Thursday, 20 July 2017

A Sea of Colour.

Happy Thursday,another warm day, some sun, some grey, some blue sky with cotton wool clouds.
The rain has battered the garden but it will all recover, if only partially.

The Pulse yarn has been wound into cakes and I now have to decide what it will become.

The skeins, dry and ready to wind.

Three luscious cakes ready to go. I am calling these Gower, as they remind me of the colours in the marshes there.

I finished the third pair of short socks for the SO, he picked the main colour and the heels and toes solid.
This is a man whose colour palette of choice was dark grey, light grey, mid grey, black and white with mid blue denim for a change.

I am amazed, and delighted, at his new adventurous dive into the world of colour.
He dyed the Pulse yarn while I watched, wide eyed.

I watched Crafty Mandy's podcast this morning, Stitching for Sanity. I have "volunteered" to dye a skein of yarn in pink and a soft mustardy yellow for her. 
I am more than happy to do so, after all she dyed the goldfish yarn for me.

The yarn and dyes are on their way and I look forward to some experimenting.

Of course I will share as I fall (run like the wind) further down this particular rabbit hole.

I have a maslin pan of chopped up rhubarb waiting to be turned into jam, it needs to sit in the sugar for a while to draw some of the water content.

I have to shop later, the only things in the fruit bowl are 3 grapefruit and 4 small bananas, scheduled to become a Black Banana Cake mmmmm.

 Rufus is enjoying his morning walk, and so am I. We will continue this after his owners cast is removed, we had a little chat and it is mutually agreeable.

Now I am off to stir up the rhubarb and sort out a bit of lunch.

                         TTFN                                          Pam

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Thunder and lightening

It's very very frightening......with apologies to the late great Freddie.

There is rain, more of a monsoon really, it is coming straight down. No watering for me for a day or 2 and full water butts. Win Win.

I may be taking Rufus for a swim rather than a walk, if the rain stops that is.

I am happy to report that I have found the missing fabric, so a parcel will be on it's way later today Sheila, I must have picked it up and put it down about 5 times before having the sense to actually open the bag to see what was in it!!

I am still down the dyeing rabbit hole and am happy to stay here for a while.  My next goal is to sell both the quilting frame and the Janome 1600 P with all the extras and make space for a spinning wheel.
I can not stand and quilt without feeling sea sick and dizzy but the sewing cabinet opens out and I am quilting on that. It is a logical plan, I feel, as I am burning to dye fibre and then spin it ready for knitting.

The latest dyeing experiment is looking good, once it has dried I will be posting photos.

I am right on the cusp of having crochet lessons, I can crochet but am self taught. I am not always happy in what I make, sometimes the edges slope a bit and so on. I am excited to learn control and precision. (doesn't that sound a bit Schoolmarmish and prissy)

The torrential rain has eased off a bit now but the thunder is still rumbling around.

I am off to make a brew and think about tonight's dinner. I can get away with toast once, and very nice it was too we just had scrambled eggs in the end. No ideas for tonight, just Iffit's probably, but certainly another light meal.

                      TTFN                                         Pam

I have this tickle in the back of my mind about matching dyed yarn to a project bag, what do you think?

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

I have lots to show you and little time to do so, this retirement job is very demanding you know.
I am really pleased with the results of the dyeing session, even more so now that I am knitting with one skein. 
Who for and what? Well, of course it is not for me.

The yarn dyed by the SO, caked up and into the heel shaping on the first sock , just a vanilla pair with his favourite heel. It looks so different in the cake, I am loving knitting it up.

 The "Sunset Boulevard" caked up is very similar but lighter in tone.

Tiger Lily, in her cake form, I love this bright and light one. I may dye a solid or tonal skein to knit up with it into a 2 skein shawl.

This morning I dyed 2 balls of commercial yarn that I bought ages ago, it is 30% wool so new that it would take the dye, but not how.

It dried while I was out and I skeined it up straight off the line, just to get an idea of how it looked. Quite pleased with the colours, they are a bit muted for me but I think that Shoreline is a good name for them.

Caked up they look so much better, these are destined to become a shawl. Maybe for me, maybe for a gift.

I have 3 balls of commercial chunky weight yarn to play with, these have a much higher proportion of wool and are very much of the thick and thin variety. These have been handed over to the SO to play with. He is skeining them on the swift as I type this.

