Friday, 17 November 2017

Top to Bottom warmth

As promised here are pics of my latest knits, they are very warm and very fast to make. I did each one in a day BUT they were hospital days so the rib and a couple of pattern repeats were knitted during the day.
Aran weight yarn and size 4mm 16"circular, I cast on 96 stitches and knitted 2 x 2 rib for as long as I could be bothered. Then in pattern I knitted to 7 1/2 " and did the decreases. I changed to a longer circular  here and used magic loop, you could quite easily use dpns for this.

Round 1, k2 p2 tog. 72 sts
Round 2, k2 p1.        
Round 3, k2 tog p1,  48 sts
Round 4, k1 p1,
Round 5, k2 tog,        24 sts
Round 6, k
Round 7, k2 tog,        12 sts
Round 8, k
Round 9, k2 tog          6 sts
Thread yarn through the stitches and pull tight. I pull it through to the inside and work a cross stitch over the gather and then darn in the end, darn in the cast on tail and bingo, you have a beanie. 

This one is in waffle stitch pattern, 2 rounds knit then 2 rounds rib.


To change it up a bit for this one I did 2 round in knit then one round in k2 p2 rib, then 2 rounds knit and one round in p2 k2 rib and repeated to 7 1/2" total length. For a man I knit to 9-9 1/2" and add 4 or 8 stitches to the cast on number.

Much as I like the simple slippers ( I am about to try the Kimono slipper pattern as well) sometimes I want more of a sock style.
These are in Aran weight and I followed the basic pattern from Winwick Mum. I know that this is written for 8ply but it works for me probably because my feet are size 9 and I have chunky ankles. I am almost certain that she has released a pattern for Aran weight, you can check that out on her blog.

I just knit a few rows of rib and a few in ss, probably 3" worth in total. I knit a 22 row heel flap as it fits my heel perfectly.

If my feet are warm I am a happy bunny, when I am dog walking at this time of the year I need a steady supply of hats. They get very damp and I just hang them for a day to dry, some days I go through 3 or 4.

Now I have walked both the dogs and had a few chats along the way. I have a cuppa to drink and then I am going to do a bit of quilting, I would like to get 2 of the plates done today.

I was up early this morning so the chores are done. Dinner tonight is undecided, it depends on how I feel after a quilting session or 2 and what's in the fridge.

                      TTFN                                              Pam

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Catch up time.

I made time to get to knit and natter on Tuesday afternoon, I did do quite a bit of knitting BUT much better than that, I had a lap full of love for a lovely long time. Sophie was there and a little out of sorts, she had a nap and then woke up in time for tea and biscuits. She is definitely going to be a crafter with instincts like that.

She had a chocolate hobnob and even offered me a lick, I wasn't quick enough though and the opportunity was gone in a nano second.

I only had one hand print and that brushed off my skirt, not that I was worried. Children and sticky fingers are like puppies and chewed objects, it's going to happen so just chill.

I was knitting a hat with yarn left from the last cardigan, it is just a perfect fit so have cast on another. I will post photo's and my stitch count etc once the second is cast off.

The Dresden quilt is on the sewing station, each block has been stitched in the ditch round the edges to secure the quilt. The sashing has had echo quilting along both sides and one plate is fully quilted. That was yesterday, it was a big bite but I like to start off with a bang. I will not be touching it today, it was the hospital run.

W had to be there for 9:00, of course the traffic was heavy and at times it was sit and wait, not to worry we made it in time, just.
He had his pre-op checks and then it was off for his normal clinic appointment. Luckily he was seen straight away, sometimes they are running late and it means an hour wait.

Now I am home with a cuppa and a bit of a (driving) headache, drizzle and a grey day and what appear to be completely blind drivers make for a tiring journey. One woman pulled out straight in front of me and then had the cheek to wave her thanks. GRRRRR.

Dinner tonight is meatloaf from the freezer and it is the last of that batch. I will do some smashed roast potatoes, cabbage and carrots with it. OOOPS I need to get stock for gravy out of the freezer. (done now) ( and I added the ingredients for the next batch to the shopping list) GO ME.

It's a good job that I like to share my meals or it would have been granules. I keep them in but only to shake into a casserole in the slow cooker.

I have had some lovely news but it is not mine to share...yet. I am so excited, it is quite silly. As soon as I can I will share.

That is it for now, my tea is drunk and I have veg to prep and think about baking a cake. There is none in the house, not even the freezer, and that is a rare occurrence that makes me a little bit twitchy. I haven't made an egg less fruit loaf for absolutely ages so may get the fruit into some hot tea to soak.

                                   TTFN                                            Pam

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Simple Slippers.for AKM Evans.

