Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for February, 2015

15 for February

Time for an update on my 15 for 2015. I have to say that I am so happy I started this. There have been times this month, as we are still not out of the family crisis malarkey, when we are just waiting -for solicitors, probate, HMG and inheritance tax, and house sales and doctors and medical appointments and scans and results and more treatment etc etc etc etc. ( not mine I should add, but a close family member), -that it has been really really helpful to turn to my 15 for 2015 list and think, so what can I do that would be useful or fun whilst I am doing all this waiting.

February Review Time

15 minutes walk x 4 times a week, achieved, but possibly only if I divide some half hour slots into two.

14 bags of stuff to a charity shop, yes, one gone and one in the car waiting to go

13 animal photos. Now here I have to commend Mr E. “Please will you drive me to Cawthorn, as I want to wear my wellies and I can’t drive in them and I need to take a photo of some sheep. I think it will be good”.  I said. He did. And he didn’t say I am weird this time. That makes two animal photos.

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12 meetings with friends. Yes my friend Jane came round and we shared the coffee fudge cake. That makes two meetings now.

11 New Savoury recipes. I made courgette balls, we had them in Crete last year and loved them. Haven’t quite got them right yet. And I made a new chicken curry last night. So that makes three. I have also borrowed a Nigella Lawson book from the library, and there a couple recipes in the book to try in March.

10 Handwritten letters. One letter written and sent.

9 Handmade cards. Two made this month, one for Valentine’s day and one for T’s 4th birthday. That makes 4 in total. Nearly at the half way point.

8 Sewing or embroidery projects. I have found it very hard to be original this year, so much on my mind, but I really needed to have fabric and thread in my hand. So I made this, which I have had waiting to do for many years. I did like making it.

A Bee and Lavender Pincushion

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7 New Yarns. Still just the Bamboozle in January.

6 Trips to museums, art galleries, theatre etc. I had to go to York this month for an ABS light problem on my car, Hours to fill in.Waiting. So I went to the Quilt Museum, which I have been meaning to do for a few years. I am so glad I went. It is only small, three rooms in total. The large room was full of quilts from their collection- if you are into hexies, then do go.

One of the smaller rooms had an exhibition called Chinese Whispers. All are modern quilts. The first participant was given a photo and had to make a quilt in response to the picture. She had a month. Then she took a photo of her quilt and sent it to the next person, who made a quilt in response to that picture. I think there were a dozen in total. All were so cleverly done, and the end one so different from the first photo!

The final room contained quilts called Voices From the Inside. These were all made by prisoners as a way of occupying people in prison and teaching skills. Some of them were amazing. Just shows what can be done when you can literally stitch all day. Now don’t put off going to the Quilt Museum as it is going to close in the Autumn, due to the cost of the building. Instead there will be traveling exhibitions only.

5 Projects for charity. None this month, I read a bit in our local paper asking for knitters of teddies for people with Alzheimers, I sent an email about it, but so far no response. Maybe inundated with offers?

4 New Walks. One new walk tried. It is years since I walked from Thornton to Ellerburn, and that was done by road. A new riverside footpath was created quite a long time ago and we had never been. It is a lovely walk , along the beck, the snowdrops are out and we have been twice, as it is so nice.

At Ellerburn there is a church that I had wanted to see last year but had been closed when I was there. Turns out it probably wasn’t but there is a problem with opening the  door -it needs a chap and jolly big shove. Good ole Mr E. The church inside was a little disappointing very plain and simple and smelt a little damp.

We had another good wander round the churchyard looking for the grave of my Great Great Great Grandmother, but we couldn’t find it. On my return I finally looked at the discs I have for the parish records, and I did find the entry for Jane Stephenson. So she is there somewhere, the question is where. The other question is why Ellerburn and not Thornton where she had her family and lived in the forge. Was she from Ellerburn originally?

There are very few houses there now, three maybe four, but a huge number of gravestones in the church. Was the village once much bigger? Being in the hamlet, because that is what it is now, is just so peaceful. A river running through, a farm with cows and sheep, a cottage with a tearoom and a touring caravan park.From Ellerburn you can walk into the forest at Dalby passing a house which seems to have been a papermill at sometime.

I find I am very drawn to Ellerburn now, and want to know and see more. The fields near the church are full of lumps and bumps, are these the remains of houses long gone? Above all I need to go back with my camera and try to capture something of what I feel.

3 Craft workshops , still looking for one

2 New Cities, we had big plans for this year and I thought this would be an easy one. But everything is on hold right now, we have no plans anymore, there is no point as life is in such a state of upheaval. However, we were in Wiltshire this month for T’s birthday and we had some time in which we went exploring, mostly because we aspire to move closer to family at some more settled time, and then we had the chance to visit Salisbury. So yes, one new city visited. I really liked Salisbury, a small medieval city, nice and compact, and the cathedral is just gorgeous. Constable knew how to pick his locations! I’ll be posting about the visit to the cathedral later.

1 Railway Journey , not yet.

0 Impulse Purchases, none yet, I have got very good at shopping lists!! I am not counting Mr E’s contributions to off list purchases sneaked into shopping trolleys! The man eats far too many biscuits.

Leaving the update with Salisbury Cathedral. Love to hear your thoughts and comments, did you do a 15 for 15, how are you doing.

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Yarn Along!

So after the marathon knit to finish the jacket for T, it is straight on to a birthday jumper for  H who will be 7 next month. This will be the first one I have made him not in the Baby yarn, it is Sirdar Country Style, colour Village Green, and it contains wool, so maybe be itchy. It doesn’t glide as easily over the pins! Pattern, one I have had for many years, so many years it probably counts as vintage. But just plain old stocking stitch, so should be a quick knit, currently half way up the back. 25.2.15 003 This book is set in the New Forest, and spans the time from William the Conqueror to the present day. The author uses real events and fictitious families whose fortunes go up and down over the centuries. I like his writing style, easy to read, strong narrative and believable characters. Perfect for the still long nights. On a happy note I saw my first daffodil on my way home from Scarborough today, in a grass verge. Spring IS COMING! Joining with Ginny for Yarn Along

Sailor collar marathon!

