I thought it was just an allergic reaction to something but here I am nearly a week later, still with a hacking cough and the tiniest voice imaginable. Some might say that's not a bad thing! The worst thing is Mike has banned me from running until it clears up and although I know he's right it's still frustrating to be grounded and I'm being dragged to the quack tomorrow. Deep joy.
Anyway, it's an ideal opportunity to crack on with some Christmas charity knitting and crochet, although I can't share it on here, and catch up with some recent photos. What I can show, however, is my finished cowl, Cochal, from the 7 Skeins Club:
|Here it's just had a soak and is being blocked loosely into shape|
Kate's design used 2 main colours with a single row of the red but I wanted to use all the colours to make a nice bright contrast against my dark navy winter coat. It's a simple stitch and a quick knit and I'm really pleased with the result. I also wanted to conserve each shade of yarn so I had choices for the fingerless mitts and hat.
Cochal is the Scottish Gaelic word for hood and the cowl is made extra deep so you can pull it up over your head if need be. I've already worn it once when it was windy and pulled it up to cover my mouth and ears and it was jolly snug. I'm going to make one for Mike too but using a more restrained and manly palette.
I've been busy with end of year preserving and thought I'd try making some Quince jelly as I've never made it before. There was a huge crop in the Community Orchard in the village. Just look at the size of these fruits:
They have the most amazing perfumed smell. I don't know how else to describe it as it doesn't remind me of anything else I know. I just did a basic jelly preserve by chopping the fruit into chunks (they are very hard so you have to be careful), covering them with water then boiling them until they were soft.
Then I strained it through a jelly bag and used the basic formula of 1lb of sugar to 1 pint liquid. As the fruit was very ripe and juicy I added the juice of a lemon to help it set.
The colour reminds me of crabapple jelly except it has retained the perfumed smell. I've heard that adding a bit of quince to stewed apple can transform it into something amazing so I shall try adding some of the jelly to see if we like it. I tried it on toast but wasn't keen on it like that. Next try will be with cheese.
Before I became lurgified I'd been enjoying the colours of Autumn so here are a few shots from my runs:
|Lanes lined with true gold from Hornbeam|
|The changing colour of the bracken against this hedge looks like a Fair Isle pattern|
|Glorious shades of rust|
|These bracken fronds look as if they've been dip-dyed. It's interesting to see how they decay from tip to stem.|
|The yellow of these Hazel leaves shone out against the remaining green leaves and the mahogany-coloured twigs.|
|I noticed how the colours of these cherry trees seemed to be intensified on a dreary, wet morning|
|I was struck by how the colour of the trees echoed the brick of the house|
|I took this photo of the top of the hedge when I went out to check on the horses as the sun was setting.|
Mike's now given me 2 more days of being lurgified before I get sent to the Quack. I'm hoping I'll have recovered by then, especially as I've got 3 marathons coming up soon………which reminds me; I've got 4 more marathons to run this year and if I manage all of them then I'll have completed my 60 by 60 challenge with 18 months to spare.
My next, and most challenging, fund-raising effort will be announced before Christmas.