Saturday 31 March 2018

Another wet day

JanF  asked what the Walkaway dress was, well this is it. The reasoning was that you could cut it out in the morning and walkaway in it later that day!!
There is a lot of fabric there and miles of bias binding to stitch in place. I have the pattern and one of these days will make it, but it will take me at least a day to make all the binding.

Butterick Patterns B4790 Size FF 16-18-20-22 Misses Wrap Dress, Pack of 1, White

I have made a start on Fran's Carbeth, just the cast on and a few rows of rib. I will be knitting on it in the evening while she is here. In the mornings, before she gets up, I am working on the birthday jumper. The front is now on the needles so it will not be much longer. The yarn is very warm so I want it off the needles, buttons attached and wrapped and put away before the weather warms up. Always supposing that it will.
I know that the Carbeth will be a warm knit but it is cropped and the pure wool is lighter to handle.

We did dip a toe into the chocolate yesterday, in the interest of quality assurance you understand, but it remained untouched for the evening.
For dinner I made a chicken, bacon and leek pie, the SO made cauli and broccoli cheese, roast parsnips and carrot and swede mash.
Then to completely wipe us out I made a steamed syrup sponge pudding with real custard, of course I took a healthy slice and a jug of the custard to W. It went down very well, and very fast I suspect.

In my defence I lay the blame at Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears podcast, she made one on during a recent episode. I was late watching it and the SO was watching with me. We exchanged a glance and as one said We Are Totally Having That On Friday.

NOW we have 5 egg whites in the fridge, there is only one thing for it. Meringue. Woo Hoo, Pavlova anyone? Eton Mess (with raspberries)? Lemon Meringue Pie?

To make it worse I am planning on making a baked cheesecake for Sunday. I may have to reconsider in case we burst.

At least I didn't make hot Cross Buns, b u t there is a load of ribs slathered in a barbecue sauce in the fridge. 4 - 5 hours in a low oven then 30 minutes at the hottest setting and they will be meltingly tender. Sweet potato wedges and home made coleslaw and dinner will be finger licking wonderful. 

I do push the boat out when Fran is home, this was meant to be a full week but work demands have put paid to her days off and she will be back in harness on Tuesday.

Now I have to go and collect Rufus, he is spending the morning with us.

                            TTFN                                      Pam

PS Kay has started a Pudding Club on the podcast and will be working her way through some family favourites. The next one is Spotted Dick, love it. xx

Friday 30 March 2018

Sweet and sweeter.

Here is Francesca's Anouk, luckily she loves it as much as I do.(I will be making one for myself)

I knitted it with Berroco Vintage colour 5121  worsted weight, never again. I did not like the yarn one little bit.  Yes it was buttery soft and no, it was not splitty. It just had no substance, I bought it for the colour. It was the exact shade that Francesca wanted so I persevered. She is happy therefore I am happy.

On a sweeter note, just look what she ordered.

No, not the chocolate! look at the hamper! It is lovely.
The contents will be removed and I will make a liner for it.
Then it will be filled with my luscious skeins of sock yarn, they are in a plastic tub and deserve better, much better.

I have bought the Carbeth Cardigan pattern, written by the amazing Kate Davies. It is next on the list for both Fran and myself, I thought about using a chunky yarn but will use DK held double.
I have some pure wool in a dusty pink in the stash, Fran has laid claim to that. Guess what will be cast on later?
I have ordered some West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley in wine for another for her. I have used this in several projects and love the way it knits up, and it washes and wears beautifully. I will be knitting myself a colour block version from stash, fingers crossed that I have enough bits and bobs to make it up. There is always the option of stripes, or even a fade.

Anyhoo, time is running away with me and I am taking Fran out for the afternoon.

                            TTFN                                         Pam

PS. Go steady with the eggs on Monday, I will. I have antacid for the others. xx

Wednesday 28 March 2018

A little sewing attack coming on.

At last I have unpacked my fabric haul. You could say that I am a happy bunny. You would be spot on.

I have 4 mtrs of this, it was a great find. I have a dress in this fabric that I made about 2 years ago and have been looking for some more ever since. They had it in green as well and now I could kick myself for missing out.

This is destined to become a quilt back at some point.

