Monthly Archives: February 2016

Something’s Brewing At The Brewery

It’s been many decades since beer was last made here in our converted brewery home, although walking around the oldest part of the house, you can still see plenty of signs of what went on where. The Stoic Spouse made a token effort at authenticity last year when he bought an old wooden barrel to convert into a water butt, but we later discovered that it was actually a red wine barrel. Man, that barrel smelled good.

Here's a piece of wood that the Stoic Spouse bored out of the side of the barrel. That dark stain? RED WINE. I invite you to imagine how marvellous this wood smells...

Here’s a piece of wood that the Stoic Spouse bored out of the side of the barrel. That dark stain? RED WINE. I invite you to imagine how marvellous this wood smells…

Anyway, sometimes a lass needs peace and quiet, so last weekend I sent the Stoic Spouse on a brewing course at a micro-brewery down in Brighton. He returned, listing slightly to the left and carrying a large container of brown sludgy liquid. The aforementioned sludge has taken up residence on our kitchen table, much to the bemusement of various visitors this week.

Bottles have been purchased, too.

Bottles have been purchased, too.

So the Stoic Spouse spent an evening sterilising components of this set-up so thoroughly that I began to wonder whether he was planning on feeding the beer to newborn babies.

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For days, now, this beast has squatted on our kitchen table, burping occasionally (I kid you not). These belches are alarming in the dark at 4am when you’ve sneaked down to the kitchen for a glass of water.

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Looking at this set-up reminded me of the micro-brewing that my parents did when I was small. They experimented with making onion wine… once. But apparently their blackberry wine and elderberry wine were considerably more palatable. Oh and talking of familial alcohol production (I’m clearly tapping a rich seam here), as a child my poor mum was in charge of gathering the nettles for my great grandfather’s famous nettle beer. Famous not so much for its taste, as for its propensity to ferment over-quickly and explode in the bottle. Oops. Here was his manual (published 1960):-

photo credit: Mother Twisted

photo credit: Mother Twisted

Inside, is the impression that pretty much anything organic can become wine:-

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photo credit: Mother Twisted

Oh and I do remember my grandfather giving my parents bottles of his wine made from onions, potatoes, and pretty much anything else that he’d grown in his marvellous vegetable patch. I’m quite glad that I was too young to sample those. Meanwhile, back to the sludge that’s fermenting in our kitchen:-

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Purely for your edification, I’ll sample some of the Stoic Spouse’s beer, and report back. Maybe it’ll be suitable for making more beer bread, too. By the way, I’ve experimented with adding a little salt to the recipe, and my fears that this would kill off the lovely yeasty rising process proved unfounded. Yum!

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Hmm, not much knitting or crochet in this post, is there? This may have something to do with the fact that an ambitious experiment involving seven DPNs got a little… messy.

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Filed under House stuff

In Praise Of Petrol. No, Really…

…By which I mean the colour, not the fossil fuel that you put in your car.

That's My Wedding Dress, By The Way. Petrol-Coloured.

That’s My Wedding Dress, By The Way. Petrol-Coloured. Because Me And Pale Colours Just Don’t Get Along. ‘Twas Nice To Have An Excuse To Get It Out Of The Cupboard Tonight.

You might (or might not) be wondering why I mention this now, instead of finishing off THAT project ready for the big reveal.

Part Of My Study. A Bit Petrolly.  Are You Spotting A Theme?

Part Of My Study At Home. A Bit Petrolly. Are You Spotting A Theme?

The thing is, folk at Stylecraft yarns have been grappling with a weighty dilemma. Quite a few of you, no matter what country you live in, have probably knitted or hooked with Stylecraft Special DK yarn at some point. There are 80-odd shades in the range, increased since the competition I was honoured to co-judge last year. The thing is, they now want to increase their aran and chunky ranges too, and they need your help choosing which shades from the DK range they should add to the heavier weights.

