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Finishing. Starting.

Finished: Book

photos for blogThe Circle by Dave Eggers.

I thoroughly enjoyed And you shall know our velocity by Dave Eggers, so when my work friend Nick was reading this I asked if I could borrow it.

I tend to read borrowed books faster than my own as I feel the impetus to return them before they get lost in my piles of book. I had no trouble finishing this and found it compelling from the start.

I won't say much about the plot (I hate spoilers and hardly ever read the blurb on the back of books which seem to give away half the plot) but it starts with a young woman leaving her dull hometown job to work at a googlesque company, Circle.

I work in digital communication which may have piqued my interest but if you use the internet (and here you are dear reader), you should read this. Heck, I'm not even sure I should be blogging after reading this book.

Started: Allotment 2014

photos for blog We headed to our strip of land on Saturday.

Most of the work was wedding, pulling up an excess of strawberry and anise plants which had continued to spread through the mild winter.

I also admired the bare stems such as these wintered chive heads.

However there was some bounty. Red chicory, a turnip, lettuce and Jerusalem artichokes had grown well and were ready for the eating.

Finished: Chicory and lettuce

photos for blog

Started: Garden

We now have a small garden all to ourselves. It's pretty unkempt at the mo and there are some minor jobs such as weeding and pruning as well as the possibility of total overhaul. The brickwork is pretty crumbly and I'm not keen on the paving stones. There's a fair bit of work to do in our new place too, so we'll see which gets done first.

photos for blog

Started: hot sauce

photos for blog

Hot sauce recipe. I've made this before. Scotch bonnets are a pretty fierce chili (hence the gloves on the left) but they mellow into a tasty, zingy, sauce with this recipe from Epicurious. Stage one involves roughly blending the ingredients and letting them ferment for at least 12 hours. I'll finish the sauce tomorrow evening.

Almost finished?

photos for blogAnd finally, knitting!

Of course, it's socks.

These have turned out to be pretty international. I bought the Norweigan yarn (Drops) in Sweden before Christmas. Cast on in Ecuador, knitting a bit more on my flight home via the USA - including a stop in Atlanta to see my in-law in laws - knitted some more in France, and almost finished them in Yorkshire last weekend. I've got one more toe to do, then they're off to my mum (back to Yorkshire) for Mother's Day.

Pattern: Into the Groove
Designer: Knittingtastic
Yarn: Drops something or other 4ply
Needle: 2.25mm (my first socks on chiagoos, mmmm, so smooth)


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Deja deja decisions

After all my decision making in my post yesterday, and my eagerness to cast on, my brain interfered again and I spent most of the evening playing with colour combos in Excel.

It looked like this:

I stared at it for ages, showed it to my other half, stared at it again, showed it to my other half*
*repeat until bedtime.

I decided to get stuck in having whittled it down to two possible layouts. I'm still not one hundred percent sure but I'm hoping I'll have a better idea by the time I'm at the next colour change.


I've been a fairly faithful knitter over the last couple of months, working almost exclusively on the Box-Set Blanket. Nephew Two is due at the start of July so I'm hoping to have it finished by then. I'm on the final round of colours, although this is deceptive in terms of knitting as the last few stripes include some pretty wide sections. One upside of the miserable summer here is I don't feel guilty about staying in watching box sets and knitting.

We visited my brother-in-law and Nephew One a few weeks ago and it was lovely to see Blanket One being used every day. The kid takes it to nursery for his afternoon nap and it goes in his pushchair when not at nursery. Makes all the knitting worthwhile! Hooray!

I'm enjoying the garter stitch though I'm starting to hanker after something a little more complex and have plenty of WIPs sitting idle which I'm looking forward to picking up once the blanket is done.

I did have a fling with a pair of baby booties for …

Deja decisions

Almost two years to the day that I cast on for what has so far been my biggest FO, I'm casting on another.

When I found out my first nephew was on the way I um'd and ah'd over what to knit for him; i.e. I spent hours browsing Ravelry looking at ALL THE BABY THINGS.

I wanted to make him a blanket, something he'd hopefully use and keep for several years, maybe into adulthood. While I like knitting modular patterns, crocheting motifs and generally being a clever clogs, my brain kept on returning to a simple yet effective pattern.

#knitting pattern is Teddy blanket by Millamia A photo posted by clarestorry (@gingerknits) on Apr 20, 2014 at 9:44am PDT

I've worked with MillaMia in the past and their oh so cheerful Teddy Blanket had always attracted a lot of attention at yarn shows. It's a very easy knit though it is an exercise in stamina.

After doing more browsing (thanks again Ravelry) I decided on it but using Rico Essential Cotton, not MillaMia yarn, as although …