Friday, 22 March 2019

Near enough is enough.

I have got everything that I think that I need back on the 'puter. There is still a list of things that were removed (how kind of them to to tell me) but if I don't need them they can stay gone.

I did lose all my bookmarks, but again I have not looked at them for ages so did not need them.

Not much is happening here, some cleaning, washing, cooking all the usual day to day stuff.
I have put some more work into the "sticky socks#2", the little pile of 7 round Granny squares is growing, albeit in fits and starts. I have cast on a jumper using some stash Aran weight yarn. It is a merino and cotton blend so should be wearable for most of the year. Heat waves permitting.

I was watching the lovely Ange on her podcast, YarnNyarn, and she has committed herself to working regularly on her crochet blanket. That gave me a guilt trip and I have decided to emulate and work on my squares most days, if not every day. The basket that holds all the yarn and squares is rather huge so I have found a project bag and put crochet hook and a ball of yarn, Stylecraft special DK, into it. That gives me a small portable project, if I get fed up with using the same colour I can just swap it out for another. 

I have printed off a cardigan pattern, Peggy Sue free on Ravelry, this will be for Francesca and possibly one for me. It is short sleeved and ideal for slipping on over a dress when summer takes a day off and the goosebumps appear.
The other is a paid for pattern, Blakelaw sock pattern by Geordieknits Designs. I recently found the Geordieknits podcast and thought the socks looked good so bought the pattern. 

It is a simple lace pattern so will be ideal TV knitting when a vanilla sock is just not cutting it for me. I usually fall back on Blueberry Waffle or Hermione,s everyday socks and now they are as simple as vanilla.

Dinner tonight is a Thai green curry, lots of ginger and garlic, and I have some wild garlic leaves to stir through rather than coriander. It is as good to ring the changes with my cooking as my knitting.

I feel the need to sew coming on so tomorrow I hope to get some fabric washed for a dress and probably another Hollyburn skirt. I love that pattern and hardly make any other skirt up now.

The dogs have been walked and fed, Ben had a bath this morning and is as shiny as a new penny. Herbie will have one on Sunday when the SO is here, he is as mad as a box of frogs (Herbie, not the SO) once the rinsing starts and I need the help. I wonder if the shower tickles as he doesn't mind the lathering and even lifts his feet to be washed.

On that thought I will be off to get another hours knitting/crochet in. The SO is home and gone for a shower and the coffee is on.

                          TTFN                                  Pam

                      (Somewhat cooler than yesterday)

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Back on track.

Fingers crossed.
I had a systems update and it turned the blasted laptop doolally, even allowing for operator stupidity.

I am slowly restoring as much as possible, thank goodness for you tube on the telly.

It took me almost 30 minutes to persuade the printer that it was installed and to tell the laptop that I did want to use the printer installed and not some strange named creature from another dimension.

For a while I was thinking that if I lobbed it across the room and let Herbie have a game it might teach it to behave.

I managed to conjure up some common (HUH very rare) sense and just watch a couple of how to videos and follow along.
Almost like painting by numbers.

I will be back tomorrow once I have cooled down a few hundred degrees and regained some calm.

                                  TTFN                   Pam 

                          (AKA hot and bothered of Cwmgors)

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Farmer,s weather

Raining during the night and dry in the day, not too shabby for the gardeners amongst us either.

A couple of days have slipped past, nothing much has happened really, I have knitted, searched for patterns, looked at the yarn stash in despair oh, and done the boring but essential household jobs.
Yesterday was a full on washing day, the sun was out, there was a decent and gentle breeze, and everything that was in the washing basket went through the machine. All line dried, even the door curtain that came down just because, it was a great feeling to tuck it all away.

Then the SO came home, showered and left another full has been washed this morning and is ready to peg out. It is still a bit misty here, there is blue sky showing in patches, so it can wait a little while.

I am keeping up with the walk at home every day, I have been chopping and changing the workouts, I do not want to get bored. Yesterday I did a 2 mile "power walk" as well as up and down the stairs, in and out to the washing line and walking the dogs. This morning I did a new 1 mile walk and will repeat it later on. This one had lots of people taking part who were not super slim, much more realistic.

Dinner last night was chilli and garlic bread, I stuffed as many vegetables into it as possible and some mixed beans. My dried chillies are going strong (really strong, 1 is plenty) and hopefully will last until I have fresh ones on the plants.
Tonight we are having Mushroom Something, a new recipe that has not been born yet. I have had a rummage in the fridge and it will be another veggy meal, this time with ginger and garlic and a decent amount of lemon to cut through the earthiness of the mushrooms. There will also be courgettes involved, I do not want to waste a thing.

I managed to have a quick tidy round in the pantry this morning, I keep my kitchen hand towels etc in there and they had begun to wander slightly. All is regimented now, I had been through a little phase of "put it down" rather than "put it away". I need to nip that in the bud, if not prune it right out.

I am still pining to do some spinning.
I am still space poor.
I have had a very good look at my stash yarns.
I did not cry, nearly though.

