Friday, 22 September 2017

So far, So good

The quilting has begun and it is looking good, just the long straight lines so far. I have rolled it ready to cross hatch but have finished sewing for today.

The mincemeat has been in the oven to melt the veg suet down, it is out on the side now cooling down. Once cold it will have the brandy added before going into cold sterilised jars, they have been washed and rinsed and are in the oven now, in an hour I will turn the heat off and let them cool down. 

I am planning a new take on the apple jellies, I saved the pulp, pips and skins from the oranges and lemons used in the mincemeat. I will chop those up and add them to a Kilo of chopped apples and some Haws and just cover them with water. To this mix I will add a whole nutmeg, some  Allspice berries and a couple of cinnamon sticks. The hope is that the spices will release their flavour and scent into the liquid so that I get Christmas Jelly. I am only adding the Haws for colour, my concern is that the whole spices will leach their colour and brown jelly is not what I hope to achieve.

I plan on a lazy evening with some gentle knitting, it is pouring with rain and I managed to get soaked earlier. I had to shower and got straight into PJ's and the clothes were spun before being washed.

I have some Saint Agur cheese in the fridge  and a grilled cheese and red onion sandwich is looking good for a lazy dinner possibly with a dollop of relish or chutney.

Ben is treating the weather with total disdain and has turned into a couch potato, I can not say that I blame him.

Washing is bumbling around in the dryer, less ironing later.

Now I need to drink my tea before it gets cold, the SO made it and I don't want to discourage him.

                    TTFN                                         Pam

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Shiny, Sleepy and Spiny

The jelly was a success, 6 jars and a taster (now gone, delish on breakfast toast). A very shiny photo, 

as is the Dresser, I have polished it once, it was gleaming the day that I picked it up.

Jelly making was of no interest to Ben so he retired to the sofa for a little sleepy time.

This is very spiny, all the basting pins are in and I am about halfway through doing them up. My fingers needed time out, I think there is a gadget for that and I know that I need one.

I made a small batch of sweetcorn relish this morning, see Sue's recipe from the cottage at the end of the lane blog.
No celery seed, bother! finely dice a stick of celery and add that. Mmmm there is curry powder and turmeric in there so how about some cumin seeds, done.

I have 3 jars cooling, it smells amazing in the kitchen so a larger batch may be in order.

We had really heavy rain last night, it hammered down but has dried out a bit now. If it stays dry I will be gathering Haws later, there are some stray raspberries in the freezer that may get added to the next batch of jelly.

I have a batch of mincemeat to jar, made with vegetable suet so that I can gift some (in jars and in pastry) with no worries. Many of my friends are either non meat eaters or avoiding beef.

Now I better knuckle down and get back to my pins, I did try stitching a few time but on a large quilt it takes too long, and they all have to be picked out later....all those threads.

            TTFN                                                           Pam

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Hips and Haws and other good things.

I had to do quite a bit of driving yesterday, I did get the dogs walked first though.
On my return, after a cuppa of course, I went "hunter gathering", well just gathering really.
Inspired by Jess I collected lots of Haws and then I spotted some rose hips. Suffering a few minor scratches I added those to my basket.
As I turned to go I spotted a few apples in amongst the turning leaves of a little thicket, another scratch or 2 but goal attained and 4 decent apples went in with the booty.
To round it all off I picked some late blackberries and then turned for home.

Once back I picked over my haul, put the hips into the processor and blitzed them. chopped the apples up, along with a few that were left from the last jamming session, washed the haws and berries and got them in the pot with enough water to cover. A good boil and simmer with a couple of attacks with the potato masher and into the jelly bag to drip overnight.
As I tap away the resulting juice is boiling away with some sugar and will soon reach setting point.
I will let you know how it is tomorrow, must dash now.

                     TTFN                                                  Pam

Monday, 18 September 2017

Marmalade out. Jess Jelly in.

Jess and Ivy came for a little visit yesterday afternoon, it was a wonderful tonic.
Jess brought a jar of Blackberry and Hawthorn jelly that she had made that day. I was on my best behaviour so I waited until she left before ripping the lid off to have a sniff. Oh My Word, sweet, smokey and deeply fruity. Autumn in a jar. I did have a tiny taste and the SO had a larger one. It now has a label on reading HIS.
Tomorrow I will be picking Hawthorn Hips and probably begging apples from Jess to make a batch.

I also received a thank you card, for Ivy's birthday gifts, that is on proud display while it waits for a frame. It is a montage of photo's of Ivy having fun and I love it.

The bright jumper and hat fitted and I have a green one that needs finishing in the same size. The next ones will need to be a little bigger. There is a special joy to be found in knitting little garments, nothing to do with a quick finish at all, even more so than with a pair of socks.

Here is the top of my Dresser, I am so pleased with it, I have not put all the china out, just most of the Old country Roses. The Silver Maple had to stay in the kitchen cupboards. The flowered stuff does look better against the dark wood though.

All my curtains are now hung, I am just waiting for a rug to arrive. 

Ben doesn't know whether he is coming or going, he spends a while in one room on the sofa and then moves into the other for a snooze. Rufus just took it in his stride.

I slipped over to Llandeilo this afternoon, I took a stack of books for one of the Cafe's which is raising money for a charity. Deb's hubby is having a turn out as well and will transport them all together.

