Saturday, 25 March 2017

Busy, busy, having fun.

Yesterday was glorious, bright sun and blue skies, Fran arrived on Thursday afternoon and was amazed as she usually brings the rain with her.
We also had a guest come to stay yesterday, Rufus is back with us until Monday. He settles down instantly and at the moment is keeping Francesca's place on the sofa warm for her.
He and Ben had a good walk yesterday and have been out this morning, perfect weather for them and us.

The random sweater is all but done., all the seams are sewn and ends woven in. I am knitting the cowl neck and have around 16 rows to do. It is lovely, I will put a photo up later, but it will not be going to knit and natter on Tuesday.
It will be off to Kent with Francesca on Monday, she took one look and asked if it was for her. We went through the stash and she has picked the yarn and pattern for another.
While we were stash diving we picked some more sock wool and patterns, I am getting a good list together.

Once this weekend is over, and all my guests have gone to their respective homes, I will be casting on the Flax sweater. Unfortunately my lovely yarn shop in Llandeilo does not stock the yarn that has been requested, I rang to check. So I had a quick trip to the Wool Warehouse online shop on Thursday, found the yarn and ordered it, the postie delivered it Friday. Now my fingers are twitching, but it has to wait, I have a pair of boot socks on the needles to finish first.

My white hyacinths have opened fully and are pumping their perfume round the house, I am looking forward to the garden ones sending their flowers out.

We had a late breakfast today, at Francesca,s request, this afternoon I am being whisked away with her for a treat. There is also something being delivered tomorrow morning.
I am, possibly, the only woman around who has seen all the goodies, stacked high in all the shops, and not twigged that it Mothering Sunday this weekend.

It is lovely that Francesca has spent time arranging this weekend but in truth all I need is to have her here.

On that subject it is time for me to get a wiggle on, I have to get some decent clothing ready to wear,and check that my shoes are shiny.

I hope that all the Mum's out there have a lovely day or (even better)  weekend.

                           TTFN                                         Pam

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Random Oh Yes!

I thought that it was time to share my new sweater with you, it isn't finished yet but is not far off.
I was intrigued as to how the colour pattern would turn out as the sample picture on the ball band looked as though two different yarns had been used.

I wasn't sure how the finished sweater would look but loved the colours

The first ball striped beautifully, then when I started the second it was completely different.

The front is different again, the colours are not true but not too far out.

I did consider trying to match the sleeves, but realised that they would be far better as brothers than twins.
I still have the sleeves to finish and once sewn together there will be the collar to knit. 
Once I got used to the randomness of it I love it and am hoping to be wearing it to knit and natter next week.

Francesca is here tomorrow and will be choosing her new sweater pattern and yarn, that will be my next garment knit, and she will probably decide on her next socks as well.

I have 3 more pairs of boot socks, a Jones Cardigan and a Flax sweater, both patterns from Tin Can Knits, in the queue. all the yarn is ready in stash.

This is the latest pair of boot socks, they came off the needles a little while ago and the next pair are cast on.

I use the Blueberry Waffle pattern by Sandy Turner but changed the heel slightly. On the new pair I am going to use the Vanilla is the New Black pattern, from Anneh Fletcher on Ravelry, it has a completely different heel construction. I have had the pattern for ages and completely forgot about it. I found it while sorting through my pattern files this morning.

It has been a glorious day here, no gardening though as the ground is saturated, I am hoping for a few windy days to dry it out.

I was in Neath this morning, yet another dentist visit, and whiled away the wait by popping into The Works, I gave in and bought 2 books. Knitting from The North by Hilary Grant and Life is Sweet from the Humming Bird Bakery. 
There may well be cake to take to knit and natter next Tuesday.

On the subject of cake I had a play session this afternoon. I made a 2 egg all in one mix, I used coconut milk instead of cows milk, a heaped cup of desiccated coconut and about 100 grams of chopped dark chocolate. It is lovely but a bit crumbly, we had some for pudding with a dollop of yogurt, mmmmm.

Now I am back to those sleeves, they won't knit themselves.

                       TTFN                                                Pam

Monday, 20 March 2017

Scotland marries Morocco

Only in the culinary sense.
I may have said before that when I cook I tend to go all "Deliarish"and have all my ingredients weighed, measured and prepped ready to use.
Today being wet, grey and yeuk I decided to batch cook and use the slow cooker to the 'nth degree.