As is this, it is a pretty print and I have a plan in mind.

This will become a dress and maybe a blouse, I have plenty of fabric and it even has a chance to be  a Walkaway dress.

There is a baby on it's way this summer and this print just sings out to be a quilt. or two.

I know, it's so wrong. It was also very, very cheap. With some backing fabric from the stash it will make an Advent calendar for the grands. each stocking will hold 3 gifts.

These are more like it, part of an Easter Panel. This will not be used this year but next year will make a play quilt for that baby I mentioned earlier.

My knitting is going well, apart from that very old WIP, the front is finished and the sleeves are started. Oops, I forgot to say that I am knitting Fran a cardigan ready for her birthday next November. I have had the yarn for ages but only found it during my Spring cleaning flurry.
I know that there are months to go but "That Time" will be on the horizon so the birthday stuff needs to be collated in good time.

It is a 30/70 blend of wool and acrylic so easy care for her. Very soft and very blasted splitty.

The fade between colours is soft so matching a new ball in was not easy, even getting the sleeves to match was not a  2 minute task. I will show you how well (or not) that I managed it when they are finished.

We have just finished dinner, a chicken and veg curry that was not too bad at all.

I went to the Flying Goose Quilt shop this morning, I needed some fabric for a quilt border and some white on white for the sashing in Lucy's quilt. I had meant to pop into debs wool shop, but when I put my fabric in the car I was on automatic pilot and just drove home. DUH.

Now I think that it is time for a brew followed by some gentle knitting.

                  TTFN                                              Pam

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Procrastination. Can't help its, Bad hair days.

All of the above and lots more that I can not think of right now.

I have had no inclination to write here or even to read my favourite blogs.

I have been busy, but not that busy. Of course the longer you leave something the harder it is to start again. (I do have a  v e r y  l o n g languishing WIP that may get finished one of these days/months/years)

I offer no excuses, there are none.

I have been knitting and sewing with a little crochet on my lap blanket. I had a lovely Saturday in the Flying Goose Quilting shop last week. 
lots of people to talk quilting with as there was a class going on.
I did splash out on some fabric, Francesca's friend Lucy will be staying for a few days later in the year and I want to make a quilt for her.

I still have not unpacked my Fabric Guild order, there has simply not been room to lay it out. I had a quilt top to sew together, that is now done, and then went straight into pulling the fabrics for Lucy.  My new purchases and the stash fabrics have been cut into charm squares and some of the background fabric is cut into jelly roll strips. I am going to make the Falling Charm quilt from The Missouri Star Block magazine. I have made this before in 2 sizes, this one will be 83" by 96".
 No idea what that is in metric, I sew quilts in imperial.

I am trying to decide whether to have my hair chopped off or grow it long again, it is falling on my shoulders now and is just a nuisance. In the interim I am tying it up most days.

I am enjoying the extra daylight in the early evening, the dogs like it as well, their last walk gets longer daily.

The garden will soon be ready to walk and work on, we have had lots of drying wind and sun, I am making tentative plans.

I was bumbling around yesterday afternoon and drifted into the kitchen and made cakes, coffee/walnut and hazlenut (I ran out of walnuts) and a new to me recipe for Banana bread with sultanas and some mixed spice. Not too shabby at all, W had a banana loaf and a decent chunk of the coffee cake and pronounced them to be yuuuumy.

I did a shop on Sunday afternoon in Ammanford, I needed some things from Wilko, I popped into Tesco for something that I can only get there and picked up 2 large roasted chickens for £3.00. They were stripped of meat (in the freezer) and the carcasses in the slow cooker with carrot, onion and some basic herbs within minutes of getting home. The stock simmered away on low overnight and was beautiful, golden and aromatic. I have a good supply in the freezer now. It was serendipitous as I was down to 1 small pot of stock.

There, after being away I am running on . It is past 6:00 so I better find some dinner, we had a large (by our standards) lunch today so something small and snacky will suffice. Not Just Cake as tempting as it sounds.

I hope to keep the bloggy momentum going now that I have broken the ice.

                      TTFN                                      Pam.

Tuesday 20 March 2018

A message to a/some certain anonymous. Then the real stuff for my real readers.

Please do not waste your time trying to get your comments published here. They go straight to spam. with no chips!

