Monthly Archives: December 2017

A Post for Christmas – The 12 day Carol!

Standard

It is now too late to guarantee that any orders not already received, can be posted in time for Christmas, but my Etsy Shop will remain open and any orders will be posted as soon as the postal services resume over the holiday period.

So I thought I’d indulge in a Christmas subject – a post I found on Countryside Magazine

Exploring the 12 Days of Christmas History and Life in the 18th Century, and the meaning behind the birds in the Carol.

IT’S QUITE A LONG AND INTERESTING ARTICLE, SO I’M PUBLISHING PART 1 TODAY, AND WILL PUT UP THE REST IN THE NEXT FEW DAYS – SMILE

12-days-of-christmas-meaning

By Christine Henrichs

Understanding the 12 Days of Christmas meaning adds something special to this favorite traditional carol. Its repeating verses make it fun to learn the list of traditional gifts: A partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three French hens, four calling birds, five gold rings, six geese a-laying, seven swans a-swimming, eight maids a-milking, nine ladies dancing, 10 lords a-leaping, 11 pipers piping and 12 drummers drumming, all reflect things that were familiar to life in 18th century England and France.

In a nutshell, here’s the 12 Days of Christmas meaning: In the Christian religion, the 12 Days following Christmas are the time it took for the three wise men to make their journey to the stable where the Jesus was born. January 6 is celebrated as Epiphany. Religious meanings have been imputed to each day’s gift, but there isn’t any historical documentation for that. To me, it’s interesting because it tells us about what life was like back then.

The 12 Days of Christmas meaning is interesting to explore through a historic lens. The song lists many wild and domestic birds that brightened life in those days of political upheaval and revolution. It was first printed in the 1780 children’s book, Mirth Without Mischief, but it was already old then. It may have originated in France, as three French variations exist. The First Day’s signature partridge was introduced into England from France in the late 1770s, shortly before the carol was formalized in print and published.

12 Days of Christmas

The Partridge in a Pear Tree

The partridge is a colorful choice for the first gift. Partridges include lots of different species with bright plumage on their rotund bodies. The gray or English partridge, a Eurasian native, was known in England then. It came to North America around the turn of the 20th century, directly from Eurasia. It has adapted well and is now fairly common in North America. They are hardy birds, able to survive cold winter conditions in the Midwest and Canada. They aren’t much for flying, with a stocky body and short, round wings. Most flights are low, at eye level and shorter than 100 yards. They are 12 to 13 inches long with a wingspan of 21 to 22 inches and weigh about one pound.

The hens may lay as many as 22 eggs in a clutch and hatches of 16 to 18 are common. They are not usually raised as domestic birds.

Among modern chickens, the name Partridge survives today as a recognized color variety in both large fowl and bantam Cochin, Plymouth Rock, Wyandotte, Chantecler, and Silkie breeds. It is similar to the Black Red pattern, the name more appropriately applied to game birds, according to Dr. J. Batty in his Poultry Colour Guide of 1977. Males and females differ, with males have rich red plumage on their heads, backs and wings, glinting with lustrous greenish black. Females are more subdued, mostly reddish bay with distinct penciling. The Standard of Perfection details the requirements of the Partridge color pattern description.

 

Iron Age Cookware In The Modern World

Standard

logs in fire 1.jpg

So after the snow, how about some heat!  This is a picture I took of the fire in my wood burner – hope it makes you feel cosy – smile.
I’m re-blogging this post because 1) its about fire, 2) its so rude about people who have never used cast iron pots that its funny, and 3) because I never knew that you could put coals on top of Dutch Ovens

Town & Country Gardening

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the safety, happiness or welfare of ignorant or stupid people, millennials , snowflakes or buttercups.
Weak whinny snowflakes and buttercups should avoid Iron Age cookware. Being unprepared for life in the ‘real’ world , they maybe baffled on how to use cookware not plugged in to a wall socket or controlled by their smartphone.
Iron Cookware handles get hot during use people that don’t understand how that works should restrict there cooking activities to restaurant takeout orders.

