Sunday, October 24, 2010

Beady Bed Socks - 3 lots

I finally decided the time has come to replace my old beady bed socks (last two pictures) with the new beady bed socks I recently knitted (above).
 The reason I didn't start wearing them as soon as I'd knitted them was because I wanted to knit another pair for my friend's birthday at the beginning of November but I wasn't sure if they would be ready on time and I thought I might have to give her my own instead!
Thankfully I have finished the first of her beady bed socks (the green with red beads). I think green is more her colour, and I absolutely love the yellow of mine.

I experimented with the pattern while knitting the green pair. I much prefer knitting socks in-the-round, and the Debbie Bliss pattern for the socks is knitted flat and then sewn together as a back seam. It pretty much works because of the rib at the heel and the sole - you can't see the sewing together there, just up the back above the ankle.

Knitting the pattern in-the-round was better I think. There isn't an obvious join. The only thing I wasn't so happy about was I had a couple of little ladders where the needles changed. It's only slight, and I did try to avoid the gapping. But the biggest benefit was not having to sew them together afterwards! I just had to sew together the heel and the toe. So, I think it was a success.

I really like this Rowan pure wool 4-ply. I love the feel of it. Very textured and old-fashioned, as I've said before.
 These are my old faithful bed socks. I've worn them constantly for about two years so it's no wonder the sole has worn in places.
The good thing is that when I pull them apart I will be able to save and re-use the beads in another pair of socks!

In other news - it's a funny old time for us at the moment. Lots of changes afoot :) and I feel a mixture of excitement and fear.

Mostly on my mind: how to make proper money.

Saturday, October 09, 2010


I decided I would clean the kitchen today, so I got up, had breakfast, and made myself a half-caf cappuccino with the percolator.
 Then I went for a bike ride and did my shopping: books back to library, veg and fruit from the greengrocer's.
 Meg was relaxing in the front room.
 I got out my collection of jars and decided to make...
...Plum and Apple Jam!

This year I stoned the plums first, because trying to scoop them out of the pan while it was at a rolling boil was far too scalding and messy.
And this is what I ended up with: two jars for my friend's birthday (she really liked the jar I gave her last year), one little jar for me, and a big jar possibly to give away to someone else.

And this evening, some mitten-knitting and watching Strictly Come Dancing.

The kitchen cleaning might get done tomorrow.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Chocolate Pistachio Macaroons

My first attempt at macaroons didn't go so well. I think I folded all of the air out of the whisked egg white when I added the ground pistachios. So that, when I went to spoon the mixture onto the waiting baking trays, they glooped and merged into a big PUDDLE.

I tried whisking the whole mixture again to thicken it, but could tell it wasn't going to work.

So I had a BRAINWAVE to spoon it into little paper cups, to enable them to hold shape while baking.


I then made the chocolate ganache, and sandwiched the macaroons together with it.
They didn't look like the glossy photo in the baking book, but they tasted absolutely heavenly.

And everyone at work loved them.

As I had lost some of the mixture when I first tried to spoon it onto the baking sheets, I only got 12 macaroons. Luckily there were a few people off today so I didn't need that many, but nonetheless I felt I should bolster my offerings with something else. I didn't have the energy to begin baking anything else from scratch and remembered I had half a Bishop's Cake in the freezer. 

I defrosted that, cut it into 9 pieces, and we managed to have a merry little feast after all.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Knitting and Reading

So, I unravelled the dreadful orange and purple mittens, bought myself some Rowan pure wool 4-ply green wool, and started knitting these green and purple mittens instead! And I am so much happier with them. I know they're right.

I was interested to read Livvey's blog entry called The Brain Drain recently, because that is exactly what my head has been feeling like too. Except my headings are: Work; Housework; Hagos's Schedule; Accounts; Writing; Maintaining Weight; and a few other headings I don't quite want to reveal. But BUSY. And out of kilter time-wise. 

I'm sure at some point next year it will all fall into place in terms of priority but right now writing takes a back seat to pretty much everything else. And focusing enough to write is something I'm finding difficult at the moment. And peace of mind. 

I need a less busy brain.

But reading is something I'm doing a lot of, and really enjoying. I'm glad I have enough concentration for that.

At bedtime I'm reading The Emergence of Memory: Conversations with WG Sebald; and during the day I have just finished the Millennium trilogy, and will either begin Regeneration by Pat Barker; Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson; or Room by Emma Donoghue. I'm thinking probably Regeneration.