Hand Dyed Yarn WIP Continued….

Hand Dyed Yarn WIP Continued….

After three days drying time (house was cold) 😦  My hand dyed yarn is finally ready to ball up and to get going on the new project – crochet cushions.

See what I’m up to, and how I hand dyed my yarn:    Hand dyed Yarn for Crochet Cushions

I really enjoy hand dyeing yarn.

Here is another project I did earlier this year.  It was a CAL (Crochet Along Project) called the Lily Pad by Jane Crowfoot. Stylecraft Lily Pad Crochet Pattern

Originally I was going to work this in the recommended yarn and colour way as suggested by the designers.   I waited and waited for the purchased yarn to arrive, but the suppliers were constantly out of stock. I simply got fed up waiting, so I set about hand dyeing plain blank yarns and getting my own colour versions.  They came out differently from the commercial as expected, but I loved the doing of it, and loved the final outcome.  Once crocheted up, it was very special indeed.  Now in the procession of our youngest daughter – keeping her warm at University. 🙂

IMG_0872The Lily Pad Crocheted blanket created using hand dyed yarns

It took less time to buy the blanks, and dye the individual colours in my kitchen, than the waiting for the commercial yarn was going to take.  An added bonus was that I could complete the blanket in pure wool as well.  All my blanks were purchased from World of Wool.  World of Wool blanks

My next project, and the one I’m currently making is following the Enchanted Garden Tote bag, Tote Bag Pattern Here  which combines the Crocodile Flower Square Crocodile Flower by Joyce Lewis Pattern Here, and Dedri Uys who was the designer of the Sophie Universe Crochet Along.  The pattern for this is free online here: Sophie’s Universe Free Pattern  I am not making the tote bag, but instead using the front panel design which I will turn into a pair of cushions for our front room.

Here are the balled up yarns that I hand dyed, and are now ready for this project to get started with:


Hand dyed 100% merino yarn ready to GO!

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Making your own Tempeh

Making your own Tempeh


Shop bought Tempeh – well, Ebay to be honest

Tempeh is an Indonesian thing.  Basically its fermented soybean cake, and is used as a high protein (it’s complete protein too) additive to the food armory for vegetarians and vegans.  Although its so yummy, even my very carnivore husband loves it too.

I bought some from Ebay to try out, and we both loved it.

Now I know this and enjoyed our first tempeh meal experience, I don’t ever intend to purchase it again on line, as it was about £8 for 400g of the stuff.   I fully intend to make my own instead.

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Hand dyeing yarn – for Next Work in Progress

Hand dyeing yarn – for Next Work in Progress

Weather is horrible today. So no cycling.

For my next WIP (Work in Progress), I fancy a set of cushions for the front room, and what better than a matching pair using this pattern.

By Joyce Lewis

When finished, this centre piece will only measures 30 x 30 cm, and I will want larger cushions than that, so I shall incorporate this into the Sophie Universe pattern – something I have done before with another center piece to great success.

The pattern for this is not mine, so here are the details should you want to make this for yourself as well.  Pretty isn’t it?

Crocodile Flower by Joyce Lewis

Once the centre piece is finished, I will need to follow on with the ‘Enchanted Garden’ pattern to complete the large square for the front of the cushion.  The Enchanted Garden pattern has a very excellent photographic tutorial showing you stitch by stitch how to make your crocodile flower metamorph into the most amazing panel for your cushion – or the tote bag, should you prefer, as suggested originally by Courtney Laube.

Enchanted Garden by Courtney Laube

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The utility Vegan Mayonnaise… is it a mayo or is it a dip or both?

Vegan Mayonnaise

At just about 20 calories a tablespoon this stuff is a win win, no matter if your slashing it on your salad, daubing it in your potato or rolling your raw carrots or celery into it.  High in protein, and for a mayo low in fat.


My ‘meat-munching-man’ loves it too, so Ive ditched the Hellmanns  and once a week, I whiz up variations of this stuff.

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Cycling Ireland in Summer 2016

Cycling Ireland in Summer 2016

Summer 2016 will be a fantastic year for cycle touring.

Myself and my friend Caroline are cycling the coast of Ireland in 2016.  Partly cycling the Wild Atlantic Way route, partly cycling along our own planned roads.

Rides for me so far: Quite a few to date.  Audax UK Member. Rather a slow cyclist, spending more time gazing about than thrashing my bikes. Ridden several CTC’s, and one End to End (UK).  Mostly ride alone, simply because I tend to favour hills, decent distances and I look so stupid with all my bags that no one can bear to cycle out with me. (I was in my Sunday Best for this pic) – plus, I hadn’t eaten cake for a week.

Me and Hettie Lighthouse ChallengeMe:  ITS AN OLD PIC OK!! 

This is my blog, and as I have a much younger looking companion, I need to look good here!

Introducing the infamous Mad-Manx-Cow Caroline. (Drum roll)


Who can only be described as a Manx phenomenon.

