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Sunday, 20 August 2017

Eyes Upwards.

I am weather watching, there is a line of washing dancing in the breeze. The sun has been shining but it is obvious that rain is on it's way.

Miette is finished bar the buttons, I aim to get her blocked later on today. I have the yarn ready for another but have cast on a sweater for Ivy, I fancied doing a little knitting project first.

I made marmalade, from a tin of mamade, yesterday. I added the juice and pulp from a huge lemon to give it a little extra bite.

More blackberries have been gathered and once the apples have been chopped up there will be a jelly bag suspended in the kitchen filling the house with the heady scent of glories to come.

I have a couple of sewing projects ready to finish off, it should have happened yesterday. I fell down the rabbit hole of kitchen cupboard tidying, which of course meant that they were deep cleaned. Boom, the day was over.

I settled down in front of the telly in the evening, with a box set of Murdoch mysteries, and finished Miette. I hate picking up stitches and as I had added rows I had to finagle it. It looks good though and once blocked I will be getting the buttons on so that it is ready to wear.

I have a new addition to the sitting room, a wall clock with a pendulum, I hope that the ticking becomes soothing .....soon, very soon. The last one that I had was so comforting, ticking away the hours, but it has been a while since it died and I have become accustomed to the silence of a carriage clock.

I would love a long case clock but the modern ones are too new looking and the old ones are not only "how ###### much", but too large for my room.

Ben had a bath last night, a new shampoo for his flaky skin. It is the third time that I have used it and it seems to be effective. He is having  salmon added to every meal to help with the general skin condition. He is resigned to eating it. Ha ha, he attacks it with gusto and licks the dish as clean as a whistle.

Nothing much else to share, dinner last night was a very bone idle burger in some chilli bread with corn on the cob. The SO had cherry pie and whipped cream for pudding.
I was a total slob and had 2, YES 2, doughnuts AND I used them to wipe every last scraping of cream from the dish it was whipped in.
In my defence I can only say that I felt like a child again, licking the dish after my Gran had a baking session.

It Was Wonderful.

On that note I am off to get a brew on and check the skies again.


                          TTFN                                         Pam







.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

A day of many parts.

The day dawned fine and bright, just a bit too early for me but I got up as once awake there is no going back to sleep.

  • Ben was all too happy to start his day early, but it was nothing to do with the weather Oh no. He decided that 5:45 was a good time for a spot of breakfast, I had to tell him otherwise.

I did not waste my time but got lots of little jobs sorted.

We had a walk and then it was time to scoop up Rufus for his turn.

I picked up Jess and Ivy and we went off out for a couple of hours, it is good to play hookey once in a while.

I came back to total chaos, the toilet cistern had sprung a leak, there was water running down the hall walls and the carpet was soaking. The plumber was on his way and within an hour order was restored.

Luckily the SO was at home and got the water turned off before any serious damage could happen.

As often happens it never rains but it pours, almost the minute that had I cleaned up the bathroom Ben was sick, poor little dog he slunk on his belly to the door in shame. Another round of cleaning and finally I could think about dinner.

Then to cap it all the heavens opened a few minutes before I was due to take the dogs out.

I threw the towel in, had dinner early, washed up and got into pj's and claimed my corner of the sofa.

I have started the rib on the first Miette sleeve, I added 30 extra rows as I want full length sleeves, bracelet length sleeves on an Aran weight cardigan seems so wrong.

Tomorrow is another day and hopefully it will be less eventful. I intend to finish my sleeve and get the second one started and possibly have an early night, all this excitement is very tiring.

                                             TTFN                                                       Pam

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

It was a Time Warp

Even after checking the post dates and yesterdays date it totally passed by me that it was Tuesday. AKA Knit and natter day.

I missed it, I pottered about the house. Laundry done, line dried and ironed, kitchen sorted, some sewing prep done, quite a bit of knitting. The Miette body is done and I will be starting the first sleeve shortly. Pattern and yarn selected for a small persons sweater, and lots of little bits and bobs tidied away.

