Hellooo!  How are you doing on this Sunday afternoon?  I’ve been out in the garden but the rain has started so I’ve come in for a while to see if it goes off and thought this would be a good moment for us to catch up.  I hope you’ve had a lovely week!

It’s back to school for us tomorrow; I’ve stopped asking small daughter if she’s finished her homework yet as I just get a wave of the hand and some vague muttering whenever I do, so I’ve decided to let her get on with it and face the music if she’s not done it.  I don’t miss having to do homework at all so I can understand why she’d put it off – but I also remember leaving it till the last minute and that’s not fun at all!

Anyway, let me show you what I’ve been up to this morning.  I’ve been cutting the grass (gardening is all about illusion – people will only focus on what you show them, so if you ever need to impress quickly, cut the grass first!) and ripping out more miles of ivy.  I’ve got nettles growing up in between it now so they’ve been coming out too.  Don’t let anyone tell you that spring nettles don’t have much of a sting because that’s not true!  I also found some treasures …

The Magnolia stellata (star magnolia) is finally in flower – it’s a few weeks later than usual but is making up for it with masses of beautiful fragrant blooms …

Tiny Aubretia turning it’s purple faces to the sunshine …

An old bird’s nest, long-abandoned.  I love to see signs of wildlife in the garden, it makes me think that I’m doing something right when I see bees, birds and butterflies (we saw our very first Peacock of the year yesterday).

After a quick brew, it was into the greenhouse for some more seed-sowing.

I’ve got more peas that I want to sow – eating peas, this time – but I’ll chit those again like I did with the sweet peas before I plant them.  The beans and leeks are fine for me to sow straight into compost – I could sow them straight into the raised beds but we’ve got a lot of wood pigeons around at the moment (and not the nice WYS yarn variety either!) so I’d rather get my beans started indoors to keep them safe from greedy beaks.

Here are the sweet peas.  They’re looking good, I’m pleased with how they’re coming along.  Not as big as they would be if I’d sowed them earlier, but it’s still a bit early to be putting them out anyway so I’m happy for them to be this size for now.

These are the night scented stock (Matthiola bicornis) seeds that I sowed – I didn’t expect quite so many of the seeds to germinate as these were the oldest packet of my not inconsiderable night-scented-stock-stash but I am delighted to see them all!  There’s something really magical about the scent of these flowers late at night so I’m looking forward to being able to plant them out later.  They don’t like their roots to be disturbed which is why I’ve sowed them in blocks; I’ll just drop the whole block into the place where they are to go and they should stay happy.

There’s progress in the propagator too, which I’m relieved about.  My tomatoes seemed to be taking an awfully long time to appear – so much so that I even wondered if I needed to buy plants at the farm shop yesterday – but here are the seedlings at last.  I’ve got a couple of sprout seedlings through too, so that’s good news.

I picked up a couple of flowering plants at Aldi this week – two Erysimum (everlasting wallflower) and an Icelandic poppy.  I’m delighted that it’s got a red flower as I love red poppies – I didn’t know what colour it would be when I bought it as the flowers were still tightly in bud.  I always have a look to see if I can split plants when I buy them.  Poppies aren’t always too keen on having their roots disturbed, much like the night scented stock, so I’ll probably leave this one alone, but I did manage to get three small plants out of a Lathyrus (everlasting sweet pea) which always makes me feel as if I’ve got extra value for money!

Any sock news, you may be wondering?  Well, since you ask, yes.  The Ginormous Sock is finished – one of them, at least – and the second one is on the needles.  These aren’t too bad to knit, to be honest, and I like the person who the feet belong to very much so that always helps.

I’ve not been making any promises about when they’re going to be finished as I’ve got plenty on my needles at the moment; the patterns for the new book are coming along nicely after a while of me feeling that I was getting nowhere fast.  Have you noticed when you’ve got a big project on that it can feel as if nothing is happening for ages and then suddenly something seems to shift and everything drops into place again?  It’s a bit like moving sticks that are blocking a stream so that the water can get through.

Part of my problem is that I am a champion procrastinator, so one of the things I wanted to do first was being delayed because I was finding other things to do instead of doing that.  That would be videoing for a new tutorial.  I’m all right once I get going, but I am very good at finding excuses for not getting started so lots of other things have got done but were just waiting for me to get a move on with this.  And I have done, at last.  I’m hoping that with a fair wind and a good light it won’t be long before I can show you more of these socks – and share the pattern and a tutorial.  Hooray!

First, though, it’s stopped raining so I’m going back out into the garden.  Just for a bit.  That’s not procrastinating, that’s taking advantage of the weather.  Honestly!

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9 Responses

  1. Julie says:

    Total procrastination here too recently….Lots of lovely growth with your seeds. Happy gardening andknitting!

  2. Charlotte says:

    I don’t have much of a garden where I live so it’s so lovely to be able to read about yours and see the photos. Hope the pigeons know to stay away!

  3. Julie says:

    Many thanks for your post about the cat cafe. We visited it this week and my daughters loved it. I do visit your blog for the socks but your post about the cat cafe convinced me it was worth a trip.

    • Winwick Mum says:

      Oh brilliant, I'm glad you liked it! It's quite an experience, isn't it? I found it very hard not to treat the cats as we would ours at home who are quite used to being picked up and plonked on a knee when it suits us! 🙂 xx

  4. selina says:

    how do you adjust the size of a sock for people who have bigger feet ? i've been doing your 60sts socks & i would love to make socks for the family who all have much bigger feet than i do? love those stripey big socks you have going, very xmas-y!
    thanx for sharing

    • Winwick Mum says:

      It's very easy to alter the size, you just need to use the stitch calculation! You'll find that in the Sockalong tutorials here: Usually, whatever size you work out for the ball of the foot (all is explained in the tutorial!) will fit the rest of the leg, but if you know that the person has bigger calves or ankles, for example, then measure those too and work out the calculation again so that you know whether to cast on more stitches and decrease later. The big sock that I'm knitting is bigger at the top than the bottom to accommodate American Footballer calf muscles so I just cast on more, worked the heel on half the number of cast on stitches and then when it came to the foot, decreased for longer to get the smaller number I needed there. Hope that helps! xx

  5. Lazy Days & Sundays says:

    I haven't managed to do much in the garden yet this year apart from deadhead the hydrangeas. Its been more of an April deluge than April showers and the grass is desperate to be cut but its still so waterlogged I think I would just create a mud bath. Lots of new projects either on the go or in my head just need to find time to show them off.
    Glad to hear the new book is coming together nicely.


  6. star66 says:

    Im in blackpool on a wee break brought my knitting with me lol but my garden is very poor we are about 6 weeks behind due to a severe winter but hey hoo i had more knitting time love your magnolia i have one called susan but think she is still asleep lol

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