It is ridiculously difficult to knit with Claude and Katerina around. Whenever, I get knitting out, a weird crazed expression comes over their faces and they cannot leave me alone. Trust me, I’ve tried. So knitting has been difficult and blocking more so.
I’ve had to resort to saving my knitting activities for a cat sitting stint. Ironic? Yes, I know.
I started this Textured shawl in 2013 and I loved the spinning of the yarn, the plying and the knitting. I had one bobbin of yarn left and worried a little about if it would be big enough or there would be yarn enough. Of course, the bobbin and yarn were like crack to those kittens. It was the worst sort of yarn as the kittens are quite keen on the natural fibres.
I got to a stage where I was finished as far as I was concerned as I didn’t want to spin any more yarn as that would be a whole new adventure for Claude and Katerina.
I have been looking forward to seeing what the blocked version was like. If you’ve been on Instagram, you would have had a peek at this detail.
It was great to have the space and absence of pesky kittens to get this blocked properly.
The yarn really opened up and despite the little curls, I thought the shawl looked pretty wonderful.
I managed to get a little photo shoot in my friend’s garden
And my friend’s cat Hugo came for a look at what I was doing but not a paw touched the shawl. I was impressed.
I got with modern times last week and got a cheap Singer sewing machine which was considerably reduced and had great reviews. As much as I wanted a Janome or Bernina or other delightful powerhouse, my budget wasn’t going to stretch that far right now and I wanted to celebrate a little since I’ve got another part-time contract – this time for 11 months but I get all my worker’s rights to go with it rather than the temp contract I’m on now.
Louise very wisely brought me a pattern for pillowcases when I was learning with pao’s grandmother’s handcrank Singer and I figured that it was the best way to try out the new machine. I loved these pillow cases I’d made before.
I confess my heart had gone out of the idea of sewing after this little guy died as I knew how much he’d enjoyed himself and entertained me.
So on Sunday, I had an unexpected afternoon of leisure, I thought I’d see if Claude would step into Sirius’ pawprints as Most Helpful Cat Ever (Not with scissors).
He was fairly interested but the noise was a reasonable device to keep him from straying too near.
He liked to sit on the table with the fabric etc but wasn’t too bothered about cutting (phew). He is better as a paws off supervisor.
I’d had these three fabrics in my little stash for a while but no motivation to make something so they jumped out at me. I had been saving that little waving cat for a special project.
And here it is! I am very happy with the machine and how smoothly it runs. Time to put the sleeves on my dress now! (Yes, I know 2.5 years is a long time to procrastinate about sleeves but 2017 seems to be about finishing)
I had quite a collection of odds and ends of bread cluttering my freezer and I wanted a nice way to try and use them up. I like bread pudding and wanted to make something savoury this time. I found this recipe for a savoury sausage and cheddar bread pudding and wanted to make something similar. It makes a lovely brunch dish and I served it with a pepper sauce. You can make this the night before, then you can pop it in a cold oven and after an hour lazing in bed with your Sara Paretsky and a cuppa, you’ll have a great brunch ready.
1 small loaf stale bread or around 500g of bread odds and ends (I used a wholemeal seeded loaf)
1 medium onion
3-4 rashers of bacon, chopped
1 medium courgette, chopped
1 package of sausage meat (around 300-400g) – you can cut off the skins of sausages if you don’t have sausagemeat
Sprigs of rosemary
2 large handfuls of cheddar cheese
12 or so cherry tomatoes
2 cups milk
Butter for greasing casserole dish.
Salt and pepper (but if you decide to use some peppercorn sauce then leave this out)
Soften your onion in a frying pan with a little oil or butter. Add bacon and fry until crisp. Add chopped courgette to soften.
Add the sausage meat to the saucepan and fry until browned, breaking up large pieces to a crumble texture.
Cut up your loaf into small squares. Grease your casserole dish and layer with bread, cheese, tomatoes, sausage mix and then finishing up with a layer of bread.
Mix eggs and milk together and pour over the bread mixture. Sprinkle with cheese and put in the fridge for a few hours (overnight if you wish).
Put dish into a cold oven and set to 180C. It will be cooked after about an hour.
I serve it with a peppercorn sauce from a packet mix. It is reminiscent of the breakfasts I’ve had in the USA of sausage and biscuits so the pepper sauce is pretty nice.
Here is the lesser spotted photo of all three cats in the same room. We are making progress!
