Friday, 25 February 2011

Vintage Laura Ashley

Sophie asked me to make her another large cushion and she chose a really pretty Laura Ashley vintage material that I had bought online, together with a really nice 100% cotton, called Granny's Treasures that complements the other fabric well. I really love both these fabrics and they go so well together.

The above photo is the vintage fabric and below the pretty quilting fabric.

I know that this will look great in Sophie's room!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

what to do with all those parsnips.....

make parsnip soup of course! I had a good crop of parsnips on the allotment but was at a loss as to what to do with them other than roast them or put them in a pot. However I have found a really tasty curried parsnip soup recipe and yesterday I made a big batch of the soup and froze it in individual portions. Ideal for Andy to take to work or for me to have it home.
Talking of the allotment,  it is that time of the year when I am itching to get started on sowing seeds and planting out. Well I haven't started sowing seeds yet, every year I start too early and  have loads of seedlings on windowsills going horribly leggy, so this year I am holding back for a bit longer. However I have picked up the potatoes from the allotment shop ordered last autumn, are are being chitted as we speak! I have also got some shallots ready for planting and I am going to put them in next week all being well with the weather. Can't wait! In the meantime I am not wasting time on the allotment,  I am finishing off the digging I couldn't get done in November 'cos we had that horrible weather!

Friday, 18 February 2011

gingerbread ...mmmm......and a chocolate coloured cushion!

Home smells lovely at the  moment...I have made some gorgeous gingerbread ready to take to the grandchildren on Sunday together with some honeycomb that I am hoping to make once I have been shopping. There are four grand children, Rosie, the eldest, then Joni, Poppy and Stephen, the youngest and they live in Nottingham, so unfortunately we do not see them too often but like me they have a sweet tooth so it gives me an opportunity to make lovely sticky sweet cakes and buns.  The gingerbread, once cool needs to be taken out of the tin with lining still attached, wrapped in tin foil and put in an air tight container for up to a week, and then cut into wedges, but in this case it will be two days!
It hasn't taken me too long to finish the taupe coloured cable cushion I started about 2 weeks ago especially as I have three other projects on the go at the moment. The aran yarn is a  blend of wool and acrylic and knits up beautifully. I just love the colour although the colour in the photo is not a good reproduction, the colour is really what I would call a light, warm, milk chocolate colour.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Oh no,red mites again!

I was so disappointed when I checked on the hens on Friday, I could see quite clearly that the red mites were back. They are blood sucking insects which debilitate the hens, We had an infestation last year and we were able  to eradicate them eventually by trying different methods. The most effective method for us was to use smoke ' bombs', which fumigates the area and kills the bugs. The problem is that  the eggs are laid in the roof ( the roost is one of our Victorian brick outbuildings with a tiled roof) and because of this they are difficult to eradicate. We used two bombs and are keeping our fingers crossed!
I have finished making some stripey mittens, I am unlikely to make any more of these, as although they are easy to make and look really good, they are very time consuming because of all the different wool changes which have to be weaved in and all the different components which make them up. In fact I think it actually takes longer to finish them up than it does to knit them!
On the other hand (excuse the pun!) the slouchy hat just finished in a lovely pale pink chunky wool was so easy to make and also looks really good.
I am now in the process of making two different cushion covers, one in aran which I have made previously in cream and a new pattern, in a pale green cotton yarn. The middle pattern is called cobnut and the outside panels are double moss stitch. The colour is not really a good representation, it is more of a pastel baby green and it is knitting up beautifully. Can't wait to see what it looks like finished!

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Spike is our newest addition to the family and he is a sweety. He is a lovely, fluffy black and white cat and will be eleven years old this year, and he is, Sophie my daughter's cat. He lived with Sophie's father, who is now going travelling and Spike had to move on .Sophie shares a house in London and it would not be the best place for him to live as he is used to living in the countryside. So he has come to live with us. Poor thing, it is a bit of a trauma for him as I have two other cats and a dog living in the house! It has been a week and a half now and he seems to be settling down. The dog is no trouble whatsoever but all the cats are a bit spooky with each other, but nothing nasty, thank goodness.
I have finished my lovely cable patterned cushion cover and I am very pleased with it.

It is knitted in an aran mix of wool, cotton and acrylic. As the pattern was fairly complex (well,for me anyway) I had to knit the pattern when there were no distractions, but the reverse is in a neat double moss stitch which was a lot more straight forward  I have bought a goose feather and down pad for it and it is now for sale on my online shop (Folksy).
I have started on my next one which is in a deeper colour, a sort of brown/mauve colour, it is hard to describe but is a stylish shade.