Thursday, 6 February 2014

Rain Changed Plans and a Woolly Question is asked.

I managed to get an hour in the garden yesterday, and then the sky darkened, the rain hammered down and the wind tried to blow the village away. I retired to the shed and spent another hour tidying and sweeping away cobwebs and dust. 
After a cup of tea the rain just about stopped so I whizzed Ben out for a fast trot, no time to walk, before the rain came back. A shower and change, cobwebs and dead spider legs are so not me, I decided on soup for dinner

2 sad leeks, 3 sticks of celery, 1 red and 1 green pepper, 1/2 a small swede, 4 carrots and a few cloves of garlic. I tin chickpeas, 1 tin chopped tomatoes and some tomato sauce from the freezer.

This was the star ingredient, a big bag of spinach for 40p, I bought 3 and the others are in the freezer, wilted and pressed to remove as much water as possible. I still have 1/2 bag in the fridge for tonight's dinner.
I just diced all the veg, crushed the garlic and sweated it in a little oil, when soft I added 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp allspice and some salt and pepper, gave that a couple of minutes then added the chickpeas, tomatoes and sauce with enough veg stock to just barely cover the veg. 5 minutes in the pressure cooker and then I stirred the spinach in just before I filled a bowl to eat. It was so good, I had a slice of wholemeal toast to soak up all the liquid and had to restrain myself from licking the bowl. I did take 2/3rd out and chilled it so I have 2 more dinners. The chickpeas and tomatoes were 25p a tin and the spinach was 20p, all the rest came from stores and I estimate a generous £1, so 3 dinners for £1.70. I am happy with that, if I wasn't so greedy hungry after working outside I could have got 4 servings.

A few days ago I had a little look round Sew and quilt, a fabric shop owned by one of the bloggers that I follow. I found some pretty Liberty fabric in the sale and I 'fess up that I did not resist. I had a email back to say that there was not enough stock to fill my order. CHING, a bell went off so I replied asking to have the order filled with any random fabric they liked. Just look at these pretties.

these are the prints that I ordered.

Here they are with my "surprise" selection. Don't they go well together? I know that I do not need any more fabric but I wanted this and sometimes it is good to have what you want, just because you can. 
That sounds selfish and self indulgent and I know that there are many thousands of folk in this country who do not get what they need. I am not about to wear a hair shirt over this, I contribute where I can, or stop buying the occasional treat. In fact if we all stopped buying anything other than the bare essentials think how many shops/factories/distribution companies would fold. Think how many more folk would be jobless.
 A friend once told me to take every leaflet and pamphlet that I was offered. It keeps paper mills open, it keeps ink makers, printers, transport firms and delivery people working, giving employment to lots of people and then goes to recycling and provides more employment there.
Oops that was my Soapbox coming into play and I did not plan it at all. 
I had an hour to fill before bed time last night so got some scrappy bits out and ran these up.

These little tissue holders make good fundraisers and cost pennies to make, if you use scraps. The tissues come from the poundshop and 3 packets do 4 holders. I have just noticed that there are only 7 in the picture and I made 8, I will round the missing one up later.

I chain sew and made these up as leaders and enders, on my next session they will become 9 patch blocks. I have a sneaky suspicion that there will soon be enough 9 patch blocks to sew together in blocks of four. That is a good cushion size with a border or a large quilt block.

Reasons to be grateful.

1. My little shed is now tidy and cobweb free.

2. I filled 3 rubble bags to go to recycling.

3. Some things for the CS to sell.

4. Good food at a good price.

5. A new to me book to read. A gift.

Ben has had a decent road walk and a run round the field and, weather permitting, will have a repeat of both later.
 I am in for a very late night tonight. Bonnie Hunter is having a Quilt Cam session and I haven't sewed with her live for ages. I have a bin of strips and squares to sew through and there is always those 9 patches to get done. I may have a nap and set my alarm.
I have a small table that is just big enough to take my smallest machine, I set it up in front of the TV and link the laptop in so I can watch on a big screen. My fabric goes on the coffee table to my left and I set my iron on my right. Every thing in easy reach, all I have to do is turn slightly in each direction. How lazy is that. Ben will manage to sprawl out over the sofa and snore gently till I pack it all away.

I have been through my seed tin and there are just a few things to buy, that will happen in the next 2 weeks. I am amazed how dry the land is getting after our down pour yesterday, I expected to be slithering around in the mud on the field with Ben , it was quite dry underfoot and the lakes that have been slowly increasing have gone.

A question for all you crocheters out there, should I buy cheap wool to learn with or start as I mean to go on with good quality.
My hooks will be here soon and I want to be ready with a small stock of wool.

Toodle Pip, BTW it is still dry here but no sun to be seen, we should be in the middle of a monsoon according to the weathermen.
I rang Button Up & Stitch about that fabric, they were closed so I left a message, I need to ring today and make sure. I want those Dolls so I do.

                     TTFN                                                    Pam


  1. Love those tissue holders, bright and cheerful as well as useful. As to the wool, I always give my boys cheap wool to learn with but saying that you don't want it so cheap it's horrible and splits. So no help at all to you really !!

    1. When I started quilting I used reclaimed fabric, after the first project I changed to new and now I sew with anything that catches my eye. I am not sure if that is progress or not. The jury is still out on what I will start with. I may just go to the wool shop and see what odd balls that they have.

  2. Love the way your posts make me feel like I've had a good long visit with you ... such a nice break from my wage earning day ... your life sounds so full. Love the new fabrics too. Yummy.

    1. You are welcome to visit when ever you like. I like to keep busy, I also enjoy losing myself in a book or in a trawl through blog land. I have yet to decide on what the new fabric will become, although I did dig out my Dresden Ruler this morning.

  3. What a busy and productive day. I took my Goldie out at 8 and we beat the rain. It has rained cats and dogs for the whole day so nobody went out again. I got a massive amount of deco weight fabric from the CS this week and made two covers for my pseudo leather dining chairs which I am thrilled with. £4 for the fabric and one piece made 2 chairs. I have 3 pieces left.

    As a crocheter(?) and knitter I would always say use good wool, unless it is a child learning. You can frog it easily and redo, with no tags and snags.

    1. I love a bargain too, I am going to get some decent wool to start with.

  4. Hi Pam

    Love your new fabrics look forward to see what you do with them. Crotcheting - I learnt with cheap wool or remnants. Its only when you get comfortable with your own tension and actually working the hook and yarn together and you develop your own rythm that I would try a different yarn - each yarn is slightly different though. (its frustrating to start with but does come). In particular if I am trying out a new pattern I always work a sample piece first and then only when I am happy with it do I gravitate to a more expensive yarn. Hope this helps.

    Take care


  5. Those cottons look lovely! I have started my first quilt project hand pierced hexagons and love it. As for crochet when I started I used good quality wool mainly from mt stash from my knitting days. I have since used cheap wool, it depends on the project. However, I imagine good quality wool would be more helpful as it sits better and I find in the cheaper wool the spinning is not even and there are unexpected joins that could throw you off your balance! So I would opt for better quality.

  6. Hello, Pam. Love your fabrics and the tissue holders; do you have a pattern for them, please, as they'd make a little extra gift for folks at Christmas?


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