Yorkshire Rose

Last night as I was on my way to knit night via public transport I reached into my bag for my sock project to make good industrious use of those wasted minutes.  But what is this? No! I had put the Yorkshire Rose kit in the bag and left the sock project on my desk.  Before you come to the conclusion that I really am too stupid to be knitting for how could a knitter of even mediocre intelligence do such a thing?  I must point out that all small projects go into calico bags to keep them safe and the kit comes in a small calico bag, so all I had done was to pick up the wrong calico bag.

I decided it wasn’t a problem because I had received that day via lovely postie a loyalty voucher for Morris and Sons in the city.  As I was in the city I decided to go and get needles for the Yorkshire rose kit and knit that at knit night instead of socks.  It was no biggy, after all one can never have too many knit pro nickel interchangables.  Except for the fact that as soon as you go into Morris & Sons you are greeted by a double shelf of Noro.  So next thing I knew, there I was with a bag of Noro yumminess farewelling a very lovely young man and thinking how helpful he was.  I don’t know what happened but I’m guessing I came over all faint probably intoxicated on Noroness or something.

So it turns out that forgetting my socks was a good thing I finished the Yorkshire rose at knit night and have a pretty corsage to wear and Noro for two other projects in my queue.  Wait… that makes it sound like I went in there deliberately to purchase the Noro…look finished object!

The kit was bought from Baa ram ewe, where else?  It’s designed by the lovely Verity herself and what can I say, knits up in two shakes of a lambs tail with heaps of yarn left over to make several more.  I shall be wearing mine often and with pride.

Special delivery

The postie came yesterday, hurrah hurrah!   I know several knitters doing the postbox hover at the moment, the anguish and anticipation is horrendous and I hope they are all very soon to be united with their purchases.  This is my last purchase of 2010 and it’s a good one, I’m  so excited to show you my new acquisition and I wish you could squish it too because it’s full of woolly goodness.

It’s North Ronaldsay fingering weight wool in light grey undyed and for those who might not know, the sheep on the Orkney island of North Ronaldsay live most of the year on the beach and have adapted to be able to digest the seaweed.  The yarn is entirely produced and handspun on the island and therefore quite rare and special.  As a new spinner, I love that it is handspun as it shows me what I’m aiming for with my own spinning.  Ah, to be able to spin so beautifully, hopefully with more practice I might one day.  I bought it with Jared Flood’s pattern Celes, in mind it’s a gorgeous lace scarf/stole and I think they would marry very well.

I also got Verity Britton’s Yorkshire Rose kit, because, as you know I couldn’t possibly resist a knitted Yorkshire rose.  The little box contains a pearl button and the brooch pin.

ttfn

Melanie x

Wensleydale

Just a quicky.

I just have to post because I have to tell you how much I’m enjoying knitting Coraline in the Wensleydale DK.  The reason, lustre and bloom in one hit nomnomnom.  I keep admiring it and marvelling at its beauty.

I’m back at work now, 10 hour shifts, so I don’t actually see any daylight, therefore, no natural light photos of the WIP only the original stash one to show, but here it is.

I’m so looking forward to finishing this cardigan, I’ve coveted it for so long.  If you’re interested, I bought my Wensleyadale at baa ram ewe, the best yarn shop ever! Knitting it’s bringing back some lovely memories of my jolly holidays *wipes away a tear*

BTW My sheepy tape measure has been named shlutty because she’s often passed around at SnB night and used by all the lovely knitters there and she rather likes it too! Oooooh!

Happy knitting

Edited to add that I think Shlutty is a Suffolk sheep because of her cute black face, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Happy St George's day!

It’s St. George’s Day and to mark it I’ve been drinking Pimms till I puke!

Ha, gotcha! No I didn’t really!

No, today I drank copious amounts of Yorkshire tea, as per usual on my day off and I made Parkin, whilst listening to “Family Jewels” by Marina and the Diamonds, my new favourite British artist.

For those who love cake (who doesn’t) and aren’t from Yorkshire, parkin is an old Yorkshire cake made from oats, treacle and spices usually served at teatime and for some reason it has become linked with Guy Fawkes night (5th November) .  It is fragrant and sticky and toothsome (due to the oats),  and if you fancy making it here is the recipe

225g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground ginger (I used fresh ginger this time because my ground had lost its pungency will let you know if this was a good idea when I get to eat it)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

225g oatmeal

170g black treacle

170g golden syrup

115g butter

1 egg, beaten

150ml milk

Heat oven to 170C and prepare a 20cm square tin.

Sieve the flour, baking powder and spices together (if using fresh ginger add with liquid later). Add the oatmeal to mixture and stir. In a saucepan warm the treacle, golden syrup and butter, stirring till the butter has melted then incorporate into dry ingredients. Add the beaten egg and milk and mix well, then turn into prepared tin and bake for 30 or so minutes till a cake tester comes out dry, (I have a fan assisted oven with heating elements on the top and bottom I usually have to drop the temperature 10 degrees or so and bake for 5 or so minutes less than most recipes require) .

When the parkin come out it will smell heavenly and fragrant and you will be tempted to eat it there and then, don’t! Once it’s cooled store it in an airtight tin for a couple of days to a week if you can bear it and it will reward you by being more moist and sticky and yummy. Serve with a cuppa either as is or spread with a bit of butter.