There, that's better.

My Spring Fever is on a short pause for dog walking, knit and nattering and some crochet. It will resume on the morrow.

In the mean time I would like to share these with you.

Not very inspiring all scrumpled up.

Much better after a wash and brush up blocking.

This yarn was dyed by the SO and has made a lovely Reyna shawl, a free pattern on ravelry, I am sorry but I have forgotten the designers name.

The wonderful Francesca bought me the DVD "Lost for words" with Dame Thora Hird and Pete Postlethwaite. I saw it on the TV several years ago and found it very moving. Francesca remembered and found it for me.

She also sent me these and a box of Gower Cottage brownies.

I am back from my dog walking, glorious bright blue sky and wall to wall sunshine. BLISS.

Now it is coffee time before I peg out the second quilt of the day. I have changed every one in the house and there is just one more to wash. I have no intention of wasting such a wonderful drying day. I can already nearly smell the sun dried quilt that I will be sleeping under tonight.

                      TTFN                                           Pam

Monday 19 March 2018

Snowed Under

Yes, you read that correctly. We. are not snowed in, we did have a covering but it has almost gone now. 
The SO has recovered, and has a few free days, we got a dose of Spring Fever (it is the 19th after all) and started to go through the house. 
We are doing the "get right into the corners and don't forget the skirting behind the radiator" thing, and loving it. All the dust bunnies and little scraps of tinsely stuff are being flung out, along with old shopping lists and bits of paper with scribbled memos and phone numbers. You know what I mean, the odd safety pin, biro, peg, cotton  bud and button that were put down rather than away and bred when our backs were turned.

The dresser has been stripped bare and polished with a good dollop of elbow grease and beeswax. All the china has been washed and dried and is ready to go back.

I walked the dogs in a bitterly cold wind first thing but since then the wind has dropped and the sun is blazing away. I have quilts, freshly washed, blowing on the whirly thingamajig and the windows are positively gleaming.

We have just stopped for a cuppa before I get the dogs walked again. Ben has been watching us with a bemused expression, he is not accustomed to this level of activity from the both of us.

My fabric has arrived but the parcel has to wait for a while, I can well do without any distractions right now.
I still have 2 kitchen cupboards to empty, clean and then go through the contents with the aim of jettisoning a few things. I have managed to fill a bag from the ones already done. Toaster bags that hardly hold a slice of bread never mind a sandwich! Gone.

Oops, The SO is on his feet and my conscious is feeling guilty.

See you on the other side. 

                       TTFN                                  Pam

Saturday 17 March 2018

In the Doldrums

On second thoughts it may have been the Bermuda Triangle.

I seem to have been rushing around like that Blue Bottomed Fly with no resulting forward motion.

The SO has been ill, he picked up a nasty bug from somewhere, and has been indisposed. That is the politest explanation that I could come up with. He is looking brighter today but there is still a tinge of greyish green around the gills.

I have 2 guests for the afternoon, Rufus and Dawie. They are chock full of energy and we have been out for a walk to try to burn some of it off.
(D, who is owned by Dawie, has taken W to Swansea to look at new cars, b o r i n g, I was all to happy to dog sit.)

It was a new experience for me, the sky was bright baby blue, the sun was so hot that I could feel the skin on my face getting tight, the wind was chilly and there were snowflakes dancing all around. That is the second flurry today, farther down towards Cardiff there is an Amber snow alert. I wonder what we will get for Easter.

I still have to take those photos, and sew buttons on. I have almost knitted another shawl and have 9 out of 20 large quilt blocks finished. I find it difficult to avoid those Oh So Tempting rabbit holes, I do not so much fall in as dive headfirst

No self control. 
Not an iota.
It is such fun.

In fact it is so much fun that I am digging one myself, I hope to be at the diving stage by Monday.

All because I stumbled upon a You Tube video that caught my eye and my interest. It was Serendipitous that I was near a very large branch of The Range later the next day. I found several bits and bobs to help me along the path to the rabbit hole.

Now I have some fabric to cut into 5" squares ready to lay out more quilt blocks. I want to get them made and pressed by the end of play tomorrow. I am not desperate to make the top as I still have to decide on the border, or not to have one.

