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Sunday, 10 December 2017

More white stuff.

I was woken, quite early this morning, by pounding rain. Woo Hoo free time to catch up on podcasts and vlogmas, with tea and knitting of course.

Anyhoo, I settled in front of the TV and started a 2 hour binge, during the course of which I stumbles across Mara knits and Skeindeer knits. both of whom I watched when they first started up and then lost track of.

I am now back on track and have subscribed to their channels. On a side note my Firestick keeps telling me that I will no longer be able to watch You Tube on it from the beginning of next year. No probs I can simply link lap top to TV and still watch on big screen.

I digress, during my binge of telly and yarn (the SO's Flax sweater) I realised that it had stopped raining. The next time that I went to top up my cup I saw this.


It is still coming down and settling, although the road is clear so far, despite the wet surfaces.

I am happy that my cupboards are well stocked, I did the big shop of non perishables at the optimum time. I predict that before the end of the day the local shops will have no milk or bread. I further predict that at least half of that purchased will go down the plug hole or in the food waste bin. Panic buying just leads to waste.

Now I need to finish my cuppa and have a whizz round the house before deciding what I will do. There is a mantel scarf to cut out and sew, if I like it enough I may make one for myself.
I have a pile of scraps that need sorting into size and colour and I hope to make time to wind a few bobbins.

I am well on the way down the second sleeve on the Flax and it would be good to get some more time on that. It will be my knitting of choice tonight, although Strictly may have me dropping it into my lap.

Keep warm, keep safe.

                     TTFN                                   Pam

Saturday, 9 December 2017

White stuff. Oh yeah.

Yesterday we had a real humdinger of a hail storm, it was so loud that it drowned out radio 2. Then a bit later we had a flurry of snow, the sun came out and the white was gone.

Over night we have had more snow, enough to cover the roof and blanket the garden, it is quite cold so it may hang around for a bit.

Ben is totally underwhelmed, but then he has seen deep snow a couple of times.

Rufus is spellbound, his first taste of snow that is deep enough to leave proper footprints.

I am still taking it easy but am feeling almost back to normal(?).

I was awake early today so a cuppa and a few Vlogmas videos on You Tube. Then I wrapped Fran's stocking fillers and a few of her other gifts, there is still a respectable pile to work through. I have been making throughout the year and lost track of just how much there was.

I have lots more to wrap, the SO will do most of it, he is a gift wrapper most excellent. ( hmm that phrasing is the fault of watching too many episodes of Poirot)

I have dug out the Flax sweater, one sleeve almost done and one to start, it is cold enough now for the SO to wear it.

I have a traditional Advent calendar, really good dark chocolate, and have eaten 4 squares one of each flavour. The others (there are 2 in each little window) are going to W and the SO. I do like chocolate but only when I like it.
I looked at the cheese one (new that I would never stick to one a day) and lots of crafting versions (How Much!!!) Next year I am going to make one for myself. 24 packages, each one containing a ball of yarn and a pattern AND a mini skein of 4 ply sock wool.

The mini skeins will be for a blanket, the idea will be to knit or crochet each one up on the day that I open it. The larger balls will be for 1 skein projects, socks, hats, shawls, mittens and anything else that I can think of. I will collate these during the year and wrap in plain paper before storing in a box. Then I will take one out each day without the foggiest idea what I will unwrap.
I figure that it will give me structured knitting/crochet during the year, make a sizeable dent in the stash and make me much happier than any amount of chocolate ever could.

Now I need to persuade Ben that he really does want to go for a little walk before breakfast.

Keep warm during this cold snap and enjoy the weekend.

                        TTFN                                       Pam

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Time to take it easy for a bit.

I was up in good time this morning quite convinced that it was hospital day?! Even though we did that yesterday.

Not to worry, I did some work on the Elf slippers and watched a few Vlogmas goodies on You Tube. With a cup of tea of course.

I took Ben out for his little walk and it was grey, damp and windy, oh and a touch chilly. Then when it was time to take Rufus out the sky was blue and the sun was out to play. I was happy that there were 2 loads of washing to go out, they are now blowing quite happily in the wind,which is still quite chilly.

On the way back with Rufus I had a fast heartbeat and am a little breathless, so it is a day or 2 of resting upon my laurels (mmm that's a new way of writing bottom).

I have instructions from the Doc and intend to follow them to the 'nth degree, unlike a recipe.

