Poppy Patchwork

My little bit of this big World

Tuesday 31 March 2020

March roundup

I purchased a huge pot, which I have filled with plants I already had, I stocked up on garden compost. I have been knitting using my stash, but I placed a small order, and was reading library books. I spent £21 on underwear, I popped to an M&S outlet, perfect for my smaller size, I will need more. The second half of the month we did not go out.

With all the health issues regarding Coronavirus, we have spent more time at home, we often have a good stock of everything in, so no panic buying here, our bank balance is better for staying in. I plan to spend time in our garden.

We did have more waste food the weekend our grandson were here, it's hard to explain to them to only ask for what they want, they are at the age where they leave food at every meal, and it's not our place to make them take less and eat it all. We did buy extra items, which we ate ourselves in the following week. We are now ensuring we waste nothing, and eating items left over from Christmas, loved our 1st of 2 puddings and enjoying a tin of lovely biscuits.

The new boiler has brought our gas usage down, we turn electrical things off, I don't like anything on standby, so our bills are much lower, plus as part of the deal for the new boiler, we had a £200 credit on our gas bill. The recent weather has helped, using the heating less.

All these thoughts tie in with Overshoot day, it the calculated day when we have used all the renewable energy, produce, ect in each country, every year the date gets sooner to Jan 1st. Read more here, our predicted day is May 16th.

Monday 30 March 2020

My shrinking world

These seed heads blew into our garden, 
I was not sure what they were, but I saw a challenge.
 I popped both seeds into a pot, which is in the greenhouse. 
I am still watching my weight, it's slowly going down, 
I hit my revised March target.
Back at the end of January my BMI was 29.5, so I am very pleased with the above results, to date I have lost a stone in weight, it's mainly gone from around my middle, the last time I was this weight was back in 2016. I am pulling out clothes from my wardrobe, which I have not worn in years, mainly trousers as the pounds piled on around my middle. 
I am also sorting my wardrobe, hubby made a walk in one here, it has loads of space which at the time I needed, but as I am not purchasing clothes, I have spaces, so I am now packing my fabric stash in the back shelves, which I love, I can see what I have and use some. 
Hubby has made a complete list of the food we have in both freezers and store cupboards, this will ensure we only order what we require and not bulk buy. We do have a bit more than normal as we are trying not to go out, our daughter collects shopping for us, and we are ensuring we don't send her out too often. 
Like the rest of the world, we did very little over the weekend, did our daily walk through the park, our route has been planned so there is always plenty of passing space, and we touch nothing, and wash our hand when we get home. The skin on my hands are very dry and sore, I do have hand creams. but they have not been helping. I found a pot of cream with extra vitamin E, which is working well. 
I thought I would give you a post without my cardigan photos, I will be soon finished, it's nice to have a simple design to make.  I have got the sewing out, and hope to get the baby cot covers and the bean bag made, I will cut both out 1st and then spend a day sewing together. 

Sunday 29 March 2020

Quick quiche

I have made these for years, quick to make and very tasty, but in these time more importantly no pastry to make. The recipe only uses 4oz of flour and no butter, I often half the quantities and make myself a smaller one. The recipe below is for a family of 4 to 5.  Eggs flour and milk have to go in, but all the other ingredients can be swapped, my sister made one this week with chicken and sweetcorn. 
Maliee Quiche
4 eggs
grated cheese
1 onion
chopped bacon
4oz flour
1/2 pint of milk
Lightly fry the bacon and onions drain and cool
mix milk , flour and eggs
add other ingredients
place in greased 7" oven dish and bake
med heat for 40 minutes
You can add any other ingredients.

I have posted this before, but thought it would be good to share again, it make a good tasty filling meal, lovely hot with chips, or cold with whatever you have to hand.  I often make 2 smaller ones, one without cheese as hubby does not eat cheese, so using half the ingredients does work well, just needs less cooking time. 

Saturday 28 March 2020

Making list.

2nd sleeve finished, the contrast colours help with the row counting, making it quicker to knit up. 
 I know I'm short, but this is ridiculous, I'm about half way down, loads more stitches so slower pace.  
The last 2 weeks have flown by, both hubby and I have got loads done, the house and garden is looking good, but life is much easier when the sun shines. Hubby has planned a few projects to do, he is going to clean our metal garden table and 2 chairs and paint them green, the same colour as the garage door, he has the paint and the time, it started me thinking so I have made a list of things I want to do, rather than just let the time slip away, so in no particular order.....

