Tuesday, 27 January 2015

KNITTING OFF THE NEEDLES!

At last, from this bag of Drops yarn


I have completed this,


my first baby outfit for my daughter Kate and I'm so happy with it.
Knitted in baby merino, at first I thought the colour to be honest was a little on the bland side but adding the 3 white duck buttons seems to have made it look so much better.

Also, I seem to be making great progress with the crochet blanket too, but I'll show you that when it's finished.

I'm just about to start knitting with the drops karisma, a baby cardigan but my plan last night of, early dinner, feet up, tv and knit didn't happen. I got myself too comfortable and promptly fell asleep.
Amount of knitting done - none!
I didn't even get to cast on my stitches.
Later, perhaps!




Sunday, 18 January 2015

AS CHILLY WEATHER SWEEPS IN!

Thank you for all of  your comments on my last post. I really do appreciate them and my belated new year's resolution is to try and reply more in future.

As temperatures have dropped this week, though we've yet to have had any snow here,  I have had a really quiet time and it's been so nice. Sitting down in the afternoons, knitting and crocheting every day, while catching up with some daytime tv you would think I would have got lots of work done.
For all my efforts, there is nothing really to show. I've made little progress with a knitted baby jacket and the blanket that I started on Tuesday seems to be growing oh, so slowly!
Kate's baby is due at the end of March, I need to get a move on.
Next week, I'm hopeful I'll have made more significant progress and I'll be able to show you where I'm at.

Despite the cold weather I've had a lovely day today. We decided to head off early stopping at Jimmys Farm for breakfast which was very nice and then drove on to Felixstowe as Michael wanted to try out his new camera.

We parked next to the docks and Landguard Fort.
My photographer did take an excellent photo of the docks but not unfortunately of the historic fort!


The day was mainly overcast but the sun did try to glimmer through the clouds as we walked towards Felixstowe Pier.
It was nice to get out, stretch our legs and chat as we wandered along.


We returned to the car eventually and then drove along to Felixstowe Ferry quite late in the afternoon. There is a foot ferry that crosses the River Deben between May and Sept/Oct and takes you across to Bawdsey Quay. Here you will find Bawdsey Manor which in 1936 became a top secret research establishment for the MOD and it is where they developed the then new radar technology.
Michael is quite fascinated by the place as his late father worked there for a while but for what reason, he doesn't really know.


As we walked along here by this martello tower the daylight hours were dimming, but we are definitely going to return and venture a bit further afield, perhaps catch the ferry!


Fortunately this cafe was warm and inviting and we popped in for a cup of tea and cake before returning home for dinner.


Now home, the fire is lit, the smell of roast lamb is wafting from the kitchen


and a small bunch of daffodils brightens even the darkest corner and reminds us that Spring will be eventually on its way.


I hope you have all enjoyed a great weekend!

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

JANUARY 2015

I've made a positive start to the new year.

Some new socks, hot off my needles
made with some yarn that I bought while on holiday back in the summer in Salzburg.



And a first for me in 2015 - a "selfie" of my modelling feet, which actually became a feat in itself.
It led to plenty of new year exercising, my nose virtually grazing on the carpet
as I struggled to get both feet in the picture and then when I had to come up for air I realised that I needed to plunge straight down again to take another as by keeping my legs and feet tightly together I looked more like a modelling penguin.
(photo deleted!)


 I've finally opened my bag of yarn goodies from Wool Warehouse and have made a start on a tiny baby hat.


Kate has decided not to know the sex of her baby but she is not a pink girl anyway and sways more towards greys and blues so I've gone with these colours to start with.
The Drops Alpaca Silk is for a crocheted blanket which I really loved as soon as I saw it on a blog that I follow - Heldasland


 Before I go I thought I'd leave you the recipe  that I found for these Cheese & Rosemary Sables that I made for christmas, they were so easy to make and really tasty.


Ingredients
175g plain flour + some for dusting
Half a level teaspoon of salt
Half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Half a teaspoon of english mustard powder
150g of unsalted butter chilled and cut into small pieces
75g of finely grated mature cheddar
75g of finely grated parmesan cheese

1 beaten egg
75g of finely chopped walnut pieces
1 tbsp of finely chopped rosemary and some sea salt 

Method
Rub the butter into the flour, salt, cayenne pepper and mustard.
Add the cheeses and 1 teaspoon of cold water and bring together (like you would pastry)
until you have a dough ball.
Divide in half and roll out each on a floured work surface so you end up with 2  3 cms long logs 
Wrap individually in baking paper and then cling film for 3-4 hrs and pop in the fridge
 (I left mine overnight and they were fine)

Preheat the oven to 180c fan or Gas 4
Brush the logs with the beaten egg and roll in the walnuts.
Cut the logs in 4-5cms slices, place on some baking paper on a baking tray 3cms apart
Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle some with the rosemary and some with the sea salt flakes.
Cook for 11-12 mins.