The little slippers that I have been knitting are Simple House Slippers by Simone A from Temple of Knit and the pattern is here    

Just high lite and right click then click on the "go to" option.

I will make some more but at the moment I am using odds and ends of Aran weight and making short ankle socks for a little more warmth.

I hope this is okay, I am not very techy at all.

I am at the Flying Geese quilt shop tomorrow so there may not be a post.
I have finished the backing for the Dresden plate quilt and hope to get that basted on Tuesday.

Time to get dinner in the oven now, cauliflower and edamame gratin with  root veg roasted in honey and wholegrain mustard.

There is a pineapple and coconut sponge for pudding, if we have room.

                          TTFN                                           Pam

My version of mince pies.

I like mince pies, at least I like homemade ones, but the pastry is sometimes a bit too thick, too thin, very crisp or quite soft.

More years ago than I care to remember I saw a recipe for a Date and Orange slice somewhere.
It was a crumble type mix that you pressed half into a tin then spread dates softened in orange juice over before sprinkling the rest of the crumble mix on top.

I do not like dates, the texture or the taste, but my Dad was a great fan so I made it for him. I then made it at least once a month for the rest of his life. 

Just like me Mum hated then too, we tried various other fillings. Apricots in juice were okay, but not wonderful they don't breakdown as much as the dates. Then I had a brainwave and used a jar of mincemeat as a last resort. BINGO. I have made this on a regular basis ever since, more frequently since the SO came into my life.

This is one version, oh yes I tinker with the recipe all the time.

I use a half standard shallow tin, roughly a Swiss roll tin. I have made it in a loose bottom shallow round tin, it makes for pretty slices.

This time I used,
200 grams plain flour.
100 grams cornflour. sometimes I use semolina and sometimes ground almonds here.
100 grams caster sugar.
Tip the lot into a bowl and whisk lightly to mix.
Rub in 200 grams butter until the mix starts to hang together.

Turn half into the greased tin a press down, not too hard you are not making concrete.
Then spread mincemeat over the top, I use homemade I think shop bought might be a little too wet but you could drain it in a sieve for a while. 

Tip the remaining mix on top and spread out evenly, press down lightly and pop in the oven. 160 c for 35 minutes. It should be a pale golden colour and smell heavenly. My oven shelf was a bit too high and the shortbread was slightly overcooked but still yummy. I sometimes forget that the oven runs hot so I need to reduce the temperature or lower the shelf.
If I think about it I sprinkle some flaked almonds over before it goes in the oven.

I use a round bladed knife (my Gran's bone handled knife) and mark into squares or slices while still hot. The SO is a greedy guts so I mark 12 squares. I put the tin onto a cooling rack to help it cool quicker and leave it till completely cold.

You could line the tin with baking paper to make it easier to get out as quite often the first square breaks up. We see that as an opportunity to do a  Quality Control test. 
I shot myself in the foot here by buying a special little palette knife that is angled, no broken slice for me anymore.

I can not tell you how long they keep in either fridge or cake tin as they are usually gone in 2 days. In our defence my neighbour W will have some and possibly A. They are both vegetarian but I always use vegetable suet in my mincemeat.

Pouring, whipped or clotted cream, creme fraiche or quark, greek yogurt or Marscapone all work with this but it is fine naked and unadorned. I have had it with custard and that is lush as well.

If I am baking for a Vegan I use Vitalite, you don't get the buttery taste so I put a little vanilla paste in the mix or failing that some fine grated lemon zest or even some cinnamon.
I use what I have, it all goes just as fast.

12 nice squares, but there was some serious shrinkage, some went to W and we had some for pudding. I will take some to A a bit later for her elevenses.

The base is nice and firm while the top is just a bit crumbly.

A tray of chopped vegetables in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and a few fresh herbs. 2 trays of this went into the oven and were  a tasty dinner tipped over a mix of cous cous and quinoa.
No cooked shot, it was eaten before I thought about it.

Really the mincemeat slice was not the best pudding to follow that dish, I usually make something lemony but the SO had dropped several mountain size hints about mince pies recently. 

It is past time that I got Ben out for his walk and I haven't given a thought to breakfast yet so I am off.

                             TTFN                                Pam

Saturday, 11 November 2017

NO! Far Too Soon

At least that was my reaction earlier today, when I heard a Christmas Carol, while walking Rufus.

It was coming from a workshop that backs onto the footpath, I had to peek in and see, I often stop and chat to the elderly man to whom it belongs.

He greeted me, and Rufus, and said that he always played a few carols on this date. He found the whole Remembrance "thing" too much to bear, he lost his father, grandfather and both brothers to war. His family have, over the generations, all been avid fans of Christmas. So on the 11th of November every year he shuts himself away and has a little while remembering them with joy rather than sadness.

