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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Where to start??

Well it's been a while my friends - I do hope you'll forgive me. I have so much to tell you so you'd better grab a cup of tea!!!
I'm going to start with last night's dinner! (I seem a little food obsessed lately, but this happens to me in the autumn as I love re-kindling my passion for cold weather comfort food) I had some puff pastry left in the freezer from last weeks game pie, which has been calling out to me ever since I put it in there! - So last night I found this recipe for Chicken & leek pie. It used up the last of my farmers market cider and some leeks I had in the fridge, so was a perfect recipe. It was absolutely delicious and I'd recommend it to anyone!
Still vaguely on the food theme. The 2 newest girls are laying well. However they are turning into proper bullies and one of them is feather-pecking the others. I have tried making their run more interesting, but she just seems to have a bee in her bonnet. I'll leave it for a while and see if they settle..... I'd hate to lose her as she's a fabulous layer, and is a very friendly little thing to me! - I think she just hopes that everything in her path is food and pecks it accordingly! I've let them out in the garden this afternoon and that definitely placates them! So much to do and so little time!!!

On to knitting now!

I steeked the cardigan - and I "think" it worked OK! I've knitted up the button bands and it all still seems to be in one piece which is a promising sign! - I haven't done the sleeves yet, so I must get a wriggle on with them!
I am also knitting an Irish Hiking Scarf for a lovely friend of ours. It's done in Garnstudio Karisma Superwash on 4mm needles, and because it's a bit thinner than the original yarn used I added a pattern repeat on to the width, otherwise it was in danger of becoming a cravat!! The colour is much deeper than it looks (why do digital cameras never photograph a true red?)

The sock yarn blanket is also coming along ... although still a way to go! (excuse the dog biscuits and general mess please!) I think I might edge the bottom of it, and then give it to my sister to use for the time being, then have it back next summer for elongating! Otherwise she will miss having it for the winter, which would be a shame.

I also have had the absolute pleasure to receive a swap from (I think the blogless) craftylady on the forum. I was so lucky and felt very spoilt indeed. 2 balls of opal rainforest (in snake!) some wonderful mint cream chocolates, and a selection of glove and scarf patterns for the yarn. The sock yarn has already found it's way into a couple of squares of the blanket, so the gift will be shared family wide!!



Also I won a competition on the forum! - This one was frankly hysterical. It was to guess how many WIP's the delightful (also blogless, but then she hasn't time for a blog) Pictish has on the needles at the moment. - I guessed a raucous 76..... and won by being the closest to the answer of 68! I won this.....
Yarn yard sock yarn in pink for October which I believe (although am happy to be corrected) n dyed last year to raise money for breast cancer awareness.



I also sent my copy of yarnforward magazine to another forum pal, as there was nothing in there that inspired me this quarter...... and looky what came rattling back through my letterbox: Fyberspates in colourway "Heather" - it's gorgeous and was totally unexpected and very naughty of her. I will find something beautiful to knit with it to put it to good use.




I also received a raffle prize from Terri, who had run a raffle to raise funds for her Great North Run. Unfortunately I can't find the photo I took of the whole prize which was a felted bag book, and 7 balls of Jamiesons shetland yarn, but here is the yarn!


Embarrassed by my recent good fortunes I ran another competition on the forum. The question was - with all my recent acquisitions, how many balls/skeins of yarn do I have in my stash! - I was surprised to find that the answer was 59 (I didn't think it was quite that many!) so will not be entering any competitions for a while!!!!! (I did buy some of them - honest!)

So moving swiftly along!

I also received through my letterbox this week, a copy of a CD by a great friend of mine - Gentleman Jim McIntosh, which he sent me because he said I would be honest about it - good or bad !!! (Is this a good thing to be recognized for?? - I supposed it is?!)Gentleman Jim McIntosh and the Jazzaholics "Drying Out" was recorded live at Moreton-in-Marsh Jazz club on 27 July 2007.

Well there was no need for him to worry about my honesty! - The CD is fabulous. It is everything that a good jazz CD should be - toe tapping, uplifting, raucous. The musicianship is incredible, and the whole CD just puts one of those silly "Big Fat Grins" on your face from the minute it starts to the minute it ends. The pace is good, with plenty of scope for a bit of aerobic exercise should you wish, but also a couple of slower tracks to get your breath back. Also a couple of tracks that you should just listen to intently to appreciate the incredible talent of the band. If you've never jived I guarantee you'll want to by the time the CD is half way through! The sleeve notes say that there was a 30 minute encore - I can't say I'm surprised, you wouldn't have wanted the evening to end. Gentleman Jim plays the banjo, ukulele and harmonica on the CD (the harmonica being one of the tiniest little things you have ever seen in your life - I doubt it's longer than an inch - how he's never choked on it I'll never know, especially when you know he is prone to the giggles!) He is joined by Richard Bennett, Mike Pointon, James Evans, Annie Hawkins and Baby Jools, if you are a regular on the jazz ciruit you'll know that's a pretty impressive lineup. The CD is a mix of traditional jazz & gospel, and there is also a track written by the Jazzaholics dedicated to the memory of Railway George, who I was lucky enough to meet at the 100 club a couple of times. As yet Gentleman Jim doesn't have a website, but if you want to get hold of a copy of the CD, let me know. I'll also see if I can get his permission to put a couple of excerpts on here.

(A lot of people seem to end up on this post after googling good ol' Jim Mcintosh and his Jazzaholics - He still doesn't have a website, but he is on facebook - if that helps at all)

Well I think I'd better leave it there - the chickens need to be put back in their run now and given their evening tea! Spot is curled up in her bed with her nost under her tail (she looks sooooo cute) so it must be time I tapped the heating on for an hour or two.... and had a cup of tea!

7 comments:

  1. Loads of news, I don't know what to comment on! The prizes are great. What bag are you going to make from the Felted bags book? They all look nice in there. I hope the chickens don't feel the cold too much!

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  2. Lucky you with all your new yarn!

    I don't dare count up my stash, but it's certainly a darn sight more than it was at the beginning of the year!

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  3. Busy busy! I love food any time of the year, but adore the warming foods of autumn and winter. Steamed steak pudding for tea tomorrow :)

    Your knitting looks great and I bow to your steeking genius. The Irish Hiking scarf is on my to do list, as I have loads of socks now but no scarves! Delicious new yarns too.

    Hope peace is restored with the chickens soon.

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  4. Wow! Where to start, Noo??? What a busy time of it!

    I'm in awe of your steeking abilities ... the mere thought of it bring me out in a cold sweat! Hiking is a lovely pattern and what a gorgeous shade you've selected.

    Dinner sounds scrumptious. I love homemade soups at this time of year. I really should get my act into gear:)

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  5. My goodness what a lucky lady you are. Lots of goodies through the post, great. Not sure what to suggest about the chooks, Lottie may no!

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  6. Your scarf & sock yarn blanket are looking fabulous. Lovely new stash too. I completely missed all of these competitions :~ Pictish has HOW MANY WIPS *shock*.

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  7. I'm sure Pictish will have added to that WIPS total by now too!

    Sock yarn blanket looking fabulous, and what lovely yarns you have acquired.

    I love the scarf too - I always have dificulty photographing pinks for some reason. And steeking frankly terrifies me so well done you!

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