New to Me…

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Happy Midsummer or Midwinter :)

It seems like forever since I wrote a ‘New to Me’ post to link up with Fiona At Celtic Thistle Stitches – it’s so long, in fact, that I felt sure it was on the 15th of the month and I’ve just realised it’s not until 25th! No matter. I do have a couple of new things to share this month.

I have been crocheting Granny Stripes (which I’ve never tried before) and I’m confident I will have a blanket finished by the next Wool on Sundays.

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And I’ve re-newed my kitchen tablecloth. The photo on the left, below, was originally an upcycle from two quilts, which were too small to be very useful and I loved this quilted cloth but it had become horribly faded by the sun so I dyed it. I had to choose a colour dark enough to cover the red so I went for navy blue and found I’d quilted in dye resistant white :( But I think it’s ok with a vintage cloth on top and it definitely looks an improvement.

 

Apart from that, it’s been VERY hot. If you’re in Australia, I’m sure you’ll think 30+ degrees is nothing but with out humidity and lack of acclimatisation it’s been plenty hot enough! Today has been the hottest June day and this has been the hottest ‘prolonged period in June’ since 1976. It’s not quite new to me. I was ten years old in 1976 and I spent the rest of my childhood and many other rainy Summers hoping for a repeat but it is unusual and was certainly new to Poppy and Fiona.

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I’m actually hoping that these clouds in the West this evening are blowing in with some cooler weather. Thunder storms (which I love) are forecast tonight and then a band of rain, which I would welcome after all the gardening I’ve been doing lately – not too much rain though! As the sun was setting tonight, the birds were much quieter than usual but there was a huge hullaballoo of cows echoing all around the hills so I don’t doubt change is coming…

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In the garden, the most exciting ‘new to me’ has been a bird family that took up residence in a box nailed to the oak by people who lived here before us. I’m glad I eventually got around to taking these photos yesterday (even though the sun wasn’t in a good place) because today these noisy little birds found themselves so well fattened by the extraordinary quantity of insects and caterpillars their long suffering mother has been fetching and carrying to them for weeks, that they managed to fly away.

My other ‘new to me’s are less interesting. I have managed to get the whole vegetable garden weed-free (which, sadly won’t last long) and tried to net broccoli and kale making hoops from tensioning wire. It looks ridiculous and I don’t recommend it but everything was free and the proof will be in the eating!

And we have new-this-year courgettes and some runner beans grown, which is a new-ever to have by midsummer. Staying on the kitchen table all through April (owing to frosts) obviously didn’t do them any harm!

I hope next month I’ll have more crafty ‘new to me’s to link :)

Janine @Rainbow Hare

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I’m linking this post with Fiona at Celtic Thistle for New to Me:

Celtic Thistle Stitches

The end of the Goldfinch…

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In general exciting news, we have been sent a new router by our ISP after having no internet and endless, monotonous endeavours to sort it out of late. Now it seems that I am again in the virtual world – though we are expecting a storm so, new router or not, my new connectedness may be short lived. I will reserve judgement and keep my fingers crossed.

In knitting news, I have used up the end of the West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 Ply – Goldfinch (840). Or, at least, I have nearly got to the end of it.

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This is the absolute end!

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If I’d realised how far the 100g would go I could have made these socks, a bit shorter and although I knew I’d used over half I had no idea how much was left so I made the second pair toe-up using some brown from stash to eke it out. I also used a mock cable stitch (with 1 x 1 rib sole) to make them a bit different from the first pair.

At this time of year any free daylight hours really have to be spent in the garden and I felt like these colours were stalking me!

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Because we live on clay, the ground goes from sticky and muddy and undiggable to rock hard and back-breaking and undiggable and there are only a few days when digging is fairly easy. On those days the garden calls to you and  you ignore it at your peril!

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The broad beans that have been growing over winter are flowering. I usually think of their flowers as white but when I looked closely I found they are really quite exquisite.

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In the evenings, of course, I come in from the garden and knit! Now, I am thinking I can use these two pairs of socks as guides for making others from the Country Birds Collection...

I may have bought a ball in Owl and one in Mallard…

I wish you you a lovely weekend – hopefully not too stormy :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

 

Wandering – but not far…

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I can hardly believe it’s time to link up with Soma at Whims and Fancies  for Wandering Camera again already!

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Wandering Camera – October Linky Party

During September, my camera and I didn’t wander far. Mr RH and I have been to busy making a flower garden. And I fear you will rightly notice it is rather short of flowers right now but then it’s not really a flower time of year and I think it has a lot of potential! If you would like skip down to some knitting and steam rollers, I won’t be offended!

It began with a large (about 30′ x 15′) area of decking, which was here before us. We tried to ameliorate it by making a small border and a box hedge around the edge several years ago but really it was always an eyesore and when it started to rot we thought we’d take the opportunity to do something else. I didn’t take a ‘before’ picture but this is what was under it.

We have kept the wood, sorted into ‘usable’ and ‘burning’ and reused or kept for reuse the general rubble and old carpets etc so nothing has been wasted! Our best reuse, so far has been a large compost bin (bottom left below).

We built some brick steps and made an outline with lengths of treated decking, which we filled with broken paving etc followed by two tonnes of sand, the old carpet and one tonne of recycled slate for the paths and a small patio.

And we filled everywhere else with four tonnes of topsoil (after digging out all the old rubble and breaking up the clay). To celebrate, we bought a table and two chairs in an end of season sale. I have planted bulbs to get a start in the Spring and I think it will be a nice place to sit once we have flowers growing around and obscuring the square edges :)


Apart from that I have a knitting finish (the hodge podge Winter Cardy)…

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A new pattern (the Rainbow Hare Peg (Clothes Pin) Bag)

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Rainbow Hare Peg (Clothes Pin) Bags

And a little crochet (although I have officially banned myself from crochet to get more sewing done :/ )…

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I also took a photo of one of the many steam rollers that go by our house every Summer and couple of people have asked me about them so I thought I’d include a little info here.

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“In the years before the Second World War traction engines and steam wagons were the backbone of road haulage and farming , and without the invention of the steam road roller by Thomas Aveling we would not have our system of macadam or tarmac roads. The advent of the petrol and heavy oil engines as used in early tractors and lorries changed all that, but steam wagons were still in use in the 1950’s and some steam rollers worked on well into the 60’s” (Source).

There is a grand tradition around here of restoring and celebrating such engines and a circuit of Steam Fairs or Rallies take place throughout the Summer ending, for us, with a road run to our local village. They cause havoc during rush hour but there is always something wonderful and exciting about hearing the clattering in the distance slowly getting louder and louder interspersed by a couple of hoots and hiss of steam.

I happened upon this you tube video, which gives a good idea of a nearby Steam Rally, lest anyone should think the countryside is quiet and dull :)

I’m going now to link this post with Soma’sWandering Camera – October Linky Party and to see everyone else’s September photos.

Happy October!

Janine @ Rainbow Hare