I have my knitting by my side and there is the complete second season of Victoria on the sky box to keep hands and mind occupied.

The SO is at home today, that means that the kettle will be singing on a regular basis.

Dinner is in the fridge ready to reheat, the Lentil Ragu it smelled fantastic yesterday. (I had a sneaky taste and it is nom nom nom)
We will have some very cheesy scones with it, I have half a pot of cream that needs using and a piece of cheese with leeks that was heavily reduced.
The SO is a dab hand at baking. In fact he can cook just about anything except Yorkshire Pudding, like my Mum,s they are very lazy and do not rise.

On that note I have a cuppa at my elbow and instructions not to let it get cold.

                              TTFN                                     Pam

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Work or play?

The normal Wednesday hospital run dragged on today,the clinic was very busy and they were running late. I always take some knitting and this time it was another hat.
I cast it on at knit and natter yesterday and just played at working out a stitch pattern.



You may be able to see the effect, this one is for the donation box, once I have written the pattern out I will make it again using coloured yarns. I can see it in my minds eye and hope that it will lead to a family of sweaters and hats for this time next year.

Last nights dinner was a massive win win, it was tasty, unctuous and W enjoyed his as much as we did. It will be on the menu again, most likely with some variations, I want to find some vegan cheese to try in it.

Tonight we are having a Jack Monro recipe, Rich Lentil Ragu from her cooking on a bootstrap blog.The smell wafting from the slow cooker is amazing. I almost followed the recipe, I cooked my Puy lentils from scratch and I added a small chilli from one of my plants. They are small but very powerful so a squeeze of lemon juice will go in at the point of serving and I did add a tsp of sugar. I also doubled the quantities and half will be frozen.



Because I ran out of time before setting off this morning I did make the sauce on the stove top and added to the slow cooker to carry on for 4 hours on low. The pan in the background has the lentils cooking away.




Here it is in the pot and about to be lidded and left to "do it's thing".

Now it is time for me to persuade Ben that he really wants to get off the sofa and eat his dinner, he is in full on lazy bones mode this afternoon.

                               TTFN                                    Pam

PS.It has been lashing down this afternoon, I have been playing/working on the stitch pattern and watching some repeats of Poirot.
After dinner and washing up etc the Elf slippers will be in my hands. Photo,s as soon as there is something worth looking at. I have to figure out the somewhat hazy finishing off instructions.






Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Birthday party with cake!

It was knit and natter this afternoon, a very special session. We celebrated our youngest members birthday with a tasty selection of sandwiches and savouries followed by mince pies and birthday cake.

The celebrant was Sophie, her first birthday, she may not knit yet but she has been with us since she was an egg.

Cards and presents were accepted graciously even though she is teething, her little cheeks were scarlet.

There was a little knitting and some crochet happening but mostly it was chatting and laughter, and some yarn stroking and buying.

I found some to knit Elf slippers and have cast on the first one, I found the pattern free on Ravelry.

Dinner tonight is a new recipe for nut roast, it has  layers of sliced cougette, grated cheese and then some cranberry sauce in the middle. I have a tray of balsamic roast veg to serve with it and have made a tomato sauce, with not a subtle amount of garlic.

Now I am back to my knitting while the oven does the work.


                         TTFN                                      Pam

Monday, 4 December 2017

Finally Finished

The last quilts of this year are done and dusted, as are the 2 wall hangings.

There are 2 special little girls in my life, other than my grand daughter that is, and I have been sewing for them.


Then I turned my attention to The Day. This year we are going all out, I have the fabric for casual pull on trousers for the SO and Fran. I have patterns that I use frequently so no need for a trial run.

I want a dress, if there is enough fabric, but I also have a self drafted skirt pattern that does need a try out.
The solution was in the stash, a large piece of fabric from a few years ago. It cost just over £1 a mtr and I think I had 10 mt at the time. 


It is ready to sew the side seams, pocket pieces are in and all raw edges have been serged. It will take about 30 minutes in the morning to finish up, then I can wear it over the holiday and my dress. I have a special jumper for each of us and a pair of "Elf" slipper socks that I knitted. They just need bells on the toes and a bit of ribbon.

I am off to Llandeilo tomorrow afternoon, come hell or high water, to help celebrate Sophie,s first birthday.

In the meantime I am doing the toe decreases on a pair of socks for the SO whilst watching Mr Tennant AKA The Doctor. Tea has arrived so it is bye bye for now.

