Saturday, 16 January 2010

Marmalade and driving

Well look who's passed his driving test!

Yes, this morning Jared passed first time. I don't think that I am going to see much of my car for a bit!

January is Marmalade time. I spotted some Seville oranges in Hall Farm Shop when we went in the week and bought a kilo. Last night these were scrubbed, juiced and the white cut off the peel. The peel was then shredded and added to the juice, with the juice of a lemon too. The pips and white stuff and lemon peel was tied up in a bit of muslin and put in the juice. This was left over night.
Today, I simmered the juice, with the muslin bag in it for one hour. Then all the goo from the bag was squeezed out and added to the juice. The contents of the muslin are the put in the compost bin. 2KG of sugar is added to the pan, dissolved and then boil for 20 minutes and then another 20 minutes until the marmalade reaches setting point.
Then poured into jars and left to cool, later I will label it and then try some for breakfast.
Marmalade making is a lovely way to spend a cold wet winter Saturday!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

knitted flowers

The flowers attached to "My Sisters Hat" were knitted, below is the instructions. I found the pattern on a knitting site somewhere, but am sorry to the person who wrote them, as I can't give them the credit, as I didn't save the link. But I am sure that person would be pleased to see them being used!

They are very easy to knit, just a bit fiddly and don't look like anything until you sew them up.

Materials: Using 2.25mm (USA size 1, UK/Canadian size 13) needles and 4 ply yarn


cast on 5 stitches
row 1: **slip 1, knit 3. turn leaving remaining stitch unworked
row 2: purl 3, turn leaving remaining stitch unworked
row 3: knit 3, turn leaving remaining stitch unworked
row 4: purl 3, turn leaving remaining stitch unworked
row 5: knit 4
row 6: purl 2 together, purl 1, purl 2 together (3 stitches)
row 7: knit 1, knit 2 together and pass first stitch over to give 1 stitch on needle
Use this stitch to cast on 4 more stitches (5 in total) and repeat from ** to give desired number of petals (3, 4 or 5)

If you'd like a larger flower then simply cast on 7 stitches and follow the same principle of working only on the centre 5 stitches for the first 6 rows and then decreasing by knitting 2 stitches together at both ends of the following rows until you have a single stitch again. Repeat for the desired number of petals.

To finish:
thread end through last remaining stitch and then gather up the middle of the flower by catching up 2 stitches the from base of each ‘petal’, pulling up tight and tying off the ends.

Attach to article and sew a contrasting french knot / button / felt circle in the centre of flower.

Working on the middle stitches only gives the ‘petal’ a natural curl. Once the flower is finished you can choose to curl petals up or down.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


My sister, Clare said, when we were out shopping that she wanted a hat, something like this, she said pointing to a knitted beanie with Reebok on the side, but without any writing on it. She decided she would like a pink one and I said that I would knit it. Well the hat turned out nothing like the one we had seen, much chunkier and with flowers on it. I posted it, "Up North"!!!! and waited with baited breathe to see if she liked it. 3 days later the text message came - Yes she likes it! Hopefully she can send a picture of herself modelling it!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Jared's 18th Birthday

Yesterday,10th January was Jared's 18th Birthday. Yes, just one week after Alice's 21st!!
This is his cake,it is supposed to look like a kite- for no particular reason. It was a chocolate and banana sponge with two different colours of butter icing, with chocolate buttons and milky bar buttons.
In the evening Jared had a few friends round for a few beers! I have a major trip to the bottle bank to do!

I can't believe it, both my babies all grown up.

Thursday, 7 January 2010


Here are some pictures of my garden taken today in the snow.

This one shows the great big flakes coming down on the garage roof. The weather vane shows the wind blowing north!

This is my apple tree, looks like it could do with a prune!

And these are the arches that we built last year to divide the vegetable garden from the rest. My sprouting broccoli has collapsed under the weight of the snow.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Alices 21st Birthday Party

My little girl, Alice turned 21 on Sunday 3 January. We joined her in Hamburg, Germany where she is working for 6 months for part of her degree. On Saturday night we met her and her friends in her favourite cocktail bar!! Some of her friends had travelled from England, others are like her are from other countries doing work experience and others are from Germany. I was so proud of her, hearing her chat to her new friends in German! They ordered her a cocktail with "fireworks in it", I was expecting rockets, but it turned out to be sparklers!!
We had a wonderful, but very, very cold weekend.