Knitting Socks

Knitting socks is a favourite with the Knit & Natter group I attend – we meet on a weekly basis at a wonderful haberdashery & gift shop

Miss Millicent

…it always amazes me that such a diverse group of people can meet together & enjoy each others company for a sociable couple of hours each week – we’re never short of conversation (or chocolate biscuits)!

There are those who knit & those that like to crochet – such an amazing range of items are produced: blankets, jumpers, bags, hats, scarves, socks, slippers, flowers, table mats, hedgehogs (yes, rather cute knitted hedgehogs) – you name it & I think we’ve made it between us!!

Tonight saw quite a few socks being knitted – there are some absolutely gorgeous yarns available for this…

…once tried, sock knitting is definitely addictive – yet another excuse to purchase more beautiful yarn!

We have numerous discussions about which is the best technique to sew up the toe – the 3-needle cast-off or the dreaded & complicated graft known as Kitchener Stitch!! Having previously used the easier 3-needle cast-off I decided to give grafting a go – I researched a few different sets of instructions on the internet – Ravelry is extremely helpful – finally I decided on these instructions which made the most sense…

SET UP – Hold both needles side by side horizontally in front of you with tapestry needle threaded on to yarn:

  • Bring tapestry needle through first stitch on front needle purlwise – leave on needle
  • Bring tapestry needle through first stitch on back needle knitwise – leave on needle

BEGIN:

  • Bring needle through first front stitch knitwise – slip off needle
  • Bring needle through first front stitch purlwise – leave on needle
  • Bring needle through first back stitch purlwise – slip off needle
  • Bring needle through first back stitch knitwise – leave on needle

Mantra – KNIT KNIT SLIP PURL PURL SLIP

…worked first time & there I had it, a perfect seamless graft – so chuffed with myself!

Never knitted socks? Give it a go, you too may become addicted!!

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Spiced Parsnip & Leek Soup

Today dawned bright & sunny – such a contrast to yesterday! Still chilly though, so soup for lunch to warm us up…

I like to make my soup in my slow cooker so that it just sits there until I need it but this recipe also works well in a saucepan

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 50g oil or butter (or a mix of both)
  • 100g sliced leeks
  • 200g chopped parsnip
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder – optional
  • 50g plain or gluten free flour
  • 800ml water
  • vegetable stock cube – I prefer the Kallo range of organic stock cubes – they add just the right amount of seasoning, have great flavour & are gluten free
  • 200ml milk

Method

  • Melt butter & oil
  • Add the leeks & parsnip
  • Cook gently – without colouring – for 10 minutes
  • Stir in the spices & flour
  • Add the water & stock cube
  • Bring to the boil & simmer for 20 minutes or leave in slow cooker
  • Add the milk & blend until smooth
  • Reheat gently with some freshly ground black pepper – perfect!Soup

As the sun was still shining we opted for another family walk this afternoon – this time from our village, up alongside the railway line – we all love waving at the trains hoping the driver will give us a toot & a wave!! No luck today but the bright moon kept watch over us…

Moon

… & home for more hot chocolate!!

Happy New Year!

The turn of the calendar saw a grey & drizzly day here in Staffordshire – that didn’t stop us going for a walk after lunch…

Public Footpath

We’d spotted a loop of geo-caches not too far from home – so off we went to find them…

Muddy Wellies

…a little bit muddy down the lane & across the fields after the snow melted last night!!

Found the first two geo-caches but number three behind the old railway eluded us…

…numbers four & five found – “hurray” – that’s 60 in total now!

Saw a lovely old gnarly tree on the way home – without its leaves it makes a great pattern silhouetted against the grey sky…

Gnarly Tree

…then back home for hot chocolate & an evening snuggled up with some chunky sock knitting!

Chunky Sock Knitting

Hello!

Ok – here goes…

I have a Twitter account, a Facebook page & love pinning on Pinterest – what I didn’t have was a Blog! Well here it is…

My name is Sally & I live at Llawnroc Cottage in rural Staffordshire – my ‘kitchen table’ business is based around my love of cooking & crafting – I hope you’ll join me as I share favourite recipes & showcase my makes around a busy family life!

Sally x