I don’t know about you, but the first week after a school holiday is always a bit of a jumbled up week for me. It takes me a while to get used to having the house to myself again, to catching up on washing and jobs, and this last week was no exception.
The only good thing is that I’ve been able to finish off quite a few things that were hanging around.
First – and most exciting – I passed my Master’s degree with a merit and my certificate arrived in the post to be displayed on the wall in all it’s academic glory. I am now officially an MA (Class Stud) (Open) which sounds very grand, but don’t worry, I won’t let it go to my head!
I’ve also bottled the nettle beer and elderflower wine that I started back in July – I bet you thought I’d forgotten about it! And, to be honest, you’d be right – the demijohns got pushed to the back of the shelf and have been fermenting nicely on their own for a very long time.
I bottled the wine first and got five bottles plus a glass out of the demijohn. I also got a fairly big mouthful when I started the siphon off and I have to say, it’s nicer than I expected it to be. That sounds dreadful, doesn’t it, but my last attempt at fruit wine many years ago was not particularly successful. This wine tastes of elderflowers and has turned out pretty much as the recipe book described it. Of course, as any scientist will tell you, one experiment isn’t enough so I will be finishing off that extra glass of wine tonight to see if the rest of it is as nice as that first mouthful!
Then onto the beer. It was pretty frothy as it was pouring into the bottles so I’m hopeful that it won’t be as flat as a pancake when we finally come to drink it. I bought 1 litre bottles in the end as it was cheaper to buy them in that size from IKEA than buy smaller ones by mail order, and if it’s terrible beer I won’t be making it again which would be a waste of bottles. The good thing about the larger bottles is that it’s a good excuse for my husband and I to share. After such a rotten winter, I’m hoping that we get a decent summer. Last year’s hot weather meant that my husband and I were able to sit out together in evenings for much longer than usual and I think that nettle beer would be just the drink to have at hand.
I’ve also been busy with the sewing machine. As I’m doing more sewing, I’m getting faster which makes it more enjoyable. I upcycled an old t-shirt of mine into a new top for small daughter by cutting out the picture and sewing it onto a long-sleeved t-shirt. Small daughter has always liked this t-shirt so it’s nice to be able to give a new lease of life and for her to be able to wear it for herself.
Another finished project was this…
It’s an organiser for small daughter’s bunk bed so that all of the bits and pieces that she stuffs under her quilt (and which make it a nightmare to change the sheets) could be put out of the way. I’ve been intending to make one of these since the days when small daughter’s bed belonged to big daughter, but it’s only been with my newly-gained sewing skills that I’ve felt up to the challenge of working out how to do it.
Finally, I’ve finished the pair of half-knitted socks that I’ve been working on forever. This ball of yarn just couldn’t decide what it wanted to be, so in the end I designed my own socks using a shawl pattern I found on Ravelry. The lady who designed the original shawl pattern has kindly said that I can post my sock pattern as a tutorial, so as soon as I’ve written that up I’ll be putting it up on the blog.
Phew! It feels good to have been able to bring all of these projects to a close – although the space they have left has quickly been filled by something else! A new pair of socks is on the needles, I have more sewing project ideas that I want to work on, more blog posts … life is certainly never dull!