She has some lovely new Alpaca blend yarn in but I was not to be tempted, however 2 balls of Acrylic and cotton blend did slip into my bag, just enough for a small person cardigan.

I have a list of jobs to do in the garden over the course of the week, fingers crossed the weather will co-operate. 

I don't think there is anything else for today, I hope intend to get Ivy's green sweater finished tonight and possibly cast on the cardigan. I do have socks on the needles, of course I do, but want to save them for my hospital waiting time. Rufus,s owner is still in plaster and consequently we are trailing back and forth.

On that note I am off to get dinner ready to put in the oven, I want the timing set so dinner is ready when I get back from walking the dogs later.

                             TTFN                                        Pam

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Resting up.

After the past 2 weeks of moving things around, and generally being in a perpetual whirl, I have thrown the towel in.
Knitting is is it's bag and the door to the craft room is firmly shut.

I had another disturbed night, that's 3 in a row, and woke up feeling completely out of sorts.

The dogs had their walks and I settled into the corner of the sofa with Copper on the box.

2 cups of mint tea have refreshed me but the thought of food brings on nausea ( I hate being sick so food is off the menu).

I think that a day or maybe 2 with clear liquids only will perk me up.

I have bought myself a Welsh Dresser, a lovely old piece that has been polished by generations of women. The owner passed and her daughter has not got room and the granddaughters were not interested.

It is not only lovely but now houses my pretty china that has been languishing in the cupboards for far too long.

I have a photo but the camera is in the craft room so it will wait for another day.

The sun is shining from an azure sky but the garden is a bog after so much rain. Perhaps tomorrow.

Now I am going to put episode 3 on and sink back into my cushions.

                       TTFN                                       Pam

PS. Copper looks very realistic, I am so glad that smelly vision has not been invented.

Friday, 15 September 2017

New look Craft Room

A few days have slipped by since I was here last, they have not been frittered away. I have been working away at my Crumb Blocks.

This is part of a long strip that will be the side borders,

this is the other end. I am not sure about that dark stripe, I may cut it out. This will be cut in half lengthways and there is plenty for both sides. The cut aways will be built up to make top and bottom borders.

Here is a section of the Crumb Quilt, I cut the sashing too wide and that is why I am making the colourful borders. I will bind it in either the sashing green or a darker shade.

The move from back to front of the house is complete and I am reasonably happy with the layout, there will be some tweaking I have no doubt.

Most of my small cuts of fabric and notions are here right behind the sewing cabinet.

This is my knitting corner, right next to the sofa all my pattern books are on the bottom shelf, nice and handy. All I need to do is clear a space for my cuppa.

The rest of the yarn storage further along the wall, just like the fabric there is still quite a bit in large storage boxes. I will get to them after some serious crafting.

A close look at the bottom shelves in the knitting corner, I have plenty to keep me busy through the darker months.

A long shot of that wall, the overlocker and a small sewing machine are in the middle, the printer is ready for any pattern that takes my fancy. You can just see a corner of the ironing board, it is far too big and I intend to make a pressing pad to have beside the Janome for when I am making blocks.

I will get photos of the other room asap,but finishing the Crumb Quilt is my number 1 priority. I have another top ready to baste and want to get them done in tandem. hauling my roll of batting around is hot work and the fewer times I do it the better.

Now it is time for me to get off my btm and get dinner on the table.

                   TTFN                                                Pam

Saturday, 9 September 2017

A little chink of light.

Shining through the gloom of moving stuff from here to there (and back again a few times!) there is a tiny light. The Grace frame has gone to her new home and is set up ready to serve. 

That space gained is wonderful but much better is the knowledge that she will be working again, not gathering dust.

I admit that I had reservations about parting with her but knowing that she was going to such a good home soon sent those off.

I now have to hold my hands up and confess to blanking out all the jobs on my list and having some quality sewing time. Several more crumb blocks have been pressed and attached to the sashing strips.
Even better 2 rows are assembled and the 3rd is on it's way.
Right now I am considering a 4" -6" crumb border and then a solid binding. 

Once I have cleared enough space to photograph my makes I will have a  photo heavy post.

I also have to knuckle down and reply to comments AND get some blog reading done. The past week has raced by and when my bottom has hit a chair my brain has turned itself off.

Thanks to the tireless grafting of the SO ( and a big thank you to the rain that has kept him indoors ) the work is all but finished.

We have eaten out of the freezer and a fresh meal from scratch will be cooked today ( roasted veg and cauliflower cheese) and tomorrow (probably a roast). Then it will be back to the freezer on Monday, I have a loooooong list of jobs, including more marmalade as the SO has taken a shine to it, so cooking time has to be sacrificed. I also want to clear the freezer of made up meals before they become ancient.

I want to thank everybody who has stuck with me and my hasty scribbling, and a big thanks for all the positive comments. It is lovely to read them all and each one gives me a little boost.

My storage, that looked so right in the big room, is so topsy turvy and higgledy piggeldy in the smaller room that I see some shopping on the horizon. It may well be in the form of wood for some custom built shelving ( is it too naughty and selfish to hope for more rain).

All these decisions and plans have kept my mind whirring most of the night. A good long walk with Rufus will blow the cobwebs away and clear my mind, I hope.

I almost forgot to tell you that at one point I could not get to the breadmaker (or the making for a loaf) so I bought one. Sunflower and Pumpkin seed, it tasted pretty good but my word it was doughy. I made a copy yesterday and will be trying it for breakfast, if looks and smell are anything to go by it will be fantastic.

