Spring arrives….nearly

What a gorgeous start to March we had. The warm sunny days fooled us into thinking the worst of the weather was over, until this Sunday when we had snow! It didn’t settle but goodness, it was heavy. The temperature has dropped again and I’m glad we didn’t get carried away with the heat and start planting too early in the allotments. This year I’m determined not to get over-excited and sow too early, I end up losing more than I gain by trying to be as early as possible and give myself twice the work. Ian picked up a heated propagator from a car boot sale for me. It is quite an age but works perfectly so this year I am going to use it for my peppers which always seem to want the heat to get them started. We have several old egg boxes in the conservatory filled with our seed potatoes ready chitting. We try to get the earlies in for Easter weekend and, although it is hard work planting them, the rewards keep us going all year. We are still working our way through last years harvest of Cara and still a few Pink Firs as well.

We had an exciting delivery last week. A parcel from Tristan da Cunha arrived for Ian to deliver to the curator of the museum in Camogli as well as a letter to deliver to the Mayor from the Administrator on Tristan. It contained some traditional handmade items like the mini moccassins made of  hide that Ian remembers wearing as a child, and a traditional longboat as well as some gorgeous handspun wool. It has all been packed away now ready for the flight to Italy next week where it can be displayed in the Camogli museum. Ians cousin Aldo knows the mayor and is arranging a meeting for the letter to be handed over.

Tristan Flag

Tristan Socks, Wool and Moccassins.

Tristan Stamps

Tristan Longboat

Tristan Tourist Leaflets

The best item, though, was a Tristan recipe book. I have tried 2 recipes, so far, that Ian remembers his Nanny Edith making, Snislens and Teddy Cakes. The recipes are very simple but very tasty. The recipe to master will be the famous Tristan pudding, my last attempt without a recipe was a bit stodgy so ‘fingers crossed’ my next will turn out ok.

As for crafting I have finished the socks I was knitting for Amy and have now started a pair for Emily using some of my ‘posh’ Cath Kidston wool.

Having a major clear up of the craft room I found a bag with a half finished jumper in it, goodness knows why I abandoned it but I have rescued it and am halfway up the front. Hopefully by the next post I will have photos to show as it really is gorgeous wool. We had a visit to Princes Risborough as a new craft shop has opened there and what a lovely place it is too. Sallys Sewing Box is small but packed with goodies. I bought a couple of small cross stitch kits and some buttons that had been hand embroidered by Sally herself.

As we wandered around the town I spotted a basket of wool in, what I thought was, a linen shop and popped in to see. It turned out to be full of wonderful locally sourced wool. The owner has an alpaca farm where she spins her own wool, another lady spins her own wool and dyes it using home grown vegetables. Anothe local lady makes ceramic buttons and they do workshops for crafts too, including quilting. It was a great place to discover and, as I explained to Ian, I HAD to buy some of the lovely alpaca wool. It even has the name of the alpaca the wool came from.

I was so pleased with how the cross stitch kit I finished, Country path, turned out that I was looking for some similar kits. I found a set of 3 Anchor kits on Ebay and was lucky enough to win them. I am looking forward to starting them as I think they will look great as a set in the hallway.

Ian has been busy fly tying for the start of the season and also working on his hand sewn leather jacket which is really looking good now. He has found a shirt that will be the lining so now the main area has been sewn he can work on the lining. He also made Toby a handmade wood/bone handle for a firesteel which he has posted about in the How to section. He is now making one for himself as well.

We certainly have plenty to get on with and, with any luck, the weather will improve and we can get on with some outdoor jobs as well as the indoor ones.

 

Thought I would add the link to the Tristan da Cunha wesite where all the above items fromTristan can be bought along with other souvenier items. It is an informative site for anyone wanting to know more about this fascinating island.

http://www.tristandc.com/handsouvenirs.php

 

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