Knit and Natter was a lively affair again, there were a few more of us than last week, obviously we are the noisy ones.

Debs has new yarn in stock, the yarn diet is up the Swanee, I left with the 3 balls to over dye and a pattern and enough yarn to knit it. Photos another day, as I completely forgot and the batteries are on charge.

I am picking Chrissie, aka the one armed bandit, up on Friday and we are going to the quilt exhibition in Llandeilo. There may be lunch. There may be purchases. Only Smarties have the answer.

I am about to scoop Rufus and Ben up for their early evening walk and then it is a simple supper of scrambled eggs and beans on toast.

I had a cook up session yesterday and have meat loaf  and pasta sauce to freeze.
There will also be a watering interlude, possibly before we eat, I am not particularly hungry and the SO is playing with yarn and swift and planning what colours to use.

                       TTFN                                           Pam

I must get some replies up and try to catch up on blog reading. Who needs to sleep?

Monday, 17 July 2017

Woolly Reveal

Here is my diet busting yarn shopping. I put all the blame on the SO. Remember the green socks that I really did not like?Well the SO loved them even though they were shorties. That led to this,

A 50 gm pair of striped shorties to wear with trainers. A very quick knit but I did have to lay my cardigan to one side!

I also remembered that I had no solid colours for heels and toes, a quick shopping trip and 24 hours later these arrived.

400 grams of solids, these will either tone or clash depending on how the SO is feeling.

After a few moments surfing through the sock yarns he spotted this colourway, on being asked as to whether they should be short or long his response was YES, so 150 grams.

Then a ball of this to make it up to free shipping, cheap is good, free is best.

Then I fancied some "in your face colours" after a couple of hours searching, lots of  " how blooming much?" and  "not on your Nellie". We had a little chat about what we would afford as opposed to what we could afford.
 I have to say here that I do understand the time and cost of materials involved, I have bought from several Indie dyers in the past and loved what I got.
We decided to buy a starter dye kit and 3 skeins of yarn and then just play.

This is the product of our playtime, the middle skein was dyed by the SO, I will be balling this later on and casting on a pair of socks.

The other two I have named Tiger Lily and Sunset Boulevard, I love them and loved the process.

The dyes that I tried were food safe so I "cooked" them in the microwave. If I decide to carry on with that using acid dyes I will be buying another microwave solely to dye with.

So much did I love it that an order for more yarn happened, lots more. An order for acid dyes has also been placed. All I need to  find now is a large stainless steel pan for steaming and immersion dyeing. I did like the painting though and this can be set in the microwave or steamed. 

Oh, and of course another day or two in each week to indulge this new hobby/addiction.

It is time for some lunch, there are rumbles coming from the deep.

Ooooh, that leads nicely into my weight loss this week, which is NIL. 

There has been no gain either, I blame no one but myself. I had a couple of days with the poking about in my ears, that led to not wanting to cook or eat a meal, so I grazed, not on rubbish, but did manage to eat more carbs than I should have.
For the next few weeks I will be walking Rufus, this will be an extra walk, so am hoping that this will help.
My lovely neighbour Will, who is owned by Rufus, has a cast on his right foot, from toes to just under knee height. I am only to glad to walk Rufus, and he doesn't mind either.

On that I am off to find some lunch.

                      TTFN                                    Pam

Friday, 14 July 2017

More Drops

Just a quickie as I am back from more pulling , pushing and prodding, (doesn't that sound a bit like a scene from Call the Midwife). 
I am of course referring to my ears!
The result is... more drops and return in 4 weeks. DUH.

There has also been a visit to get even more Drops, of the woolly variety. I am right out of solid colours for heels and toes ( apart from the 4 skeins that are earmarked for a cardie) so the diet is down the pan for today.
A quick trip to Wool Warehouse and an order is in for Drops Fabel in several solids and a print or two. I needed to get the value up to free shipping so had a quick trip through the clearance section and found a fairly bright 100 gm ball. I will share them once they have landed.
There are more socks to show and my Cardigan is almost at the finish post as well.
I couldn't keep the camera steady enough to get a decent shot today bur asap I will post some pics.

I missed out on my day with Chrissie but there is another week not touched yet just around the corner.