I hear Ben stirring so better get the door open for him. Back soon.

                             TTFN                                           Pam

Thursday, 7 September 2017

A Pale shade of Green

Not nausea, not envy.

Simply experimenting.

Over the past few months I have done a fair bit of reading, all relating to Ben's skin issues, both in book form and on the internet.

Several things have rung bells and blown whistles.

The first was laundry, the detergents and fabric conditioners etc.

I am now using soap nuts in the machine and white vinegar in the dispenser drawer.

My first reaction was to the smell, or rather the lack of it. My laundry smells clean and fresh with no hint of perfume at all.
The second was to discover how much better the towels dry without the residue from conditioner.

This has encouraged me to look at making "greener" choices in all areas.

Another change has been in Ben's diet, over the years I have tried many food varieties, including making it myself. All have had a modicum of success, but none have stood the test of time. He is now on a tailor made dry food from Not only is he loving it I can see an improvement in his skin and coat condition. Time will tell, of course, but he has never eaten his meals so eagerly, you would think it was best steak in his dish.

I have been playing with vegan food and although I can not envisage it becoming an exclusive choice, meat has become a much rarer part of our diet.

I have been buying the same shower/bath/hair products for ages, I hope that this will soon change. This is my next area for research and change.

Now for the fun (hard work I mean) part.

The change round of my rooms is well under way, painting is almost complete, there is just a windowsill to finish. Carpet has been fitted, 4 days earlier than planned.

I do need to find another sofa, my large leather storage one will  not turn in the space we have. The cushions were removed, feet unscrewed and the doors came off and still it would not go. It is a big beast and is very heavy, it was delivered by 3 gorillas and they left sweating buckets. 

It does mean that space is tighter than I had planned for but I am not repining. It will all come good in the fullness of time.

There are still heaps of bags, boxes and loose items waiting to be rehoused. The pile for the charity shop grows by the second. Fran's bedroom is still heaped up but the end is in sight.

I took a few crafty books to knit and natter on Tuesday and will be taking some cookery books next week.
There will soon be another box of goodies winging it,s way to my sister in Norfolk.
The crumb quilt blocks are being sashed, I should say were as all sewing has been put on ice till the chaos has subsided.
Knitting, however, is a different kettle of fish, I have kept 2 project bags to hand. One has a pair of socks, 2 at a time cuff down, the heels have been turned and I am on the way along the feet. The second has a jumper for Ivy in it, I have about 10 rows left before the front neck shaping and then just has to sew it together.

I am going to restrict myself to 2 knitting projects in the sitting room. It had got out of hand with bags of yarn scattered all through the house.

The kitchen is next on the list and then our attention will fall upon the stairs and landing, I may be ripping the carpet up this week as it is really beyond the pale. It has been shampooed twice since we moved here but it is definitely past it's sell by.
Then of course we need new windows.........does the list ever end?

I am quite sleepy now so I better toddle off to bed, it is gone 1:30 after all.

                           TTFN                                      Pam

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Bidding a fond farewell.

This Grace Frame has done me proud, here it is with all the sections joined. It is classed as Queen size. I did have it set up smaller to begin with and then after some practise had the extra part assembled and joined in.
The hardest part was getting the leader cloths fed into the rails, much sweat and naughty words were the order of the day.

Now she is off to pastures new, I am not sad. I can no longer use her and she is going to an excellent home. 
I am not stopping my quilting by any means, I will be using a flat surface and sitting down.
I will be looking at spinning in the new year, the excitement of moving to a new space is enough for now. It will take me at least a couple of months to get it set out as I need it.
The bookshelves are in their new room and have been filled, I do expect to be shuffling things about though.

It was knit and natter today, there was cake, we had a very chatty session although the rain/hail/snow combination shocked us to almost silence. Lumpy Rain in September, No No No, far too early.

Deb's has a window full of special priced yarn, all discontinued colours. It is not as full now as it was when I arrived.

I will try to get photo's loaded for tomorrow, I am too tired today. All this rearranging and running up and down stairs is enervating.

I plan a lazy(ish) day tomorrow, a trip to the charity shop with a heap of things that I no longer need or have no further use for. Some cooking and possibly a little gardening, the weather forecast is reasonable and the sun is shining right now.

That is my cue to get Ben out for a walk before the wet stuff returns.

                     TTFN                                           Pam

Monday, 4 September 2017

Spiders and Cobwebs and Dust, Oh My!

It is all stations action here, furniture is being moved, wall hangings taken down and everything easily portable is being rehomed. Most of it has been shunted into Fran,s room where the bed has all but disappeared under a sea of fabric and yarn (all in containers).

The quilting frame is leaving for pastures new, either this Friday or next week. I have already told you that works will be started, almost 3 years after they should have been completed.

Well there has been a slight change of plan, the works will still be going ahead but the rooms are being changed around. 
The largest room will become the sitting/dining room and the smaller room will become my crafting room. I still knit and crochet in the sitting room and it tends to take over the whole room. The simple way of dealing with that issue is to change the dynamics of our living space. I will just have to exercise some control as to how many WIP,s I have in there.

There will be much painting taking place, curtains being made and carpet being purchased. There may be a new sofa and possibly a new dining table ( a dual purpose long rectangle for cutting out as well). Although I do have 3 folding tables for that job.

