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Wednesday, 16 October 2019

crawling before I walk

I think it will be while before running is on the menu.
It has been a long and bumpy ride, the viral infection was a doozy, mind you I don't miss the 15 or so kilo that melted away.

I had a few goodish bits along the way but physically and mentally I was a train wreck  for quite a while.

I am never ill.
I don't do ill.

Well, never say never.

My poor sewing room looks dusty and neglected. My friends also, well not dusty, just neglected. 
I have ventured in to tidy a bit, some simple sewing has been attempted. It wasn't too unsightly, but far from wonderful.

I have been taking some short walks with the dogs, weather permitting, but the garden is a bit wild and woolly. It will keep. 

I had a bit of a boost a couple of weeks ago. I opened the door to find a basket of home made and grown goodies with a lovely card.
It was from Jess, Buy less, Live Slow. It gave me a boost and a few days later I was able to go for a short visit. Her girls are delightful and it was a tonic.

I hope to be back here frequently soon, but the habit needs feeding slowly. I am unused to forming my thoughts into prose but it will come.

I want to thank all of you for the messages, Michael did reply to some. It would have been all but the laptop finally gave up the ghost with a good impersonation of Monty Python's Parrot.

I now have a nice new one to play me up.

                                  TTFN                   Pam

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Still Breathing

But only just.
I have just surfaced to say that I have had Woman Flu, much worse than Man could imagine let alone live through.
I have sneezed through a mountain of tissues, swallowed useless medication and upped my intake of vitamin C till I almost turned as yellow as a lemon.
I am still sneezing and coughing but it is abating.
I will be back with you in a couple of days.
The SO has been wonderful and Ben and Herbie have given total support in the cuddle department.

                      TTFN                         Pam


Monday, 10 June 2019

More on yesterday.

Yesterday we decided that as last Sunday was a lovely lazy day we would do the same.
It did not quite work out as we did go out, I told you about that already.

I took the "me/us day" up a notch.
Usually I am a jump in the shower, wash hair and body, rinse and get out of there at top speed. Far too impatient to run a bath.
Well, yesterday I started the bath running and then went down to make tea, once it was brewed I took it back up and lolled about in the bath. Bubbles up to the danger line, I had to slither down very carefully to avoid a bubble cascade, and it was just on the hot side of comfortable.
I sipped my tea and felt the aches in my joints melting away, bliss, sheer bliss.

Once the dogs were walked and fed we set off, a quick pit stop in Lidl for a couple of things and then on to Neath. We were heading to B&M, known to us as "burgers and mayo", they do have a whole heap of tat but the plants are good and reasonably priced.

We were back home in good time and more tea was made and drunk, lunch was a naughty pastie from Morrison's. Okay but not as good as they used to be.

We spent the afternoon lazing on the sofa, dogs sprawled every which way. The SO was reading and playing games on his mobile, I was knitting while Captain Hastings AKA Hugh Fraser read an Agatha Christie Novel to me. Not just to me you understand, there are many audible books on YouTube.

Then we had dinner, a bit late after those pasties, and settled down to watch some "vintage tv" Murder City, dated but still watchable.

It was only as we were getting ready to go up that I realised we had not drawn the giveaway.

Much fussing with pen and paper, a hunt for the paper scissors that were hiding in plain sight, and the deed was done at breakneck speed.

The bag goes to Cherie, a crafting Guru from Yorkshire. I hope she does not look too closely. let me have your address Cherie and I will get it sent off.
Jackie of, In the land of the living skies11 from Canada
and Jo of Through the Keyhole each win a mini skein so again let me have your addresses and I will get them sent off.

I will not publish your comments if you chose that way or you can email me.

Knitter 2, if you let me have your address I will send you some yarn for your Charity knitting.

Thank you all for entering, I will not leave it too long before running another.

We are having a glorious day but the rest of the week looks horrendous.

                       TTFN                                           Pam


One down, two to go. Cherie has responded, many thanks, and I can now parcel that up and get it sent off.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

All Change, and fast.

I got up this morning to warm dry air, patchy grey and blue sky with a strong hint of sunshine.
By the time I had made and drunk a cuppa the wind had got up, the sky was now all grey and the temperature had dropped noticeably.
An hourish later we were on our way to Neath and it started to spit with rain, we drove through that into blue shies and sunshine.
Neath was warm and our few purchases were soon done, a few plants for the pots and 2 roses, Peace and Queen Elizabeth both have a good scent, these are for the back garden and will be in large pots. They will stay in smaller pots for now and once put in their final large pots will be under planted with bulbs. I want these on the patio as I spend more time out there since the SO redid it last year.

I digress, on the way back we drove into a cloud burst and had to sit in the car outside the house for several minutes. It was raining fit to bust with hail.
The rain slowed down and we hurried in with our bags. By the time the kettle was filled and turned on the sun was shining, it was so hot that steam was rising.

