Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The knitted tree

Previously I have made reference to a knitted tree that my Mum has been working away at.  The elderly people's care home she works at is part of a chain and each home has been asked to decorate a tree with knitted things.  

A lot of the people on my Mum's home were too unwell to do much but they all enjoyed doing what they could as did their family and friends.  It is this tree that I made the famous squirrel for, and then the orders came flooding in!

Anyway, all her hard work has come to an end and the tree is now wrapped, decorated and looking fantastic.  I am very proud of her hard work and really hope that she and her residents win.

A knitted owl perched on a branch.

 The whole big knitted tree.

A duck and owl and a number of lovely pom-poms.

A fox, a snake, a frog, a mouse and a hedgehog that I knitted.  Some of these squares were made by me as well.

Another shot of the whole tree.

And last but by no means least squirrel Nutkins who appears to have eaten all the food.

I just love it!

Monday, 21 October 2013

Sloe Gin

Yesterday we went on a hunt for some sloes to be made into gin.  We made our way across the Suffolk heath to find a previously spotted sloe bush.  When we got there though it appeared that someone had beaten us to it so we had to resort to some extreme foraging methods.

It was quite good fun rummaging through the undergrowth to find what few sloes were left.  For those of you who do not know what they look here are some.

They're bitter horrible things that should not be eaten as they dry out every ounce of moisture in your mouth.  I once told my Nanna to try one because I convinced her they were sweet and tasty, I still don't think she has forgiven me.  They do however made beautiful gin, yummy yummy!

As we were picking sloes we could hear a lot of noise from a nearby field.  I popped around the corner and came face to face with some of the most enormous pigs I have ever seen.  I do like pigs, such funny creatures.

I then picked a few more sloes but sadly dropped the bucket so they all disappeared and were beyond my reach to get them back.  Fortunately I had not long before emptied the bucket into another one.

Once we had picked as many as we could reach we decided to head onto another sloe bush but sadly this is when the dog did a runner.  He got what can only be described as the devil in him.  Whilst he did what he did I went looking for interesting things.  I found loads of toadstools and fungi of all sizes.

It's hard to see the size of them in these photos but the top left one as as big as my hand and the bottom left about the size of my thumb nail.  Such pretty things.

I also found a lonely little blue flower.

When we eventually caught the dog and got him in the car we headed off home.

Now the sloes are home they will be washed and put in the freezer for a few days to rupture.  They will then be added to some gin to stew for a couple of months and finally some sugar will be added.

I do love sloe gin and can't wait to receive my bottle for Christmas.  If anyone knows of any sloe bushes in Nottinghamshire then please let me know as I wanted to make my own this year but don't know where to find any.  It's a long way to travel to Suffolk for them.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

A tale of two sockies

I have been knitting a pair of socks for months and months and months now but I finished them just in time for a trip to the seaside to see my parents.

I love hand knitted socks but I must admit they are a bit tedious at times but they are great for knitting that requires little concentration (apart from the heel).

The first sock I knitted ended up with quite a big heel because I just kept going, with the heel flap (I didn't realise I had made it half an inch too long) I thought this would be fine but now it is finished and on my foot it is a bit baggy around my ankles as the length of the heel flap effects the overall size if the ankle.  The second one I made sure to knit a smaller heel but forgot this would make the whole sock shorter so the second sock is half an inch shorter than the first.  All in all a bit of an odd pair of socks but nothing I am worried about as they are on my feet after all.

I learnt to knit socks last year and quickly whipped up a pair for Tom's Dad for Christmas but these are the first ones I have knitted for myself and today I took them for a test drive.

I put them on under my leather boots and we set off to a craft fair, they made my boots feel lovely and snug where they can feel a bit loose with normal socks.  After a wander around we took a trip to the beach to see how many fisherman were taking part in this weeks charity fishing match.  Here I stopped to photograph my wonderful socks and was amazed by how none of the breeze made it through them, they are so snug!

If you have ever considered learning how to knit socks then I recommend it highly.  A lot of people say socks are hard to knit but if you can knit, purl, k2tog, ssk and pick up stitches then it's a doddle!  I am certainly converted and have great plans for many more pairs to make it into my sock drawer.