I had a half shoulder of welsh lamb that I have been hoarding for a "special occasion", well today is designated as special.
 (I did in fact haul it out of the freezer last night to make room for a batch of chilli that I cooked yesterday.)
To get the most out of it and use every scrap it was boned and trimmed. The lean meat was cubed and divided into 2 portions,1 became a melt in the mouth minted masala for dinner last night.
The bone and trimmings have been roasted for about 30 minutes this morning in the combi oven, they are for some Scotch Broth and Ben's dinner. ( the fat helps his dry skin, and he loves it.)
The remaining lean meat is for a Moroccan style Tagine, with apricots and almonds.
So I set to and collated all the necessary, chopped, sliced and diced to my hearts content and filled my dishes. I weighed and measured out spices, herbs and pearl barley.
Scotch Broth was up first just because it will need to be cooled and chilled to make it easier to remove the excess fat, I like it for the added flavour but don't want to eat it.
The slow cooker was put on to heat while I browned off the onions, I would have used leeks but they are in the ground and it was pouring, carrots, swede and celery. once browned I added the spice mix, poured on some stock and brought it to the boil. meanwhile the roasted bone and scraps went into the slow cooker. As I carefully poured the veg and stock over the bone I realised that the fragrant blend was Moroccan and redolent of Ras El Hanout, cinnamon,coriander and paprika. 
Too Late Ethel.
I added the pearl barley, put the lid on and left it to cook. It will be done by 1:00 and I will start the Tagine off with a fresh spice blend.
I will let you know how the Moroccish Broth turns out but rest assured that it will be eaten, no food waste here.

On the knitting front my new sweater back is done and the front is up to the armhole decreases. I have printed off some more patterns ready to knit from stash, and this time "I mean that most sincerely folks".
Francesca will be here for a long weekend and will be picking her yarn from stash for either a sweater or a big shawl, and probably another pair of socks. I might need to grow another pair of arms.

And now it must be tea o'clock as I am spitting feathers.

                  TTFN                                          Pam

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Rain started play

A dry start to the day, with the odd moment of sunshine soon turned to grey dullness. Not a day for working outside, so what else to do, hmm, let me think.

I had knitting lined up and needed some 3.5 mm interchangeable tips,a quick phone call to Debs shop to make sure they were in stock and off we went.
We stopped in Ammanford as a couple of things were needed from Wilko and then tootled off to Llandeilo. I had not realised that today was the first birthday for the shop.
Tea and cake was enjoyed, one of us had 4 pieces (not me), although one of them was mine, it was just too sweet and made my teeth scream.
I picked up my tips and yes,I did fall off the wagon. I bought 600 grams of Pulse in the peachy pink colour. That was for me, and will be a cardigan, the last batch that I bought was for Francesca. I also picked 600 grams of this King Cole Corona chunky, it is acrylic but as soft as down and lovely to knit with.

Also for me, it is not as blue in the flesh and the colour is Chinese Violet, it will be a sweater in the same pattern as the pink one that I made for Francesca.

The sun came out while we were in the shop but the grey came back before we left.
I realised that I had no bread in the freezer and soup was planned for dinner. I delved into the pantry and made a batch of bread rolls, cheese and olive, the garlic stuffed ones, with some dried basil and oregano.  They taste as good as they look, well I had to quality control them.

Now I have the washing up to do, I would delegate but everyone else is snoozing on the sofa.

           TTFN                                                      Pam

Friday, 17 March 2017

Rain stopped everything, nearly

It was a brisk cold morning, Ben had his coat on for walks today, and did not get any better as the day wore on. It has been raining for a couple of hours and has turned even colder.

I made a big batch of "chuck it all in" soup, some will be for lunch tomorrow and the rest is in the freezer. Just a selection of veg, celery, peppers, garlic and a chilli minus the seeds and pith. A little smoked paprika and some fresh thyme along with a big pinch of salt and pepper and some white beans.

Not to be confused with that soup off the adverts, this is chunky and there is no recipe, just make it up as you go. I would have put root ginger in but it was still in the freezer, next time, maybe.

The new sock is growing fast, almost ready to shape the toe and the bright shawl is on the blocking mat.

I have picked the pattern for the next shawl and just need to decide on the yarn.
Have any of you looked at the Hygge Shawl on Ravelry from the Nordic Stitches podcast, it is on my wish list. It measures over 2 metres wide and almost a metre deep in Worsted yarn, smaller in 4 ply but I really fancy the thicker version. I may get lucky at Wonder Wool next month and find the perfect yarn.

