Monday, 20 February 2017

It is all here.

We have had a mixed bag of weather today, fog obscured the mountain this morning but it cleared steadily and was bright by mid morning. Ben enjoyed his walks and the second one was in quite bright sun shine. sadly as the afternoon wore on the mist descended and brought some drizzle and light rain to keep it company.

My plans to cast on the back of Francesca,s jumper came to nothing as my eye was caught by some WYS self striping yarn and these happened.

As usual I am knitting them in tandem, I did start off two at a time on a long cable but, after dropping a stitch once or twice and getting my yarn in a rats nest changed over. You can just see the waste yarn for the afterthought heel on the right sock. I have a soft green for the heels and perhaps the toes .

And now for my goodies from America, I was almost pacing the house while waiting for the delivery.

My first ball winder, I have always wound by hand but it played my wrists up a week or so ago after winding 2 skeins, I am looking forward to using it.

To go with it I have a Yarn Swift, it was a feat to take a photo (I ended up standing on the table) and then had to clamber down and load it up to show it off properly.

I saved the best for last, gorgeous, soft and squishy yarn in an explosion of colour. The four skeins are all hand painted and the 50 gram balls are Dogwood Heather Stroll. All are going to be socks and all will be gifts.
All of my goodies came from Knit Picks, and all were free shipping.
I was absolutely amazed at the low prices and overwhelmed by the quality.

Now I am off to make a stir fry, all veg tonight with some edamame beans for the protein element. I love these little beans and was very happy to find them in Tesco a while ago. I keep a couple of bags in the freezer and have them at least twice a week.

Much yarn stroking may happen later.

                      TTFN                                               Pam

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Post from America

Look what the Postie brought me yesterday, I 'fess up to just sitting, with it draped over my lap, and stroking it for a few moments.
A handmade full length vintage styled apron, all the way from America. The print is so cheerful and the fit is perfect.

Ties at neck and waist for a truly vintage feel and look.

The ric rac trim picks up a flower colour and every edge is finished with matching bias binding.

I am in love, now of course I want more, many more. I wear an apron at all times in the kitchen, I am a bit of a grub and tend to spill flour and splash water about my person.

There are some more things to show, from a different place, but I am still waiting for one delivery. As they are a group I will wait till all are present before sharing.

The day dawned warm and sunny here, consequently there is washing on the line. Kitchen and bathroom have enjoyed a good bottoming and the shower curtain had an early birthday.
Windows are thrown open and the whole house smells of fresh air, better than air freshener any day of the week.

Ben has had a couple of walks and has retired to the sofa, he is enthroned upon a heap of cushions and one of my shawls. That will teach me to put away not down, maybe.

I have made another pair of the green bed socks, they will be going to their new home on Tuesday. The shawl has seen a little attention but later I will be casting on the back of Francesca,s sweater. I will start a pair of socks as well, just for a change and to rest my hands from the 6 mm needles.

I think that is all for now, I checked my parcel and it was in Llanelli this morning, fingers crossed it my come this afternoon.

                     TTFN                                           Pam

Friday, 17 February 2017

Feathers or Polysomething?

Pillows, that is my subject today. I have changed my pillows umpteen times in the past few years.
In my childhood (that old chestnut) we all had feather filled pillows, with blue and white striped ticking covers.
They were deemed to be unhygienic and even said to cause or exasperate asthma.
Out they went and in came man made fillings, polyester hollowfibre, 100% polyester, polyurethane foam and the latest memory foam. 
Feather and down are still available at a price.
I have tried all sorts of pillows from a multitude of brand names and store branded. All have turned lumpy and bumpy after what seems a very short period of time.
My latest are from a well known brand and have been in use for about 4 months, they will be going out shortly. I am going to invest in goose feather and down and pray that they are as good as the ones that I slept on till the day I left home for college.

I must add that they do not go to landfill, I dismember them and the outer goes to be recycled while the filling is washed and dried and goes to someone who makes soft ornamental creatures.

