Yes, I must shamefully admit that there has once again been relatively little crafting going on as I explore Skyrim and slowly climb the ranks. I'm up to level 30 now and possess improved armour, so I am not dying as frequently as I used to (still dying sufficiently often to prompt mocking from DS and even from DH who doesn't actually play the game). Although DS has paid me the rather limp compliment that I am probably the best parent of his friends' circle at playing video games. At least it gives us something to talk about together.
I've done some knitting on the usual suspect projects this week: GAAA square, lacy sock, Opium cardigan. I've also done a bit more stitching on the Hawaiian applique quilt. So no new crafty pictures to share.
I will show you this doublepointed needle (dpns) holder that I bought at Fibre East. It's made out of quilting fabric, about one inch wide, in the form of a casing with wide elastic inside. The ends are stiffened with something (card? interfacing?) so that they slip over the pointy ends of the needles without harm. It's surprisingly effective and fairly attractive. I might try making a few more for my other project bags. Sorry the pics are slightly out of focus. The needles are not bent because of pressure from the holder, they are permanently bent from my death grip knitting style.
Yesterday we drove up to IKEA to get a few things, and then went on to a garden that I had read about, Capel Manor Gardens in Enfield. I had formed the impression from what I had read that it was similar to Kew Gardens. In fact it is a college that teaches garden design, animal husbandry and saddlery. The gardens turned out to be a higgledy-piggledy assortment of individual gardens spanning the spectrum from gorgeous to tatty. all sandwiched into 30 acres like puzzle pieces making it easy to miss things. We started off unknowingly in the tattiest bit, which were the very small gardens simulating typical British front or back gardens. It all felt rather neglected although there were some good ideas for hard landscaping and for making the most of limited space. But the further we pressed on, the more lovely things we discovered.
Which? magazine does its gardening trials of plants on the grounds, so we first came to their beds of glowing colour as they trialled various roses, snapdragons, dahlias and other mixtures. Then we found this lovely pool fed by a cascade.
After walking along a French-style boulevard bordered by trees, we came to a stunning Australian garden which I think had been at the Chelsea garden show, and then found a gorgeous traditional large walled garden with fabulous herbaceous borders. Then there was a huge holly maze where we got lost long enough that I was getting rather worried that we wouldn't get out again, and then we found this small lake with a grand fountain in it.
We saw signs to the stockyard and went in on a whim, to find that it was a mini-zoo including meerkats (that looked exactly like the Compare-the-meerkat commercials), wallabees, and some recently-sheared llamas (I wonder what they do with the fleeces?).
The final garden, on the way to find lunch in the cafe, was almost the best one in terms of "I want that now" fantasy. It's deceivingly called "The Old Manor Garden" and at first glance looks like the crumbling remains of a gothic/tudor manor house set amongst a garden. I paused to look at a display stand which turned out to be a laminated catalogue for a company called Redwood Stone, who are a modern day folly manufacturer. That's right, they make follies, just like the nobility were ordering back in the day for their gardens. All of the seeming ruins were products from their catalogue. I fell in love immediately and if I get my hands on a windfall, one of those babies is going up in the garden of our new house.
I forgot to take a picture as I was so in love wandering amidst the ruins, but here is one from the Redwood website.