She carries along with her a hefty moo cycling C.V.  There are not many off road tracks left in the Isle of Man or the UK for that matter, that do not have the scars of her tread marks on them.  Caroline has had a huge effect on increasing the number of women taking up mountain bike riding on our Island, with training sessions, frequent off-road rides out, she has changed the lives of many of us for the better.

Here she is below, on her beloved mountain bike.  I am soooo pleased to be sharing this ride to Ireland with Caroline.  I just hope I can justify her time off the mountain-side.  We will have rather a lot of tarmac between our start and finish.  Caroline is also a rather nifty fell and road runner, and she swims like a fish too.  So if any emergency arises, I feel confident that I can send our Caroline out there to get help!  (While I eat the rest of the cake of course, and finish knitting that sock).  Apt at taking on a challenge she bravely tackles anything and every thing.


Mad-Manx-Cow Caroline – looking like she is in the Lake District here (and she is!)

… anyway, I just hope our two wheeled companions keep in touch with one another along the way, as her ‘Lovely’, will be nudging onto that rough bit o’ track at every opportunity, whereas my trusty ‘Steed’ will be being a bit ‘precious’ on where her wheels roll.

What does Caroline not do:  Caroline has not yet ventured to the Moon as far as I’m aware.  Scratches chin, did I hear somewhere……?  but lets not remind her of this fact, or we might not have the pleasure of her company for some time me thinks.

Shedman (hubby dearest) said I was not to tell Caroline about this kinda thing… but thankfully its not in Ireland – I’m safe!

Dont Tell Caroline about this!

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Enter the Vegan long distance cyclist.

Enter the Vegan long distance cyclist.

I started following a vegan diet in April 2015, literally right after the funeral of my beloved dad.  Years ago I was vegetarian, but then chose the meat eating lifestyle.  30 years later, weight-gain, high blood pressure, and the need to keep healthy and feeling young, started to nibble.  I had always loved vegetables, why bother with the world of meat at all?  I thoughts turned once again to vegetarianism, but again… the very foods I loved were the ones that gave me high blood pressure.   So ditch the meat, ditch the dairy, and ditch the eggs.


Although I follow the vegan diet, I consider myself a strict vegetarian, as I still knit and crochet with my favourite fibre – wool.  I cant really see myself ditching that. For one thing, I have a house full of the stuff, all awaiting using up.

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Piccalilli – the Food of the Gods

Piccalilli – the Food of the Gods

Gotta add flavour!


The most important thing to me is well flavoured food.  I now have quite a few favourite dressings to add to my vegan plate.  This is one of them.

Its a Jamie Oliver recipe, and the only thing I changed in it, was the flour, where I changed this to Dove Gluten Free instead of the usual cupboard stuff, my eldest is GF intolerant and this means she can enjoy a daub of Piccalilli on her salad as well.

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Fate plays a strange hand.

Cant believe it.

I have been looking for a particular bicycle for years, longer than my yearning for the Hetchins, which frankly was purchased BECAUSE I knew my search for this bicycle was futile.

Then today, I got a notification from Ebay that a certain bike had been listed.  For years they have sent me such notifications, only for me to open the search to find – a bicycle bell, or even a frame, but the frame would be big or huge or broken, or need so much renovation that living on an expensive to get stuff to and from, the price would simply be too big, the hassle impossible.

But this notification was different.

This time it looks like this ‘IS THE ONE’,

‘The One’ is a stunning fire red, Flying Scot bicycle, made by Ratterys in Glasgow Scotland.  A true home bred bicycle from a famous frame builder.  AND best of all, it was build in 1963.  The very year I was born!

Here are the pictures of her:

Flying Scot 2

Here she is looking like she is taking a wee holiday somewhere.

Here it is. The bicycle I have always wanted... A true classic, or in my daughters view, a vintage bike.

Here it is. The bicycle I have always wanted… A true classic, or in my daughters view, a vintage bike.

Flying Scot close up

Flying Scot close up

It’s Time for Change…..

After more than a year off my bicycle, Im back on her!

With a new plan too.   As a member of Audax UK, I have the stupid na…. grand idea that I might give London Edinburgh London a try.  This is Audax UK’s longest or at least one of the longest rides in their UK calendar.  It only occurs every 4 years, and the next biggie is in 2017.  Getting your ‘ticket to ride’ is hard enough, but in 2013 when this event last ran, myself and my eldest daughter Beth, took up the lesser challenge and became a volunteer at one of the larger controls.  This meant we both got an automatic entry into the next LEL.  Thus why I fancy giving it a go.

I will be 54 years of age by then, and I really dont think Ill be going it more than once….   It will be a challenge.

Things that have changed.  Ive had a hysterectomy, Im older, much fatter, and I now follow a vegan diet.  All of these things will bring along their own challenges to riding LEL.  With luck the fatter word will reduce!


So… I thought I would put my big plans into action and heck…. include them on this bloggie thing, that I have let lapse far too long.