I have emptied, and moved and refilled, the book shelves. The amount of detritus behind them was absolutely horrifying, it is only a few months since they were out for cleaning. Thankfully the spiders were dead, but the webs were thick with dust and left me sneezing my head off.

The pile for the Charity shop run has grown dramatically and I have some books to take to knit and natter.

The garden is in line for some major works also, the front has become something of a jungle. I totally underestimated the growth rate of some of the plants and some  serious pruning and digging out has to take place.

Fingers crossed that we get some reasonable weather, I can garden in the rain but prefer not to.

The crumb quilt is slowly coming together, as is Ivy,s heart jumper, they are the only projects remaining in situ. 

On the subject of quilting, I was very happy to see Eleanor Burns on You Tube this morning. It had never occurred to me to even look
before. I watched her on the TV, many years ago, for some time before her program was withdrawn for some legal issue. Needless to say I will be watching some of the golden oldies as well as the more recent. I am proud to have a few of her books and quilting rulers in my possession.

Even better than that, the sun has shown it's face and the murky gloom has all but gone from the valley.

I am off to move more "stuff" from the downstairs to the upstairs. I have a dead line to get it done by.

Strictly starts this weekend and I want to sit and soak it up with no guilty thoughts to plague me.

It also means that I have until the following episode to get everything to rights. It is a good combination of "stick and carrot" without the stick. 

                                TTFN                                    Pam

Friday, 1 September 2017

Still here

Busy having fun with Fran, cooking and subsequently eating a bit too much. No shopping though.
I have made some more crumb blocks and bought more sashing fabric for the soon to be assembles quilt.
Knitting has taken a back seat for a while but I have done a little more work on a new pale green jumper for Ivy.

The dog walking is still happening and Rufus is looking much more svelte, I on the other hand have stopped losing weight. My face was becoming quite haggard looking so I upped the calories and am much happier now. I am keeping a close eye on the situation though, I don't want to stack it all back on.

I will be back to regular posting next week once Fran has returned home. I am planning a busy couple of  weeks, both in the house and garden.

Now I bid you goodnight and wish you all a good weekend.

                                      TTFN                                                          Pam

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Operator error and tantrum.

My laptop and I have a love hate relationship, it loves to annoy me and I hate it with a passion.

That is neither fair or the whole truth, I am impatient and if something doesn't work the first time there is not often a second time.

I have been playing a cat and mouse game with the blasted thing and early last week had a major hissy fit.

I stamped and used naughty words then pushed the thing into a cupboard and left it to rot while I stewed.

My temper enabled me to get this little sweater and hat set knitted in record time, it just needs a pompom (Once I find the makers that it) and they can be wrapped up for That Time. My goodness it is coming fast now.

I have also been sewing furiously, with pleasure though not anger, and have enough 6 1/2" crumb blocks for a large quilt. I have some lovely solid sashing fabric, I got it at Flying Geese, the quilting shop in Llandeilo last week. That was when I was planning a lap quilt so I need to buy some more on Tuesday.

Francesca is here for the week and we have plans for some fun times and a few trips out and about. Ben is in seventh heaven and glued himself to her side for the first 24 hours.

Dinner tonight is salad and something, it is gloriously hot and sunny here,and there is plum crumble and cream for pudding.
I have been given a huge bag of cooking apples so Eve's Pudding and Apple cake will be on the menu. I plan on making a few jars of Apple Jelly, some with Rosemary,some with Mint and if I can find some there will be a batch with Rose hips.

I bought some jars from Wilko's, they worked out cheaper with the lids than the Jam Jar Shop without lids. I was amazed as a few years ago I went to town and bought 10 cases of jars at a very reasonable price. I do need lids and labels though so will have to do a search.

Now I am off to replant my window boxes and a couple of containers for the doorstep. I have Pansies and spring flowering bulbs to, hopefully, last till summer bedding comes round again. I should have a good show of Sweet Williams next year, my plants have been put in their flowering positions and a fair few into a bed for cutting. They fill the house with their perfume just as quick as sweet peas, and they produce copious amounts of seeds.

As you have gathered I did rescue it from the darkness and did a little jiggery pokery and so far so good.

                     TTFN                                                Pam

Monday, 21 August 2017

Back on the wagon.

The "healthy eating" wagon, that is. Much as I enjoyed the fat and sugar hit of jammy doughnuts and cream, I was glad to return to real food yesterday.

Lots of veg and fresh fruit, we did have pizza but it was a thin crust and topped with a rainbow of veggies and a scant sprinkle of Parmesan. A spicy apple crumble was destined to be pudding (the SO is a bit of a crumble fiend) but a fresh apple from the garden replaced it.

I did get in a good walk with Ben and a longer one with Rufus in the morning before the rain set in. It hammered down most of the latter half of the day and was still coming down at 10:30 last night. This morning there is a heavy mist/drizzle obscuring the view from my windows.

My plan today is to work my way through my "crumb quilt" box. There are several large blocks, waiting to be cut down and many more smaller part blocks. Then there is a heap of crumbs waiting to be sewn together. I think that there is a small quilt in there striving for freedom and I have enough solid yardage for sashing and borders. I may add cornerstones depending on how I feel when the time comes. This will be a gifted quilt as soon as a home waves to me.
I have most of the day to fill, the SO will be away painting, and I want to be as productive as possible. I would be really happy to get the blocks and sashing assembled into a flimsy ready to layer and quilt over the rest of the week. I am toying with the notion of using buttons to attach the layers together, I haven't done that for ages and there are jars of pretty buttons to showcase.

