Friday, 28 May 2010

Chelsea 2010 Part 2

The Fir Tree Garden

Here are the last photos of Chelsea. I am sorry I can't remember the names of all of the gardens so I will just post what I remember.

The Australian Garden
(because it was so hot, this one looked really inviting)

View from the top deck of the double decker bus
in Battersea Park
(My sons had never been on a double decker bus before)

The l'Occitaine garden

The Daily Telegraph garden (I think)

My son getting Carol Klein's autograph.
She is perfectly lovely and she remembered him from last year.
He is the one with the Hawaii shirt on.

The l'Occitaine Garden again

I think this is Tom Stuart-Smith's garden

As you can see, it is not a comprehensive walk through of Chelsea but I took photos of gardens or parts of gardens that interested me. I hope you enjoy them.

Stripey frogging

I have frogged the stripey jumper. As you know, I have been having problems with my tension. When I started the jumper I had been working on my tension a bit but I decided that I would drop a needle size to help improve it. The knitting was the neatest thing I had ever done! When I came back from knitting club the other night I realised that the jumper didn't look very big. I had nearly finished the back as well. I held it up against my son and it was too small. It is now frogged and I have started again. I can't go up a size because that would be far too big so I am going to give the size another go with the right size needles. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Chelsea 2010 Part 1

This is my first post about the Chelsea flower show 2010. Yes, I'm afraid it does mean that there will be more. The computer was being a bit slow tonight so I have only put the first batch of photos on. Here is a photo of a lawn mower that my son took a shine to. We actually lost him for a little while at the show and I found him sitting on this lawn mower. He hadn't even realised that we were gone!

The runaway lawn mower

Vegetables in the Floral Marquee

These are some of the small gardens. Overall I was a little disappointed in Chelsea this year. I have to say that I found it a bit mediocre. The gardens seem to be designed for the cameras now and not the public. I found it very difficult to see the gardens, not only because of the crowds but because they didn't seem to be designed to be seen from the ground. There wasn't a large show garden that stood out as being one that I particularly liked or inspired me. Even last year, when Chelsea was gripped by the recession there were one or two gardens there where the planting was exquisite and the overall design was beautiful. I didn't find it this year.

A few years ago Chelsea had a show garden designed and built by the Larkhill prisoners. It was superb. It was a small boat on some water with some wild flowers around. There were also gardens on a slope so that the whole of the garden could be seen. Not so this year.

I never thought I would say this but I really miss Diarmuid Gavin. Not only for his designs but also for his BBC TV coverage. It seems that the show is no longer for the public with the TV coverage as a back up. It seems that the TV coverage is the main event. And although the gardening personalities alone are all quite nice, when they get together at Chelsea they seem to have turned into a bunch of luvvies.

This, of course, is just a personal opinion. It is always nice to go for a day out in London so I should stop moaning. And my car made it to Battersea Park and back, which is always a result.

I will post more photos so that we can all feel that we have got our money's worth. Still enjoying the great weather here.

I have been reading on everyone else's blogs about the Sublime yarn sales at both Kemps and Black Sheep. Must try to resist.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Get knitted

Yesterday I travelled to Get Knitted in Bristol. I had wanted to go there for a long time and decided that yesterday would be the day. I had looked on the website and found that they were selling Sublime merino silk aran extremely cheaply. Armed with a couple of Kim Hargreaves pattern books in case I got tempted I made my way to Brislington in Bristol. It is about thirty miles or so from where I live so it was a bit of a trek but worth it. It is a large shop with lots of space and almost every yarn imaginable. I managed to get the Kim Hargreaves Nectar book that I had been looking for for a while and the aran yarn. I also bought some Sublime Organic Cotton. With my purchases in hand, I went home.

After a couple of hours at home rolling in my yarn, I decided I would look at the pattern books I had taken with me to match purchases to patterns. After half an hour of panic, I realised I had left them at the shop. Doh. I had to drive all the way back to pick them up. What a pain. To make it seem like my afternoon wasn't completely wasted, I combined the second excursion with a trip to Ikea which is only a couple of miles from Get Knitted. A tough job but someone has to do it. All in all, a big day out.

