Creating an Elven Coat

I have recently started knitting again, I’ve made a beautiful Chunky Fishermans Rib Jumper, I am on the last sock of 4 pairs of socks, and now I feel it’s time for another project.
I want to design and make an Elven coat, inspired by Morale Fibres wonderful coat.
I don’t crochet, so want to create something like this, but knitted.
I know this will be a long term project, I want to play, and I want to use up yarn. I’m also thinking about making the final edging with Nalbinding.
This may take me years, this may be my only post on the whole idea. But I just need this space to record my thoughts.

The first thing to do was to work out a chevron pattern that I am happy with, that has neat increases and decreases, wih the lines sloping the correct way.

Creating the Chevron pattern
DK yarn 4.5mm circulars, 4.5mm for no reason other than they were the first ones I picked up.
After playing with 6 or 7 chevron edges, different increases and decreases, I am now happy with my first test piece, it’s 49 stitches.

Thoughts – now to add straights, how many panels of chevron and straights? And how will I decrease into the waist? Do I knit as panels or one continuous piece?

Trying not to get carried away thinking about colour, I have so much acrylic to use up, will just use random yarns to get the pattern sorted.

Will in the garden

The story continues ….

As Will only has 1 working arm at the moment, he broke his elbow falling off of his skateboard last weekend!, digging a veg bed, or building a raised bed was a bit out of the question for him, so we worked together.

Will now has his very own vegetable bed, it’s just under 2m long, by 1m20 wide. By the end of yesterday he had a filled and ready to go raised bed! And he had also potted on the tomato plant and put it in it’s final position.

I had just woken up this morning, around 7am, when WIll knocked on the door. “I can sleep, all I can think about is planting my plants in the raised bed”. By 9am this morning, Will and I had planted around 25 spring onion plants, 25 radishes, 2 courgetts, 9 CFB, 9 lettuce!

And this afternoon he wants to go to a Garden. There is a local garden open this afternoon as part of the NG Scheme, so we are going for an afternoon out!

I’m so proud of him, and his enthusiasm is so refreshing!

Will’s gardening adventure

I just don’t have time to grow things any more, it’s been a couple of years, there have been some half arsed attempts, but nothing successful to report.

Today is Sunday, on Thursday Will said to me something like, I really want to grow some stuff! I was amazed! He said when he is older, he wants to do the whole self sufficient thing – I quickly walked over to the book case, pulled out and gave him Seymours Complete book of Self Sufficiency. He flicked through the first few pages stopping at the 1 acre page, saying we could do that here, well, we don’t quite have an acre, but we have plenty of room. He excitedly talked about growing vegetables, and fruit, and herbs, and keeping bees. We do have a Hive in the garden, but have never got around to ‘torching’ it, and putting in the frames.

On Friday he came home from school still talking about growing edibles, so I pulled out a box of seed, we went over to the greenhouse, which was overgrown with Raspberries, and Convulvolus, he set about clearing it out. He found an ice cream tub of seed and sorted through it throwing the old seed, but some seed was still okay!

When we woke up on Saturday morning, at 7.30am, Will was not in his room, the loo, or the front room. I went outside and looked over to the greenhouse, there he was with watering can in hand. I got some shoes on and wandered over, he had planted Chicory, something I had never grown, hence still having the seed! and all I think of is the horrible cheap coffee that I used to drink when I was in my early 20’s and living in a bedsit, no money to afford anything nice, so the 50p jars of chicory coffee had to suffice.

He asked if we could go to a garden centre, and he had a shopping list! We went to the local garden centre, he passes it everyday on his way to the bus stop on his way to school, yes, it’s that close! He eyes up all the things tht he wanted, and noted the prices, we wanted to give our business to the local, but also wanted to have a quick look elsewhere for inspiration. We then went to a local nursery, sadly they seemed to be unable to cope with the sunshine and heat, and most of the plants that they were selling were fit for the compost bin. Then on another half a mile to one of the larger Garden Centres, you know the ones, their best sellers being BBQ’s, Swinging sofas, and hot tubs! We looked around the plants, and the only thing that caught his attention was  Jalapeno, as hey did not have one in the ‘local’.

So back at the ‘local’ he bought an indoor pot and saucer for the plant on his bedroom window sill – a money tree! 5 rows of plants, as it was cheaper to buy 5 – Courgette, CFB, Radish, lettuce, and spring onions. A packet of chard seed and a packet of beetroot seed, some compost, and a large tomato plant where 4 plant are grafted onto one rootstock, and a mint.

