Monday, 21 July 2014

How to ripen green tomato's.

Soggibottom hasn't had many red tomato plants this year, even when they are yellow tomato's they still need to ripen. Easy tip, put them with banana's. IT WORKS.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Free Soggibottom knitted dog sweater pattern

Our very own Freya Rose Blossom  THE CAT FLAP CAVALIER modelling her own sweater.

A Free pattern is well over due from Soggibottom. This time it's a dog sweater.
My own sweater pattern, you are very welcome to use for your own private use.

This also gives a great opportunity to including our beloved Amie Soto Blossom who used to have her own selection of sweaters. Her collection grew as she got older, they were especially helpful at keeping the chill off on beach walks and her walks on Dartmoor.

There are no buttons, no fiddly bits to fasten as your dog squirms. 
Roll down the collar, which goes over your dogs head, hold one paw up at a time and slip it into the sleeve, roll the sweater down over your dogs back. 

If you need any help because you don't understand the pattern, let me know.I'll try to keep things simple, it's an easy pattern you shouldn't get lost.

Sweater sizes.
Chest size.    15/34, 191/2,  231/2 inches.
                      40 (49.5) (59.5) cm
No. 8 (4mm) knitting needles,
approx 150g (200g) ( 250g) double knitting wool.
I like to use a good percentage of wool, but as long as long as it's a double knit yarn it will be fine.

Cast on 75 (87) (99) stitches using no 8 knitting needles.
1st Row, K1, p1 to end
2nd Row, P1,k1 to end.
Rib (k1,p1) for 50 rows.

Next Row
Knit increasing 1 stitch at each end of the row.
Next Row
Purl to end
Continue adding stitches on every alternate knit row until you have 89 (109) (103) stitches on your needle.

Divide for leg holes :
Next Row
Knit 14 (17) (20) stitches, cast off next 3 (4) (5) sts. Knit to last 17 (21) (25) stitches. Cast off 3 (4) (5) stitches, knit to end.
Work on last set of 14 (17) (25) stitches only for right half front.

Right half front.
Decrease 1 stitch at the end of next row and at the same edge on the 3 following rows.
10 (13) (16) stitches.
Knit ( 1 row plain, 1 row purl) for 7 (9) (11) rows. Increase 1 stitch at beginning of next row and at the same edge on 3 following rows. 14 (17) (20) stitches. Break off the yarn and leave these stitches on a holder.

With the wrong side (purl side of your work) facing rejoin yarn to center 55 (67) (81) stitches. Decrease 1 stitch at each end of the next 4 rows. 47 (59) ( 73) stitches.
Knit (knit one row, purl one row) 7 (9)  (11)  rows. Increase 1 stitch at each end of the next 4 rows. 55 (67) (81) stitches. Break off the yarn and leave these stitches on a spare needle or put them on a holder if you find it easier.

Left half front
With wrong side facing, rejoin yarn to remaining 14 (17) (20) stitches. Decrease 1 stitch at beginning of the next row and at the same edge on the following 3 rows. 10 (13) (16) stitches.
Knit (knit one row, purl one row) 7 (9) (11) rows.
Increase 1 stitch at the end of the next row and at the same edge on the 3 following rows. 14 (17) (20) stitches. Do not break off the yarn but leave these stitches on a stitch holder.

Leg sleeves

With right side of your work facing, using No 8 (4mm) needles pick up and knit 34 (37) ( 40) stitches evenly around one leg hole, then cast on 3 (4) (5) stitches. 37 (41) (45) stitches on your needle.
Rib (knit one, purl one) for 17 rows. Cast of in rib (knit one, purl one).

Join leg sleeve seam.

Casting on 3 (4) (5) stitches at the beginning of pick up row instead of at the end, work the other leg sleeve in the same way.

Joining Row
Return to the stitches on the stitch holder with the yarn attached.
With the right side facing and using no 8 (4mm) knitting needles, knit 14 (17) ( 20) stitches from the stitch holder, then pick up and knit 3 (4) (5) stitches over cast on stitches of the leg sleeve, knit 55 (67) (81) stitches from the spare needle (or your stitch holder), then pick up and knit 3 (4) (5) stitches over the cast on stitches of the other leg sleeve, finally knit 14 (17) (20) stitches from the other stitch holder 89 (109) (131) stitches.

