Category Archives: magic square project

Magic Squares and Chillies #gdnbloggers

The chillies have had something of a spurt; with the low light levels and lack of direct heat, they have become leggy. When leggy, seedlings stretch towards a source of heat and light, stretching upwards and being at risk of keeling over. This can be quite disheartening when you really want seedlings to grow.

Of the forty something seeds grown-scotch bonnet yellow, purple haze, cayenne, jalapeno and purple haze-we have approximately 15 seedlings that are some wiry, tall and gangly. I would rather they didn’t keel over. so I have decided to pot them up today. Using multi-purpose compost and some 7cm pots, chillies are being made a little more comfortable.

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You can also find the video here

For me, this is the first transplanting. There may be another pot change, before they end up in their final pots in a at least three months time-ish. After that, any surviving plants will live-hopefully-in the poly tunnel. As you can imagine, this is something of a lengthy process, and we are only at the very start of the growing season.

Currently. the weather-in Britain, at least-is fairly hit and miss; it is cold outside. I, like many other Britons, scraped frost off the car windscreen this morning. This directly impacts upon all the tiny, dainty seedlings that might have already taken up space upon the window sill. I am keeping my chilli seedling away from the window pane. They will still get light, they-hopefully-will have some protection against the drop in night time temperatures.

With the heated prop empty, I have sown an emergency batch of about a dozen cayennes; it all felt a little thin on the ground. I shall monitor these over the next week to see what happens with them

So, seeds have been sown, they have germinated and grown. I like that feeling of new beginnings, as we look forward to the new growing season. I have written before, that allotmenteering and GYO both impact upon mental health; for me, that is really important. Least of all, because I teach about it, I am a trained listener and currently enrolled on a Diploma for Humanistic Counselling; the plot has a profound effect on me, my wholeness and the way I view the world. It all helps me to obtain mindfulness and improves my mental health.

You may have seen that I rather like colouring. I also knit.

Couldn’t be more different from gardening, could it?

For the last year, a knitting project has been on pause.


With the chillies adjusting to their new pots, I quite fancy a couple of hours revisiting knit one, purl one.



Knit witz-Not just for Granny

I’ve just seen this on the BBC website, the Banksy of Knitting was the headline that caught my attention. I don’t often listen to Radio 4, it’s just something I would want to listen. Except when I want to learn about something!

Knitting at the BBC

The piece touches on a number of areas. Street Art, the knitting Nanas, even maths. The lady interestingly states that it’s not just older ladies that to do. Gentlemen too, knit. We just don’t assume that they would. Bit of a social stereotype there.

Then I found this.

A gripping yarn

It’s a rather broad documentary, and who would thought that knitting could offend people? And no, I don’t think about the sheep to needle process. There is a whole word of history of knitting. Knitting whilst milking a cow, features. Oh, and the American Civil war, who would have thought that this was a political plotting circle.  The most suprising for me, was the prisoners knitting. Who would have thought it? Then there is guerilla knitting. Have heard about it, but never quite got my head around it.  I really didn’t know about how knitting one, purling one, could have political ramifications.

Knitting has had something of a boom and rebirth. It has become fashionable and bit of a vogue thing. There has beeen a charity initiative for charities supporting older adults. The Philanthropic nature of craft, is not something that you would otherwise think about.

No longer something for the mature, Granny and Nana lady. I’m not yet either one of those. I was taught many years ago by paternal Granny. My memory is making a long pink scarf. Took me a while, and I would always do my best to not drop stitches. I still drop stitches, and make things bigger than they should be. I can’t read patterns, but probably should learn to read them.

That is the Magic Square project. I have been knitting that on and off for over a year. All panels have seven or fourteen rows. Each stripe has either seven rows in stocking stitch or three in the other one- No, I don’t know what it is called. The aim is to get it big enough, may be with another half a dozen or so panels, and then trim  it with knitted and beaded border.

Beady eyed: Magic square project

The project has grown over the the last five months.

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And so I had an idea to make it a prettier.

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Took me a while to figure out how to do it.

Thread your bead onto a crochet hook, and under a stitch on your left needle.

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Pull the stitch through, and placed on your needle; you can stitch as normal.

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Magic square project

I have in the last few days looked into crocheting for the magic square project. For me this, this is not an easy process. I have watched mama h crochet, and have been fascinated by it. Overwhelmed however, by how complex it looked.

Ali Campbell crochet course

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The magic square project is getting bigger. I may have got a little carried away with the number of stitches cast on at the start. High praise from my mother, who told me that whilst I was getting better at the knitting; my panels were different sizes.

However talking about crochet, it need not be so scary . You will seethe link for Ali Campbell’s crochet courses. I enrolled this week and was rather happy to be able to get a foundation chain! Brain didn’t quite get the hang of double crochet after a hard school day; so that is to be practiced.

Ali has lovely teaching style, and doesn’t complicate things. There are video tutorials that also make things straight forward. Most importantly, perhaps, you can take your time. Plus, she is the lovely lady who created a masterpiece for my classroom; the brain below.

You can get in touch with her here Ali Campbell crochet website tell her horticultural hobbit sent you 😉

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Magic square project

Finally, we are into double figures!

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Have just finished and stitched on the tenth panel. Has taken me a little longer than expected, but done never the less. I have found that the metal knitting needles have felt too heavy and my wrists are sore. With this in mind, have found some bamboo knitting needles.

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These are definitely different. The wool is held more tightly and there is something warmer about them. Much lighter than the metal ones too.