Tuesday, 15 January 2019

WOYWW 502–Scarf Embellishing

I know we always say this, but I can’t believe yet another week has passed… Half way through January already!

Remember last year I was working on some embellishments for the striped scarf I had knitted? I decided it was high time I finished that project so over the past few days I’ve been working on making the fringe and adding the felt and crochet embellishments. So far I have completed one end, and this is the result.

01 End 1 Complete - Side 1 15-1-19

The other side.

02 End 1 Complete - Side 1 Showing Fringe 15-1-19

Detail of fringe. You can see that I have incorporated the felt balls I made with crochet chains. I had made some white balls which I didn’t think I would use but in the end I decided to use them, and I added a bit of embroidery on them with wool scraps.

04 End 1 Side 1 Fringe Detail 15-1-19

Detail of some of the embellishments.

05 End 1 Side 1 Embellishments Detail 15-1-19

Embellishments and fringe.

06 End 1 Side 1 Fringe and Embellishments Detail

Closer detail shots of the fringe.

08 End 1 Fridge Close Detail 2 15-1-19

07 End 1 Fringe Close Detail 1 15-1-19

I also attached a few crochet chains further up the scarf, with felt flowers and leaves attached, and the whole effect has been to soften the bottom edge of the scarf.

The little blob on the end of each felt ball on the fringe is a crochet chain loop, through which I am planning to attach a tassel. If I don’t like the tassels I can always take them off again – the little loops look quite nice on their own!

Now all I’ve got to do is repeat the process on the other end.


They’ve both been using the cat tree again lately, which is good. I was beginning to think I’d bought a large expensive piece of junk.

05 Ruby on Top of Cat Tree 9-1-19

07 Both Kitties on Cat Tree 14-1-19

Lily exposing her tummy.

06 Lily Showing her Tummy 9-1-19

We had another session with them in the garden the other day and Lily was quite happy playing and just sniffing at things and running around, but Ruby spent the whole time going round the edge looking for ways to escape. We had to keep her under close supervision the whole time. We took them out in the late afternoon when they were hungry, in the hope that this would get Ruby in, but we had a terrible job with her, and she wouldn’t even be enticed with Dreamies. In the end I fetched the birdie toy (you can just see it in the above photo) and this proved irresistible, and after a while my hubby managed to get her in.

We got Lily in first, and I shut her in the house, out of the kitchen. I went through to check on her because she was crying, and she was sitting up on the flat kitchen windowsill looking out, desperate to know where her sister was.

As soon as we got Ruby in, I chased her into the house and she went into the flat. Lily didn’t see her at first but still went on gazing out of the window, and I called her and said “Ruby’s here!” and she immediately leapt down and went straight to her and kissed her – she was all over her and her relief and love were palpable! It was sweet to watch, and I wished I’d had the camera handy. She really worries about Ruby, but we wish she would just tell her to behave and be done with it – but we all know that Ruby never listens to anybody!!

Cat Selling Dog on Ebay

This is what I’m always threatening Ruby with, when she’s naughty!!

Other news

No sourdough this week, but I made ordinary seed bread in the bread maker. I also did a roast chicken on Saturday which was delicious, with lots of nice cold meat to follow (easy meals!) but I was so wiped out on Sunday after all that effort that I spent most of Sunday morning in bed while my hubby went off to church on his own!

I’ve not been too well this past week, with a lot of fatigue and headaches so I’ve been trying to rest as much as possible, and have also been working hard on sessions for my Bible study group which resumes again tomorrow night. I’ve been learning a lot recently and designing new sessions and am excited to share what I have learnt with the group. The sitting room is a mess and will definitely need to be tidied up before the evening!

We’ve got the plumber and the roofer coming at the end of the week – the former to service the boiler and check out a possible leak in the downstairs loo which always seems to be damp, and also to fix my boiling water tap that has been leaking for ages, and recently caused a major flood in the kitchen. The roofer is coming to fix a leak in the flashing on the lean-to at the back which is causing some dampness on the wall. Oh the joys of living in damp old Devon… It’s much damper by the coast than where we used to live, further inland. Always something to fix on older houses, isn’t there. Hopefully none of these jobs will prove major.

Wednesday, 9 January 2019


Nothing on the desk today, but last week I had an enquiry about how I dealt with the inactive yarn on the back of my current knitting project, and I promised a photo. Here is a close-up of the front so far.

02 Purple Circles Jumper - Front Close-Up 9-1-19

This is what it looks like on the back – I weave the inactive colour by crossing the yarns back and forth with every stitch so there are no long strands on the back – I don’t like these because they tend to catch. I’ve always done my 2-colour knitting in this way and I think it gives a neat finish.

03 Purple Circles Jumper - Front Reverse Side Close-Up 9-1-19

The method I am using for the pattern is based on Kaffe Fassett’s “Persian Poppy” method. You make up two contrasting balls of yarn from lengths of varying colour, simply tying the ends together. When you get to a knot, you just work the ends in as you go. Purists always throw up their hands in horror at the very idea of knots in your knitting but I find with this method, they just disappear into the work and don’t present a problem. As you work, the background and motif colours gradually change from light to darker and back again, and you get a lovely unpredictable and random effect. It’s dead easy to knit, too, as the repeating pattern is a simple one, and the colours take care of themselves. The result looks very complicated and people are always very impressed and wonder how you did it, but it’s a cheat really – it does itself!

I actually rather like the back. Perhaps when this jumper is finished, I’ll wear it inside out!!


