Oops. Guess I’ve been busy, huh? What have I been up to? Lots of stuff actually. Where do I start?
I crocheted a bunch of tawashi (dish scrubbies) to replace my worn out four-year-old (!) ones.
I was surprised that they had lasted so long even though they get used daily and laundered weekly. This time instead of the Japanese diagram version I used the verbal translation from Judith Prindle (free Ravelry pattern). I also didn’t use the two-colour stripe like I did last time but just went with one yarn per scrubbie. You can see that the middle orange one is larger. Even though both yarns are labelled as worsted the orange one is thicker. They are all cheap acrylic from the dollar store and one ball makes quite a few tawashi. I’m currently making a couple more. Some people like dishrags but I can’t do the dishes without a tawashi!
What else? Plugging away on the final few rounds on both of the 10-Stitch blankets. It takes hours just to do one side! And it’s not something I can work on and read at the same time. Also not very portable now that they’re over a metre square. They have become my tv project and since I don’t watch a whole lot of tv – they’re taking awhile. At least I can keep my lap warm while I’m working on one of them.
In sewing news, I was unhappy with the excess volume in the Black Swing Top that I made recently. So I took in the side seams tapering from the hem to the armholes and ended up removing about 10” of swing. I like it much better now. It fits more like the Rusty Sleeveless Top – loose but not maternity. I’m a little ancient to get away with that look! Truly.
I also have been hand-sewing a rolled hem on a square of black silk crepe:
This took hours! I can’t fathom how they can sell silk scarf blanks with hand-rolled hems so cheaply. Obviously the Chinese factory stitchers aren’t making much even though I’m sure they’re a lot faster than I am. And of course I didn’t do as nice a job as they do either. I wore my leather thimble because I was pricking my finger constantly. I was also having problems with the thread knotting up (I used real silk thread) until I remembered this:
The little box of Thread Heaven was in with my beading supplies. It really did a good job of helping the thread behave itself better. Now I’m going to do a folded and wrapped shibori discharge on my new black scarf. More on this later. It had better turn out amazing after all that work! I do have 2 more yards of this silk in the stash but it’ll be awhile before I have the patience to hem any more of it.
Meanwhile, when the weather has been nice we’ve been in the garden:
This is a view of part of the veggie patch from behind the greenhouse. It’s doing really well but then this year there are two of us so we’re keeping up much better than usual. I’m especially happy with the pathways. The ground covers (several types of creeping thyme, scotch moss, blue and white star creepers) are finally filling in between the stepping stones. It looks really nice. It’s also a challenge to keep the plants from invading the raised beds! I’d rather that then have bare mud instead.
T-Man’s pet Cherokee Purple tomato is growing nicely in its deck pot:
See Buddy the garden gnome there on guard? How about a closer view:
Looks rather pleased with himself, doesn’t he? He also smells like dead fish after I poured fish fertiliser all over him. Heh.
We also made a patio for the indoor cactuses so they can spend their summer vacation outdoors in luxury:
Several of them need room to drape down and spread out so we built pedestals out of vintage landscaping bricks. (Forty years ago they were the supports for our first bookshelves!) The rest of the patio is more of our ubiquitous paving stones and a little sand to fill in the gaps. The trick is to keep the plants out of the hot sun or they get sunburned. This spot is on the north side of the garage and only gets a little very late afternoon sunlight so it should be perfect. The snowdrops and daffodils that brightened the space earlier are done so it just ends up being bare dirt anyway. Sadly the middle-sized disocactus on the back left is the only one that bloomed this year. Though there’s still time for the other two laggards to get into gear. Hint.
T-Man has been enjoying his retirement so much! Now that it’s been nearly a month it’s finally sinking in that it’s not just a temporary holiday but forever. Along with the gardening, this is what he’s been up to:
Yes, that is a giant egg with a giant marble inserted in the flaw like an eyeball. It’s Garden Art! The plants will probably cover it up as summer goes on.