SELF-HELP #38

Casting on for Christmas 🎄🎄🎄

Christmas is going to be very different this year. Even before the government’s big announcement we had decided to postpone the festivities until Easter when, hopefully, it will be safer to get together with family. N’s granddaughter will be one, so loads of fun getting into everything😉

I will, of course, be knitting for Christmas. Any gifting will be done via the post. Deliveries will probably be both sides of the big day, depending on how I get my act together.

The makings of a Christmas stocking!

N and I are planning a nice dinner which will be dropped off at his parents’ kitchen door. Hopefully it will be a dry day so that we don’t get soaked chatting in the garden. Our priority is keeping our oldies safe.

Being mindful and filling my head with stitching patterns.

Woolly wishes,

Jane ♡♡♡

A RANDOM BAKE

Or an icing sugar storm 🌬

It is B’s birthday today🎂 Can’t believe my little cherub is now old enough to drive! I thought I would try to be one of those yummy mummy types and make him a cake 🤔

Now in my defence I haven’t done any proper baking since B was small when we used to bake together. In recent years I have made brownies and the like with my good friend Betty Crocker. And I have had a very temperamental oven and baking on my own was never much fun😯

But I have a new oven so thought I would have a go. I measured the ingredients from memory, probably not one of my better ideas😋 I made an 8oz sponge mixture but new baking tins so think I probably should do a 10oz mixture. And new oven so need to experiment with that. My cake looks a bit flat and is a bit crisp around the edge but it did have a nice spring to the touch. I have sandwiched it together with raspberry jam and vanilla butter cream.

Note to self:

Soften the butter before attempting to cream it

Make sure the mixer is on its lowest setting when using icing sugar – everything ended up with a fine dusting of the stuff😉

I don’t think I will be doing the Great British Bake Off any time soon….

I am going to stick to my knitting. Anyone for a cuppa and cake?

Woolly wishes,

Jane ♡♡♡

SELF-HELP #37

Fresh air and a bit (of knitting) on the side….

The blog has been somewhat neglected over the past couple of weeks. Autumn is in full swing – cold and damp with the occasional frosty morning. Work is frantic. Exercise and knitting are struggling for space in my itinerary! !!

Autumn is here

I was walking by the canal a few days ago in Kidderminster. This photo is taken just round the bend from Caldwell Bridge. I love the rust colours of the leaves but not the shorter days. Less likely to walk in the dark 🌜

On the knitting front I have started working through my Christmas gift list – no details available at the moment 🤔

But I have been picking up the knotty cowl from time to time for a bit of stress relief. I have another 15cm to go…

The knots aren’t as evenly spaced as they should be 😄

But look at all the ends to weave in! That is when the stress will start 😉

Getting back on track!

Woolly wishes,

Jane ♡♡♡

OCTOBER ROUND UP 🎃

Stormy more than spooky…

The month has been windswept and interesting. Quite productive on the home made front.

N has been busy preserving and he has presented me with the little mug this morning, claiming that my friends from the coven left it – cheeky so and so!!!

But look what it does when you make a cup of tea in it

I am easily entertained…

I am planning making pumpkin and chilli soup this afternoon. My lovely dad has been keeping busy growing veg so it would be rude not to use them🎃

On the knitting front I have completed all of the parts of the chunky cardi so looks like I will start November putting it together. The knotty cowl is coming along, about another 12 inches to go and then all of those delightful ends to work in 😥 And I have just got 5 squares to complete the KAL well behind everyone else but I am getting there!

