I'm late again, aren't I? I just don't seem to get myself together these days. Ah well, I suppose better late than never. Easter has come and gone, and our weather here in West Norfolk has been changeable to say the least; we've had dull, overcast, spotty-rainy days, bright sunshine but bitterly cold days, and, occasionally, bright sunny days which has warmed the cockles of our hearts. But that's what living in the UK is all about - variable weather! And grumbling about it - it's a national characteristic!
So let me jump straight in and update you on what I've been doing.
What's on my plate?
I am having a THIRD attempt at keeping a sourdough starter alive! Two very kind friends have, in the past, given me a portion of their long-lived 'babies'. Which I proceeded to kill-off within a couple of weeks. Both of them! So I had given up sourdough bread making. However, my friend Blanche - whose wedding we attended last March - bakes regularly, and as we were going to stay with her to celebrate their first anniversary, I wondered whether she could let me have some starter from her very successful batch. She did, and I am the proud guardian of Doris, a healthy, bubbling starter who has improved each time I bake - only had one real disaster where the loaves over-proved and came out like flat bark-cakes!
What's in the garden? Sorry, the light wasn't very good when I took these photographs.
The garden is looking quite good, we've been enjoying lots of lovely chard and i've planted some more. I've put celeriac and several varieties of salad leaves in the raised beds, and I'm about to sow some vegetable seeds to go into the cold frame. Early potatoes are in their sacks. Oh! And some Jerusalem artichokes, much to Jim's disgust! And look - the lovely Welsh poppies, given most generously to me by my blogging friend Dc, from Frugal in Norfolk blog. They have popped up and are so beautiful - thank you so much Dc! The heifers are in the nursery field next door, and often come to look over the wall/fence when we are in the garden. And up on the summer house roof the cock-pheasant holds court - he had THREE young admiring hens in the garden the other day - as long as they leave my fresh young leaves alone they are welcome.
What's on my sewing table?
I stitch with friends once a month, and have to confess that this is probably the only time I work on my colour wash hexagons, so it is a slow job, but that doesn't matter, does it? I still have many patches to put together, but I'm beginning to get one of the larger pieces squared up, because I need to get it into shape soon. Still enjoying working with these lovely fabrics, they cheer me up!
What's on my hook?
Well, my Moorland Blanket (Attic 24 pattern) is plodding into the final rows - at long last! I'm on the 'sky' now, and then I've got the 'ends' to weave in and the border to hook. I was desperate to begin this blanket but had a few false starts - like many people, so I understand. And it is SO BIG! To be honest, I'm hooking to get it finished now, rather than enjoying the journey (as they say).
The "solid granny squares" are growing in number and I've sewn several strips together. This is going to be a 'snuggle blanket' for grandson Fraser. When the Moorland is finished I can get cracking on one for his big brother Dylan too.
This is an accidental throw - begun with left-over 4-ply and some fine Noro yarn. I seem to have amassed a fair amount of 4-ply so this will go into this throw which began as a way to use up bits and pieces. I don't know where it will go, or how long it will take to finish, but I'm enjoying hooking on it for the odd half-hour here and there.
What's on my needles?
Yes, you heard me - I have become a KNITTER! And a SOCK KNITTER at that! I won't dwell on the huge learning curve that has taken place, but I've wanted to knit stripy socks for quite some time now, and I took the plunge.
First pair… learned lots on these two socks, tried various types of needles and fought the good fight with FIVE double pointed needles at once, which does not float my boat! I much prefer the circular needles which I've taught myself to use. So this pair is a little mismatched but I don't care I love 'em!
Couldn't wait to cast on the second pair, and decided to knit them concurrently - after a fashion. Here I've int the heel flap and begun the turn on one and just catching up on the leg on the second. When these are done I want to try a cable stitch sock…. and a triangular scarf on the circulars too.
I also joined a small group of women who knit for charity - blankets for the homeless, clothes and soft toys for a local Family Refuge, and tiny woolly hats for prem babies. I'm knitting squares for a blanket , because I wanted to just be really relaxed and unstressed about my knitting time here. A couple of hours twice a month isn't too much to ask is it?
I have to confess to playing very little music this last month, I've felt distinctly averse to picking up my instruments I don't know why. But it is the session at our pub this week so I'll be there and playing the melodeon so perhaps that will nudge me back into music-mode. It's not like me, but I haven't even been able to listen to music recently. How strange.
So there we are, I was amazed to find that I have only posted once before in 2017! I can't promise when the next one will be, but I hope to make it reasonably soon! Until then, keep smiling!