I rather fancy that this weekend will be very quiet, I have a very small shopping list, and most of that can wait, the SO plans on grass cutting and painting. We are having Rufus for the weekend so there will be extra walks and more than likely lots of knitting. I need a day in the sewing room, I have some fabric to send off and I need to set up a "search and rescue mission" to locate it. It is in there, I distinctly remember putting it on the cabinet ready. I also remember moving it while taking some photo's, the trouble is I can not remember where I moved it to.
I was rootling through ALL the boxes of fabric at the time, soooo they will all have to be emptied and searched.
Sounds easy right? WRONG, they are under and behind the quilting frame. Getting them out requires some serious wriggling under the frame, and then grabbing a box and scuttling out backwards on my belly. It is not a pretty sight.

It is better than it was as I have sewed my way through 2 boxes so far this year. It will get even better as I have decided to make a couple of quilts in September.

That's all I can manage today, see you soon.

                    TTFN                                                  Pam

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

It's all my fault.

I want to thank you all for your kind messages, it made me feel quite chipper to read them all.

I have been back today for more pulling and prodding, they even had a go at irrigation, there's no veg growing in my ears!!.

Apparently the gubbins that make up the inner bits of my ears are all very small, they must have shrunk when I retired to Wales.

I just hope that the rest of my innards (and the outards) all shrink to match. Woo Hoo, instant pain free weight loss.

As much as I can poke fun at it all, it does hurt and I have to go back in 3 weeks time to see someone else. The dreaded word "surgery" was bandied about, again. That was discussed and deemed unnecessary last year.
It's like listening to the weather forecast, it changes depending on what channel you have on.

I am off to put my feet up and sooth my soul with knitting, I have cast on one of the cardigan fronts, I decided that my brain wasn't up to knitting both at once, and am 3/4 the way up to the armhole shaping.

                          TTFN                                           Pam

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Worms on the stairs

At least that is what I saw. 
I was on my way up to have a shower, quite early this morning, and in my defence it was a murky grey morning and I hadn't put the light on.
There, halfway up the stairs, was a worm.

I got close enough to pick it up and it wasn't a worm at all.

Any guesses?

Yup, all you yarny people  out there will know exactly what I was about, very gingerly, to pick up. The offending article was in fact a short tail end of yarn, obviously the trimming off my sock heel or toe from last night, that had been carried part way up before falling off my skirt or shoe.

Panic over.

I am feeling much more myself this morning, which is just the job as it is of course Knit and Natter day.

I did manage 2 short walks with Ben but had to lie down for a little while in the afternoon. That turned into a deep sleep for around an hour and a half.

Dinner was a quick stir fry with some fresh fruit for pudding, grapes and cherries to be precise.
The grapes were lovely but the cherries, although juicy, were bland and almost tasteless. I should know better then to buy them out of season.

We had a nice overnight rain and the forecast is for much more during the day, followed by a few more hot days.

I have had a little change round on my kitchen shelves, a few things that I have not used in a long while have gone to the CS pile. Some pretty china that I have not been using, as it was tucked away, is now out and handy to use.

The SO has solved along term issue in the bathroom, Toilet Roll storage. I pick up a large pack every now and then, and if it on special offer get two. Then I have the problem of where to keep it.
The tumble dryer is in the bathroom and it used to sit there. Now though I have a basket full of Ben's towels, shampoo, ear and eye wipes etc. etc. etc.
I was flicking through You Tube a few mornings ago and paused on one of those "tidy up and make your life wonderful" channels. The vacuous woman was enthusing about storage in her "small downstairs powder room" as opposed to one of the THREE upstairs bathrooms!!

BUT she had put a shelf over the powder room (he he) door to store toilet rolls and other small items.


Just the thing, but our doors are very tall and I am not. I don't want a set of steps in the bathroom or anything else to stand on.

Compromise time.

There is now a floating shelf over the toilet. High enough that nobody will crack their head and low enough that I can reach it.

It is not huge but will easily hold 32 rolls. Result.

Now, of course,I will be casting my eagle eyes over the rest of the house. Any problem areas will get dealt with, just as I have done with the corner shelves in the kitchen. 

That's all for now, I am in dire need of a cuppa.