In the hour that we have been back we have had more rain, more strong sun shine and now it is greying over again.

My garden plans have been put on hold, I did just slip out to pot on a small rose. It was part of a gift from Francesca and needed to be moved outside.

Dinner is in the slow cooker, Pork shoulder cut into chunks, carrots sliced into chunky batons, an onion peeled and cut into wedges and a yellow pepper, deseeded and left in large chunks.
Over these I poured a cook in sauce, 1/2 cup of runny honey, 1/4 cup each of dark soy sauce, and ketchup (I used a beer barbecue sauce this time) and a tsp each of dried thyme and oregano.
The setting in high and it will sit and cook away for 5 - 6 hours. I have some small potatoes in a roasting tin with the rind off the pork joint, they will go into the oven for an hour. I may leave the rind in for longer to crisp up, it just depend on how fast it cooks.

I have made a Lime cheesecake for pudding, for the next 3 days, I bought some limes in Home Bargains 45p for 3. Bargain.

The sun has just come out again and is shining through the window, almost burning the back of my neck.
It might be  Flaming June after all.

If I want a hot sauce, on ribs for instance, I soak a dried Chipotle pepper and chop it down into the ingredients listed above. I have seen tons and jars of Chipotle in adobo but they are very pricey. Sometimes I swap out honey for Maple syrup and I have used the syrup from a jar of preserved stem ginger. 

We will not eat all the pork, some will be shredded into some sauce and make pulled pork over a jacket potato later in the week.

Now I am going to venture out and see how fast the weather changes this time.

                           TTFN                                 Pam

Friday, 7 June 2019

The times they are a'changing.

So sang the mighty Bob and I seem to have caught the drift and gone along with it.

I used to watch several, if not more, podcasts and read loads of blogs that are not on my list. Recently that time has gone to other pursuits, not the least of which is sewing through the stash.
There are still some podcasts that I want to watch, Sew Sweet Violet in one and there was a new one to watch this morning.
I do miss Katy from Inside Number 23 and of course Danni from Little Bobbins. Both of these ladies have babies and no doubt have precious little time for much else

Many of the others seem to have become all about how much yarn they have bought, most of it top end, Indie dyed. There is no way that the majority of knitters and crocheters can and do have that sort of budget available. I did sit through one a few weeks ago and noted what she had bought, then did some research and discovered that it was more than most peoples monthly income. if she knits all day and every day till she is 100 it is doubtful that she will knit through her wall of yarn, never mind the stuff in other places.
Jealous? maybe a little.
Would I emulate? Not on your Nelly. ( A few years ago I may have bought more but then I was working and did not have the time to knit so much. So still a no I guess)
'Nuff of that.

What I have moved over to is reading, I have always been a bit of a bookworm but it had slipped from at least 3 a week to 1 every now and then. That changed when I was sent a book and then read about The Letter and then The Key, both by Kathryn Hughes. I read the gift (and passed it on to a friend) then found the other 2 on Amazon and signed up for Kindle Unlimited. I am 8 books down the line and picked up 3 from the Charity books in Tesco yesterday.

It seems that I am a "feast or famine" type, I know that my Mum fell well into that category. She would have looked at podcasts and knitted her heart out all winter and then lived in the garden all summer. 
She never had WIPs and Project bags, just 1 thing at a time and it and her needles and "wool" (I never heard her refer to YARN) all lived in a tall fabric bag that was supported on a wooden frame. A bit like a laundry bag, there was always a bar of Cadbury's Whole nut in there and quite often in the winter a small bottle of scotch, To Keep the Cold Out.

I am getting into the garden most days, it did start off today with the rain that was forecast so I will be inside. I have managed to put Blue and White flowers in my tubs this year. Totally unplanned but there were some wonderful White geraniums on sale and trays of Ageratum and Blue Lobelia at amazing prices. They had been woefully neglected but some TLC, water and a light liquid feed soon had them sorted.

I still have a considerable amount of swelling in my right hip and my knee was also affected, no spinning on the wheel for me. I have dug out the drop spindle though and will try that out later.

I hesitate to say that I am finding sock knitting a touch tedious. That of course means that by the end of play today I will be aching to cast on at least 5 pairs.

I do however want to cast on a summer cardigan, I am currently flicking through patterns on Ravelry. I only have a dozen or so on the short list. This technology gives me far too many choices and I end up dithering for ages.

I have turned the heels on my hand dyed socks, I have changed my mind about the leg and will be knitting 4 rows in pattern and then an inch or so in stocking stitch for roll top shorties. I have worn my Rose City Rollers to death and could do with a few pairs. See What I Mean.

The So has been rained off but has 2 more jobs to look at today, goodness knows when he will be starting those.

