Category Archives: The Vegetable Patch

Making Mighty Ripples

There’s a line in Sir Terry Pratchett’s Reaper Man: ““No one is actually dead  until the ripples they cause in the world die away.”

Sir Terry Pratchett caused the most amazing, incredible, wonderful ripples riding atop his Discworld! I don’t think he will ever be ‘actually dead,’ but we’re going to miss him. I think every new human being could be issued with a Discworld novel just to help them on their way. It’s a crazy, unfair, screwed up, splendid planet – Sir Terry Pratchett had a way of helping us to not care about what wasn’t important and to care about what was. That’s a pretty outstanding gift to humanity.

So last night, I watched as Neil Gaiman remembered Sir Terry and I cast off my ripply, wonderful Dahlia Blanket in Knitsch‘s “Tangerine” DK and I thought about Sir Terry and was glad I could knit him into this blanket. It now holds warm fuzzy memories of the creator of the Discworld. I never met him. I saw him speak just once. But he’s like a friend. I think he was a friend to all of us. He reached out with his funny, angry little voice and reminded us of how to live.

Making tangerine ripples

Making tangerine ripples

So, Sir Terry, thank you.

Dahlia Blanket

Dahlia Blanket

And isn’t the blanket the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen?  At every step of this project, I’ve thought ‘wow, this is just gorgeous.’ There’s nothing like a project such as this to remind you why you love knitting!

Dahlia Blanket - angled shot

Dahlia Blanket – angled shot

I have to confess, towards the end, those rows of increasing moss stitch pebbliness were beginning to try my patience.

Pebbly ripples

Pebbly ripples

But I knew it would be worth it. The Scot is pleased that I’m finished.

The Scot: "Okay, I'm just going to have a nap now. Tell me when you've finished."

The Scot: “Okay, I’m just going to have a nap now. Tell me when you’ve finished.”

But I think I’m going to miss this project. Oh well, I have plenty of other projects to keep the fingers busy!

And I’ve been making zucchini based pizzas – this one with watercress pesto, tomato and haloumi. I just loved how this turned out. The tomatoes and zucchinis were grown in my garden. So to finish with, I think I’ll just say that this pizza is my salute to the Discworld!

Pizza!

Pizza!

When I grow up, I want to be Granny Weatherwax

The Discworld Square

The Discworld Square

I’ve slowed a little with the geekalong blanket, but I did design and knit up a few new squares. One for the Discworld, because any blanket that doesn’t pay homage to Granny Weatherwax simply isn’t fit for a bed! I actually knitted this one up as a charm – Papa had to have heart surgery, so I was knitting away while waiting for the phone to ring. All went well! Better than hoped for, in fact, so that worked!

Psych Square 1

Psych Square 1

Psych square 2

Psych Square 2

I also became a huge fan of Psych recently – any show that features Westley as a jewel thief is my kind of show – so there inevitably had to be a pineapple. Only, now I can’t decide which side of the pineapple square I like best. Any ideas?

I’ve started uploading the charts I made to Ravelry, but they’re on my project pages, so just look up gidgetknits’s projects and you’ll find them. And don’t forget to check out the official Geekalong 2014 squares and their excellent cause, Child’s Play. The original, official blanket is amazing!!! Especially if, unlike me, you know about gaming. I don’t, so I’ve just ad-libbed some of my blanket!

I’ve had long days and nights in front of the computer for work, so this morning I took a little time away from the screen to play with quilting. I’m so terrible at getting my points right! But I’d seen Elizabeth Hartman’s fox quilt about and I fell in love with it. I’m not convinced I’d have patience for the full sized quilt, but she has a fantastic lap quilt with large foxes and it looked like the kind of project that would be good for a novice quilter. This morning I practiced the gigantic square with some scraps I had about.

Be Bold, Be Bold, But Not Too Bold

Be Bold, Be Bold, But Not Too Bold

I’ve been reading Helen Oyeyemi’s Mr Fox (it’s fantastic – recommend it!) and I’m a big fan of the fairy tale, so I do have foxes on the mind! Just ignore that one ear is slightly smaller than the other – and the tartan does look a bit wonky… but…

The Silver Fox Lord

The Silver Fox Lord

Tartan… silver fox… galaxies reflected in his eyes… you know where this was going!