                  TTFN                                      Pam

Sunday, 3 December 2017

My day unfolding.

Oh My Word, it's early. Not yet 6:00 and I am wide awake, turn over and squeeze eyelids together. Total failure and they ping open and refuse to shut.

Slide out of bed, feet into slippers and struggle into robe while heading bathroomwards. (not a real word but it does what it says on the tin)

Down stairs and into kitchen, fill kettle, pause while kettle boils, add  boiling water to tea, pause while tea brews, AAAhhhh nectar (more like tar, I likes it strong).

Find perfect spot on sofa and almost burn mouth....more pausing...just right mmmmm.

Too early to look at today's jobs, chuckles quietly and gets you tube up on telly. A pair of socks that need the toe shaping finishing and more tea, Oh Yes, bring it on.

Some Vlogmas offerings to enjoy with my tea and voila the toes are done and I have even Kitchener stitched  them closed. Ends darned in and another gift done and dusted.

Time to do a little research, I know that I have a fair amount of wadding left BUT I also have a list of quilty things to play with work through.

I want to buy 80/20 batting for a change, I bought some from Flying Goose (at a very reasonable price I hasten to add) and it was lovely to work with. 
I do so much quilty sewing that I like to buy a roll.
A, it is much more economical ( cheaper by the metre and I can cut exactly what I need) 
B, it is so convenient, no having to make a special trip and end up impulse buying anything that catches my eye.
C, just realised that it is economical on time and petrol as well.

I do like a win win scenario.

But the thought of squeezing a whole roll into the car, never mind extracting it, does not exactly float my boat. I can just picture the SO and me doing a "push me pull you" dance. Not a good thought.
So an internet purchase it will have to be.

With scrim or without scrim? That is the question. It had not crossed my mind till I started this research.

Answer unknown, any recommendations ?

Fast forward and it is now 7:30 and I am off for a shower, back later.

9:05, Ben has had his walk and his breakfast, he also had his regular tick and flea prevention dose.

More tea has been brewed and drunk along with a healthy slice of toasted homemade bread. Butter on mine, butter and marmalade for the SO.

I have just under an hour before collecting Rufus for his walk so it is Ironing Time for me, toodlepip for now.


11:00, Rufus walked, ironing done and put away, the SO needs some sand and cement for a small job tomorrow so we are off to B&Q in Swansea.

!3:30, back home after a successful trip, a quick lunch eaten and a cuppa made.
We stopped at Tesco on the way back and I nearly did the dying fly. There was a couple with a child going into the shop, hubby asked basket or trolley? Wife replied "trolley and get a big one as we need milk" the SO and I looked at each other and as one said "at least a cow full"

The icing on the cake was that on my receipt my basket was £2.40 cheaper than the other big 3. Considering that I the only branded goods that I bought were Andrex and Clover  and both of them were on a good offer I am very pleased. The rest of my shopping came from the reduced to clear section and most of it is residing in the freezer.

It is now 6:00, the dogs have been walked and fed, Rufus is in his own home.
The SO and I were nodding off in front of the telly and tea was cooling before being drunk. Not good, cold tea YEUK!!

He put a Christmas movie on and I decided to bake.

2 crunchy topped lemon cakes. 1 for W, he has company tomorrow.
1 large vanilla sponge, this will be cut and frozen ready for trifle. Oh Yum.
1 large plum crumble, RTC plums, nice. Pudding for 2 days for us and W.

There is now a steak and kidney pie in the oven, cauliflower and peas on the hob. No need for potatoes with pastry,not to mention crumble and custard later.

I have some quilt binding to make but that will do tomorrow, this evening is for Strictly results and Blue Planet, oh and possibly a little bit of Dr Who.

Later there will be washing up (the SO) and wiping up (me) and some knitting (another pair of socks) while watching telly.

That is my Sunday, busy enough to keep me happy and calm enough to stop me being tired.

                         TTFN                                                 Pam





















Saturday, 2 December 2017

Year of the Quilt mark 2.

I don't quite know how it happened, it certainly was not planned, in fact I was planning quite the opposite and had a list of smaller projects .  I have just finished the quilting on quilt numbers 8 and 9. That is since September, there were a few before that.
One was a quilt top that had been waiting for ages and two of them are just a bit bigger than cot sized and made from panels, three are whole cloth single bed size for the grandchildren so not very much piecing required. The remaining three were so much the opposite, lots of cutting and sewing, and I could easily have kept all of them.