Next Row.
Knit (1 row knit, 1 row purl) decreasing one stitch at each end of the next 9 alternate rows.

Next Row
Rib (knit one, purl one) every row still decreasing 1 stitch on every alternate row until there are 75 (87) (99) stitches on needles.

Rib for another 12 rows without decreasing.
Cast Off.
Sew seam and roll back the neck collar.

This is an easy pattern that you can alter depending on the length of your dog. 

Last Christmas,  knitting needles were clacking here in the cottage after reading a certain animal shelter desperately needed warm dog coats to keep their residents, especially the older guys warm during the cold weather. 

This pattern is for Lorraine's mum.
When she goes on holiday she wants to knit dog sweaters for an animal shelter. 

Frankie de tabby isn't a great knitter himself Lorraine, but hope this helps.
:-) xxx

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Water Relief Channel update at Soggibottom Cottage July 2014

Meandering along country lanes you never know what you might come across.
Picturesque thatched cottages are always a hit.
The Summer seems to be speeding by at an alarming rate, flying by in a glorious heat haze and blue skies.
A bit like last Summer, last Summer we were too busy watching what was happening around Soggibottom cottage to take much notice of blue skies. For us, it was the dustiest, noisiest and most stressful Summer ever spent here.

There were times we couldn't get out of our own gate.

Building a water relief channel to help with the problem of flooding certainly was a challenge.
Even more so when you were living right beside the build.

 One of the highlights definitely had to be the day we arrived home to find a dirty great crack that was getting bigger and bigger as we looked at it seven feet away from our cottage wall. The side of the newly dug water channel had started to collapse, as it collapsed the digger went gaily backwards and forwards without anyone bothering to stop work until we arrived.  Must admit that was more than a bit worrying at the time.

Our little Medieval bridge we use to get to Soggibottom even had a frogman under it. The 7 ton weight limit was increased to 40 tons so the water channel building materials could go travel over the bridge and not an easier route across a large park at the back of the cottage.
Couldn't have the grass damaged.  The cricket club would be really put out if their cricket pitch was damaged and they lost out on a whole season of playing cricket.
Instead our little bridge was damaged, it was never ever built to take 40 ton loads of heavy building materials. It used to take ponies with carts.

It wasn't an all doom and gloom Summer. There were times we had to laugh at the things that kept going wrong (let no one tell you any different, things did go wrong), most of what happened really couldn't have been made up. I haven't yet mentioned the bat men monitoring for bats.

The best day ever, when Gary Cooper (yes really) took his blasted digger over the bridge for the last time, never to return.
Wish I could report that was the end of it, the water relief channel all built, up and running and most of all working. Everything that was broken repaired.

Well, the channel kind of works. If it hadn't have been there on February 14th we believe the cottage would have been flooded yet again. Unfortunately the channel now has a build up of silt caused from on going road building around the village. The channel is filling up fast and not only with water.
The channel it's self has a few issues that still have to be put right. 

The stream that used to take all the river water has started to over grow with weeds because the water now travels along the new water relief channel. At times this week the water has hardly trickled along the old route of the stream. More issues.

The path way to the park runs beside another ongoing building project of a children's playground, the path in the middle beside the water channel is wide enough for a small car to travel along. Unfortunately the driver of this particular car went all the way before realizing there was no way out and they shouldn't have been there anyway.

Took ages to back out and poor woman was then photographed and filmed while trying to wriggle her way back bumping her car on the sides of the fence as she went.

As for the park, the Cricket Club and their cricket pitch, (the reason why heavy lorries put such a strain on our little bridge and a bigger strain on our sanity last year) well, that got a bit of a heavy battering as another building project in the park took place at the beginning of the year.
All in all it seemed a pointless exercise coming over our bridge to build the water channel to start with after they left all this mess in the park.

Most of the mess did get cleared up. The cricket club got their cricket pitch back. Some building work of a ball park is still ongoing. They started it in January, as it's now July things obviously take time.

We have a new car park and even a new veggie plot at the back of Soggibottom.

Best of all, Soggibottom is still here.

This is the best kind of traffic to sit back and enjoy watching as it passes.

Freya can be found at CAT FLAP CAVALIER as usual.

Hope everyone who has asked for a cottage water relief channel update is happy.