Once I find my mind I will make it up.

                 TTFN                                                    Pam

Tuesday 13 March 2018

Here I go again.

It was a hospital day yesterday, W had an appointment with his consultant. Of course we arrived on time and his cast was removed promptly and then it was off to X ray.

Then we sat and waited for his name to be called, and we waited, and then we waited some more. Rinse and repeat. Then the announcement was made that the clinic was running an hour late.
Hey Ho, I knitted and we chattered like friends who had not met up for months.
Eventually his name came up and off he tottered, after 7 months in a cast he was definitely tottering.
Good news, the cast stayed off and he has fairly rigid inserts to go into his shoes. There was a sting in the tale as this could come back at any time and he has to be very aware of changes, however slight, in his feet. He also has to wear "sturdy" shoes with  really firm soles.
We do have to go back next week for an assessment which may show that he will need special shoes. Time will tell. That would need a couple more visits to the clinic.

I woke up this morning sneezing and have worked my way through half a box of tissues, I am inclined to blame the warm, dry air in  the hospital.

I have to 'fess up to not sewing any buttons on. I did clear the little bit of ironing though, it was displacement activity. I do not enjoy sewing buttons on one little bit.

I want to take some photos of my latest knits to show you, fingers crossed it will happen later on this morning. I plan ongoing to knit and natter this afternoon, I missed out last week, I will be stopping at a charity shop to leave a few full bags.

The sun is streaming through my windows and I have washing whirling round in the machine. The forecast for the rest of the week is not good, but we will see.

Doddy has left us now, I like to imagine him and Brucie side by side talking the hind leg of a few donkeys as they compare their careers. There is a program, all about him, on Channel 5 tonight and I have it set to record.

Now I have to get Ben out of the corner of the sofa and ready for his walk.

                 TTFN                                                    Pam

Sunday 11 March 2018

Battery included....and now charged.

I have been AWOL. 
There was an incident.
It involved a charger lead.
It also included a set of sharp teeth.
I will never leave the charger on the floor again.
It was not the SO.
It was not me.

The Jury is out.

A new charger was found and purchased.

I have been knitting away AND I have managed my 3 out of 4 every day bar Friday. It is wonderful to walk  in the sun shine, even if the wind has a pronounced chill. I have scarves and shawls, not to mention hats and gloves.

I spent a great day in The Flying Geese Quilt shop yesterday, lots of lovely peeps talking fabric and patterns. Deep Joy.

Talking about joy, I received another box of those extremely wonderful little bites of heaven from Gower Cottage Brownies, a gift from Francesca, just as delicious as the first box. mmmmmmmm

I was browsing through the yarn and pattern stash, much better than polish and dusters, when I happened upon the Spindrift Shawl pattern by Helen Stewart. I have had it for a couple of years, I think, to go with it I found 2 x 100 gram balls of Cherish yarn, I picked them out of Deb,s bargain bin some time last year. It is a DK weight Acrylic yarn so my shawl would have been far too big, and I would have run out of yarn, had I tried to knit the full pattern.
Instead I stopped the SS section after 68 rows and went into the lace section. I have now reached  the last row before the picot bind off but am going to kit one more lace pattern repeat. I have enough yarn and it will balance the finished shawl far better.

I popped into Deb,s wool shop as soon as the doors opened yesterday and got the buttons for The Huge Grey Cardigan. (It is not that huge, just very thick.) Sewing those on is scheduled for this evening, I also have to sew the buttons on Francesca,s cardigan and get that in the post tomorrow.

I had a gift voucher for the Fabric Guild and this morning I had a looong look at their online shop and spent that (I didn't want it to go bad) so a rather large parcel will be heading my way at some point next week.

The sun is shining, all the windows are open wide, Spring is almost here.

I am about to think about lunch, a whatever sandwich perhaps. Dinner will be Steak, mushrooms, griddled tomatoes and either chips or jacket potato and a pile of salad. An easy meal with minimal fuss and prep, just what the doctor ordered.

Pudding? .....Chocolate Brownie of course.....possibly a dollop of clotted cream. Maybe a slice of mango.

Possibly? Maybe? Who am I kidding? Not you for sure.

Time for a cuppa.