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Far be it for me to try to influence your choice, but isn’t petrol a much undervalued yet versatile colour? So unappealingly named, yet so satisfying. I do love a colour that says to you, ‘No, wait: there’s more to me than that. Take another look.’ There’s a subtly and ambiguity to petrol. It’s like turquoise’s quieter, more confident sibling. (Turquoise can be awfully flighty and excitable.)

And if you’re making clothing, it’s a colour that suits a lot of skin tones.

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Anyway, here’s the deal. Stylecraft would love you to nominate a shade from their DK range to be included in the expanded aran/chunky ranges. You can nominate your choice here. It could be petrol, for example…

Ah, t'was a happy day.

Ah, t’was a happy day.

Nominations are open until 6th March. After that, the top twelve shades will be selected and you will have a chance to vote for whichever one of those you think should be chosen. (Hopefully the twelve will include petrol.)

Stylecraft DK Petrol.

Stylecraft DK Petrol.

Voting will cease on 31st March, after which the six most popular shades (petrol, for example) will be announced. These will then be launched as aran/chunky shades from October 2016. Hurrah!

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DISCLAIMER:-

Nope, nobody paid me to write this piece. Just thought I’d better mention that. That said, the Stoic Spouse expressed deep gratitude when I told him that I was going to stop chattering on and write a blog post.

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Filed under Yarn

A Ludicrously Easy Bread Recipe (Before I Get Back To The Knitting)

OK, this post isn’t strictly knitting, but… This bread recipe is so easy that it ought to be illegal, because such an extreme level of gorgeousness will make folk assume that you slaved over it for hours, and it’s surely wrong to be the source of such deception. When I say that it takes two minutes* to put together, I’m not joking, and I say that as the person who looks at most recipes and thinks, “Yeah right is that gonna take a mere half hour to make: two hours, more like.”

Dry ingredients first: flour and self-raising flour.

Dry ingredients first: self-raising flour and sugar.

So in case you’ve not yet had the pleasure, permit me to introduce you to the wonderful world of beer bread.

Soft, tearable, slightly sweet-tasting loaves of extreme yumminess.

Mmm... beer...

Mmm… beer…

I first got into beer bread when I was cooking lots of things from a medieval cookbook, but that recipe still used a bit of yeast and so was a (minor) faff. These days we make most of our dull-but-reliable bread in a breadmaker. Beer bread makes a tasty change, and is ready much faster, too. It does taste sweet, which wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste, but the sugar is necessary in the same way that you need sugar in conventional bread so that the yeast has summat to munch for its lunch before it flatulently produces all that fabulous carbon dioxide that makes your loaf rise.

Pour it in, and fizzzzzzzzz...

Pour it in, and fizzzzzzzzz…

So, clear most of the toys from a corner of your kitchen table (yes it’s fine to just move them to the sofa instead) and let’s begin. You’ll need:-

  • 375g self-raising flour (that’s 2¾ American cups)
  • 3tbsp caster sugar
  • 330 ml beer/ale (that’s 12 fl oz)
  • Absolutely NO YEAST whatsoever!
Fizzing quagmire

Fizzing quagmire

Chuck ingredients in a bowl. Gently mix around a bit. Observe how it goes from a fizzing quagmire to a coherent(ish) damp dough after mere seconds.

Sloppy dough. Worry not: there's no need to kneed.

Sloppy dough. Worry not: there’s no need to kneed.

Plonk dough into a lined loaf tin.

In the tin. Usually I'd put it all in one tin but I was experimenting with encouraging it to rise, today.

In the tin. Usually I’d put it all in one tin but I was experimenting with encouraging it to rise, today.

Put in oven at 180ºC/350ºF or Gas Mark 4. Drink the remaining 170ml of the beer you opened. Remove loaf from oven after 50-60 minutes once it’s golden on top and your entire house smells of baking. Try not to eat it all in one snarling, wild-eyed, feeding frenzy, or you’ll feel sick later.

Lunch. A mackerel, tomato, and lettuce sandwich. I may have forgotten to add the mackerel, lettuce, and tomato.

Lunch. A mackerel, tomato, and lettuce sandwich. I may have forgotten to add the mackerel, lettuce, and tomato.

