Mindful Magpie Makes: 2020 week 26

It's been a week of extremes, weather wise, with torrential rain waterlogging my plants at the weekend, and then hitting 29°C in the week - too hot to poke my head outside for more than 10 minutes during the day! The leek flowers are starting to burst through their papery shrouds, always a moment I love. Some of the fuchsias are starting to unfurl their skirts, and the stock is smelling delicious

#4 - Seaweed Shapes blanket (knitting)

The end is really close now! I finished another three squares this week which means I only have two more to knit, and then I can start blocking them in preparation for joining together.

#32 is a linen stitch in the darkest shade (which I am calling stormy grey). I had never tried linen stitch before, thinking it must be difficult, or use oodles more yarn or something, but actually, I really enjoyed it. It makes a lovely flat texture on one side, and the reverse looks like a moss stitch

#33 is a chevron cable in slate grey, like a "Bends ahead" sign on the roadside

#34 is a spiral cable in shellsand, a very simple yet effective stitch for making dramatic columns up your knitting!

#17 - Rainbow Wave (knitting)

A super quick knit, I have finished this shawl already - 12 days from beginning to end. I absolutely love the way the rainbows pop through the shawl against the lovely deep charcoal grey, and the way the bumps look it the garter stitch and bind off is beautiful. I need to get this one onto the blocking mats before the blanket squares, so I can get a decent picture of the whole shawl - I want to see that lace pattern stretched out properly. All I have to do is clear the kitchen worktop... hmm...

#18 - Linen stitch swatch (knitting)

I really enjoyed the linen stitch last week on my seaweed shapes blanket, but it was clear that it offered a whole new dimension If you used more than one colour.

The fabric it formed was very dense (aran wool, 5mm needles), and I wanted to try out different sizes of needles & yarn to see how the drape felt.

I've swatched up some colour changes using some vintage crewel wool (from Mum's attic), and 4mm needles. The fabric is still relatively stiff even though there are visible gaps around the stitches (perhaps because it's only a couple of inches square). I don't think I want to go to bigger needles unless I hold the wool double.

I will play around with more options, because I have a lot of different heathery shades of this crewel wool, and I am thinking of a rectangular wrap with a fade / subtle stripes. Not yet though, blanket first!

### - The Garden

Up on the roof terrace this week, we have had more rain, making for a grey view from the bedroom. The courgette plants are throwing out leaves galore, and a few golden trumpet flowers have appeared, with a fruit behind of ~4" - I need to check when you are supposed to pick the fruits (do they just keep on growing until you do?)

The dwarf tomato plants are covered in tiny yellow flowers, so I am hoping for a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes! And the mangetout plants continue to deliver a good side portion every couple of days, although the new flowers are only just coming so I might to wait a bit for my next meal!

Some of the fuchsias, and the sage plant look like the waterlogging was too much for them, I'm out of pots to transplant them to, so it might be curtains for them, if the breezier spell we're due doesn't dry them out fast.

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