I find this all to easy to understand as I do much the same with my memories. On birthdays I think of celebrations long gone and the joy and laughter that was, rather than dwell on what might have been.

My maternal grandfather was not keen on all the pomp and ceremony but thought that every generation should know about war and it's consequences.
He once said that if the sounds and smells of Flanders could be  released to each generation, war would become less likely. He was a stretcher bearer during both world wars, he lied about his age for the first one and volunteered at the outbreak of the second. 

Now I am off to the kitchen to make some lovely smells to lift my mood.

Balsamic roast vegetables to be served with a mix of cous cous and quinoa, there may well be a mincemeat shortbread slice for pudding.

I hope that you are all having the best weekend that you can.

                          TTFN                                       Pam

Friday, 10 November 2017

No sneezing here.

It,s me, I'm back.
I think that, apart from a little sore spot at the back of my throat, I have seen that dratted cold bug off.
I did manage to get into The Flying Goose on Wednesday and find the sashing, and border, fabric for the Dresden quilt.
 I had hoped to go back yesterday for Sit and Sew but my delivery of Crab Apple trees arrived in the morning and I had to get them soaked and planted. It was a dreary, drizzley sort of day so not a pleasant occupation. A hot shower and a cuppa soon dispelled the discomfort though.
I have one of the trees in a pot for Jess, they are maiden whips so will be quite happy to over winter in a sheltered spot. Then it can be planted out in spring ready for the growing season.

I had to make time to get the blocks sashed and the borders are cut ready to be applied.

A little reminder of the blocks.

The top 2/3 rds, I could not manage to get the whole thing in 1 shot.

This is the best that I could get.

The bottom, well almost.

I am pleased with it, in the photo's the darker blades pop much more than in reality. I have enough of the blue fabric to back the quilt, with the addition of some of the blade colours. I did cut extra blades so I may well do some selective piecing and make it almost reversible.

Knitting is still my TV watching pastime, 2 more pairs of the simple slippers have gone into the gift box and I am working on making some little ankle slipper socks in Aran weight for the cold of foot.

I have the hospital run with W this morning, it was changed from Wednesday so will do my shopping on the way back. That will save me from making a special trip, time and money saved so a double whammy.

We had the remains of the ham last night in a frittata and used up the lingering peppers, celery sticks and a solitary red onion from the fridge. 
It was lovely with a slice of my seeded bread, no need for pudding (haha). The SO polished off the last slice of a rhubarb pie with a glug of cream.

I am off now to have my second cuppa before dog walking commences.

                            TTFN                                     Pam

Monday, 6 November 2017

Jumping through hoops

Still sneezing, coughing and spluttering which has made me just a touch intolerant right now.

The main culprit is on the net, but on reflection there are 2.

Adverts that pop up in articles that I want to read GRRRRRRR, I just end up leaving the site, fuming. 

The ONE that sticks in my craw (strange saying but you know what it means) is when clicking onto something that catches your eye just means that you are led by the nose onto a merry go round. Having to jump from here to there and back again to get to your goal.

I had it happen a few moments ago, looking for a particular pattern I clicked onto a web site, found the pattern and clicked....another screen opened and clicked....... another screen opened and clicked another blah blah blah.....and had a hissy fit and gave up.

All that sounds a bit disjointed, and that is just how I feel after 15 minutes of jumping through hoops.

Of course it could be my total lack of understanding of the net, I spot something on Pinterest and  click only to jump....straight onto the merry go round.

I gave up and my brain has just about sorted a pattern out for me, result.

On a more mundane subject,the cold must be on the wane despite my symptoms as the bathroom has been blitzed and there is a load of washing pegged out. Dinner is the fusion soup and tomorrow,s has been planned. Nadiya Hussain.s Ploughmans cheese and pickle tart. I will be making 2, one for us and one for W.

The sitting room has had a good tidy up, mostly my crafting stuff from the weekend, and all is neat and pleasing to the eye.

Both dogs have had a good walk and now I am off to make the pastry and grate cheese while it has a little rest in the fridge.

My reward will be an hour on the lappy, reading posts, reading and replyng to comments and leaving a few of my own here and there.

                       TTFN                                            Pam

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Frugal Fusion Food

On my last trip to Tesco I headed for the RTC  section, as usual, there was nothing much that I could use with the exception of some top notch joints of gammon.

I had a good look at them and choose the 2 with the least fat and the best shape (cutting neat slices is difficult with an odd shaped joint).
 1 went into the freezer for Christmas, Francesca loves roast spiced ham, and the other went straight into the pot. Well straight after the shopping was put away and a cuppa was enjoyed.