Last Sunday I had a six hour knitting marathon to finish the collar on the jacket I was making for Master T’s number 4 birthday ( as he called it). On Monday there was a four hour knitting session for  the front bands, and completing the garment, but it was worth it. First picture is out of focus, but it is too late to take it again.

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Here’s the collar that took so long, made in three sections then stitched to the front.

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The hard bit was figuring out how it attached to the front bands, because it twists to get the outside to the outside. The yarn and pattern are by Wondersoft and the pattern number is 8938. But he looks a bobby dazzler, I think.

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Not too chuffed to have to wait to go out for his birthday dinner.

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With his Mum and Dad and Little Miss F.

We stayed in a very pretty looking cottage, sadly spoiled by damp, which has gone on my chest, says she coughing!

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We had the heating on full blast whilst we were there and managed to hatch 4 tortoiseshell butterflies, no doubt from cocoons in the thatch!

I was rather disappointed we weren’t in the main house though.

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It was lovely to spend family time with Mr T, we fitted in a visit to Mr B as well and did some sightseeing in Wiltshire. We are still tentatively thinking of moving nearer all our sons, but where is the question. Our area stretches from Dorset to East Sussex and nowhere feels quite right yet. Any ideas anyone, we are looking for a small market town with nice houses that we can afford, and moving from the north is a big ask.

Now to stat the washing. Why is there always washing?



Coffee Fudge Cake.

Now did anyone watch The Great British Bake for Comic Relief this week, and did you laugh as much as I did?. It made me feel a whole heap better about my attempt at yet another Mary Berry recipe! In fact what happened would have been perfectly in keeping with the bakes attempted by the celebrities.

Oven at 180C Gas 4

Cake tin 30x23cm

175g butter- softened

175g caster sugar

225g SR flour

1 1/2 level tsp baking powder

3 large eggs

2tbsp milk

1tbsp coffee essence or 2tsp instant coffee in 1 tbsp hot water

Now the recipe says beat the above together, but I creamed the butter and sugar then added flour in the usual way.

Bake in the oven for 30-35 mins. Leave to cool in the tin. Do not take out of the tin

Fudge Topping

This is where it went horribly wrong. I will tell you. The Recipe says

50g butter

115g light brown sugar

2tbsp milk

280g icing sugar

Melt the butter, brown sugar and milk gently until the sugar dissolves then boil briskly for 3 minutes. So far so good.

Then… Remove from the heat and add the icing sugar gradually,  beat till smooth . Spread quickly over the cake and sprinkle over 25g chopped walnuts.

It instantly became obvious to me that the fudge could not take all that icing sugar. After a couple of spoonfuls I just had tiny lumps of fudge.  BUT I had a friend coming for tea, I needed the cake. Scene as you see on Bake off now ensued!!

Trying not to panic I put  most of the icing sugar back in the packet. I put the pan back onto the heat, added a bit more butter and milk , stirred and hoped for the best, and all was ok.

On reading other recipes for fudge icing it is clear that there is far too much icing sugar and not enough milk in this recipe. I will try another recipe.


Cake and fudge icing very nice, but it is clear I still don’t have the Bakes Like Berry.


Yarn Along!

First of all let me direct you to Annie’s site for news of a wonderful yarn giveaway.

I finished Lamentation by C J Sansom. I really recommend this book if you like mystery novels with a Tudor twist.

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So next is another story about the Number One Ladies Detective Agency. Two chapters in and it is as delightful as the others I have read in this series.

One the needles is the jacket for Master T’s 4th birthday next week. Now on the second front with sleeves and a large collar to go. Will I complete it in time?  Going to be touch and go. The awful weather we have now helps. The weekend was spent in the garden and on walks, such lovely sunshine!

Joining with Ginny for Yarn Along

National Libraries Day

Today is the day to go out and visit your library on National Libraries Day. My own library is under threat of closure. Unbelievable that here in the UK we value books so little we can even contemplate closing a library. Ours might be saved through the use of volunteers, which is worthy but still sends out the wrong message I believe. What do you think?

I am nearing the end of Lamentation by C J Sansom. I have loved this book so much, about the  mysterious disappearance of a compromising book written by Catherine Parr, last wife of Henry 8th, forming  the basis of a cracking good read! I have read two chapters every night, and much as I want to know what happens I don’t want the book to end. Only solution, go out and borrow two more books from the Library.

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Want to know more about this day, go here

Meantime I have finished my latest offering for the delectable Little Miss F.

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and the button for all those fellow button lovers.

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If you fancy a bit more book love, try reading this post from Lolanova


Seville Orange curd

Now I was having trouble resisting making marmalade this year, we just don’t eat enough marmalade, but those oranges at this time of year are just so tempting. Then Anne posted her little pot of sunshine and I was undone. I just had to make some. I made a few minor alterations to Anne’s recipe. Mine I suspect is much sweeter, and I think that was a mistake as it lost the marmalade bitterness. But it was very simple so here goes with my version.

50 g butter- cut into small pieces

125g cater sugar

2 small Seville oranges, rind grated and juice thereof

1 large beaten egg.

Place in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted, then keep going until thickened, around 20 minutes. Gently does it, you don’t want scrambled egg!

Strain if you like, but I wanted the bits so didn’t.

And here you are.

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One little pot of deliciousness. Bake one Victoria sponge , fill with the orange curd and you have heaven!

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Supper will now be one hour late- too full of cake!

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