Plum soup, roast plum, steamed plum, braised plum in plum sauce, plum in the basket with sauted plums, plum meringue pie, plum sorbet…

We have plums.

IMG_1855

 

So far we have eaten loads of them just as they are, the caterpillars have eaten a fair proportion too, I have made at least ten pounds of plum jam, a huge plum crumble and a large soggy plum cake. And the tree still looks like this. And that is only one side of it. If anybody would like a bag a of plums and a cup of tea just invite yourself round so I can inflict some on you too.

I have been learning to take deliberately blurry pictures so I can show you this without giving too much away:

IMG_1839

That’s my excuse anyway. It’s the secret baby knitting for my friend. I am nearly halfway through it which means I have to work out how to make the colours match going the other way soon. I don’t know whether they will like it but I love the colours, I’m really enjoying knitting it, I’ve got a thing for rainbow colours and the wool is gorgeous. The sheepy smell is starting to wear off now too which is good, either that or I’ve got immune to it. I would be getting on quicker with it except I keep stopping to make other things in between. I did finally finish these socks which I began in March.

IMG_1853

The single best thing that I am finally getting better at after twelve years of knitting is unravelling (although I still haven’t worked out how to get a decent picture of my own socks). I restarted these at least twice and had to do various bits of serious tinking (to tink is to knit backwards i.e. unknit, if you haven’t come across that word before) and drop various sections of stitches to fix cables that were the wrong way round but the result is socks that fit me properly. I did get past the heel at one point being in complete denial that they were too small before I caved in and ripped them back but I did it rather than wear them wrong so that is definitely progress. The next thing I need to learn is that stripy wool doesn’t really show off cool cables properly. The pattern is Circinus (except I worked out how to do it backwards so I could make them from the toe up) it has loads of little twisty cables that made me think of waves on a beach and the colour of the wool made me think of the sea which is why I put them together.

Right. Back to the secret knitting. Although I have just seen this on Ravelry. Oooh!

In which a hat is finished

But not quite the same one that was started – after about six inches it was obviously going to be too loose, even the person in the house with the biggest head said it was a bit too big so I unravelled it and started again with smaller needles (two sizes smaller because the next size down were busy making a jumper) and consequently spent the whole of the rest of the hat worrying it was going to be too small. I also decided to add in some extra colours, the result of which is a really dense, cosy fabric (which is what I was aiming for because I hate having the wind whistling through my ears, it blows in one and comes straight out the other side, you know?)

It took me about three goes to cast on for the second attempt of the hat (mostly because of trying to watch an Agatha Christie at the same time), the first time it looked ok when I joined it but then I must have twisted it before the second row and after about an inch I realised I was making a Möbius hat, which whilst interesting is not very practical to wear, (I have seen a pattern for a Möbius sort of scarf or cowl thing somewhere, I’ll have to dig it out) so I started again, the second time I had an extra stitch somewhere which I should have been able to fix but because it was right near the bottom the casting on fell apart as well as the stitch that I undid.

Eventually it got going properly and I’m pretty pleased with the result, it is very slightly too pointy, the decreases at the very top need to go more quickly, it is better after I blocked it by letting it dry upside down on a football which the small people thought was hilarious.  I think somebody else quite likes it too, I may have to wrestle it from her…

Tiny with large hat

Tiny with large hat – never tell children to smile.

Now to write it down before I forget what I did!