                  TTFN                                            Pam

Monday, 10 July 2017

Under the Weather

Morning all, almost afternoon really.
I had to go to the surgery this morning for a check on the ears. They were pulled, poked and prodded, all to no avail. I have another appointment on Wednesday.  All today,s visit has achieved is to make me very nauseous and decidedly woozy.

I am really off colour so will give you another look at Aberglasney instead of my usual waffle.

I hope to be back to what passes for normal tomorrow.

                        TTFN                                                Pam

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Another Day, Another Kilo.

So happy to see the scales drop by a Kilo this morning, I have done a bit more walking over the past few days but this 3rd week period often leads to a small gain, or no loss, as your body adjusts to the drop in calories. I can not see the difference except when I dress, some of the "snugger" garments are now a touch more comfortable.

I had a grand day yesterday, lots of garden time with a rest every so often. The Strawberry table is done and a corner fence come windbreak has been built. The path between ours and the next terrace of houses runs is a bit of a wind tunnel. This new structure will serve to break the wind up, give us added privacy and serve as a support for a honeysuckle and a rose. I will have a table there, for pottering and potting, and a seat for knitting and tea drinking.
I am off to get paint later this morning.

I have made a crustless quiche this morning, that will serve as our late breakfast/early lunch for 3 days. Dinners are heavy on salads, although tonight we are having Something with Bubble and Squeak. I had a few old potatoes and a couple of carrots that needed using and half a small cabbage, I cooked those up yesterday and mixed them all together, later I will slice and fry a red onion and add to the mix. I shape mine into little patties and fry in a small amount of coconut oil. I have no idea what we will have with them, possibly a chopped salad with lots of fresh herbs.

Very little knitting has happened, a little crochet on the Snuggly and no sewing at all. I did dive into the deep recesses of the yarn stash and ferret out more acrylic for said Snuggly. The white bag is back to "full to the brim" status, and beyond.

I am keeping this short and sweet this morning, it is getting on and I am impatient to make a start on the day.

                       TTFN                                      Pam

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Absolutely Awesome Aberglasney.

Just a few of the photo's from yesterday, I will add some more during the week. It is a wonderful place and I will be going back in a few weeks to check more of it out and see what changes have happened.
There was work going on in a few areas and the gardens are growing and developing apace.
It was great to be with Chrissie as she knows the gardens well, at one point she was a volunteer there.
I did buy 2 plants, a Dianthus, Wessex Pink and a Syringa Red Pixie, both will go into the bed that the cherry tree came out of.

We have plans to put in an Apple and Pear walk along the path and that should be the rear garden completed. BUT there is more garden at the very top that has not been touched yet. It had been used as a midden and will need some serious attention in the Autumn, when the weeds have died back.
We did pull a load of rubbish out of there two years ago and claimed back about 12' and this year intend to get the rest cleared.

And now I am going to drink my coffee and get out into the garden.

Enjoy your weekend where ever you are.

                               TTFN                                    Pam

Friday, 7 July 2017

More Excitement

Remember the me of a couple of days ago saying that not much excitement happened here, I made her go and wash her mouth out.

Yesterday morning the postie delivered a parcel, chock full of goodies.

I won a giveaway from the lovely Ellie Jones of the Craft House Magic podcast. Ellie lives in Norfolk, not too far from my home village, I found her via the Tilly Trout Podcast, another Norfolk girl. I am waffling.

Any way I was absolutely delighted to take part in the knit along, the first one that I have entered photos in.

Imagine my shock when Ellie read my name out on her last episode, I almost choked on my tea.

She is fast, I only found out on Monday and the prize arrived Thursday.

I carefully unwrapped the parcel ripped the parcel open to find these delights.

A set of lush mini skeins from Rainbow Cloud, once my yarn diet is over I may well be paying them a visit.

Some little extras from Ellie, the Fizzers were fun.

The Bag, what can I say, it is padded perfection personified. I do like a bit of alliteration. Love the pattern and the colours, as it is sock sized I may well go into overdrive and zoom through my sock yarn.

There is a pocket for spare cable and stitch markers etc and Ellie's label. The zipper has a ribbon pull and a little flower progress keeper, I will show that on my next socks.

As if that was not enough excitement, the SO found time to make a start on the Strawberry Table. Now I must gather small pots to root all the new runners, I may even go really mad and buy a few new plants.

