Sunday, 2 August 2009


It really has been a rather pleasant afternoon, at long last. Although there was quite a smattering of fluffy white clouds, they scudded by quickly to let the sun reappear frequently enough, to make it at least begin to feel like a summer's afternoon!

I've been quite busy this week, once I'd put my mind to things and stopped deliberating over which pattern or which yarn or even where and when! My July sock challenge socks have finally been completed....... HOORAY! I kind of lost the will with them for a couple of weeks, because the yarn is very loosely spun and splitty. I have a feeling it will felt very quickly too! It is incredibly soft though and will be very snuggly on the feet. I'll just have to not wash them.... only joking! Splittiness aside, I am bursting with pride over these socks, because they are my very first attempt at dyeing. I used a Kool-Aid kit that was a Christmas gift from my friend Josiekitten. You can see the process in one of my earlier posts. I love the way the colours stripe!

The pattern is 'Daydreamer' by Vikki Harding. It's a great pattern; well written and easy to memorise. It was my first attempt at a short row heel too. I'm not sure I like it as much as the heel flap method, but that may be because I haven't had much practice at it yet. It certainly seems to take less time!

Having griped on earlier in the week about my efforts at jam making and the mess, I grew more and more attracted to those eight pretty little jars that sat on the kitchen work surface. As the weather has hardly been condusive to relaxing in the garden, I thought I'd brave the jam pan again ....... just so I could get to make more little jars look pretty. On analysis of the previous 'jam experience' it seems most of my bad humour had been brought about by the 'topping and tailing' process, so this time it was strawberries. Not our own homegrown, as the blackcurrants were, but grown locally. I have to admit, I had a rather pleasant morning.

Although the strawberries have to be hulled, it is nowhere near as time consuming a job as the blackcurrant preparation. I decided against the red and white gingham metal lids, in favour of Amy Butler fabric covers instead. Much prettier I thought!

John Lewis will sell 20cm of fabric. That's enough for eight or ten lid covers ...... such gorgeous fabrics too! Take a look at the fiinished product ..... scrummy!

I re-lidded the blackcurrant jam pots too! Much better, softer and prettier and made my selfer........ although I'm not sure about the Comic Sans font. Looks a bit schooly! Never mind, it's a learning process. I much prefer the strawberry jam labels, so progress has indeed been made.

Hmm! We have tomatoes ripening by the dozen every day, so watch out for red tomato chutney......... I need to make some more pretty labels and pot covers with that gorgeous fabric!

I've begun my August sock challenge socks too. In fact I've got to the heel flap of the first sock in an afternoon. I love the yarn and the pattern is looking good. You'll have to wait until next time to see progress thus far, but here's a taster...... the gorgeous BFL yarn that I bought in Hay - on-Wye last August. We were in Wales for the wedding of our son and his lovely fiancee. We were made to feel sooo welcome, that this seemed a fitting yarn to choose for my August socks; begun today on their first wedding anniversary! I'm calling them my 'Welsh Hills Socks'.

Progress has been made on my crocheted bag and a couple more squares added to my 'Sock Yarn Blankie'. All in all, a good week's 'work:D' . Have a good week!


Jenny said...

I am so impressed not just by the jam making but the gorgeous packaging. I print labels for mine but never thought about a little logo, I also need beautiful lid covers - note to self 'must try harder'. Was thinking of taking a few jars to Italy as gifts, but I'll to doll up my rather plain offerings first. I don't like short row heels but I do like the socks you made and are making.

josiekitten said...

The Daydreamer socks look fab - my KoolAid dyed yarn is nowhere near as subtle! I like the yarn you've chosen for your Auguat socks - I think it goes far better with the pattern than my Lorna's Laces. That sock is destined for the frog pond I think! And as for the jam - well - what a domestic goddess you are becoming! LOL! :D

Anna said...

Oh my god, look at all that jam, I love it. I wish I had the patience (and the fruit) to make jam. And I love how pretty you've made the jars look! Also the socks are great, someone's feet will be kept nice and warm!

Maggie and Mitch said...

The jam looks delicious and your sockies are just beautiful!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch

vanessa said...

Gorgeous! Love your jam pot covers! It's details like that, that really say something is made with love.
Love Vanessa xxx (do you mind if i knit)

Tracy said... all the strawberry goodness of the socks and the jam...Happy Days! :o)

melissa said...

love the finished socks! so impressive that you dyed them yourself - the colorway is gorgeous!

can't wait to see the progress on your next pair either - that yarn is terribly lovely.