Iron Age cookware, Cast Iron is every bit as good as those 300 or 400 dollar skillets and dutch ovens being pushed upon unsuspecting often uneducated consumers.

Cast Iron is the original non-stick cookware and still out performs almost any cookware in the market place. It’s weight lends it’s self to cook food evenly, No Hot Spots. Cast iron is oven safe and will standup to…

View original post 355 more words

Puppy sees his first Snow

Standard

Actually, I’m copying this from my other blog ‘the spare’, cos I couldn’t find a re-blog button!

fullsizeoutput_2d3

Took this picture this morning – yes its snowing in West Wales.  Yes its my puppy – I’ve had him since 1st November, and I’ve resisted the impulse to put pictures of him up until now, but I think I can share this one!

Knitting with Slip Stitches – and another free pattern

Standard

cowl-8-768x1024With this blog in mind, I often bookmark articles I’ve found online, to share with you.  This one, which I have edited slightly, comes from Interweave and was published on September 09, 2015 by Joni Coniglio

What is a slip stitch? Pretty much just what it says: you slip a stitch from one needle to the other without working it. In knitting, there are many reasons to slip a stitch intentionally. In colorwork knitting, slipping stitches makes it easy to achieve the look of more complex colorwork techniques with little more effort than when working simple stripes. If you’re working a color stripe pattern and you slip stitches on the first round of a color change, the color from the previous round will be drawn up into the current round and it will look as if you’ve worked with two different colors on the same round. But you can do much more than imitate other colorwork techniques. You can also create effects that are unique to slip-stitch knitting.

When you slip stitches without working them, the yarn must be carried from one worked stitch to the next, spanning one or more unworked stitches. The resulting yarn strand, or float, is carried either behind or in front of the slipped stitch (or stitches). If you slip a stitch with the yarn in front, the floats that are carried across the front of the work become a decorative element. (Just make sure to bring the yarn to the back of the work again when you’re ready to knit the next stitch or you’ll end up with a yarnover increase.)

If you’ve never tried slip-stitch colorwork, start with the simple polka dot pattern above. Before you know it, you’ll be hooked!

TRY THIS PATTERN FOR A POLKA DOT TUBE COWL – it will make a useful scarf for this winter.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PATTERN DOES NOT TELL YOU WHAT SIZE NEEDLES TO USE, OR WHAT YARN TO USE – YOU CAN MAKE IT UP FOR YOURSELF!

HOWEVER, TO CONTROL THE SIZING – IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO TRY KNITTING A SMALL SWATCH WITH YOUR CHOSEN NEEDLES AND YARN FIRST!

The polka dot pattern is a great introduction to slip-stitch knitting. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 16″ circular needle
  • at least two colors of yarn (but use as many as you like), a main color (MC) and contrast color (CC)
  • stitch marker

Note: Slip stitches purlwise with yarn in back.

With MC, and using a provisional method, cast on a multiple of 4 sts. Place marker and join in the round.
Rounds 1 and 2 With CC, *slip 2, k2; rep from * to end.
Rounds 3 and 4 With MC, knit.
Rounds 5 and 6 With CC, *k2, slip 2; rep from * to end.
Rounds 7 and 8 With MC, knit.
Repeat Rounds 1-8 for pattern, ending with Round 6.

Block and join the ends of the cowl using three-needle bind-off or Kitchener stitch and MC.

NB:  You can also try this sequence without using circular needles – to make a ‘flat’ scarf.  Choose the width you want the scarf, and double it – so that you can sew the two edges together.  The pattern above can be adapted in any way you want, and don’t worry about the ‘technical’ names of  knitting stitches – you can choose the way you like to cast on and cast off!

Start knitting this now and you could easily finish making your cowl or scarf in time to give it to someone as a Christmas present.

And – if you are looking for Christmas presents – have a look at my shop on etsy, and my listings on ebay.  If you are not registered with either of these sites, you are welcome to buy direct.