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Scrap Happy December-2018

One thing I love about Christmas is the chance to get out my leftover, red, green, white and black yarn for some Christmas knitting.

The UK Hand Knitting Association had asked for some little stockings for them to distribute to care homes etc, and you could drop them off at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show.

So I did. Then the library was putting together a hamper to raffle, so I just kept going.

One little stocking and a Father Christmas with a jar of homemade chutney. Kathy asked for the recipe for the chutney, so here it is.

Boxing Day Chutney ( spicy fruit chutney)

2lb/900g onions sliced
2lb cooking apples chopped
1 pkt/340g cranberries
2pints cider vinegar
2oz/50g fresh root ginger(before peeling) finely diced
1tbsp coarse sea salt
tsp mixed spice
zest of 2 oranges

2lb naturally dried apricots chopped
1 pkt dates (175g/60z) pitted and chopped
1lb raisins
Juice of 8 oranges/1 pint orange juice

2lb white sugar.

Place all the first ingredients in a saucepan gently bring to the boil.

The object is to let the onions go transparent, the cranberries start to pop and the apple break down. You don’t want to lose all texture so a 5 min simmer once at boiling point should do. Remember to stir.
In a separate bowl mix the dried fruit and pour over the orange juice. Stir well. The mixture should absorb all the orange juice in approx 20 mins
The dried fruit can be done before the ingredients for cooking to save time.
Add the marinated fruit to the saucepan with the sugar.
Stir well and bring back to boiling point, stirring all the time. Don’t leave the saucepan at this time or the contents will catch and taint the chutney. The free liquid will start to thicken quite quickly and the chutney can then be bottled. Lid immediately.

Please pop over to Kate’s for some more scrap happiness Here

 

 

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Knit and Natter Friday.

I am rather ashamed of myself. There was hardly any knitting left to do on the black/white cardigan for Toddler J but I have only just done it and it still needs sewing up and buttons adding. I think I was  somewhat reluctant to do it because I don’t like the yarn, which is an important lesson for me. I bought the yarn, a whole pack of 10 balls, because it was being sold off at a bargain price. I wonder why!! Note to self , do not buy whole packs of bargain yarn and don’t start a project with yarn you don’t like. There are four balls left, enough for another jumper, but I have packed it up and it shall go to a charity shop this weekend.

There has been some other knitting but that it for sharing tomorrow on Scrap Happy Day.

Christmas preparations are well in hand, cards have been written and posted. Mr M&S delivery person has delivered the hampers I choose for the family for Christmas presents this year. Which leads me on nicely to a conversation I had with Mr Humbug E this week. It goes something like this.

Me “I love getting ready for Christmas”.

Mr Humbug E ” It’s all commercialism and the shops are full of c**p”.

Me ” So how does that affect us getting ready for Christmas?”

Long story short we talked about what we liked about Christmas when we were children.

Mr Humbug” Christmas was ok till the boys wanted plimsolls for £100!”

Short altercation while I reminded him of the stories he told about the Christmases he had as a child , which included Mr Humbug Senior choosing Christmas Eve to varnish their cork floor.

My Mum bless her worked herself into the ground for Christmas, homemade everything to eat, homemade decorations, homemade Christmas stockings for goodness sake, made each year from wrapping paper. I guess I carried on with the homemade everything for our children.

So then we started to think about what we had really enjoyed the most about Christmas and it boiled down to

Christmas Carols.

Board Games with the whole family.

Fruit and Nuts to nibble.

Christmas stockings.

A winter walk.

Simples to quote a meerkat. It was then but a short leap to deciding to make Christmas stocking up for each other. I had a rummage through the cupboards and came up with two of the three stockings I had made for our sons. I think I gave Mr J his for Master Harry years ago.

Now undoubtably  they have seen better days but they are 30+ years old, but they are still stockings. So my only problem is what to fill one of them with for Mr Humbug, apart  from the obvious.

Board Games we have, carols we can listen too or I could sing ( maybe not). Walk and nibbles easy peasy.