I forgot to take a photo of Get Knitted to show you so I have posted a photo from our upstairs window to make it more exciting. Did it work? I hope to have a photo of the yarn tomorrow just to show you. Have a look at their Sublime sale if you get a chance.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Dr Who Live

I have got my tickets to see Dr Who live in Cardiff. How nerdy! I know the photo isn't the most up to date one but I couldn't find one with the new doctor and companion. The show doesn't feature the actors but my son desperately wants to go so we are now a step closer. The really sad thing about this is that the week before my other son wants to go to the Fanderson Convention in Bristol for fans of Gerry Anderson. Of course, I will have to take him! Good times.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Stripey sweater part 600

I finally found a pattern that I was happy with for my son's stripey sweater. It is in Simple Easy Knits from Sirdar. The title should say it all. I didn't want anything too taxing because I had to work out the stripes as well. I think this one will work a treat. I have gone for the plain crew neck that the small boy is wearing.

I also decided to be a bit more tasteful with the colours. I have gone for just four to start with. I thought I would try one with four and, once I had become brave and my son had got used to it, make one with about twenty four colours in. How about that. So here are my slightly subdued colours. I hope it will still be quite funky. The yarn is a Stylecraft dk and is lovely and soft to work with.

On a totally different subject, my catalogue has come through for the Chelsea Flower Show. Yaaaaaaaaaay! Good times. I am quite excited. We are going up on Tuesday which is the first day that it is open to the public and it is also Medals day. It is always a really long day but worth it. Hopefully I will be able to get some good photos of the gardens.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

A timely purchase

On my day out to Wells last week I popped into a local yarn store. My son was with me and he was happy to come into the shop because he wants me to knit him a sweater. His taste in yarn leaves something to be desired, not because of the quality but because of the colours he chooses. The last sweater I made him was so bright it was really unpleasant to work with but he absolutely loved it. When we went in he made straight for the really vile multi coloured yarns. The shopkeeper could not believe her luck and got really excited about palming us off with the 'left on the shelf' yarns. Before I could blink, he had armfuls of the stuff. I quickly got out my phone and googled Mick Aston from Time Team. As you will probably know, he is famous for wearing stripey jumpers. I showed my son a photo of these sweaters and he fell in love. He then picked out some yarn for himself. Phew. Another knitting crisis averted.

the original stripey jumper yarn

Two days later I drove to Taunton with my other son and we stopped at a craft section in a garden centre. Big mistake. I saw some Bergere de France Barisienne yarn and it was stunning. I really fell in love with the colours and I knew my son would too. The salesperson kept saying that it was only acrylic. I must be honest, I wasn't keen on the fact that she kept pointing that out. Acrylic was exactly what I wanted. It has to be robust, it is for my son! Anyway I came away with an armful and am trying to work out how to lay it out for the best stripes. I hope there is not too much pink, it should be ok if I spread it about. What do you think? I have decided that I can make my husband a Mick Aston sweater with the first lot (whether he wants one or not).

the beautiful Bergere de France Barisienne

Before I can start on the Mick Aston sweater I must finish the project I am currently working on. It is from the Debbie Bliss Amalfi book and is called the 'A Line Cardigan'. I am sorry I cannot find a link to it. It is quite a plain, short sleeved cardigan for my daughter to wear if we have a good summer. Fingers crossed. This is the project so far.

the back of the cardigan

I have not used the Amalfi yarn but I have used Stylecraft Sirocco DK which is a combination of cotton and linen. It is also a textured yarn which I am not sure about but I will persist. I got the yarn from the brilliant Kemps. I bought it in Pineapple but there are so many excellent colours.

the Pineapple yarn

I think this colour is a little muted. I had expected it to be a bit brighter although I am pleased with it anyway. I think it will go with more outfits.