Food was again a haphazard affair, I must pull my finger out and stop that, it is far too easy to eat too much if it isn't planned. I had a bagel, cinnamon and raisin, mid morning as my tum was grumbling and then mid afternoon a slice of crustless quiche. It was quite late before I thought about dinner, all this sunshine has me popping in and out to the garden, and it was more rumbles that woke me up to the time. I made a pasta salad, I had some roasted peppers, celery, onion and garlic which had been diced and tossed in a little oil and some Moroccan spices. To those I added a good handful of baby plum tomatoes just halved, some peas and sweetcorn, I mixed a good dollop of mayo with a smidgen of Weapons grade chilli and mixed the lot together. I had a cooked chicken breast in the fridge so diced that up and stirred into half the pasta mix, perfect fast dinner, BUT, there's always a but.
My new neighbour gave me a breadmaker the other day and I tried it out. Oh My Word, the loaf looked and smelled amazing. 
Well, we just had to cut it, a very thick slice was cut and we had half each.It was every bit as good as it looked, but it made for far too many carbs. Today will be carb free. 

Then, to make matter worse, I had a slice of the Mud Pie with single cream. I knew it was wrong, it wasn't even that wonderful. My mind took over and my brain went to bed.

I have put it behind me and today is another day.

Now I have to get a wiggle on, Ben needs walking and I have to dry my hair first. It is cooler today so hopefully will be perfect for my day out with Chrissie.

                    TTFN                                                   Pam

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Things are changing

My body clock seems to be confused as to where I am in the world. I have started waking up progressively later each morning, then of course I am not ready for bed till later. It is a spiral that I need to snap out of, I like my early morning start particularly in the summer.

Last night after spending over an hour watering all the planters and the thirsty plants I settled down on the sofa. Nothing much on telly so had a look on sky box sets and spotted Deadwood. It is very gritty and quite a bit sweary, I am certain that some of the language used was not common parlance in that time frame.

The ubiquitous Ian McShane was there, this time playing a nasty piece of work, and several other familiar faces that I couldn't put names to.

Anyway, I watched the first two episodes and while I was sat on my btm I picked up the sock that was tormenting me. I was intending to frog it and cast on a new one, but persevered and the first one is almost there.

I used a stitch pattern that I knitted years ago to give a clearly defined ankle section, now I do like that pattern just not in this yarn.

I couldn't find a solid colour that I liked with the greens so heels and toes are in this self patterning drops fabel, left over from another pair.
I have started the toe decreases and will get it off the needles today. I may knit the second sock with a different pattern, they are for me so I don't mind at all, it may start a new trend.

I was pretty much useless yesterday, couldn't settle to anything for more than 30 minutes. I did start to shuffle fabric around and just need to spend another 30 minutes this morning finishing that off.

Ben had the time of his life for a couple of hours late morning, we were at Rufus's house and all 14 dogs from the new neighbours came in as well.

That brings a Dolly Parton song into my mind, They're having a party 2 doors down, I shall be singing that all blasted day now.

Ben absolutely loved it, they are all smaller than him which was a complete change. Rufus looked like a giant among them.

We were there because the SO was fixing a mesh cover over the gate that divides the back yards, there is an access path running behind our row of 4 houses. There was a solid panel but is was causing a problem with the little dogs trying to crawl underneath and Rufus trying to mountaineer over it. Now they can see each other, touch noses and socialise.

Needless to say I didn't get the cardigan fronts cast on, I didn't touch any knitting till the evening. Well that's not entirely true, I did carry it into the garden and then I carried it back.

I have no plans for today other than draw a diagram for a new thing for the garden. The SO has offered to make me a Strawberry table, long enough to hold around 48 plants in double rows, that will free up one of the raised beds for something else.
If I plan this carefully it can sit above a raised bed, giving it some shade and making perfect conditions for salad leaves. Then a raised frame work on the table will allow me to have a net cover keeping lots of insects out of the salad. Not to mention the blasted crows and jackdaws off the berries.

I am off out tomorrow, I will be picking up Chrissie, the one armed bandit, and hopefully paying a visit to Aberglasney. (spell check wants this to read fibreglas!)

It will be a real treat but I must take a hat or the sun will have me prostrate in no time.