Once cooked store in an air tight container.

I doubled this recipe and they kept really well. They went down well with pre dinner drinks and I will definitely be making them again.

Why don't you give them a try!




Wednesday, 31 December 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I had high hopes on Christmas Eve of posting on my blog photos of some delicious treats!


Christmas cakes decorated with the help of Charlotte!


Cheese & Rosemary Sables.


Nigel Slater's sausage danish plus a few mince pies made with left over pastry that the seagulls really enjoyed!


These were so much better!

However Christmas Eve passed in a flash as so did Christmas and Boxing Day.
Lots of fun and laughter was had by us all, a busy time but an excellent time.

We've had long walks in the winter sunshine 
and yesterday enjoyed a coffee and some lunch looking out to sea at Aldeburgh.
Perfect!


So tomorrow we start a fresh new year. Lots of projects planned (yarn delivery has arrived this morning) and a fourth grand child to look forward to.

Thank you so much for following my blog through 2014.
I wish you all a happy and healthy new year!

Monday, 15 December 2014

CHRISTMAS TREE!

Yesterday the christmas tree was squeezed through the patio doors into the lounge. 
I was making sausage rolls in the kitchen at the time and when Michael called for me and I walked in the lounge I had a - Oh deary me, what a big tree! moment.


 Last night I got Michael to put the fairy on the top and drape the lights round it as I couldn't reach the top. Today I have spent the afternoon putting the baubles and other decorations on and I do think it looks very pretty. (The bucket at the bottom needs some attention but I'm leaving that for another day.)


I do like the fact that it still has a couple of pine cones on it, that's what sold it to me in the first place. If it hadn't been for them I wouldn't have got one quite as big but then knowing my past record, I probably would have.


I bought this santa decoration the other day when I was in the tourist information centre in town. I had to buy it for Michael as I thought it very appropiate as we have a boat just like that in our garage.

At long last I am beginning to feel a little more christmassy and I'm now off to listen to christmas music while I wrap some presents.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

OH CHRISTMAS TREE!

Here is our christmas tree!


Outside it looks huge
and inside I feel it's going to look even huger!
(I wasn't sure if huger was a word but according to google it is so I'm using it!)

What swayed me to choose this one from all the others at the garden centre is that it still has a few cones on the top. 
Michael and I as always had our normal christmas banter as we paced along the rows of christmas trees.

"That's enormous, have you any idea how large that's going to look in our lounge!"
My reply, "It'll be fine, I like a tall tree!"
"IT'S GOING TO BE TOO BIG!"
"Oh no it isn't, not when you've cut it and trimmed it a little, it'll be perfect!"

We left the garden centre with the tree.

So now we have the tree in the garden. We do have a slight problem in that the patio doors aren't opening as well as they should but by the weekend this should be sorted and the tree will appear in the lounge ready to be decorated.

On Tuesday I moved the lounge round leaving the gap ready for the tree, looking for those extra inches of floor space that are never going to be there!
Am I the only one that does this?

Once the tree is decorated and the christmas cards are opened I will hopefully then start to feel a little more festive!

Next time fingers crossed I'll have some photos of my decorated tree to show you.








Monday, 1 December 2014

PRODUCTIVE SATURDAY

On Friday when I did my shopping in town, I joked with my butcher.
"Am I going to get 20% of my pound of sausages today?" I asked.
"Ah no, sorry" was his reply. 
We laughed!

Thankfully the rest of Friday passed quietly in the little market town where I live but following on from Black Friday I decided to create my very own Productive Saturday. 

When Kate asked me to make her this chevron blanket she did say she would really like it to be finished to coincide with the completion of her newly decorated lounge.


While the decorating is yet to be finished, I am very pleased to say the blanket is!
One job finished off my "to do" list.


Now I'm sorry but I am going to blow my own trumpet here. I am so pleased with my christmas stockings.  I did fly into panic mode on Saturday morning when I found my marker pen had dried out completely and attaching the labels was my first planned job of the day.

Thankfully my husband came to my rescue. Coming in from the garage he made us a coffee, plied me with one of those nice biscuits from M& S and grabbing a pencil and paper redisgned how I was going to attach the tags.

So I must say a huge thank you to him as his new idea is so much better than mine ever was. The 3 double sided tags are on the side ready to be written on with my new marker and then I just have to slot the little hanging down strips into each of them and hand stitch them to make them secure.

I lined the stockings with a piece of flanelette sheet, to make them a little thicker which I bought so cheaply from Poundland and then put in a blue lining for Jacks and red for the girls.


All I hope is that Father Christmas has enough toys on his sleigh on the 24th to fill them up!
Hope you all have a great week!