My new job is terrific. There is something to be said for going to work happy every day. I still experience little frustrations but on the whole, I feel content and happy and I come home the same way. I have another part-time job to as a Learning Technologist which is also great (not as good as my other job but pretty good). It does mean that I have a whole new schedule to live up to. The pace of learning is much greater in my new role which means that I am constantly having to learn new things to keep up with new media. I’m often on Instagram – so quick to post a photo but I do miss my blog and enjoy writing for it. Now I’m writing for a living, too, I have such a lot of pleasure in my week! It does mean that I’m very busy! So I took some time out this weekend and did some insta-gardening – I headed to a garden centre and bought lots of lovely plants already in flower and tidied up my front door area. I’ve already been complimented by my neighbour 🙂
My little kitten love keeps me on my toes. She is naughty, funny, loving, special. Tonight she clamped her jaws round my chicken baguette and tried to make off with it. She then stole the chicken breast I cooked for lunch tomorrow and she and Claude were eating it. It was churlish to scold them so they got a chicken dinner.
Please say hi. I’ve been missing you – I’m going to try a little to keep up with blogs. My next big work project is to do Google Analytics and Hootsuite online training which takes up a chunk of my evenings but I will keep trying to read and comment when I can. I’ve been working there almost 6 months and have loved every moment. I love the creativity and the projects. I read ‘What Colour is your parachute?‘ and this was one of the jobs that matched me. It makes me feel so good that I followed my dream.
Happy Birthday, kitten twins, Claude and Katerina!
These two babies have been inseparable since birth and they are a joy to live with – such fun, mischief and delights. I’ve only selected a few photos from when they were teeny. I’d picked out 88 out of all the hundreds I’d taken but I figured I’d only show you the few from the first moments and post again at the weekend.
Syjunta is the Swedish word for people getting together to sew, crochet, knit, embroider and socialise. I read about it in a magazine and thought that it was such a good idea, I thought I’d organise an afternoon of syjunta myself. I invited some friends, made some soup and a banana loaf and had a nice hyggelig afternoon.
I invited some friends, made some soup and a banana loaf and prepared some projects to do. I had a lampshade I wanted to pretty up.
I had some pretty vintage lace I’d found at a sale and thought it would create some interest in a new lampshade I’d bought. I think it looks quite nice.
My second project was the Foxy Sox as I got the kit as a Christmas present from pao. The kittens had gotten hold of the yarn when we were away and raced around the house with it (they have form already). It was a huge tangled mess and pao spent hours trying to untangle it. It is quite tricky and I didn’t much fancy the multistranded toe up cast on so I thought I’d do a top down version. I’ve stitched and unpicked it about three times now!
The kittens were ridiculously interested in my friend’s flower arranging paraphenalia.
Claude especially (now.. why does that not surprise me!) I think we all enjoyed our first Syjunta – now I’m planning another 🙂
I had an inward chuckle to myself when I woke up from a nap to find Claude asleep on the bed next to me sleeping like this. (I’ve got some weirdo virus leftover from Christmas that doesn’t seem to go away so I’m napping a lot at the weekends as I can’t afford not to be at work since I went part-time freelance. I think I’m better and then wham I’m so tired I have to sleep half the weekend – grr!!).
Doesn’t it remind you of when he was tiny and kidnapping my hoodie to nap with his friends in? He has grown somewhat!!
I have to be super careful to keep the door to my workroom shut as those kittens love to get in and go crazy with any yarn they can get their paws on. Unfortunately, I popped downstairs to make a quick lunch intending to go straight back up but got sucked into watching another episode of Black Sails with pao. An hour later, I was looking round and realised Katerina was not present.
We rushed upstairs and were puzzled to find this.
Tamyra isn’t really into stealing yarn.
Katerina was busy playing with another two skeins in our bedroom.
But this yarn was under Tamyra’s body so we are wondering if Katerina has framed her.
After all, this is the face of naughtiness!
Ta da…! I’ve been knitting as much as the kittens would allow me. Katerina keeps stealing the ball of yarn and taking off with it so I’ve had to make sure I knit quickly whilst she is asleep. These socks have gone to live with a friend in Korea.
She is a big fan of Claude’s so hopefully she’ll forgive him stealing the yarn!!
We were meant to go to a party in London today but sadly we were both feeling distinctly poorly and couldn’t go so we had to spend the day in with the kitties instead.
Claude is a champion at sleeping.
He does it well and I am able to knit when he is sleeping.
I knit quite a lot whilst he slept.
Until he woke up and wanted to play with the yarn!