I bought a huge amount of Acrylic Aran weight yarn very, very cheaply a couple(ish) years ago. There was the idea of a thicker blanket floating round my head.
The problem was that I bought baby Aran in pale shades, not at all my cup of tea, as that was what was on sale.


I sorted it out, looked at patterns, sniffled a bit, went on Ravelry for more pattern inspiration, sniffled a bit more and threw the towel in.

I will not be using that yarn.

It will not be wasted though, my sister is a voracious knitter and crocheter, she loves the paler shades, she makes things for friends and neighbours as well as family. It will be in a box and on its way to her as soon as I get it packed away.

I figure that the space gained will allow me a drop spindle and some fibre to play with.
It will take something much more radical to make room for a wheel.

I will not let her know as we all love happy post, and if it is a surprise it is all the better.

I do have another surprise parcel to get packed and despatched, and as I am taking the car in for it,s MOT this morning I can get them both sent off. The garage is just near the local shop that is a drop off centre for a courier firm. Courier is by far the cheapest, and mostly the quickest,way to send a parcel.
The Post office has priced itself out of my business.

All those words and I have not really said anything much, they have been stored up since my last post and just had to escape.

A bit of knitting,

Francesca's cowl, I have chopped the point off so folded it for a better look.

It is very pretty in real life, soft and silky. perfect for a cool spring morning. It may well become an Easter gift and a warmer one will be made for the winter.

The Chunky, Furry, sooo soft cowl. Mine, all mine. I wore it last night to walk Herbie and it was super warm, super light and not a hint of tickle under my chin. Possibly because I made it deep enough to pull up over my chin.
Much as I love it I will not be repeating the exercise, sewing the ends in was an experience, it took me 20 minutes to find a needle with an eye larger enough, and joining the new skeins in was not easy, or tidy.

The new "sticky yarn" sock, I used Kay Jones,s short row garter stitch heel pattern for the first time. It was so simple, because it was so well explained
The second sock is 10 rows away from the heel, I hope to get it completed this week.
I will be ripping out the toe on the first sock and adding a few rounds to the foot. A foolish mistake on my part, I did not use the "umbrella toe" in the pattern, just my preferred wedge toe and of course it is shorter. No big deal, I will pick up the stitches just before the decrease row before ripping the toe back. I have plenty of yarn so no yarn chicken will be involved.

Now I need to get those parcels made up and print the labels off, they will be sent off today if I get them dropped off before lunch.

                     TTFN                                         Pam

Monday, 18 March 2019

Still Wet in Wales.

It has been a few wet days, yesterday being the exception until
around 2:30 when it hammered down.

We have had a flurry of activity here, people, dogs, general house
things and normal living.

We did have a bit of a film day on Saturday and watched the 2 Deadpool films back to back. Mad, ridiculous and funny, a good way to ignore the weather.

Lots of knitting was done, the photo,s were very blurry so I will take some more later.

The Bertie Botts Cowl is finished and is blocking, I did 8 less rows on the patterned section as Francesca is shorter in the torso and neck than me.

Remember the sticky yarn that I knitted socks with, well in the interests of knitting up the stash I cast on another sock. a single sock top down with a short row garter stitch heel. It is working up really well considering the trouble I had on the first pair. One at a time has helped, there is nothing for it to stick to, but it is slower going than my normal pace.
The first one is around halfway along the foot, if I watch a couple of catch up episodes of Silent Witness tonight I may well get it finished. Or at least to the toe decreases.

I still have the chunky Cowl on the needles and will (hopefully) finish that before casting on the second sock. I still have 3 long standing WIPs to sort out, it will happen at some point I just need to be in the zone.

No sewing, that is possibly because my sewing room overlooks the mountain and it has been wreathed in rain and mist so is very uninspiring. I may have to bring the small machine into the kitchen and get it set up. The table is big enough but I do try to keep the sewing confined to one place, the knitting and crochet tends to migrate far too readily to all the house. 
I had to move 2 project bags from the dresser this morning and 1 from the bedroom yesterday. These are future knitting with pattern, yarn and needles all assembled .
I discovered that I need would like at least 2 more fixed circulars in 2.25 mm, 80 and 100 cm.  I will add them to my wish list for a month or 2 and see how I have managed till then. I did have 3 in my stash but gave 1 away and promptly sat on one and broke it, they were all Knit Pro Symfonie. I use these on splitty or very slippery yarn rather than metal ones as they do provide much more grip.

Some of my time has been occupied with finding new podcasts to watch. I stumbled upon Geordieknits and am watching from the beginning. At the same time I am looking through her subscription list, the Lonely knitter, who says that she lives on the most Easterly bit of the UK, I think that must be Cromer or very close. Suffolk Socks, who has an online yarn shop and is a marvellous dyer. The Hairy Sheep a Mum and young daughter duo from North Lincolnshire, who have 2 podcast episodes up and SCR1TNO hosted by Sharon Richards. no idea where she lives as I have only just had a little peak of her first episode. I am slowly watching through all the episodes, except for Suffolk Socks who I used to follow and have no idea why I stopped. It may well have been when I got the new laptop, my data transfer was not ideal. There may have been some snarling and growling going on.