Dinner will be Pasta with the Tahini Mushroom sauce that I found on Loving It Vegan. We both liked that very much and it will be appearing fairly frequently. 

I think that will do for today, I have a cuppa and possibly a slice of cake to enjoy.


Oooh, I watched Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears making coconut Victoria Sponge and had to copy. It is Delish. I did not have coconut cream so opened a tin of coconut milk and used the thick layer off that. Way To Go, I tell you.

                        TTFN                                          Pam


Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Playing not lazing

Rain stopped work outside today.

It has turned Tuesday to Sunday, we had a slow start to the day and then did a quick swoop through Tesco.
The SO cleverly put a pot of coffee on before we left so once we had thrown carefully put the shopping away we had a cup. Then I started to batch cook for the freezer. Meat sauce and veggy sauce all ready to be portioned up. A chicken cut into pieces is open freezing and a whole one is nestled in beside it, there is another in the fridge ready for a roast dinner tomorrow. They were on offer and we picked the very biggest from the cabinet. 

I have slobbed about reading for a fair while but now feel the urge to move and do something.
All the normal chores were done first thing, there are a few things to iron and some fabric that needs pressing, it was washed yesterday. 
Then I will get a pattern traced off and pinned down, fingers crossed, before dinner.

All in all a very self centered day and very relaxing. Tomorrow's weather should be better so I will hopefully be in the garden again. 
I managed some time outside yesterday and got 4 planters done and put in place, fuchsias geraniums and ageratum. They should provide a splash of colour for several months.

There was one wrinkle though, we had letters from Sky saying they had been informed that we were going with another provider and confirming that our contract would be terminated on the due date. After a very long telephone conversation that has been cancelled. 
Their suggestion was that someone local has changed provider and given the wrong house number. 
Mmmm, I think that it is more likely that someone was entering the details into the computer program and hit the wrong number.

Now I am going to scurry off and get busy, I am a bit worried that I may get stuck in the corner of the sofa.

It seems an age since I batch cooked and I really enjoyed it. I also enjoy the fact that it means a few easy meals in the future.

                        TTFN                                 Pam

Monday, 3 June 2019

Will it, Won't it ?

Be dry and fine? The sun is trying hard to push the clouds aside but there is a chilly wind that is battling against it.
Never mind, although I have work to do in the garden some of that can be moved to the greenhouse.
Then of course there is the house to be gone through. 
We had a very lazy day yesterday, minimal jobs were done, quite a bit of telly watching happened, lots of chatting and laughing, a bit too much eating (there was chocolate). We had a dinner that was a bit hit and miss on the healthy front, a big bowl of coleslaw, ribs in a Chipotle sauce and jacket potatoes. It doesn't seem too bad, we do not like our coleslaw to be running with mayo BUT we do like our jacket pots to be quite slick with butter. The real yellow stuff, quite salty and lots of it. Hey Ho it is only now and again and every scrap of visible fat was removed from the ribs.

The latest pair of gift socks have been tucked away,


I can not remember where the yarn came from, it was caked up ages ago but it is a commercial yarn.




Socks for me, cast on yesterday and worked on while we watched some old episodes of Silent Witness. Once again I do not remember what the provenance of the toe yarn is. They were going to be a vanilla pair but when I joined on my hand dyed yarn I had a change of heart. I just put a couple of cables in to make it more interesting, once I have turned the heel I will add them to the back of the leg. 



My camera has been a disappointment, some shots are so fuzzy, some show completely wrong colours and I have to find a replacement.
The "pattern" is so simple, I have 30 stitches on each needle so I knit 4, purl 2, cable 4 right, knit 6, pearl 2, cable 4 left, pearl 2 and knit 4. Then 3 rows of knitting the knit stitches and pearling the pearl ones. repeat from the beginning.

Not a "design" by any stretch of the imagination, a Turkish cast on and then I will use the Fleegle heel and  finish the leg with a twisted rib and stretchy bind off.

I have just paused to put some fabric into the wash, I fancy a bit if dressmaking before finishing off the latest quilt. It will not take long to dry as I found some very lightweight cotton fabric. The pattern is from my latest book, and there is a lot to be gathered in at the waist, so it needs to be light. Whether I will like the finished garment remains to be seen. I will be adding pockets either patch or side seam and I will wear the dress, possibly just in the garden.

Before I get on with my day I want to remind you all that there is a giveaway on yesterdays post. You can win one of a pair of 20 gram mini skeins and/or a zippered bag. If you want to enter for yarn and bag then do so.  
Get your comment on there by Sunday lunchtime (our time) and the names will be drawn later that day.
( There will be some extras) I am happy to post anywhere in the world  so do not even consider the cost to your home. I will label them as GIFT, just in case you have the same stringent rules as we suffer with.