I just popped it into a big pot with some allspice berries, a fat cinnamon stick, some black peppercorns and a star anise that I broke into a few pieces. Brought to the boil and them simmered for 3/4 of the total cooking time. The SO then stripped the rind off and scored the fat before putting it into a pyrex dish that just held it snuggly. I lined the dish with foil and baking parchment to make for easy washing up, then drizzled a mixture of mustard powder and maple syrup over. Into the combi oven on convection at 180 c for the remainder of the cooking time, basting every 10 minutes or so.
Gosh this is long winded, not long now.

We had this cold with salad and a jacket potato on Friday and very nice it was too.

Rewind to the joint coming out of the pot.

The cooking liquor was put through a fine sieve and poured straight back into the hot pot, I threw in some (love that quantity) yellow split peas, puy lentils, pearl barley and a dollop of tomato puree. Meanwhile the SO had peeled and diced, quite chunky, a parsnip, half a swede, 2 carrots and an onion. I added a grind of black pepper and some water, enough to cover the veg. This was brought to simmer and cooked gently for around an hour. By this time the smell was enough to make me swoon, the veg were meltingly tender and the legumes were cooked but not mush. I cooled the lot down fast by standing the pot in a sink of cold water and ice.

Last night we had a bowl of this for dinner, it was fragrant with the "Asian" spices and still had the comfort factor of childhood food. Totally delicious and very cheap and the best bit is that there is enough for 2 more meals. Oh Yum.

Harking back to my post of yesterday I realise how fortunate I am that I had my Granny to teach me this way of using every bit. Even the rind will be used, dried out a bit and hung in one of the trees the birds will soon strip it to the string.

I am off now to read the comments from yesterday and then it willl be time to walk Rufus.

                        TTFN                                      Pam

Saturday, 4 November 2017

A Great Idea.

I was watching the TV this morning while eating toasted homemade seeded bread with hedgepick jelly, and drinking tea in my cosy and warm sitting room. The fridge and freezers are full, the pantry also (specially the preserve shelves).

There was a mother and daughter talking about a Reverse Advent Calendar box scheme, and someone from one of the charitable organisations as well.

The so so simple idea is that in November you find a box and each day you put in an item, toy, food, toiletry etc. Then it gets donated ready for Christmas (no apologies for using the C word)

This family had the demographics of a family given to them and they filled a box accordingly.

When I returned Rufus, after his walk, I was chatting to W about this. He told me that one of his family members threw change into a pot all year and then in late November went to the large chain "P" and spent the lot on underwear in various child sizes, this all went to the local food bank.

Each year, at this time, I fill a trolley with toiletries, sanitary goods, tights and take that to the Trussell Trust along with as many Christmas stockings full of chocolate as I can pile in. I know that the families need the basics but to misquote "man does not live on bread alone" we all like a little treat every now and then.

I usually ring and ask if there is any particular thing that they are desperate for and toiletries, for both men and women, are always on the list.

This year we have a local food bank and I aim to pay them a visit and ask for their "most wanted" list.

I have just about everything in the house that we will need for the season and my Tesco points will cover the remainder.

I am no "do gooder" I could give more but to be brutally honest I just don't focus upon it as much as I could. There are so many other things careering around in my mind that it slips by unless there is an in-store collection going on when I am shopping.

I want to make this a bigger part of my life next year and will be talking about this with my local food bank group. 

I would love to plan a box of hand knitted goodies BUT yarn is not cheap, and time is not elastic, so store bought would supply more, quicker and cheaper. 

Possibly something large and handmade to raffle off would be an idea. Maybe a quilt, something fairly showy that would encourage people to buy tickets. That would be more for one of the bigger organisations. I will be making enquiries soon, very soon, to give me time to plan and execute the project in good time.

On that thought I am off to pootle round the garden, fresh air will get the little grey cells working. It just happens that I have a Damson Tree to plant today.

                  TTFN                                                 Pam

Friday, 3 November 2017

Sofa Knitting

Still sofa bound, still knitting my little slippers. These are from some random leftovers and there is another pair on the needles from the same yarn.

They keep my feet toasty warm and I see at least a dozen pairs in my leftovers bag. Some patterned and some plain, I have an issue with ordinary slippers and far prefer lightweight, throw in the wash ones. These fit that bill to the 'nth degree. I cast this pair on yesterday afternoon and finished them while watching the last few episodes of Stranger Things season 2.

BTW the new Wacky Races was grrrrrreat. No I haven't been at the Frosties.

I managed to walk the dogs this morning, slowly though as my temperature is swinging all over the show.

It is a warm, slightly muggy morning here, the mist took a while to clear but I have washing pegged out. Ever hopeful.

The bathroom needs a good bottoming but instead a quick clean will have to suffice, no energy to move things out and then back. 