I have reduced the stash (oops haven't posted that yet for June) by 700 grams today. No I didn't knit all night, I have sent it, along with a pattern, to my younger sister for her birthday. She is a very talented knitter and a BIG fan of Tennis. That means that she will sit and knit while watching that little ball bounce around for hour after hour after hour. By the end she will have kitted through her stash, or almost.
 Now for June records, not much change really as I was sewing mostly. Just 700 grams out of stash but no additions, so it's not too bad. Although that doesn't seem much so I better check through the blog and see if I forgot to record something.

The clever Tina from Loobylou Yarns (have a look at her website, she has some gorgeous stuff on there) is spinning her Alpaca fleeces and I really really want some, I had some of her handspun and it is amazing to knit with. So I need to shift some more from stash, perhaps I should begin a new crochet project as that grows so much faster than knitting and uses more yarn. Must think on that idea, I have a couple of crochet shawl patterns. On that note I must get my shawl soaked and blocked.
Not quite yet though, a cuppa is overdue.

Oops, nearly forgot. I had a funny day for eating yesterday, I wasn't hungry at all till around 3:00 and had a roll with a slice of crustless quiche, very not Haute Quisine, but altogether yummy. Then of course I was not hungry at dinnertime, well just what my Granny would call "nice hungry" so I had a small(ish) slice of Mississipi Mud Pie, from Lidl. It was disappointing, a very dry biscuit base topped with a bog standard chocolate sponge and then topped with a fluffed up chocolate mousse that was more air than chocolate.

Not a day of great nutrition but not to worry, I did have an apple and grazed on strawberries while in the garden.
I will just put it behind me and move on.

And now for that cuppa, enjoy your day whilst you can, we could have thunderstorms in the UK today.

                     TTFN                                                  Pam

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Oh What a beautiful morning.....

I woke far later than usual, probably because Ben decided that 1:35 was the ideal time for a jaunt round the garden.
Not his usual dash out and back in before I had time to get the door fully open, and then be on his bed and snoring by the time I got it shut and locked.
Oh No. last night he did the full tour, and of course I then had to to towel him dry and pull various bits of undergrowth from his coat.

I crawled back upstairs to find him On The Bed, and On My Pillow pretending to be fast asleep.
When I went to pick him up to move him it was PLAYTIME! at least that is what he thought.
He is such a determined little dog and although old loves a little play so I gave in and five minutes later he settled down, on his own bed, and went to sleep. 
I, though, was fully awake and desperate for a cuppa, it was almost 3:00 by the time I was back in my bed. Ben was still sound asleep.

Anyhow, I am up now, if not fully awake and alert, I have a cuppa and there is a new Cherry Heart Podcast to watch.
I may be doing what the lovely Mandy calls negative knitting today. I cast on a new sock last week and am halfway down the foot. I love the yarn, a WYS 4ply, and the pattern but not together. I struggled to knit a few rounds and cast it aside in disgust. 
I had another look at it this morning and NO, I do not like it at all.
Methinks a little frogging is on the cards.

Knit and Natter was fun yesterday, I picked Chrissie, AKA The One Armed Bandit, up and we sailed off to Llandeilo. Lunch was enjoyed very much, we had a pot of tea and a vegetarian sausage roll, an experimental recipe, with some smoked mushroom chutney. That was a combination made in heaven and the wonderful proprietor shared the recipe!! Double Whammy for Pammy.
Guess what I will be making soon.

I took my Snuggly to work on and made decent progress but today I will be casting on the fronts of the cardigan, I have a birthday party to attend soon and would like to wear the new cardi, and maybe a new dress.  That would be the one that has been cut out for a couple of weeks at least tut tut.

Dinner last night was a haphazard affair, Sweet  Potato baked in the skins, cold chicken and salad and a dollop of my carrot and garlic chutney. I need to make another batch of that, it is a Sophie Grigson recipe that I make frequently, it is very heavy on the garlic and is divine but needs a year to mature. At least that is when I like it best.

I will be mainly playing in the sewing department today, I have my stack of stretchy fabrics that I was sent, the correct needle ready to put in and a selection of various threads to try out. I will also be trying out the overlocker.

Dinner tonight will be shepherds pie, I love it and while freezer diving found a pack of Lamb mince. Oh Yum, I will make a mash with root veg with a dollop of whole grain mustard instead of butter and cook shredded leeks and cabbage to have with it.