WHen we got home he went back to the green house, within an hour he had planted the seed, also some cloeus, and viola seed that he had found in my collection. He’d also potted on the Mint. But was then wondering what to do with the veggies, he needed a plot, or raised bed…

My life

I don’t write on my blog very often any more, I just don’t have the time, I am busy working, and busy enjoying life.

Everyday is special, and is never taken for granted – I love watching the trees change through the seasons, I love watching the grass in the meadow blowing in the wind, changing everyday, and in the next month it will be cut – there will be the hussle and bussle of the cutting, turning, and finally baleing, and then it will be a golden yellow dried field for a while until the new growth peaks through. I love watching the birds and the animals. Every time I look out of the window, it’s like a new painting, new things to look at, and watch.

I’m not really much of a daydreamer, but feel happy and calmed by nature. Appreciate the good things in life, and try not to focus on the bad.

There is bad in the world, and I don’t understand it, we, humans, have become filled with greed, jealousy, and selfishness. Why we can’t all work together, I don’t know. People always have wants, not needs, but they think that their wants are needs.

Take a step back, the first thing everybody needs to do is be happy with who they are, happy with what they have. If you can’t be happy with yourself, and what you have, then you cannot be happy with anything, you will always covert that the you do not have, and it will make you unhappy, and even when you get the things that you think will make you happy, you will always want the next thing.

I want to be happy, I want my children to be happy, I want to be able to live without stress, eat, drink, be warm, and pay the bills, or something like that!

Anyway, rant over.

In the Kitchen

Wow, it’s been ages since I posted!

Just thought I would do a post about my day so far.

It’s quiet in the house today, just me and the cats. I did have another guess for a little while, a mouse, but Odin did as he was told and took it outside!

I am just having a break from the kitchen, I have been busy for the past few hours and have made a lentil, carrot, & potato Soup, A Walnut and Puy Lentil Roast. I’ve made Roman Biscuits (Spelt, Cinnamon and Honey), and have Roman Bread rising (Spelt and Honey bread).

One of my favourite experiences this morning was opening a 16Kg bucket of 9 year old Churchdown Honey – wow, just wow, the smell was amazing, it was an amazing dark golden brown in colour, and the taste, well, wow! I decanted about 3kg of it into a smaller bucket ready for my baking. (M in L was a bee keeper, who doesn’t like honey!)

I am now wondering what else to make, I have loads of dry ingredients e.g. Flour (White SR, Brown SR, White Plain, Brown Plain, Gram, Spelt, Emmer, Wholewheat bread, white bread, corn, rice, chapati), I have lots of seeds, loads of pulses, some dried fruit, some nuts, lots of grains, lots of honey. Not many fresh ingredients. And anything I make will have to keep or go in the freezer, as Will & I are on our own until tomorrow night.

Quiet after Christmas

Welcome to 2017! Happy New Year!

Last year was a very busy work year for us, and then after the last recommended posting date to US, it really slowed down. Slowly we began to have time when we weren’t working! And each day has become more and more laid back. We are still working, working on the website, I’ve quoted on a few jobs, and we’re discussing plans for the year, but we are now able to chill a little.

Today I feel like I have more time to do other things, and I have kept myself very busy. At 7am this morning I started making Lemon Curd, then I made a large pan of Chilli (some for tea, some for the freezer), then a Lentil & Carrot Soup (for the freezer), and some Cheese & Spinach Sauce (for the freezer – will be used in a lasagne or Tart, mixed with some mashed potato for pasties, or calzone), and then I made a Lemon Meringue Pie, and some Mince Pies. I’ve done lots of cleaning, and clearing, and sorting in the kitchen too, I have an urge to Spring clean!

I’ve used up lots of veggies out of the fridge, now to work out what I can do with a bag of Sprouts, Bubble & Squeek is the most obvious, but I used all of the potatoes in the soup!! And as I am on a ‘use it up’ mission, I don’t want to buy anything so I can use something else up!!

In my clearing up, I have counted more that 30kg of sugar, none of it white, but a interesting selection of light and dark soft, and light and dark muscovado, some preserving sugar, and demerara. Then there is flour around 40kg of it – white flour, brown flour, bread flour, chapatti flour, malted flour, plain flour, SR flour, Emmer Flour, Spelt Flour etc. Guess that will be my next challenge, to use some of that up!!