Fingers crossed that I will be back firing on all 4 cylinders next week. I get quite discombobulated when my routines are disrupted, nothing to do with OCD I am just happy to be set in my ways. They work for me and give me plenty of "me time".

I am off now to have a bash at the bathroom, the SO changed all the sofa throws and cushion covers this morning saving me a sweaty half hour. Bless.

                                TTFN                                  Pam

PS. I need some small sewing projects to give me a break from some full on quilting next week, any suggestions?

Thursday, 2 November 2017

How wrong could I be?

So much for the cold that left in the night, it has resurfaced with a vengeance
Raw throat, sneezes of epic proportions ( I may have broken the sound record) a full on smokers graveyard cough and a rain storm of tissues. I have some balm to apply at regular intervals to help stop the red and broken skin.
I have upped my vitamin C intake and lots of little soothing drinks are the order of the day, so far so good.
Just in case desperate measures are called for I have a tub of Ben & Jerry's "Sofa So Good Together" hidden in the veg drawer of the freezer.

No sit and sew for me today, A. I couldn't manage it and B. it would be so unfair to spread my germins.

There is an upside to all this, I have the pattern for  Simple House Slippers by Temple of knit and am on the third pair. Each pair for me takes less than 50 grams of DK weight yarn and just a few hours.
 I want to experiment with the pattern and add a little roll at the ankle but will leave that till I am a bit more here.

The SO is fixing new security lights at the rear of the house, now the evenings are pulling in I need that light when I fetch Rufus for the last walk of the day. I am still walking the dogs but taking care to avoid other walkers, if they do gravitate towards us a sneeze usually sends them scuttling off.
I have some soothing teas to enjoy and this afternoon I will be sitting on the sofa, knitting, tissues and tea at the ready for the brand new Wacky Races on Boomerang!! I used to love that cartoon, Dastardly and Muttley always had me in stitches.

On that Low Brow note I will sign off after another coughing fit.

                          TTFN                                     Pam

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

What have I missed?

I have been out of action for a few days, it was a stupid thing that did for me.
I had a small cut on my left hand thumb, a plaster for a couple of days and then it was healing nicely.
Plaster off on Sunday and business as usual.....till later that morning when it turned into a farce.
I was sorting through a basket of tangled threads and managed to swipe some buttonhole thread (thick and strong) through the cut. Of course it went deeper than the original and the blood spurted. In my haste to protect the threads and my clothing I jumped up and twisted sideways putting my back out.

Luckily the SO was there, steri strips and dressing for thumb, painkillers and hot water bottle for back and a cuppa just because.

It's a good job that I heal fast, just a couple of days and the cut is healing well, I did have to remove some skin that was dead, and I may well have a lumpy thumb. There is no feeling right on the end of my thumb on the cut, time will tell whether it will return.

The icing on the cake was a sniffly, snuffly cold that came from nowhere

I managed to do some knitting last night but have not touched my sewing yet.

I missed the first frost of the Autumn on Monday morning, shame. I missed knit and natter yesterday as I did not want to spread my cold around. That seems to have departed overnight, lovely as I was going through tissues at am alarming rate, and was considering applying for the Lead Reindeer position. 😊 

I will be doing the hospital run this morning and sit and sew at The Flying Goose tomorrow. (fingers crossed that I don't have any more accidents)

I was happy to be able to dip in the freezer for meals, minimal cooking and washing up. chicken and mushroom pie tonight (4 more still in the freezer) that I made and froze when I picked up 2 large cooked chickens for 75p each in Tesco one Sunday afternoon.
I took a litre of chicken stock out as well, some for gravy and some to make a batch of soup.

Now I need to get myself into gear for walking Rufus.

                   TTFN                                                   Pam

Friday, 27 October 2017

Sitting and stitching.

I have been absent but busy for the past 2 days. Wednesday was the hospital run and it was a looong draaawn out visit, they were running late so it was late afternoon before I got back. The upside was that I knitted lots of stitches on the Miette, one sleeve is ready to cast off, the other is at the start of the ribbing.

Yesterday it was "sit and sew" at The Flying Goose quilting shop, deep joy.
Chrissie aka The One Armed Bandit was there (I need a new name as she now has both arms back in use). I took along some of the fabric stash for her to play with and she sewed 2 of the 10 minute wonder blocks. These will become a pair of cushions for her home, they are from the Spice Trail fabric range by Fabric Freedom and have been languishing for far too long.

Meanwhile I was playing with some more deep stash fabric and making some padded bowl cosies.
Apparently they have been all over the internet recently so I am on trend for once. I saw them on a Jean Truelove podcast and remembered something similar from quite a while back. Anywho I did an Alice and jumped straight down that rabbit hole.