Oh yes, I forgot to tell you that I started a batch of Amish Friendship bread last Sunday (or did I tell you? no matter I don't mind repeating myself). Today I added to the mix and should be making the first loaf next Monday, I only made a half cup size starter because it does grow quite substantially. I had a batch going for a long time, well over 5 years, in Tydd but it did not survive the move.  By chance I caught a You Tube video about it last weekend and Bingo, I was off to the kitchen to get the starter made.
It is looking healthy and starting to develop the "beery" smell of sourdough. I will keep you posted.

I have Rufus coming for a weekend soon and am looking forward to that, he is the perfect house guest. He never complains, eats everything that is put in front of him and doesn't interfere with the day to day running of the house.

There is nothing more that I can think of today, like most of us I don't have heaps of exciting  things happening on a daily basis, my life is slow, reasonably gentle and as happy as I can make it. 

OOH that was nearly a lie. Something exciting did happen yesterday. The Marvellous Mandy custom dyed some yarn for me, brace yourselves for a blast of glory.
She took her inspiration from the families goldfish, How brilliant.

Isn't that just fabulous? The remit that I gave her was, mmm a bit on the vague side to say the least. "Orange, bright, speckles or stripes" I am so glad that Mandy speaks vague. You can find her on Etsy as ToDyeForYarnCo. (hope you don't mind this Mandy)

Once my yarn diet is over we will be planning a sweaters worth, it will not be quite as loud as the Goldfish, much as I love orange it is so not my colour, RATS!
On that blaze of glory I am off to get the kettle on and singing.I have sunshine outside and it is in danger of being overshadowed by my Goldfish yarn.

Oh Oh Oh, I have not broken my diet, this is a gift for someone who has inspired me to really expand my sock knitting and try new patterns and variations.

And now for that kettle.

                                 TTFN                                     Pam

(I nearly signed off as Mandy then. Do you think I am starstruck?)

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

The Path that I Tread

 Pumpkin asked me what I am eating, the quick answer is "about half of what I was".
But that would not only be a bit rude but of no help whatsoever.

I have cut down to 2 meals a day, I was only eating toast at breakfast time to take my meds. I found that once I had eaten that I was feeling hungry after about 2 hours and would often carry on snacking all day.

Now I have a meal around 12:30 - 1:00, low on carbs and high on veg. My rice salad has at least double the amount of veg to rice, I also add a fair amount of protein in the form of pulses or use Quinoa in place of rice. I have a cereal dish of this and drizzle some balsamic vinegar over it.

In the evening I eat somewhere around 7:00, this meal I like to add carbs to but keep the fats to a minimum. It can be Vegan, Vegetarian and have eggs or a be meat based meal depending on what I fancy or have in. I still make up at least half the meal with veg or salad.
Sometimes I cut the carbs right out and have a small pudding.

I like to eat 3 pieces of fruit a day, if not I will cut a small carrot and a stick of celery into batons and eat those. I also like to have a dish of baby plum or cherry tomatoes in the kitchen and will have one when passing. It feels like a treat as at room temperature they are sweet.

Really it all comes down to How Much and of What. A small bag of crisps, a bottle of pop and a small bar of chocolate will do nothing for you at all, just empty calories.

Swap those out for a dish of chopped salady things with some beans, a piece of fruit and a cup of tea or coffee or a glass of sugar free squash or plain tap water and you are on the right track.

Next time you shop have a look at the "diet" food, read ingredient lists and get ideas. I use lots of herbs and spices as I like them and many are beneficial. Tomato ketchup may contain salt and sugar but also has good properties and a dollop stirred into a cold  pasta or rice salad gives it an extra level of flavour. That doesn't mean use half the bottle, a couple of teaspoons full will do.

Before I had to reduce my dairy intake I would make a big smoothie with of a pint skimmed milk, a scoop of porridge oats (not instant) a banana and some red berries, frozen or fresh. Whizzed up I would have a glass in the morning and one at lunchtime. Quick and healthy and surprisingly filling.

A tub of carrot, celery, apple and red onion all chopped up can be snacked on or added to a bowl of leaves as a meal. A FEW pumpkin and sunflower seeds give some crunch.

It is all a case of "suck it and see", we are all different, my lunch would have Francesca feeling nauseous and turning green. 

