Saturday, January 19, 2019

Port Grenaugh Beach

I'm part of a group called Sigma 19. We have each set for ourselves 19 challenges for the year. One of mine is to visit 11 new places. I've already been to Marine Drive on New Year's Day, and today we travelled a little further along the coast to Port Grenaugh. We didn't check the tide tables before we went, and there was a only  small section available for walking whilst remaining dry. We'll go again another day when there's more beach to play on.

My Sigma 19 challenges are: 
19 make hats
18 make more hats
17 make mittens
16 make more mittens
15 make fabric gift bags
14 make finish or frog WIPs/UFOs
13 make gloves
12 new recipes to try
11 new places to visit
10 areas to declutter
9 read new books, rather than re-reading old ones
8 make quilts
7 techniques to learn or practise
6 and make more gloves
5 new items of clothing to make for me
4 stones to lose
3 make sweaters
2 make hooded blankets
1 new language to learn (British Sign Language)

Friday, January 18, 2019

Strikket Lue

"Strikket Lue" means 'knitted cap' in Norwegian. This is a pattern for a knitted hat loosely inspired by Norwegian designs. 

Using colour 1, cast on 100sts. Join. Work 15 rounds in (k2, p2) rib.

On the 16th round, k1, kfb, p2, then (k2,p2) 12 times, k1, kfb, p2, and (k2, p2) to the end.

Switch to stocking stitch.

1. Knit in colour 2.
2. Knit in colour 2.
3. KK1 in colour 1, k1 in colour 2, repeat to end of round.
4. Knit in colour 2.
5. Knit in colour 2.
6. Knit in colour 1.

Repeat these 6 rounds a total of 4 times.

Decrease for the crown.
1. Knit in colour 1. (Repeat this instruction in each odd round.)
2. (K1 in colour 2, k1 in colour 1) 7 times, k1 in colour 2, k2tog in colour 1) 6 times.
4. (K1 in colour 2, k1 in colour 1) 7 times, k2tog in colour 1) 6 times.
6. (K1 in colour 2, k1 in colour 1) 6 times, k1 in colour 2, k2tog in colour 1) 6 times.
8. (K1 in colour 2, k1 in colour 1) 6 times, k2tog in colour 2) 6 times.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Parsnip and Apple Soup

25g butter
700g parsnips
1 large Bramley cooking apple, cored, peeled and chopped
1.1L vegetable stock
1 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cloves of garlic

Melt the butter in a large pan. Add the chopped parsnips and apples. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the stock, garlic, curry powder and cinnamon. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes until the parsnips are soft.

Cool slightly, and then puree in a blender. Return to the pan.

Serve hot garnished with parsley, chives or pancetta.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Misty Hats

Yarn: Deramores Studio DK
Composition: Acrylic 100%
Colour: Mist (70025)
Yarn: Patons Nylox
Composition: Wool 80% Nylon 20%
Colour: Petrol Marl 1939
Pattern: Hat
Size: Child, small Adult, large Adult
Needles: 4mm
Started: 12th January 2019
Finished: 14th January 2019

Cast on 96(102, 108)sts. Join.

Work in 2x2 rib for 16 rounds. Then switch to stocking stitch for 26 rounds. 

Decreases for crown.
1. (K14 (15, 16)sts, k2tog) repeat to end.
2. K.
3. (K13 (14, 15)sts, k2tog) repeat to end.
4. K.
5. (K12 (13, 14)sts, k2tog) repeat to end.
6. K.
7. (K11 (12, 13)sts, k2tog) repeat to end.

Continue in this manner until there are 6sts on the needles. Break yarn, leaving a tail. Draw the yarn through the remaining stitches, and weave in the ends.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Somerset Chicken

This is an adaptation of the Hairy Bikers' recipe.

6 chicken breast
75g butter
3 Tsp olive oil
2 onions, peeled, sliced
4 Tsp plain flour (Dove Farm Flour for gluten-free)
2 Tsp wholegrain mustard
2 dessert apples
110g button mushrooms, sliced
250ml chicken stock
300ml cider
250ml double cream
300g cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Heat a large skillet, then add half of the butter and oil. Fry the chicken breasts in batches,for 1-2 minutes on both sides, or until golden-brown all over. Transfer the chicken breast to a deep-sided roasting tray and roast in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Keep warm.

Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining butter and oil. Add the onions and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until softened but not coloured. Add the apples (cut into batons), mustard, and mushrooms. Cook for a further minute, then pour over the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then add the cider and return to the boil.

Mix the flour with some water, and slowly stir it into the sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then lower the heat and stir in the cream. Simmer for a further 5-6 minutes, then season, to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken so that it is completely covered.

Preheat the grill to high.

Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the chicken and place under the grill for 4-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, golden-brown and bubbling.

Singer Machine

A friend came over for coffee this morning, and I was showing her my purchase from Christmas Eve, treadle irons from an old Singer sewing machine. I explained I'm going to take a wire brush to certain bits, oil stuff, and paint it. Then, I'll have a table made for the top.

She stared into the distance for a few moments, and said she had an old sewing machine she wanted to declutter. When I saw it I thought it was an old hand-crank. It can be used in that way, but it is really designed for a belt to attach to the wheel and the machine operate by the treadle!

My plans are changing. I'm now thinking about having two tops made for the irons. The first would be a smooth, flat top, and the other would have a housing for a sewing machine!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Declutter Under Stairs Cupboard

The combination of decluttering small kitchen appliances and decluttering/putting away Christmas decorations meant there were only two shelves left undone in the cupboard under the stairs. This has been done, and the place is looking a huge deal more organised now.

It is however, a very unloved area of the house, and it is very much in need of re-plastering, and then painting. Part of me would love glass-fronted doors for the area. This would help me keep it very tidy as it would be on display all of the time. However, this is where we store our Christmas tree, decorations, storage boxes for baking, and our recycling. None of them would be good to have visible all of the time.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Taking Down the Tree

Put away Christmas decorations
Whew! That was a lot of work! The decorations have been decluttered, and sorted. It's my turn to decorate the tree next year, and I'm going for a rather rustic feel, with wood and straw decorations. The colours will be ultra traditional, red, gold and green. There will however be a single TARDIS decoration.

The lower section on the under stair cupboard has been cleared out and decluttered. I now know what's in there, what's staying, and what needs to go. There's a box of Christmas things (decorations, Christmas tree stand, and unused Christmas cards) to be given to a charity shop in November. There's a small artificial tree we no longer want. Also, there's two sleeping bags, a backpack and a sleeping mat. The later items will be donated to the next collection for refugees.

I'm hoping to get the sitting room back to it's normal layout tomorrow. With the two sets of decluttering I am feeling a tad tired.

Declutter Shower Room

Declutter the shower room
Everything that can be moved from the shower room has been moved. The items I want to keep have been placed back inside. These are shampoo bar, soap, conditioner, shower gel, bath mat hand towel, squatty potty, and loo rolls. The rest have been left on a counter top in the kitchen. The family will be asked to put back the things they want to keep. The rest will be ditched.

Andalusian Raspberries

Yarn: Deramores Studio DK
Composition: Acrylic 100%
Colour: Raspberry (70005)
Pattern: Andalusian Fingerless Mittens

Size: Adult
Needles: 4mm
Amount used: 30g
Started: 6th January 2019