I hope that all you Mum's out there in the UK are having a bit of a spoily day. It is Mothering Sunday. Which is really all about your Mother Church, but has been turned into a day for Mums to be treated.

                            TTFN                                  Pam

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Eat your heart out Meatloaf

Many  years ago Meatloaf sang the words "two out of three aint bad" . 
Today I managed three out of four.

I went for a long walk with Rufus.
It did not rain.
The sky was blue.
The sun shone down on us.

There was mud but we avoided it, much to the dismay of Rufus.

As a massive Brucie Bonus I have washing drying outside.

That beats Meatloaf hands down.

Ben was also very happy with his walk and went quite a bit further than usual. Certainly very much further than  yesterday.

And there's more, I found another  new to me Podcast "Happy Bubble". It has been going for a year so I am starting from the beginning.

The grey super chunky cardigan is progressing well, I am just about to start the neck shaping on the fronts. Like the sleeves I  knit them together to try to eliminate any row counting mistakes. They will be finished this evening and, fingers crossed, I will get the shoulders seamed together and pick up the million stitches for the button band.

I have just realised that it is kit and natter day, I will not make it as I am in the throes of housework. I can not leave it as there are heaps of things littered through, all in the interest of culling the population explosion of "stuff".

It all needs bagging ready to be moved out before I need to attend to dinner. That will be egg based I think, perhaps an omelette, perhaps with some  chips. Made in the air fryer  they are very low fat and still very "chippy". Oh! Yes! there is a new loaf of bread so a chip butty is a real possibility. I am a child at heart, but there will not be melted butter dripping everywhere. There could be, I have butter. But there has to be limits, or I could descend into a Chips with everything scenario.

Just like all "treat" items they have to be an occasional thing to be a treat.

On that note I am off to peel potatoes.

                     TTFN                                               Pam

Monday 5 March 2018

Cabin Fever

The snow has gone, in its place we have rain. .Lots of rain. I think that I miss the snow.
I did get the dogs walked this morning, Ben was very very reluctant and we were not out long. Rufus was even more exuberant than normal and we had the full length walk, despite the rain. He was happy to splash along with the occasional bounce into a particularly big puddle. Boys!

Ben has retired to his basket and is curled up with his back to the room.

I have had a riffle through my clothes and a few things have been added to the donate pile. I have Jess, Buy less Live slow, to thank for my renewed enthusiasm in the Use it or Move it department. She kick started my mojo after posting about her 40 bags in 40 days project at the beginning of Lent. I had been pretty much on the ball for most of last year and had removed heaps of "stuff" to various charity shops, but lost the impetus towards the end of November. Which charity shop depended on where I was heading. In the interests of economy, of both time and money, I do not make a car journey for one thing.

I do not feel virtuous,  just vaguely embarrassed that I had allowed so much into the house in the first place. There are still areas where a new broom (preferably of the 3' wide variety) needs to be wielded. I still have an inordinate amount of yarn and fabric but with only the one pair of hands it will be some while before it has shrunk sufficiently to make me at ease.

I have not forgotten the idea of a giveaway and have started to assemble a few things to choose from. Watch this space.

Back to the title, after refusing to travel, using any form of transport other than Shank's Pony, in the snow. Only to have the rain pounding down making any trip a not altogether pleasant experience. 
I am feeling the need for a long walk. 
In the dry.
Without mud. 
With a blue(ish) sky and maybe a glimmer of sun shine.
 I could hop in the car and go somewhere, but it would still be wet and miserable and be petrol wasted as I do not need or want to go shopping.

I will console myself with some knitting, and possibly a little sewing, and probably some tea.

I want to thank you for all the comments yesterday, panic buying was wide spread by all accounts. I had a quick recce through the pantry, freezer and fridge and could manage for a month or two. It would lead to some interesting meals but there would be healthy food on the plates.

I am still coping well with the broomsticks and am well on the way with the fronts of the super chunky cardigan. It will be "fun" when I get all the button band stitches picked up, I feel that it will be akin to having a lap full of toddler. You know how a garment can slither around when it gets to that stage. Hey Ho it will pass.

I have done most of the chores for today, there is just the vacuum cleaner to be manhandled through. I do mean Man handled as the SO has affirmed that he will perform that task.

