Monday, 30 April 2007

'Bee-Utiful'









Some pictures from my garden over the weekend. A lovely Clematis covers a wall the length of our side garden and gives beautiful pink Spring colour for a few weeks at this time of year. (not half long enough as its so gorgeous) The bees just love it and also love the bamboo screens and wood on our deck. As you can see they collect pollen from the flowers and scrape wood for their hives. For a number of years now we find bee hives in various places in the garden and under the eaves into the attic and when we examine them they are made up, it seems, from this wood they have scraped.
On the needles at the moment is still my turquoise cardi. I have most of it done except for the cuffs. These were knitted separately to the sleeves. Pattern for this is from the Rowan mag No 38 'Duchesse'. Hopefully I will have it finished by next weekend. Will post some photos then.
Another project at the moment is sewing for my daughter. More later.

Vanishing Acts


Just finished reading Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult. It was a really great read, a real page-turner. Jodi Picoult keeps you wondering till the last page, and just when you think you know the ending, everything changes. She is really in touch with her characters and tells stories that just could happen. Its an emotional and gripping read about trust, love and memories. Jodi is an elegant writer and has written lots of novels. I've already read My Sister's Keeper and Salem Falls. My Sister's Keeper is just wonderful and my two daughters also enjoyed it. Salem Falls I did not think quite as good. I'll give this author a rest now as I just could not read them one after another, but I certainly will return to her.
On Saturday last I took a trip to 'Borders' bookshop in the Blanchardstown Centre. I've been before and this is a great bookshop. I had a lovely coffee and apple and cinnamon muffin in the Starbucks coffee upstairs on their Mezzanine floor.Yummy! When I was on my way out I noticed a stand with Jodi Picoult's latest book 'Nineteen Minutes' and learned from an assistant there that she was doing a signing there at 3 o'clock. Alas I could not wait till then as I would love to have met her.
While in the 'Paperchase' dept of the shop I bought this case to keep my knitting bits n pieces tidy in my knitting bag. I really loved the colours.


Monday, 23 April 2007

Conn's Comment

Mary, and all those wondering about Conn's comment on the 'Mousse' posting. When my daughter opened the fridge on the 'Mousse' evening, what did she find on the shelf, but my camera. It seems that when I took the bowl out to take a photo for my blog I left the camera on the shelf!!
Watch out all you bloggers, its amazing how blogging can distract the mind!

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Delicious Lemon Mousse













I've friends coming this evening and have made this mousse. (Notice the lovely new bowl I got for a gift) I've made it before and its really delicious and easy to make.

Ingredients:

1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
4 eggs - separated
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon rind
3/4 cup whipping cream

Method

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water to soften. Set in a bowl of hot water and mix until dissolved.
Beat egg yolks in a medium bowl, gradually add 1/2 of the sugar and continue beating until a ribbon forms. ( I put the bowl over simmering water while beating to cook the eggs a little)
Then beat in the lemon juice, rind and the dissolved gelatin.
Refrigerate for about 10 mins, stirring every 2 mins until mixture is starting to thicken.

Whip cream until stiff. Whip egg whites in separate bowl until soft peaks form, then add remaining sugar a tablespoon at a time. Continue beating until stiff.

Gently fold the egg whites into lemon/egg mixture, then gently fold in whipped cream. Place in a bowl or individual bowls until set. Garnish with some mint leaves. This takes about 2-3 hours.
Serves about 6-8 people.
Yummy!

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Completed project - at last




Sewn up and completed at last. Am pleased enough with them. Although I would not use this yarn again for a baby's garment. It was Wendy 4ply luxury cotton and a lot of little bits fluffed up, so I have had to wash the garments and 'brush' gently off the spare cotton. Perhaps after a few washes it will settle down, in fact I'm quite sure it will from experiene, but its not great when your giving a gift as I can't wash it numerous times. The pattern was from a Debbie Bliss book Number 1 for babies and children. It was easy enough to follow but the bootees were a little pointy at the back, so I might use a different bootee pattern again.
Have posted my Knitters Treat package today. Hopefully it will get there in the next week or so. I enjoyed buying the gifts and putting it all together. This is the first time to do an exchange and I really enjoyed doing it. Hopefully the recipient likes what I bought her.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Knitters Treat Exchange

Heard yesterday from my Treater. I'm so looking forward to it.
My parcel to my 'Treatee' is almost ready and I hope to post it before the weekend. Hope she likes it!

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Busy Sunday


Had a lovely day today.Spent the morning in Dublin city, walked about and then took coffee on the 'Boardwalk' along the River Liffey in brilliant sunshine. After lunch DH and I took a drive to a lovely garden centre in Co Carlow and have now just finished a yummy steak and potatoes from the barbecue along with a glass or two of good red wine!! I now plan to unravel this mess on the table in the garden and sew up the baby sweater and bootees.

Am almost ready with the parcel for my 'Treatee'. Hope she likes her spoiling package. Still have a few more little bits and pieces to add to it. I've enjoyed getting it together, as in my family we usually give gifts of lots of little things and its really great to open them.
Looking forward to hearing from my 'treater' still, but there's plenty of time .

Success at last, have finished sewing up now and have just washed the garments and hope to press and finish off tomorrow. So hopefully more photos tomorrow.
Back to my book now. - Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult. A really good read so far.



Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Easter

I've just realised that I have not posted in over a week. Been so busy lately. I'm knitting some baby things at the moment and also have a turquoise cotton cardi on the needles for myself. Off to the same old habit of having a number of knitting projects on the go as usual and finding it difficult to finish one thing before starting another. I'm afraid I'm like that at everyhing else too.
A friend of mine became a grandmother for the first time a week ago, so am knitting a pair of bootees and a little jumper which I hope to finish shortly. Just hate the thought of sewing up a project.
Last Saturday, I spent the day with two friends wandering around the lovely County of Kilkenny.Firstly, off to visit the Alpaca farm at Hillview Alpacas which is near Castlecomer. The weather was really gorgeous and we found the place easily enough. Gabrielle is just starting our on her venture of Llama rearing/farming for their alpaca yarn. While the little shop is small enough, you can get a good idea about the yarn and how it looks. Gabrielle is lovely and really friendly and she took us out to see two of the male llamas, which are really cute and cheeky. I took some photos but unfortunately my camera batteries were used and none came out.
Then we drove on to Castlecomer to see the craft shops at the Estate. These are lovely too, but some are still under construction and a coffee shop will be open shortly.
Onwards to Bennetsbridge to visit Nicholas Mosse's workshop/craftshop and great coffee shop where we had a great lunch. Some delicious chicken pie with salad for me and for dessert apple crumble pie. Just delicious!!
Not finished yet we drove on yet again towards Thomastown and found a car park above the lovely River Nore in brilliant sunshine and relaxed. We also knitted some and had a glass of smooth red wine!!! How lovely a day it was.

Monday, 2 April 2007

A good day



Its my birthday today. Enough to say that the number doesn't matter. Got a gift of a lovely gardening stool complete with tools from DH and you'll never guess what was wrapped with it! Copy of a draft of some of his thesis for proof reading!! on my Birthday!! Needless to say, I haven't had a chance yet to even look at it.
I've been so busy going to yarn shop for patterns, (K was in a good mood today) Then I just had to meet a sister for coffee/lunch. After that I took a long walk and on the way to the supermarket to purchase this evening's dinner (an Indian takeaway) so that I don't have to cook.
So far have had a really good day, and hope to have a little glass of good red wine later.