Tonights dinner will be something a bit on the spicy side, I made rather a lot of Chipotle sauce yesterday and want to use it up.

                       TTFN                                              Pam







Sunday, 2 June 2019

Wet and Windy with a Giveaway.

The weather that is, my garden is happy for a respite from the dry wind that has sucked so much moisture up.



I had a little play with some food safe dyes yesterday, I injected the dye into cakes then, once they were heat set and spun in the washing machine, I wound them into skeins.
These were some that I caked up ages ago after taking 20 grams off to make mini skeins.

I dyed the cakes first as they would take the longest to dry.






spinning may have helped with the drying time but it was a job and a half getting the cakes into skeins, as you can see it is a bit raggedy looking.


The colours are much quieter than my normal palette and that was deliberate.



As I said, a bit raggedy, but they will be wound into cakes and cast on later today. There is enough here for socks for both Francesca and me, mine will have toes knitted with commercial yarn because I have very pokey toes. This soft merino nylon blend would not stand a chance.




These are the mini's, they are  stronger shades than the large skeins and there is much less natural colour left. They are around 20 grams, more rather than less.

I am offering these as a giveaway, well 2 people will get 1 each. for those who have no interest in knitting or crochet I have something else.


A scrappy zipper bag, 11" tall and 15" wide, padded, quilted and fully lined.


It opens wide and is pale so that you can see what you are looking at.



I have stuffed it with 300 grams of yarn but it would be ideal for make up, hair brushes, sewing projects or anything that needs to be kept together.

If you fancy one of these 3, drop me a comment. Possibly tell me what you would use the bag for or what project the mini skein would be used for. 
I will post anywhere and there may be some extras popped in.

I would like to restrict this to my followers, old and new and will run it for 7 days. The SO will pull names out of something vaguely hattish around this time next Sunday.

I look forward to reading your ideas, so get those comments rolling.

I have finished that latest socks but they can wait till tomorrow, and you will be able to see the new cast on as well.

Now the clock is making it's way to midday and I think that a brew is in order and perhaps it is time to consider some lunch.

                              TTFN                                  Pam









Friday, 31 May 2019

Almost there,

My leftover blocks have been married to the new blocks and make a pleasing partnership.


Not a very flattering view, the angle is too severe.


Better, but the lighting is all wrong.


The view from the bottom , still not wonderful.


I still have to decide upon border fabric, shall I use a solid, a floral or something else, whatever that may be. Polka dots, geometric I will ponder on it.

Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

At the moment the top is 60" wide and 78" long, if I do add a border it will need to be at least 5" wide all round. That would make a decent double bed quilt. Left as is it will make a generous single bed quilt.
What do you think, shall I, shan't I. then of course I have to decide what to do with it. I really do not need another quilt and neither does any one in the family. ( I have enough charm squares to make at least 2 more). 
The curse of being a quilter, it is almost at the same point with knitted socks. I am about to start the ribbing on my current pair and they will be the last pair for the SO's  gift box. I can make 3 more pairs for Francesca and probably 3 more for L. I am about to start dyeing 500 grams of sock yarn, oops.

We had a glorious day yesterday and this morning started off well but had become grey and muggy. I did get Herbie out for a good long walk early this morning and he and Ben are happily sharing a sofa, having kicked all the cushions onto the floor, and snoring one against the other.

I just have to do a little ironing and then vacuum all the threads up and today's chores are done. Dinner will be Shepherds Pie with cabbage, carrots and gravy, the top will be a root vegetable mash. I quite fancy making a pudding but have no idea what. I will wait for inspiration to strike.

The bread machine is chugging away, 3 loaves over 2 weeks seems to be the norm for me to make. Any more and I end up with too much in the freezer.

Hardly any shopping needed, just a top up of milk, fruit and veg.

We have been binge watching The line of Duty and tonight we start the last season, it could be a late one. Then killing Eve is coming back soon and I am looking forward to that.

I have done a little reading over the past few weeks, nothing heavy, just to give my hands a rest from crafting. I like audio books and find that I can rattle off simple knitting and crochet whilst listening. It defeats the object though as I can not just sit and listen, my hands have to be occupied.

I do believe that is it for today, nothing else springs to mind so I will start my last 2 tasks.

                       TTFN                                       Pam





Wednesday, 29 May 2019

How fast............

Did I jump down that rabbit hole?
Very.
It took maybe, oh about a split second.

Yes, I know I have played with yarn dyeing before.
Yes, I did have fun.
I have knitted some up.
Given some as gifts.
I even sold some.

But this was different.
This was dyeing fibre,
that I had prepared from a smelly, greasy fleece


A blue blend that looks vaguely purplish in some lights and a variegated pink. The blue/purple has tiny flecks of pink which I hope will just add a light touch here and there.


