a busy domestic blog of knitting, sewing and all kinds of needlecrafts, cooking my garden produce and preserving it

Monday, 30 July 2012

Step 1 - unpicking

Really this speaks for itself - the first step to re-making this crocheted top is to take it apart!
I've opened the side seams as currently the garment is FAR too small for me and opened the front as I intend to turn it into a waistcoat.
Next step will be to make the neck wider and remove most of the sleeve sections. Then comes the difficult part - finding more yarn for extra patches and working out where to add the new ones, particularly if they aren't the same colours.  
Watch this space for progress reports!!

Previous post on this project
Not Throwing This Away

Sunday, 29 July 2012


 My odds and ends fair isle slipover is now
finished and drying after a quick rinse to 'settle' the knitting.

I just need some cooler weather now, so I can wear it.
(maybe not, Summer is nice now it's arrived)

Monday, 23 July 2012

Not throwing this away!

I made this crochet top for my younger daughter a few years ago and she's now grown out of it. It was the first complete crocheted garment I'd made and took an absolute age to finish. 

There's no way I'm sending this to the charity shop!

What I intend to do is take it slightly apart - I've already taken the neckband off - and re-assemble as a waistcoat for myself. I'm going to need to make more medallions so I'm hoping there's enough left over yarn somewhere around or something that will match.

Nearly done....

This is my latest 'use up the odd and ends' project.

Nearly finished now - all the actual knitting done, just left with fastening off all the ends and sewing up the seams.

Previous posts on this project
2nd May
4th June

Monday, 9 July 2012

Fish pie with added beans!

One snag of growing our own veg is the sudden gluts of one thing or another. Admittedly it's a nice drawback to have but broad beans everyday were starting to get dull so it was time to try something new... Fish pie with added beans!

I was actually going to adapt Teen's school recipe for tuna pasta bake but then decided to use potatoes instead. 

As per recipe, I cooked the veg first

Mixed them with the tuna and some red pepper for a bit of colour

Topped everything with partly-cooked potato slices
poured over some white sauce and grated a very small amount of cheese on top.

Ta dah!
Very nice, even if I say so myself.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Rhubarb jam - or is it marmalade?

The rhubarb is spreading so it's time to chop it back a bit
and put it to good use.

I debated between making jam and just freezing it -  jam won, obviously.
It's a rather lazy sort of jam to make. I'm not sure where the recipe came from as I've hand-written it in the margin of one of my cookbooks.

Basically  - take equal amounts of chopped up rhubarb and sugar and dump them in a jam pan.
 I normally add some orange peel but could only find half-squeezed lemons in the freezer so used those instead - one lemon per pound of rhubarb, chopped into strips once defrosted.

Leave for 24 hours and it will look like this

Bring to the boil and simmer till the rhubarb is soft, then boil rapidly till setting point is reached.
And very lemony.

Is it jam or marmalade? I'm not sure and will probably eat it with yogurt anyway.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Homegrown, homemade minestrone

 Coming back wet and cold from the allotment, I decided soup was the best thing for lunch - and with one bag full of broad beans and another of peas, thought it best to use at least some of them.

I wasn't quite sure what I was making at the start - I podded some broad beans and started cooking them, then added some of last year's tomatoes from the freezer. I wondered about making chilli at this point so added a couple of my dried chillies and a small courgette - from the polytunnel at the allotment. Then thought about the peas and kale I'd brought home so added them instead and called it minestrone.
Normally I'd add carrots but I'd decided by this point to only use my homegrown produce, though I did add some chopped up leaves from shop-bought celery.
Unfortunately, hubby was late back for lunch and the kale overboiled a bit and looked bedraggled - still, it tasted lovely!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Last summer's harvest

I know this doesn't look really exciting but I'm exceptionally pleased to have, at last, managed to make passata that has kept for a year. All previous attempts have ended after a few months with layers of mould on top. I'm hoping that I can repeat this success this year - though first the tomato plants need some sunshine.