Variations:-

  • When I make it, I always pour a small amount of melted butter mixed with salt onto the loaf towards the end of baking.
  • Experiment with adding seeds. The Stoic Spouse has an uncanny genius for creating combinations of different seeds in bread that taste just perfect. It’s the main reason I married him.
  • Try different beers: the more flavoursome, the better.
  • I’ve also tried making it with proper bread flour (ie ‘strong’ flour). Yum.
  • Based on recommendations online, I tried something different today. I split the mixture between two tins and left it in peace to rise for half an hour before baking. Really I should have put it somewhere warm, but we don’t have anywhere warm in our house. So although it did rise a bit and the texture was lighter, I wouldn’t necessarily do this again, or at least not unless we moved to a house that was warm enough for human habitation.
  • Add anything else that will go with the sweetness of this bread. Maybe some rosemary and sliced black olives? I’m led to believe that cheese works well, but as I have an almost-phobia of cheese (stop laughing, you at the back, it’s true) I’m afraid you won’t find any cheese-related advice on here.
Yum. It's flattish because I divided the mixture between two tins. Usually it's taller.

Yum. It’s flattish because I divided the mixture between two tins. Usually it’s taller.

*Not including time to realize that you’ve run out of flour, gather up your various children and manhandle them into outdoorwear, mount an unsuccessful search for your car keys, catch the bus instead, give in to toddler demand for confectionary, and purchase flour. So, about two hours, all-told.

RECIPE SOURCE: This recipe is a hybrid of lots of very similar versions that I’ve seen online, on sites ranging from allrecipes.co.uk to Jamie Oliver’s site.

And that, my friends, may be the easiest bread to make in the entire world. Now, back to knitting…

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Ridge And Furrow, Gone Tomorrow

Whilst we knit/hook, shall we indulge in a little ancient history?

So on a scale from ‘bewildered’ to ‘undisputed world authority’, how au fait are you with the concept of ridge and furrow? I have to ask, because I tend to assume that if even I know something, then it really must be painfully obvious to everyone else.

Long car journeys of my childhood often involved spotting examples of ridge and furrow in fields beside the motorway: it’s pretty distinctive once you know what you’re looking for. Never let it be said that we didn’t know how to rock a damned fine time chez Family Twisted.

A quick explanation: here in the UK and other parts of Northern Europe, medieval peasants ploughed and sowed the land in long strips with troughs in between, whilst their feudal overlords sat smug in moated castles, counting their gold. This system of farming was proper legit, innit, from very roughly 1500 years ago until about 400 years ago. That’s a lot of years; enough for the peasants’ backbreaking toil to leave clear scars on the landscape that are still visible today. Here’s some subtle remnants of ridge and furrow that I spotted recently near Swindon:-

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I’ve written before about how much I love the marks that ancient history has left on our local landscape (eg here and here). And I can’t help but feel sad when a little more of that heritage is destroyed, even though keeping everything the same would mean that we’d still use scrawny oxen to haul ploughs across the earth, and popping out to Tescos would involve trudging through dense forest and possibly being devoured by wolves along the way. So imagine my horror when I came across an (admittedly uncertain in the gloaming) example of ridge and furrow that was to be destroyed right in our very village.

It was whilst I was out for a run, and therefore possibly of unsound judgement. As it began to get dark, I ran up to the allotment to check on the progress of our onions and broad beans and raspberry canes. (Not much progress: it’s too cold to bother growing.) I spotted these lovely hellebores flowering on our plot, though:-

hellebore www.thetwistedyarn.com

Close to the allotment (far too close), is a field that was hitherto left in peace behind a dense hedge. But no more. Because clearly what we need round here is a million new-build homes to turn our (mostly) tranquil old village into a sprawling megalopolis. And I am prone to neither gross exaggeration nor hypocritical nimbyism…

So ahead of the construction of eleventy squillion homes, they’ve ripped out the hedge around the field. This was the first time I’d had a proper view of what lay behind. It was difficult to tell in the rapidly dimming light (and this photo in no way even begins to do it justice), but I thought I could maybe see a hint of ridge and furrow, about to be ripped away. Those distinctive horizontal lines: can you see them?

