Tuesday, 22 September 2009


Well, here we are again at the Autumn Equinox. Light and dark in balance, a little more than halfway through Autumn. As you see from the picture below, our trees and shrubs which bear berries or fruit have done very well. A good feast for the wildlife.

My sister, Nicky, has a very prolific Damson tree. We have had lots of crumbles, and the freezer has lots of little bags of damson pulp sitting in its' frozen depths, ready for winter puddings. These particular apples are Grenadier, an early cooker.
I also took the opportunity to try out a recipe for pear and almond tart. I have never made one before, but having the first pears from my own tree, I had to have a go. It wasn't perfect, but not too bad for a first attempt.
I also tried a new recipe for chelsea buns, as it was Close Knit. The classic Elizabeth David recipe, with ground Cardamom and Lemon zest, instead of dried fruit and cinnamon. Then made much smaller than usual, and finally, drizzled with lemon icing.
I have spent my spare (!) time over the last three months making a sleeveless sweater. It was for a friend who taught a session of Knitters Yoga to the Close Knit members, as a thank-you. Jacqui and I found some glorious yarn, Mirasol miski, in a deep Teal, at Hayes Wools. The pattern was from Yarn Forward magazine. The yarn was a joy to work, and is utterly fabulous made up.
The pattern, however, was an utter disaster! I have been knitting for over thirty-five years, and have never come across such a badly written pattern before. I checked the magazine's later issues for errata, but no hope.What needles to use where? Great chunks of information missing, and I had to completely work out a cable that would fit at the neck, because the instructions given just did not work. Yarn forward may boast that all of their patterns are new, but it might be a good idea to have them test knitted too! This is the second time I have made an item from that particular magazine, where the pattern did not work. It is also the last. I shall not buy it again.
You can see from this detail that the neck is quite different from the pattern.
On a happier note, several of the younger women at work are due to have babies before long. so, goody, a chance for some baby knitting. I have started a Louisa Harding kimono for a little girl, and have my eye on a stripy Debbie Bliss for a little boy, with maybe a random blanket for the unknown third. Oh, the joys of the possibilities!

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Honey Harvest

I mentioned that we were due to start the Honey harvest. Well, we did start..and the electric spinner broke down. Oh, well, at least we still had the old hand spinner. So on we went - and then we found that a lot of the honey had already set in the comb. We knew that it was not oilseed rape honey, as the bees were not bringing it in, and this was also in later supers. So we think it must be Clover honey. Clover makes gorgeous honey, but it meant that the harvest went on into the following week-end. We can't spin off honey that has set, so we had to clear up one set of equiptment, then get out,and clean and prepare another lot.
This is set honey, cut from the frame, ready to be extracted.
The main problem was that it ran into Fibrefest weekend! I finally left home, and got to Coldharbour Mill at 3 pm on Sunday. Not ideal. I did manage to get around and see everything, though. I met Jowatso, who set up and ran U.K. Ravelry Day, and hope to see her again.
There was an amazing display of fibres. Actually, I was boggled. So many lovely things. Getting there so late, did mean that many things had sold out. Which was great for the stall holders, and probably just as well for my bank balance. I did buy some wonderful stuff, though.

The lovely rusty brown alpaca is
from Alandale Alpacas. Two 25 gram skeins of hand spun, from an alpaca called Fiona.
The verdigris green is merino and silk. It comes in 100 gram skein, and is double knitting weight. This is for a cardigan.
The red is the same, but I only got one skein, probably for a scarf. I bought them from Fyberspates.

These gorgeous Vintage buttons were on the Wheeldale Woolcrafts stand. I don't think I would have seen them, if I had been there when it was busy.

Quite a busy couple of weekends. Now we are preparing the bees for Winter. The supers are clean, and we have put feeders on all of the hives. Now feeding comences. We have to make sure they have sufficient stores to last the winter.

And at last it is cool enough to knit! I have a sleeveless pullover that I have been working on, which is a 'thank-you ' present from the knitting group I belong to, 'Close Knit', to Karen, who taught us Knitters Yoga. Just a few inches left, and then the making up. It has a fancy cable neck border. I am looking forward to seeing it finished.