The SO found the time to put a floating shelf over the hall mirror, the baskets of hats, scarves and gloves are now there.

Dinner was a simple "Ploughmans plate", neither of us was particularly hungry and there was a fresh loaf of bread. So with a selection of cheese, homemade chutney and some tomatoes and bell peppers we had a scratch meal that was just perfect.

Tonight we are having a baked egg dish that I saw Phyllis Stokes  make. Diced bell peppers and scallions sweated in butter, tipped into a pyrex dish and raw eggs placed on top. Grated cheese and breadcrumbs scattered over and then moistened with a little beer (I used cider) and baked for 20 minutes. I have made crushed roasted garlic potatoes ready to go in the oven, I am looking forward to dinner already.

I forgot to give the recipe for Cauliflower Steaks, it isn't really a recipe, I slice the cauli though into 2" steaks and lay them in a single layer in a baking tin. Then I whisk some oil, salt and pepper and whatever spice I fancy together, last time it was smoked paprika, garlic granules and a squirt of barbecue sauce. Tip it over the steaks and turn them over in it to coat well. Then I just griddle them or pop the tray into the oven for 25 minutes or so. I have made these many times, they are good marinaded in a little Worcestershire sauce and topped with a thick cheese sauce and then baked.

We had a lovely sunny morning and early afternoon but it is raining now and looks to be set in for the night.

The radio has been playing lots of Elvis songs this week, it doesn't seem 40 years ago that he died, I may have a look on NetFlix later and watch one of his films, I enjoyed them at the time but have not seen any of them more than once.

Now I think that it is Tea o'clock, dinner is prepped for the oven and the kitchen is put to rights. All is well in my world.

Weather permitting I will be scooping up Jess and Ivy tomorrow and sliding off for a few hours.  It doesn't look very promising but we will see.

                                         TTFN                                                                    Pam




Tuesday, 15 August 2017

A very senior moment.

Oh Dear, I just had a little read through my blog list and then had a look at the comments for yesterday. One said that it was nice to see me back, back? back from where?I thought Then I saw that I had not posted for a few days, I don't know why, perhaps I was lost in a time warp. It's just a jump to the left....sorry about that.

I had no idea, I thought that I had missed one day. Oops I blame Mary Poppins, she has to be blamed for something.

Anyway, now that that is dealt with I can move forward, onwards and upwards.

I am knitting happily on the Miette, I have 27 rows left on the body before binding off and picking up the sleeves. It has not been an entirely smooth progress, nothing wrong with pattern or yarn, no dropped stitches or anything. My stitchmarkers decided to jump off the needles at every opportunity, they were like Minions determined to escape. I may have to resort to little bits of contrast yarn tied in loops. That was what my Mother used, there were no fancy pants, themed or otherwise, pretties to be had then. Even if there were she would have rather spent the money on more yarn. (only she called it all wool)

I have been sewing, 2 new cushion covers are finished, 2 are waiting for the final seaming and overlocking and 2 are waiting for the back fabric to be selected.

The dress that was cut out at least 6 weeks ago is still in limbo, but it is at the top of the pile. I just have to get the cushion covers done, not to mention the quilt that has been pin basted....Oh and I have an idea for a new play quilt for the grands. Snakes and Ladders on one side and Draughts on the reverse, I aim to make the squares big enough for the children to be the counters on the snakes and ladders side. I will make the dice as well.
What I will change though is the long snake that slides down from square 98 (or 99) to square 2. I can remember sliding down that many, many times and it can be devastating to a small child.

Mmm, just noticed that I have used a smaller sized font than normal, I will leave it and see how it turns out.

I have to dash, it is almost time for walking Rufus, if I am late he stands at the gate a shouts for me.

                                       TTFN                                                            Pam







Monday, 14 August 2017

Technicolour to shades of grey.

