Saturday, 25 October 2008

Cold Mountain hat

This is what I made with the pink wool I spun; it's a pattern from the wonderful (one of the best sites around, lovely patterns, lots of inspiration). This one is "coronet", with a sideways cabled brim, then the stitches picked up around for the body of the hat. I added the little i-cord doo-dah on top just because I could LOL. Modelled here by a slightly bemused Bean........Quite pleased with it, and I might even keep it for myself this time :)

Forgot to say - it's called Cold Mountain as I was listening to the Soundtrack of the film whilst spinning the wool. Quite an apt name for it - thick and warm enough to wear if you found yourself traipsing up a mountain for some reason, and you'd be easily spotted in this pink colour if, heaven forbid, you got lost!

Friday, 24 October 2008

Market day

- seemed to come round quick again, even though I missed last week as MrL on holiday. UP at 6am, still very dark then, too dark to knit in the car on teh way down to Wimborne........Had a slight altercation with the staff in the "pharmacy" - the chemist, I call it LOL. I wanted some iron tablets, and was obviously in for a patronising lecture on who, what, why, etc, so I told them I'd take my business elsewhere, at which they weren't too pelased, but I'm old enough and sensible to know what I'm doing, especially where my family's health is concerned. Got quite cross about it, but I've let it go now. :) The market was lovely - full of autumn vegetables, bright with pumpkins and much talk of the weather, gloves worn, collars pulled up. I even found some pumpernickel bread on one of my favoruite stalls, for OH, I'm not that keen on it. I bought the beautiful jade rimmed plate there, for only50p. I haven't got the perfect place for it yet, but that perfect palce will rpesent itself in time, and I'll have just the thing to fill it. Got the pink item finished whilst waiting for MrL after the amrket - it turned into a rather ncie hat! Pictures to follow when it's done its stint at the Guild tomorrow. Teh feedstore came up trumps with a lovely big bunch of crysanths in a beautiful shade of lavender for 1.00, in aid of the Air Ambulanc, and a reduced sack of accorts for a pound; the best will go to making carrot whisky, the goats will get the offcuts on Sunday - everyone's happy! Stopped in at the tip this afternoon later on, to dump the ash; came home with some useful baking tins, a nice stripey cotton rag rug (brand new by the looks of it), interesting tin of buttons (lovely old tin) and the other things in the pictures. The floral china is Aynsley Cottage Garden - not a complete set, but very pretty, and will be useful; two little antique cream pots which I love for their simple utility - no use thought of yet, but I have them if I need them; a pair of salt and peppers - beautiful cottage design on them , couldn't resist them, even though I have a perfectly good wooden pepper mill and a clear salt grinder............I also found two very useful rectangular Denby dishes, good for pate etc.
Home now, all fed, cleared up, jsut waiting for Bean to come in, I've got a glass of honeysuckle wine on the windowsill, and will finish up here soon. Tomorrow is Guild day, so much talk of spinning weaving and dyeing to be done! My knitting's packed ready.................LOL

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Adding more zing to my day...........

This is the pink I talked about in the post below. The camera doesn't do the pink justice - think of the biggest, pinkest, tartiest dahlia, and that's it! I have 125g of it, quite chunky, to knit into something before Saturday morning. I'm really pleased with this, it's spun up nicely, and my spinning seems to be improving too. :)

On a grey blustery, wintry day..........

It's nice to inject a bit of colour into life, isn't it? Let's start with cake.............:)

I have a couple of things to do for the Guild competition - on Saturday! - so am getting on with them today. I've spun the 1 oz skein, in multi coloured wool I belnded on the carders. Used to look like this:

Next stage:

Finally, transformed into the skein, after plying:

I thought we could finish with cake too............LOL

The second competition is for a handspun item - ie something made out of yarn you've spun yourself. I've found some hot pink wool, so I've just got that on the wheel. As it's to be done for Saturday, it will be a "Small Item" :):):)

Quotes for today

I found these two quotes on Dick Gaughan's site this morning:

"Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years."
-- R. D. Laing

"Any damn fool can get complicated; it takes a genius to achieve simplicity."
-- Pete Seeger on Woody Guthrie

I hadn't heard of Dick Gaughan until this morning, so checked out his website:

There's a recording of one of his cocnerts on TV tonight, so I think I'll give it a go. Will report back :)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

I've been tagged!

LOL - hope I get this right!

