Saturday, 21 September 2013

making, baking and finishing things (granny stripe blanket)

Today was a day for making, baking and finishing things - quite productive.

As I type the first batch of chilli jam is cooling/stetting next to me before the next batch goes on. That's three batches in a week, not all for me. I've made some for the Macmilian coffee morning (or rather afternoon) a friend has planned and thought it would help rather than baking. But this afternon I was in the mood for baking and made a batch of jam tarts, yummy, and just in time before Ian went off on his night shift. Nothing beats home made cakes.

And this morning whilst he was asleep I finished my granny stripe blanket - pictures to follow shortly.I'm pleased with it but can't wait to start my sisters one tomorrow, lets hope its completed for Christmas (oops I said that word and in September!)

Right gotta get back to bottling up the chilli jam. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I've got a batch of tomato apple jam to make in the morning. Amanda x

bright and lovely granny stripe blanket

Monday, 16 September 2013

Free knitting patterns (pumpkins for Halloween)

Jack be Little Pumpkin from Sitting Tree Blog
In search of a free knitting pattern for little pumpkins I came across these two at The Sittingtree blog and one at Natural Suburbia and thought I'd share them with you.
As I haven't knitted one (yet) I have included pictures from both blogs; aren't they cute? I have some orange wool left over from my granny stripe blanket that I have just for this project.
Pumpkin knitting pattern from Natural Suburbia
Free Knitting Pattern:  Jack Be Little Pumpkin (taken from Sittingtree Blog)


A few scrap yards of worsted weight wool

Size 4 double pointed knitting needles

Wool fleece for filling

Darning needle

Finished Measurements: about 3" in diameter.


CO 36 sts. leaving a 12" tail.  

 Divide onto three needles and join, being careful not to twist.

*K5, P1  Repeat from * around until piece measures 3" long.

Break off yarn leaving a 12" tail and using darning needl e, feed it through all the stitches.  Pull tight and then skim the tail through again for extra durability.  Secure the end with a knot.  

Turn the whole thing inside out. {You could P5, K1 but I loathe purling.  Your choice.}

On the open end, thread the darning needle using the tail and weave it in and out around the edge.

Fill the pumpkin with a sufficient amount of wool and pull tight.  Make a little knot to keep it in place.  Now feed the tail up through the middle and out the top hole.  Tie the two tails together until it resembles a pumpkin! You can hide the tails by pulling them into the middle.

For the stem, pick up and knit 4 stitches on the top.  Knit 3/4" of i cord.  Bind off and darn in ends.
Knitted Pumpkin Pattern 2
Materials Needed:

Wool needle for sewing up
Circular needles
2 double pointed needles
Orange yarn for your pumpkin and green for your stem.
Fleece for stuffing

With circular needles cast on 9 stitches.
Round 1: Knit the first round.
Round 2: Increase into every stitch in the second round, you will now have 18 stitches.
Round 3: Knit 1 round.
Round 4: Increase into each stitch in the 4th round, you will now have 36 stitches.
Round 5 to 9: Knit
Round 10: Knit 2 together all across the round.(18 stitches)
Round 11: Knit.
Round 12: Knit 2 together all across the round. (9 stitches)
Round 13: Knit.
Leaving a long thread, break yarn and thread onto a wool needle, thread your wool needle through your stitches, stuff and pull tight. Do not overstuff as this might make your pumpkin look too round, I understuffed my pumpkin and the convolutions of the pumpkin’s skin showed up quite nicely.  

Saturday, 7 September 2013

crochet flower (free pattern)

I saw this today on the Deramore Facebook page - its a great little weekend project if you have oddments of yarn to use up. I have a whole carrier bag that will come in handy for this pattern! You could make then to sew onto a plain scarf ready for Autumn. You can find the free pattern here for the Autumn Berry Flower.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

RHS Wisley Flower Show Sept 5, 2013

Today I took advantage of the last hot day of the year, and what a wonderful day it was. Spent with my sister Danielle at our favourite place RHS Wisley

On arrival it was so busy, cars queuing to get into the car parks; we had to go to overflow car park 5. I guess with the weather forcast for Friday everyone decided to go today. But with military precision it was a breeze and we were shown to a large field about 1/2 mile away. Those of you familiar with RHS Wisley may not have had to park in the next village before (we hadn't) but it was fine and we walked to the temporary entrance. It was hot, crowded and colourful but luckily we took a picnic so didn't have to queue for the restaurants or for tea. My Cath Kidston picnic blanket finally got some use! My sister made egg mayo sandwiches (eggs from her hens in her garden) and we sat in a shady spot near the flower show tents.

We walked to the orchard to look at the dozens of varieties of apples and pears. It's an amazing sight with some very unusual names. You can purchase the apples in the shop and a bargain at £1.50 a kilo; although not a good idea if you have to walk all the way back to the car park! The apples will be used in my spicy courgette chutney this weekend as a small reminder of our day when the weather turns cold and gloomy.

62 exhibitors offering a great choice of bulbs; heritage seeds; gardening equipment including vintage finds; alpines; hostas and another of my favourite plants the Heuchera. The show runs until September 8th so still some time to visit (9am to 6pm)

Our best find was the Crocosmia x crocomiliflora 'Carmen Brilliant' as a present for our mums birthday next week. We had a chat recently about Gardeners World (last friday) and my mum was surprised at how many varieties there were available. Hopefully we picked the one she wanted to go in her hot border we recently created that already has some Crosmosia in there. And maybe next year I can have a little of it for my garden as it dives very well!

I have dozens of photos to share but these are just a few of my favourite ones taken today that capture the highlights.

PS. I'm happy for people to forward my work but please don't copy my photos without an acknowledgment back to my Blog :-)

Monday, 2 September 2013

jams and preserves (hexagonal jam jars)

It's that time of year again when our hard work has paid off and we have lots of fresh veg or soft fruits to make into jams and chutneys. I'll be making a batch of spicy tomato and courgette chutney this weekend, its easy and you can adapt the recipe to suit you. I never had many toms last year due to the awful weather but this year there are loads! I came across this special offer that I thought I'd share with you.

A jam-maker's special! Twenty-four hexagonal glass jam jars with gold or silver lids, all in a sturdy, reusable cardboard jar box plus a choice of 24 specially designed self-adhesive labels. All packed and despatched within 24 working hours and delivered with our fast courier service. 
Fill with delicious home-made jams, preserves, sauces, chutneys and pickles. Then use the box to store further jars, or to transport them! Capacity of jars: 190ml (approx. 1/2lb)
Measurements: approx. 9cm high x 6cm max. diameter.  Labels measure approx. 6.5cm x 3.5cm. Choose from several patterns, all commissioned especially for Nutley's from homewares designer Julie Ingham.