Yesterday was a full on technicolour and vista vision day. Bright sun, a warm whispering breeze and hedgerows festooned with glistening berries like fruit gums tipped out of a packet. Black, red, orange(almost) and green, a Kilo was soon gathered and added to a kilo of chopped apples and a pint and a bit of water, boiled up and strained overnight. They have become 4 jars of purple/black jelly, all ready to melt into buttery crumpets or be the jewels in jam tarts. A reminder of late summer days in the gloom of winter.

The sun shone for Ivy, it was a celebration of her first birthday, and it was all about blueberries and cake for her. She delights in her food and although cake is a treat fresh fruit, pepper sticks and plums were pounced upon with glee. She was delighted with the little tote bag filled with a few crocheted flowers and pom poms. The cardigan that I had feared would be a bit on the small side fitted her well, with a little growing room, so another will be on the needles soon.

Today is a shades of grey day, mainly because I have rhubarb wiped and chopped in the maslin pan. It sits there, under a pristine dressing of snowy white sugar, oh so slowly releasing its tart juices. Scattered throughout are a few nuggets of preserved ginger that have been chopped fine, every spoonful of the resulting jam should have at least one, almost fiery nib.

That will be the last pull of rhubarb this year, a sure sign that summer is on its way out. The outer tough stems are softening and bending, like tulips in a vase, and the leaves are crisping and changing colour. In a short time I will be piling the contents of the small compost bin over the plants, after I have lifted and split the bigger ones.

The apple boughs are bent double under the weight of fruit, so much so that I have had to thin them out. The rainfall has caused them to become quite large, even though not fully ripe the flesh is crisp, juicy and sweet.

One is being moved later this year to a more sheltered spot and a Damson will take its place. The area right at the top of the garden, which is scheduled to be cleared this autumn will (fingers crossed) hold another and possibly a Quince, although I have had visions of the dark purple damsons nestled up to some velvety soft greengages. 

There, I have cheered myself up no end writing that, I will have to have a search for the trees a bit later.

The Miette cardigan is growing nicely, I have put the sleeve stitches onto waste yarn and am a few rows into the body. 

I am planning another and will be yarn hunting tomorrow. Luckily Debs has a good stock of Aran weight yarn that I can squidge and squeeze through.

Dinner tonight is Toad in the Hole, the batter mix has been well beaten and is resting. The "sausage toads" are a glorious blend with apple and beetroot taking centre stage and I have some cider flavoured sauce to anoint the finished dish with. Peas and carrots will provide a splash of colour and there is a crumble for pudding, apple and blackerry, of course.

Now I do believe that it is Tea O'clock, with an oaty biscuit perhaps. Not to dunk, yeuk, biscuits should be enjoyed crisp and crumbly, not warm and soggy.

                TTFN                                                 Pam







Wednesday, 9 August 2017

What is that noise?

That noise, my friends, is the death rattle of a Lap top (at least that's what it sounds like to me)
No more listening to my favourite podcasters, I have to put the telly on. Well at least till the lappy goes to the doctors, that will hopefully happen tomorrow. It went west yesterday morning when I was on a call to my sister, but it was Knit and Natter in the afternoon and I had to prioritise.

People come first.

Not to mention the fact that there was cake.

Jammy doughnuts, swoon.

Triple chocolate cookies, drool.

Blueberry muffins, Oh My.

But we are not going to mention cake.

The talented Tina of Loobylou Yarns brought in a basket full of her Homespun, Oh My Word it is drop dead gorgeous (she has a shop so pop on over and have a look. Just don't buy it all)

If I end up able to spin yarn that is half as good I will be a happy bunny.

I must not mention the cake.

The sun has been shining on and off most of the day and now it is glorious, just right for walking Ben and Rufus before dinner.

