Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Nom nom nom

That was the only way to describe our dinner tonight.

It was hospital day for W, and he got some good results, today. On the way back we stopped off at Tesco for some supplies. Of course we headed for the yellow sticker section, we did pause at the weekly fruit and veg offer stand.
I gathered 2 beautiful little cauliflowers, a bag of parsnips and a bag of sprouts for 29p each. mmm a meal idea is starting to grow.

Then on to the RTC section where I found a fresh large pineapple for 45 p and some Y-Fenni cheese at 25% of the original price.
Dinner will now be a roasted vegetable gratin followed by pineapple sponge pudding, nearly swoon.

I had a meal planned and we will have that tomorrow.

We have just eaten and it was every bit as good as I imagined it.
I took the same to W,  he is always tired after the pulling about he has to endure. 

After we had returned home and tea had been made and drunk I popped out to send a parcel off to my sister. She loves home made jam and jelly so a few jars are on their way to her. I called in to see Jess and Ivy on the way home and I am so pleased that the tree hat fits her perfectly. It was difficult to leave, she is a gorgeous little girl and loves to play.

Rufus is on rest for a little while, he has hurt one of his paws, and I received a mega loving greeting from him when I delivered W's dinner. I went down onto my knees so that he did not jump up and do any damage to that paw.

I have been wearing my new prescription glasses for a week now and although they are great for driving, reading and crafting I have still not adjusted to them. They are very heavy and I find myself squinting and tilting my head when shopping and cooking.

Because I will need a new prescription within a year I decided not to pay for extra thin lenses and the very best varyvision (not sure how to spell that) type that I usually have. It would have almost doubled the cost, now I am not sure whether I made the right decision but time will tell.

I have cast on a pair of scrappy socks, another thing on the crafting bucket list. Ooooooooooooooooooooh AND I ordered a book today, an Arne and Carlos book on Norwegian knitting, that is for my 2018 list of new things to learn.

My word is definitely going to be "explore" and I will be seeking help and advice as and when I need to. I am not too proud to ask,  just as I am always happy to help anyone who asks. 

I enjoyed knit and natter yesterday afternoon, it will be my last visit until next year. I want to spend sometime clearing the decks of some nearly finished projects, finish a pair of mittens that I cast on 
for Fran. They will match the hat that I put into her birthday parcel, she said how warm it was and asked if there was a chance of mittens.
I will finish the scrappy socks and decide upon my Christmas Eve cast on, there are several possibilities and once I find my mind I will make it up. There will be socks, of course, but I want to get a new garment made from stash. I need to make room for some yarn for my new book, well it would be rude not to.

Now, as usual, it is time for a cuppa before I settle down to watch a little TV while I get on with those mittens.

                        TTFN                                    Pam


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

A not quite lost skill.

In the late 60's early 70's I was a prolific knitter of the "Magnus Magnusson" sweater. They were all the rage along with some new fangled (to me at least) circular needles. I mastered stranded knitting/fair isle/colour work/whatever you like to call it with scarcely a second glance. The joys of youth.
 My hubby made me a box with 6 compartments and  smooth holes in the lid to keep all the coloured balls apart. I wish that I still had it now.

Then of course it went so far out of fashion that it all but disappeared off the face of the earth. Well it did in rural North Norfolk. 
Funnily though I have no memory of the next knitting fad whatsoever. Mind you I was coping with a baby, 2 dogs and a huge farmhouse alongside building a garden out of an acre of wilderness. Oh and I was learning about fruit farming, from the ground up.

Anyway, I posted a very vague picture of a hat with a stitch pattern (barely visible) that I made up on last weeks hospital run. I pulled some scraps of yarn and had another play. The result is a bit sketchy but not too shabby for a prototype. It would have been better if I had not mixed 3 different weights of yarn, but this was about the colour and I used what I had.
I hope that the resulting hat fits Ivy, I will find out later today.

I now want to work out stitch count and get the tension right with the floats. I also hope to use more shades of green and get 2 rows of trees in, for an adult hat. The SO was quite upset when I told him that this one was child sized when he staked his claim upon it.

I am steadily working my way through the last few things on my list of makes for this year. The first ever Mantel scarf that I have made has been delivered to W. He is really pleased with it and I may try to squeeze time to make one for myself.