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Sigh. And when I came back a few days later, it was already a muddy mess, as though a bunch of excavators had scribbled all over the field.

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Farewell, medieval peasants. I’ll miss you, even though I only just noticed that you were there.

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Filed under Outdoors

Oops.

Oops.

No really, oops.

I could tell you about my latest idiocy, or I could show you my shiny new hat. Err….. let’s go with the hat.

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OK it’s not shiny but it is a new hat and I’ve finished knitting it. Here’s a side view:-

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A very easy knit, by the way, although I won’t miss the endless rounds of k1p2. Pattern: Yvette. Yarn: James C. Brett Marble Chunky, a gift from a friend.

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Oh all right, I’ll tell you about what a dork I’ve been. Once again, it involved running. This emerging pattern of stupidity would indicate that I should possibly stop running. Or start thinking. Or maybe both.

Anyway, it being a nice day an’ all yesterday, I decided to go for a longer, hillier run than usual, right out into the countryside. I had a vague route in my head, but was too lazy to climb the half flight of stairs to fetch a map from our mappy bookshelf and check. (Mistake number one.)

So I set off, with nothing apart from a tiny camera in my pocket. No, I didn’t feel the need to take a phone with me: why do you ask? (Oh, all right: mistake number two.)

Spring Has (Almost) Sprung

Spring Has (Almost) Sprung

The route wasn’t all that bad, actually. It was almost pleasant. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I enjoyed it, in the same way that I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I enjoy going to the dentist, but it was definitely fairly tolerable. There were spring flowers to photograph, and who cared if I got mud all over my trousers as I scrabbled on the ground to get the right photo angle, because I’d be back home soon and nobody’d see.

spring daffodils www.thetwistedyarn.com

Pausing to take photos is a great excuse to stop running for a minute. You want lots of photos, don’t you? Those daffodils won’t photograph themselves, you know.

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The blossom is coming along nicely:-

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So I was concentrating far more on taking pictures than on where I was going. Also, a quick glance at a map would have told me that the route wasn’t quite as simple as I’d assumed. But I continued cheerily on. At least the view was pleasant.

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It took me some time to work out that I was lost, as the realization slowly dawned that the route back to the village was proving to be twice as long as the route out from the village had been. But hey, the rules of physics can be funny round here, so you never know.

Eventually, though, I had to admit that I was lost. I considered cutting my losses and turning back, but that would definitely have involved running a really long way, and I didn’t fancy that. (Mistake number three, because these things are relative.)

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I got to the top of a hill that I shouldn’t have been anywhere near, and paused to try and get my bearings. You’ll notice that it was no longer sunny and that birds of prey were circling, anticipating a large lunch of stupid runner:-

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I looked and I looked down from the hill, but I couldn’t see our village anywhere. Hmm. I could see other villages, but it was as though ours had simply vanished. Like I said, the laws of physics can be funny round these parts.

The path bridged a major road:-

A34 www.thetwistedyarn.com

But I decided to carry on, optimistic that very soon a porthole in the space-time continuum was bound to open up and lead me straight back to our village. Unfortunately the universe failed to deliver this small gesture of kindness and instead I ran on and on, getting close enough to Blewburton Hill to tell me that I was now really very far indeed from home. Wittenham Clumps followed me across the landscape too: that’s the two tufty hilly bits in the photo below:

Wittenham Clumps www.thetwistedyarn.com

This was getting ridiculous (although it was also quite fun). Eventually, I got to the highest bit of hill I could find and stood, hands on hips, staring down at the Oxfordshire countryside, determined to find my village. It had to be there somewhere, surely? You can’t just lose a village. Well OK, I can…

I thought I recognized some landmarks, and even the next village along from ours, although they looked implausibly far away. But yes, that was definitely it. And then, far in the distance, I finally spotted a church tower that looked familiar. And around it, yes I knew those patches of trees, and houses, and roads. And following the distant jumble of buildings, I saw at last the tower of our house. Or at least I think I did: maybe it was a mirage borne of my delirious mind.

