Winter knitting

stinkers_hat

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!

sea_urchin_hat

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.

crochet_bunting

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!

Quiet days

crochet_blanket

The weather outside is stormy, with snow showers threatened.  Moo has gone rollerskating with friends.  What better things to do on an afternoon tucked up inside away from the rains, than finishing off crochet blankets (sewing in ends – not my favourite job, but a necessary one) and getting organised food-wise (because with a baby on the way I’m trying to get back into the rhythm of menu planning in an effort to ensure we avoid some of the last minute, “I’m exhausted and can’t bear to stand in the kitchen without being sick” moments that are inevitable when you’re heavily pregnant).

A good source of ideas (and reading on nutrition) are Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, Wholefood for Children and Coming Home to Eat: Wholefood for the Family, both by Jude Blereau.  All are great references for back to basics/cook from scratch recipes and I’d love to treat myself to a few more books from these authors when I get the chance!

Joining in with Ginny from the lovely Small Things blog in her Yarnalong and Nicole’s Frontier Dreams’ Keep Calm and Craft On (both for what seems like the first time in ages!)  Both are blogs that I have now followed for years and are a wonderful read!

Garden 2014

garden_1-500x281

Last year, before we moved, we took part in a TV series called Big Dreams, Small Spaces. We signed up to do it not long after moving into our last house (with A LOT of work needed on the garden) but about 6 months before we finished filming, we realised we would need to move on (which affected some of the decisions we made) but having signed a contract, we needed to fulfill it. The fact that we were filming, also meant that I had to skip over some of the details of what we got up to whilst in our last house.  We only had a few hundred pounds to spend and most of that went on the fence when it blew down in the awful winds at the end of 2013.

As the airing of the show has now past (and it has been repeated), I’m guessing we’re now past the point where showing photos would be an issue, so I’d like to show a few pics of the garden before we left in June 2014 (we moved house the day after filming finished!!!)

garden_2-500x281

We used various things as small pots, including tin cans and an old jug. I crocheted holders to hang them up and wove wall baskets out of recycled fabric.  We used an old moses basket (back right of patio picture) to grow further salad and herbs in.  The seed trays rest on rescued pallets.

This was in mid-June – so still a lot of growing to be done and much more we would have liked to have done, but we had to move!  We took as much as we could (as when we found out we would be moving we planting as much as we could in pots so that they could realistically be moved): 26 (at least) tomatoes of varying varieties; 15 peas; 9 runners; a few broadbeans; 3 courgettes; 3 sacks of potatoes; as many raspberries as we could; the currants and gooseberries and various others.  Sadly we ran out of time to move the fruit trees and they are something we are hoping to invest in in the coming weeks.

For anyone who is interested, the list of what we grew is as follows:

  • Asparagus: unknown – existing
  • Basil: Green Ruffles
  • Basil: Purple Ruffles
  • Basil: Spice
  • Beetroot
  • Blackcurrants: unknown (gift)
  • Borage
  • Broad beans: Aquadolce Longpod
  • Cabbage: winter
  • Calendula
  • Carrots: Early Nantes 2
  • Carrots: Purple Dragon
  • Chamomile: German
  • Chard: Bright Lights
  • Chard: Pink Passion
  • Coriander: unknown
  • Courgette: Black Beauty
  • Cucumber: F1 Bella
  • Dahlias: can’t find note, various
  • Daisies: Electric
  • Damson: Merryweather
  • Fuschia: various
  • Grape: need to check the variety
  • Gooseberries: 2 more green ones which I can’t remember off the top of my head 😉
  • Gooseberries: red dessert – unknown (gift)
  • Honeysuckle: can’t remember variety
  • Hostas: various
  • Kale: Nero di Toscana Precoce
  • Kale: Scarlet
  • Kohl Rabi: Blue Azur
  • Lavender: various
  • Leeks: Hannibal
  • Lemon Balm: Melissa
  • Mint: Apple
  • Mint: Chocolate
  • Mint: unknown – existing
  • Nasturtiums: mixed
  • Nigella: mixed
  • Onions: Welsh
  • Pea: Ezethas Krombek Blauwschok
  • Pear: Hessle
  • Pear: Winter Nellis
  • Perpetual Spinach
  • Petunias: mixed
  • Plum: Victoria
  • Potato: Saxo Arpona (maincrop)
  • Potato: Valor (maincrop)
  • Radish un-noted
  • Raspberries: Autumn Bliss
  • Redcurrants: unknown (gift)
  • Rose:
  • Rosemary: unknown – existing
  • Runnerbeans: unknown (gift)
  • Sage: unknown – existing
  • Salad: Mixed Californian
  • Salad: Gem Lettuce
  • Sorrel: French
  • Squash: Butternut
  • Strawberries: alpine – unknown (gift)
  • Strawberries: unknown (gift)
  • Sunflowers: unknown
  • Swede: Joan – never had an luck with swede, still
  • Sweet Pepper: Corno di Toro Rosso
  • Thyme: Winter
  • Tomatoes: Alicante
  • Tomatoes: Latah
  • Tomatoes:
  • Turnips: Nancy – mostly harvested leaves.
  • Whitecurrants: unknown (gift)
  • Viola: Tricolor
  • Violets: Dog – existing

There was more, certainly various other flowers and more salad that I can’t think of.

Rather looking to get stuck in with this new garden, as it was converted into a plant refugee camp of pots after we moved and this year we want to get the various soft fruit into the ground and start laying the basic foundations of what we hope the garden will become.  Rather pleased that we’ve already been able to improve on one aspect that was annoying me in the last garden – a larger, taller chicken run – the plan is to plant a fruit tree in there to offer the chooks some shade, but pleased they have more basic space (although we do let them out for a good run around the garden!)

Slow Living :: December 2014

I’ll admit that I’m not a ‘winter person’ – likely a candidate for a lightbox and a steady supply of D3 supplement, I tend to shut down as mid winter approaches.

winter_sun

So rather quiet as a result.  Mostly hiding away.

COOK:

Fudge for gifts (‘blinged’ by Nin); gluten free mushroom and caramelised onion tart for a Solstice celebration followed by homemade fudge icecream; and a gluten free lemon and almond tart for a Christmas dessert (we actually had turkey for a change as a main).

MAKE:

I’ve been on a bit of a crochet thing and am on to the second blanket (Stinkers eagerly helping), plus snowflakes destined to eventually be part of our seasonal decorations.

MUSING:

December is always a quiet month.  Where many are particularly festive, I’ve found that difficult this year and have retreated back somewhat, giving some serious thought into what I want this time of year to mean and feeling very pushed and pulled from external sources for it to be something I don’t want.  It’s very hard to find balance when you feel that other people are yanking on the arms of your scales.

Slow Living :: December 2014

winter_sun

I’ll admit that I’m not a ‘winter person’ – likely a candidate for a lightbox and a steady supply of D3 supplement, I tend to shut down as mid winter approaches.

So rather quiet as a result.  Mostly hiding away.

I’ve been on a bit of a crochet thing and am on to the second blanket (Stinkers eagerly helping), plus snowflakes destined to eventually be part of our seasonal decorations.

December is always a quiet month.  Where many are particularly festive, I’ve found that difficult this year and have retreated back somewhat, giving some serious thought into what I want this time of year to mean and feeling very pushed and pulled from external sources for it to be something I don’t want.  It’s very hard to find balance when you feel that other people are yanking on the arms of your scales.