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