Holiday activity
Sunday, January 11, 2009 at 19:56
martian77 in Garden, Knitting

I'm home on a Sunday night feeling mildly guilty because GG is off at a pub quiz, and I didn't go with her. My head is still a bit stuffed and giving me a headache, but honestly I just didn't really feel like being sociable! So instead I'm going to list out what I did over Christmas in between seeing family and such like.

There was the whole playing with rubber episode, which I still haven't completely finished. The stealth card holder is working well, so that's good.

Other than that, I spent surprisingly little time in the garden. I developed some serious pain in my lower back almost as soon as I reached holiday time, which was unnerving and painful. It has miraculously pretty much gone now, which is a relief but it was really irritating. It felt like it could have been a side effect from falling down the stairs. Think I might have to take a little more care about it in future.

Still, I did manage to prune my apple trees and bring the first tier of the espalier down to near horizontal.

Tortured Scrumptious

Only near horizontal though. The wire (or washing line in this case) isn't tight enough, but it's too cold to stretch it right now. I'll  do it maybe late April! I tidied up the two in the front garden, trimmed up the lavender bushes that needed it, and swapped out the cover on the broad beans. I've used the mesh bags we got our logs delivered in rather than the horticultural fleece that was round them, because the fleece was just going to flap around in the wind and bash the plants. Of course, I did that just before it dipped down to -5 degrees Celcius, and now my broad beans are looking a little sad, but I'm hopeful. The mesh should deter any pigeons a little (hopefully), which is the main point.

So the garden was not tidied and mulched the way I'd hoped. Actually, the weather and this cold played a part too, it wasn't just the back. Regardless, there's work to do out there.

Most of the rest of the time was spent knitting! I finished a pair of stripey socks, because they were just plain knitting and with the champagne, wine and port I wasn't really up to much else on Christmas day! I also knit them whilst reading a book I was concentrating on. Always handy to have a plain pair of socks on the go.

Felici self-stripe

These were started when I went to iKnit London to see Franklin talk. On that trip I accidently spent my birthday money on 800g of Wensleydale Aran wool in navy. I had been eyeing up Bonnie from the Twist Collective for ages, and this was my wool of choice for that pattern. It was a great choice too. It's lovely, lovely wool. Silky soft. It does shed a little, but it is really nice. A little bit thinner than the worsted weight that the pattern calls for, so I went down a needle size and up a sweater size. A 4.5mm needle instead of a 5mm, and I knit the medium size. Apart from the sleeves, because I made the length from the armpit to the shoulder a little bit bigger, so I knit the next size up on the sleeves. It seems to have worked. I meant to take a photo of me wearing it, because i've been wearing it a lot, but I haven't managed yet. This was it just before I sewed it up.

Bonnie Blue

I love this jumper. Really. I like the asymmetry of the cables, and how they avoid the monotony of the second sleeve. And the neckline with the split really works. My only criticism of the pattern is that the edges curl a bit. But this is one of the best things I've made for ages. Now, watch me shrink it in the wash! I wouldn't quite have got it finished without taking the Monday as a sick day, but yeah, that took a large chunk of the holiday.

I did manage to read a couple of books too. I finally finished "Don't you have time to think?" a collection of Richard Feynman's correspondance, and read "The man who planted trees" by Jean Giono and a collection of papers on urban agriculture. I may come back to that one later, because it was quite thought provoking. I haven't been reading much really for the last couple of years, which is a real difference. I'm not quite sure why.

Article originally appeared on Life on Mars (http://www.martiandaze.net/).
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