Sock it to me, baby

I cast on another sock today. I still haven’t ripped out yesterday’s sock, but I do think that I shall. I will try another pattern with the same yarn. Today’s sock is Pomatomus, using the last of my blue Rowan Cashsoft. I don’t think this will be a runner either. I don’t know. I want to knit socks, but I cannot find a combination that I find satisfying.

Ah well, I have plenty to keep me busy in between sock trauma intervals…

We have decided to attack the bit of garden to the West of the house. The house forms a wide U-shape on that side – one of the back doors is on the left arm of the U, the garage wall is on the right hand side. At the base of the U are the bathroom, toilet, bedroom, craft room, and office windows. The washing line runs across the U. The whole looks out onto the field next door.

About half of the U had previously been partially “paved” with stone slabs that had been loose laid – as in “dropped onto the ground and left” – and the rest is still to grass. It’s the half towards the back door that was paved.

tussocky

Over time, weeds have grown up between the slabs, to the extent that huge tussocks have formed and lifted the stones until they are all higgledy piggledy, unsafe, and the whole is a real eyesore. We coped last year by deploying the strimmer – but some real action was needed some time and we decided it might as well be now.

Generally, the aim is to settle the existing stones so that I am safe when I hang the washing out, get rid of the weeds in order to make things look a lot nicer, and add more stones to surface the whole of the U. It is part of the master plan to provide sittings paces on all aspects of the house so, whichever way that the wind is blowing, we have a fighting chance of sitting out on an otherwise clement day.

Mr L lifted some of the stones on Friday evening. Yesterday we went out in the morning and lifted the remainder. That’s as in “I let ‘im lift the heavy stones, while I applauded…” No, to be fair, he did do the humping, but I kept myself busy by forking some weeds out and supplying the cooling drinks, moving small stones, emptying wheelbarrows etc.

Nell helped.

helper

Actually, she really did help. She is a very efficient digger! More importantly, she is an excellent weeder. No, seriously, she pulls up clumps of grass by the roots. Now, if we could just train her to drop them into the wheelbarrow…

helper2

We didn’t stay out long – it was a muggy warm day and the job was a bit tiring. We made some progress but decided in the end that a large pack of Weedol might just make all the difference.

more-weeds

Certainly, once the stones were up, it began to look as though we had more weeds than slabs…

Today we returned to the garden, with the aim of making progress on those weeds. Even with Nell’s help, it was slow and depressing work. We agreed on the Weedol route and turned our attention to that portion of the garden outside the front door…

We had inherited a honeysuckle planted up in a lobster creel. It lived outside the front door and was looking very sorry for itself. Last year I had begun a border near the front door that was half planted up. I had been meaning for ages to move the honeysuckle into the remaining space in the border. And now, it is done! Not a moment too soon, either – the poor thing was totally pot bound.

The honeysuckle is planted in the border, with a nice stone wall to creep around. The lobster creel is now a potential “decorative feature” and is slowly being filled with floats for added colour. We also potted up some herbs. I don’t think they will perform well, as they are just supermarket “live” herbs and not intended for growing on. But you never know, they might just take.

Weedol and a pump sprayer have been ordered via eBay. I find myself ridiculously excited at the prospect! I took a look at the Windswept Acre today, with its host of dandelions, and imagined how different it will appear once some weeds have been cleared. I liked that image.

With a bit of luck, some dry weather, and possibly a following wind… we may get some slabs back down in a week’s time. By the end of the summer I hope to have a clear and level sitting place, and maybe a few plants in some decorative pots.

And I am now all fired up and wanting some colourful plants in my garden. It’s a huge undertaking, to make a real garden of this large and neglected space.  I think it will be worth the effort and expense, but it takes a lot of time away from the knitting!

We were looking at the vast pile of unused roof tiles that occupy space on the Acre. Mr L was going to use them for the paving project but that seems sinful. There may be potential for selling them on cheaply to anyone who might need them, and recouping some cash to spend on pots, plants, and garden seating. In the next few days we will take an inventory and work out how many square metres we have. If it comes to a  useful figure, like a small house roof’s worth, then I’ll write an advert out. It could save someone huge expense if they don’t have to have tiles delivered – the receipt that we found for the delivery of the tiles for this house conversion came to over £1,800 and that was six or seven years ago, I think.

We can use the roof tiles that came off the old byre for the paving project.

Recently, at the: Crooked House

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