Flowers, flowers and more flowers…

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Now the evenings are drawing in I’m finding a little more time for knitting and, being at heart a one project person, I’m keen to finish a cardigan I started early in the Summer. But when my friend, Sharm, started making a beautiful flower blanket I really wanted to crochet along so I’ve been making a few blocks. You can find the pattern for these blocks on her blog, Country Fragrance. I think this is a lovely block pattern although I’m not planning another bed-sized crochet blanket for a while so I’m not quite sure how many more I’ll make or what I’ll make them into.

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The real festival of flower here, though, is in the garden and I have pretty much abandoned them, now, to dance into Autumn in their disorderly chaos of colour.

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Our garden is really more than a one person job and it has been a solitary, endless and mostly thankless task this year but the flowers (and vegetables) do make me smile and I secretly feel that, in a way, I have been a victim of my own success! To sound like a real gardener, however, I know the correct phrase is: “We’ve been lucky with the weather this year” ;)

I’m hoping the flowers will keep dancing on for another month or two and that then, towards the end of October, Jack Frost will come one night and clear it all away, leaving me with a clean slate to start again next year. That is what I call being ‘lucky with the weather’ and that is when, if I’m lucky myself, I’ll find more time to crochet again :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

 

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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