Friday, 13 November 2009

Blood bath

I did some dyeing today. I'm naturally drawn to reds, although I was aiming for a more burgundy shade the final rinse in the bath looked like a scene from Sweeny Todd.



This is the first time I've dyed non-superwash wool, it certainly doesn't take dye up as well. I need to do some reading up on this as the paler shades are OK but I prefer bright colours. I'll see how it looks in the morning. Let's hope I don't have nightmares.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Remedies

I've had a horrible cold this week which has turned into a chest infection. While I'm taking all my usual asthma medication I'm also trying to listen to my body and work out what else I need.

I haven't got much of an appetite which isn't like me but I do have a craving for hot drinks and soup. I decided to make a massive batch of vegetable broth and used Grow Your Own drugs by James Wong as inspiration. He had a TV series on BBC2 earlier this year combining horticulture, pharmacology and ethnobotany which I found interesting from both a gardening and science point of view. There's a recipe for Chinese chicken soup in the book which I adapted for my vegetarian needs.

Here's my recipe:

Fry two loosely chopped onions in rapeseed oil for a couple of minutes in a big saucepan. Add 8 cloves (yes, EIGHT!!!) of crushed garlic, 2 inches of grated ginger and 1 chopped medium heat chili. Fry on a low heat til the onions start to soften but not brown. Add loads of chopped veg (carrots, spuds, squash, celery, whatever you have in) stirring regularly . After about 10 min add water til the pan is almost full. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 1 hour.



I've used the broth as the basis for my meals this week, reheating small amounts and adding different flavours and veg protein to vary the flavours. Eg I added veggie hot dogs and mustard for a Germanic soup, fried tofu & mange tout, lemongrass, lime, coconut and soy sauce for a far eastern flavour, and curried chickpeas for, yes you've guessed it, curry. It's really cut down on cooking time but helped with eating well. Despite still feeling a bit groggy I feel quite healthy too, if that makes any sense.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Monster Monster

A few weekends ago I went to visit my best friend from school and her seven year old daughter, B. They've been having a rotten time this year so I made B an early Christmas present of a big box of crafty goodies. The box had this book which is very cute and full of clear instructions on how to knit, embroider, sew, make pom poms and lots of other fun little projects which dress the doll on the front. I put in kids size knitting needles, pieces of felt, buttons, ribbons, small balls of wool and lots of little bits and pieces from my stash.



The box was a success and B immediately started drawing a monster on a piece of felt. With a bit of direction from me she cut him out, we then made a backing from another piece of felt, chose buttons for the eyes and colours for the mouth and hair. I did the sewing (basic running stitch) and B helped with the stuffing.

Voila, one monster, done and dusted in under two hours.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

How many days til Christmas?

I was clearing out my freezer (exciting I know) when I found some cranberries I'd frozen last year. We've got a glut of apples at the moment so after a quick search on the internet I found this recipe for Apple and Cranberry Chutney. It's very easy to make and isn't overly sweet as the tartness of the cranberries takes the edge of the apples.



That's one set of Christmas presents done. Now, back to the knitting...

Monday, 2 November 2009

Pennies per Hours Of Pleasure = p/hop

One of the reasons I haven't been blogging here much is because I've been blogging here.

Last month I started volunteering for Médecins Sans Frontière (Doctors without Borders), coordinating their knitting fund-raising wing, p/hop. It's a simple but effective idea. Knitting designers donate patterns to MSF, knitters download them and give a donation to MSF based on how many hours pleasure they think they will get from knitting their p/hop pattern.

Medecins Sans Frontieres


You can read all about it on the p/hop website. At the end of the month p/hop are having a blog-a-long to celebrate p/hops first birthday. Keep an eye on the p/hop website for how you can join in. Be good to see you there.

Oh, if you visit the blog you can see my first ever video on the interweb. Woo hoo.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

NaNoWhoWaHa?

I've just been reading my friend Natalie's blog over at The Yarn Yard. Apparently November is NaBloPoMo - National Blog Post Month. Seeing as I've become rather slack at blogging over the last few weeks I think I'll take up the challenge and try to write a post every day. I'm the sort of person who is motivated by last minute deadlines rather than steady consistency so I imagine I'll be bashing out blog posts at ten to midnight every evening.

Part of the reason my blog has been neglected is I've been busier than usual. I've got loads to write about so watch this space for some retrospective blogging in a RetroNaBloPoMo.

As for the other NaNoBlahBlah things going on this month, there's NaKniSweMo. National Knit a Sweater Month. Well I knitted a sweater in ten days in October and I'm not doing that again, unless I'm knitting for myself. As Natalie pointed out, November is the month for preparing for Christmas. I can't see my family being to pleased on Christmas day when I open up a parcel for me, made by me while everyone else has nothing.

It's also NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month, in which people attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. Seeing as I struggle to write on here frequently I think I'll give that one a miss.