Saturday, August 28, 2010

How I occupy myself when my husband is sleeping after staying up all night in the studio

  • I knit
  • I read - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson; and, The Emergence of Memory: conversations with WG Sebald
  • I eat chocolate cigarettes
  • I mess around on the internet
My jumper is coming along nicely and I'm keen to finish it because then I shall have TWO long-sleeved new jumpers, and I can then get onto knitting my next project (possibly my black DK jumper).

It took me a while to get into The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as everyone said it would, and then the pace finds its rhythm and I'm completely in and reading all the time, which I love.

Today I picked up The Emergence of Memory: Conversations with WG Sebald from my local library. I was lucky enough to have Max (WG Sebald) as my teacher when I did my Masters Degree at UEA. There is a little anecdote he tells at the end of the book, about a rat, and it so reminded me of the pattern our tutorials took every week. He always began by relating some little tale that had caught his attention during the week. It always started off well, and quickly deteriorated. And he would chuckle and we would eye each other warily as the story began, and then chuckle with him when it ended badly. 

A new old-fashioned sweet shop has opened up in Norwich and it sells chocolate cigarettes, which I LOVED as a child, and LOVE as an adult.

Hagos came home today after being in the studio all week. He was just half an hour away, but studio work is entirely absorbing. There is no room for anything else. He was up until 5am finishing off this morning. So he has been sleeping on the couch accompanied by old films on Film 4 while I am quiet in the kitchen.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Beetroot Relish, and some garlic bulbs

So I took this
and turned it into this.

I was really pleased that my beetroot worked this year. I sowed Boltardy seeds, and true to their name, they came through.

I'm planning to keep one jar, and give the other jar to friends for Christmas. 
I pulled up three of my garlic bulbs and have hung them in the shed to dry. Every time I go in it smells amazing!

I'll pull the remaining five bulbs up this weekend and hang them too. And I think it's about time to pull the onions and do the same with them.

The gardening is almost done for another year. I'm still getting a good crop of tomatoes. My favourite dish at the moment is onions, along with my own garlic, fried in some half-fat butter, add the tomatoes, add to pasta - and it's so delicious, quick, and low on points (I've been doing Weightwatchers for a while). There are still a lot of tomatoes waiting to come through so I should have some for another couple of weeks, and then I'm hoping the Romas will be reddening. I have one more tub of potatoes to pull up and then they'll be finished too. I might pop some more garlic and onions in over winter.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Good Things From Today

Meg, my little friend. This is her lying with her legs across me, belly to belly.
My oddly-shaped tomato!!
My home-grown carrots, that are so long they had reached the bottom of the tub.
Pure escapism! An adventure, and a Weightwatchers Cookie Bar and cup of tea.
Curry, made with my own carrots, garlic, potatoes and tomatoes.

I was also pleased to read about Kate Atkinson's new book, and curious about a book called Room, by a writer I'd never heard of before, Emma Donoghue. The book has been longlisted for the Booker.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Especially for Rik

Rik - we pretty much ate the Bishop's Cake before I could photograph it. But here is the first ever Bishop's Cake I made for Hagos's birthday this year.
It's such a more-ish cake. Not good for people who are watching their figures!

We got the recipe from Hagos's mum, who had made the cake for us at Christmas (probably one of the best afternoon teas I've ever had: home-made soup, Bishop's Cake, crystalised ginger dipped in chocolate, and coffee - mmmmm! Very Famous Five).

Apparently it's called Bishop's Cake because, when cut, the cake looks like a stained glass window due to the glace cherries, mixed peel and angelica (my cake doesn't have angelica, which is green, as the local baking shop didn't have any that day).

I'll make it for you one day.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Some nice stuff

I made Tomato Relish again. I used my own home grown tomatoes and garlic. I had hoped to use my own onions and chillies too, but they weren't ready in time. I had a really nice day at home in the kitchen making it, along with a Bishop's Cake for Hagos.
And the first Beetroot! I've roasted half of it for dinner tonight (along with other roast veg and a chicken!) and we ate the other half raw. I really liked it! It was a fairly mild taste.
And the last of my earlies: Charlottes! My friends didn't get such a good crop out of theirs so I wasn't expecting this many. Also having some for dinner tonight.

We went camping last week for a couple of days to the Peak District. Very P&P. Our friends were staying in a chalet there. I really enjoyed being out of Norfolk, and seeing friends. We always have a silly, adventurous time with these friends, and I always laugh a lot.

I need more of that.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Jumper progress

So I've knitted all the parts to my first long-sleeved TV jumper. I'll sew it together and knit the collar next weekend.

I really love this pattern. I've blogged about the three short-sleeved versions I've done many times. The pattern is from Sarah Dallas's Vintage Knits.

I'm already planning to make another in Rowan's Cashsoft Redwood colour.
In the meantime I'm back to knitting this! And I know I'll get it finished this time. I've finally figured out the pattern, which didn't suggest using a circular needle but requires one, otherwise there are LOTS of ends and joining-in.

I'm now on the front, the final piece, having knitted the back and sleeves already.
I also bought some black Cashsoft DK in the recent John Lewis sale, and I'm thinking of either using it to knit the jumper on the front of this book, or a zip up cardigan from one of the Rowan magazines from a few years ago.

I'm really enjoying working my way through all my unfinished projects. Here is my list so far:

Kaffe Fassett daisy green skirt
Ikea Sew Easy dress pattern (material cut out, just needs to be sewn together)
Amy Butler Chelsea Handbag
Sarah Dallas long-sleeved TV jumper
Red and White Norwegian mittens (2nd mitten and two thumbs to be knitted)
Green and purple jumper from Rowan magazine (barely begun)
Red and purple loop jumper from Rowan magazine (front only to be finished, then sewn together)
Yellow bed socks with red beads (one knitted, one to knit!)
Yellow cotton slippers (bases knitted, tops to knit and sew together)

I'm even looking forward to knitting my green and purple jumper from Rowan magazine, that - after the initial excitement of buying the wool - I've never felt any enthusiasm for! Though I have knitted the back rib due to airport delay a couple of years ago.