onsdag, september 26, 2012
It is official... the warmth is gone, the sunshine is gone, the long daylight hours are gone... summer has gone. It is time to welcome autumn. And time to get prepared for winter.
The deck furniture needs to be stored in the barn, the flowerpots emptied (and the broken pots thrown away) and the geraniums brought indoors for overwintering.
The henhouse needs a good clean up, the ground covered with new straw... and the hens need to be let out to once again roam free in the garden (not much damage they can do there at this stage).
Yet in between all the chores we need to take time and enjoy the beautiful autumn colours. The beauty is fleeting, only here for a few weeks, and gone again till next year.
The rest of the potatoes need to be dug up and stored (along with carrots, parsnips and beets... really the last veggies to be harvested from the potager this time around).
The potager and cutting garden need to be tidied up and cleared till next spring. And the compost bin emptied into the raised beds.
Enough to do, but such enjoyable chores.
What do you need to do before winter sets in?
søndag, september 23, 2012
Ever since last August, when my beloved Tolix chairs moved in with us, I have been aware of their chill-factor. I have tried to ignore it, but every now and then I have noticed a visitor discreetly searching for something even remotely warm, be it a scarf or some such, to sit on while dining in my kitchen.
I myself, on the other had, have braced myself, and patiently waited till my body heat slightly warmed up the cold metal chair. But now, with the chilly season here again, I thought enough is enough. Something clearly needed to be done!
Enter four lovely, soft and (best of all) warm sheepskin squares, and all is well with the world (or at least mine!) Ever since these four chairs found their way to my home I have loved them, and now that they can offer warmth, on top of their good looks, I love them even more...
onsdag, september 19, 2012
As far as colour is concerned, the combination of blue and white is my first, and forever constant, love. I may "flirt" with other colours, and find enjoyment in it, but I aways return to my first love!
And as far as patchwork is concerned, hexagons are my main love. I know, fairly time consuming, as they are sewn by hand, but you just can´t beat the end result! Another love, as far as fabric is conserned, is the beautiful textiles from the British company Cabbages and Roses.
Combine these three, and you get magic (or so I like to think). I bought these fabrics (there are, of course, other than C & R ones, too) quite a while ago, and since then I have been admiring them, almost afraid to cut into them. Now I have, though, and the result...? A new hexie quilt in the making.
Now I receive quite a lot of mail from my delightful readers, and often they have a query of two in regards to something I have shown here in my blog. This was the case the other day, when Helle from Denmark wrote me to ask how I go about making my hexies.
She could not tell, even after having studied my previous entries, how I attach the fabric to the template. You are quite right, Helle, I do not stitch through the template (mine are far too thick for that), neither do I use glue. Just a few stitches at each corner, to tighten the fabric around the template, is how I do it (and always have).
I actually find the stitching rather pleasant, even therapeutic, with a lovely rhythm to it (something I can not imagine fiddling with glue has). Once the hexies are joined, it is the easiest thing in the world to remove the template, without having to undo any stitches.
I love these pretty blue and white fabrics, I love hexies, and I have great faith in the end result being something I will love too...
søndag, september 16, 2012
"Enough already..." I hear you say/sigh "not another cable knit cushion. Or any knitted cushion of any colour or description... please". Sorry to disappoint you with yet another one! I did start this particular cable knit way back when, but ran out of both steam and yarn. And that was that... or so I thought.
But seeing it is once again autumn, the weather is getting cooler (you noticed we lit the fire, did you?) and yours truly is feeling more mellow and in need of comforting woolly knits, I thought it about time to finish this one too.
On the whole I have decided to give all the brighter colours a rest, and have once again returned to plainer, calmer ones. Blame it on the season. So finish I did, the long forgotten cable knit. And I sure am glad I did. I just adore the softness of the kashmir/alpaca wool (Kashmir Alpakka from SandnesGarn).
Should you want to make one, here is how: cast 113 stitches on needles 5,5. Knit 12 cables (of 3 + 3 stitches) 11 purls (of 3 stitches) between the cables plus 4 purl stitches either side. Make the cable "twist" every 8th row. Knit till required length (mine fits pillow size 50 x 50 cm). The back consists of two pieces and looks like this.
Speaking of my inadequate knitting instructions, I have now revised the garter stitch cushion entry to include yet another inadequate knitting instruction.
And now I promise there will be no more knitted cushions, cable or otherwise, from me for quite some time.
lørdag, september 15, 2012
I grow a lot of different vegetables in my kitchen garden, and every now and then there is a glut of one or the other. I have previously written about zucchini, and now it is parsley. We love parsley and every spring I sow lots of it (not just your regular pot on the terrace). So come late summer there is the inevitable glut of parsley.
We do eat a lot of tabbouleh (which we love), but my potager is fast running out of mint, yet there is plenty of parsley left. So the answer is "dynamite"! Now dynamite is made out of equal weight (in these photos there is about 400g of each) of parsley, cauliflower, celery root and onion. All of them raw.
