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

Sunday, 28 February 2021

First knitting project of the year

For Christmas my youngest daughter bought me (among other things) a couple of hanks of wool from The Camel's Yarn, based in Camelford, Cornwall.

It's a wonderfully soft, double knit yarn, in a colourway seasonally titled 'Partridge in a Pear Tree'. 
My immediate thought with comparatively small amounts of yarn is to knit a scarf and/or a hat, but this time I felt I had enough to knit a pair of gloves as well. 

Having decide what, then it's on to thinking about patterns. I toyed with this lacy idea, sort of vaguely representing the 'tree' of its name, but decided gloves with holes in them probably weren't very practical.

Flicking through a book of patterns I spotted this cabled heart design, and thought it would go perfectly, representing I suppose the 'true love' who gave the partridge, pear tree, and everything else.

Not being quite sure of how far the yarn would go, I started with the gloves, then hat, and was delighted to find I had enough left for a scarf; it's thin and quite short (not one to wrap round one's neck several times) but with all three it feels like a complete set.


Thursday, 7 January 2021

Helmet and jumper for a very small knight

Before Christmas my eldest daughter spotted a knitted version of a knight's helmet, and asked if I could knit one for her 3 year old. A quick search of the web found lots of free patterns out there, and I picked this one from Sewing Away My Time blog. 
As I had more grey yarn, I decided to make a knight's jumper to wear with it - a simple raglan design in DK with a shield design on the front. It looks crumpled as it's not washed or pressed at this point as I was slightly hurried getting things finished before Christmas (as always) but for once it's about the right size. Now all that's need is a knitted sword ...


Sunday, 11 October 2020


When you have a vegetable patch in the garden or an allotment you're going, from time to time, get a surplus of something or other. Hopefully it's something that can be frozen or pickled or turned into jam, but occasionally it isn't - or, as is the case at the moment due to tomatoes and runner beans, there just isn't space in the freezer. 

So, I'm working my way through a seemingly never-ending supply of kale. I'm not fond of it just boiled, as you might cook cabbage or broccoli, which leads to some interesting experiments.

I like to add it, much the way I would spinach, to dishes with strong flavour, such as stir fries, chillies, curry, goulash, tomato dishes for pasta, with bacon chops in an apple juice sauce, and both in and shredded on top of enchiladas.  

My favourite way though is none of these but roasted - with oil and spices - to make Chinese 'crispy seaweed'.


Thursday, 25 June 2020

Rainbow wool project

Just before Christmas my youngest daughter went to Riga for a weekend, and brought back this wonderful rainbow yarn for me. 

I struggled a bit to decide how to use it - there wasn't much, and I wanted something which would show off the marvelous colours, while avoiding the obvious thought of stripes.

This is what I decided on - stripes with stitch interest. It shows the colours off to perfection, and worked brilliantly as a scarf. As a hat, though it looked strange, like a baby's bonnet or something a flower fairy might wear so I decided to rip that back and start again.

 This time I went for a simpler plain stitch with just an odd row of reverse stocking stitch at intervals to echo the similar lines in the scarf.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

I DID get it finished!

 In January '19 I bought some wool in a sale, intending to crack on and make something, but I never really got started. Then in autumn I found it out but couldn't remember what I'd intended to knit.
A lot of hunting among patterns and making alterations to this and that followed, and eventually by the end of February '20 I'd finished!

The full photo isn't very clear but what I wanted was a hip length cardigan, wide at the bottom, fitted at the top. It pulls in at the waist with a repeat of the fancy hem rib, and my only regret is forgetting to add pockets.

It's probably not the longest it's taken between buying yarn and completing a garment because sometimes I just buy on impulse and hoard the wool, but it has taken a while.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Decisions, decisions

Back in the January sales I bought some wool. I had a definite plan of what I’d make but life got in the way and I never started it. 

Now I can’t remember what I was going to knit, so I’ve spent most of the weekend with my head in pattern books but still haven't made a decision!

Friday, 11 October 2019

Raspberry Vodka

After a fortnight of soaking raspberries and sugar in vodka, it's time for straining and decanting back into the original bottle.

There was just a little too much to fit, so I had to sample some - and very nice it was. The colour's gorgeous too. It's definitely more of a success than my rhubarb gin which smells strangely of olive oil.

I just wish I'd thought to steam off the original labels!