Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gardening weekend

This weekend past was Labour weekend in New Zealand, so Monday was a public holiday, traditionally the first long weekend of spring, all over New Zealand people make gardening plans. This year weather reports and reports of the weather reports were of hail and cold winds and generally 'stay indoors' weather - and yes we had hail on Saturday night, and Sunday morning when Toby and I went for our walk around the reserviour there was still hail in around the trees, but Sunday afternoon and Monday - what a difference. We have had sun and dry and warm ... so some garden sprucing was in order. We weeded, we planted, we tidied and so in consequence not as much knitting as I planned was done. Todays post is a day late as yesterday I was pulling weeds and planting plants, but I've got some garden improvements to show for my time spent outdoors, I have been knitting and now have another sleeve, and I've started a new spinning project with interesting fiber, and lastly in a 35 year old Bear family tradition - Labour weekend is all about Asparagus. But I do need to say thanks for the shrug suggestions for the pink alpaca - I need to spin the rest, and I will pass on all the lovely comments to Ngaire, who knit the shawl.

Toby has been bugging me about planing potatoes. last year his class grew them in plastic bags on the veranda at school, this year they have a geodome to plant things in. I had promised him that we would start on the garden Labour weekend, that this year it would not be potatoes, and so we were both a little sad with the forcast of rain and hail. When Sunday came with the warmth and the sun we headed of to garden. First stop was the garden center, where my Toby did me proud - Look mum broccoli, can we have some, Mum! Leeks! I need those, Bok choy, Mum we need that, Mum I eat those (lettuce), can we grow that. Look zucchini come in green and yellow - can we have both? I leave the vegy garden to its own devices over the winter and weeds take over, so first we had to deal with them, and then we added compost and planted. We've got lettuce, Bok Choy, Strawberries, silverbeet, broccoli, zuchinni, corriander, italian parsley, and a blue berry bush. Right down the end are two feijoa trees, one new one old.

There have been big changes to our backyarn recently, the old shabby car port has gone and in its place is a double garage, with power. Well its not finished yet, there is still the power to put in and those poles have to go, and the car door is still to be delivered and fitted. But we will have some where safe to store our 'non house stuff'. Plus the lathe .... for making spindles.

Saturday I did knit, while it hailed outside, well Wednesday night, Friday and Saturday, and now I have another sleeve. This one is on the Top-down round yoke steeked cardigan that I'm knitting for Poppy. The first sleeve I knit was a little snug - so I've increased the number of underarm stitches I cast on and it seems much better. I've heard that working the sleeves before the body is easier, there is lest bulk to work with - and so far it seems true.

My new spinning project is Wensleydale X Cotsold Pin drafted roving. I looked up Pin drafted and found its a nice manner of roving prep, that results in a light airy roving - and once I fluffed this up - that seems very true. This was a gift from a visiting knitter, and I was waiting until I felt ready, or worthy of spinning it.

I looked up Wensleydale and Cotsworld fibers, in Nola Fourner and Jane Fourners In Sheeps Clothing book, and both seems suited to outerwear and have a high luster. They are apparently hardwearing fibers, I've no idea what I will knit with it, but for now its spinning up into a sportweight 2 ply - maybe finer.

and Asparagus, Bears family have trekked north to Palmerston every Labour weekend for years, and I've been trekking for the 20 years we have been together. The Labour weekend trek is to buy Asparagus direct from the farm. Today we trekked, we bought, we had icecream at Palmerston, we bought more plants at a garden shop on the way home, and tonight for dinner its Asparaus. I spent our flybuys points on an asparagus pot some years back - and highly recomend cooking asparagus that way. The ends stay intack and the stems cook perfectly.

So off to steam my asparagus and then tonight it is spinning at M's house - what a perfect end to a productive yet relaxing weekend.

take care (gotta love these short weeks)


Angelika said...

It's great to see the kids getting so interested in a project like gardening. So, are you going to make more spindles?

Linda said...

Ah, Spring. It's just turning Fall here in the US. I love asparagus. There was a small "pick your own" farm I used to go to and cut asparagus. I probably ate more right there in the field than I paid for! Yum.
Your spinning looks great! I'm just back from a fiber festival this past weekend where I bought roving. Can't wait to get started on it.

Knitting Linguist said...

Mmmm....asparagus. That's one of our favorite spring treats, too (months away now, of course). I love how excited Toby is about the garden! We need to get ours started again; the girls always love to pick things that they grew themselves, and we haven't done it in the last year or so. The sweater is looking great, as is the spinning - how much do you have total? I'm looking forward to hearing what you decide to knit with it!

twinsetellen said...

That yarn you are spinning is just lovely! And the garden will be, too, especially with your young advisor.

Erika said...

Are you willing to divulge the name of the asparagus farm?

ily said...

We got most of our veggies in before we left for the weekend (the weather was gorgeous on the west coast!). I still need to plant the bean and pea seed though! And also the weeding was definately the hardest part for us too! So when are you going to share the love of these hand turned spindles?

Windyridge said...

I loves fresh asparagus!