Planning my Christmas knitting list, it will be a thrifty homemade festival this year but need to get a crack on as most will need to posted as no big get together this year 😷

Woolly wishes,

Jane ♡♡♡

SELF-HELP #36

Being mindful in a muddle…

I believe those of us who knit have such an advantage in these uncertain times. An hour or so knitting before bedtime certainly clears the fog in my brain that has built up during the day. The night before last, for one reason or another, I ran out of time and didn’t manage a single stitch before bedtime and what a rotten night’s sleep or lack of sleep I had. I tossed and turned with all the trials and tribulations of the day running through my head. I went to work on auto-pilot yesterday. I had a good night last night – down to the hour and a half knitting beforehand but still feel a bit drained from the night before 😴

I am working on the chunky cardi. The back and left side are complete and I have just placed the pocket on the right front. Love this stitch sequence worked over ten rows, not too complicated but just enough to keep rhe mind occupied. And the chunky yarn knits up so quickly 😉

But like so many of you I like to have a few projects on the go – the pink Guernsey is ready to be sewn up so that has been put to one side for the moment and the KAL tends to be done at work as small and slips in my bag – so I have been looking around for something else to do.

The pattern is for a cowl but the sequence worked involves knotting pieces of work together. Lots of holding stitches on needles or holders and cable needle so I could get in a right pickle but nothing ventured nothing gained🤔

And added bonus you need to have a couple of extra small balls of wool to join in on your work so I have spent an hour this morning on a tangle from my stash and not or knot to worry if I couldn’t undo the mess I could use the scissors 🤗 although I will not enjoy sewing in all the ends if I complete it. But yarn from the stash bag so no extra expense!!!

Woolly wishes,

Jane ♡♡♡

THE MINDFUL GARDENER

Or keeping him busy….

The garden is looking a bit like a building site at the moment. We have had new guttering as the old stuff was woefully leaky! This entailed moving lots of stuff around to get ladders and things in place to access the guttering.

Him indoors has also taken an interest in the garden since lockdown and has decided to build some raised beds. So we have planks of wood everywhere!

It is interesting trying to mow the lawn around this lot….

Hopefully in a week or 2 the boxes can be put in place ready to fill up with earth and then a few winter veggies. I am hoping that he doesn’t lose interest as gardening keeps him moving and occupied. Still if he does lose interest those boxes will look great filled with flowers! It is so important to keep busy during these uncertain times.

I have my knitting to keep me busy and, of course, I have worked through so other than I have saved a lot of money by not going out for coffee all the time my routine has not changed that much.

Hope you are all keeping safe and well.

Woolly wishes,

Jane ♡♡♡

HOLIDAY UPDATE

Fresh air and the bins…

Look at this beautiful view I have been greeted with when I wake up each morning

Sadly we are going home tomorrow. Don’t get me wrong we have a lovely view of the river Severn at the bottom of the garden but this has been so restful and fascinating watching the estuary fill and drain. Unfortunately there was a train derailment on the otherside of the estuary the day before yesterday. The locals have been advised not to pick cockles in the estuary as there is a risk of diesel seeping through the river into the estuary 😣

It was bin day today, something of an obsession of mine. I have been sorting as per local recycling policy. Household waste, food waste and plastics were taken today. Really impressed that they take food waste and all plastic😏 Because I didn’t know which waste was being taken today I put it all out, I bet the locals thought “bloody holidaymakers “! I have just brought the bottles, cans and cardboard in to stash away safely in the bin store.

It will be the holiday clean up this evening but in the meantime

Woolly wishes,

Jane ♡♡♡

HOLIDAY DRAMA

Storm Francis was blowing…

And we decided we would go out for tea. Sadly the only places to eat were outside so we came home.

Unfortunately we had locked ourselves out but Jane came to the rescue. I climbed onto a wall and then up onto the balcony where, ever security conscious, we had left the door unlocked. I let myself in and then went downstairs and let the men in!

I like to think if I had had my knitting with me I could have quickly knitted up a rope or the like to make it easier😉

We ordered in pizzas for tea 😂

Anyway the wind has died down today and the sun is trying to come out. Back to knitting on the balcony😎

Woolly wishes,

Jane ♡♡♡

HOLIDAY SNAPS

Somewhere in Wales…

We have come into Wales for a few days break. I had been counting the days since the end of July, not sure if restrictions would be tightened again but here we are. The cottage overlooks an estuary which fills up with water twice a day.

I haven’t been locked up but these are the views from the balcony where I have found a cosy spot to sit and do my knitting. Breathtaking 😎

So back to the powder pink Guernsey that I am working on.

Woolly wishes,

Jane ♡♡♡