This smokey purple was a lucky accident, it was Lavender and then the person next to me managed to drop her pot of mixed dye and quite a bit splashed into my fibre. In this form it looks just like the view of the heather on the Black Mountain. I am very happy with it. I did not dye all my fibre and the rest is cooling down after a session with dye and microwave this morning, I hope that it will be a variegated turquoise which, fingers crossed, will fit in with my trio of colours.

I watched one of the group injecting dye into cakes of hand spun
yarn, the results were really lovely.
I may have ordered some off white yarn, from wool warehouse, to practice with. The SO wants to play so there may will be a decent sized parcel arriving in the next few days.

I know, what about knitting the stash? What can I say? I am impatient to try the new method. It will be a while before the fresh fleeces arrive at Spinning Group. I have no excuse, and plenty of enabling at home.
( It was also on sale)

I will be sure to share with you.

I have carded all yesterdays dyed fibre and will start spinning tomorrow. I have some sewing that I would like to get finished today.
It is a wet and windy day so being tucked away in the sewing room finishing the latest project is very appealing.

On that note I feel that lunch is imminent, if not it should be.

                             TTFN                                  Pam


Monday, 27 May 2019

i love you from....

the bottom of my scrappy stash. Apologies to The Beautiful South, such a shame that they are no more.

Thank you all so much for my happy birthday wishes and I am trying not to let all the praise go to my head. If it grows my hair will look too short.

I have seized "the bull by the horns" and started another scrappy project. I had 6 large log cabin blocks left from a recent make and a humungous fairly large pile of scraps, precuts and bits of yardage.
So I used a freebie Candy square pack, from my trip to the Festival of Quilts, a strip of white on white and started some small log cabin blocks. I have pulled 4 small remnants from the "large bits" stash box and cut into strips.
These will become a row of blocks along the middle of the whatever it becomes that I can see in my head. I am being fairly meticulous about measuring and trimming each block. BUT I am not working out the final measurements as I am "flying by touch".
I do not want to over think this, I just want to enjoy the process. If I end up with too many, well that's the start of something new. If there is not enough I will simply sash them or make them bigger.


One of the blocks, a bit rumpled but about to be pressed.


The part made new blocks, 22 of them, most have cream on red for the middle but a few have red on cream. They are from "Crazy for Red" by Minick & Simpson for Moda. I would never have bought them as the red is not vibrant enough for me really, but as part of the stash they have to be used.
I have 2 more rounds to add and will then have a measure up.

It is a glorious morning here, blue sky and sunshine with a lovely breeze to make the washing billow out on the whirly thingamabob.

I am off to Spinning group tomorrow, not for spinning though. It is going to be a dyeing day, mostly using natural dies. My mentor, the wonderful T and his wife are taking me along. All I have to do is be at theirs by 9:30 and bring a packed lunch and a folding chair. I can manage that, no probs.

The SO will keep the dogs happy, if not himself. He has an upset tum, probably from working in all that stagnant water. I am keeping well away just in case it is a bug.
The moaning and groaning has been, and still is, worthy of an award. An Emmy if not an Oscar.

Now I am off to my pressing and trimming and then another round of sewing. 
Happy? that doesn't begin to cover it.

                   TTFN                                                    Pam


Saturday, 25 May 2019

What is it?

Is it a Counterpane?
Is it a Throw?
Is it a Bedspread?
Who knows?
Who cares?
Not I.
For what it is is Finished. Tah Dah, Woo Hoo and general all round jubilation.
It is quite big, some might say mahoosive.
I can tell you that it took 690 charm squares plus yardage that I did not bother to measure but probably over 2 mtrs.
while I chain pieced I sewed 108 charms, as leaders and enders, into pairs, ready for a future project AND a further 72 charms into 4 patch blocks ready to make cushion covers.
I believe that makes a grand total of 870 charm squares. 
Mostly from scrap boxes, I did cut a few from stash fabric, mainly the solids/read as solids.
I am  happy bunny.
The top is completely wonky, the very first time that I have not sliver trimmed my work. Most of those charms were given to me and were either just over or just under the 5". I just sewed and eased and let it go.




It reaches the carpet both sides and bottom.

The back, well that is a horse of a different colour. I did trim and square up. I had thought of making it into another quilt top but decided to bite the bullet and make a reversible whatever.



Lots of cream not beige, defo not beige, makes it look even bigger.



There is a wide range of both colours and prints, very scrappy, lovely.

There is no wadding in this, it is a summer thingy and with a top sheet will be perfectly adequate.
I have made 2 of these previously and use them in the hot weather.
This one though is destined to be a sort of dust cover for Francesca's bed. She is not here nearly as often as we would both like and when she leaves after a visit I change her bed. I like it to be made ready, the window is open most of the time and dust does filter through the nets. This thing will cover her bed and keep it fresh.
In the words of Pa Larkin, just perfick.
No, not perfect in construction, all done flying blind and planning nothing.
I am trying to ease up on the controlling part of me, it is not easy though.
All that matters to me is that Francesca likes it, I like it and it has gobbled up an amazing amount of stash.