For this pair I used 10" squares and some Seasonal fabric, they are perfect for some of the plain white bowls and will probably hold nuts and sweets.

These were suggested for use in the microwave but that just didn't sound right or practical to me, of course what ever was being heated would spit and the fabric would get marked. You would have to use special wadding, probably very expensive, and I am sewing the stash so it wasn't an option.

Then I decided that it would be good to have some larger cosies for my pasta bowls, there is the odd time when we ignore the table and settle on the sofa to watch a film while eating. Bad, I know.
Trays take up so much room and are cumbersome, and slippy, so I used my 12 1/2" ruler to cut 8 squares. 4 from some bright batik and 4 from some pale blue chambray.

Sunglasses optional.

I stitched them up and they are just the job, I used fusible wadding as I had lots of odd bits floating about. On 2 of them I used some smaller scraps just butted up together, it worked and saved waste.

I will possibly definitely make a couple for Francesca to go with her table runner and get them sent off on Monday.

Now I think that it is Tea O'clock, I am off to Swansea later on to collect the Janome after it's service, it was ready earlier in the week but I haven't had time to get there till today.

                    TTFN                                                 Pam

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Wooly Weather

It is cold, wet and windy here but according to the weather forecast tomorrow should be much better.
We will see.

Knitting and crochet are the order of the day, the new Miette is coming along. I have started on the first sleeve and will be knitting them to the same length as the green one. I have left the body on the needle as I want to try it on once the sleeves are done. I want this one to be just a little longer, this yarn is knitting up slightly looser so it needs to be tried on before I can be sure.

I still have to find buttons, I did have a look in Deb,s shop this afternoon but couldn't make my mind up. I intend to make a skirt (and possibly a dress) to wear with this so finding buttons to either coordinate or contrast means that I need to take a bit of fabric in with me.

I have started on the border for the snuggly blanket, I want to make it about 6" deep to give it a bit of body.

I have about 50 grams of this yarn left but am sure that I will need quite a bit more than that. There is plenty left in the stash.

I managed to slice into the end of my thumb yesterday so the SO is doing the prep and most of the cooking. Last night we had an excellent stir fry and tonight it is pie and mash, root veg and whole grain mustard mash, with broccoli. Yum.

I am all set for Sit and Sew on Thursday, I popped into Flying Geese this afternoon and stayed for a quick chat......almost an hour later I went off to Knit and Natter. Why does time fly so fast at times and drag along at others, and WHY is it always the wrong way round?

On that thought it is time to scoop Rufus up for a walk, or maybe a paddle!

                 TTFN                                                      Pam

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Back to normal.

My few days in heaven have finished, for the moment, and I am still on a high. 
I am having a fairly restful day today, some gentle knitting, maybe a little reading. 

The wind got up during the night and finally blew the rain away, many of the puddles have dried up and the miniature lakes are just muddy memories now.

2 loads of washing pegged out and another whirling round the machine, the sun is shining and I am making hay, so to speak.

Rufus has been with us for a few days, he goes back later on, and is snuggled up as close as he can. He is such an affectionate dog and every day, when I have got back, I have had to get down on my knees to allow him and Ben full access for a cwtch.

I have very little shopping to do but need to fill the tank up so a trip out is essential, W has to be at the hospital by 9.00 tomorrow morning so no time to stop then. Rush hour traffic is looming in front of me, not to worry it will only be for a short while.

Now I think that it must be tea o'clock.

                           TTFN                                            Pam

PS. What about Craig's performance on Strictly last night, do you think he is on the Happy Pills?

Friday, 20 October 2017

Happy Days.

I am having the time of my life right now. I am helping out, for a few days, at The Flying Goose Quilting shop. It makes my heart sing to be surrounded by glorious fabrics and to have a steady stream of crafters to chat to, absolute heaven.

I am still sewing and knitting at home, oh and the snuggly crochet blanket is at the border stage, I WILL take a photo when it is done.

I have cast on another Miette, photos a bit later when there is enough to see.

My sewing is going well, all the Dresden Fans are pieced and I am ready to start assembling the blocks. I still haven't though about sashing properly though.

In the meantime I spotted a tutorial for an easy and quick table runner, Jean Truelove really knows how to simplify beautiful makes.

This is complete, I have folded it to get it in shot, it measures 40" tip to tip.

This one is ready to be quilted, tonight,s job, and I have 2 more in the assembly line.

These will be going into the gift box, I already have names on them.

Now I have to love you and leave you, nearly time to go.

This evening I want to reply to your comments and have a catch up reading session.

                                       TTFN                                 Pam

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Where's that soap box?

Rant time folks.

I have done the weekly hospital run with W, and once again I am amazed at the people who park where ever they can squeeze their cars in.

