Wednesday, September 29, 2021


 I bought a jar of blueberry jam at Saturday's market. The stall next to ours had three kinds of jam - blueberry, mulberry and strawberrry. None of the jars had labels. I was a bit aghast when the stallholder took the lid off a jar to check which kind of jam was inside! Either she's broken the seal, or, more likely, it wasn't sealed to begin with. And needs to be eaten sooner rather than later. 

Yesterday I made tree tomato (tamarillo) chutney. It's a wonderful rich, red colour. Very similar to strawberry jam :

You'd get a bit of a shock if you were expecting strawberry jam and instead got a mouthful of spicy hot chutney! 

Monday, September 27, 2021



Well, the markets went ahead on Saturday, the first for many months. I think there were restrictions on the number of people attending, but the market I went to was very small; we were in no danger of breaching those restrictions. The market was strictly for handmade, homegrown items, so it was more like the old fashioned markets I used to go to in a previous incarnation. 

The good news is that I sold all the bath puppets. I didn't sell any hooded towels though. I think these markets tend to be better for smaller, less expensive items. 

Friday, September 24, 2021

All Seven Colours


When I've finished with grey, I'll go back to cream. I considered changing the order of the colours in the next repeat, but I like this colour progression, so I think I'll stick with it. The label on the yarn says they're 'pullskeins' which I assume means you're supposed to work from the middle of the ball. I found the middle end on the cream, but not on the others. I didn't try all that hard because I've found that when the middle of a ball is hollowed out, the ball tends to collapse and get in a muddle. I'm sure that's especially true of such large balls. So I think it might be better to just work from with outside end. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A Rabbit


This one is made from fleece fabric, rather than toweling, like these ones. He looks a bit fierce, I hope the softness of the fleece counteracts that impression! The pattern comes from Crazy Little Projects, the tutorial is here.  Sarah and I have a table booked at a market on Saturday morning; fingers crossed it goes ahead this time. 

Monday, September 20, 2021

Starting A Big Project

 The handwoven wool cover I've had on my bed for well over 20 years has become so scruffy that I've had to give it to Rag the border collie for his bed. I've been pondering a replacement. Fabric? Crochet? This pattern? That pattern? I came across the Grace blanket pattern, a free pattern on Ravelry by Lucia Stepankova, and really liked it. I had seen some colour-changing (ombre?) yarn in my LYS (local yarn store) that I thought might work. But when I visited the store on Friday, it turned out that there wasn't enough of that yarn and I didn't like the colours anyway! Hmmm. How about making my own colour changes instead of leaving them up to the yarn dyer? 

After a discussion about quantities with the owner of the LYS, I bought 7 large balls of acrylic yarn, each in a different colour. The Grace blanket is a square, worked from the middle. The original is a baby blanket, worked in a finer yarn than mine, but that's doesn't matter. I looked on the label, which says to use a size 4mm hook, but I thought the work was a bit too stiff, so I upped it to 4.5mm. 

In terms of dimensions, progress will get slower and slower of course, but I've got off to a good start. 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Sloth Sometimes Pays


I made another owl towl yesterday. Making these faces involves changing the thread colour frequently. To begin with, I changed the top thread and the bobbin each time. At some stage I changed just the top, leaving the bobbin as it was. Then I realised that was a good thing - if the bobbin is in a colour that matches the towel, the sewing on the underside is less visible: 

Aha, win-win. 

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Zebra Towel


He was quite a lot of work, but I think he turned out pretty well! When I'm working on a pattern, from scratch or adapting from Crazy Little Projects, I look at cartoon images of the animal. I'm not trying to create a realistic animal after all, and I think cartoonists are good at picking out the salient features that make something or someone recognisable. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Fruit Salad


I made a fruit salad using fruits from our garden - rhubarb, cape gooseberries, granadillas (or passion fruit), strawberries and tree tomatoes. It was delicious, served with chocolate ice cream. 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Bath Buddies


I've made some more bath puppets. I didn't use a specific pattern for these, though I did take inspiration from images on Pinterest, an element from this one and an element from that. There was some dithering as I decided how to do each one, but overall I'm pleased with the result. 

Friday, September 10, 2021

Masks Again


I have an order for ten masks. It's months since I last sewed masks. We have been in a strictly enforced lockdown but things are easing up a bit. Ironically, there is more demand for masks when things are less strict. When the mask mandate is being enforced, people keep track of their masks. But in slacker times, they leave them at home and then have to buy another one when they find they're not allowed into the shop!

I have to remember my 'notes to self'. Like pinning only the first set of patterns and then using the fabric backed pattern for the rest, using a weight to hold them in place. And snipping threads after each procedure so that I don't miss any. Yesterday our power was off for several hours, so I'm behind where I thought I'd be.  But I haven't left it to the last minute, so there's no panic. 

Thursday, September 9, 2021



 This is the first batch of strawberry jam for the season. Strawberries are ripening thick and fast now, so there should be more, assuming I can find jars to put it in. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Another Monkey


This one is a bath puppet. I used this pattern.  The Tucson Puppet Lady glued the features on, but I'm  hopeless with glue and I don't think glue would work well with water.  I appliqued the pieces on. The eyeballs I embroidered by hand. I also added a tail. A monkey should have a tail I think. I was tempted to put a tail on the towel version, but all the features are on the hood and I thought a tail on the towel itself might be a nuisance. This fellow has a bit of a drunken look, but I think he's fun. It's a good way for me to use up scraps from the hooded towels, and make smaller items for market. 

Monday, September 6, 2021



This is another  pattern from Crazy Little Projects. I did change the order of working though. It made more sense to me to do the features of the face before attaching the face to the hood of the towel. That way I was working with smaller pieces of fabric, and the underneath stitching was hidden once the face was attached. 

Thursday, September 2, 2021



A unicorn? An unicorn? One of them anyway. This hooded towel is my own design. Apparently unicorns are trendy right now. The weather is warming up, and restrictions gradually being reduced, so we're hoping markets will resume one of these days.  I need to have some stock ready, rather than waiting for a date and then having to frantically create things.