I’m finally on the final section of Jared Flood’s Shetland hap-style shawl Quill. It’s taking forever, and as the second part was knitted in the round and increased gradually, it’s all bunched up on the circular needle and is quite difficult to see, size-wise. I’m trying not to count exactly how many stitches I’ve got left around the perimeter to consume by the lace edging, in addition to the edging itself…
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I haven’t quite reached fever pitch with the preserving- I’ve made some elderflower cordial, which wasn’t bad, and two batches elderflower gin, which is rather too good, but otherwise my jam pan has lain quietly. The appearance of one or two of these little ruby gems by the roadside, however, is a sure sign that the Scottish summer is reaching its peak.
Sugar stocks in the local supermarket will plummet and I suddenly won’t have enough jars as plums, brambles, apples and all manner of transient delights rain down, begging to have their fruity loveliness extended into the snowy winter months.
It gets a bit hectic, and I could nip out and buy a lovely jar of raspberry jam for a fraction of the cost: monetary, effort, time and nettle stings. But it just wouldn’t taste as sweet.
This time in gin… a bit of an experiment and perhaps a bit heavy on the sugar but it’s all the name of research!
Baking and preserving for the local fair, on tomorrow from 1-4 in the field next to Cushnie Hall, Aberdeenshire. Come along if you can!
A trip out to get some eggs resulted in an impromptu stop by a ditch (why do the best things grow in precarious, deep ditches?) to pick a few elderflower heads. I’m just doing some cordial rather than the more explosive champagne, but fully intend to drink at least some of the cordial IN champagne! They smell purely of summer. Lovely.
I recently knitted up this hat for my farmer brother-in-law who needed something to keep his noggin warm when he checks on his cows calving in the middle of the night. It’s an aran-weight merino yarn from Malabrigo. It’s itch-free, very warm and very, very soft.
The pattern was a free one called Open Studio, by Hanna Breetz (you gotta love Ravelry, what a fabulous resource) and its ribbed nature means it will actually fit almost anyone. Cosy times ahead, James!