I am off to delve into the kitchen and assemble my ingredients for tonight's dinner. It will be a surprise, as much for me as the SO. Based around whatever my hand lands on first.

                   TTFN                                       Pam

Saturday 3 March 2018

Broomsticks with Bea and Rose

I am coping surprisingly well with the 10 mm needles, I think the fact that they are from my set of Chiagoo interchangeables is helping.

The back of the SO,s cardigan is done and I am well on the way to finishing the sleeves. The pattern is formed with bands of stocking stitch, garter stitch with some moss stitch in panels.

It is far better in the flesh than on the photo, the colour has come up a bit darker on screen.

I have not had to cast anything on in 4 ply to give my hands a rest, in fact I have socks on the needle that are languishing in the corner. 

I am knitting away while binge watching the Bea and Rose podcasts, I spotted one by chance and enjoyed it so went back to the beginning. I do have to have a break between each episode just to give my eyes a break (and make a brew). If you have not seen these I recommend having a quick look.

The snow  has all but gone now, I went into Ammanford  after the MOT ( a very nice, well within budget job) and there was scarcely a trace of snow and lots of empty shelves in Tesco. I only had a small list and filled that easily.

Today we did have a little flurry or two but the sun came out and the pavements are clearing. Both the dogs were happy with their walks today, Rufus was full of bounce and had to have a little extra time.
I had to remind Ben that he is no puppy a few times as he was determined to find every little drift and plunge head first into it.
Both he and the SO (who walked to the post office to get a card sent off) are now snoring in unison beside me.

I think that is all I have to share today, Francesca's cardie is blocked and I will get the buttons sewn on later and put it in the post on Monday. She sent a text from work on Thursday saying that although the journey in had been long and cold she was toastie warm, thanks to hand kitted socks, cardie, hat , mittens and shawl.
I knew that it would all come in handy.

Time for a cuppa before the dogs have their 4:00 o'clock walk.

Take care and enjoy the weekend as much as possible.

                    TTFN                                               Pam

Thursday 1 March 2018

Much the same here as everywhere.

Nothing much to report, it is cold, it is snowing, the wind has moved up a notch now that it is March.

I am knitting the button band on Francesca,s Anouk. it will be blocked later today. 

The yarn has arrived for a cardigan for the SO, a gift from Francesca, it is Life super chunky by Stylecraft in Smoke 75% premium acrylic and 25% wool. It feels soft and bouncy and is machine washable.

The pattern is in a copy of Knit Now magazine, issue no. 67. I watched the latest Inside number 23 podcast and Katie had bought a digital version for a sweater pattern, the Lausavisa. I loved the look and had a little paddle round Ebay, Woo Hoo I found a copy and got it for 80p, postage was £1.60 so it was a good buy. There is a pattern for a bottom up seamless cardigan as well as the super chunky that I intend to knit. I will be looking through the yarn stash of chunky for the Lausavisa and fingers crossed I will  not have to buy much, if any. 
The car has to go for it,s MOT tomorrow, ( fingers crossed that the weather does not turn nasty) I have budgeted twice what I hope it will cost, belt and braces and all that.
 So, if it comes in right on, or less than, my hoped for budget I may just have a spree and buy the recommended yarn. I have had a look and it is not finger burning pricey at all. £5.39 per 100 gram ball and I will need 9 balls. My birthday is on the horizon so I may well drop some house sized hints here and there.

There is no rush as I have 3 projects lined up to knit first. I am a bit wary for the super bulky knit, 10mm needles look more like broomsticks than kitting pins. I intend to cast on something in DK yarn to knit in tandem and give my hands a rest.

Of course if storm Emma collides with The Beast from the East and they shed their combined fury on South Wales, as is being forecast, I may well have the 3 knitted up in no time. We are on a Red Alert from this afternoon. I am just hoping that it misses us and does it,s worst over the Irish Sea.

Now I think it is time to get back to Anouk, 5 rows to knit and then the bind off.

                  TTFN                                                Pam

PS. I think that it is time I had a Giveaway so will be having a rummage in the sewing room later. I thought that if I can find some yarn and fabric that go reasonably well together it might appeal.
(and it will help with the stash busting, 2 birds with 1 stone)
Pam xx