I finished the socks today and am working on the next WIP in line. That WILL be finished tonight and then there is just my blue cardigan and the SO's Aran weight Flax sweater. I have an Andi Satterlund pattern clamouring to be knit, and the light green yarn to knit it in. I WILL be strong and finish the WIPs first though. I just know that this will be a monogamous knit, it is Miette which is now free on Ravelry, I want one in at least 3 colours.

Most of the prep has been done in the sitting room, fingers crossed it will all be put to rights by the weekend.

I must drink my tea now and get the dogs on their respective leads for a gentle walk in the sunshine. Life is good.

                    TTFN                                                 Pam

PS. I have to mention the cake. I was good only the one doughnut, it was light and fluffy and oozing jam. yummy yum yum.


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Inertia strikes again

Not really total inertia, just a small fit of the "can't help its, and don't intend to try".
 Two days with nothing much to report, walking, cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing. All the usual activities along with more upheaval in the house. A new blind in the sitting room meant that the window recess had to be modified. The recess sides are angled out, to allow more light in I assume, and this has been sorted. It did lead to much measuring and tutting, quite a bit of muttering and some carpentry, all is now well.
I have been busy making some gifts for a small person, you know how it is you trim the threads off the last item, put everything away, and then think "oh perhaps I should make a ....." and out it all comes again. I just have to find a 20" cushion pad and I have finished, although there is this pattern for an owl.....

I will be at knit and Natter today, I missed the last 2 weeks due to hospital appointments, I will soon have more records there than Elvis ever made.
I will take my snuggly blanket to crochet, I expect to have lots of chatter to catch up on. 

My sister has her parcel of sewing and quilting goodies, I have found a few more things and a pack of yarn to send off. That gives me a bit more space and her lots to do once the nights start drawing in. I know that it is early August but I feel Autumn nipping at my heels. I am hoping for an Indian Summer, 6 weeks worth would be lovely.

Now the clock is ticking away and I need to get a wriggle on.

                 TTFN                                            Pam

Saturday, 5 August 2017

So far, so good.

The weather has done a U turn, let's hope that it lasts, the sun is shining and there is more blue sky than cloud. A load of washing pegged out and another getting ready to join it.

I was busy most of yesterday and no knitting and very little sewing happened.
We went to look at the house that is scheduled for decorating and got a pleasant surprise, it was reasonably clean. The kitchen cupboards had the usual scattering of marks and crumbs. My worse fears regarding the oven were unfounded, it doesn't look as though it has been used.
The garden will need a quick tidy up, weed killing on the drive and front hard standing and a small amount of rubbish to move.

There are 4 bedrooms, a lounge and a dining room plus hall stairs and landing to paint. One wall in the dining room is a deep red and one wall in the lounge has been papered with a dark pattern, they may both stay it just depends on what the owner wants.
The SO will be a busy bee for a while, there is another one lined up already.

We had a scratch dinner last night, neither of us was very hungry. I fished 2 Chicken Kievs from the freezer and cooked in the small oven, with a slice of homemade bread it was just enough and a juicy nectarine was the perfect pudding.
Dinner tonight will be meatloaf, I made a batch and froze them in slices a couple of weeks ago and I am planning a steak and kidney pie for Sunday.

Today I have to knuckle down and get that quilt binding finished and cut out the fabric for the bag. I also need to decide whether to make a little dog or perhaps an elephant to complete the set.

Then there is the new heart pattern that Lucy from Attic24 has just posted, oh boy is that calling to me, I can see a row of them on my wall.

Now I better get that second wash pegged out as it will soon be time to collect Rufus.


                             TTFN                                                      Pam

PS. Have a good weekend.




Friday, 4 August 2017

Things.

After several weeks of removing things that I no longer use the house is slowly emerging from it's filled to the gunwales  condition.
 It has been (and still is) a big help that I have a sister who knits (far better than I could aspire to) and would like to try patchwork and quilting.