There are many more on her list but I am only watching the UK podcasts. I have nothing against the rest, many of them are on my list also, it is just nice to watch somebody whose yarn choices are readily available without having to pay customs charges, VAT and the Robbing Post Office who charge you to pick up your parcel.

There was nearly a rant there. That charge is guaranteed to make my hackles rise and transform me into an approximation of a Rabid Dog.
I do not mind the Customs charges too much, they do an amazing job of keeping lots of really bad stuff out of the country. I do not even mind VAT too much, it is something that we have to live with so I suck it up. At least I used to until the monetary value boundary before you had to pay it was dropped to next to nothing. Since then I have not bought in anything from overseas.

Calm down, Breathe slowly, think about chocolate cake and other good things. 

There, that's better. I am calm again.  

And there is the sun, casting it,s golden rays over the house and garden. Woo Hoo.

Perhaps it will stay for a while, the forecast was very woolly this morning, full of if's and maybe's. Why they can not just say that it will be a mixture of everything and impossible to predict correctly.

On that note, with an empty coffee cup beside me, I think that it is time to kick start the rest of the day. Herbie wants his second walk, the long one. The bed needs remaking and there is a little washing up to do.
Dinner will be a bean and veg chilli with home made garlic bread and there may be a cheeky rhubarb pudding to follow. 

I hope that you all had a good weekend, mine was great, uneventful but great.
A quick note for Cherie K the yarn would be fine for socks, in fact that is what they sell it for. It is really soft so I would use a sturdier yarn for heels and toes. I have 30 grams left if you would like to to try. put a comment in with you address (I will not publish of course) and I will send it off.
I will be replying to comments later and reading through my blog list but I am going to be goody two shoes today and get the chores done first.

                               TTFN                                  Pam

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Still down the rabbit hole.

The cowl shaped rabbit hole,and very cosy it is down here.
I cast on number 2 yesterday and have 5 rows to do before joining to knit in the round.

I know this is a bit blurry, I had a mad Herbie dancing round me as he wanted desperately to see what I was doing.
I will take another later after the pattern has begun.

This yarn is from Little French Meadow, the colour is Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans.
I will be following the original stitch pattern after all as the yarn is such a random mix. Most other stitch patterns would be lost in the colours. 
Once again this is not a true representation of the colours, it is far less blue and has quite a lot of pink, orange and cream in it. perhaps it will show up better when it is a bit bigger and on a different background.
The yarn is so soft that it makes me want to hang onto it for myself. It will go into the gift box as it already has a recipient, Francesca, it will look lovely under her grey winter coat.

We had a good dry day yesterday and lots of washing went out to dry. At some point during the night we had heavy rain, within the last 30 minutes the sky has started to clear. There is still some fine rain and the forecast is for lots more of it BUT it does look promising. As I typed that last sentence the brightness has diminished and a grey wash is slowly covering the sky.

Last night,s dinner was really good, the pasta sauce was the last of a batch made in January, the flavour had developed well and the crunchy topping was a great contrast to the soft pasta hidden beneath it.

Tonight we are having beef casserole, also from a batch cooking session in January, in a Yorkshire Pudding. No other carbs needed, just some lightly steamed cabbage. We like cabbage. There are still some brussels sprouts in the freezer so I may get some of those out as well.

The weather should be grim till Sunday and then much better from Monday, I think that means knitting time will be abundant. There should be some sewing time in there as well, fingers crossed I have a stack of lavender bags cut out.

There is a small shopping list, but nothing that I am desperate for, and the house jobs are all up to date.

The only thing that I am behind on is getting the kettle on for a brew. The dogs have been walked and fed, dinner is thawing out, well the Y.pud mix is in the jug freshly made this morning. I find that it rises so much better after a rest in the fridge, I just give it a quick whisk up before it goes into the oven.

                         TTFN                                     Pam

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

A Finish.

The eye test went as well as I expected, a jump in my precription both in long and near sight lens. I have both prescriptions in the one lens, it saves having to swap specs around and is much better for me.

So that was 60 minutes and many £,ss that I said goodbye to. 
On a more positive note the optometrist thinks that by my next examination the cataract in my right eye will be mature enough to be removed. Blissful thought as even with the new specs that eye cannot be brought up as well as the left. It is because of the detached retina that I had many years ago. Apparently any surgery on the eye means that there is a higher chance of cataract forming and it will grow relatively fast.

Enough. Let us see something really positive.

Tah Dah.

Paris in Berlin.

I have remembered that I bought the yarn at Wonder Wool,almost 2 years ago, when I wound it into a cake there was a knot in the yarn so I made 2 cakes and promptly lost the label.
It needs a soak and a block, the yarn is a touch scratchy on my neck. I am a delicate flower you know. I have 15 grams left over, and as I weighed the cake before starting the garter border I know that it took 16 grams to finish it.
I have the yarn picked out ready for the next incarnation and will be casting it on later today. Fingers crossed.