(there may have to be another using strips)

Now I am off to enjoy my birthday, I will be mainly in the garden just pottering and playing with Herbie. 

Have a lovely weekend, where ever you are.

                             TTFN                                  Pam

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Who Dunnit?

Who moved it? Where is it?
I need it NOW.

What on earth? Oh yes, I cannot find my compost riddle.
I know exactly where I put it at the end of last years potting up and so on. It was in the storage bin. 

It is not there now, I have checked both storage bins, I even braved looking in His Shed, Spiders and crawlies and webs, Oh My!
I have just ordered a replacement , which as we all know means that the next time I go up into the garden it will be right under my nose.

No, not literally, that would be a touch awkward and possibly painful.

I went to lidl this morning and bought 2 tiny Camelias and 2 slightly larger Peonies, I have plant supports and will be putting them into the ground later on. They were £6 for the 4 and I cherry picked through to find the sturdiest plants, give them a couple of years and they will have romped away.

I was thinking about putting some arches into one of the raised beds for my pole beans, the cost for anything half decent was around £40 !! so a friend was culling some saplings and I bagged 8 nice tall ones. I now have a rustic arch and no money parted from my purse. 

I would have to grow a whole lot of beans to make up that amount of money.

I plan on putting either a squash or a courgette under the arch. It will suppress the weeds and shade the bean roots and supply some food. 

No sewing today, I am playing catch up with my house and then will be in the garden.

It is very hot here today, Ben has retreated to a cool spot under the bureau and Herbie has found some shade in the yard, both are snoring gently.

I watched a couple of Darlene Michaud You Tube videos this morning, only shorties, she was making a scrappy quilt top. I like her style although I do press every seam as I go, finger pressing is not for me. Once my current sewing projects are done I will be pulling out ALL my scraps and emulating her. That will mean a crumb quilt as well as it would please me immensely to have empty, or almost, scrap bins.
I do have some new fabric to share but that can wait a while, once I am ready to use it I will share.

Now I need to make a move and have a dalliance with some polish and a duster. 
Whilst I have been tapping away Herbie has come in and nudged Ben awake, they are both on the sofa and back to snoring.






My cutting board, these 4 patches may become a quilt back but it is highly likely that they will be another top. just to be perverse I am trimming them all to 9" square.


                           TTFN                        Pam

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Hot and bothered

It is hot here.
I have been sewing like a woman possessed.
I do not have to, I just want to.
I am, possibly, making the back of the charm quilt.
The problem is that with each seam that I sew and press I like it more.
And more.
It may have to be the front of a second charm quilt.
Even though there are large areas of cream. 
Definitely cream.
Most certainly not beige.

It is eating through the stash.
Just not quite fast enough.

There will be photo's, once I have a bit more done.
I am constructing it in quarters.
This is to make it easier to handle.
It will be large.

My hip is improving.
I am back walking with Leslie.
And enjoying it.
Much to Herbie's amusement.

The SO has finished one job and gone tearing off to an emergency.
Somebody has a cellar full of water, he has to drill drainage holes and put a pump into get rid of the water asap.
This is a long standing problem and needs remedial building work. The SO says it is just putting a bandage on a broken leg, but the person concerned does not want to pay to have the job done by a builder.
It could become very serious if we have  prolonged rain, and this is Wales after all.
This will be his one and only visit to put in a stopgap, then he will wash his hands of it.

I am planning a little while in the garden a bit later, I need to get some fresh air after all the sewing.

Now it is time to start prepping dinner, Iffits tonight with chips or jacket potato, and salad.

                     TTFN                                              Pam

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Apparently

I should start acting my age.
Hmmm
Which age would that be?
The times when I am 5 years old and am determined to finish that sweet treat, even though my tummy says STOP.
The times when I am around 9 - 12 and can not help sniggering at something, smutty.
The times when I am around 20 - 30 and want to work all day and still have energy to go out.
The times when I feel like 100+ and crawl around in a fug of painkillers.

In a few days I will be 68, what is that supposed to feel like?
I still have loads of energy, I find it almost impossible to sit still most of the time.
I am not ready to sit and watch telly for hours on end, and wear beige. ( ha, I am wearing a beige cardigan, although it is called straw).
I like colour and lots of it.
I do have almost white hair and have no intention of colouring it   at the moment anyway.

I think that I will wait until I grow up to act my age, once I have decided what it is.
The number is just for paperwork and is only accidental after all. 