On a Very Happy Note the postie just gave me a parcel from America. 
I have a shrewd idea what it is and will open it in a minute or two.

I will take photos and post about it tomorrow, there are 2 other things to share but neither as exciting as todays.

Time for a cuppa before opening my parcel and then getting Ben out for a walk.

                    TTFN                                              Pam 

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Playtime on a budget.

It was knit and Natter yesterday, there were not as many of us as usual, lots of natter, a fair bit of knitting and a very loooong cuddle with Sophie. Bliss.
Debs had a special offer on James C Brett,s Pulse, a new to me yarn with 53% superwash wool to 46%premium acrylic, a total snip at £2 for 100 grams. I came away with 600 grams in Pink, a sweater for Francesca is now on the needles. I have only just started it so no photo yet.

More blood tests this morning, and just like the late Tony Hancock, I am sure they took an armful.
I was certainly glad to get home and sit down with a cuppa, not to mention the coconut coated mallow cake (Lyons). A blast from the past, I was a young teenager the last time I had those. I remember buying them from Woolies biscuit counter in Norwich, then munching my way round the market via the brand new C & A.
Then it would be hot peas with mint sauce and chips before trekking down to Carrow Road for the match. I was a dyed in the wool Canaries fan, never missed a home game and got to all the away ones possible. When they were in the cup run one year I wore yellow and green from top to toe, in alternating colours. Left shoe green, left trouser leg yellow and so on. 

This is the latest pair of socks, one from the middle and one from the outside of the balls. Drops Fabel again and an afterthought heel.

The weather has been a mixed bag today, driving rain to start with then bright sun shine and now grey drizzle. At least it is much warmer today, Monday and Tuesday were very cold.

Dinner will be lentil bolognese, I made it yesterday so the flavours should have melded and deepened nicely, although it was pretty good when I tasted it before putting it in an ice water bath to cool.

Last night I watched a film on Amazon Prime, Miss Peregrines home for peculiar children. I am so glad that I didn't go to the cinema to see it, I was not sure what to expect but found it uninspiring. The second half was better but overall I was disappointed.

I have just noticed the time and need to get a wiggle on, pasta needs cooking and the sauce needs heating.

                        TTFN                                      Pam

Monday, 13 February 2017

Then versus Now

Shopping is what I am on about. In my childhood a list was made, dropped off at the village shop and the next day a box was delivered. We did sometimes go to the shop, sugar being sliced off a massive loaf was a sight to see. Most things were sold loose and weighed into blue or white paper bags, the smaller ones were cone shaped.
Bread flour came straight from the mill in large sacks and was stored in a huge drum shaped tin, soft flour for baking came in smaller sacks.
Butter was churned by hand on baking day and the butter milk made light as air scones and cakes.

Yesterday I did my shopping, I bought very little but went to 3 different shops to get everything. I knew that this would happen and had planned accordingly. 
In one shop I stocked up on crackers and tissues, the prices are better than any other shop and I bought a months worth.
In the next it was dairy and eggs for price and fruit for quality. I buy my flour here as it is very good and very well priced.
Then onto the last and biggest for the rest, Tesco in Pontardawe is small but fairly well stocked. I have been into a few of their super duper stores, the ones where you really need a compass and Bear Grylls to guide you round, and still can not get everything that I need at the price and quality that I am looking for.
My grandmother had by far the best deal, probably because there just wasn't the choice. I remember seeing tins of fruit, just one brand taking up a single shelf in the village shop, in modern supermarkets the choice is huge, whole,halved, sliced or diced. Juice, light syrup, full syrup and so on.
By far the greater time waster for me is finding what I am looking for. I know that it is a marketing strategy to constantly move things about, I do not buy what I see only what is on my list. 
Sometimes I just go without because I lose patience, why is cornflour not next to the other flours, and why does coconut oil live far away from the other oils.
I have tried shopping online but prefer to chose my own fruit and veg.
 I know that I am not alone, every time that I shop I hear grumbles and mumbles and have seen more than a few trolleys abandoned.

