I like them as they are so pretty and are very interesting to knit. I am a real process knitter as I like an interesting project.

This is Kelpie, a modified hap designed by Jared Flood. I guess technically it is a half hap, but that  may just be a guess on my part. I really really love this wrap. It is so soft and warm and I loved knitting it. It is super nice to wear too.


I knit it with Rowan Fine Tweed in several colours. I really like this yarn, it has a more rustic handspun look but knits and blocks beautifully. I don't know if you can see the colour bands in the picture that well, but each band is a different colour. The colours start at a medium blue and carry through an increasingly darker spectrum of blues and greens. Picking the colours for a new project is one of my most favourite things. I have my eye on Hansel, a hap designed by Gudrun Johnston. KristieinBC is knitting one too. I can't wait to see hers, she has chosen such lovely colours.
I love knitting wraps, shawls and socks a lot!

Food !!

Recently, my friend Cooking Heather, invited us out for a morning of knitting and a delicious brunch. Honestly, when Heather invites you, you  immediately say yes please and when!?! And then do a happy dance! We had goat cheese appies, two kinds of quiche, a lovely salad, sausage rolls, guacamole, salsa  and a mango cheesecake. And she just throws it together, just like that. I have the vapours just thinking about it! I recently did a Thai cooking class with her so I will talk about that next time.

 I hope you all have a great week!!

Keep smiling!!


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