That was all very well, but getting back there was another matter. These legs weren’t built for running across half a flippin’ county, you know. They were built for sprawling across the sofa with my knitting draped over them. But other than going back the way I’d come (which would have been a really stupid idea by this point), my only option was to plot a wiggly route home across the landscape and hope that I was in fact physically capable of running that far before the circling buzzards and kites (yes there really were both – I’ve never seen them together before) got me. Ho hum.

So off I ran. You’ll notice that the nature photographs have dried up by this point. So had my interest in running.

The route I’d plotted from up high wasn’t bad, and was at least mostly downhill, but I hadn’t factored on THIS:-

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Ah well, what’s a bit of fence-scrambling to add to the mix? Pah, it’d take more than that to deter me. (Not very much more, admittedly.)

I eventually made it to the junction of a very familiar main road. Phew! Usually I’d be whizzing along there in my car, but at this pace I had time to leisure to admire landmarks that I’d never before noticed:-

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Each time a car zoomed past, I had to jump off the road and onto the muddy verge. You might think that this was a problem, but actually it gave me the excuse to stop running for a few seconds and try and get my breath back.

When I finally, finally got to the SLOW DOWN sign (ha!) at the edge of our village, I could have squealed with joy if I’d had anywhere near enough energy to do so. I was nearly home. I probably could have run the rest with my eyes closed, although let’s leave that idea for idiocy for another day.

And then, I was HOME. I’d been gone forever. One of the things that had kept me running was the concern that the Stoic Spouse and the twinnage would be worried out of their minds about where I’d got to. Nope, when I got in I found them messing about in the sitting room, having successfully forgotten about my existence and moved on with their lives. Oh well.

Now, you know I mentioned my lazy inability to climb half a flight of stairs to fetch a map before the run? Well that cost me. You see, I’m wearing one of those fitness gadgets on my wrist and amongst other things it counts how many flights of stairs (or equivalent) I’ve ascended each day. Know how many flights of stairs I climbed on that stupid run? Do you?

THIRTY-NINE!!!!

I shall say no more.

 

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Knitting And The Creative Art Of Parking

So I’ve been working funny days this week, and in between times I’ve been knitting and knitting and knitting an Yvette hat because, (i) it’s getting seriously nippy round here and the Stoic Spouse nicked my other hat, and (ii) my friend gave me some chunky, colourful yarn that’s perfect for the job. At precisely 3pm this afternoon I’m due to take my place outside in the twinnage’s school playground in order to help with the class cake sale, and if I’m going to stand out there freezing my bits off for very long, I NEED a hat. I also need some cakes, so I’d better go and pop the oven on in a minute…

Knitting at the twinnage's music group.

Knitting at the twinnage’s music group.

So all week I’ve been driving my car (known without any affection at all as the Stinkwagon) through the crisp and misty winter Oxfordshire countryside to work. The driving is the easy bit. Parking at the hospital is… a tad trickier. Unless you’re super-early for work, you need to be a wee bit strategic. Really, creative parking is an essential vocational skill. Given that all hospitals have parking issues, they should cover this stuff in clinical training.

A bit of progress, as I walk the streets (NO, not like THAT!) of Oxfordshire.

A bit of progress, as I walk the streets (NO, not like THAT!) of Oxfordshire.

Various options exist:-

  • Legitimate parking spaces. Congratulations: not only are you early for work, but you can also bask in your moral rectitude as you roll neatly into a designated space. Of course the downside is that any time you venture near the car park during the day, a convoy of hopeful drivers will follow you slowly and dolefully, sensing the blood of a possible imminently available space, and promising themselves that they’ll definitely get up for work earlier tomorrow in order to avoid this agony. That’ll be awkward if you’re just popping out to your car to eat your sandwiches in peace.
Yup, still knitting. Still, erm, streetwalking.