Changing the subject, I have finished the charm square quilt top. There are as many corners that are wide of the mark as there are spot on. I do not mind,this from a (one time) control freak is frankly quite scary. I have named it tipsy, for obvious reasons. Francesca has claimed it for her bed here once finished. The back is under construction, I am having a break from making a run of 4 patch blocks to insert in the back.
I am lunching on carrot sticks and Hummus, back to 5 years old.

We are having Cajun Rice for dinner, requested by the SO.
I had to miss spinning again this week, the thought of perching on a hard chair for 2 hours made my mind up. I hope to go next week as it is a dying session. I have some white Jacob,s tops that I would love to dye and there is some fleece on it's way from Pembrokeshire. If it arrives in time I rather fancy some, if not most, will be in the dye pot as well. I have a stock of dye powder that I will take with me, hopefully someone else will like my rainbow of colours.

The bread machine is chugging away, a wholemeal loaf ready for tomorrow. It is a panasonic and a real workhorse, quite old by some standards and does not have the automatic dispenser. That does not bother me, I add seeds at the start, they get broken up a bit but hey, they get broken when you start to eat it anyway.
With the fancy recipes it beeps when it is time to add whatever, I just make sure to stay within earshot.

Another glorious day here, washing pegged out, chores done and I am about to go and potter in the garden. When I say potter I possibly mean sit in a shady spot, with the dogs, and read a bit or knit a few rows. I have a comfy seat with a squishy cushion so will be fine for an hour.

                               TTFN                              Pam

Sorry, who told me to act my age?

Well, it may have been me. I was having an off moment. 
I may have hurt my hip while playing football. xx

Saturday, 18 May 2019

The missing photo.




The laptop decided to get over itself and load my photos.


The lovely things that sue sent me, alas one of the Naked bars has evaporated.


The stacks of charm blocks ready to be sewn into rows. I decided that sashing was not necessary and a 5 by 6 block layout was ample.

I have pottered about this morning, dinner is made and ready to go into the oven. A few changes have been made in the pantry giving me more space. The contents of a cupboard have been moved about, making my mixing bowls more accessible and giving the grater and chopper thingy permanent homes. They have lived where they landed up to now and every time that I wanted them it was a search and rescue mission.

I am off now to walk the Herbie as he is trying to cause mayhem.

                      TTFN                                    Pam

Time for.......

An early tea break.
The postie arrived just a few minutes ago, I was busy beeing round the kitchen preparing tonight's dinner. Pasta, broccoli, cauliflower and cheese bake, and he brought me a little parcel.
We all know that the best things come in small lots.

And these are some of the best.

A beautiful hand made card, hoping that I recover soon.
2 naked bars, that inspired the tea break.
Some lovely hand cream, I get through lakes of that in gardening seasons.
Many packets of seeds, most of my favourites are in there, Nigella, larkspur, Aquilegia, Foxgloves and many more. All it needed was a Mr D'Arcy and my life could not get better. Colin Firth, with that wet shirt... Ooh Err Missus. I may be old but i'm not dead.

I have taken a photo but it will not load, if things change I will update or maybe add another post later today.

I hate techy problems. They get orn my wick.

I will leave you now and enjoy my cuppa, and my Naked Lemon Drizzle.

wus up? 

Who sent it?

Oops, it was the lovely Sue (her indoors).

Um nowagorn.
     
                    TTFN                                        Pam







Friday, 17 May 2019

Just troshin along.

Yisty wus a rummun, hot then cold, my cardie was off 'n on more than the Brexit deals.
(Norfolk dialect for yesterday was strange) I often find myself slipping into my childhood speech when stressed or tired. I asked for help in a shop and the person "giv me a loadda ole squit" he had no idea what stock was available and gave me a load of nonsense to cover up his ignorance. 
I was in a hurry and it made me suffen savage (angry)

Enough of that , I am neither stressed or tired this morning.

The large blocks have all been squared up and set out ready to start sewing together. When I say squared I mean just that, I have not trimmed them all to exactly the same size, there is up to an inch variation. The charms were not all 5", some were smaller, some larger and as this was always a stash buster project I left them so. I did not want to take the time to get them perfect it would have meant more waste than I am comfortable with. It does mean that my points do not all line up shock horror but that bothers me not a jot.
I like the original ethics of patchwork and quilting, to use up every scrap of fabric and waste nothing. All the sliver trimmings will become stuffing for something, pincushions, toys, Christmas tree decoration, and so on.
I hope to get the rows together today, I will need to go out later but there will be no gardening. The weather has turned cool and damp, I can almost hear the plants sighing with relief after the dry heat of the past few days, I like it but the plants not so much.

I have not managed to locate any Tahini close so will be making my own, I do not know why I did not think to do so earlier. I may mix it up a bit and try adding another seed as well. I have a few recipes that call for Date Molasses, I checked the price and nearly burnt my fingers off. I have a recipe for that also, I think that I will go the whole hog and make as many of my condiments as I can find recipes for. I love almond butter but have to travel to get it, not any more. I can get almonds easily and it is as simple as peanut butter to make.

