I can't believe that I am still fiddling about with those apples! we had 5 buckets from all other trees together (quite a few!) - and nearly 7 from a single specimen of "everest" (could be renamend into avalanche:))! unbelievable really. I wish my normal apple trees would carry only a quarter of that amount! the juice from crab apples is quite aromatic, but there isn't all that much else that can be done with it. and how much apple jelly can 2.5 people use in one year? but of course we can't leave the apples hanging. when they drop they make a rotten mash on the ground and it kind of goes against the grain of self-sufficiency anyway (and who knows how next year is going to be?).....
on the textile front I am still working on a quite boring project. when my friend came with a kit of a guinea-pig in cross stitch, I volunteered to do it for her as she doesn't do cross stitch (no, don't ask, I don't know why she bought it in the first place, but she loves the little creatures and can't resist anything with a picture of them on it). it's not all that big really, but I have been working on it for quite some time and half of it is still unfinished:(( the reason for this is simply bad design. it's made from a photo by one of those cross stitch design programs. this works very well if a good base photo is chosen, e.g. a painting of some kind or a photo with not too much detail. other than that it comes up with single crosses in odd colours, that make no sense really and fuss up the whole design:(( apart from that it's difficult to see because the symbols for the colours are too similar to each other and not easily distinguished. it's not a good idea to choose four different triangles, all in full black, for a small design like that! normally I would just throw the stuff in the bin - but I promised and now I have to keep my promise! lesson learned: be careful with promises like that:))
I have been spinning a bit here and there, but not as much as I should given the fact, that I still have to work lots of yarn to make several xmas presents! somehow the days are really getting shorter, not only the daylight hours! the only thing I did get on with a bit was Stefan's colourful sweater. I finished front and back in a basket weave pattern and just need to do the two sleeves now, should be finished fairly quickly. if all else fails I just take it with me on the train next week. people always look at me funnily when I fiddle about with a set of sock needles:) maybe they are afraid of being attacked?
then there is the knitting & stitching show in Dublin next thursday. a whole day just for a few hours of browsing and hunting for a few materials. but I could use some bits and pieces that are difficult to find over here - even though I know already, that I am going to be rather annoyed with all those stalls that have nothing whatsoever to do with either knitting or stitching or any other textile crafts! again... "same procedure as last year, miss sophie"! and of course there are no stalls for handspinners - apart from a few lucky finds maybe on the felters stall. two years ago they had small bags of different fibres in natural colours on offer, but I couldn't find them last year. might be down to me running around in a mad hurry though - I didn't even see Oliver Twists - a mainstay for me normally! even though I have a bad conscience about it - I won't be spinning at the irish guild stall this year as the time is just too short for me, when I have to catch the train:(( this should leave me enough time to for browsing, I hope!