Yup, still knitting. Still, erm, streetwalking.

  • Not-strictly-proscribed places that nobody has previously thought of. We’re all creative people here, yes? Well some folk apply that creativity to their parking. You’ve gotta admire them for their originality in manoeuvring their car on to the old tennis court or up a tree, but let’s allow them to test out that newfound option first to see whether they get into trouble before you risk parking there tomorrow.
Still at it.

Still at it.

  • The mildly forbidden areas that would, in a more benevolent universe, be legitimate parking spaces. So let’s get something straight. Enthusiasm for your job is a good thing: everyone appreciates the employee who goes the extra mile. But the chap who painted the double yellow no-parking lines at work took the ‘going the extra mile’ concept a tad too literally and wiped out yards and yards of roadside space in the process. The cautious-by-nature and the super-well-behaved will avoid these spots, so really they’re just parking areas reserved for the mildly reckless. Count me in.
No way is that 11 inches.

No way is that 11 inches. (Oo-er…)

  • The ‘No (Parking) And I Mean It This Time’ places. If double yellow lines mean ‘no parking’, then double red lines mean ‘really really no parking and I’m not joking’ in the same tone of voice that your mum used when you were six and she was properly cross with you. Sometimes they’ll even add a couple of traffic cones as well, which ramps it up to ‘RIGHT, THAT’S IT! DO THAT ONE MORE TIME AND I’LL CONFISCATE YOUR TOYS’. Parking here is the best way to get a photo of your car emailed round the entire hospital with a sarcastic description of your idiocy. Of course if you’re madly proud of your car then you might want everyone to see a picture of it, but leaving your Lamborghini in the ambulance bay probably wasn’t the cleverest way of achieving that, yeah?
If I stay facing front, dyou think they'll notice that my hat is half-finished? No?

If I stay facing front, d’you think they’ll notice that my hat is half-finished? No?

And would you like to know the really sad thing? When I’d taken the selfie above, I decided to do a bit more knitting, but I couldn’t find my hat. Until I happened to glance at that picture again. Sigh.

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Giveaway Winners!

And the Bloomsbury giveaway is now closed! Thank you to each and every person who entered, and a big apology to those of you who were unable to enter for a few days because of my technological tribulations. Before I announce the winner, here are some rather tidily organized trees that I spotted the other day. They were photographed from the trailer of a moving tractor (don’t ask), so I make no promises of photographic perfection. They’re kind of cool, though, don’t you think?

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…But back to the business at hand, the giveaway of five spangly new copies of Stanley The Amazing Knitting Cat, courtesy of the generous folk at Bloomsbury. The entries are in: they’ve been numbered and fed into an insatiable random number generator (at random.org), which burped out the following five winners:-

winners

So, as the twinnage play a low drumroll and the stoic spouse prepares to pour the champagne, here are the names of the five lucky winners. Hurrah!

Please step forward, Anne Westbrook Mursin!

Take a bow, Dramatic Lyric!

You’ve won, NanaMamah!

I hope you like champagne, Patsy Coates!

Finally on the podium, Mothermaryblog!

I’ll be in touch with each of you to request your addresses, which I’ll forward on to Bloomsbury, so that they can send off your prizes, pronto. I hope you all enjoy this lovely book.

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And for everyone else, Stanley The Amazing Knitting Cat is available in all good bookshops, and quite a few mediocre ones, too. It’s even on Amazon.com. Thanks again to Bloomsbury for your generosity.

And… back to the knitting. And to the frustration of a hand-knitted mitt lost on its first outing. (Now do you see why I didn’t make elaborate fairisle gloves in handspun cashmere for the twinnage?)

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Have you any IDEA how much bribery went into the making of this picture?!

Still, they were fun whilst they were all together. Yes I do know about sewing them to elastic: that was to be tonight’s job.

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T’was the purple one that vanished. RIP purple mitt. You’ll be missed, at least until I get round to knitting another. The pattern is this one, and its free. The yarn is Stylecraft Special DK.