The snow is still hanging around, we have subzero temperatures here, it is pretty but I will be happy to see it gone.

Talking about seeing something gone, we had home cooked fish and chips last night. All done in the oven, the chips tossed in a scant teaspoon of rape seed oil. But, Oh My Word, the smell in the kitchen when I came down this morning. I had the extractor fan on while cooking and left it running for 30 minutes after AND had the door open BRRRRRR for a few minutes.

I opened the door and chopped up a lemon and boiled it on the stove top, that did the trick. The resulting decision is NO MORE CHIPS at home. My nose still thinks that  the house smells like a chip shop, even my hair after a shower. The SO has checked it out and all it smells of is shampoo.

Now I am going to drink my tea and then get Ben out for his walk.

                              TTFN                                 Pam                                             

Sunday, 10 December 2017

More white stuff.

I was woken, quite early this morning, by pounding rain. Woo Hoo free time to catch up on podcasts and vlogmas, with tea and knitting of course.

Anyhoo, I settled in front of the TV and started a 2 hour binge, during the course of which I stumbles across Mara knits and Skeindeer knits. both of whom I watched when they first started up and then lost track of.

I am now back on track and have subscribed to their channels. On a side note my Firestick keeps telling me that I will no longer be able to watch You Tube on it from the beginning of next year. No probs I can simply link lap top to TV and still watch on big screen.

I digress, during my binge of telly and yarn (the SO's Flax sweater) I realised that it had stopped raining. The next time that I went to top up my cup I saw this.

It is still coming down and settling, although the road is clear so far, despite the wet surfaces.

I am happy that my cupboards are well stocked, I did the big shop of non perishables at the optimum time. I predict that before the end of the day the local shops will have no milk or bread. I further predict that at least half of that purchased will go down the plug hole or in the food waste bin. Panic buying just leads to waste.

Now I need to finish my cuppa and have a whizz round the house before deciding what I will do. There is a mantel scarf to cut out and sew, if I like it enough I may make one for myself.
I have a pile of scraps that need sorting into size and colour and I hope to make time to wind a few bobbins.

I am well on the way down the second sleeve on the Flax and it would be good to get some more time on that. It will be my knitting of choice tonight, although Strictly may have me dropping it into my lap.

Keep warm, keep safe.

                     TTFN                                   Pam

Saturday, 9 December 2017

White stuff. Oh yeah.

Yesterday we had a real humdinger of a hail storm, it was so loud that it drowned out radio 2. Then a bit later we had a flurry of snow, the sun came out and the white was gone.

Over night we have had more snow, enough to cover the roof and blanket the garden, it is quite cold so it may hang around for a bit.

Ben is totally underwhelmed, but then he has seen deep snow a couple of times.

Rufus is spellbound, his first taste of snow that is deep enough to leave proper footprints.

I am still taking it easy but am feeling almost back to normal(?).

I was awake early today so a cuppa and a few Vlogmas videos on You Tube. Then I wrapped Fran's stocking fillers and a few of her other gifts, there is still a respectable pile to work through. I have been making throughout the year and lost track of just how much there was.

I have lots more to wrap, the SO will do most of it, he is a gift wrapper most excellent. ( hmm that phrasing is the fault of watching too many episodes of Poirot)

I have dug out the Flax sweater, one sleeve almost done and one to start, it is cold enough now for the SO to wear it.

I have a traditional Advent calendar, really good dark chocolate, and have eaten 4 squares one of each flavour. The others (there are 2 in each little window) are going to W and the SO. I do like chocolate but only when I like it.
I looked at the cheese one (new that I would never stick to one a day) and lots of crafting versions (How Much!!!) Next year I am going to make one for myself. 24 packages, each one containing a ball of yarn and a pattern AND a mini skein of 4 ply sock wool.

The mini skeins will be for a blanket, the idea will be to knit or crochet each one up on the day that I open it. The larger balls will be for 1 skein projects, socks, hats, shawls, mittens and anything else that I can think of. I will collate these during the year and wrap in plain paper before storing in a box. Then I will take one out each day without the foggiest idea what I will unwrap.
I figure that it will give me structured knitting/crochet during the year, make a sizeable dent in the stash and make me much happier than any amount of chocolate ever could.