  • Learn Tunisian crochet, I have seen a video of a blanket I want to make.
  • Sew 2 cot quilt covers from a king-size quilt. 
  • Sew beanbag from old pair of curtains.
  • Finish 1 cross stitch, O Touchan Christmas tree, it's half done. 
  • Knit socks for Christmas gifts
  • Finish the online BSL course, I love sign language and want to keep going.
  • Create my 2019 blog book, this is more difficult, the publishers have changed their format, and I am struggling, but on wet days I can sit and edit.
  • Knit from my stash, I have loads of yarns. 
That's enough for now, the list will focus my mind, I still have plenty of books to read and there is always my garden. This week, my lettuce seedlings are showing, I have planted tomato seeds, and am trying to grow a cucumber. I am doing a bit of baking and cooking with hubby, he makes most of our meals, to me it's a chore, but he does love to cook.
I am a list maker, if not on paper then in my head, it helps me, I am OCD about order and control, I do try to keep it in check, so not to overpower anyone, I am lucky hubby feels the same about order, we always have a very tidy house. I feel more comfortable with what is happening in our world, the sense of panic and fear has lowered, it won't ever go away. 

Thursday 26 March 2020

Living in isolation.

If you are fed up with knitting, I'm sorry, but the desire to get this done, is high and I am on a roll. 1st sleeve is finished and fits well, and is the correct length. 
 I can't wait to wear this 
I really want to start my crochet, but  also want to finish this, knitting, it's a very simple design, and I have plenty of time to craft. I have also been sorting out sewing, I have a kingsize quilt cover to cut down and make 2 cot quilt covers, they will be done by Friday, when daughter drops off our shopping. I have also packed the nappies, baby formula and other things we won't need, next time we see George he will have grown loads. Also we have made a pack for Will, some of my children's craft things, a few treats and a packet of cheddar crackers, which he loves. I can leave the bag on our door step. This week when she dropped items off, I cried as she drove away, no cuddles, we do see them often on video calls, but as we all know this is hard.
On line shopping is very hit and miss, we don't want to have to go in any supermarkets, our daughter is finding different ways to shop, she went to purchased fruit and veg boxes, on a farm as a drive through, using a card payment. She is brilliant, and wants to keep us at home, everything is dropped off at door step.
Our neighbours have managed an online shop with home delivery, which is pleasing, but I did leave them with the offer I would collect any shopping for them, but not go into supermarkets. We are semi rural here so it helps with the farm shops.
We are both spending time on line each morning, normally we would move away from our computers much earlier, but we have loads of time, so we are not rushing anything. I try an do housework each day, the downstairs wooden floors are dusty most days, hubby does the laundry and ironing. Later in the afternoon we sit, I knit and hubby reads, I have not picked a book up for over a week, but I have books here to read. If we are in the garden it tends to be around lunch time early afternoon, but there is little to do, other than the green house.
We do not watch daytime TV, I love the morning radio on radio 2. Hubby was given an Alexa for Christmas, we were not sure what we would do with it, but we have found it's a great source of music, we can decide what we want to listen to, it's very calming, just music, no chatter and no Cronavirus.

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Green fingers.

Tidy, just how I like it
 This week has been beautiful
 ready for time to sit outside
 I have flower seeds, but the compost is a bit wet, so I will leave to dry and warm up. The seeds are some I won and some I purchased last year. 
 Moving things around to make space
 Even gave the shed a tidy
Most of my metal birds are out.
It is still a bit early to place tender plants from the greenhouse, but we have done loads of tidying around the place. Hubby uncovered the wooden table and chairs, much earlier than other years, but we decided we need the garden this year to be our sanctuary and give us outside space.
I am hoping to sow the flower seeds today, and get things growing, I have already sown a small tray of lettuce leaves, they are cut and come again, so should help soon. I have soaked clean some tomato seeds from a tomato in hope I can grow a plant. I am really enjoying time in the garden, it feels  normal, in these strange times.
I have this week knocked on our horrible neighbours door to offer help, they do not have a car, and online shopping slots are all booked up, hubby made them a loaf of bread, we have been chatting at a distance, I can't watch anyone suffer. I can't do any more for them, I will collect any shopping they book for click and collect.
I have done some more baking making 2 small quiches, using just 2 eggs, it a good way to make a couple of useful meals, only for me hubby is not keen, but he has other things he likes. We managed to get some mince beef, a bit bigger pack than normal, so hubby bulked it out and made 3 Sheppard pies, one is in the fridge and 2 are frozen.