It fits really well under a coat and is very warm and snuggly, there is enough bulk to be warm but not enough to feel "lumpy" with the coat done up. 

Since starting this I have seen a few other cowls with a similar look but I will not be buying the patterns. What I will do is have a browse through my stitch library books and see if there is anything that jumps out at me. It should  be a simple matter to keep the increase spacing with a different stitch pattern.

Watch This Space.

If you hear the sound of wailing and rending of fabric, pulling of hair etc, you will know that was not as simple as I anticipated.

Walking at home is progressing well, I wake up with a glow of anticipation as to which plan I will be doing today.
Yesterday was the walk with a boost, today was week 1 of a fitness plan. That included some work with weights and some stretching on my yoga mat.
Mmm, need to get the cowl soaked and blocked soon, I use my yoga mat for blocking rather than having to find space to store designated blocking mats.

Dinner last night was home cooked ham, (poached) eggs and chips. lovely crisp oven baked chips that I tossed in just a tsp of olive oil. A green salad on the side and we were well fed.

I did enjoy it but there will be no chips for a couple of weeks, too much of a good thing....and all that jazz.

Tonight it will be a pasta bake with a crunchy top of cubed wholemeal  bread, seeds and cheese. I have the heel of a loaf to use up, I saved it for this dish, and I will use wholemeal penne pasta.

The weather forecast says that it should brighten up as the day goes on followed by goodness how many days of rain. Wonderful, I have plenty to keep me occupied and happy, though the housework does not really figure in that list.

I will do my chores first.
I will do my chores first.
I will try to do my chores first. 

Right, I WILL make a start before the sentence changes beyong recognition. Just like Chinese Whispers I can see the last version along the lines of "I will leave the chores for another day."

                     TTFN                                          Pam

Monday, 11 March 2019

I blame James Martin.

Yesterday started out at the double and just got busier as the morning progressed. At around 11-30 we sat down with a cuppa and put the telly on to catch  Simon Rimmer and his guests. James was amongst them and we watched him cooking Plaice in batter, with scraps or crispies (depending on where you live). 
As one we said "my mouth is watering, I could just eat that"

Now in Neath there is an award winning chippy "Shillingfords" and they cook on Sundays.

We have never cleaned up and left the house so fast, at least not for a long time.

Yes, you guessed it. Our plan for a gammon, jacket potato and salad dinner was shelved. We had battered Plaice and chips.

The fish was cooked to perfection, light crispy batter that crunched between the teeth and then melted deliciously. Firm white flakes of fish, sweet as a nut, with no clumps of half raw batter mix. 
The chips,however, were not to our taste.They were cooked but quite soft and pale whereas we like ours to be darker and crisp, they were also not as hot as we expected. 
It was our first visit there and because of the non existent parking will quite likely be the last.

Come the summer our local chippy will be open on Sundays, although we do not intent for this to be anything more than a one off.

Any way, on to some knitting. I am working on the Paris in Berlin shawl by Joji Locatelli, it is a very easy knit and I am loving it.
I have to say here that no knitting (or crafting of any kind) happened yesterday. On our return we carried on being busy both outside and in.

This is using up the remnants of another project, using a nameless yarn, in a soft semi solid yellow/orange/cream colour, it will be mine, all mine. 
I will take the next shot against a dark background in the hopes of showing the true colour. 
I have only just completed 27 rows of the main pattern and find it so addictive. I have stash yarn picked out for one each for Francesca and L and am inpatient to get started on those. The pattern is really simple and so easy to follow simply by reading the knitting. It starts off in the flat then once the first textured section is completed you join in the round and start the main body. The idea is that is is a cowl that simulates a shawl in the front. All the gorgeous drape at the front neckline with no dangling points to be tucked away.

Now although i have lots more to ramble on about I need to get in the greenhouse and prepare the side beds for plants and seeds.

Tomorrow, mid morning, I have an eye test booked. It was the first one available but will mean that nothing much happens here till after lunch. Perhaps I will be able to get the next round of lavender bags cut out.

                       TTFN                                         Pam

Saturday, 9 March 2019

More Happy Mail.

Confession time.
I bought Yarn,
and Ribbon.

It was necessary though.

Ribbon rainbow, I have slowly worked my way through 90% of my ribbon collection. I bought a massive bundle from an Ebay seller around 5 years ago, it was just after I moved to Wales. Since then I have only bought 1 pack of some cream satin ribbon for a special project. 

They are not small reels, the whole lot were under £10 with postage.

This, and the rest of the 20 lavender bags that have flowed through my machine, is the main reason why I need the ribbon. I have used all of the white and light narrow reels and had to start on some that is a bit too wide.
Francesca and her friend L would each like a few(!) for themselves so I need to make at least another 20. I will need more for myself as well. I am putting one in each of my project bags and the boxes that my stash is stored in and needless to say the 20 made does not begin to cover it.

Then this lot arrived, all with a firm purpose.

Two more balls of the Sirdar Alpine, I cast on a cowl for Francesca and decided to knit it in the round. By the time I was joining in the second ball I knew that I wanted it to be really deep so ordered 2 more.

