Artistry and Tenacity.

Remember the Lizard Ridge I started oh so long ago. Well there has been progress over the last couple of weeks. I’ve so loved learning how to do all those short wrap rows, the colours, well, in aged hippy speak, “its just the colours man!” My boys call me a hippy, which to be honest is not quite right, because I’m a bit young to be a proper hippy, but I do understand there are parts of my personality that fit the bill completely. (allotment, chickens, making items for the home) I can also understand and appreciate just how wonderful it must have been when industry started to use the vibrant use of colour in posters, television, (we had a black and white for most of my childhood), fabric, wallpaper (lets not talk about mum’s wallpaper in the kitchen – big bold orange flowers!), paints and yarn.

The one ‘thing’ I would love to have been very good at, would have been to draw and paint. My eldest brother is a wonderful artist and I have always been deeply envious of his abilities.. But me, well, if you asked me to draw a chicken for example, it would probably look more like Donald Duck, but I have always loved the use of colour, which is why I have a bright red bookcase in a rather plain room. It was quite a relevation to me that I could put my artistic bent into practise with knitting.

I have never wished to wear gaudy clothes, although there was a prevelance towards purple in my younger days, so when I first spied this blanket, my synapses in my brain fired off like fireworks on Guy Fawkes night and I knew I just had to make one.

It has been slow progress, I am quite fickle. I love new adventures and learning new techniques, and to that end, this has stood me in good stead.

I cleared the top of the buffet two weeks ago and carefully placed all of my Lizard Ridge materials,

and then realised just how many ‘scraps’ I had as can be witnessed by the overflowing bowl. So I decided that I would just knit from scraps which would then give me the joy of knitting from lovely complete balls when they were finished up. The scraps have come from various directions, all of which have been most gratefully received, normally along with an exclamation of “oh Wow, its the colours man!” – even if posted to me, you can rest assured it is the colours that get to me everytime.

I’ve knitted five squares out of those scraps.. I couldn’t belive it myself.. It has been a wonderful adventure.

And to date, 15 squares have been knitted, would you like to see, you would..

I’ve also been side tracked although it was more like being hit by a bus rather than a gentle shunt.

During my visit to the Royal Show, I came across Toft Alpaca, I’d bumped into Kerry earlier in the year where she had told me just how happy she was with the colourways that had just come back from the mill. Toft are working hard to produce rich deep browns that are also very soft from their Alpacas and are working hard to that end. So, when I saw them in the flesh, I was completely mesmorised they were stunning, just stunning. I eventually made my choice this is DK in Blend Batch 208. I love it, its so rich and dark and soft, but also has just a tiny little bit of texture of other browns, its not totally one colour, it looks like it came from a living thing, not commecially made, which of course it is.

What to knit with this lovely yarn, it took me a while to consider the options and just when I thought I had made my choice, this came into view. I was blown away and knew it was the perfect choice for such lovely yarn.

Well we have the Artistry, now for the Tenacity…

Since we had the allotment I’ve been able to grow all of the brassicas reasonably well apart from one… which is renowned for not doing so well without specialised knowledge, lots of muck and deeply fertile ground. The humble Cauliflower..

The first year we had an allotment was very much a learning curve in all directions so when I failed at producing a cauliflower, well, I grumbled but thought I would do better next year. The second year, I put more effort in and just as our cauliflowers had hit the size of tennis balls, it rained for nearly a solid three weeks and by the time we were able to get back onto our plot, they had bolted.. Even deeper grumbles… – seriously starting to feel grumpy!

I’ve noticed in my life that feeling grumpy about things can give way to a very steep learning curve, at this point I waited and watched for any plot holder that came into my view that even looked like a person that might be holding a cauliflower..

My patience (and grumpiness) was rewarded, when Ed, one of the old boys was cropping a huge cauliflower.. I stopped him in his tracks and to all ends interrigated him as to what he had done to grow such a magnificient vegetable. I think he was quite bemused by me, but then couldn’t remember exactly what he had done, he just told me it was Australian cauliflower seed that he had used that were drought resistant..

That snippet of information proved very useful.

I spent part of the winter reading up on cauliflowers, and trying to find a seed that came from Australia that was drought resistent and then I found one called – Wallaby!

So, soon after my hysterectomy I was planting seeds and to be absolutely honest, I wasn’t able to remember exactly what I sowed into pots and what I didn’t. But I knew that I had sown Wallaby, because it was on my things most important to do list.

Hubby planted my seedlings, and as is the way, once you’ve hoed once or twice the plastic labels are broken or dislodged and you forget exactly what is where. I can normally recognise everything but having never grown cauliflowers sucessfully, I wasn’t able to recognise what may be a cabbage or maybe a cauli..

More frustrations…

For the last few weeks, everytime I’ve been onto the plot I have exclaimed in most painful tones, ‘where are my cauli’s?” and we just didn’t know, we thought they were all cabbages,,
Maybe the cauliflowers sprout quickly when they are ready because all of a sudden there was these pointy leaved vegetables that didn’t look like a cabbage and I said to hubby, “what’s that?” “Dunno” he replied..

and we found out much to our joy

it was this… huge in the raw aren’ they?!!

My very first home grown cauliflower..

4 thoughts on “Artistry and Tenacity.

  1. dee says:

    I remember having a similar experience my first year growing cauliflowers.. They were in with my cabbages and I couldn't tell them apart.. I was on slug patrol when I noticed that almost overnight they had heads I was expecting them to head at the same rate as cabbages. It was purely chance that I noticed as they weren't there 2 days earlier.


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