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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Catching Up

Posts have been a bit sparse on here of late, not because I've not been doing anything worth writing about, more because there's just been too much going on.  So, here's what's been happening lately to keep us so busy.

There were gigs to be played :-
Sud Rock Festival

Look at the size of that stage!

Jeff, the bass player was to the right, Steve in the centre, Eric left, and Geoff the drummer is just visible in the background!  It's got to be the largest stage Eric's ever played on.  They had sound engineers too:-

and their own air-conditioned porta-cabin kitted out with settees, cool drinks etc.

The next day we went to visit Sarah and Paul of La Maison des Chameaux, to (finally!!!!) deliver her sweater.  I was a bit worried whether it would still fit her, as she's lost weight since we last saw her.  Luckily, she likes them "sloppy"!

We had a fabulous lunch with them outside in the shade (ankles got bitten to death though!), and ogled their kittens,
Basket of Fun!
My favourite

Their mother was killed on the road last week, so Hershey the dog has adopted them and regularly gives them a good clean and keeps them in order.

She's very protective of them, and sees off any other inquisitive cats.

As usual, it's impossible to visit Sarah and not come away with something.  Like half a ton of camel, llama, alpaca and sheep's wool!

I don't have enough lifetime left to spin all of this!

The cotton bolls are growing like mad - can't be too long now before they start to open.

They're still flowering too

These are such pretty plants, even if you're not interested in spinning the cotton.

This was a little dyeing project I did a while ago.  I found lots of these red dock seeds in and around the garden, and thought there must be some potential for colour.  So I collected them, just put the seeds in a pan of water, and soaked them for a day or two.

The dye was quite a deep colour and I was hopeful it may give a reddish orange.  I mordanted some fleece with alum and cream of tartar and heated it up slowly in the dye bath.  The results weren't quite what I'd expected, but it's still a nice colour.  That's it on the right below, next to a second-dip in the madder dye bath.

2nd dip madder on left, red dock seed on right

My current knitting project, the Buds of May shawl, has reached a standstill - I'm stuck! I'm about 60% through, and the pattern has become quite ambiguous and confusing.  So it's sitting in a bag, abandoned, until I manage to find some time to sit and work it out. This pattern would definitely not suit a beginner.  No photo, because I'm pretty disgusted with it at the moment.

Finally, the garden is producing lots at the moment.  I harvested this lot yesterday.

Yes, there are 26 cucumbers there!  Some of these will be pickled in jars, hopefully today, and I think some chilled cucumber soup is in order.

A few days ago I bottled 15 jars of tomatoes, and the next lot are ready for processing. Then yesterday I was given a large bucket of yellow plums, so they need bottling today too.  Maybe it would be a good idea to get out of bed and get on with it!!

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