I did this very same thing a couple of years ago but that was planned, this time it just seemed to happen. To cap that I found myself planning another two quilts, one will be for charity and I have decided that I will use a version of Quilt as You Go. I will raid the stash for the front but will be looking to buy the backing fabric. I still have plenty of wadding, the joy of buying a huge roll 90" wide, probably enough for 3 large quilts and a few smaller projects, I zig zag all the trimming strips over 3" together and use for bags and cushion fronts, smaller strips come in for handles and toy stuffing. I try very hard not to waste anything, after all no matter how small I still had to pay for it.

I am having my first cuppa of the day and skipping through You Tube, I have just seen a Jordan Fabrics tutorial for a table runner. I will be making that up into a quilt, I just found a free pattern on line and bookmarked it.

I am off for a shower now, I am in llandeilo for the day and am looking forward to lots of quilty chatter.

                     TTFN                                                Pam

PS. For those who have asked, The SO is my significant other. He prefers to remain incognito but has caught the quilting bug so may step out of the shadows at some point.



Friday, 1 December 2017

Friday?Already?

Another week has flown by and left me bewildered as to how fast it happened. Yesterday I had to take my neighbour W to the dentist, he had forgotten the appointment so it was a last minute rush around. He was lucky to catch me as I was just about to set off to Sit and Sew at The Flying Goose.

His condition is improving, albeit slowly, and the wound from the surgery is healing well so stitches out next week.

I do not begrudge one second of the time that I give, after all no one knows what is just around the corner. But, there is a tiny little regret at all the crafty time that has gone never to be had again. I don't think that statement makes me bad, just honest. I have the same feeling about essential jobs and shopping. I hate shopping, all the time to get there, pushing that trolley round, queuing, the drive back and then the very worst bit.....putting it all away. Mind you since I started to shop the "mean queen" way it has shaved lots of time from the trip, and the actual cost has been close shaved as well. Win Win.

At some point in the next couple of weeks I will be making an essentials list of all the non perishables, followed by a Big Shop. 

This means that for around 3 months I only have to do perishable shopping, saving lots of time. After the festivities I like to give the house a good fettling, and do much the same in the garden.
Then when Spring arrives I can devote as much time as I want to what ever I want. 

I have a "bucket list" of new crafting skills to work through  and am looking forward with glee to doing so.

I don't make resolutions as such but like to have a word or phrase that reflects what I want to aspire to. I think that Explore might be the word for 2018. I am happy in my comfortable, well tread path but that path is in danger of becoming a rut. Not good.

I get lots of inspiration from Dawn at being self sufficient in Wales, not only have she and her husband developed a small bit of the country into a wonderful food producing holding, she makes the most beautiful items in her log cabin.

My blog reading list reflects my crafty interests and You Tube is a good source as well.


Must fly, it is time to walk Rufus.


                       TTFN                                     Pam










Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Cleaning up space

I saw on the telly this morning that there is a machine almost ready to launch into space to clean up all the debris.

When that is done I wonder if the Earth will get the same treatment.

On a completely different note my sneezing caused a minor accident yesterday.





I sneezed so violently that I banged into a cupboard door handle, it isn't big but it hurt and I almost saw stars.

On a better note this is now finished.




It is a gift and has been waiting for absolutely ages to be quilted and bound.

 

I have rounded off the corners ( thanks to Jean Truelove) but saved the detail. The piano key border was a last minute addition that will be repeated, it used up lots of scraps.

I have just started the gusset decreases on a pair of socks, I like to keep my hand in with heel flap and gusset construction, it is the best fit for Francesca. I repeated the pattern from the last hat that I finished.



I put them away in the middle of a round, bad bad, but it was my hospital knitting. When W comes out of the treatment room he just wants to get out of the building and into the car and then home.

They will be finished before next week so I will have to get another pair on the needles, or perhaps a hat.

Now I have to get ready to take the dogs out and think about dinner.  
The SO wants Christmas pudding and cream!!!? And he's started wittering on about Advent Calendar Chocolate. I may call his bluff and talk about getting the tree up.

                              TTFN                                      Pam










Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Where did that fluff go?

The fluff in question is generated while sewing, part from the fabric and part from the thread. You only have to look at your machine after an hours sewing to see how much collects.

