There are lots of things coming up that I can’t tell you about just yet (but I will soon, I promise!), so I thought I would share this week’s progress with my various projects.

Yesterday I managed to pick the blackcurrants – I got 7.5 lbs of fruit off our one bush, which shows that netting these and the redcurrants has really made a difference. Again, it wouldn’t all fit in the freezer, so I used just over half to make a batch of jam. I do need to get some more jam jars – or make sure we use up some of the preserves I’ve already made. I thought the 8 jars I could find wouldn’t be enough, so I washed and sterilized a Kilner jar that had been storing dried fruit and thank goodness I did as that got filled up as well! It took hours for the Kilner jar to cool down and as there was some condensation on the lid I thought that would be the best one to open first. It tastes really good – rather like super concentrated Ribena…

The gooseberries have been hiding under their leaves and are very ripe, but if I get them picked in the next day or so we should be able to use them for crumble.

We also harvested our first round courgette! They are supposed to be picked when the size of tennis balls, so this one was a little on the large side, but it tasted fabulous with pesto pasta.

The few lonely broad beans in the colander are all that were on the plants in the garden (they went into the same meal as the courgette). When I picked them, the whole plant came out of the ground as though the roots hadn’t properly taken since being planted out. Next year I shall sow the broad beans directly into the ground and do it much earlier.

Beyond the garden, my spinning is complete – there are some irregular sections, but overall I’m very happy with it. Velvet Sixpence‘s Polwarth fibre has been a delight to work with.

I’m thinking about adapting my Fiery Dragon Skin Cowl pattern to include a range of yarn weights and this might be a good yarn to knit a chunky sample with!

Also completed is my lace-weight Marianne Half Hap shawl! I cast off this morning.

Straight off the needles it’s rather frilly and uneven, but that’s because it’s not yet been blocked. Blocking will happen tomorrow morning and I am going to be super careful with it as the gorgeous yarn, Northampton Shear Shetland Lace from RiverKnits, is a single ply with some very very fine sections. I think it will be more a case of easing and pushing the knitting while it’s damp, rather than pulling and stretching.

This means I can cast on another new sample of an existing design as part of my Summer KAL – this one will be Amy March Shawl using two beautiful skeins dyed by The Yarn Artist.

My Mystical Lanterns crochet blanket is now three strips wide and I started the fourth strip today – two and a half motifs are done on this one so far. I’m really enjoying this design by Janie Crow – especially as I’ve now got the main motif memorised which makes progress faster.

It’s a great stash-buster. The central ring of the motif uses hardly any yarn, so if I have a colour I think I have virtually nothing of I can still get it into one or two more motifs.

Progress has also been made towards the Pop-Up Wool Show that is happening at Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight in a month’s time (19th August, 2023) – yay! I’ve printed out the extra patterns that I needed.

Don’t worry, this isn’t everything I’m bringing, it’s just a top-up print to make sure I have enough of each design with me! Later this week I shall be sanding, waxing and burning stitch marker pots, and knitting/sheep themed coasters.

Now I’m off to a leaving do. It’s for my lovely wife who, after seventeen years in the role, is in her final week of term as a primary headteacher.

Whatever you’re doing this week, I hope some of it brings you joy. Take care, K x

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