Dinner tonight will be a bean and veg mix in a light cheese sauce with a cobbler topping. A few teaspoons of spicy chutney dropped here and there through the base give lovely pops of flavour. I add fresh thyme leaves to the topping for more flavour.

The jumper for Ivy is progressing well, the back is done and the front is just a few rows away from dividing for the neck. I have a pair of thick socks and then another Miette lined up to keep my fingers away from evening snacking.

Ben has just come and told me, in no uncertain terms, that it is long past his walk time. Nothing to do with the fact that he was snoring his head off until 3 minutes ago, Oh No, it is my fault for sitting on my btm.

                                  TTFN                               Pam

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Eyes Upwards.

I am weather watching, there is a line of washing dancing in the breeze. The sun has been shining but it is obvious that rain is on it's way.

Miette is finished bar the buttons, I aim to get her blocked later on today. I have the yarn ready for another but have cast on a sweater for Ivy, I fancied doing a little knitting project first.

I made marmalade, from a tin of mamade, yesterday. I added the juice and pulp from a huge lemon to give it a little extra bite.

More blackberries have been gathered and once the apples have been chopped up there will be a jelly bag suspended in the kitchen filling the house with the heady scent of glories to come.

I have a couple of sewing projects ready to finish off, it should have happened yesterday. I fell down the rabbit hole of kitchen cupboard tidying, which of course meant that they were deep cleaned. Boom, the day was over.

I settled down in front of the telly in the evening, with a box set of Murdoch mysteries, and finished Miette. I hate picking up stitches and as I had added rows I had to finagle it. It looks good though and once blocked I will be getting the buttons on so that it is ready to wear.

I have a new addition to the sitting room, a wall clock with a pendulum, I hope that the ticking becomes soothing .....soon, very soon. The last one that I had was so comforting, ticking away the hours, but it has been a while since it died and I have become accustomed to the silence of a carriage clock.

I would love a long case clock but the modern ones are too new looking and the old ones are not only "how ###### much", but too large for my room.

Ben had a bath last night, a new shampoo for his flaky skin. It is the third time that I have used it and it seems to be effective. He is having  salmon added to every meal to help with the general skin condition. He is resigned to eating it. Ha ha, he attacks it with gusto and licks the dish as clean as a whistle.

Nothing much else to share, dinner last night was a very bone idle burger in some chilli bread with corn on the cob. The SO had cherry pie and whipped cream for pudding.
I was a total slob and had 2, YES 2, doughnuts AND I used them to wipe every last scraping of cream from the dish it was whipped in.
In my defence I can only say that I felt like a child again, licking the dish after my Gran had a baking session.

It Was Wonderful.

On that note I am off to get a brew on and check the skies again.

                          TTFN                                         Pam


Thursday, 17 August 2017

A day of many parts.

The day dawned fine and bright, just a bit too early for me but I got up as once awake there is no going back to sleep.

  • Ben was all too happy to start his day early, but it was nothing to do with the weather Oh no. He decided that 5:45 was a good time for a spot of breakfast, I had to tell him otherwise.

I did not waste my time but got lots of little jobs sorted.

We had a walk and then it was time to scoop up Rufus for his turn.

I picked up Jess and Ivy and we went off out for a couple of hours, it is good to play hookey once in a while.

I came back to total chaos, the toilet cistern had sprung a leak, there was water running down the hall walls and the carpet was soaking. The plumber was on his way and within an hour order was restored.

Luckily the SO was at home and got the water turned off before any serious damage could happen.

As often happens it never rains but it pours, almost the minute that had I cleaned up the bathroom Ben was sick, poor little dog he slunk on his belly to the door in shame. Another round of cleaning and finally I could think about dinner.

Then to cap it all the heavens opened a few minutes before I was due to take the dogs out.

I threw the towel in, had dinner early, washed up and got into pj's and claimed my corner of the sofa.

I have started the rib on the first Miette sleeve, I added 30 extra rows as I want full length sleeves, bracelet length sleeves on an Aran weight cardigan seems so wrong.

Tomorrow is another day and hopefully it will be less eventful. I intend to finish my sleeve and get the second one started and possibly have an early night, all this excitement is very tiring.

                                             TTFN                                                       Pam

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

It was a Time Warp

Even after checking the post dates and yesterdays date it totally passed by me that it was Tuesday. AKA Knit and natter day.

I missed it, I pottered about the house. Laundry done, line dried and ironed, kitchen sorted, some sewing prep done, quite a bit of knitting. The Miette body is done and I will be starting the first sleeve shortly. Pattern and yarn selected for a small persons sweater, and lots of little bits and bobs tidied away.

The SO found the time to put a floating shelf over the hall mirror, the baskets of hats, scarves and gloves are now there.

Dinner was a simple "Ploughmans plate", neither of us was particularly hungry and there was a fresh loaf of bread. So with a selection of cheese, homemade chutney and some tomatoes and bell peppers we had a scratch meal that was just perfect.