Now I need to persuade Ben that he really does want to go for a little walk before breakfast.

Keep warm during this cold snap and enjoy the weekend.

                        TTFN                                       Pam

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Time to take it easy for a bit.

I was up in good time this morning quite convinced that it was hospital day?! Even though we did that yesterday.

Not to worry, I did some work on the Elf slippers and watched a few Vlogmas goodies on You Tube. With a cup of tea of course.

I took Ben out for his little walk and it was grey, damp and windy, oh and a touch chilly. Then when it was time to take Rufus out the sky was blue and the sun was out to play. I was happy that there were 2 loads of washing to go out, they are now blowing quite happily in the wind,which is still quite chilly.

On the way back with Rufus I had a fast heartbeat and am a little breathless, so it is a day or 2 of resting upon my laurels (mmm that's a new way of writing bottom).

I have instructions from the Doc and intend to follow them to the 'nth degree, unlike a recipe.

I have my knitting by my side and there is the complete second season of Victoria on the sky box to keep hands and mind occupied.

The SO is at home today, that means that the kettle will be singing on a regular basis.

Dinner is in the fridge ready to reheat, the Lentil Ragu it smelled fantastic yesterday. (I had a sneaky taste and it is nom nom nom)
We will have some very cheesy scones with it, I have half a pot of cream that needs using and a piece of cheese with leeks that was heavily reduced.
The SO is a dab hand at baking. In fact he can cook just about anything except Yorkshire Pudding, like my Mum,s they are very lazy and do not rise.

On that note I have a cuppa at my elbow and instructions not to let it get cold.

                              TTFN                                     Pam

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Work or play?

The normal Wednesday hospital run dragged on today,the clinic was very busy and they were running late. I always take some knitting and this time it was another hat.
I cast it on at knit and natter yesterday and just played at working out a stitch pattern.

You may be able to see the effect, this one is for the donation box, once I have written the pattern out I will make it again using coloured yarns. I can see it in my minds eye and hope that it will lead to a family of sweaters and hats for this time next year.

Last nights dinner was a massive win win, it was tasty, unctuous and W enjoyed his as much as we did. It will be on the menu again, most likely with some variations, I want to find some vegan cheese to try in it.

Tonight we are having a Jack Monro recipe, Rich Lentil Ragu from her cooking on a bootstrap blog.The smell wafting from the slow cooker is amazing. I almost followed the recipe, I cooked my Puy lentils from scratch and I added a small chilli from one of my plants. They are small but very powerful so a squeeze of lemon juice will go in at the point of serving and I did add a tsp of sugar. I also doubled the quantities and half will be frozen.

Because I ran out of time before setting off this morning I did make the sauce on the stove top and added to the slow cooker to carry on for 4 hours on low. The pan in the background has the lentils cooking away.

Here it is in the pot and about to be lidded and left to "do it's thing".

Now it is time for me to persuade Ben that he really wants to get off the sofa and eat his dinner, he is in full on lazy bones mode this afternoon.

                               TTFN                                    Pam

PS.It has been lashing down this afternoon, I have been playing/working on the stitch pattern and watching some repeats of Poirot.
After dinner and washing up etc the Elf slippers will be in my hands. Photo,s as soon as there is something worth looking at. I have to figure out the somewhat hazy finishing off instructions.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Birthday party with cake!

It was knit and natter this afternoon, a very special session. We celebrated our youngest members birthday with a tasty selection of sandwiches and savouries followed by mince pies and birthday cake.

The celebrant was Sophie, her first birthday, she may not knit yet but she has been with us since she was an egg.

Cards and presents were accepted graciously even though she is teething, her little cheeks were scarlet.

There was a little knitting and some crochet happening but mostly it was chatting and laughter, and some yarn stroking and buying.

I found some to knit Elf slippers and have cast on the first one, I found the pattern free on Ravelry.

Dinner tonight is a new recipe for nut roast, it has  layers of sliced cougette, grated cheese and then some cranberry sauce in the middle. I have a tray of balsamic roast veg to serve with it and have made a tomato sauce, with not a subtle amount of garlic.

Now I am back to my knitting while the oven does the work.

                         TTFN                                      Pam