I’m planning to make the lap quilt out of florals – now that I know I can cope with the design – so I’m just deciding what to do now with my gigantic silver fox!

And just a little plug at the end, here. I published a short story.

"The Death Of Glinda" in Aurealis #77

“The Death Of Glinda” in Aurealis #77

If you’re a fan of Oz and its amazing citizens or if you ever thought Aunt Em got a raw deal, you might like it!

And as a farewell for today, look at this incredible vegetable stack I made using only vegetables from the garden! Better than a burger any day (still pescatarian since New Year!).

Better than MacDonalds!

Better than MacDonalds!

While my fingers thaw

This morning, despite the layer of ice on the lawns, I went to my second spin class. Frankly, I’m still shocked. I mean, the photo below of the icy vegetable patch was taken after spin class. So, it really was cold out there and I still got up and went out to the gym! (Incidentally, I have totally forgotten what I planted… I have no idea what that seedling is.)

Seedling in Frost

Seedling in Frost

I have a gym I go to now. I always scoffed at gyms, possibly because I was already more than active enough. However, since the last surgery, I got my energy back and… started spin classes! Plus I’m seeing a personal trainer for the next couple of weeks just to work out a sensible plan. I’m a little worried about myself, to be honest.

At least, until I curl up in my favourite armchair on a Friday night with a hot chocolate. Isn’t this mug the best? And there’s just a little peak of a new idea I’m playing with.

Friday nights

Friday nights

The Scot also took to chilling out with my new headphones (bought because my ear buds kept falling out during spin class… these are much better!).

The Scot, just chillin'

The Scot, just chillin’

I have been a total spendthrift of late.

Yes, I have an Apple problem.

Yes, I have an Apple problem.

But this last purchase is work related, so that’s okay, right? And the pouch… I am so retro…

Okay, off to make my new favourite soup – pumpkin, tomato and chorizo. You can never go wrong with chorizo! And I promise more knitting updates soon and possibly a quilt update… I ran out of fabric for my triangles. And am now more than a little nervous about the triangles I ran up in the middle of the night while watching The Late Late Show. Hmmmm…

In the pink!

Sale yarn doesn't count

Sale yarn doesn’t count

Ah, yes, there was a little stash enhancement. It was because Sokkusu is back. I celebrated. And you have to admit, that yellow is amazing!

There is also a little Malabrigo hiding there, because I had to order some new dpns and I just happened to spy the pretty Malabrigo as I headed to the cart… I may also have spied Puppy Snips. Do you know about HiyaHiya’s Puppy Snips? Just that week, I’d been cursing because I was out and about and needed to snip off some yarn and even the small sewing scissors are a bit cumbersome to carry about ‘just in case’. These are brilliant. And bonus? They look like a puppy!

Puppy snips with puppy for context

Puppy snips with puppy for context

The pink thing is definitely catching on, right? I finished one of my striped Knitsch socks. Now, a friend once reflected, “You don’t like anything plain, do you? You always have to add something… preferably an animal.” I bit my lip, looking at my linen shift dress that just happened to have a small squirrel embroidered on the hem. Because I thought it looked plain without a small squirrel embroidered on the hem.

This might explain why, in craving striped socks, this happened.

Put an ROUS on it

Put an ROUS on it

ROUS – Rodent of Unusual Size! The crenellation on one of the stripes reminded me of a castle, which reminded me of Haddon Hall, one of my favourite places in the world and the setting for The Princess Bride. So when I got to the toe…

Well, what can I say? This is who I am.

Still on the pink theme, although this might be more about purple, I have seedlings!

Future Radicchio

Future Radicchio

They will grow into two varieties of radicchio, which is something I foolishly adore. I started eating it in Italy and just can’t stop. But we have limited varieties, so I sought out ‘The Italian Gardener,’ which has a range of spectacular varieties. I’ve started this bunch out in egg cartons, which is actually working and gives me a way to use up the egg cartons. We won’t mention that I have a hen who is too busy moulting to lay eggs.