Leanne at has tagged me, so here I go.
These are the rules:

1.Link to the person who tagged you
2.Post the rules on your blog
3.Write 6 random things about yourself
4.Tag 6 people at the end of the post, link to them
5.Let each person know they've been tagged
6.Let tagger know when entry is up

Here are 6 random things about me:

- I can swear in Gaelic

- I was born in London

- I am scared of thunder and lightening

- I can't use the digi-box/TV/video/DVD combination without one of the children helping me LOL

- my favourite flower is the blue Tibetan poppy

- I can play the fiddle, now relearning!

6 people I tag are:

HHHmmmmmm - think that's done it! No obligation to those tagged - just take part if you want to :)

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Pattern for retro pleated tea cosy

Here we go, the pattern for the blue and white tea cosy from the October giveaway. The pattern itself is from a very old "bazaar makes" booklet I got years ago, and remember my mother having it when I was small as well. I also remember one of the girls at primary school knitting one, so it's a real golden oldie :)

1 x 50g ball blue
1 x 50g ball white
Pair no 7 (UK) needles

To fit a two pint teapot

M= blue L = white

Special note
Pleats are formed by each colour being drawn across the back of the colour just used and keeping all the strands to the wrong side of teh work.

First half
Using M, cast on 56 sts and k4 rows. Join in L and work as follows:
Next row: K1M *K6L, K6M, rep from * to last 7 sts, K6L, K1M. Work 5 rows more

Next row: K1L *K6M, K6L, rep from * to last 7 sts, K6M, K1L. Work 5 rows more.

Next row: K1M *K6L, k6M, rep from * to last 7 sts, K6L K1M. Work 27 more rows.

Next row: K1M *K2togL, k2L, K2togL, K2togM, K2M K2togM, repeat from * to last 7 sts, K2togL K2L K2togL K1M

Next row: K1M *K4L K4M rep from * to last 5 sts K4L K1M

Next row: K1M *(K2togL) twice (K2togM)twice, rep from * to last 5 sts, (K2togL) twice, K1M

Next row: K1M *K2L K2M, rep from * to alst 3 sts, K2L K1M

Next row: K1M *K2togL, K2togM, rep from * to last 3 sts, k2togL, K1M

Next row: *K1M, K1L, rep from * to last st, K1M. Break L

Next row: K1*m1k,k twice in next stitch rep from * to last st, m1k,k1 - 30sts

Leave these 30 sts on a spare needle.

Second half

Work as for first half reversing colours.


Knit across both sets of 30sts, and K 10 rows. Cast off.

To make up

Join sides, leaving openings for spout and handle.

Make a cord and thread through top, add pompoms etc if liked.

m1 = make 1, by picking up and knitting into the back of the loop between last and next stitch

These look good in a strong colour with the white - cornflower blue, bright red, yellow. for a really classic retro look, pair dark green with cream. :)

Happy knitting - shout if you're not sure about anything.

21st October - Apple Day

Apple Day was started some years ago by the hugely impressive Common Ground

I have enormous respect for this organisation and the work it does to impress how wonderful the local is. I have their "England in Particular" book, which is a wonderful read, throughly recommended. I'm hoping to get hold of their "Apple Source" book too. The work they do on promoting the local, regional and national identity of all sorts of things is vitally important to everyone's future - have a look at their website and be inspired!

Common Ground's rules for local distinctiveness:

Back to the apples then....... We'll be having an apple pudding tonight in honour of Apple Day, and I've given my daily stir to the bucket of cottage cider that is brewing away quietly in a corner by the Rayburn. There were few trees at our house when we moved here - two small conifers by the front door (gone within a week), three lilacs, two white and one purple; one of the whites is a double one, and a huge conifer up in what is now the chicken run, which soon went too, made into logs for the fire. I listed all the trees I had planted here since we came, and it came to over 50, but has gone up even more now. Several of those are apple trees. I'm afraid I tend to choose my apple trees for their names - wonderful , old, evocative names, but I try and keep them to their pollinating groups too for successful fruiting, and as local as possible. So far I have the following: Sussex Duck's bill (aka Winter Queening) - a late fruiting eating/cooking apple, nice crisp clean taste; Devonshire Quarrenden - lovely pinky red apple, best from the tree, doesn't keep, pink flushed under the skin, small fruits, early, beinneial bearer (might be able to address this with pruning, I read somewhere, but need to do more research); Yarlington Mill - very local old cider apple; Sops in Wine - another cider apple; Slack ma Girdle - bought for the name, another old cider apple. I reckon I can fit another couple in; I'd like a cooking apple - I tried some Lane's Prince Albert from a roadside table in a nearby village - that's a nice one; and I'd like Tom Putt - very local, reputed to have been bred in a village some 8 miles distant, it's a cooking/cider appple.
I get given a lot of apples by folks who don't need them; some I go and collect myself from their trees too, or find in car parks, out in the lanes on wild trees, or escaped cultivars, by peoples' driveways with "help yourslef" in felt pen on an old bit of cardboard box....... it's a rare thing for me to ahve to pay for apples this time of year, which is lovely. I bring them home, sort them and wash them if needed. Best are kept for eating, windfalls go for cider/wine, the big/cooking apples are bottled or pureed and frozen, some amde into pies for the freezer, frozen uncooked to go straight into the oven.
I am making a proper wooden apple rack for next year, so I will be able to store some properly;I need to research the instructions for this, but will be an interesting project, and I'll stencil the names on the sides too, to add a bit of interest.
So - revel in your apples today, make the most of your native apples, demand them in the shops, buy them when you see them, use them, plant them, talk about them - they're the best apples in the world.
To end, here's my recipe for Doset Apple cake - serve with a girt dollop of double cream!LOL