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Clicking and growing

More knitting
 The sleeve join is not perfect, 
but I did leave a long end to darn any gaps.
It does look much better than on my 1st try.
 The sleeves knit up quick.
 I will have no sewing together, I love circular needles.
On a different note, please don't judge me, but I am hoarding, I have only taken what I need for the next 3 months, and there was plenty left on the shelves, the fine weather is allowing me into the garden and I feel better for it.
 One compost and farmyard manure for my new big tub and a John Innes number 1 for the flower seeds I already have. These will last the summer and allow me to grow things, I always have the need to grow.
I think the garden is going to be my safe place for the next few months, I said there was little I required, and now I won't be able to get anything, we have no plans to go anywhere. I will post garden photo's next time, I have done loads, this sunshine is really doing wonders for the soul and the garden.
Our fence should have been replaced this week, but that is now on hold, hubby and I have done as much as we can to keep it from falling down.
We have plenty of things which are nice to do at home, our daughter is insisting she will collect our shopping orders, so we are planning to have a peaceful time at home together. We will walk once a day to our local park, but keeping distance from everyone.
We are now freezing one portion of every meal we make, just in case we become ill and not want to cook, we are both feeling OK, and by the middle of the week will have been isolated long enough to know we are not showing signs of the virus. We hope not to need to go out much before the weekend, when hubby will pop to the farm shop again, what we do not have we can manage without.

Monday 23 March 2020

Families separated.

Baby George rolled over onto his tummy for the 1st time over the weekend, at just 4 months old, mummy was so excited. We will never be sure of his progress, he will do things in his own time, but even the smallest signs of progress we will take. 
The best cards always have tiny hand writing in, this is from our Somerset boys, clever mummy left here a few weeks ago. Hubby normally gets me a card and flowers, he was told please don't, it's an unnecessary risk to get them. 

My knitting so far, I am working out the details as I go, the yoke was the biggest issue, I have everything crossed this is now correct size. I have separated the sleeve stitches onto holders.
  I've done 21 cms, which should be enough, it felt right when hubby held it against my back, not stretched at all. 
 I thought the join for the sleeves and the body looked a bit scrappy, so I decided to cast on 4 stitches between the front and the back sections, when I knit up the sleeves I can knit across these stitches rather than picking up stitches from a smaller gap. 
I made sure the final row of garter stitch was very neat and tidy, I am loving how quickly this is knitting, it's a simple design made beautiful with the hand dyed yarn from Burrow & Soar. 
There are more stitches on this 2nd knit, on both the sleeves and the body, the design is a snug fit, I am aiming for a jacket type finish. Most of the extra design is now done, I just need to knit the body straight. I will have to reduce the number of stitches on the sleeve, but I made a note on the previous sleeves where the shaping would take place. Once I have finished this ball of yarn, I will knit the sleeves, the stitch holders are catching in my knitting, and I don't want any snags.
We had a quiet weekend, no visits on Mothering Sunday, but we said stay away, daughter was upset as she had card and gift for me, but I asked her to stay at home and enjoy her day with Will and George. We will catch up when it's safe.
Hubby went out on his motorbike on Sunday, it was a warm sunny day, he ensured he drove past a local farm shop, they are allowing you just enough for a week, not huge amounts but if used carefully it will last. Later we spent time in the garden, it was another beautiful sunny day.
My last post was targeted by an anonymous comment, not spam, it was foul, I read it, it's OK if you want people our age to die quickly, that's your opinion, we live in a world with free speech. Comment again if you want to, I will never publish such dribble, and it does not upset me to read your views.

Saturday 21 March 2020

Add to stash

Drops Baby Merino 4ply and Burrow & Soar, hand dyed 20grm mixes.