One week the car park that I drive through to get to the outside parking area was completely blocked by the brain dead who parked in the drive through paths.

Most weeks there are cars parked on the walkways, these are painted like zebra crossings and are for  mums with pushchairs, people with walking aids and so on.

Today I was waiting for a space to be vacated when somebody went to her car, which was parked on a lined crossing. She was not leaving, oh no she was fetching her lunch! She was a member of staff! I did ask her why she parked so inconsiderately, she was quite rude but said that it was the first place she could get in and as she was running late took it. The staff parking area is a bit further away.

I was speechless, I did go to the main reception and lodge a complaint the time the car park was blocked. Something must have been done as it has not happened again.

Then there are the drivers who are either illiterate, can not read English or Welsh or have severely impaired sight. They are the ones who ignore STOP, No Entry and No Right Turn signs. 

W could get a blue badge so I could use a disabled bay. To my mind that would be dishonest, I can drop him off and pick him up and I can walk with no problem.

I have finished, it does help to share.

Now I have had my lunch, I put a pan of soup on as soon as I got back, it was lush.

Only took 30 minutes.I used a bag of diced sweet potato and butternut squash from Tesco, 35 p RTC, there was some diced red onion in there as well. I just sweated it for 5 minutes in a drop of oil and stirred in some smoked paprika, salt and pepper, garlic granules and a little ground coriander and a tsp of dried basil, tipped in a tin of chopped tomatoes and a tin of red kidney beans (drained and rinsed), a good squirt of tomato puree and enough water to cover the ingredients. Brought it to the boil and simmered away, when I checked it for seasoning it needed a lift so I added a a dollop of tomato ketchup. Perfick!

I have sifted through a whole load of things that have been on Fran's bed, they are now in their proper places. I found my rotating cutting mat on there, it was mixed up with some paperwork, I have been hunting for it for a few days and was on the cusp of buying a new one. They Are Not Cheap. Sweet relief when it turned up.

I have one more Dresden plate to make, the middle one with 4 different prints in each of the 5 colours. I hope to get it at least well on the way if not finished today.

It is a grey, gloomy and dismal day here with sporadic rain, but it is bright in the sewing room so I am off to start my fabric selection.

                              TTFN                                     Pam.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

What is it?

Is it a cook?
Is it a quilter?
Is it a knitter?
Is it a gardener (fair weather)?

The answer is YES to all of the above.
Somebody asked me yesterday what hobby I enjoy the most. The answer is which ever one is in my hands.
I could and would not attempt to say which I like the most, there is also a little bit of a crocheter in there as well.

I would hesitate if I had to choose one to do, I think that some one else would have to decide for me. It would be a forced choice, like choosing which food type you would eat for the rest of your life.

Today I am a cook and later will morph into a quilter then later still will be the knitter or perhaps the crochet will win.

I ought to let the gardener out but it is still sticky underfoot, but my word the grass needs cutting soon.

Now I am about to be a "lady who lunches" as I am feeling rather peckish, thanks in part to my longer than usual walk with Rufus this morning.

                             TTFN                                   Pam

PS. I see the follower numbers are creeping up. 
Hello, good morning and welcome. I am very pleased to meet you.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Stitches and Stitches.

The yarny stitching has been simmering away steadily and another pair of boot socks are off the needles.

They do have a slight halo but will be soft and warm to wear.

The snuggly blanket has grown slightly, I will post a picture in a few more days when there is a little bit more to show.

On the sewing stitches front the Plates are also doing well. I have the blades cut, stitched and pressed for 4 more plates. 2 will be blues and greys and 2 will be blues and greens, I pulled some soft pinks from the stash and will make 2 more with blues and pinks. This will give me 9 plate blocks that will finish at around 18", my current thinking is that I will make a 9th block using all the colours to become the middle block, with sashing finishing at 4", side borders  finishing at 5" and top and bottom finishing at 10" I should get a decent size.

Of course I have to think about fabric for all this, right now I haven't got a clue. It will come to me, no probs.

Francesca got her first set of cushion covers today and is pleased as punch, she has no idea that another set will be arriving before the end of the week. 

Dinner tonight is a version of cauliflower cheese, there is broccoli and edamame beans in the sauce as well. A one dish wonder with a fruit pie for pudding. Nursery food, just the job on a wild and windy night.

I have just checked the oven and it's not long now! That's good as there are serious rumblies in the tumbly.

                         TTFN                                     Pam

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Accidental Precut scraps

I have cut the blades for the next 4 Dresden Plates, I inferred yesterday that I was making fans but they are definitely Plates.

10 different blues, 5 greys and 5 greens to give me 4 more blocks. If these are to become a quilt I will need to make 12 blocks in total. I will think about it, the colour palette is a bit restrictive as so far the only warm colour is the yellow for the middles. I cannot repeat the blocks as several of the blades were cut from small scraps and there is no more left.