8oz self-raising flour
4oz butter
4oz sugar
About 1 /2 lb or so of apples, peeled cored and diced
1 large egg, beaten

Prepare a cake tin by greasing and flouring _ I use a round sandwich tin. Rub butter into flour, add sugar and chopped apple, mix well. Mix to a stiff dropping consistency with the beaten egg, add a little milk if needs be, but not too soft a dough. Turn into tin, bake until risen and golden brown - about 30 - 40 minutes in a hot oven. cool on a wire rack. Freezes well.

Enjoy your apples! :)

A few pictures from the garden

Taken yesterday morning; weather was very dull and wet, raining in fact, whilst I was out there. Just had to capture the gorgeous rich yellow of the apple leaves on camera!

Some of the non-human residents at The Deanery.......

Thought it would make a break from pictures of knitting and food LOL

Monday, 20 October 2008

October Giveaway - the winner

First of all, big thanks to all who left comments, here and by e-mail. Sorry I don't have enough tea cosies for you all!**
the winner of this months' giveaway is - "libby'sblog" :) Send me your name and address by e-mail, libby'sblog, and I'll get this off to you.

Watch out for the November giveaway, appearing in - well, November, I suppose.......... :)

** I'll be posting up the pattern for the tea cosy later on; I didn't want to do it before now in case you all rushed off and knitted your own and didn't want mine LOL. I'll also be putting up some ideas for homemade gifts in the sidebar which might help out in our creative endeavours!

Thanks again.


Sunday, 19 October 2008

Autumn Bliss flpajacks

I made these this evening; I'm fed up with the ovepriced, overpackaged "cereal bars" type things that MrL likes for the office, so he gets this type of thing from now on. I did it by intuition, so maybe this recipe is already out there somewhere, but I made it up as I went along. Easily adaptable to any fruit you have, or you could add chocoalte chips, coconut, dried fruits, spices, etc.

4oz butter
4oz sugar
4oz plain flour
4oz porridge oats
1 tbsp golden syrup
handful of fresh fruit - I used Autumn Bliss raspberries for this one

Combine butter and sugar, add flour and start to rub in butter; add in the oats and syrup,then the fruit etc, and mix thoroughly (I use my hand for this stage). Press into a suitably sized buttered tin and bake in a hottish oven until cooked through and starting to brown. Cut into fingers while warm , leave to cool in the tin, then turn out. Store in an airtight container if you don't eat them all straight away!

October chores in the garden

Got a bit caught up in the garden this afternoon. Saturday was spent pottering - jumble sale in the morning, followed by knitting and pottering type things. Today was nice again, though, so we cooked breakfast outside on the rejuvenated coals from MrL's fire last night; it always tastes better outside, but I fear that may be the last time this year.
Got one bed dug over, infested with couch grass as it wasn't used this year. Cleared a lot of it, and will deal with it as and when it appears; I sowed the winter wheat in there, which should outgrow the couch hopefully, at least to begin with, then crowd it out when it gets its spurt growth on in the spring. Next job was to tidy up the cardoon- remove all tehd ead wood, old growth and generally tidy it up. Pruned an old blackcurrant bush back, then made new edges for a small bed nearby. Bit wonky, but I enjoyed doing it, and it will suffice for now. Forked that over and weeded it, then planted the garlic. Two greenhouses are cleared, awaiting cleaning, and the sweetpeas are sown. If it's dry tomorrow, I want to get the asparagus bed cut back, weeded and mulched, and mulch the quince tree.
Nice easy supper after all that exertion - pasta with a creamy mushroom herb sauce, washed down with a glass of honeysuckle wine. :) Here endeth another week! MrL back to work tomorrow, so normal service resumed............:)

In the interim, I see I've passed the 20,000 hit marker - so a huge thankyou to everyone who reads here, I really appreciate it!