Wednesday, July 27, 2022

From The Garden


We got the first egg yesterday.  Hopefully it'll be the first of many from our five little hens. 

The pansies that I bought at the market a couple of months ago are flowering beautifully. They turn out to be difficult to photograph, but here are a few attempts:

The petunias are still flowering madly too. 

Jack has a good crop of cherry tomatoes. I wasn't sure what to do with them, other than put them in salads, so I had a look on Pinterest. I found several recipes for roasted cherry tomatoes that are bottled in oil. I read all the recipes and took bits from them to create my own. 

There was a bit more than one jar, so I put the excess onto toast for lunch. The roasting really concentrates the flavour of the tomatoes - delicious. 

I made gooseberry jam this morning, using Cape gooseberries from the garden. It is still hot, so I haven't yet labelled the jars. 

And we had strawberries on our porridge for breakfast. 

Monday, July 25, 2022



Jack found these small mirror in the glass shop. They were on special offer, so I bought enough for the craft group to use without breaking the budget. My thinking was to make a frame using cut up CDs. It turned out that cutting CDs is more difficult than I supposed. They cut alright with a strong pair of scissors, but the backing paper distorts and looks ugly.  After looking on Pinterest and asking around, I learnt about soaking the CDs in hot water. Even that required experimentation - they cool off quickly, so you have to leave them in hot water, removing just a portion at a time. I had thought the craft group members could cut up CDs themselves, but after all that I decided I'd better do it beforehand. 

I had thought the group members would fiddle with different shapes and options and fill our allotted time, but no, they were all very decisive and decorated the mirrors very quickly! 

Thursday, July 21, 2022

6 Bottles


I didn't use the whole cauliflower for piccalilli. I left the vegetables covered in salt overnight and cooked the sauce up this morning, using the River Cottage recipe that I usually use. I think I got a better ratio of sauce to vegetables this time. I had rather too much sauce for my last batch. You want vegetables covered in sauce, not sauce with a few vegetables floating in it! I'll label the jars when they're cold. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2022



Cauliflowers are ripening in Jack's garden, it's time to make piccalilli again. I made a batch last week with a small cauliflower and must now work on this bigger one. The carrots are from the garden too. I'll prepare the vegetables today, cut them and sprinkle them with salt, and then do the cooking tomorrow. 

Monday, July 18, 2022

Yarn Order


I'm happy to have finished spinning and dyeing wool for a yarn order. The customer plans to knit a scarf. I forgot when I agreed to this colourway that it's very much easier to dye one skein with long colour changes than it is six. 

Here's the one skein I dyed to knit a hat. If you look at the top picture carefully you can see there's some colour contamination, some blue in my green and green in my blue, but I don't think it'll matter too much when the yarn is knitted up. 

Thursday, July 14, 2022



I bought these dried beans at the market. They're fun with their mixture of colours. Last night I put half the packet into cold water to soak. This morning they were plump as well as colourful:

I learnt some months ago, reading articles found via Pinterest, that there are two types of baked beans - American and English. American baked beans cook for hours in the oven with pork and molasses and all sorts of good things; English-style are in a tomato sauce. I have cooked American baked beans, in a previous existence when I had a wood stove. Now, I don't have all the ingredients, and I don't want to have my oven on for hours, so English-style is more sensible. Jack's tomatoes are ripening, I have plenty of tomatoes on hand:

I did give a nod to American-style by adding bacon bits to my tomato sauce. I bottled two jars and kept the rest for immediate use. 

Monday, July 11, 2022


 The market went well on Saturday morning. Taking my spinningwheel along proved a hit. I even sold some yarn. The buyer runs a local knitting group, so may be a good contact to have in future. 

The little chickens are growing apace and are beginning to get feathers. Five of the older hens are due to go to their new home on Wednesday. All ten have new glossy feathers and look as though they'll be laying eggs soon. 

Friday, July 8, 2022

Ready For Market


 After spinning and knitting merrily all week, I think I'm ready for tomorrow's morning market. I've said I'll take my spinningwheel along and do a spinning demonstration. In truth such demonstrations tend to increase interest without increasing sales, but there you go, interest is always good. 

Thursday, July 7, 2022

One And A Half


I'm on track to have the hats knitted by market day. I like how the long colour changes are knitting up. Note to self: must remember to try that again. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

More Yarn


 I've spun and dyed a couple more batches of wool. I'm going to knit hats to add to Saturday's market basket. I've made a start on the first one:

Monday, July 4, 2022

The Quick Version


I've been working on orders for fingerless gloves, which is great because those are guaranteed sales. But I don't want to go to the market on Saturday with an empty basket. So I decided to spin a thicker yarn and knit with bigger needles. 

 Plain stocking stitch is quicker than lace or cable, so I used colour to add interest, rather than pattern. I used this pattern. It uses 34 stitches, as opposed to about 50 for the other pairs I've been making, and of course fewer rounds. The spinning probably isn't any faster because the length of yarn used is the same, but the knitting is definitely faster.

 I like to spin a fine yarn, but there's a time for all things. It's a bit like tatting with size 10 thread when you're used to using 40.