This is not a very good picture, it is Drops Alpaca Silk and is for Francesca. I am trying out a new shawl/cowl pattern (more later when I have done a bit more) from Joji Locatelli. This will be for me and then I want to knit it for Francesca holding the fluff with a smooth fingering weight yarn.

While I was on the Wool Warehouse site I noticed that there was a sale on for Drops sock yarns. 
I have a quite large box of left over multi coloured sock weight yarns, some have become magic balls, but any 15 grams and over are still waiting for a purpose. I knit lots of patterned socks and put plain toes, heels and cuffs in.
Now I will be knitting plain socks with patterned toes, heels and cuffs in. I can see this becoming a merry go round well into the future.

I am still doing the Walk Indoors and have moved from a 15 minute to a 20 minute routine, 3 more days of that and I will move up to the next level. 
I am enjoying it, and even though the morning was dry and sunny still carried on before going for a real walk. 

It was lovely to stride out in sunshine again, even Herbie seemed to step out more briskly with his nose in the air. I wondered if he could smell more on the warmer breeze.

We have since been out for a shorter walk as Ben told me he really really needed a little walk, Now, Right Now.

My breakfasts this week have been pancakes, the lentil pancakes, some sweet with banana cooked into them and some savoury with a poached egg. They are delicious and the batter stands well in the fridge. I will be making another batch tomorrow ready for Monday onward.

Dinner tonight is undecided but tomorrow will be a slow cooker gammon joint (cooked in fizzy orange with some fresh ginger root) with jacket potato and either salad or cauliflower cheese, depending on how I feel.

The rest of the joint will make 2 other meals during the week, again as yet undecided.

Later I have to go shopping, a very small list but it has to be done. 
I have been in the garden for a while, my sweet pea seeds are in pots in the greenhouse and the Squash seeds are set, some in the greenhouse and some in the kitchen.  Spring onions and some more salad leaves will be next, then the floodgates will open at the end of the month and I will have compost and trays everywhere. happy thoughts.

The SO has just come in and coffee is needed so I am off to get the kettle on.

Enjoy the weekend and I wish you all some sunshine before the next band of rain falls upon us.

                          TTFN                                     Pam

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Wet Weather Walking.

I enjoy my walks, even in the rain as I have good waterproof clothing.
But, the dogs, even Herbie, will only go so far before turning for home.
At the weekend I put "walking" into the you tube channel and came up with scads. I looked at a few, 
boot camp style, mmm No Thanks.
Airy Fairy laid back to horizontal, No Thanks
Aha, walk a mile in 15 minutes, At Home, mmm maybe.
So I had a look at Leslie Sansone, all teeth and hair like one of Charlie's Angels, the originals.
There was the usual backing group, all fit as fleas with a couple of obligatory men thrown into the mix.
I turned the sound off and watched.
I rewound and Joined in.
I pressed pause and removed Herbie from the equation, he was as mad as a March Hare.
Then started again, I did the whole thing and felt fine, I was quite warm but not steaming hot.
I have done this every morning since and it has got so easy, so fast, that I am going to try the next step tomorrow. A 2 mile walk.

It is dry,windy and sunny here this morning so I have also walked about a mile outside. It is much nicer than the living room, breathing in the fresh air, looking at all the leaves unfurling in the hedgerows and so on.

I will keep up the walking first thing though, it makes me feel energised and fit to face the day.
Whether I will make the 2 mile tomorrow or not, who knows, I will give it a go and keep you posted.

I still have that heel to finish, that is because Herbie stole my yarn out of the bag that was on the table and spread it round the room. He managed this in total silence while I ran hot water for washing up, so about a minute at the very most.
He was told off in no uncertain terms and banished for a little while.
Then my knitting time was taken up with turning a hot mess back into a usable ball of yarn. Not an inch was wasted, as I patiently!, me Patient wonders will never cease, sorted through all the tangles I listened to my audio book, Mary Poppins in the book is not as sugary sweet as in the film, but much more entertaining.
i loved the Dancing Cow story.
I will have to make certain that I put my project bag on the dresser from now on. The coffee table is just too accessible.

Oh Dear, I have just noticed that the sunshine has gone and a cold murky grey has taken over. Ah Well, it was good while it lasted.
back to the lavender pouches for me.

                      TTFN                                                Pam

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

I will be there now.

In Wales, of course "now" means sometime fairly soon, but I will be there to read through my blog list.
I just had to tell you about dinner. Oh My Word. It was one of the best meals that I have cooked and eaten.

I watched the Budget Slimmers this morning while having my breakfast, it was recorded on Tuesday so Pancakes were on the menu. Not just any old pancake though.

These were Vegan, super healthy and very easy.

2 cups of red lentils, soaked for at least 3 hours in cold water. I only had 1 1/2 cups so made it up with Buckwheat. Then left them  to soak all day.