Tonight we are having a baked egg dish that I saw Phyllis Stokes  make. Diced bell peppers and scallions sweated in butter, tipped into a pyrex dish and raw eggs placed on top. Grated cheese and breadcrumbs scattered over and then moistened with a little beer (I used cider) and baked for 20 minutes. I have made crushed roasted garlic potatoes ready to go in the oven, I am looking forward to dinner already.

I forgot to give the recipe for Cauliflower Steaks, it isn't really a recipe, I slice the cauli though into 2" steaks and lay them in a single layer in a baking tin. Then I whisk some oil, salt and pepper and whatever spice I fancy together, last time it was smoked paprika, garlic granules and a squirt of barbecue sauce. Tip it over the steaks and turn them over in it to coat well. Then I just griddle them or pop the tray into the oven for 25 minutes or so. I have made these many times, they are good marinaded in a little Worcestershire sauce and topped with a thick cheese sauce and then baked.

We had a lovely sunny morning and early afternoon but it is raining now and looks to be set in for the night.

The radio has been playing lots of Elvis songs this week, it doesn't seem 40 years ago that he died, I may have a look on NetFlix later and watch one of his films, I enjoyed them at the time but have not seen any of them more than once.

Now I think that it is Tea o'clock, dinner is prepped for the oven and the kitchen is put to rights. All is well in my world.

Weather permitting I will be scooping up Jess and Ivy tomorrow and sliding off for a few hours.  It doesn't look very promising but we will see.

                                         TTFN                                                                    Pam

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A very senior moment.

Oh Dear, I just had a little read through my blog list and then had a look at the comments for yesterday. One said that it was nice to see me back, back? back from where?I thought Then I saw that I had not posted for a few days, I don't know why, perhaps I was lost in a time warp. It's just a jump to the left....sorry about that.

I had no idea, I thought that I had missed one day. Oops I blame Mary Poppins, she has to be blamed for something.

Anyway, now that that is dealt with I can move forward, onwards and upwards.

I am knitting happily on the Miette, I have 27 rows left on the body before binding off and picking up the sleeves. It has not been an entirely smooth progress, nothing wrong with pattern or yarn, no dropped stitches or anything. My stitchmarkers decided to jump off the needles at every opportunity, they were like Minions determined to escape. I may have to resort to little bits of contrast yarn tied in loops. That was what my Mother used, there were no fancy pants, themed or otherwise, pretties to be had then. Even if there were she would have rather spent the money on more yarn. (only she called it all wool)

I have been sewing, 2 new cushion covers are finished, 2 are waiting for the final seaming and overlocking and 2 are waiting for the back fabric to be selected.

The dress that was cut out at least 6 weeks ago is still in limbo, but it is at the top of the pile. I just have to get the cushion covers done, not to mention the quilt that has been pin basted....Oh and I have an idea for a new play quilt for the grands. Snakes and Ladders on one side and Draughts on the reverse, I aim to make the squares big enough for the children to be the counters on the snakes and ladders side. I will make the dice as well.
What I will change though is the long snake that slides down from square 98 (or 99) to square 2. I can remember sliding down that many, many times and it can be devastating to a small child.

Mmm, just noticed that I have used a smaller sized font than normal, I will leave it and see how it turns out.

I have to dash, it is almost time for walking Rufus, if I am late he stands at the gate a shouts for me.

                                       TTFN                                                            Pam

Monday, 14 August 2017

Technicolour to shades of grey.

Yesterday was a full on technicolour and vista vision day. Bright sun, a warm whispering breeze and hedgerows festooned with glistening berries like fruit gums tipped out of a packet. Black, red, orange(almost) and green, a Kilo was soon gathered and added to a kilo of chopped apples and a pint and a bit of water, boiled up and strained overnight. They have become 4 jars of purple/black jelly, all ready to melt into buttery crumpets or be the jewels in jam tarts. A reminder of late summer days in the gloom of winter.

The sun shone for Ivy, it was a celebration of her first birthday, and it was all about blueberries and cake for her. She delights in her food and although cake is a treat fresh fruit, pepper sticks and plums were pounced upon with glee. She was delighted with the little tote bag filled with a few crocheted flowers and pom poms. The cardigan that I had feared would be a bit on the small side fitted her well, with a little growing room, so another will be on the needles soon.

Today is a shades of grey day, mainly because I have rhubarb wiped and chopped in the maslin pan. It sits there, under a pristine dressing of snowy white sugar, oh so slowly releasing its tart juices. Scattered throughout are a few nuggets of preserved ginger that have been chopped fine, every spoonful of the resulting jam should have at least one, almost fiery nib.

That will be the last pull of rhubarb this year, a sure sign that summer is on its way out. The outer tough stems are softening and bending, like tulips in a vase, and the leaves are crisping and changing colour. In a short time I will be piling the contents of the small compost bin over the plants, after I have lifted and split the bigger ones.

The apple boughs are bent double under the weight of fruit, so much so that I have had to thin them out. The rainfall has caused them to become quite large, even though not fully ripe the flesh is crisp, juicy and sweet.

One is being moved later this year to a more sheltered spot and a Damson will take its place. The area right at the top of the garden, which is scheduled to be cleared this autumn will (fingers crossed) hold another and possibly a Quince, although I have had visions of the dark purple damsons nestled up to some velvety soft greengages. 

There, I have cheered myself up no end writing that, I will have to have a search for the trees a bit later.

