This and That

dear diary,

as always the weekend went in a flash, why is that?

I had a really good workshop at ‘A Good Yarn’ in Cleethorpes on Saturday. As always Kate made everyone very welcome and for once she was able to participate herself…hurrah! We did ‘the continental’ all day and there were cakes too thanks to Michelle who’s birthday it was.

I love going to A Good Yarn as I always find something that I don’t see anywhere else I go, and this time was no different. Whilst waiting for everyone to arrive I spotted this lovely Sublime Lustrous Extra Fine Merino Yarn, it has subtle added sparkle and I thought it perfect for a small cabled shoulder wrap to take on Safari to South Africa later in the year. It will keep the chill off when on early morning Game drives.

I just love this soft caramel colour…yummy!

Yesterday there was great excitement in the garden for my four legged companion (Max), this little chap has moved in to his patch…

…not sure if I call him brave or dumb moving to Jack Russel territory. Time will tell!

So it is the beginning of a new week. The weather man promises sunshine and warmth, daughter is on last leg of exams, I have finished almost all new square designs for next Afghan installment and flowers in garden are looking fabulous.

I just hope the sun keeps shining for Woolfest in Cumbria. I am going with my fave loopy knitting friends…

Before the Rain

dear diary,

This morning after my walk with

and afterwards strolling around the garden I felt the compelling urge to cut some flowers and bring inside.

Not a moment too soon! I had barely closed the back door…, the heaven’s opened and it hasn’t stopped pouring since. Alas…these will cheer us all up as the forecast is rain, rain and more rain 🙁

Nothing better than sweet smelling flower’s from one’s own garden. x

Strawberry Cordial

dear diary,

Recently I came across a recipe for some strawberry cordial. As we are in the middle of this year’s strawberry season and I love cordials I thought why not try and make some.

I am loving the result and thought I must absolutely share this very easy peasy recipe with you, my dearest loop-di-loop-makers.

So here goes…

Strawberry Cordial

 

You will need:

1kg strawberries, destalked and roughly chopped

1kg granulated sugar

600ml red wine vinegar

How To:

Put the strawberries and sugar into a large bowl. Stir to combine and leave to macerate in the fridge for 3 days, stirring every 12hours (or there about).

Next: Pour everything into a large pan, stir in the vinegar and heat gently until the sugar dissolves. Then bring to the boil for 1 min, leave to stand for 10 min.

Next: Strain the mixture through a muslin cloth, discard the fruit and pour liquid into sterilised bottles and seal.

Dilute with sparkling water for every day drinking or with champagne for a special occasion.

Once opened, it will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

Enjoy!

 

Norfolk Shawl

dear diary…

let me introduce you to my latest design, the Norfolk Shawl.

This crescent shaped shawl was inspired by the Lavender and Wheat fields of Norfolk, gently swaying in the wind blowing  from the North Sea.

I have always loved Norfolk, the vast open spaces with large fields of crops growing, interspersed with pretty villages and old Windmills. Then there is the amazing coastline, where beautiful sandy beaches invite you to dip your toes (or more) into the waves or simply stroll along looking at sun-sets and stripy Lighthouses.

Images www.visitnorfolk.co.uk

The mostly flat landscape, occasionally interspersed with gentle hills, makes it perfect for cycle holidays. Take your paints to capture one of the many breathtaking vistas, or like me, be inspired to do some knitting.

The Norfolk Shawl is now exclusively available at Fibre & Clay or directly via the Patterns to buy page.

Jubilee Crown Cushion

dear diary,

I have long been an admirer of Queen Elizabeth II.

How can one not admire her, when at the ripe old age of 86 (I don’t actually know anyone else who still works at that age),  she still has a working schedule that would stretch younger people’s stamina. Admittedly, she has never had to worry about shopping, cooking, washing and ironing, nor has she ever had any money worries, but in a culture where fame seems to be the most wanted and many will do anything to gain it, she has never sought it even though she is undoubtedly the most famous person in the world. For the past 60 years she has shown us that even in times of difficulties and challenges one can behave with dignity and discretion, showing unfaltering dedication and devotion to whatever our life’s throw at us. Mostly we forget that she is not only our Queen, who has been a steadfast permanent in our life’s for such a long time, but also a wife, mother and grandmother. To some she may appear remote and aloof, but I know first hand that she is a warm person with a great sense of humour.

To pay my own small tribute to such a much loved person I have come up with a Jubilee Cushion, the pattern can be downloaded FREE during the Jubilee weekend.

I employed the help of my artist husband who drew me a picture of the Queen’s coronation crown which I made into a chart. The colour choice was easy, patriotic red blue and white with gold beads for the crown. As there are plenty of British Flag designs already out there I decided on stripes for the back of the cushion.

Here is the story in pictures from start to finish:

Jubilee Cushion - Drawing to Knitted

 

I hope you will join me in wishing our Queen a most lovely celebratory weekend and may she smile at us for many years to come.

Download pattern by clicking here.