Friday, September 24, 2010


It would seem that knitting has taken a bit of a back seat this past week. I had an overwhelming urge to finish my big-granny blanket and when I get an overwhelming urge things tend to happen.

In just four days (evenings) I went from 9 completed squares, each comprised of twelve rounds of grannying, to 25.....all sewn together and with a border of five more granny rows!

The colours were chosen with the help of my favourite Cath Kidston handbag and although my squares are not entirely square this little blanket makes me very very happy indeed.

Of course, one thing tends to lead to another and I decided I should finish off my hexagon blanket that has lain neglected for months.

Somehow I just couldn't face making another hundred or so hexagons to make it bigger, so made a management decision to leave it as a small but cosy lap blanket with a few rows of pretty edging to make it look a bit more 'done'.

This is also making me very happy indeed.

Naturally, with two 'big' projects finished there was nothing else for it but to start another.

Flowers in the snow.

I could be working on this one for some time.......the plan is to make a cover for our kingsize bed. Forty circles done so far, of which four have been made up into squares.

I reckon I may need about 400.

Like I said.......this could take some time!

Before I head off to make the most of the children being away at a stayawakeover, I must point you to Trashy's blog. If you fancy getting together for a fabulous sewing retreat with a whole bunch of lovely bloggers next autumn, then please let Trashy know right now.

She's looking for enough of us to make it into a fabulous northern hemisphere version of Sew It Together that our southern bloggy buddies enjoyed this year. So go over to Trashy's blog right now and say 'yes please' on her poll!
Happy weekend :o)

Friday, September 17, 2010


I couldn't think what to call today's post but finally decided that the wonderful word 'Friday' just about sums it up. It's been a mad busy week all round so there's a certain amount of relief that today is indeed Friday.

In between the madness I treated myself to little moments of calm, most of which were spent in the kitchen.

The sloes are now in a lovely big jar, getting to know the gin and the rosehips have been turned into four small jars of cough-soothing syrup.

I've never made rosehip syrup before and it was incredibly easy. I used a recipe from my River Cottage Handbook. Here's the recipe I used if you fancy having a go.

Monster has had a bit of a week, which started with minor surgery for a very poorly ingrown toenail, followed by a return visit for 'wound dressing' and then a whole day out with his year group to the Southampton Boat Show. He had his first full day of the term in school yesterday - just eight days behind his rather disgruntled sister.

He's been in need of cake all week and somehow I just didn't get round to baking until today. Poor child has had to have fruit or yogurt instead. Can't wait to see his little face when he gets home and sees a tin full of rock cakes :o)

I've enjoyed a visit to the farm shop to stock up on some wonderful seasonal veg. I couldn't resist a beautiful red cabbage and came straight home to try out a recipe from the Abel & Cole Cookbook - red cabbage braised in balsamic vinegar. Very very easy - all you need to add to the shredded cabbage is half a mug of balsamic vinegar, half a mug of sugar and a mug of water. Bring it up to the boil, then simmer it gently for an hour - making sure it doesn't boil dry. Absolutely delicious!

I also bought one of these - mainly because it's so pretty - but I'm not sure what to do with it! Answers on a postcard please.

I needed a very simple knitting project to relax with in the evenings this week. I trawled through all my patterns and mooched through all my lovely sock wool and still hadn't a clue what to do.

Then I unearthed my basket of scraps.

Yarn held double and 4mm needles led to some very satisfyingly quick sock knitting. Sock 1 took a few hours. Sock 2 is well on it's way but this is secret knitting, to go into Minx's Christmas stocking, so finding time to knit it without old eagle eyes about is proving a challenge!

We're discovering the harsh reality of life that is later bedtimes for the beasties. Mr Moog and I get all misty eyed and nostalgic for the days when we actually had an evening - babies fed, bathed and in bed for 7pm......



Sunday, September 12, 2010


I have a secret. Something I've learned to keep to myself after years as a 'northerner' living down south.

Having been met with sheer amazement, nay abject horror, when mentioning this particular quirk of mine to the native southerners, I now keep my mouth well and truly shut when it comes to the mention of that very dirtiest of words......


It's not so much the word itself that causes folk to step back in fear, more the statement that I happen to love this season more than any other.

How could I love the end of summer? The cooler days? The darker evenings? The damp mornings?

Well I do. I love all those things about autumn and more but by far my favourite things are these:

We reclaim our forest from the summer crowds.
We can take poor old Moog out for forest walks without her wilting in the heat.
We don't have to sit in queues of summer traffic for hours on end.
Foraging for freebies from Nature's larder.
The unique smell of the forest in autumn.

Today, Mr Moog was adamant that we should not waste a glorious autumn day at home, so off we headed to a very secret bit of the New Forest where we knew from past experience there were treasures to be found.

We came home laden with rosehips - now steeping in readiness to make rosehip syrup; sloes - a bit early but now in the freezer to immitate an early frost, ready for turning into sloe gin; and of course, blackberries - now bagged up into five generous portions and sitting in the freezer, ready for winter puddings.

Naturally, we had to test some of our harvest just to make sure.

Blackberry and apple crumble, made with homegrown dessert apples, and served with delicious Mackies vanilla ice cream ( BOGOF at the Co-op right now!).

So now, I'm going to say it. LOUD. AND. PROUD.....



Thursday, September 9, 2010


....or as it's sometimes known, Thursday.

This blog post has been ready in my head since Monday, it's just taken four days to hit the interwebs.

Monday was back to school for the naughty ones and back to work for me. My tiny babies have gone up into Years 5 and 6 and to mark the start of his last year at Junior school, my lovely Monster went straight off for a week away on an outdoor activity residential trip.

My week started in the best way possible, with a beautiful swap gift from my totally talented wonderful bloggy buddy Mrs Silverpebble. Just look at this fabulous necklace from the House of Pebble:

I can't even begin to tell you how very much I love this and so many people have commented on it whilst I've been out and about this week. To make a perfect present even more amazing, Emma included some of this delicious goodness:

Thank you so much Emma! This really has made my week :o)

In between schooly stuff and worky stuff, there's been a spattering of crafty stuff over the past week or two. Let's start with the nasty......the August Stashbasket and Moogsmum Sock Challenge.

I'd loved the pattern - Nutkin - for ages and was really pleased to be knitting it. The first attempt was doomed as it was coming out super skinny and had to be frogged.

The second attempt was better in terms of guage. The pattern is lovely to knit, very easy to remember and very effective.

However, even I couldn't ignore the fact that it was twisting like a b*gger. I tried it on and it still twisted. I tried it on a sock blocker and it still twisted. I had a choice to make.

I consulted my partner in crime, Mrs Stashbasket and found she was having the same problems. Neither of us were feeling the love for this sock any more. The decision was made. Frog 'em. Nutkin is no more. RIP Nutkin.

We've also decided to shelve the Sock Challenge for the time being to allow us a little breathing space, and to get some of those other works in progress done and dusted.

It hasn't all been fail on the knitting front. Last night I finished my second Circle Sock. I now have no socks on the needles and a decision to make about which socks will be next. Should be easy. I only have about 80 patterns and one or two skeins of wool to choose from!

A recent purchase of some lovely soft Noro Taiyo was put to good use, crocheting a Queen Anne's Lace scarf for my best friend....

....and one for me too.

I've even had a session on the sewing machine but as it's a secret for now this is all I can show you.

My daughter has now informed me that she would actually like to have something to eat this evening pleasethankyou, so I'd better be off to whizz up a culinary miracle in the kitchen - enough of this blogging stuff for me for one day!