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!!


Friday, July 10, 2015

Catching up.....

I have been neglectful of my blog and when I finally sit down to organize my thoughts , I am having huge techie issues . I'm posting on my iPad and I have no idea if this is going to work or not! Please bear with me....


June was a busy month. When our kids were little I often though June was as busy as December. Lots of wind up activities, end of school  stuff, summer activities, visitors...etc. This past June we did a lot of yard work  and we were lucky to go on a few garden tours. Lots of beautiful gardens and lovely properties. I thought I'd share a few of the few hundred pictures I took. I don't think I can caption them on my iPad but you will get the idea!

I can see this is going to take a long time to upload several pictures. I'm running short of patience! It's been super hot  ( 40/103) dry (13% RH) and extremely smoky. Our province is tinder dry and there are serious fires everywhere. I'm on the recovery side of some icky oral/dental surgery  that left me speechless temporarily  ( some of you will prob find that quite hilarious) and a bit down in the mouth. I must be getting better as I'm getting a bit cranky with blogger and my pc. They refuse to talk to each other!!  I can get Blogger on Firefox but not my recent iPhone pictures. My cameras software is apparently too old for the new Microsoft and I can't even get memory cards for it anymore. Grrrrrr. I can feel the points of my teeth getting sharper and soon the hair will start growing out of the back of my hands!! On to more interesting things

Straw Bales!!!

The bales are growing like crazy. I don't have recent pictures of them and it's too hot to go outside right now. The tomatoes are just going bonkers, they have been trimmed back twice now for their suckers and it's like they come back stronger . Eggplants are blooming, peppers are growing, tons of beans, kale, and chard. Amazingly the  lettuce has held on well. It's lasted far longer in the bales than in ground. By now lettuce would have bolted weeks back. We have carrots and beets and more beans from our beds. 

Here's some chard and kale I planted in a repurposed flower bed. There's rhubarb and beans behind. It's been so hot and dry and we are under water restrictions so some/most parts of the yard look pretty dead. But that's just the way it is.  It looks more like August here as many gardens and trees look pretty beat up. I'm happy I took most of these pictures a few weeks ago. 

This is one of the bunkers, it's a planter but it got named as a bunker! I'm growing herbs, some pollinators and a few lilies and a couple of sunflowers. This used to be strictly flowers.

I've done some knitting during my incarceration here. Hopefully I can use my PC soon, it's awkward typing with one finger on an iPad! 

I'm enjoying reading everyone's posts lately, they have kept me great company and I always find out and learn about the most interesting people, places and things. Thank you all!!

Keep smiling friends!!


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