Monthly Archives: May 2015

Home Sweet Home

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I returned home yesterday to be greeted by a wonderful display of a Clematis by my door. This plant is in a tub as I have a tiny yard. It is blooming marvellous and a lovely greeting home. Whilst I have a tiny outdoor space with my cottage I only need to take twenty steps and I am in the most beautiful countryside of the Clwydian Hills, this is my garden. Below is the view from one of my upstairs windows. Love it!

Damnvan is having a rest (and a thorough clean) before we trundle off again. Got to do the washing, catch up with family and restock the van fridge. We were planning our next trip whilst driving home but not sure of which direction we will be heading yet.

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Today I visited a Charity shop to seek out treasures. I found a lovely Ainsley bud vase to add to my ever growing collection of vintage China.

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Wordsmith Wednesday-Tunisian Crochet

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Tunisian Crochet

I chose Tunisian Crochet for this weeks WordPress Wednesday because it takes me back to a course that I did in Chester with my friend Penny. It was such good fun and we still giggle about to this day. Happy times!

Tunisian crochet, also known as Afghan crochet, is a type of crochet that uses an elongated hook, often with a stopper on the handle end, called an Afghan hook. It is sometimes considered to be a mixture of crocheting and knitting. As such, some techniques used in knitting are also applicable in Tunisian crochet. One example is the intarsia method.

The work is begun with the traditional starting chain, a series of slip stitches. Once the chain is completed, the first row is worked by inserting the hook back into the previous link of the chain, and a loop from the free end of the yarn is grabbed with the hook and pulled back through the link. Unlike traditional crochet, however, this new loop is not then pulled through the initial loop. Both remain on the hook and then the process is repeated, working from right to left, until each link in the chain has been worked. At the end, there will be as many loops on the hook as there are stitches required. This process is called casting on. This is the first of two parts for creating a row.

The work is never turned. Once the correct number of loops is obtained, the process is reversed with each loop being worked off from the hook by pulling a fresh loop of yarn through each stitch, working from left to right. It is both parts of the process which form a completed row. The tension of the yarn is much looser than in standard crochet or knitting.p

Tunisian crochet can also be worked in the round, as when making a seamless cap. To work in the round a double-ended crochet hook and two balls of yarn are used. The first hook and ball of yarn are used to add loops (casting on). When the process is reversed (as described above), the loops are worked off using the second hook and second ball of yarn. Using a flexible cable to connect the two ends of the double-ended crochet hook, a single ball of yarn is sufficient.

There are a variety of stitches than can be created, dependent on how and where the hook is inserted and how the working yarn is held. Tunisian stitches include variations on knit, purl, post stitch, and entrelac, to name a few.

The fabric created by Tunisian crochet is slightly less elastic than normal crochet and substantially thicker, particularly the knit stitch. This makes it most suitable for blankets and winter knits, but unsuitable for finer items like babywear and socks. The fabric also has a tendency to curl, and usually needs to be shaped by wetting or steaming the fabric (known as blocking) upon completion. It is slightly faster to create fabric by Tunisian than normal crochet, and approximately twice the speed of knitting.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the above.

Knitting near Mevagissey

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Megavissey Harbour

I drove along the coast to visit Mevagissey, a fishing village not far away. The village has narrow streets, old fishing cottages and a small, busy harbour. It was also heaving with visitors. Now that’s a bit selfish as obviously I’m a visitor too! But I had forgotten that today (Monday) is a Bank Holiday and lots of people have the day out and about. I tend to loose touch with reality when I am away with Damnvan and think that everywhere is peaceful, quiet and picturesque, and it’s not!

Anyhow, we joined the hoards and ate a Cornish pastie on the quayside, whilst dodging hungry seagulls. This is my first and probably last Cornish Pastie of this trip.

By the end of the 18th century the pasty was the staple diet of working men across Cornwall. Miners and farm workers took this portable and easy to eat convenience food with them to work because it was so well suited to the purpose. Its size and shape made it easy to carry, its pastry case insulated the contents and was durable enough to survive, while its wholesome ingredients provided enough sustenance to see the workers through their long and arduous working days.

By the early 20th century the Cornish Pasty was produced on a large scale throughout the county as a basic food for farm workers and miners

There are hundreds of stories about the evolution of the pasty’s shape, with the most popular being that the D-shape enabled tin miners to re-heat them underground as well as eat them safely. The crust (crimped edge) was used as a handle which was then discarded due to the high levels of arsenic in many of the tin mines.

I didn’t stay too long and drove away from the maddening crowd back to the peaceful campsite. I now have a lovely sunny afternoon to finish my knitting, blog and generally relax. Lovely!

Lucky Finds

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I travelled into St Mawes again today as I’d seen a car boot sale advertised. Hubs came with me and tolerated my amble around the car boots. It was situated on the quay and quite small but I found some treasure! I bought the above cutlery for a knock down price. The teaspoons are silver and will polish up beautifully. They will compliment my collection of shabby chic collection of China cups and saucers beautifully (Well I’ve got to collect something!)

I will sort and sell what I don’t want and hopefully cover my costs. Now that’s a bargain. We also enjoyed a late breakfast on the quay at St Mawes. A lovely location, lovely place and lovely pastries.