I am planning a new blanket, I had already purchased the hand dyed yarns for my knitted squares, for this blanket, but decided they were just too lovely to be used so simply. I thought the above shades would bring out the shades and colours, I still have to decide how I am using them, but it be the main colour wrapped around the hand dyed.
Mummy came over with Will and George yesterday, Wills spots are healing so he should not be infectious, he wanted to play outside, so I hid the small chocolate eggs around the garden, he was very pleased to find them. George has had his 1st assessment cancelled, without any new date, he's doing well, and it is better to keep him away from hospitals. I don't expect we will see them at Easter. We don't expect to see any of our grandsons for weeks, it's going to be hard, we will face time, but going to miss cuddles. 
We are now totally isolating, we are short on fresh veg, but there is none around, we have a supermarket order booked for collection in 2 weeks, so what we have in will have to last. We have always done a big shop at Asda every 2-3 months, for things we don't get a Lidl, luckily for us we went to Asda at the end of February, so store cupboard, cleaning and other basics should last us until June, we are trying to be more careful with what we use. I did not like being out shopping for daughters milk on Friday, our lovely village felt very different, we are still trying to get over the closure of Co-op store, the shops are having pensioner shopping hour, but there is very little to buy. We did use the local butcher, he has not put his prices up, the shop was busy, so these times are helping the smaller shops. It's so sad that people are making a difficult time much harder.
The weather forecast for the next few days is sunny and cold, we have task to do in the garden, the man will repair and replace panels in the fence on Wednesday, he is self employed and trying to work for as long as he can, so we do have to move a few things away from the area. We can pay the man by bank transfer, he does not require us to be in the garden, unless there are issues from next door, so it should be safe.

Friday 20 March 2020

Knitting and other things

The yoke of my knit down cardi, this is just 4 rows short of the pattern requirements, I got hubby to measure from the back of my neck to the top of my bra, 25cms which was lower than I need, so I am thinking I should finish the yolk at 22cms. So from now on I am making this up, which is another 8cms, I don't mind if it's a bit looser, I am repeating the increasing in the design, so the neck line looks right.

 I've not done much on my socks, I have started the 2nd sock, just because I can, as yet I have not got the full foot measurement for the 1st sock, so I can still knit on the 2nd sock. 
I had some fresh pineapple which needed using up, not made a pineapple upside down cake in years, and it taste as good as it looks, had some with custard after tea last night. 
 I broke the stalk off this plant, so I have cheated, these are silk, but in the real plant pot, it looks good.
 Grace and Purdy have the right attitude,
 sleep through everything. 
I have placed another yarn order, a couple balls of my cardi shade and a few more colours, I want to try a different crochet blanket, it's a form of Tunisian crochet, which will have loads of stitches on the hook, it's a simple patterns, so not too many stitches, but should be fun to do. I have been watching loads of videos.
We are both getting on well together, don't get me wrong, we do not argue much, but forced to stay so close to each other can bring out the best or the worse in everybody. We are getting up later, having a long breakfast together, doing a bit of housework, after lunch we sit and hubby reads, I do craft. We try not to have TV on until the government press conference, when we listen to Boris.
I have set up a family group on messenger, and my brother made a conference call to us all, no one knew what we were doing, but it was a good laugh, my SIL, had to be talked through on how to turn her camera on. It's one way for us all to keep in contact, there are 6 of us.
We walked to our local co-op, it was empty of bread and milk, so I walked to Iceland, got milk and bread, both for daughter, it was horrible in there, everyone pushing and moaning, I'm glad to be home. Later daughter is coming with Will and George, we decided the risk is small enough, we know this will be the last time we see them for weeks. Will is covered in spots, but as a family we need time together, it's going to be hard in the coming weeks.

