Wednesday, 26 November 2014


Chilli jelly.  I get slightly mesmerised by the way the little bits of chilli are suspended in the jelly.  It's a really easy recipe from Nigella Lawson's book 'Nigella Christmas'.  Take chillies, jam sugar, cider vinegar and let it boil like fury for ten minutes, job done.  

But a word of caution.  The chillies need to be de-seeded before they're chopped and Nigella advises wearing gloves to do this.  'Ha', I thought, the first time I made it, 'gloves are for wimps' and I chopped and de-seeded with joyful abandon bare-handed.  Half an hour later - oh the pain!  You see, oil from the chillies finds its way under your nails and the result is burning nail beds for about a week, which is unfortunate when you've made the chelly as a surprise Christmas delicacy for your husband and so are unable to mention it.  Therefore, this year, gloves are definitely not for wimps.  

Unlike the warm glowing chelly, the day here is, yet again, grey, damp and generally miserable, but I'm gradually building up a stash of blankets to snuggle in should the cold weather get to me.  This one is the first I made.  The colour scheme is not my invention, it belongs to Sharron who kindly posted her colour scheme on her blog here.

I'm on the last leg of the grey one but the border is taking an age (a) because the blanket is quite a big one, (b) because the border is a frill so there are three times more trebles to do, and (c) my little red four-legged friend LOVES yarn!  But despite the treble marathon, I'm finding this frilly edge a rather pleasing thing.

Thank you for all your lovely comments on my last post.

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Winning, dithering, dreaming, confusing

I had a lovely surprise last week:  I won a giveaway from Jooles at Sew Sweet Violet.  My prize was the Mollie Makes Patchwork and Quilting book, in which Jooles is a contributor with her lovely pinny, and I was really chuffed.  Thank you Jooles!

I've been dithering about the border on my grey blanket - frilly or lacey?  It's taken me about a week to think about it and I decided I would be able to get a better rhythm going with frilly, so frilly it will be on the next round of trebles.

My new project, on the other hand, requires a lot more concentration.  A lighter, more lacey look to this one in my current colour crush - a greyish mauve; heaven knows how long it will take, I dream of draping it over my bed at Christmas but it won't be - doesn't matter, I enjoy the process.

I'm also dreaming of Christmas PJs - got the fabric ...

... but have also got Flora with ideas of her own and it doesn't help when she gets a bit carried away with herself:

Oh Flora!  And yet she's so adorable when she's like this:

* * *

This week I'm trying to get my head round Instagram.  I like the idea, I just seem to have premature send syndrome at the moment, so if you're on Instagram and get half a comment from me, please bear with, I'm working on it.

Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post.

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x

Saturday, 8 November 2014

The all-seasons garden

I seem to almost have the gardening year in a nutshell.  I have summer roses, geranium psilostemon, begonias and even a hollyhock hanging on for dear life (but only just).

The autumnal hues of fading hydrangea flowers and sedum

And winter jasmine and viburnum.

Just need some bulbs to pop up now for a complete snapshot.  

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A certain little puppy is growing like a weed and keeping me busy, but I have been able to sneak in a bit of hooky time:  simple facecloths worked in double crochet with Debbie Bliss cotton dk and a 5mm hook.

And the beginnings of a border.

Balls of yarn have been relocated as Flora + yarn = excellent fun (in Flora's world that is).  

Butter wouldn't melt. Not the best picture but it's hard to get her to sit still long enough!

Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post and welcome to new followers.

Hope all is well out there ...
Jane x