I am here, working away!

It’s been a busy summer of Festivals, Fairs, Reenactments, etc. With little time to slow down before the Christmas orders started in October.
I’ve got a new work website,  and lots more items on sale than previously.
It has now got much colder, with beautiful frosts most mornings.
I am now starting to wonder if I will be hit by TN (Neuralgia) again this year. I’ve had discomfort in my ear since september, I keep threatening to see the Dr. but I feel I don’t want to waste his time! But this week, the twinges have started in my face, I have no tooth pain. But twinges in my ear, jaw, and under my eye. I need to keep warm, and really hope I don’t have another winter of TN 😦 Although previously it was believed that it was caused by abcesses, there never seemed to be any abcesses when the pain started, so who knows.
Anyway, check out our new website, there are some great Christmas gift ideas!

Relaxing day?


I haven’t been here for ages, how are you all?

I’m trying to have a bit of a chill day today, we have been very busy with work since the Christmas rush began, and other than 4 quiet days in the middle of January, things have been go-go-go.
Yesterday, was one of those days, nothing seemed to go right, nothing major happened, but you know those days when everything seems to go against you. Silly things really, I couldn’t get an envelope to print, not sure why, it just wouldn’t have it, so the envelope was written by hand! I tried to sort out sending a parcel, filled in all the details online, hit pay, and got an error, entered it all again, then the internet timed out, 3rd time lucky. I took parcels to the post office, one bag had torn, so sellotaped it up, and then I said a parcel was going to USA, but that one was Canada, so the Post Office person had to cancel the transaction and redo it. There were other things as well, silly, clumsy things, but I won’t bore you with them, let’s just say – One of those days.

I’m tired, I can’t sleep properly, my head won’t switch off. Sometimes I am excited about things, or worried about my sons, daughter, and step daughter, but recently I am fed up with not sleeping. Today, it’s another one of those days! Lack of sleep, so I planned to have a lie in, the boys were all out, 2 at work, one stayed over at a friends, so nothing to disturb be. Except the youngest texting at 7am, I had just managed to get back to sleep after my partner and eldest going off to work at 6.30. So dispite laying in bed for another 2hours fighting to try to sleep, I couldn’t.

Today, I have choked on a cup of tea, and spat it all over the laptop! I decided that I would have a relaxing bath, then the youngest, who I was supposed to collect at 3pm, decided he wanted to come home early, we had a series of Text going back and forwards, with me saying I didn’t have transport, he wanted me to collect his girlfriend too. He is at his friends 8 miles away, his girlfriend lives 8 miles in the other direction, and I don’t have any transport until later in the afternoon. But sometimes, no matter how many times you try to explain, they think you can work miracles. Then, I dropped my phone in the bath, so much for a relaxing bath!! It’s quiet now, as phone is in pieces and in a bowl of rice!

I now sit, tired, exhausted, and can almost see the funny side of things. But know that this afternoon, I need to be in 4 places at the same time, collecting Will 8 miles away in a south west direction, a meeting 10 miles away in a west direction, at home for a parcel delivery, and collecting his girlfriend 8miles away in a north east direction

Maybe tonight I will sleep, I can only hope, as I do every night, and maybe tomorrow will be less complicated and more relaxing!


I have just done a work post over on our work page about Christmas, there are things that I nearly posted, but thought it was better to keep those comments for my personal blog!

So, Christmas! The crowds are starting to build in the City, shops filling up with shoppers, gifts being bought, but how many of these items are actually wanted? How many are bought and given, through obligation, without too much thought. How much money is being spent on poor quality items, plastic, trends and must haves? Children these days (gosh I sound like my Mum!) confuse needs, and always want! Adults must have the latest iphone, and fashions. How many 3 for 2 gifts do you buy, just because you are obliged to give someone something? How many of these things are needed? useful? or even appreciated?

If I am going to give a gift, what is more important is that what I am giving, I am giving with love, with thought, and imparting some of my energy. At the one extreme that would be thinking about someone, having an idea of something that they would appreciate, and hand crafting the item. Now, I don’t, and many of us won’t, have time, or the skills to make something from scratch. But alternatively, take a step back, and think carefully about the person that you are buying for, choose something suitable, and know that it will be appreciated.

I am fond of giving items that are personal, or capture or invoke memories, or things that can be treasured, or useful things.