Wednesday, 23 May 2012

A Victory over Asparagus

I'm fairly new to this whole gardening thing. While for most of my younger life I resigned myself to the nickname of "Black Thumb," our current flat came with the bonus of a South-facing sheltered courtyard, perfect for lining with potted plants.

Knowing how expensive and sometimes-rare fresh blueberries are to find here in the UK, my first purchase was a Bluecrop blueberry bush.

This was closely followed by a Jersey, and I'm sure there will be a number of others once I, erm, get some more space.

I careened into gardening with a very blissful ignorance of what would grow in pots. As a result, I am now growing two very large containers of asparagus. The funny thing is, if I were a real, knowledgeable gardener, I probably would have started new seedlings after these ones got legs long enough to make it in Hollywood (badaboom):

But I planted them out anyway. In pots. I'd pretty much given up on them and was just going to let them run their course and curl up and die, but when I was checking up on them today, I found this:

Now just to keep myself from eating the shoots for  a few years.
I think I might actually be okay at this gardening thing after all.

Though the sun probably helps, too.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

New Pattern: Grasslands

Spring always arrives with a herald of lace. Though England has lately been cool enough to have me in wool year-round, to do so feels like a curse on the poor new leaves and flowers struggling into existence amid the cold.

My first design of Spring 2012, Grasslands, attempts to bring around the lush green Spring I want...if only in knitted form.

On this stole, a patchwork of lines and paths shoot diagonally and across. A single-ply yarn with bias (shown here in one skein of the scrumptious Madelinetosh Prairie, colour Moorland) is used to great effect in a suspended bead edging, hanging in delicate twists from each end.

The pattern is now available for purchase on Ravelry.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Introducing Hill Town Wools

I've been working on another project over the past few months, and yesterday I finally unveiled it: my new Etsy shop, Hill Town Wools.

Kelmscott Lace
Hill Town Wools is a selection of some of my favourite natural fibre blends (such as Kelmscott, a BFL, Baby Alpaca, and Mulberry Silk blend) handspun into light, shimmery yarn, made right here in my home in Oxfordshire, England. Stock is limited at the moment, but there will be more added all the time, so check back regularly!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

May Day

It's been a hard but wonderful week, involving the death of my grandfather (who lived to a well-aged 93, and led a very full life. RIP Grandpa W), a new volunteer job as the dog and cat photographer at my local animal shelter, and lots of opportunities from new dwellings to developing new aspects of my business.

Some of the best hours of my week were spent with my camera at the shelter, helping my friends find homes. A few of my favourites:

Tommy is 18 months old and lost a front leg to a car accident. It doesn't stop him from acting just like a regular cat, though.

Cassie likes to smile when she's happy, which can sometimes look quite alarming! I was proud of getting this smiling-without-the-teeth shot.

Jess is my favourite dog I have met in years, and I would take her home in a second if I could.

Thank you for working the camera for me, guys!