Any how it is done now and for a few weeks I will only need perishables.

Now that my moaning is over I will get on with the sewing room overhaul. Everything has been pulled out, the vacuum has reached parts that have been hidden for months and things have been rearranged. I now have more floor space and have removed a good stack of things no longer needed.

I still have a small hill of stuff to go through and put back before I can settle down with my knitting. There is also the matter of 2 quilt tops to be layered and pinned, they may have to wait until tomorrow though.

I am itching to pull a few stems of rhubarb but will wait a while, I don't want to shock the plants into stopping growth.

                      TTFN                                                Pam

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Conflicting Signs

This morning I pulled back the curtains to be greeted by snow, those big fluffy flakes that settle and drift. 
Ben doesn't mind the snow so we set off for his first walk, wrapped up in warm coats and I had my thickest hat and gloves on as well.

There was only one other walker out and as luck would have it Ben's BFF Dawie was with him, so pleasantries were exchanged before we went on our respective ways.

On returning home I checked out the hedgehog house and spotted a harbinger of spring.

My rhubarb has hurtled  into growth, even though we have been in the grip of a cold spell. I can already see crumble and custard on the menu and possibly jam with added strawberries. Oh Yum.

A few steps further and there was the Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Not Long Now. This is one of my absolute favourite vegetables and I grow it every year. It is a prohibitive price in the shops and is never really fresh. I pick it, wash and sling it in a pot within minutes and the flavour is amazing, right up there with home grown Asparagus and Sweetcorn.

The Pic n Mex socks are ready for their heels.

The solid grey/blue band is the waste yarn where I will be picking up the stitches.

These bed socks are knitted in Scheepjies Merino Soft, colour 626, they are very soft and should be lovely and warm for the wearer.

I cast on another pair but was watching telly and made the legs far too long, I no intention of frogging back so carried on regardless.
Since taking this photo I have knitted the gusset shaping and started down the feet.
Both these pairs will be delivered next week.

This Drops Fabel is set for the next pair of afterthought heel socks and will be finished before I put the heels in the pic n mex pair. I feel that doing 4 new heels back to back will set it in my brain. Fingers crossed on that.

This contrast wool is earmarked for the heels on both pairs.
I am avidly hoarding my left over sock yarn, but am not sure what it will become. I am trying to resist the lure of a cosy memories blanket but the temptation is there.
I may concede defeat but compromise and crochet a granny stripe or a c 2 c.

I have some gorgeous goodies on their way, but as they are from the USA it may be a while. I will show and tell once they arrive, what I will say is that I ordered from the UK website and am paying UK postage and no other charges. Woop Woop.

I did not go doolally, all the yarn is for gifts and the non yarny goodies are to make my life easier. I have decided to knit and crochet for Christmas gifts this year and have started the process by collating all the ingredients.

On that note I need to make a start on dinner, vegetables in a cheesy sauce with a top layer of spicy tomato sauce and then the whole thing covered with puff pastry. It will be a one dish wonder, filled with cauliflower, carrot, swede, parsnip, celeriac, edamame beans and peas. I will get my 5 a day with no probs.

                    TTFN                                             Pam

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Filling waiting time with pleasure.

My visit to the hospital was not entirely wasted, I had an ECG which was almost identical to the last one. I had a chest X ray and had to have another round of blood tests.
At some point I will be called back for  heart and lung function 
tests and a walking test!! It will mean a treadmill I expect, I know that I can walk as well as they do, after all I had to walk round the hospital
I did have to sit and wait between the various department visits but I was not idle, I took the pic n mex socks with me and am ready to do the toe shaping now. Then I am going to attempt the new heel construction.

Dinner tonight will be a Salmon and Broccoli impossible quiche  with jacket potato. The quiche will be stuffed with peppers and broccoli and I will have fresh fruit salad later, if I have room.

Now I am off to drink tea, I am falling seriously behind in my liquid intake.

                             TTFN                                              Pam