 

 

Down the yellow brick road

Turning mulberry leaves

Turning mulberry leaves

Usually we associate yellow with spring. Daffodils. Sunshine. Cotton dresses. But I also love the burst of bright yellow colour in Autumn as the leaves change and the last of the summer vegetables attempt to beat the winter in.

Growing zucchini

Growing zucchini

Ripening pear tomatoes

Ripening pear tomatoes

Baby spaghetti

Baby spaghetti squash

There’s something wonderful about growing food! I’ve loved the tomatoes this year, especially my yellow pear tomatoes that pop against the hurly-burly of the red ox hearts and tommy toes.

Tomato medley

Tomato medley

A spot of yellow

A spot of yellow

And what is cooler and more amazing than growing your own spaghetti?

Spaghetti that's a vegetable

Spaghetti that’s a vegetable

I’ve just come in from the garden, actually. A little scamp came bursting in after me, even though he was supposed to stay outside and get dry.

Muddy pawprints

Muddy pawprints

I suppose that was inevitable. Of course, he then compounded his crime.

The Scot in soggy repose

The Scot in soggy repose

Yes, I’m washing the couch cover. This little detail didn’t enter his post-ball-obsessed brain. Oh well. He’s staying in one place for a moment.

I may have ordered some yellow sock yarn in my haze of autumnal romanticism, but honestly, Sokkusu is back and there is a sale. Sale yarn doesn’t count, right? And yellow yarn is one of my great weaknesses. I do have a design idea I’m dying to try…

I also might have fallen in love with this design from the new Twist Collective, but after the momentary Sokkusu madness, I’d better wait a couple of weeks before ordering more yarn… oops?

And now I’d better get back to something else I’m working on that may have something to do with typing and the title of this post. And Aunty Em. I have plans. Wicked plans that might turn me green (come on, you get the pun, right?).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, a very geeky quilt might be happening…

“Someone ever tries to quilt you, you try to quilt ’em right back!” Cap’n Tightpants

Yes, it might actually happen at last! I might… quilt! I have for years been toying with the idea. Patchwork quilts have always given me warm, fuzzy thoughts. But thanks to Spoonflower, I’ve gotten ideas way over my head!

I’m planning to start with a Firefly quilt (trust me, I’m buying up all the Doctor Who fabric, but that’s a bigger, scarier project). I’ve been consulting with the quilters I know and they think I can manage a bear paw quilt, which is my favourite of the traditional designs and the one I’ve been eager to try. I’m planning the quilt to look very autumnal and almost traditional… apart from the Firefly notes. Likewise, Firefly has frontier vibe, so I think this quilt works for it. Wish me luck!

Although, first I have to finish off Christmas present projects… hmmm… and I did get slightly distracted today by these cute Tula Pink Volkswagen pillows. Free pattern too! I might have to make them as well. A red one… because, you know… this.

I’ve also finished my ‘Thief!’ socks. The pattern is going off to my very overworked test knitter. I was having a little fun with the photography. Remember, this is the sock that wears bow ties!

Bow ties are cool in space

I’ll do a proper post soon. It’s Mum’s favourite of my designing attempts. I think she’s mostly a fan of the Knitsch yarn though!

And because I haven’t included them in a little while, here are Cosette and Gigi.

“I’ll meet you in the produce aisle.”

The photo made me smile because it looks like they’re grocery shopping among the vegetable beds (forgive the dirtiness of the beds – when I water, a certain Scot tries to catch the hose and everything gets muddy). The vegetable patch is filling me with delight. There’s purple cabbages, peas flowering, I’ve been enjoying a good broad bean crop, and the tomatoes are coming on. I may have even coaxed into survival one or two spaghetti squash plants. We’ll see!

 

 

 

 

The Light at the End of a Big WIP

One panel to go! I’ve just been charting it out today and I think it’ll be brilliant.

Cosette checks on progress

See how big the shawl has grown? Yet there is a certain satisfaction as you settle into your chair with shawl trailing all about you.

From the garden today, my first crop of broad beans.

Garden fresh

This will be for one of my favourite suppers. A little chorizo chopped and fried in the pan. A tin of cherry tomatoes, fresh broad beans and a sprinkle of spring onion all added into the pan. Toss in some pasta and a sprinkle of parmesan. Bliss.

Speaking of which, time to start frying up the chorizo.