The levels

On Friday I had to take my son to Taunton to pick up a computer. This involved us driving over the Somerset levels so I thought we would take some photos. As you can see it was another overcast day. This area of Somerset is drained so that it can be farmed and inhabited. Apparently, it is the reason Somerset got its name because people could only live there in the summer - summer settlement, which then became Somerset. I don't know if this is true but it sounds plausible. Hope you enjoy the photos.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

A grand day out

The Bishops Palace

My son had an appointment with the orthodontist yesterday in Wells. I hadn't realised that it was also market day there so I took a few photos too. Wells is one of the smallest cities in the UK (it may be the smallest). It has a large cathedral. Wells is also the place that was used for the town in the film "Hot Fuzz". It is a very picturesque place. It also has the Bishop's Palace where the swans ring a bell to be fed. How clever! My children do exactly the same. The photos where taken on my phone by my son. What a budding photographer.

View towards the Cathedral from the Market Square

View of the Market

A different view of the market but brighter

The front of the Cathedral

The front of the Cathedral again

The Bishop's Palace again

As you can see, it was a fairly overcast day with some rain showers. We also had a trip to the LYS there but I will post more about our adventures there later.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


In my bid to understand Ravelry I have been dipping in for short periods of time. I have joined a few groups, I have put on a project (although I have yet to upload a photo) and I have put a pattern in my basket. Yay.

Can anyone please tell me what the etiquette is for friends? My Ravelry account looks a bit lonely with no friends. Do I just add people or am I destined to be a 'billy no mates' forever? Any hints would be appreciated.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Cherry baby

Cherry Cake Yum Yum

I made a cherry and coconut cake yesterday. I got the recipe from the blog of A Homely Heroine. It looked so delicious that I had to try it. I had commented on the blog that you could keep the cherries evenly distributed by coating them in flour. As you can see, this didn't work. The cherries seemed to just congregate at the bottom. It also took a lot longer to cook in my oven than the suggested hour although I did turn the oven down by twenty degrees because it tends to run a bit hot. Maybe I will just follow the instructions next time! The cake was absolutely scrummy and I will definitely try to get more recipes from there.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Daisy, Daisy give me your answer do.

Daisy on the lawn

Daisy on the drive

Here is a photo of the long awaited Daisy cardigan. It is a Kim Hargreaves pattern in her Breeze book. I have never attempted a Kim Hargreaves pattern before and it took me a little while to get used to the way she writes the pattern but it was a lot easier than I had expected.

I decided on lilac with a green edge on the sleeves and inside the pockets. I really wanted some green pearlised buttons to pick out the colour but could not find them. I never realised that there were so many shades of green. I had to settle for some lilac flowers instead. If anyone has a good online supply of buttons that they know about I would love to hear about them.

I knitted it in a DK cotton by Sirdar which I bought cheaply from Kemps.

I was a little disappointed with the cardigan because the tension was all wrong. I hadn't done a tension square and I have realised I am a very loose knitter. It has actually come out about two inches bigger than it should have done. When I compared the way I knit to the other knitters I know I realised that I do not have any tension on the yarn as I knit. It just flops about in my fingers. I am trying to find a way of putting more tension on it but it is like learning to knit again. It has really slowed me done. Still, better to be done properly.

I have spent the last couple of days working on tension squares for various patterns and in different yarns. I will keep up the good work and stay calm!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

A day at the beach (or an hour in the cold)

We braved it at the beach today. Despite the fact that we had a frost this morning, the sun had come out and I thought it was worth a try. I wore a big fleece and wondered whether I would be too hot. No need to worry. It was freezing. The wind was absolutely howling. I paid for three hours in the car park but we were there only one. I took my sock knitting which kept me warm but it was a chilly experience. My son actually braved the sea. He went right up to his waist. What a hero. We then went down the road and got some fish and chips. Purely to warm ourselves up you understand.

My knitting sunning itself on the beach.

As you can see, the beach was packed.

My hero.

I have actually got to the sewing up stage of my Daisy cardigan. Yippee. Tonight I am going to sew in the sleeves so will hopefully be able to post a photo tomorrow.

I am quite pleased with it but not sure about the colours. I am quite sad that blog week is over. I thoroughly enjoyed reading everyones stories about knitting. Thank you so much to Eskimimi for organising it.