I am convinced that during yesterday,s session most of it was breathed in, I have been sneezing regularly and explosively since I got up. It was a sneezing fit that woke me.

No sewing for a little while, I have the dogs to walk and hopefully the fresh air will help.

I do intend to get the last two quilts bound today and if the sneezing abates I will be off to knit and natter.

If not then I will finish the bags off, before having a tidy up, and then pull fabric for my next makes. I know that there are 3 more bags but I have seen a few things that I fancy trying as well.

I also want to make a padded storage bag for my long rulers, they stand in a cubby hole and sometimes slide around when I take one out. I have the scars to show for it, those corners are sharp.

Then there are the smaller ones, they live in a box which is all very well and fine but it is plain and boring. I need to borrow Worzel Gummidge's thinking head.

Short pause for some more sneezing, I am off to get Ben outside. He is in no hurry these cold mornings, when the sun shines he starts nagging at 7:00.

                             TTFN                                 Pam

Monday, 27 November 2017

Reprimanded.

I have just been almost told off for not putting a post up. 
In my defence I have been preoccupied with sewing and shuffling my kitchen cupboards around. Well, not the cupboards, just the contents. Things that I have not used for quite a while are now in the top cupboard near the sink, the most awkward one to reach. If they are untouched by the spring then they will be donated.

I have bound two of the grandchildren's quilts and the third one is ready to start, as is their parents quilt. The binding is made and ironed so tomorrow is booked. There are 4 bags that just need finishing and 3 more to make, not before January though, phew!

I spent a few happy hours at the Flying Goose on Saturday learning foundation piecing. It was great fun just a shame that it was under subscribed. There is another coming up and I have put my name down for that as well.

Last night I decided to practice Free motion quilting, not too bad considering that I haven't done any for a year or more. Well it wasn't too bad till today, the blasted machine was rattling  like Jed Clampetts car. I stripped it out, cleaned it and  threaded  it up with a new needle and bobbin and it still rattled. I put it away to look at tomorrow and got my little Singer out. It has been wonderful, a bit noisy compared to the Janome but certainly worth the space it fills.

If there are still problems that I cannot fix in the morning it will be off to the repairers. 

Dinner tonight is sweet potatoes baked in their skins with a pasta sauce that I found in the freezer. 
We are still trying to eat our way through the contents before doing a big shop to cover the week that Fran is here. I may be cooking  some vegetarian  meals as well. W normally goes away for the week, but with all the hospital goings on, has not booked anything yet. 

Ben is beside me, snoring steadily, I think that he is marking time till his dinner is put down.

The SO has a couple of free days so is painting the kitchen, just walls and ceiling, it was looking a bit tired. Now it is well on the way to being sparkling white, and looking much brighter.

He just announced that the kettle is going on so a cuppa is on it's way and I am going to quickly clear the decks. It will soon be time to start those potatoes.

                   TTFN                                                  Pam

Thursday, 23 November 2017

From here to there, and back again.

Ooh Er missus, I've been round the bend, up the wall and through a hedge backwards. At least that is what it feels like.

Yesterday I took W to the Neath Port Talbot hospital. We had to be there (on the ward that is) for 7:00 am, it was still dark, and drizzly and of course all the Wannabe Stirling Moss peeps were out in force. I tackled the M4, found the hospital and lived to tell the tale. 
I delivered W to the right place and then drove home to deal with the dogs.
 Ben was pleased to have company and Rufus was deliriously happy to see me. He is not used to being dragged out of bed in the middle of the night, and then being abandoned.
He suffers with separation anxiety but soon got his normal persona back.

Then early afternoon I was off back along the M4 to collect the invalid, this time it didn't drizzle. Oh No, it absolutely hammered down, and yes, there were even more "boy racers" of both sexes and all ages rampaging around.

By the time I got back and W was settled, Rufus walked and returned home, I was a limp dishrag.

Moan, moan, whinge and whine ( that ought to be wine but I was driving again the next day).

Because I fell into bed early I was up early this morning. I took full advantage and got the coin quilt finished all but the binding and then did most of the quilting on another, photo's tomorrow.

Then at lunch time I was in Neath for an eye test, sitting about and waiting as they seemed to be rushed off their feet. 

New glasses needed, but I knew that, there is a marked difference between my eyes and the right one has deteriorated far more than the left. I have to go back in a year this time. The chap told me that the type of cataracts that I have will see me get progressively more near sighted before they will be ready to be removed. Deep Joy.