Wednesday 18 March 2020

Shades of green

The Japanese blood grass has started to grow in my head, I'm hoping it will fill this pot and look good, it's still inside my greenhouse.  
 It will soon be tulip time, these are new this year, red and white stripe, I have others in pots around the garden, again it's bulbs in pots, our heavy clay soil rots them in the ground. 
 I've given this pot a good drink in hope the plant grows straight again. 
 Lemongrass is getting huge, I will pop this into the big pot next month. The Olive which had it's roots damaged has come back, not sure what I shall do with it, I will probably find a spot somewhere in the garden. 
A friend has given me this glass pot, I had one back in 70's and loved it, not sure what I can grow in it, but it needs a good clean. 
Walking around our tiny garden is helping me keep calm, I worry about everything, so thoughts on this virus is never far from my mind, I know I can't live like this, so therefore I am ensuring I am outside each day. The greenhouse is looking good, still full of plants, I have popped my Bonsai Acer tree inside a bloody squirrel dug it out of it's pot and broke a tiny branch, it looks OK, only time will tell if the leaves come back, I am hoping it's a bit hardy.
We walk around our park, while we can, it's empty most of the time, but it does feel very good to be outside.
We are still walking to our local shops, but not every day, we hope by using them they can survive these times, I did buy baby food and nappies for George, it's not items we can do without, not stockpiling, just a pack to keep here. Our local shops are better stocked than the bigger supermarkets.
Soon it will be gardening time, where I can do things, I am still picking up the Magnolia blossom from the lawn, and pulling any weeds which dare to grow in our plot.  The thought of our garden brings me joy, this year we will manage with what we have, I do have some flower seeds to start.
Hubby has loaded loads of books on my ipad, and my knitting is calling, normal things are good for us.
Last night mummy sent photo's of Will, he has chicken pox, oh well he won't be going to nursery, might be for the best.

Monday 16 March 2020

New normal.........

Another good book finished, I have returned all the books to the library, and have decided to read from my Ipad, not my favorite way, I do love the feel of a book in my hands. I have about 6 books here to read, so I can still enjoy reading.
We had a lovely weekend away, in Somerset, we stayed with my brother, and I spent a day with my sister. On Sunday we all went out to lunch, to a small village called Shurton, it was great to have time together, we are not sure when we will next visit, but it will be months away.
Daughter was in our village when we got home, so plenty of cuddles with George and Will, Will helped tidy the garden, our lawn was pink with petals from the Magnolia tree, I don't think we are going to have many blooms left. Just for a while some normal time. 
We popped to our local Lidl's  for some shopping, not as bad as we feared, we got most of what we needed, but not much fresh raw meats, no eggs or tin foods and the frozen section was almost empty. It was busy but not manic, our local Iceland has announced it will have an Pensioner shopping time on Wednesdays, this will allow us to get milk and eggs.
We have watched the government's announcement today, which will now be happening everyday and  I'm worried. So many family and friends in the huge at risk group, we have friends in Spain and Canary islands all on lock down, a doctor in Australia who is front line.
I think it's time to say, don't take risks, stay safe..................

Friday 13 March 2020

Almost, No gone.

Just the final sleeve to finish
 I love the look of this, but the front band is not looking right, I had already picked up more stitches than the pattern stated, but it's still pulling the sides. 
 The neck is low at the back, the nape does not sit right. 
 But I do love this design
 Decision made, I love the cardi, but the neck sits far too low and the button bands are not long enough, I know I can fix these issues, but only one way, yes unpick the lot. 
 Ready to start, I do have an unused 
ball of yarn, so I'm ready to go.
It's neck down, so again that's where I have started, I need to make this section longer in the nape of the neck.

I am not thinking about the hours I have used to make this cardi, but the yarn is just so beautiful, an OK garment just won't do. I did have a few doubts as I was knitting, but thought the collar would sort it. I normally wear Petite tops, and when knitting I often knit a few less rows, I followed this pattern and knitted all stated, so it is a disappointment, to have to unpick. 
We are not planning to do much in the coming weeks, we have this weekend driven to Somerset to see my family, we will drive home on Monday, so I will have loads of time to knit, read and relax. 
We are getting a bit worried regarding this Coronavirus, it's coming closer to us, both hubby and I have siblings who are 70+ and have the normal age related illness, and there is also baby George, he is doing well, over 10lbs, he has not been in hospital for a few weeks, but his breathing is still weaker than we would like, hubby is also on the at risk list. The south east has the 2nd biggest outbreak, a village surgery (not ours) was closed for deep clean this week. 
So after this weekend away, we have no plans, stay at home, I have returned the library books,  and plan to read books on my iPad for a few weeks. 
Not scare mongering, just being sensible, taking care, hope you all stay safe over the next weeks, life feels very surreal at the moment.  


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