I made sourdough again last weekend, and this time I decided to experiment by putting the dough in the fridge to slow down and extend the bulk fermentation time. I hadn’t tried this before but it is supposed to improve the texture and flavour. I left it in overnight and it had about 18 hours in the end, as I was out at church in the morning, so when I got back I folded it and got it into the bannetons for its final proving, and baked it late Sunday afternoon. It had cooled enough to cut and eat with home-made soup for supper. The result was excellent, and I’m very pleased with my sourdough these days.

64 Slow Bulk Fermentation Sourdough 6-1-19

Here it is cut. A nice open crumb and soft springy texture and a good crust, and an excellent flavour! I shall definitely do this again.

65 Slow Bulk Fermentation Sourdough Cut 6-1-19

A few weeks ago I found a brilliant Youtube video (Bake with Jack) where he showed how to shape the dough for its final fermentation in the banneton by folding it not once, but twice, with a half-hour rest in between, to develop a greater amount of tension in the top surface of the boule to stop it spreading when you turn it out. This is a great technique which I am now doing every time, and I am no longer producing awful flat turtles like this effort from back in July last year!

21 Sourdough 21-7-18

It’s been a tough learning curve but well worth persevering because I think I’ve really nailed it now. I’m glad I’ve kept a full photographic record complete with disasters. I think part of the problem in the early days was that I was using a high proportion of rye flour in the dough which makes it extremely sticky and wet – I discovered subsequently that people usually only add a small amount for the flavour, but I don’t use it at all now, and the results are much better, and my improved dough handling has really paid dividends, too. What would we do without Youtube?!


My hubby has been out a lot during the day recently, so the kitties haven’t had many outings in the garden. Since Ruby decided she’d far rather be over the fence and out, rather than staying in the garden, he has improved the defences a good deal, and when we let them out, it is under close supervision! The weather has been pretty cold lately so they haven’t minded staying in, and they love cuddling up in the radiator hammock together.

02 Asleep Together in Hammock 5-1-19

Here is Ruby with her arm around her sister again – she does this a lot. It usually starts with her holding Lily down so that she can wash her, and then she just hugs her and they go to sleep!

03 Ruby with her Arm Round Lily 8-1-19
I love to see them like this.

Not sure when I’m going to get time in the studio because I’ve been very busy preparing new sessions for my Bible study group which will be resuming again soon.

The Only Deity

Have a great creative week, everybody.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

WOYWW 500! Happy New Year!

What a way to celebrate the New Year, with the 500th edition of WOYWW! I wasn’t here for the launch of this astonishing blog hop (which has to be the best on the web) but I joined for No. 111 on 21st July 2011 – 7 1/2 years ago! My goodness, I hadn’t realised it was that long! Anyway, the fact that this has been going on for 500 editions proves how good it is, and that the irresistible urge to nose around in other people’s studios never dies!! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Julia for starting this, and for faithfully hosting it for all these years. Through this blog hop I have made some very good friends and I’ve also gained so much creative inspiration and learnt lots of new skills. Thank you all so much for everything!

Now to my special 500th edition desk. Very disappointing, I’m afraid… If it hadn’t been a special edition of WOYWW I doubt if I’d have joined in this week because my desk is empty! The rest of the room, as you will see, is in a state of chaos. Over the far side of the room I’ve got all my knitting yarn boxes down (in an effort to search for a ball of purple yarn that I ended up finding in the sitting room…) and I haven’t got round to tidying up yet. So here’s an overview of the room.

WOYWW 500 - 2-1-19

Over Christmas I received these two very pretty carrier bags with presents in them, and I thought I’d keep them and possibly upcycle them as I liked the designs so much.

01 Two Pretty Carrier Bags for Upcycling

The smaller one on top is slightly sparkly.

I’ve been so tired since our busy week the week before Christmas but I did manage to cook a Christmas dinner, and we are still enjoying the remnants of the turkey! I wasn’t feeling at all well yesterday (good start to the year) with a bad headache and extreme fatigue, so I relaxed in front of the telly and watched the New Year Concert from Vienna – a fixture for me as I love the light-hearted Strauss waltzes and the dancing, and the beautiful architecture. It’s a treat every year.

While resting with my feet up when I could over the past week, I’ve made good progress on my purple circles knitting project, and have completed the back, and made a good start on the front. This is how much I’ve done so far.

01 Purple Circles Jumper - Completed Back and Beginning of Front 1-1-19

I’ve done my regular end-of-year review post which you can read here if you are interested, or scroll down to the previous post.


On New Year’s Eve they were both in the hammock together and this is how they looked after a vigorous mutual grooming session. Ruby has her arm round her sister, giving her a hug.

01 Ruby with her Arm Round Lily 31-12-18

Now she’s got her leg over her too!

02 Ruby with her Arm and Leg over Lily 31-12-18

I love this picture of the two of them together. They are so affectionate with each other, and with us (although I think a lot of that is more to do with warmth!). They do love to be with us.

My hubby was trying to sort out his computer back-ups tonight and brought down his box of old external hard drives. Of course, someone had to get in the box, didn’t they!

01 Helping Daddy with his Back-Ups 1-1-19

What is it with kitties and boxes?

Ruby on the cat tree. For some reason, after giving it a wide berth for months, she’s got really keen on it again and spends quite a lot of time asleep right on the top.

Ruby on Cat Tree 21-12-18

They are both still grounded, but my hubby has made some improvements on the garden defences and they’ve been out a few times under strict supervision, and so far, despite her obvious interest in the perimeter, Ruby hasn’t attempted to get out. I don’t think she’s very pleased with my hubby’s latest efforts, which are making our garden look ever more like a prison camp. Next step, watch towers, search lights and electrified fences, and my hubby and I will have to practice our goose-stepping technique.

On the subject of cats…

Here’s a cat funny for the pantomime season.

Cat with Aladdin's Lamp

Happy New Year, everyone! And a very happy 500th WOYWW!

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