The Miette cardigan is growing nicely, I have put the sleeve stitches onto waste yarn and am a few rows into the body. 

I am planning another and will be yarn hunting tomorrow. Luckily Debs has a good stock of Aran weight yarn that I can squidge and squeeze through.

Dinner tonight is Toad in the Hole, the batter mix has been well beaten and is resting. The "sausage toads" are a glorious blend with apple and beetroot taking centre stage and I have some cider flavoured sauce to anoint the finished dish with. Peas and carrots will provide a splash of colour and there is a crumble for pudding, apple and blackerry, of course.

Now I do believe that it is Tea O'clock, with an oaty biscuit perhaps. Not to dunk, yeuk, biscuits should be enjoyed crisp and crumbly, not warm and soggy.

                TTFN                                                 Pam

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

What is that noise?

That noise, my friends, is the death rattle of a Lap top (at least that's what it sounds like to me)
No more listening to my favourite podcasters, I have to put the telly on. Well at least till the lappy goes to the doctors, that will hopefully happen tomorrow. It went west yesterday morning when I was on a call to my sister, but it was Knit and Natter in the afternoon and I had to prioritise.

People come first.

Not to mention the fact that there was cake.

Jammy doughnuts, swoon.

Triple chocolate cookies, drool.

Blueberry muffins, Oh My.

But we are not going to mention cake.

The talented Tina of Loobylou Yarns brought in a basket full of her Homespun, Oh My Word it is drop dead gorgeous (she has a shop so pop on over and have a look. Just don't buy it all)

If I end up able to spin yarn that is half as good I will be a happy bunny.

I must not mention the cake.

The sun has been shining on and off most of the day and now it is glorious, just right for walking Ben and Rufus before dinner.

I finished the socks today and am working on the next WIP in line. That WILL be finished tonight and then there is just my blue cardigan and the SO's Aran weight Flax sweater. I have an Andi Satterlund pattern clamouring to be knit, and the light green yarn to knit it in. I WILL be strong and finish the WIPs first though. I just know that this will be a monogamous knit, it is Miette which is now free on Ravelry, I want one in at least 3 colours.

Most of the prep has been done in the sitting room, fingers crossed it will all be put to rights by the weekend.

I must drink my tea now and get the dogs on their respective leads for a gentle walk in the sunshine. Life is good.

                    TTFN                                                 Pam

PS. I have to mention the cake. I was good only the one doughnut, it was light and fluffy and oozing jam. yummy yum yum.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Inertia strikes again

Not really total inertia, just a small fit of the "can't help its, and don't intend to try".
 Two days with nothing much to report, walking, cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing. All the usual activities along with more upheaval in the house. A new blind in the sitting room meant that the window recess had to be modified. The recess sides are angled out, to allow more light in I assume, and this has been sorted. It did lead to much measuring and tutting, quite a bit of muttering and some carpentry, all is now well.
I have been busy making some gifts for a small person, you know how it is you trim the threads off the last item, put everything away, and then think "oh perhaps I should make a ....." and out it all comes again. I just have to find a 20" cushion pad and I have finished, although there is this pattern for an owl.....

I will be at knit and Natter today, I missed the last 2 weeks due to hospital appointments, I will soon have more records there than Elvis ever made.
I will take my snuggly blanket to crochet, I expect to have lots of chatter to catch up on. 

My sister has her parcel of sewing and quilting goodies, I have found a few more things and a pack of yarn to send off. That gives me a bit more space and her lots to do once the nights start drawing in. I know that it is early August but I feel Autumn nipping at my heels. I am hoping for an Indian Summer, 6 weeks worth would be lovely.

Now the clock is ticking away and I need to get a wriggle on.

                 TTFN                                            Pam

Saturday, 5 August 2017

So far, so good.

The weather has done a U turn, let's hope that it lasts, the sun is shining and there is more blue sky than cloud. A load of washing pegged out and another getting ready to join it.

I was busy most of yesterday and no knitting and very little sewing happened.
We went to look at the house that is scheduled for decorating and got a pleasant surprise, it was reasonably clean. The kitchen cupboards had the usual scattering of marks and crumbs. My worse fears regarding the oven were unfounded, it doesn't look as though it has been used.
The garden will need a quick tidy up, weed killing on the drive and front hard standing and a small amount of rubbish to move.

There are 4 bedrooms, a lounge and a dining room plus hall stairs and landing to paint. One wall in the dining room is a deep red and one wall in the lounge has been papered with a dark pattern, they may both stay it just depends on what the owner wants.
The SO will be a busy bee for a while, there is another one lined up already.

We had a scratch dinner last night, neither of us was very hungry. I fished 2 Chicken Kievs from the freezer and cooked in the small oven, with a slice of homemade bread it was just enough and a juicy nectarine was the perfect pudding.
Dinner tonight will be meatloaf, I made a batch and froze them in slices a couple of weeks ago and I am planning a steak and kidney pie for Sunday.

Today I have to knuckle down and get that quilt binding finished and cut out the fabric for the bag. I also need to decide whether to make a little dog or perhaps an elephant to complete the set.

Then there is the new heart pattern that Lucy from Attic24 has just posted, oh boy is that calling to me, I can see a row of them on my wall.

Now I better get that second wash pegged out as it will soon be time to collect Rufus.

                             TTFN                                                      Pam

PS. Have a good weekend.

