Saturday, March 5, 2011

The week's news...

Where on earth did the past week go to? It flew by so fast! A few pics of what kept me occupied during a good part of it:

Op shop crawls..with exciting finds! Vintage knitting and crochet patterns that were calling to me..

First spun ball of wool - alpaca, 2 ply, approx 50 meters, 30grams
And a ball of wool! This may not seem overly exciting, but let me explain. I made this ball of wool on my little handmade spindle here over the course of  a couple of nights. It is two long (really long!) lengths of alpaca single strands plied together to make a 'two-ply', which is around the thickness of DK or commercial 8-ply. The alpaca is super soft and was part of the supply that came from my friend's 7 bags full. It pulls out of the bag in feathery light tufts that remind me of fairy floss.

The yarn pictured on the spindle is some sheep wool that I am playing with at the moment. It came from a generous veggie growing friend who had been storing it in her shed and had no use for it. How kind of her!

Sheep wool - fun to play with
I brought it home and started playing straight away. It was snipped and combed, some of it was washed and spun, then dried and other portions were experimented with using food dye! Not the best thing to be doing when trying to get dinner organised, but one cannot stop a person with a newly blossomed passion on the scene, everyone knows that!

The garden is neglected but still providing generous harvests for our dinners. I'm excited about my pumpkins this year..there are many that have taken..I just hope we get enough more warm days to ripen them up.


There are sometimes helpers in the garden too! They like to dig up potatoes and plant stray leeks. They even search thoroughly for every tomato that is just the slightest shade of orange, because what could be more exciting than harvesting fresh tomatoes, right? Whatever their colour!

The 'helpers'
The Man Vest is nearing completion. Just between you and me, I'm worried it won't fit. I mean, I followed the directions with my sizing...but holding it up today it looked..uh..suspiciously on the tightish side. It needs one more arm band knitted and then the side seams sewn so on the bright side, I won't have to wait too long to find out if it does fit or not.

The Man Vest - taking shape..or is it?
And earlier in the week, while I was up with the goats, the back neighbour generously invited me to jump the fence and harvest his quince tree! As you can imagine, I was over that rickety barbed-wire fence in no time flat with the goat bucket quickly being filled. So kind of him.

Fresh quinces
I am hoping to make some quince paste - the same recipe that was made with friends last year..one which I haven't tried making on my own yet. There is SO much stirring! But it's so, SO worth it! That's one of the things on my list of things to do this week.

What's been keeping you occupied (and out of mischief even) this week?

8 comments:

  1. yummy, quince paste!!
    What's keeping me out of mischief? Cheesemaking!! ohhh and fixing up the hot house as my 5 ratty girls managed to get in there today and distroy the rest of my tomato crop and melons!!! grrrrr
    Aside from that harvesting and storing a huge amount of spaghetti squash and making more zucchini pickles. yummy.

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  2. Quince paste! I'll have to look up your recipe. We're still eating the stuff we made two years ago, and it's delicious, but I can't see myself making it again - it was sooo gritty! Please tell - is there a secret to getting the grit out without destroying my sieve?

    One thing I wanted to tell you - my friend Di is taking spinning classes with the Spinners Association (guild?) and they'll hire out spinning wheel to her for $100 deposit and $10 a month. I think it's the NSW association, but there might be something similar in Vic?

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  3. What a wonderful week! I feel inspired reading it...

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  4. Quince paste Oh Yum! I love knitting and have always wanted to have a go at spinning and the spindle might be worth a try :0)

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  5. The spun alpaca looks great! So clever! Quince paste sounds delicious!

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  6. Cheesemaking! Now that IS exciting, Sue..would love to try that 'someday' :)

    Hmmm, I just looked up my recipe Celia and our paste wasn't sieved. Once the paste had set, the grittiness wasn't at all noticable - just squidgy, delicious heaven! Thanks for the info about the spinning wheels.

    Thanks dixiebelle

    The spindle is really something different, Debbie. It's actually very interesting seeing just how the wool spins together..now you need to track down some fleece!

    I'm looking forward to some quince paste too, Faeryfay - our last lot went way too fast :)

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  7. Hey Chris,
    Finally found the link to your blog again! I made quince paste (jelly) when we lived in Echuca. I just used one of the boys old muslin wraps to strain it. I am missing the quince tree and the fig tree the most and my chooks...but I am loving Kyabram... Hope to catch up soon, love Em xx

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  8. Em!! It's been sooo long! Great to hear from you. MUST catch up soon! :) xx

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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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