New pillows

I try not to complain about the rain and between showers, I'm usually outside in the garden to enjoy the last bits of this (bad) summer. But sometimes there's just too much rain.  Like Sunday.
So I finally did some sewing.

I've been collecting these ribcords scraps from the thrift shop. I wasn't sure what to do with it, but I kind of like ribcord. I guess it reminds me of my childhood. My father's chair, my favorite reading spot when he wasn't home, was upholstered with it.
So when I was looking for fabric to make covers for the big pillows I bought for the couch, these scraps seemed a good choice.

I like them.


At knit-a-square they asked for sock.

A few years ago I knit my first pair of socks. It wasn't easy. The second pair took some effort too. Especially that second sock of each pair is just no fun, since it has to be exactly the same as the first one (including things you wish you would have done differently).

Still, I like a challenge and maybe children's socks would get me back into sock knitting. I used Elizabeth Zimmermann's pattern and went for it.
I have four pairs done and I'm working on the fifth.

The trick: knitting to socks at once. I knit the leg of the first one, then start the second one, than heels, than feet, etc. You get the drift. It's much easier to keep up with things this way (I'm experimenting with different sizes). And no second sock syndrom!
Maybe now I'll find the courage to try to knit some for myself again.

In the garden

On Wednesday I had a lot of computerwork to do. That evening I didn't feel too great. I felt irritated, disconnected and depressed. So I decided it was time for a computer free day.
Thursday I spent a lot of time in the garden. And that worked. It always does...

In between knitting

That's what I did while working on the back garden. Between all the digging and draggin I still did some knitting. I had too, because I started a scarf for my mother's birthday, the Saturday after that week. So I was still knitting on my way to her party.

I finished it in time and even was able to take a picture of it before wrapping it up.

So, another part of my stash done and gone. But I won't be out of yarn soon.
Since last Friday this happened:

You know that feeling that you have to get to the thrift store because there will be something good? I have it often and I'm mostly wrong. But this time I wasn't.

This week

:: I harvested three tomatoes

:: and mint (I've had this plant for three years, but it's finally growing)

:: I helped a lost butterfly to find it's way out

:: I took my knitting everywhere (the roof, that's right)

:: I'm loving the great weather we're having

A blanket

These weeks I knit some squares for Knit-a-square. A lot of squares.

I started a cardigan with this yarn, but it was too thick to feel comfortable. I should have known better since I already have a cardigan of the same yarn that I knit five years ago and I hardly ever wear it. But I forgot about that and even bought two colors to knit a cardigan for one of the girls too. Oh well. It is suitable for blankets. Nice and thick and warm and still soft. And a super fast knit. It only took me two weeks to knit a complete blanket of 35 squares.

The finished squares look better in real life than they do in this picture, by the way...

From the garden

I was going to show you what I've been knitting, but I've got other things to tell you about first.
The garden for instance. Not just the back yard (going slowly, but getting there), but also about the other parts of our land that I'm trying to let things grow.

The plum tree is doing great this year. Last year we had no plums at all, but I guess it needed some rest. This is half of what we picked this year.

I was planning to make jam, but we ate them all.

And look at my tomato plant:

I guess I wasn't the only one that tried to catch every tiny bit of sun we got last week.
Even that pepper finally started to turn red.

So I made salad from our own garden last night (I also have some basil growing).

I know it wasn't much and my family laughed because I was so happy with it (it grew in my own garden!) but they did like it. And that's what counts.

The back yard

When we bought this house, there was no back yard. The land behind the house was owned by the neighbors. But we didn't care, since we had room to sit at the side of the house. Still, when the neighbors offered to sell it to us, we didn't hesitate to say yes.
It was beautifully designed, that garden, but not to our taste. Too much tiling, too little green. But we didn't really have time to change much those first years, since there was a lot to do inside the house (like building rooms for the girls).
After a few years we decided to buy a free standing swimming pool. So we pulled that design garden apart and had a few years of fun. But then the summers got colder and it just was to expensive to heat that much water. Also, we had a leak, so we kind of let it go.

This summer our back yard was a mess. Half a swimming pool and lots of trash.
Last week I decided to do something about it. I got rid of all the trash and then I started making a fire place with the material we had left from the design garden. (inspiration for that I found here)

I don't have any before pictures, but if you look at the rest of the garden in this photo, you get the idea.

Anyway, we were happy and made a fire that same night.

We found out the chairs were too close to the fire this way and that we actually still didn't like those tiles. I found some stones at a thrift store and a few more tiles and tried a new layout.

I like it!

When I finish saving the gravel from all over the garden, we're going to build raised beds (there's a concret slab under most of the garden, so we can't just plant around it.
So much fun to do. Since we try to do this very low cost, every step is a creative challenge.

But for now, we love, love, love that fire place (it has been on our wish list for years).


(trying to take daily pictures again)
Yesterday was wet, but today looks great. This morning I have been doing some kitchenchores, but now I'm eager to go outside again. We're redoing the backyard and I can't wait until it's done. More about that next week.