I made a sauce of peppers, onions and mushrooms sweated off in some oil, the BS used frylight, Then I added some milk, you could use non dairy but I had none, and some soft cheese (again this could be non dairy) with herbs, a good grind of pepper and a little salt. Once this came to simmer I left it to cook on.

I then drained the lentils and tipped them into a bowl, added a tsp of salt and one of baking powder then whizzed it up with my wand blender till smooth.

About a 1/3rd of the mix went into a separate bowl for later.

To the main mix I added some fine diced white onion, some garlic powder and a good tsp of Cajun Seasoning and gave it a good stir. I cooked this mix just like the American thick pancakes but for around 5 minutes on each side. Served with the sauce and some extra mushrooms, sizzled in a little olive oil it was amazing.
I thought the SO was going to eat his plate at one point.

The remaining mix is covered and in the fridge, tomorrow I will check it out and then try a sweet version. I will mix in a tsp of powdered sweetener and a drizzle of syrup and then cook as before, with some warm berries I think they will be just as good.

I have been making more of the scrap mats for dogs bowls and am heartily sick of dark fabrics, so they have been put away for a while.
As light relief I have been stitching lace to white on white fabric, all from the scrap bins. I want to make some lavender bags to tuck in with my yarn and fabrics, and they may as well be pretty. Tomorrow I will be cutting the bits out and assembling the bags, the more that I sew the more fabric I seem to have.
I just have one heel left on the socks, and will be doing that soon. I have found an audio book on Firefox and am listening to Mary Poppins, I somehow never managed to read the books and am thoroughly enjoying being read to.

Second childhood perhaps.

                                 TTFN                                Pam

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Happy, Happy Mail

It is the sweetest sound, you know when the postie tries shoving something through the letter box. And fails. So you get a knock on the door. Then when you answer it a parcel is thrust at you and off they stomp.(you can almost hear them thinking "that's 2 minutes lost forever")

Well it happened here this morning.

Look at what was in my package.

A hand made card, a not so little thank you for reading and visiting the blog, Poppy Patchwork. 

From one green fingered gardener to another, some glorious future colour. The Sweet Pea seeds are already in to soak, I will get them into some compost after 48 hours soaking.

Some chocolate, sadly the Malteser Bunny is no more.
The other one is in the wings waiting for his turn.

Last, but by no means least were these fat quarters, sewing and knitting fabrics. I will carefully consider what to make with them.
The sewing fabric will be the front panel of a new sewing machine cover. I will look at it almost every day when I sit down to sew.

The knitting fabric will become the main focal fabric of a project  bag. I want to work out a pattern for a sock bag with a divider and loops to thread my yarn through. I hate a tangled mess and use 2 small bags now. I will share these with you as soon as I make a start.

I am delighted and surprised, even though I did get the message telling me that a small parcel was on it,s way. I had no idea what was coming but never dreamt that it would be so much and so perfect for me.
Thank you so much Marlene, both for the gifts and for the inspiration on the weaving front. I am perusing through a selection of books and once I get a better idea of what my goals will be I will be shopping. 
Note to self nothing on my wish list bar weaving things.

On the craft front it has been a bit slow today, I had a bit of a cleaning frenzy downstairs and went through a couple of kitchen drawers and cupboards. A few things are heading to the CS and a large thing has landed in the kitchen.
I finally got around to replacing the Mini Oven that dies last year, or was it the year before. I have been using the combi oven but it is not ideal, a bit too small really. 
I did think about replacing that but on thinking it over realised that a mini oven was the better option, and the most economical by a very long shot.

Now you know that I have a 1 in, 2 out rule. Yes I have parted with several small things but as far as space goes they do not begin to cover it.
So..... my air fryer will be going. I do not use it for frying now, just for jacket potatoes. After 5 minutes in the microwave they cook and crisp up in 30 minutes in the air fryer.
But, it is an ugly cumbersome thing and lives on the bottom shelf of the pantry. So it is hard work to lift it out and then I invariably have to spend time shuffling things around to make room for it.

The new gadget fits neatly in the corner, looking a bit like an extra from Star Trek, and besides making perfect jacket potatoes will bake a cake, a loaf of bread and any thing else that I care to put in it.

It is not huge, I rejected the bigger ones as being too big. There are only the 2 of us most of the time and I can get a small roast dinner in there if I want to. It will bake a pie and cook the veg on the bottom shelf, in fact when my old one was working I hardly used the big oven at all.

I think know that I will save the cost very quickly as they are far more economical to run.

I am now looking very carefully at my bread maker, I love it, it saves me the work of kneading but it does not save me time. It takes up a huge amount of space and at most I use it 2 times a week. I can get 3 large loaves in my main oven and they would last a fortnight, for 45 minutes oven time. I can let the dough prove overnight, knock it back and shape first thing and have the loaves out and cooling before walking the dogs.

Food for thought.

On the subject of food, it is Shrove Tuesday so we are having pancakes tonight, filled with left over pork, mushrooms and other veggy delights then baked under a mushroom and cheese sauce (in the new oven). Better get cracking, pun intended. You can't make a pancake without cracking an egg. Well you can, and I can, but not today.