I was hoping to go to sit and sew but I had reached the point of no return with driving.

I am taking W back to hospital tomorrow for his post op check, and his normal clinic, more driving. I am staying in this weekend.

On that note of doom and gloom I am off to check the oven, pasta, bean and veg gratin tonight. Comfort food at it's best, not quite as lush as steamed syrup pudding in a lake of custard but (possibly) much better for me.

                        TTFN                                         Pam

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Still Stitching Stash.

I do like a bit of alliteration.

After posting off the quilt this morning I had a mammoth tidy up session, I unearthed a few full coin strip sets and had a 

                                                 Image result for lightbulb moment

Bag them up up or use them up, Use them up as bags.

I dived into the box of left over batting and spent a little while zigzagging strips and squares together. I now have an almost empty box. COOL.

My attention then went to the box of biggish bits of fabric and with a bit of luck I found 4 pieces.

Then it was time to press, stitch, press and cut and I had the makings of 4 bags.

Baste, mark a design and quilt, I now have 4 bags well on the way.



Simple quilting, it's all about the colours for me.



Miles of binding on the way, chain stitching for speed and economy. The price of decent thread is astronomical.

I am taking W to the hospital early in the morning, Very Early, he has to be there by 7:30 am!!

I will be coming home, rather then stay there, as it is likely that he will be in overnight and he is scheduled to be the last down to theatre.

I hope to get the bags finished, or as near to it as possible. There is another quilt to layer and baste, I made the back this afternoon.

It has been wonderful weather for ducks and crafters lately. I did miss knit and natter today, I have so much driving to do this week that I wanted a restful day today. mmmmm

I am way behind in responding to comments, I have been asked for a glove pattern, but I can not remember the last time that I knitted any.
I need to make time to catch up and read through my blog list, it is all to easy for me to lose track of the passing of time.

In fact, looking at the time, I think I will make a start now.

                               TTFN                                    Pam







Monday, 20 November 2017

Done (in that is)

Another quickie, I  was awake at stupid o'clock this morning and after tossing and turning for almost an hour, I threw in the towel and got up.
I had a cuppa and got stuck into the Dresden plate quilt. It is now bound and wrapped ready for the post tomorrow. There are 3 separate parcels for Fran, 2 for her birthday and one containing some Christmas sewing for her house.




The SO decided to have a play with fabric and thread and made a really good fully lined and quilted tote bag, I filled it with the smaller gifts, put it in one  of the parcels and completely forgot to take a photo.

I have been sorting through the small storage baskets, tidying and labelling them all.

Dinner was home cooked fish and chips with mushy peas, a lazy and indulgent treat and I enjoyed every mouthful. No pudding, I had to wait over an hour before I could attempt a cuppa.

Now of course I am shattered, I dare not go to bed too early just in case I get into a "groundhog day" scenario. I don't want to be sleepy all day and buzzing with adrenaline all night.
I've had a shower and am in pj's and it is tea o'clock.

Well it must be somewhere in the world.


                 TTFN                                                        Pam


Sunday, 19 November 2017

Too Soon, Too Soon

Just a quick visit tonight, I have been in The Flying Goose today. It was the last day of the Festival of Senses in Llandeilo and the sun shone for all the visitors.

Several people popped in and I had many lovely chats about sewing, fabric and the town.

The only cloud in the sky was a double whammy on the way home.

TWO, yes TWO houses in full on Christmas bling.

Flashing lights swarming over the house fronts, Huge trees decked to the 'nth degree and enough inflatables to float a small village.

It's still November for goodness sake.

I would imagine that the children will be full of excitement for days, only to become fed up with the waiting.
Never mind the electric bill.

Perhaps I am a fuddy duddy but half way through December is quite early enough. I love all the razzmatazz and tinsel, digging out the decorations and the "remember when we bought this" nostalgic moments.The hidden gifts waiting to be wrapped, surreptitiously, in odd minutes when nobody is around.  

But not just yet, please.

I am so happy to share the fact that I came home to find all the housework jobs done for the next 2 days. I will be able to concentrate on my quilting, lovely.

I have just watched Strictly, the results. I am not surprised at the result of the dance off but was surprised at Debbie being in it. Mind you there have been big jaw dropping moments in the past.

Now I am going to dive into Blue Planet, with the socks that are on my needles..


                        TTFN                                          Pam









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    https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/simple-house-slippers    

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