The best way to process them is with an old fashioned meat grinder. Alas, it is something I do not have. So I use my food processor to chop them all up. Add salt to taste, and voilà, a healthy concoction that tastes heavenly with potatoes... on rye bread topped with tomato slices... etc. Dynamite freezes well. The important thing to remember is to freeze it in small portions, as once defrosted it really should be eaten the very same day.
It is lovely to have something "green" in the freezer, to be taken out and enjoyed on a cold winter´s day, when the garden is covered by a white blanket of snow. Never mind if there are no salad vegetables in the fridge. "Dynamite" is a delicious, healthy alternative.
torsdag, september 13, 2012
The garter stitch cushion cover from this entry is finally done. Garter stitch must really be the easiest form of knitting... row after row of stitch, no counting, no concentration... just knitting away.
This cushion has (like all my knitted cushions) a rib stitch opening. But contrary to the other cushions, where the opening is at the back, I decided to make the rib stitch opening, with its vintage buttons, a main feature in this one.
I do have to admit I am pretty pleased at how this one turned out. Sometimes the plain and simple can be rather pleasing, don´t you think...?
Due to popular demand (LOL) I have revised this entry to include my (very simple) instructions as to how to make this very cushion.
So here goes... cast 116 stitches on needles size 3,5 and knit 22 rows of rib stitch. Then knit garter stitch till you reach the required length of your pillow (mine is 50 x 50 cm). Then repeat the rib stitch, making sure they are long enough to overlap. On the 11th row of the rib stitch knit 36 stitches, cast off 4 (for button hole), knit 36, cast off 4 (for 2. button hole) knit 36. On the 12 row cast on the 4 + 4 stitches again, and knit till 22 rows altogether.
To join the cushion crochet sides, wrong sides facing, for crochet to show.
I hope this makes sense (please do keep in mind that I am not a "proper" knitter!)
mandag, september 10, 2012
The fun one can have with a bit of paint and some vintage fabric! One can change the look of trusty old furniture with next to nothing, cost wise that is...
My two chairs (from Ikea´s Gustavian range a few years back) have had a bit of a make-over with the colour Cricket and a bit of the vintage sheet from my last entry.
Last time I fiddled with the chairs they ended up looking like this. Now, on the other hand, the pretty details of the chairs are able to shine again (with no skirt covering them).
I am totally in love with the vintage sheet fabric I have used to cover the seats. And I am ever so glad I have more, much more, of it. I just might get into more "mischief" with it all...
lørdag, september 08, 2012
I am totally enjoying crocheting this colourful blanket I started a while back. I could be at it all day... My inspiration for the colours came from this patchwork cushion I made last summer. It is my favourite one...
But crocheting all day will just not do. It is weekend, and I am waiting for my weekend visitors. The apple cake is about to come out of the oven. I do love autumn... and the apple season... and weekend visitors!
This weekend promises to be a good one. I hope yours will be too. But before I go I will give you a hint of my latest escapades with the paint brush. A lovely autumn day out on the deck, a couple of chairs about to be transformed... More about them next time.
onsdag, september 05, 2012
For quite some time now my heart has beaten a bit faster every time I have seen (alas, only through the computer screen) the bright, bold and beautiful vintage sheets from the 70´s. This is actually rather surprising, as up until recently I thought the retro look really was not for me...
And never before has it actually been my luck "to have and to hold" any, let alone one, of these treasures. But my luck changed the other day, when I came across several of them... for free!!!
My poor heart literally skipped a beat at the sight of this particular one (actually I found two of them alike!). It has everything I could dare hope for of a vintage sheet. I just love, love the colours and the pattern.
So far I have not been able to cut into the fabric, but I have made plans. Oh yes, I have! Some of it includes this very chair in our spare room.
So, as the saying goes, "to be continued..."
And how about you and the retro/vintage look. Love it... or hate it...?
On a different note; the other day I received a kind e-mail from a reader telling me she had difficulty leaving a comment on my blog due to the near-impossible word verification (you might have had the same problem?) Hence, the thing-y has now been removed.
mandag, september 03, 2012
The word that comes to mind on a beautiful September day, like today, is mellow. The world around me looks mellow, ripe and quite satisfied with itself. The light is golden and there is a freshness in the air. Autumn is here.
I spend quite a lot of time harvesting and processing what has been harvested. Countless jars of jam from the berry bushes, and now the plums and apples are ripening at a rate of knots. More jam making to follow (and of course a lot is enjoyed "as is" too).
I love the dappled light in the barn, where all is in order, ready for the long winter ahead. The fire wood has been stacked, and I am pleased to tell we do not need to worry about keeping warm, as there is plenty of it.
The kitchen garden is still productive. The peas and sugar snaps are more or less done, but there is plenty of broad- and french beans yet to come. And of course all the root veggies. One of these days I will dig the first potatoes... always a delight.
As much as I enjoy all the harvesting, I must admit I am also longing for some quality time in my little studio. It has been waiting there, quite empty and forgotten, all summer long. But our time will come, and truth be told I can hardly wait...
Ooops... nearly forgot. Thank you so much for the many wonderful links to instructions as how to knit a tea cosy (in my last entry). I am most grateful, and I can see I will be busy knitting this coming autumn...