Archive | October 2014

Maple Leaf Shawl finished

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This is the first shawl I have knitted, and a rare thing in that I don’t usually use lace weight wool or knit lacy patterns. I get bogged down if there are too many holes!

I started the project three weeks ago when I fell ill with a bad cold, and sitting on the sofa knitting in between sneezing was about all I was good for…

I finally washed and shaped the shawl yesterday, and given that it is knitted in whole rows – there are no short rows or bits cast on or off to make the points of the leaf shape – I am fascinated that it turned out so well.

So it feels great to have a piece of work completed that is not my usual kind of project. The pattern is by Maria Magnusson and came free with a copy of The Knitter. There was a slight error at the end of the pattern as it was printed, but I fixed it by looking at the excellent photographs.

Now my wrists are trashed, as anyone else with hypermobility will understand, but it was well worth it!

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New soap batches

On Sunday I finally found the time to make the new soaps I have meant to make for some time now. I made two batches – one to the coconut oil, olive oil and Shea butter recipe I have used in the past with my five essential oils blend. The five oils are Frankincense, Mandarin, Lemongrass, Orange and Ginger. The second batch I didn’t have enough coconut oil left, and I discovered that I had accidentally bought cocoa butter instead. So after a panicked visit to the Mystic Mountain Sage site to check what the revised recipe would need in terms of lye, I got cracking on an Orange and Vanilla essential oil soap. I thought I had been over generous on the essential oils, but I think they will be quite subtle when it has cured. Here are some pics image image image The wavy loaf and the five pots are the Orange and Vanilla soap, the big slab is the Five Oil soap.

This Summer’s Blackcurrant Wine

This summer I have started off about 36 bottles’ worth of wine, after a fantastic year last year.  18 bottles’ worth was re-racked last night, and I was surprised to find that it has progressed so far – nearly finished in fact! – within about three months.

Now I feel that I ought to start a serious double or triple batch of gooseberry wine, and perhaps get adventurous with the recipes some more.  The nectarine wine I thought had gone badly wrong last year is a sweet and heady success, so I feel emboldened.

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