The air has been thick with simmering oranges this week. It’s become an annual ritual for M. It does seem like an awful lot of trouble to go to but I have to admit, it does taste ok and we do get through it. We really only made plum jam in large batches because it seemed criminal to let all the plums from the tree in the back garden go to waste. Now the tree seems to be dying I don’t think we are likely to go and buy the kind of quantity we need for jam making which is a shame. I liked the plum jam a lot better than I like the marmalade.

M has his cooking and baking mojo back. This last week he’s made spicy sausage casserole, a fabulous cottage pie and homemade flatbreads with herby garlic butter, as well as the eight jars of marmalade. He’s pretty good at banana bread too and there’s usually a few overripe bananas left at the end of the week. For now though I’m not going to distract him from the important task of removing an old concrete base for a fireplace hearth in our bedroom. He really wanted to lay the new floor around it but I’ve insisted it comes up so he’s not overly enthusiastic about the task. He says things like, ‘it’s ruining the floor, are you sure you want it up?’. Yes. ‘I’m going to have to go and get some levelling compound, are you sure you want  it up?’ Yes. ‘It’s going to take days to dry so I won’t be able to start the floor…’. Yes I want it up. Then of course, when the new floor is down and all the sledgehammer exertion is forgotten he will say, ‘Yes I’m glad we took that hearth up.’

I’ve had a couple of quiet evenings with E out with friends or with her boyfriend in Leeds, J at cricket or football with M watching. Oh the luxury of being able to have the television off! I do crave silence sometimes. Having artificial sound fed into my ears all day every day can get very tiring. An overhead aeroplane can sound just like a kettle, my brain gets weary trying to figure it out. My quiet time allowed me to pay attention to the counting involved in this latest hat. I decided to make this one because it looked like it would work up a nice thick fabric; it did, especially the crown of the hat where the post treble increases are made behind the last post treble.

I raided my Aran stash for this project. It’s a rather flat, uninspiring grey but it’s nice and soft and another 100g used up. I will at least wear it for dog walks. Two hats and a cardigan/hoodie in one week, I’m feeling very productive. I’m not feeling so productive on the decluttering side of things but I’m sure that motivation will return any day now!

The hat pattern is one from a book called Crochet Style by Jennifer Dougherty. She has a website called Crochet by Jennifer. The patterns are also available singly on LoveCrochet. This hat is called the Texture Weave Beanie. The book has lots of hats, cowls, mittens, wristwarmers and a few boot cuffs, all in lovely textural designs. Whoever did the photo retouching completely overdid it but it’s definitely a book worth owning if you like making hats and love post trebles!


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