Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Home Grown

This summer, we have been experimenting with growing just a little smidgen of food. I will hold my hands up here & admit that I have no gardening knowledge beyond my 'throw in dirt, add water' technique, but am willing to give it a go. Our garden is mostly paved, with some gravel-filled beds. We have some vague plans to do big work to the garden, but for now I gathered a few odd containers (buckets used for bird feed from my Dad's shed, a red basket left behind in a previous rental house, and some chopped up milk cartons). With help from the Small Human (and the Smallest tied to my back in a sling) we added some gravel, compost & carrot and pea seeds.

 And the plants grew - who knew?



The peas have all been happily chewed; the Smallest Human seemed to appreciate that we grew a mange tout variety (she hasn't quite got the pincer grip for one pea at a time). The carrots are still growing; picking and eating a few a week.



We were also given some strawberry plants this year (thanks B!). The plants produced a little fruit, and a lot of runners, so I'm hoping to have more plants and more strawberries in the coming years.


Our garden output has been so small that it has had no impact on our food purchases. But I hope that this little smidgen of home grown produce will help the little ones understand that food does not magically appear on supermarket shelves. I think we have all enjoyed watching the seeds sprout, flowers appear, bees pollinate, and picking the carrots from the ground to reveal the strangely misshapen vegetables.  Plus home grown produce tastes so much better. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tour De Fleece 2017

I'm a little behind the times, but *finally* ready to share my (small) output for this year's Tour de Fleece. I started with one braid of Malabrigo Nube in the whales road colourway...

...and ended with about 260 metres of dk - aran-ish chain plied yarn. The pink is about 50 metres of mystery fibre, from a Hedgehog Fibres itty bitty fibre bag, spun about a year ago & finally plied. 

The nube fibre was very compacted (by dye process, or being packed tightly for transport) and needed quite a bit of pre-drafting before spinning. I attempted spinning from the fold to have a semi-woollen finished yarn, but my drafting techniques were about as consistent as the Irish Weather. I have also discovered that the Smallest Human of the house enjoys watching things that spin, including the wheel, & ceiling fans at my LYS. 

Eventually, when I get around to spinning a complementary yarn, I hope to knit a shawl with the Nube. I think the bright pink yarn will become something scrappy.




Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Botanic Gardens

With the Small Human on summer holidays, my day has been fairly consumed with taking care of the kids. There has been some time for knitting, but not so much for stringing words together in coherent sentences. In lieu of actual words, I'm sharing photos taken during a recent trip to the Botanic Gardens here in Dublin. We're quite lucky to live within an easy bus journey, and the Small Human enjoys wandering around the gardens every now & then. At the moment with so many flowers in bloom there is such a variety of colours & textures to enjoy. And even in the height of summer there are little moments of beautiful decay & peeling paint to admire.