                    TTFN                                        Pam

Monday, 4 March 2019

Smug and Foolhardy.

At the same time?
Oh yes indeedy.
I have been through the house and almost all of the Monday jobs have been completed. Smug doesn't begin to cover it.

I have washing pegged out. Foolhardy in the extreme. Because we have had fog, bright sun, howling wind and heavy horizontal rain this morning.
Most of that was within an hour.

However the sun is so bright that I have had to close the curtain to be able to see the screen. I am NOT complaining.Not at all.

I will soon be changing yarn colour to knit the cuff, and then the afterthought heel on this pair of WYS socks.

This yarn was in my haul from YarnnYarn and when I watched Angela.s new podcast episode this morning discovered that she is knitting the same colourway. I count myself in good company. Smug again.

Then before starting the cleaning routine this morning I prepped dinner. The joint of Pork has had the skin scored and rubbed with salt. The roast veg are done and safely in a roasting bag ready for the oven.

 Cabbage has been shredded so there is very little left to do but bung it in the oven. I was going to make apple sauce but the SO asked for red onion chutney. My mouth watered instantly so very shortly I will be peeling and slicing red onions. It will be a simple version made with cider vinegar so we can use it straight away. I will tuck some away for another day though.
Smug? You bet I am.

It is so warm here that the back door is wide open, as are most of the windows, and I am drinking squash as I could not face hot tea!
Me, the original teapot emptier.
Wonders will never cease.

I think that I will have my lunch now and then clear the decks before finishing my jobs.

I have a feeling that I would like to finish those socks by tomorrow evening if possible. Something to do with the fact that after watching Angela this morning I bought and printed off the pattern for Paris in Berlin cowl from Joji Locatelli. I was looking for something pretty but practical to add to the gift knitting list and this is perfect.
it takes one skein of 4 ply yarn, and I have several of those in the stash.

Seeing Angela wearing her version showed me that it is much more wearable than a shawl, and using possibly half the yarn, for Francesca and L, and me, must not forget myself.
I will keep you posted as to my progress.

Now I am going to gather some lunch and then get back to work.

                             TTFN                                 Pam

Sunday, 3 March 2019

That was the weekend that was.

Many of my plans were changed thanks to storm Freya, although I did get washing pegged out and almost dry on Saturday.
Today has been a wet and windy one, very strong gusts with the odd screaming Banshee thrown in for good measure.
Ben, the stoic, plodded through it all wrapped up in his coat. Herbie absolutely hates wearing a coat so sulked round with exaggerated sighs.

My garden plans have been put on hold and my plants are in a sheltered spot.

I passed a few hours by sorting through some of the dark fabric scraps and strips. Rootled through the  box of wadding off cuts and made some more mats for the dogs dishes. 2 were delivered late this morning and made welcome. The rest will go out tomorrow, then I may well make some more. I know many people with dogs and most of them complain about water over the floor.

Poor Rufus is back on the sick, he did too much on Friday (not with me I hasten to add) and yesterday after his walk was in increasing pain. A visit to the Vet, painkillers and garden walk only.
I will pop round and see him every day for a fuss. I will probably make a little collection of soft toys that he can rip to bits to relieve the boredom. They will cost nothing but a bit of thread and my time as everything will be out of the scrap bins.
If I apply myself I may well be able to empty one box this week. In fact I will make that my mission, it will help as I still have 2 bags of scraps to sort through.

I have pulled out some of the prettier fabric to make a few zipper pouches, probably with boxed corners, in various sizes. Small ones are great for sewing and knitting kits and larger ones make good project bags.
I have a decent amount of zips and at least one roll of fusible interfacing to give them a bit of body.

I have done a little knitting and plan on doing a bit more this evening.

We did plan on Roast Pork tonight but enforced rest, thanks to Freya again, means that we are not that hungry. I cooked a little pasta, some cauliflower and broccoli and a gratin is now bubbling away in the oven.
I do like a one dish wonder and the smell is amazing. For the topping I cut the tail end crust off a loaf into small dice, mixed in some sunflower, pumpkin and linseed and a (generous) handful of grated cheese.

There is rhubarb pie for pudding, has anyone else got rhubarb going rampant, mine has almost morphed into a patch of Triffids.

I just hope that it does not weaken the plants, but I did pile them up with garden compost at the end of the year, and added half a tub of  Chicken Manure pellets that were given to me.

I am looking at my dresses and thinking of turning some of them into tunics. I have quite a lots of solid fabric and could make some casual trousers to wear with them.  I will think a bit more and get my pattern box down.

That's all for today, dinner is smelling good and it will be an early one as lunch did not happen.

                            TTFN                              Pam

Saturday, 2 March 2019

Some time later.....

