Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Apples galore!

These pics are from last year when we were trying to identify our lovely apple trees

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At the time, we had three trees of varying sizes.
The harvest last year was, frankly, pitiful. I think I ate a couple and made one apple cake, the wasps had most of the rest and we lost a lot to disease.
Earlier this year we removed the largest tree (which was both in the way and poorly) and the smallest (which was also oddly located)
These are pics from this year

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And this is just the first harvest!
I’ve made two batches of jam, three loads of apple sauce and three trays of muffins plus eaten a few and got some left.
We’ve still lost a load and the tree is helpfully tucked in a corner so I can’t reach all of them but I’m very pleased.
The jam has definitely been a lesson and the muffins are disappointing but it’s so nice to grow our own and I love apples!
I’ll write up and post pics about the jam another time
Anyone else growing goodies this year?

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Spring clearing!

Well it’s been a busy few weeks. Yesterday was a year since we moved into our beautiful house, plans are moving along and actual progress is being made!

We’ve spent some evenings and weekends replacing windows (and the front door!) and I was off the other week to get some serious gardening done.

I wanted to wait through the seasons to see what was what and decide what to keep and what to cull.

The gardens were well planned initially but ill cared for in later days and it shows. Most of it is being culled.

We’ve also discovered that the back border is about twice as deep as it needs to be so a lot needs to come up so we can turf it.

We have left it a bit late (I’m blaming the weather… and work) so I got a bit teary pulling up all the spring bulbs and I’m very wary of moving a couple of the roses.

But needs must because Steven is off next week to start digging the foundations for the extensions and one of the roses is in the way.

So, here are some pics of progress

Front1before

This is the front… or was

Front1after

This is it with the rosemary bushes removed!

Front2before

From a different angle

Front2after

And after!

Mummy and I had a trip to the garden centre and the front has been replanted

FrontReplant2

In the middle is one of the transplanted roses, Steven has since added another and they seem to be doing well

FrontReplant1

Back3before Back2before Back1before

These are the back as it was

Back1after1Back1after2

And a couple of progress pics.

It’s coming along really well but there’s still a lot of work and we’ve both got busy work weeks ahead so we’ll be gardening for part of the equinox on Friday.

In other news, I was playing around with jewellery making while I was off so I’ll post about that soon.

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Trying new things

I don’t know about the rest of you but I think it’s pretty safe to say that, as crafters, we love to try new things.

Whether it’s a different way of working our favourite craft, a new tool or accessory or a whole new craft, there is something really satisfying about mastering a new skill.

This week, I’ve been doing loads of experimenting!

On Saturday, I went to a Tunisian Crochet class so I’ve been practising the skills and stitches learnt there.

Technically, this was two new things because I’ve never tried Tunisian Crochet and I’ve never been to a class like that.

It was a really lovely afternoon. The host yarn shop isn’t one I visit often (due to it being 20-odd miles away) so it was fun to fondle some different yarns and discover some new accessories.

The class itself was brilliant. There were only six of us so it was cosy and the tutor was able to help everyone individually. We all seemed to be at different levels, there was even one lady who had never crocheted before, so it was nice to encourage and help each other.

If you’re in my part of the world, or popping down for a visit, I’d highly recommend a visit to Jenny Wren’s Yarns in Ipswich. Check out their website here.

So, continuing the theme, today I’ve been preserving rosemary!

We’ve got three huge rosemary bushes in the front garden and their days are numbered. But I hate waste so I was determined to try and use at least some of the yumminess.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into the greenhouse to get the secateurs so I had to use the kitchen scissors and they’re not very handy.

I collected a bag of rosemary sprigs (hardly making a dent in the bush) and am experimenting with three different techniques.

Some have been bagged up and frozen. Some bunches are hanging in Hubby’s ‘ebay room’. And the rest I dried in the oven.

I have to say the last option is my favourite so far, they only take about 90 mins to dry out and once they’re cool you can strip off the leaves so they don’t take up much space.

We’ll have to wait and see how the hanging bunches turn out, they take about two weeks…

Tomorrow, I will put the rosemary to good use by making a salt scrub – more newness!

Finally, I made a bread and butter pudding.

I’m not convinced I like it, hence never having made one, but Hubby asked for it and it’s really the least I can do

But, have you ever asked an older person for a recipe? The ones I found in my cookery books were overly complicated so I thought I’d ask my Nan.

Her response: butter some bread, beat an egg into some milk, layer them and bake

Bake for how long? Until it’s brown

How much of each ingredient? I never found out

So, again, we’ll see how it turns out – think of me in about an hour

What newness have you all been up to?

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