Dinner tonight is another pasta meal, puttanesca minus the anchovies  but I have no black olives (some greedy girl ate them all) so will use green ones stuffed with garlic mmmmm.

BTW spell check wants to call it putrescent !!

I have been reasonably busy, bed changed, linen washed, dried and put away. Kitchen and bathroom whizzed but no vacuuming. The sofa and knitting won the day.

Oh, and I did another run to the recycling place, before thr rain came, and all the rubbish has gone. hooray.

My cuppa is rapidly cooling so I am off to enjoy it.

Have a good weekend everybody.

                   TTFN                                              Pam

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Another cast on and an FO.

We have had a mixed bag of weather today, rain, drizzle, sun shine (very fleeting) on a few occasions and just a light wind. Not to worry, I kept myself occupied.

The car is now empty of all the rubbish, there is another load to go but that can wait a couple of days.

I have enough compost to get setting seeds with abandon, I just need to get the seeds sorted out.

The last kitchen cupboard has been emptied, cleaned out and organised. There is now a slightly larger pile waiting to go to the CS.

There is still some ironing in the basket, it will happen but not today.

Dinner tonight was Felafels I took the recipe from my new book, Vegan with a vengeance, and they were delicious. We usually have them in a wrap with salad and hummus but tonight we had them with a spicy tomato sauce and some Fusilli pasta. Different but very good. There are 2 tubs of sauce chilling down ready for the freezer.

The Merry go Round shawl is done, I used 100 grams all but 2, and  have 200 grams left for another project.

It hasn't been blocked yet but is just wider than my wing span.

Too wide to get in shot but you can get a good idea of the overall appearance.
I did a few extra rows of the last band of garter stitch to use the yarn up and get the extra length. I will make it again but will add another lace band and then a smaller band of garter stitch to finish it.
I think that it may be just too loud for Francesca, but I will happily wear it if that is the case.

I have another pattern picked out and just need to pull the yarn from stash. This will be a large triangular shawl for Fran, she likes to snuggle down in front of the TV after dinner, this will be part of her Christmas present.
There is a new sock on the needles, Blueberry waffle socks in dk yarn, I have 3 pairs to make but they are an easy knit, I can get up to date on pod casts while I work away at them.

I hope that tomorrow is nice, I would like to spend a few hours outside. I have some young Blackthorn to plant out, they will make a windbreak in the front garden and hopefully supply me with Sloes in a year or so.

Now I am ready to settle down with my knitting and a cuppa, so it's time to sign off.

                     TTFN                                                    Pam

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Blooming Sofa or BOGOF

It has been a glorious day here, early mist cleared leaving blue sky and bright bright sun shine. 
Both of the compost bins have been emptied and moved to the cleared patch behind the greenhouse. All the detritus that someone dumped carefully placed just in case it came in useful has been relocated. Most of it is bagged up in the back of the car ready for a trip to the recycling centre. The compost has been mixed and fluffed up and one bin is now full, the other is ready to start filling.

I have weeded and grubbed around to my hearts content, a few pots have been emptied and the plants are now in the garden. The bean patch has had a liberal dressing of well rotted compost, from the bottom of the bins, and is ready for French and Runner beans. We like both so grow them  on either side of the row. I do grow Borlotti but the dwarf variety.

The first sowing of spinach has gone in along with some cut and come again lettuce. I have Webbs Wonderful seeds just showing through the compost indoors, and tomato plants that will need pricking out soon.

A line of socks twirled around and were dry in no time along with a couple of sweaters, I hand wash all my knitted garments.

Dinner is in the oven, leeks and sprouting broccoli in a cheese sauce with a good handful of breadcrumbs  and grated cheese on the top and potatoes in their skins baking alongside them. To help make up for last nights piggy dinner I have shredded cabbage as well.

Pudding will be the sweet cous cous and fruit, if we have room for it.
On the other hand I have made a coffee and walnut cake, so a slice of that may be the choice we make.

Ben had a bath this afternoon, he was so annoyed at being brought indoors that he howled like a banshee. The first time that he has hated a bath, he usually enjoys it and I have to lift him out while he wriggles to stay in.

My Hyacinths are opening and have proved to be a real bargain. Each bulb has put up 2 flower spikes and the scent is wonderful

I had to put them on the sofa to get a photo as the sun was blinding everywhere else.

On that note I am off to serve dinner, a day in the garden has given me an appetite.

                    TTFN                                          Pam