Boozy planning

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J has been planning.  He picked up some demijohns from Freecycle (when it existed, it now appears to have morphed and we have a local Freegle) and is planning to embark on making wine, or more specifically ‘country’ wine, as although we have vines, they aren’t producing grapes (or are even in the ground yet…)  So I ordered him “Booze”, by John Wright, the twelfth book in the River Cottage Handbook Series.

Of course I had to have a read of it myself.  I’ve made various infusions/liqueurs/ratafias in the past, but not anything ‘from scratch’, so it’s an interesting read (and has given me a giggle in a few places so far).  Lots of inspiration to be had and I’m rather excited that potentially in about a year’s time we may have some of our own home-made wine.

Also on the table is “The Story of Plants” by John Hutchinson and Ronald Melville.  It dates back to 1948 and in the back is the library card from when it was part of the San Mateo Junior College Library.  I first saw this book when 5 Orange Potatoes shared a photo of it online and in a herbal group I’m a member of and it looked so interesting I thought I’d try and find a copy for us as well.  I was lucky and managed to find one for a few pounds and was really pleased when it arrived.  It’s a lovely old book.  Originally written for children, so very approachable, without ‘dumbing down’ the information and Moo and I have been steadily working through it.  It has some wonderful fold out ‘family trees’ of plants:

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We we will be using it for inspiration for further learning in the weeks to come.

The swirl ball is finished.  The actual knitting part of it, a little while ago, but it took longer to get around to stuffing and sewing it up (I’m not a great fan of having to sew a seam).  It was a quick and simple knit and interesting in how it knitted up with the short rows  (not that short rows are inherently interesting, rather how they worked together to make the swirl effect).  I am now on to baby knitting for friends’ babies, as there’s been a few born all around Arty’s age (and all boys, with one still to come in the next couple of weeks). I was struggling to get basic things done for a while after Arty was born, let alone manage to knit anything for friends, so I’m now catching up (albeit slowly).

Joining in with Keep Calm and Craft On and Yarn Along.

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Nostalgia

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I’ve been feeling a creeping dissatisfaction of late, a feeling of restlessness, a nostalgia for something that I’m not quite sure existed any where but in my memory.  I miss a (perceived) community that seems to have been squeezed out.  We are now supposedly more networked than ever, yet I feel an emptiness in this and that something, somewhere has been lost.  Not that I’m not thankful for the internet, I am, it’s a boon in so many ways, but I miss the ‘earlier’ days where bulletin boards and blogs were the order of the day. I felt I got to ‘know’ people more.  I’m considering leaving FB, carving out a bit more time in the week to get back to blog reading and ‘talking’ to people on a more one-to-one basis.  I’ve even been turning over the idea of a letter-writing (snail mail) circle over and over I  my mind…

In the meantime I’m reading about food and gardening (always favourite things). Mark Diacono is currently my new favourite person – although I now have about five double A4 pages written up full of plants I want in the garden (bearing in mind that, at the moment, I can barely snatch ten minutes out there).  And, of course, the wonderful Nourished Kitchen, inspiring my meal planning.  Also a more unusual hearkening  back to a past interest in anthroposophy in “Machines and the Human Spirit” (maybe more than a little inspired by my recent feelings towards social media).

Inspired by Spiralling the Seasons, I’m knitting a ball for Arty (who wants to chew everything that he can).

Joining in with Nicole’s Keep Calm and Craft On and Ginny’s Yarnalong

A New Slouchy Hat for Nin

Moo needed a new hat as her old one was getting a little small.  I made her a slouchy beret thing (Rav link here) which should last her for some time.  She would like a flower adding and it’s knitted up, so that’s on the list of things to do when I get a minute.

On the needles is a simple spring cardigan for Minnie – which due to making all sorts of errors when I was ill last week (no idea what my brain was doing, but it must have been temporarily seeping out with all the snot…) I had to frog back and restart.

Joining in with Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft On.

Cabled cardigan for bump

With an impending arrival on the way, I’ve begun to do a bit of knitting in preparation.  This is a fairly simple cabled cardigan from a Sirdar pattern booklet I’ve had since Nin was a toddler (Ravelry link) – some lovely basic patterns in it – and something I’ve not passed on because it’s useful to turn back to again and again.

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I’ve a couple of more pieces to make for him, but in the meantime I’ve also cast on an Incognito cowl for Ted and have pretty much finished a beret for Nin (just need to sew the flower embellishment on).  Also on the needles is a cardigan for Stinkers.

Not so much of the keeping calm this week, but crafting on regardless!

Joining in with Frontier Dreams Keep Calm and Craft On and The Philospher’s Wife’s Yarn Fanatic Party.

The Philosopher's Wife

Winter knitting

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I haven’t posted up much in the way of knitting recently, but it doesn’t mean that knitting hasn’t happened.   A hat and mittens for Minnie and a Sea Urchin beret (Ravelry link) for me  (made as part of the TEND magazine knitalong) – although I’ve worn it every day since finishing it quite a while ago, so it’s not looking at its most pristine any more!

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Having been steading running out of the colours I needed to do a reasonable (if not planned) repeat on the granny square blanket, the remaining skeins and bits and pieces have been used to crochet bunting destined to be hung in the garden when the weather gets better.  Steadily I ran out of colours to make each of the triangles five rows and now any remaining scraps are going to make a mini blanket for tucking up Minnie’s dolls in their pram.

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All ready for moving onto to baby knitting for no 6 – just a couple of months to go!

Joining in with Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft On!