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Wobbly Blog Is No Longer Wobbly

Never work with children or animals, they say. I’d add technology: never work with technology… except for the fact that you can’t avoid the stuff. It’s great when it’s doing what it should: I have a gadget strapped to my wrist that buzzes and shouts MOVE! if I’ve been sitting still for longer than is healthy – this thing is a little like my husband, reproduced in electronic form.

photo 1

Meanwhile, I’ve nearly finished knitting the twinnage their mis-matched mitts.

But I’m sorry to report that we’ve had a wobble here at TTY that made it impossible for people to comment/like for about a week, although it’s all fixed now with the help of an abundance of Sellotape and some magic spells. Of course this happened in the week when Bloomsbury and I were running a giveaway that involved commenting, because the universe has a great sense of humour and it likes to mess with my head.

But at least the mittens are going well.

But at least the mittens are going well.

Anyway, in recognition of this disruption to the giveaway, the executive committee here at TTY (aka me and my glass of wine) have had a bit of a conflab, and in the interests of fairness, we’ve decided to extend the competition for an extra three days, so it will now close at midday GMT on Monday 8th February.

That's 1.5 of the twinnage's hands clothed so far...

That’s 3 of the twinnage’s hands clothed so far…

If you tried to enter during the barren period when my computer refused to talk to your computer, I apologize for the inconvenience, and encourage you to please submit your entry again by leaving your comment at the end of the giveaway post. My computer is now out of its sulk and is happy to chat.

Last one started! Might even get these done whilst the weather's still cold.

Last one started! Might even get these done whilst the weather’s still cold.

So if you haven’t entered already, give it a go. There are five copies of this marvellous book to be won.

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Good luck!

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to finish knitting some mittens.

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Filed under Blogging

Anyway, I Digress…

Don’t forget the Bloomsbury children’s book giveaway in the previous post. There’s still time to enter.

As it is in yarn, so it is in life. Honestly, my head’s been all over the place this past week, and so has my knitting/crochet. One minute I’m tinkering in the undergrowth in the garden of that crochet project, the next minute I’m wondering what sort of mittens to knit for the twinnage because I made the mistake of buying them some gloves with fingers which turns out to be more fiddly hassle than any self-respecting five-year-old round here is willing to tolerate. When I was a child, I viewed mittens as the poor relation of gloves, but my good friend Selma at EclecticHomeLife has pointed out that your hands will be warmer when your fingers are all cosily nestled together in one place, and frankly I’m happy to trust the word of a woman of Norwegian heritage when it comes to cold-weather-wear.

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Anyway, due to the urgency of the situation, I’m whipping up some plain and simple mitts in childproof Stylecraft Special DK. Each one of the four will be a different colour because, well, matching gloves has so been done before.

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Maybe it’s the season that’s making me so inconstant. Pesky weather can’t make its mind up. One minute I’m off for a run in this:-

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And the next day I’m out in this:-

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Folks in the eastern US, whilst I sincerely hope you’re warm and dry, I can’t help a little jealousy that your clouds are doing winter properly, whereas our clouds just think it’s hilarious to dump bucket after bucket of cold rain on our heads. Ha bloomin’ ha. I haven’t dared go down to the cellar lately to check whether it’s flooded at the moment. (Did I tell you about the time – and stop me if I did – when the Stoic Spouse went down there without putting the light on first? It was after a period of extreme rain. I heard the following as he plodded down the steps: stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, SPLASH, “Aaaaaaaaargh!” Honestly I was sympathetic, I really was, but his unwitting comic timing was just too perfect.)

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And if the yarnery has been all over the place, then so has my head in real life. It’s been a strange time, what with moving back into the third of our ward at work that wasn’t burned/melted in the fire, whilst juggling everything else that’s going on.

Do you find the same thing? That when your head’s all over the place, your knitting/crochet is too?

Anyway, before I leave you to get back to your knitting/crochet, I just wanted to show you a rather gorgeous someone whom I met the other day when out and about with the twinnage. How beautiful? Couldn’t you almost knit that fluff?

mooooooo

 

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