Friday, 4 August 2017


After several weeks of removing things that I no longer use the house is slowly emerging from it's filled to the gunwales  condition.
 It has been (and still is) a big help that I have a sister who knits (far better than I could aspire to) and would like to try patchwork and quilting.

Several packs of yarn have gone her way and as I said yesterday I have a parcel of the necessary things ready to send to get her started. I am glad of the space and she will be able to try a new craft without any cost. That is more or less how I started quilting, a friend showed me some of her handiwork and when I expressed an interest she stocked me up with all the basics. I am so glad to be able to pass it forward.

I have built up a far too large a selection of quilting notions and it irks me that I am no longer using them. I have used them all at different times but inevitably I have doubles, people have given me various items as presents. 
Along with the rest of the house my goal is to reduce the amount of things here to possibly half. 

I do have an ulterior motive.

There is a list of jobs that I want to get done within the house and once they have been done there is a crafty itch to be dealt with. 

I would love to spin, I have someone who will give me a few lessons. If I find that it is for me then I will need space to house the equipment. The only way that I can generate that space is by letting go of all the things that I no longer use. My mother was a bit of a hoarder but my Granny was of the "if you don't use it get rid of it" type, I need to let that side of me dominate. I do it with the rest of the house and need to apply it to the crafting supplies.

The SO has laid claim to one of my, now emptied, storage units, a very nice hand painted double door cupboard that was designed to hold home office supplies. This now holds some of his more precious drills and tools, these are the ones that are used in the house. All the really heavy duty gear has a home at the top of the garden.

His hand is healing very well, which is a good thing as there is a fairly large job that needs starting ASAP. I will be taking him to see it later. Yes, he could go by himself but I like a nose round the odd house or three, and if there is any cleaning to do I will be doing it. There generally is, some tenants leave the properties in a dreadful state. They don't seem to care that they lose their bond and deposit.

And now for something that is making me very happy.

We spent an hour getting this lot reskeined, well the SO did, I was the tea girl.

These are 2 x 50 gram skeins of what I hope will be self striping, my first attempt at dying stripes, time will tell if I was successful.

These quads are as near as possible identical, there will be some variations but if the skeins are alternated would make a gorgeous sweater.There is more yellow in them than shows and I have called them Dorothy's Dream. The next batch might be linked to the Munchkins or perhaps the Ruby Slippers. On the other hand I may be inspired by something altogether different.

I have skeined up some sock sets and just need to decide what colours to paint them. I love contrasting heels and toes, sometimes I like them to clash. If they are to be a gift then I want a solid that picks up on one of the main colours.

I did not touch my knitting at all and my shoulders and neck are feeling the benefit, my hands are also not at all stiff and achy.
I did manage to sew most of the little quilt binding down and will get that finished today. Then there is just the bag to make and perhaps a soft toy, I haven't made a candy square dog for ages.

Then there are just 3 knitting projects to get finished, the SO has promised to dye me some yarn as a reward for clearing the WIPs. That sounds like a good deal to me. I will have to decide on a pattern and a colour scheme.

Surprisingly we have rain again this morning, I do hope that we have not seen the last of summer. I am hoping to gather as many blackberries as possible and then the elderberries. Hedgerow jelly has been in my mind for a while now and I am hoping to get some in my tum.

I am still on the lookout for a supply of Damsons, they make glorious jam and jelly and add a rich base note to chutney. I should have a few weeks yet but the seasons seem to be rushing along and there is a strong sense of Autumn in the air.
I may have to find room for a tree of my own, I am sure that I can squeeze one in somewhere.

Now I suppose that I ought to get a move on, there is lots to do today.

The cauliflower steaks were absolutely fantastic last night, I served them with mushrooms stuffed with garlic and baby plum tomatoes and cooked on a bed of red onions and more tomatoes. 

Now I really am off to get busy.

                       TTFN                                     Pam

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Splish, splash, splosh

I have just watched the weather report on BBC Breakfast. The lovely Carol was showing the heatwave in Europe and telling holiday makers to be careful and aware of conditions that are potentially very dangerous.

I am green, with either envy or algae after all the rain that we are having.

Still rather wet than living in fear of wild fire. My brother is a fireman in WA and that is an ever present worry down under.

I had an early start today, wide awake before dawn and no inclination to sleep in me. The childs quilt self binding is now pressed and clipped in place ( love Clover wonder clips) and ready to hand sew.
I am taking a day off knitting as my neck and shoulders are a bit stiff and painful.

There are plenty of things clamouring for my time so eating chocolate and watching brain numbing telly is not on the agenda.
I have a parcel to wrap up, goodness only knows where the brown paper is, and get sent off to my sister. She fancies trying some patchwork and quilting and I am only to happy to send a pack of the basics. It is heartbreaking when you buy things for a new hobby only to find that you don't like it. 

I don't think that I will be doing a long walk with Rufus again today although we did manage a half hour at 6:30 yesterday evening. It poured down again minutes after we got back home.

Dinner last night was a curry, tonight is undecided but will feature cauliflower and mushrooms. PING Lightbulb moment. I will marinade some thick slices of cauliflower and cook like steaks. Served with mushrooms and onion rings they will be just the job. I may cook some peas and/or broccoli as well, I like to see green on my plate.

That's all from me, nothing exciting to report. Just same old, same old, like most of us.

                 TTFN                                                         Pam