We also walked to the Hidden Hut Beach Restaurant again but we were too late for lunch. Our fault should have gone earlier. We had a sandwich instead! No problems the walk and beach were good. How can a walk seem up hill in both directions?

St Mawes and The Hidden Hut

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The Hidden Hut,St MawesWe travelled to The Roseland Peninsula to stay to St Mawes. Our main reason was to visit The Hidden Hut which we discovered last year. This Beach Cafe is situated alongside the coastal path and is basically a posh shed. Here they make the best food. Simple and tasty. By coincidence The Hidden Hut was featured in The Saturday Telegraph today. I told you that we had good taste!

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When we were here last year Tom Kerridge was being filmed as a guest chef, which was very interesting. We are returning tomorrow for FOOD and I can’t wait!

Benji Beach Babe

The Beach Babe Benji had a wonderful play in the surf and roll in the sand. He can’t wait to go back tomorrow.

Cornish Pasties Everywhere!

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image image imageA Classic Seaside View of St Ives

We travelled down the Cornish Coast to Hayle, near to St Ives. There are HUGE sand dunes between us and the sea, but it is a lovely location. I decided to catch the bus to St Ives. I walked over a mile to the bus stop and all was well. St Ives was busy and pretty. I searched every charity shop (and there were lots) but couldn’t buy many treasures due to a space restriction in Damnvan. I found the bus stop and got onto the correct bus. Explained where I needed to get off But the Driver forgot to tell me where the stop was and stopped in a village I know not where!

Working on the principle that there would be other buses if all else failed I hopped off. Totally lost! I asked a busy lady the way to our camp site and she looked amazed that I intended to walk! She very kindly offered to take me back to the van where I arrived early for my dinner. Life is an adventure. Don’t forget “Adventure before dementia!” not so sure about the dementia!!

Everywhere in St Ives there were Cornish Pasty shops. I began to think that the people of St Ives eat nothing but Cornish Pasties!

WHAT IS A GENUINE CORNISH PASTY?

The mandatory filling ingredients for Cornish pasties are:

– sliced or diced potato
– swede (often referred to as turnip)
– onion
– diced or minced beef
– seasoning to taste, primarily salt and pepper.

No meats other than beef, and no vegetables other than those listed in the mandatory ingredients are to be used in the filling. The meat content must not be less than 12.5% of the whole pasty and vegetable content must not be less than 25%

The listed mandatory filling ingredients must be uncooked at the time of sealing the product.

The above information came from http://www.cornishpastyassociation.co.uk

St Agnes and Mines

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Wheal Coates is a former tin mine situated on the north coast of Cornwall, England, on the cliff tops between Porthtowan and St Agnes.

imageIn 1881 138 people were employed at the site to mine a seam of tin just below sea level. Whilst walking along the coastal path you cannot miss these sentinels of a past era. These mines are clinging to the cliff edge along the coast. The mines often went far out under the sea in there quest for tin. What a life! It must have been very hard and probably very short. (Poldark?)

imageWe walked, or rather were bloimagewn, along the path to the Cornish village of Saint Agnes. It was very invigorating. The views were fabulous. Benji dog really enjoys running along the cliff path. He’s certainly not worried about the weather! The path was lined with the most beautiful wild Spring flowers. I bow my head in shame when I think about how little I know about flowers, plants etc. I can only say that there was a great mix of colour and type of flowers

imageIm finding time to do a little knitting, a lot of reading and plenty of internetting! Ah such a lovely life. See you all soon.

Lush Granny Strikes Again

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imageIn my capacity as a Lush Granny it is with great sadness that I have to report that my Charity pot of Gorgeous Facial Moisuriser is empty. I have scraped round and round the tin but there is no more! These charity pots from Lush are a great way to sample products or to take away with you. This Gorgeous Facial Moisturiser is a great product. It smells delicious, moisturises wonderfully and “does what it says on the tin!” Makes you Gorgeous!

On a quest for stronger, shinier, softer hair? Try this argan oil-packed, Rose Jam-scented bar. Argan oil is combined with glycerine to give your hair touchable softness and lustrous shine. From this solid foundation restorative rose absolute and oil balances the scalp making this bar particularly perfect for setting fair hair ablaze with brightness and strength.

The above quote is from the Lush website. Take a look at their new Oxford St store its fabulous.

I have had a few of these shampoo bars for when I am travelling. They act as a hair and body shampoo and last for ages. They can be a little difficult to get out of the tin but a piece of ribbon slipped under the bar makes it possible to flip it out. Failing that store them in the lid rather than the bottom of the tin! This works!

Wordsmith Wednesday-Tectonic plates

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Tectonic plates

The lithosphere, which is the rigid outermost shell of a planet (on Earth, the crust and upper mantle), is broken up into tectonic plates. On Earth, there are seven or eight major plates (depending on how they are defined) and many minor plates. Where plates meet, their relative motion determines the type of boundary; convergent, divergent, or transform. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along these plate boundaries. The lateral relative movement of the plates typically varies from zero to 100 mm annually. Movement of these tectonic plates can be one cause of earthquakes as happened recently in Nepal.

Having just mentioned Nepal……

My craft group have agreed to Knit for Nepal. This is really good news. Any Knitting comrades who would like to support this very worthy cause please get in touch.We plan to donate via an Orphaned child charity whose project is “Keep a child warm”. Watch this space for more information.