Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I finished this sweater a couple of weeks ago and forgot to blog it. The pattern is Basil from the Rowan Summer Tweed Collection by Kim Hargreaves, knit in Summer Tweed shade "Shark". The colours are not that good in the photo as it was taken in poor light - it's a darker grey base with flecks of blue-grey and black.

I love how this turned out, it's a wonderful fit and very soft and comfortable. I found the Summer Tweed fine to knit with, it didn't cause me any problems at all. The main mods to this sweater were (1) adding 4 extra rows after switching to the larger needles front and back, before the waist decreases, and (2) convering the shoulders to short row shoulder shaping. This is a method I will most definitely use in future, it significantly improves the look of the shoulders. A three-needle bind-off is used to seam the shoulders and again this gives a very neat finish.

I've just finished the last body piece for the Hoodie Vest, so my next job is joining the shoulders (three-needle bind-off again, but there's no shoulder shaping in this design) then blocking the body out to size. As well as knitting, I've been making chutney and marmalade! First off was Green Tomato Chutney (Delia Smith recipe), using our homegrown cherry tomatoes. We had to make sure we went out and picked all the greens off the plants just for this recipe, as they were all ripening up so well! Next was Mango Chutney, using a recipe by Marguerite Patten. We opted for the version without apples and hence using more mango. It turned out beautifully and tastes fabulous, although it's currently maturing for a month before we use any.

Last up was Grapefruit Marmalade (another Marguerite recipe), as I have great difficulty finding this in the shops, and tend to avoid oranges. We used pink grapefruit, and soaked the pith etc. for 24 hours before use. As it turned out this was a good thing to do, according to the collected wisdom on t'internet. I'd never made marmalade before (or mango chutney), so I was rather winging it on things like setting point - especially without a jam thermometer. Again it turned out really well, I was a bit worried it might never set but it has made a lovely thick marmalade. I have a partial jar in the fridge at the moment with the rest stored and it tastes wonderful. We have since invested in a proper preserving pan and thermometer, rather than the stock pot we've used this time. I will definitely be making my own marmalade and mango chutney again! I don't have any photos as my husband very helpfully put all the jars back into the boxes they originally came in, and they are sitting on top of the kitchen cupboards! They do need to mature though, especially the green tomato, that needs to be left for three months.

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