Several packs of yarn have gone her way and as I said yesterday I have a parcel of the necessary things ready to send to get her started. I am glad of the space and she will be able to try a new craft without any cost. That is more or less how I started quilting, a friend showed me some of her handiwork and when I expressed an interest she stocked me up with all the basics. I am so glad to be able to pass it forward.

I have built up a far too large a selection of quilting notions and it irks me that I am no longer using them. I have used them all at different times but inevitably I have doubles, people have given me various items as presents. 
Along with the rest of the house my goal is to reduce the amount of things here to possibly half. 

I do have an ulterior motive.

There is a list of jobs that I want to get done within the house and once they have been done there is a crafty itch to be dealt with. 

I would love to spin, I have someone who will give me a few lessons. If I find that it is for me then I will need space to house the equipment. The only way that I can generate that space is by letting go of all the things that I no longer use. My mother was a bit of a hoarder but my Granny was of the "if you don't use it get rid of it" type, I need to let that side of me dominate. I do it with the rest of the house and need to apply it to the crafting supplies.

The SO has laid claim to one of my, now emptied, storage units, a very nice hand painted double door cupboard that was designed to hold home office supplies. This now holds some of his more precious drills and tools, these are the ones that are used in the house. All the really heavy duty gear has a home at the top of the garden.

His hand is healing very well, which is a good thing as there is a fairly large job that needs starting ASAP. I will be taking him to see it later. Yes, he could go by himself but I like a nose round the odd house or three, and if there is any cleaning to do I will be doing it. There generally is, some tenants leave the properties in a dreadful state. They don't seem to care that they lose their bond and deposit.

And now for something that is making me very happy.

We spent an hour getting this lot reskeined, well the SO did, I was the tea girl.


These are 2 x 50 gram skeins of what I hope will be self striping, my first attempt at dying stripes, time will tell if I was successful.


These quads are as near as possible identical, there will be some variations but if the skeins are alternated would make a gorgeous sweater.There is more yellow in them than shows and I have called them Dorothy's Dream. The next batch might be linked to the Munchkins or perhaps the Ruby Slippers. On the other hand I may be inspired by something altogether different.

I have skeined up some sock sets and just need to decide what colours to paint them. I love contrasting heels and toes, sometimes I like them to clash. If they are to be a gift then I want a solid that picks up on one of the main colours.

I did not touch my knitting at all and my shoulders and neck are feeling the benefit, my hands are also not at all stiff and achy.
I did manage to sew most of the little quilt binding down and will get that finished today. Then there is just the bag to make and perhaps a soft toy, I haven't made a candy square dog for ages.

Then there are just 3 knitting projects to get finished, the SO has promised to dye me some yarn as a reward for clearing the WIPs. That sounds like a good deal to me. I will have to decide on a pattern and a colour scheme.

Surprisingly we have rain again this morning, I do hope that we have not seen the last of summer. I am hoping to gather as many blackberries as possible and then the elderberries. Hedgerow jelly has been in my mind for a while now and I am hoping to get some in my tum.

I am still on the lookout for a supply of Damsons, they make glorious jam and jelly and add a rich base note to chutney. I should have a few weeks yet but the seasons seem to be rushing along and there is a strong sense of Autumn in the air.
I may have to find room for a tree of my own, I am sure that I can squeeze one in somewhere.

Now I suppose that I ought to get a move on, there is lots to do today.

The cauliflower steaks were absolutely fantastic last night, I served them with mushrooms stuffed with garlic and baby plum tomatoes and cooked on a bed of red onions and more tomatoes. 

Now I really am off to get busy.

                       TTFN                                     Pam











Thursday, 3 August 2017

Splish, splash, splosh

I have just watched the weather report on BBC Breakfast. The lovely Carol was showing the heatwave in Europe and telling holiday makers to be careful and aware of conditions that are potentially very dangerous.

I am green, with either envy or algae after all the rain that we are having.

Still rather wet than living in fear of wild fire. My brother is a fireman in WA and that is an ever present worry down under.

