Well I don’t know what happened to Summer as I was all prepared for my two weeks off work, planning picnics and ice-cream, reading and crocheting in the sun but,,, instead we have a chill wind and rather too many showers for picnic comfort. Nevertheless we hit Dartmoor yesterday for some fresh air, exercise and a rather windy picnic.
We also have an abundance of blackberries in the hedgerow which are begging to be picked and taken home as well as a promising supply of sloes this year. Must remember to take a pot f0r picking every time I go out.
So, I have admitted defeat and embraced Autumn pursuits which has meant more baking, the first soup making of the season (lovely warning lentil) and even my first real foray into home wine-making. This a supposedly very easy Orange juice wine but I have plans for the blackberries. Will report back again on the wine front when things happen.
I have been testing recipes in my new cookbook (Sweetness and Light) but to be perfectly honest, the results have not been brilliant. I have few pictures as they were not photogenic and barely edible in many cases which is more than a little disappointing. The one which wasn’t too bad was Apricot and Ginger cake but it needed a lot more liquid added than the recipe asked for and still came out of the oven very dry. This is a pic of the Banana bread which was a bit of a heavy brick.
To keep him indoors (who is not keen on my so-called healthy baking) happy, I made a quick Cherry Cake and I report that that went down well.
On the crafty front, I am getting socks finished slowly (not sure about the colours of this pair) and also working on some granny squares which I envisage making a throw with a cosmic theme.
That’s all for now folks.
I have finished my circles throw and I must admit I am quite pleased as I was getting a little tired of joining them together. I do love it now it is done and laying over the sofa arm all ready for winter snuggles. It was a fun throw to make as the colours were pretty random and so did not require masses of thought. I did lay all the pieces out on the floor as it was getting near to the end to make sure I had a good balance of colour as I do have a tendency to keep reaching for same colour palette. It reminds me of Pop Art and Bullseye sweets.
I was really pleased with the way the border came out as I didn’t want a plain crocheted edge feeling that the circles needed something to set them off. A quick Google search produced this pointed scallop border which adds interest to the throw. If anybody wants further details on this throw, check out my Ravelry project page 🙂
In the cooking department during this heatwave there has not been much actual baking but I did make a lovely ‘bung it’ tart to have with salad (it involved mushrooms, spinach and blue cheese as well as eggs). Will get round to writing the recipe up soon. We had lots of home made pizza too. I just love the ripe seasonal fruit and veg especially vine tomatoes. I will look as these snaps in the Winter and pine for tomatoes which taste of Summer. I am optimistic that there may be tomatoes from my yard this year (I don’t have much luck with them normally as they seem to succumb to blight every August. The plants are massive this year – amazing what a bit of sunshine can do.
I have been a bit quiet here lately but now I have a backlog of things to show you so will do more very soon. I also have a new cookbook for sweet but healthy treats and will report about that shortly. Enjoy the sun! Here is Ziggy’s tip for keeping your cool…
One of my perfect types of day today: sun was a-shining and no work. Into the car with people, dog, food and flask and off to the Moors. We were in the area known as Cadover Bridge which is only around 20 mins from Plymouth City centre. Oddly it wasn’t very busy today despite it being a dry Bank Holiday weekend.
Here are some snaps to give you a flavour of just how beautiful it was:
… and then home mid afternoon for a bit of gardening in the yard (planted out tomatoes and sweet peas and some more seeds. Then apple cake and crochet while pizza dough rises for tea.
This is the Easter chicken I made for my lovely old school friend. It is an egg cosy pattern but makes a cute sitting chicken too. I have shown you a picture of the inside below as it has a lining in a contrasting colour which is rather lovely. The pattern is available on Ravelry if anybody wants to make their own chicken 🙂
Eggstremely Cosy Set
… and Apple cake
Well I have been on a bit of a crafting frenzy in the past month or so. I feel the ‘gifting season’ rapidly approaching and so have been trialing a few things which may become gifts. These have included woolly crochet hats, loomed socks, shawls and one of my favourites, a fish for keeping plastic bags in! The weather has turned pretty grim here so there will be long evenings when the only consolation is that I can crack on with crafting plans.
Here is the first hat which has already been taken by my man to match the scarf I made him a few years ago (I mislaid the yarn for a while) and modeled by a rather furtive looking Ziggy-dog. It is crocheted in a rib stitch and I used a tweedy wool called RY Classic Yarns wool tweed which I have had stashed for a few years.
I have also been playing with some crochet fingerless gloves which I think will be great for my freezing office this year and also as Christmas presents for the ladies in the family. The yarns are, respectively, Stylecraft Merry-go-round and King Cole Glitz which were both lovely to work with. There are many patterns for these kinds of gloves and the concept is pretty simple once you get the hang of it.
I found a lovely fun pattern on Ravelry for this useful quirky fish who now hangs in my kitchen, I think I will make more of these too. Look for ‘Fishy the plastic bag keeper’ by Sharon Maher if you want to make one of your own!
Last, but not least, I completed a loomed shawl made from beautiful yarn (Rowan Creative Focus worsted). I wish I were brave enough to wear shawls in public but it really isn’t a common thing were I live and I feel a bit daft. Even so, I love it and will probably use it to keep warm this winter when I am reading in bed. The pattern is ‘The Artists Palette Shawl’ by Renee Van de Hoy, again on Ravelry.
Right that’s all for now folks as too much typing means no woolly things being finished and I am told that Christmas is coming! Bye for now.
My lovely cocker spaniel, Marley, left us after a very sudden illness three weeks ago. The whole family were devastated and his loss left a huge gaping dog-shaped hole in our family life. Here he is having is usual doggy fun. He was such a happy dog and loved every minute of his too short life. I miss my little furry shadow 😦
I have been working on a couple of things which I can’t share yet as they will be presents later in the year but I did finish this recently for my son-in-law’s birthday. It is from a very well written pattern: Dalek Amigurumi by Lucy Ravenscar which is available on Ravelry.
and more news…. introducing Ziggy
The loss of Marley was very hard to bear and it is a tribute to a wonderful dog that we had to give another dog a home very quickly so we went to Gables Farm Dag and Cat Home a week ago where we found our newest family member waiting for us. He has been with us for just one day now and is settling in so quickly it is untrue. He has met all members of the close family now including canine ones and all seems well. He is currently flaked out next to me as it is so very hot today. I am sure I will have him modelling scarves soon.
I would like to say that Gables Farm is a wonderfully professional place. It is clean and the staff really care about and know the dogs and other animals in their care. If you are seeking a new pet please consider visiting your local animal rescue centre before a breeder as there are so many lovely animals looking for loving owners. Have a look at gablesfarm.org.uk or at your local centre.