Where did the time go? 
Did it evaporate?
Am I lost in a time warp?
I have been a busy bee, flitting from room to room. Moving things, some have moved right out of the house.
The sunshine and warm days have meant longer and slower walks and lots of garden time.
Washing pegged out in the warm bright air, windows and doors flung wide open. All conspire to make the whole house smell so fresh.
We now have storm Freya lurking in the wings, making ready to cause chaos with heavy rain and strong wind.
But, right now it is just a bit breezy, the sun is shining and the garden is a warm and welcoming place to be.
I hope to get out there soon, just have to do a bit more of that housewifey stuff first.
I will be totally honest here, I have done more housework in the past 2 weeks than possibly the past 2 years. That is probably a slight exaggeration, but that is how it feels. 
What is very strange is that, once over the shock to my system, I am quite liking it. Perhaps I am coming down with a virus.

I do make a daily list of things that I want to achieve, without it I would just potter about aimlessly and get nothing done. I shopped yesterday and that is is for a week. It was not particularly large but I did stock up the medicine cabinet, I will need to make a proper list for that ready for the next shop.

Dog stuff filled a bag, they needed shampoo, cream for Ben's dry patches as well as food and tooth chews. I know that Vet's say they are a waste of money but both dogs enjoy them, and so important for Herbie they contain very few calories.
Ben has never had a weight problem but Herbie, like me, only has to look at a dish of food and get fatter. He is so active that it is really a pity but it is what it is and we deal with it.

I picked up a huge bag of Coriander, reduced by 2/3rds to 85P. It went in 2 recipes (and I was generous with it) and a load was chopped and frozen. It freezes very well, I store it in a rigid plastic box and use it straight from the freezer.

I have started 2 projects with my yarn haul from Tuesday, both in their infancy, as soon as there is enough to see I will share.

Apart from all of that I can think of little to write today, my mind is in the garden I think.

We had a Green Thai Curry with Sticky Jasmine Rice, it was okay but I felt that I should have put more ginger and lemon grass in. 

Tonight we are having a crustless quiche, stuffed with lots of veg and the end of a pack of St Augur cheese, some of the Coriander and some fresh mint from the garden.

I think that is it for now, back to the job list and then, fingers crossed, the garden. I have some purple primroses to go in the window box, once the winter pansies have been removed.

I hope that you are all keeping well, in spite of the variations in the weather. There have been some real extremes out there.
20c plus.
In Wales. 
In February!!

                             TTFN                             Pam

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

This is tomorrow.

The last day of sunshine for a little while, ah well this is the UK.
Instead of mooning over my new yarn I will be in the garden, pottering. Building up my vitamin D levels and moving some things around.

I have taken a few pics of my purchases but managed to delete the Alpine yarn, it is a fur fabric type, all polyester, and is destined to become a cowl. This will be a birthday gift for Francesca,and will keep her warm on her commute. it has a horrible name, Oxblood !!, Whoever dreamt that one up should be shut in a dark room and made to listen to Whale music. The colour is in fact a soft red/brown, it could almost slide onto the fringe of orange shades, that will go well with a winter coat in just about any colour.

New additions for the crochet blanket.

I have 2 balls of the dark shade, these will become a Clayoquot Toque, a free pattern from Tin Can Knits. It will be my practise for the jumper, a paid for pattern. I will, probably, not use these exact colours as I am sure that I have enough yarn in stash.

One of my go to sock yarns, WYS, these will give me 4 pairs of socks using the solid for toes, heels and cuffs. Straight Vanilla socks to let the yarn colours shine.

See what my eagerness did. I opened the coloured skein, Heylor, fluffed it out to drool over it and then could not reskein it for the life of me. No worries as it will be caked up and on the needles soon. This will go into the Christmas gift box.
The solid colour is Ollaberry, they are not purple at all, more a pinkish cranberry colour. There are some speckles of purple in the Heylor skein so perhaps the camera focused on those.

This lovely skein of Indie dyed from By Miranda Mae is called Woodland Walk. It will be socks for L and go into the Christmas gift box. She is a green and blue girl so I may use some soft pale blue from stash for toes, heels and cuffs. That way I can add pink to the leftover green yarn and squeeze out a pair for Francesca as well. Double Bubble.

Socks for the SO

Socks for Francesca.

My latest pairs off the needles, both safely stashed away in the gift box. I am not sure whether they will be birthday or Christmas.

It is not a good drive, for me, to Penarth, I do not like the M 4. The tortuous journey into the town from there, full of lane changes with less than adequate signage, was bad enough to send me looking at train times. The cost is not too bad surprisingly. if you add the cost of petrol to the parking it is not too far out. Of course I have to add the parking cost in Neath but I think that there will be a reasonable alternative to the station car park.

Then the SO added a note of sanity. He looked up alternate routes and as soon as he has finished this contract we will take a day out. take the coast road and make it into a leisurely drive with stops as and when we spot something interesting. 
The dogs love to go in the car and once we reach Penarth they will be glad to have a l o n g walk while I visit Yarn N Yarn. A nice picnic lunch, possibly on the way home (after an ice cream on the beach of course) will round the day off. All we need to do is wait for a fine day. 

I will not be discounting the train journey however, even with a change at Cardiff.

Now the sun is shining, I have time to whizz through my job list before scooping Rufus up for his walk. I better get my btm off this chair.

                             TTFN                                    Pam