The super cute Herdy mug was bought at baaramewe, to buy one online go to http://www.herdy.co.uk and help conserve the beautiful Herdwick sheep breed and their Lake District/Cumbrian homeland, go on you know you want to!

As for knitting, I’m still doing Emily by Ysolda, and I’ve swatched for 3 cardigans, but more of that later. Unhappily it’s been a bit too warm and sticky in Melbourne to wear Ishbel, the fluff would stick to my neck.

Whitby

Whitby is one of my favourite places in the world, not just in Yorkshire.  Steeped in history with lots of interesting associations (apparently Bram Stoker derived inspiration for Dracula from Whitby).  We had a great day there to remember Mum as it was one of her favourite places too.  I did buy some Whitby Jet earrings little rose studs but they haven’t photographed well but here’s some photographs that I took.

Visit to Baa Ram Ewe

Well my holiday is whizzing by and I haven’t blogged regularly like I promised I would, but I couldn’t let this gem go by without due recognition.

Fiona and I took the train the other day to Headingley in Leeds (well actually two trains) to visit Baa Ram Ewe a fairly new yarn shop.  I had heard about it’s opening from one of the English forums on Ravelry (Baa Ram Ewe now has it’s own group on Ravelry)  and it sounded fantastic so of course it was top of my list of places to visit whilst on holiday in Yorkshire.

The shop is really easy to find from the train station, about a 15 minute walk, as it is on Otley road and opposite the Arndale centre, just ask anyone  you pass on the street and they will direct you (Yorkshire people being the friendliest on the planet and everything).

First sight of the shop told us we were in for a treat, and we weren’t wrong.

Loving the totally cute open/closed sign made by the owner Verity.

This place truly is THE place to come for British and particularly Yorkshire yarn and knitterly goodness, we were blown away by all the pretties on offer and Verity’s welcoming friendliness (Yorkshire lass you see!).

The place has a real community spirit too, and we both love the knitted bunting a great way to use up scraps we think.

After careful deliberation and much holding back (Verity please take all my money for the rest of my life in exchange for yummy yarn.  No, no, really I don’t need to eat or anything, ever!) I came away with this:

Some Wensleydale Longwool DK in fennel a gorgeous colour, (currently being knitted up as Ishbel by Ysolda Teague), both Ysolda books (yes, I know I have them both as downloads in my Ravelry library but they are so cute), a sheep tape measure (super cute), and a Herdy mug and Herdybank (for yarney pennies). Herdy is the face of the Lake District a gorgeous Herdwick sheep, the kind Beatrix Potter bred and  proceeds from the Herdy range go into maintaining the Lake District so looking cute and doing good, check out http://www.herdy.co.uk.

I can honestly say that Baa Ram Ewe is yarntabulous and I am looking forward to the online store so I can buy British Breeds Yarn when I’m back in Melbourne, we had such a great day, thanks a million Verity.

Yorkshire curd tart

I have a massive craving for Yorkshire curd tart or fly pie as it was affectionately known in our house.

Thing is, I am trying to lose weight and Yorkshire curd tart usually comes in a pastry case and the recipe I have in my BeRo book calls for quite a lot of butter and sugar, so I have modified the recipe omitting the butter and halving the sugar and baked it in individual ramekins. Here is my recipe:

Melanie’s diet Yorkshire curd pots (makes 4, around 130cals each)

225g 97%fat free cottage cheese

20g Caster sugar

50g currants

1 egg

a pinch or 2 each nutmeg and cinnamon (depending on taste)

Weigh ingredients and mix well.  Divide equally into 4 ramekins and bake in oven 200C /400F/Gas mark 6 for 20 minutes.

Serve warm or cold as prefered with a nice cuppa Yorkshire tea.

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There were 4 originally but I had to test one to make sure they were ok ; )

On Homesickness

 

So I have just finished my assignment on cultural safety and it has brought to the surface many emotions I have been feeling regarding being homesick.  I have read for example, that it is completely normal to feel depressed, isolated, angry, resentful, withdrawn and irrational following the culture shock of migration and I completely agree, I have felt and still feel all of these emotions.  

Often in conversation with new people I have been asked “how long have I been here, do I like it, do I plan to stay?”  My polite English side cringes as my more dominant Yorkshire “call a spade a shovel” side replies “too long, no and no”.  This usually gets the backs up of the patriotic Australians.  The thing they don’t get however, is that homesickness is not about where you are, it’s about where you are not. If Australia was the greatest country on Earth I would still miss home, miss my family, miss the rain, miss the history, miss the culture (with a big and little c) miss hearing other Yorkshire accents, miss the food, miss not having to try so hard all the time, miss being accepted as just me and not “the whinging pom”, miss just being in Yorkshire.  I can’t help it, I can’t switch it off and I can’t pretend that I feel otherwise.  

So there you have it, what started out as an exciting adventure has become a prison sentence, I feel trapped and lonely and desperate and I only have myself to blame.

Thought I would share some memories of happier times.

 

Our last Christmas Day in Yorkshire

Our last Christmas Day in Yorkshire

 

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                                                                          Fountains Abbey, North Yorkshire

By the way the best ice cream in the world can be found near Fountains Abbey a place called Brymore Ice cream, if you’re near there go in, my favourite is clotted cream flavour.

I need to knit now.