I did get a "Brucie Bonus" though. Because of the way I placed the template I am left with these skinny blades. They will not be wasted I will save them all for a "play session" right at the end. Depending on what I decide to make they may become part of the border.

As I was walking Rufus this morning my mind was wandering willy nilly. Autumn was a favourite time of the year for my Mum, not for the weather but the colours. She revelled in the turning leaves and filled the garden with plants that had brilliant autumn colours.

With a few more steps I reflected on the way she brought us up. There was lots of support from my Gran and one or the other of them was always there.

While we were quite young the care was pretty much full on and as we grew we got more freedom. As our attention needs reduced Dad became the focus of her attention and he lapped it up.
 I should say here that as the eldest I automatically took on some of the caring duties. That's the way that most of our friends families worked, it was not a chore and "duty" is a hard word to use. I just could not think of another, it wasn't always a joy with a sister and 2 small brothers, what one didn't think of another would. 

But it taught me so much that stands me in good stead today. I can keep up with a few conversations at once, I can let Rufus and Ben off their leads and even if they rush in opposite directions I can keep tabs on them both.

I learnt how precious "me time" is and try very hard not to fritter it away.
I also learnt that if you care for another person it fills your heart with love, you may not realise the rewards at the time but they are there.

Oh My Word, I seem to have gone down a goody two shoes road. Believe me there were times when I could have cheerfully strangled them all. But tucking a small person into bed and having them fling their arms round you and snuggling in is priceless. No matter that they drew in your new book or managed to break your favourite ornament and got plastered in mud 2 minutes before tea.

Bear with me I will be back to my normal self tomorrow. 

Dinner tonight is unknown so far, there is Steak and Kidney with veg in a red wine gravy simmering away in the slow cooker but that is for tomorrow. I have some soft blue cheese to use, perhaps a pasta dish or maybe a jacket potato. Time will tell.

Now I am off to get a brew on.

                          TTFN                                        Pam

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Blades and Fans

All my good intentions went South or West or somewhere, they certainly did not stay here.
Instead of getting on with my list I watched Jean Truelove making a Dresden Plate wall hanging and fell down the rabbit hole.

I now have 2 of these finished and the blades cut out for 4 more, 2 in blues and greens and 2 in blues and greys.

I new that I had lots of blue but was surprised to find that I didn't need to repeat any fabric in the other blocks. I have used each fabric twice in each of the 3 colourways and all will have the soft yellow middles.

I have no idea as to whether they will be cushions or a quilt, I don't need either but I so needed wanted to make the blocks.

Once they are sewn together I will decide on the fabric for borders and sashing, possibly the same for both and probably blue and multi.

Oops, dinner is ready so I am offski.

                       TTFN                                             Pam

Friday, 13 October 2017

Wellies and Driza-Bone

After a decent drying day yesterday the rain came back overnight. It rained gently with a few minutes of dry scattered here and there, I managed to get Ben out and back in one of them, before sweeping down the mountain in a veil of mist and turning heavy.

Now it is sullen and far too warm, I want to fling all the doors and windows open but it is too windy.

It will be a crafting day, the housework is up to date, no ironing lurking and washing basket empty (for a few moments).

I started turning the heels on the latest pair of socks last night so they will be picked up first. Then I have some fabric panels, that I dug out yesterday, to deal with. I have the dowelling for hanging them and Francesca would like a couple for the house in Beckenham. She will be here for Christmas but still decorates at home.

I was shuffling around You Tube this morning and found a tutorial for Christmas makes. That has fired my interest so I need to scrabble under the bed and pull "Christmas" out of hiding. I don't want to buy anything, there is still lots of stuff to be used here, and it is too wet to go out anyway. I have had to drive enough this week without going out for the sake of it.

Dinner tonight will be based on sweet potatoes baked in their skins, we love them and they don't need butter at all just a scraping of black pepper and a pinch of salt. I have no idea as to what will go with them, a forage through the fridge will bring something to mind.

I went to the little charity shop in G C G (the next village) yesterday and picked up a few books. It is many months since I picked up a book and read it all, I found 3 but they are still in the bag, my reading mojo seems to have gone into hibernation. When I think that at times I would go through 4 or 5 books in a week I can not understand it. I was still knitting and sewing, so it is not a question of time but of inclination.

Now I need to get busy or nothing will be done today, once those heels are turned I will pull the backing fabric out for "Operation Panel Making"

                  TTFN                                                  Pam

The title? oh yes, I have evicted the dust from my wellies and dragged the Driza-Bone from the depths of the wardrobe. I am ready for the weather now.