Tonight we are having a Tahini mushroom sauce over pasta or a jacket potato, I have not decided yet, I may well add some cauliflower to the mix as I think they go well together. There is a chance that some chickpeas may slip into the mix as well.

Yesterdays curry was very tasty and we ate the lot, no leftovers for lunch. I have some single servings of many dishes tucked away in the freezer so will dig one of those out. It is handy to freeze things that way as sometimes we cannot decide what to have so I just grab 2 different meals out and we share.

The time is slipping away and I have chores to do, and Herbie needs his second walk. He is cwtched up to Ben on the sofa but has one eye on me, waiting for the signal.

                                 TTFN                     Pam


Thursday, 16 May 2019

That will be another worm for me.

Another early bird day, not quite so premature today though.

I was tired again last night but held out till 10, consequently I did not wake till almost 5. A real long sleep for me.

Anyhow, this is about my sewing, not my sleep pattern.


The pink quilt flimsy, not quite as wide as a double bed but this is for a young girl. It will drape nicely over a single bed and be a perfect size to wrap up in.



Did you notice the pile in the top left hand corner? Well this is it.
Enough of the same quilt blocks for another in soft blues and greens, I remember making them but thought that I had used them all in a gift quilt for L.

There is also a bag of the greens and blues waiting for the wide sashing strips, and I have plenty of those in the same white on white.

Now for the 4 patch blocks,


120 of those all waiting to be sliver trimmed where necessary.


A pile of extra charms, enough for another 12 blocks, I do not think that I will be needing them this time.

I have sewn 4 of the 4 patch blocks together and once trimmed they will give me a finished block 17 1/2" square, 5 across and 6 down will give me a good sized quilt and I just happen to have exactly the correct number to achieve that. I do not think that I will border this quilt as it would be just too long and wide. Also I do not have enough of a suitable colour and pattern fabric to make said border and this quilt is all about sewing the stash. I will be piecing the back, probably from the left over charms, some fat quarters and random sized bits.
Even though this is all from stash, and much of that was given to me, I have used a considerable amount of thread (not to mention all the pressing) and that is not cheap, I use a good quality thread that does not make shed or snarl and break at the blink of an eye. Every now and then Hobby craft have thread on special offer and I buy a box, I have white or cream and the saving is very good.

Now I have a load of threads and bits to vacuum up in the sewing room, I did not get around to that yesterday and I do not want to walk it through the house.

Our salad was really delicious last night, we had it with a fresh made seeded loaf ( a real doorstep crust which we shared). It is meant to be a little cooler today so it will be Turkey curry and rice tonight. Special request from the SO.

As I was up bright and early I have changed all the sofa throws and cushion covers and they now need pegging out.

                       TTFN                                          Pam

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Sewing and gardening.

Not a cloud in my sky, or the real one up above.
Yesterday was just peachy, I sewed, pressed and rinse and repeat for most of the morning. Considering my early start it was a loooong morning and I loved every minute of it. During that time I walked the dogs, did a load of washing and pegged it out, prepped a pasta sauce and got it into the slow cooker and made a few cuppa,s. 
After a quick lunch break I spent some time whizzing round the house, all those threads a slivers of fabric tend to spread about a bit. The bathroom and kitchen had their daily doings and the little bit of ironing off the line was slotted in with some extra fabric pressing.

Once I had the rows of the pink quilt together and pressed I left that to one side and concentrated on the charm squares. I estimate that I will need well over 100 4 patch blocks for the size quilt that I want to make. I have 50 so far and a whole heap of pairs waiting to be pressed and sewn together for my blocks.

I did manage to spend an hour in the garden and will be back out there later on today.

I finally sat down at 8:15, after dinner clearing up and walking the dogs. By 9 I was visibly drooping and the SO was almost as bad. A long day in the sun hauling stone and wall building took it out of him.

We threw in the towel and were in bed and asleep before 9:30. 

Today I am getting the pink rows sewn together and will then start to square up the 4 patches. I hope that both will be layered by the weekend and that the pink one will be ready to post off next week.

We had a pasta dinner last night, I chopped as much veg as would fit in the slow cooker, added tomatoes, puree and some stock to make a thick sauce and let it cook for the afternoon. It was delicious, very filling so there are leftovers, and used up some slightly sad veg.
Tonight it will be free range eggs and salad, I have a loaf of seeded wholemeal bread in the machine to go with it.

My next shop will have to include more bread flour and seeds and I need Tahini and nutritional yeast. 

My coffee break is over, both dogs are flat out and snoring and I am off to the sewing room. All my chores are done, apart from pushing the vacuum cleaner around and that will happen between sewing and gardening.

                              TTFN                             Pam