I had an early start today, wide awake before dawn and no inclination to sleep in me. The childs quilt self binding is now pressed and clipped in place ( love Clover wonder clips) and ready to hand sew.
I am taking a day off knitting as my neck and shoulders are a bit stiff and painful.

There are plenty of things clamouring for my time so eating chocolate and watching brain numbing telly is not on the agenda.
I have a parcel to wrap up, goodness only knows where the brown paper is, and get sent off to my sister. She fancies trying some patchwork and quilting and I am only to happy to send a pack of the basics. It is heartbreaking when you buy things for a new hobby only to find that you don't like it. 

I don't think that I will be doing a long walk with Rufus again today although we did manage a half hour at 6:30 yesterday evening. It poured down again minutes after we got back home.

Dinner last night was a curry, tonight is undecided but will feature cauliflower and mushrooms. PING Lightbulb moment. I will marinade some thick slices of cauliflower and cook like steaks. Served with mushrooms and onion rings they will be just the job. I may cook some peas and/or broccoli as well, I like to see green on my plate.

That's all from me, nothing exciting to report. Just same old, same old, like most of us.

                 TTFN                                                         Pam





Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Stitching through the stash


While the rain hammers down and walking turns into paddling I have almost finished the child's quilt.




The colours are much brighter than they show, they come from some charm square packs made from  fabric designed by Kirstie  Allsopp. I bought them a while ago and have only used a few, there are enough left for at least one more small quilt.



I have backed it with this fun print, some of the colours are repeated from the front so I aim to try self binding it. Once the backing is folded round to the front I will see how I feel.




All the threads are pulled through and tied off, the ends will be contained within the binding. I may use some of the backing fabric to make a little bag to hold the quilt. Most small children like a bag to drag around and constantly fill and empty with their treasures.

I considered putting pockets on the front but will leave that idea for the next size up. I made one like that for Junior and he had great fun selecting his favourite little cars to hide in the pockets.

I did a little knitting this morning and the latest sock is almost done, I have started the toe shaping. That will be finished and the next one cast on while telly watching and sofa surfing later. 

I hope to get to see the one armed bandit before the weekend, it all depends on the weather, there is no pleasure in trudging through rain, unless you have a Springer Spaniel of course. My three would get really excited by this weather and demand to go out and then be reluctant to go home.


I did not get to walk the dogs this morning, I am pretty hardy and have waterproof gear but the wind was causing rain whirlpools. It was just a step too far.

Now I am off to trim and press the backing ready to fold round and sew down, I want this finished tonight and will cut the bag out ready for tomorrows sewing.

                        TTFN                                      Pam






Tuesday, 1 August 2017

More of the same, please.

I may as well accept the weather, alternating bands of hot sun and torrential rain. That's what is on offer for a while. The garden will be a jungle when I can finally get out into it.

Knitting socks, as always, dying yarn (lots of fun), pulling fabrics for a small quilt and generally ignoring all but the most pressing housework. As long as kitchen and bathroom are squeaky clean and the bed is made I am happy to lurch around with the vacuum cleaner and flick the duster hither and thither. Once the SO's hand is healed he can go to town.

Another missed Knit and Natter this week, I have to go to the hospital for more Xrays, hopefully it will be the last lot. I will soon glow in the dark.

I did manage to get Ben and Rufus walked in the sunny spells, it was touch and go, I shut the kitchen door after delivering Rufus home and the heavens opened, with a vengeance.


It,s a bit on the skew but here is the yarn that I painted. 4 short skeins for socks, shawls etc and 2 long 50 gram skeins that I hope will knit into matching socks. I rather fancy calling the colour Dorothy's Dream. It is a bit rainbowy, quite yellow and turns into blue green. I put some speckles in just because I like them.

It should be dry and reskeined tomorrow ready for photos.


 This is a short and sweet post as I need to get ready for my "outing" to Swansea.

                  TTFN                                          Pam