That concludes the lesson for today. I hope that you find an eating plan that helps Pumpkin, have a trawl round the internet, there is a myriad of information at your fingertips.

Yesterday was a lovely sunny day, some knitting yay, some sewing yay, some housework duh, some gardening and pottering Yay.

The SO was at a loose end so I now have two very smart wooden gates and the old mismatched ones have been recycled. One has been turned into a work bench for the head gardener, that'l be me then. The other will become an extension of a fence, soon I am informed.

I have knitted 6 extra lace rows onto my shawl and still have plenty of yarn left. I will knit the garter stitch border and add to that and then perhaps do a picot bind off. Any yarn left will go into one of the scrap jars and at some point I will make a start on a scrappy something or other. At the moment the 4 ply leftovers look pretty on my shelves.

Lunch was tomatoes, a small piece of nettle cheese (from the food festival) and a slice of bread.
Dinner will be a chopped salad with cold meat and new potatoes from the garden.

I picked more strawberries and added them to the salad, they give a different note and a little bit of black pepper really livens them up.

I told you that I wanted to learn to knit with stretch fabrics and was going to do a charity shop hunt for garments to hack.

Well, I had an email from a long time follower who very kindly offered to send me some scraps to play with. These scraps have arrived and there is a multitude of various weights and amount of stretch. I have set myself a play date on Wednesday. I am really looking forward to it.

We had rain overnight again but it should clear and be a decent day again. Wednesday is supposed to be reasonably hot but I will be sewing in the cool, I just need to clear the debris from my sewing cabinet. I have been going through some of the scrap bins and there are a few heaps of fabric that need pressing, folding and tucking away again.

I am off now to drink my tea and do a row or three on the shawl.

                        TTFN                                        Pam

Monday, 3 July 2017

Ugly, no, Fuggly no, SNUGGLY!

There is something lurking in the corner of shame in my craft room. It is white, quite large and is bulging at the seams.
No it isn't the fat that I have shed, it's far too big for that.
It is a bag of balls of DK weight yarn, all acrylic in just about every colour under the sun.
As I am making reasonable progress on stash reduction I feel that this area needs to be sorted as well.
What to do, that is the question?
I had a light bulb moment the other day.  
Image result for light bulb images free
I watch the Little Drops of Wonderful Podcast and Ali is making what she calls an Ugly Blanket. She just makes a large ball of random yarns, no regard to colour or weight, using the magic knot and adds them to a large Granny Square.
I am copying this idea but just using my DK weight acrylic yarns, all odds and ends, from long finished projects. I  made a start early afternoon after getting a big ball wound. 
As I progress I intend to get the complete bag of bits and bobs wound into balls. When I have worked my way through this lot (or the blanket is large enough) I will buy or beg a ball of something to make a small border. 
Most of the yarn that I am using up is Stylecraft Special DK which is available almost everywhere.
 It just so happens that Debs has nearly every colour in her wool shop.
Now isn't that handy.

The beginning, I hope that this grows as I shrink. I have wound another 3 balls of yarn, just pulled out of the bag and joined with the magic knot.

Onto more mundane matters, I caught a glimpse of the weather forecast yesterday morning, mmm, not wonderful. So, bed stripped, towels changed and 3 loads of washing blowing in the sunshine.

All was dry in good time and ironed and put away, it seems so painless when it all happens in a few hours.

I did a good bit in the garden and Ben had some strolls, not walks it was too hot.

Dinner was indeed Iffits, there was a slice of pie, some cold roast pork, various bits of salad just chopped or sliced and a dollop of spiced peach chutney. Very nice, no pudding needed just a few grapes later on.

Some mindless telly while I played with the baby snuggly blanket and wound balls of yarn.

A reasonably early night and 7 hours sleep, sweet, I would possibly still be there if Ben hadn't woken me up. Needless to say he went outside, came back in and went straight back to his bed and is dead to the world.

I have no plans for today, just the normal routine tasks and some more adventures of the yarny kind. I will finish the shawl today and get the cardigan fronts cast on. The Snuggly will come to knit and Natter on Tuesday, perfect project to enable me to enjoy all the conversations happening at the same time.

That brings me to a perfect spot to say toodle pip and get the kettle on again. I am pretty much useless till I have the second cuppa of the day.

                             TTFN                                         Pam