Small daughter isn't feeling well today so is off school. She's spending her day alternating between being snuggled up on the sofa, wrapped up in blankets and in front of the fire and snuggled up in bed with a hot water bottle and a purring cat. I think she'll be fine to go back tomorrow - sometimes you just need to take a day out to head off something that could turn much worse - and a purring cat always helps!
I'm quite glad to be tucked up in the house today too, watching the rain battering the windows instead of being out in it with the dog and during the school run. Outside in the garden, the leaves have all but gone from the sycamore tree ...
although look at the colours of this Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontalis)! They almost glow, they're so red! Hidden amongst the leaves are red berries too, although there aren't many of them left - they've obviously been a tasty meal for the birds!
There's no shortage of jobs to be done and being home all day has meant that I've ticked quite a few off my list. A big job has been sending out the last of the Yarndale Sock Line socks which I'll tell you all about in another post - it's always lovely to be able to send the socks on to their new homes and equally lovely to be able to tell you where they've gone so I'll be doing that very soon.
I've also sneaked in a couple of rounds of knitting whilst taking a break to check up on small daughter. My skirt is coming along nicely and I'm having such a fun time knitting this - you're certainly not going to miss me when I wear it!
Considerably less bright is my new tutorial sock which is also coming along nicely. I'm enjoying having both projects on the go and picking them up depending on which room I'm sitting in. It's been a while since I knitted cables and I do love them; it's good to have a project with them in on my needles!
I don't have a progress picture of my Neat Ripple sock as that's in the car. I decided that I was going to leave a project in there for me to pick up when I have a few minutes to wait; I got fed up of forgetting to take my project bag out with me and then being cross with myself for not having anything to knit when I had time to spare. Now I've got a dedicated Car Project and although it might be quite slow to grow some days, it's always there when I need it!
There's nothing but crumbs left of this now, but I have to tell you about this cake ... it's an Autumn Apple Cake which I made with a recipe from Cakes, Bakes and Simple Suppers. Jane, who writes the blog, is a member of the Winwick Mum Knit n Natter Facebook group and recently shared her recipe in the group; it's a great place for all kinds of conversations and this particular one was what do with windfall apples. You may remember that we've got apple trees that refuse to let go of their apples, but after drooling over pictures of other group members' apple cakes, I couldn't put it off any longer. And I'm so glad I didn't! The ingredients for this cake are all based on the weight of the eggs which are used, which seems like some kind of kitchen sorcery to me and oh boy, the results certainly were magic! I made the cake for visitors who were coming over and served it - as Jane recommends - warm with cream. It didn't last long, but luckily there are more apples on the trees which WILL be coming off! 😀
Finally, I also want to share with you my video debut! Quite a few people have asked me if I have video tutorials to go along with the Sockalong photo tutorials and although I can see that they'd be helpful, it's been something that I've put off for a long time - I'm much happier behind a keyboard than anywhere near a video camera!
I mentioned this to my friend Maeri who runs The Make and Do Studio here in Warrington. The Make and Do Studio hosts various workshops (I went to a curtain-making one but still haven't made any curtains ...) and Maeri also advises on running small - and especially craft - businesses. I've known Maeri for a few years now. She's one of those fearless people who tells you to get off your backside and do something (in the nicest possible way) and it's always good to have a friend like that! The idea of making videos has brought me out in a cold sweat whenever I think too much about it - which is why it was something of a surprise to find myself sitting in front of a camera in Maeri's living room about to do a Facebook Live interview with her! She wanted to talk about online communities as part of her small business advisory role and although this wasn't quite what I had in mind, you've got to start somewhere, right?
So here we are, and if you would like to see the video that we made you can find it here (it's also on my Facebook page here if you can't see it for any reason). You can only watch it through Facebook as it was uploaded directly but here we are in full flow!
And do you know what? It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it was going to be. I think we build things up in our minds to be something that they're not and the only way to prove to ourselves that we can do something is to just do it. Of course, it helps that I was with a friend, but it reminded me that we hold ourselves back from doing things because of imagined rather than real fears. Anyway, a monster may have been unleashed because I'm much more confident about the idea of video tutorials to go with the Sockalong tutorials - you have been warned! 😀