I expect he will still moan but it should be fun. Not the moaning, that’s just tedious, the stocking etc.

So I wonder what aspect of Christmas did you enjoy the most as a child? And what would you put in a stocking for a Mr Humbug type of person?

I’ll be back tomorrow to show what I have been knitting …..

Be Happy,

Cathyx

 

 

Nunnington Hall at Christmas

We visited The National Trust property near us this weekend. Nunnington Hall was decorated for Christmas through the ages.

You approach the house from the side , the great hall is to the right of the door where that enormous chimney is , and was probably a medieval hall. There was a lovely Christmas tree in the hall but my picture came out all blurred. From the hall you go into the dining room which featured a Georgian feast.

To keep children engaged with the tour little snowmen had been hidden for them to find. I have to admit I enjoyed looking for them too.

The hall is not a stately home but an old manor house, and was very much lived in. The sitting room upstairs was decorated for post war 1940s and 1950s.

The volunteer guide said they had to stop the Grandads playing with the meccano. I certainly checked Mr E when he left the room. The tree in this room had paper lanterns on it. Hands up everyone who made paper lanterns as a child. ME!

Oh look another one in a bedroom drawer.

On a writing desk too.

How did the ghost of Christmas Past get in here?

Lurking in a private chapel.

The bedrooms weren’t decorated for Christmas apart from Scrooge and the ghost. Father Christmas was lurking upstairs too but I didn’t see him.

However there is now an art gallery on the top floor in what must have been staff bedrooms. Whoopee. Look what was on show.

It was inspired by rust, well who isn’t and I thought of Margaret with the next one.

Rather splendid, but way out of my price range.

Afterwards we had a stroll round the grounds. Well after a coffee we did. Nearly mid day but look at the length of the shadows.

Course we always have to visit the veg garden. I am sure there must have been something about visiting veg gardens in our marriage ceremony, maybe I should have paid closer attention.

A rather handsome chap  taking his ease, note the on trend mustard trousers, Tialys.

A land girl digging for victory. Rather splendid scarecrows.

And how about this handsome chap, who just would not open his tail, meanie.

Time to wave goodbye to the current occupier then. Thanks for letting us visit.

I am thinking I could knit snowmen to hide about the house….

 

 

Knit and Natter Friday.

Running a little late today. I have been baking more peanut biscuits for Mr E, and doing my online Christmas shopping, so easy! And what remains will be shopped for locally.

We went to York last week.

And after a lovely Christmas lunch we went for a stroll along the river and the sun came out just as we reached Clifford’s Tower.  From there we went to the Christmas market which was heaving with folk.

This jolly elf was dancing while he worked, and I did get to sample some mulled wine.

As the weather was alright on Sunday I bestirred myself and had a woodland walk.

Which just so happens takes me right past my Dad’s old house so I had a good old nose at what the new owners had done. New roof, new windows, whopping great extension, moved the greenhouse. Suffice to say. made it their own and it no longer looks like Dad’s home. So my memories are my own now.

Does that make sense?

Tuesday I made my Boxing Day Spicy Fruit Chutney.

The instructions read to heat till the cranberries pop then add the rest of the ingredients and I have to say they made a jolly good pop, and the house was filled with a lovely smell of spicy fruit, whereas I smelted of vinegar and needed a good wash.

The rest of the week has been about tidying and cleaning, not my favourite way to spend a couple of days but needs must occasionally.

Now I dare say many of you read Tialys post about the fund-raising she did for the twilight home for elderly dogs and that some of her lovely crochet dogs had not sold. I just knew that the French bulldog had to come to England and I asked Tialys if he was for sale, and she said she would just send him to me, she normally just asks for a donation to the dogs home. Here he is, and isn’t he so cute?

Currently living on the dressing table in our bedroom. Look carefully and you can what I look like when concentrating, oh dear.

Anyway Pierre, did I tell you he said his name was Pierre, is settling in just nicely. And of course I have made a donation to the Twilight dog’s home.

And I have discovered that I can knit donkeys for a donkey rescue centre.

As to the black/white cardigan for Toddler J , I am on the right front border and collar now. There may be a finish this month.

I am hoping that the weather is ok this weekend and we can visit a beautiful house decked for Christmas.

So have you plans for treats this weekend. Do tell, please.

Be Happy,

Cathyx

 

 

Yarn Along!

So what I should be doing is making a quilt top for Little Miss F and knitting a sleeve for the cardigan for Toddler J. What I am actually doing is crocheting a blanket with that leftover yarn and reading. This is a funny crime novel but a little gruesome in a Lock Stock kind of way.

So I wonder what you are doing as opposed to what you should be doing?

Linking with Ginny for Yarn Along

Crochet Cushions.

I simply had to make a second cushion from the the Eastern Jewels left over yarn.

Front

Back.

And now I have more winter colour in the house with two cushions

And still there is yarn leftover. Another cushion?

No, this time I shall add some leftover yarn I had from other projects and will make a blanket for charity as suggested by Dr Snail.

Linking with the Ginx Craft Woolly Linx party

Knit and Natter Friday

Last day of November 2018, oh my. That means it is only…. a few weeks till the days start getting longer hurrah.

Wild Daffodil asked to see my attempt at boro patchwork at the Knitting and Stitching Show last week. It is not pretty.

We were each given a packet of instructions, fabric scraps and instructions. The tutor said she had some brooch backs if we wanted to make a brooch and were done by the end of the workshop. She said we could make boro into cushions, cards etc.

I am not the fastest of workers, too much day dreaming, so I set about cutting my fabric and stitching.

And very quickly I realised that sewing running stitches in a straight line was harder than one would think, so I kind of stopped and did some random seeding stitches for a while. My lovely chatty neighbour was doing much better at straight lines till she pointed out that she actually had a piece of Aida (cross stitch ) fabric, with holes in straight lines. Then I got distracted by the brown piece of fabric, top left which I had cut from a larger but small piece of whatever it is. The scrap leftover looks like a sailing boat I thought. So I stopped doing what I was supposed to be doing and constructed this.

I just can’t do abstract. Of course looking at it today it looks like a church window. I think the blue piece is actually from knickers.

And these are the left over pieces of fabric.

Not daunted by my inauspicious beginning once home I decided I would fix a hole in an autumn leaf cushion I made once. I had a hole due to dreadful machine sewing of border to main panel. I found a piece of green fabric which looks nothing like the original fabric which I had made all by myself, but boro is supposed to be visible so hey it should look different. And set about mending the cushion boro style. I cut a leafish shape and set off. Oh Dear.

I was trying to stitch leaf veins. Never mind the cushion no longer has a hole, and the photo is mercifully blurred.

Not quite got to grips with boro yet.

There has been a little knitting occurring this week, half way up the black and white yarn jacket sleeve for Baby J, who should now be known as Toddler J, having found his legs in the last fortnight.

And some crochet. Jane from Rainbow Junkie Corner had very kindly sent me a copy of her pattern for African Violets and some yarn, as she so liked the bookmark she had won in my giveaway, and I had admired her African Violets in her giveaway.

Jane possibly unwisely, said email her if I got stuck, which I did a bit on the flowers, but she quickly replied, Jane is a chart person I am very much a written instruction totally panic at the sight of charts person. All was resolved with ease.

Anyway I am delighted with my woolly African Violets. Thank you so much Jane.

Sitting very nicely in a little white bucket.

From the top, and on the kitchen window cill for some Winter Colour.

Which you may recall was one of the things I decided to do in winter. Thank you so much Jane.

Today we are off to York and hopefully the Christmas Market.

Next week I plan to make my Boxing Day Chutney which I shall simply call spicy chutney on the jar because I got tired of telling people last year that it wasn’t compulsory to eat it all on Boxing Day. Honestly, sons…

So what is everyone’s plans for the weekend? Christmas lights in our towns and villages all seem to be turned on, on Saturday Night at 5pm! At least in our neck of the woods, hoping for a dry mild evening.

Take care and

Be Happy,

Cathyx

 

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