Most of all we hope everyone is having a fabulously glorious Summer just like us. XXX

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Mid Summer at Soggibottom Cottage 2014

I'm sure there are more beautiful places to be on such a perfect sunny Summer Solstice day, but at the moment I can't think of a better place than right beside a shady river at the edge of  Dartmoor National Park.

The river Bovy at it's best with the sun filtering through the tree's, dancing on the water.

The shallow sides of the river also make it a great place for a dog to paddle.

Finding the old railway track that seems to go on forever before eventually arriving back where we started our walk by the meadow beside the river. Perfect.

Soggibottom has been very lax at blogging lately,  many thanks to all who have contacted us wondering where we have been.

There have been ducks to feed.

Dragonfly's to count.

As well as growing apples and tomato plants to keep an eye on.

Sunsets to gaze at through the open cottage window.

A full moon to stand with wonder and stare at.

There has also been lots of ice cream.

Lake side walks.

Grebe watching.

Beach walks.

Friends to meet and greet as they pass the cottage.

Toy bunnies to knit.
This free knitting pattern can be found HERE, it's an easy to follow pattern
The Soggibottom version of the bunnies uses bright coloured wool, it is a beautiful pattern.

There is even a Freya Rose Blossom version. Although it doesn't quite capture Freya's smile.

Freya Rose Blossom is over at  CAT FLAP CAVALIER  as usual if you want to catch up with her.

Mid Summer, well, not all about Stonehenge is it ?
Have a great day where ever you are guys. :-) xxx

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The good, the bad and the not tasty.

There are times in recent years one greedy cat who goes under the name of Frankie de tabby. Has been to known to eat onions, or at least he will if he can. I'm not sure if the above list applies to cats as well as dogs, but onions are definitely now off of Frankie de tabby's TO EAT menu, as well as other things on the list.

Frank has the attitude, that whatever your eating has to be fair game and he can eat it too. Especially if it's in striking distance of his paw.
As most Soggibottom visitors to the cottage know, Frank has a special claw for digging into an unsuspecting leg when your sitting at the dinning table. The brave tend to ignore him, the innocent gullible give in to the claw treatment and feed him under the table.
No more onions and sneaky under the table feeding please guys. 
Unfortunately Frank is now too old to break the habit of a life time, if you have to feed him, healthy stuff only. 
He can eat, fish, chicken, steak, roast lamb/beef, the odd bit of bacon, spaghetti/pasta is also a favourite. No more sandwiches or cheese and crisp's. No more tasty sugar coated morsels of something nice. The odd runner bean is okay. He's also partial to peas and baked beans. Did I forget to mention normal cat food if there is nothing else around for him to scrounge on ?


On a cliff top walk yesterday, we were unaware a certain Cavalier had been eating more grass than she should have.

She had been eating sand (unintentionally) while digging her famous beach holes.

We all know dogs and cats eat grass. In Freya's case it helped her to be sick and give back the sand.
As we put her in her own special car seat in the back of the car, it came as quite a surprise not only to clear up sand and grass that she had barfed up, but a snail too. A whole live snail.

Snails really aren't good eating for dogs or cats.
As ONE OF US cleaned up the car, in some ways it was good to see the snail appear, it also reminded us to watch more closely what our dog is eating, even grass can have hidden dangers. 

You never know who you might meet on a cliff top walk.

Apart from looking at stunning coastal South West views yesterday, we also met old friends from Surrey.

Graeme and Caroline knew we lived in the South West somewhere. Unknown to us, they had also moved and lived here for three years, only further along the coast. Good to see you and Alvin yesterday guys. What a coincidence meeting up on the cliff top.

As for Miss Mutt, she is fine, no lingering worry about her, she ate her dinner when we got home under the eye of Frankie de tabby.

You can find Freya over at CAT FLAP CAVALIER along with her friends.

Lung worm is a parasite carried by slugs and snails. Left untreated it is often fatal. 
Signs to look out for .... 
Coughing, reluctance to exercise, depression and weight loss, fits, vomiting, diarrhoea. 

Increased awareness means you can protect your pets, Freya and Frankie de tabby both have a WORMING TREATMENT and Flea Treatment every month given by a spot on product on the back of their neck. Freya and Frank don't have flea's, they are also protected from Lung worm. You never know, just because you think you are watching them every minute, there will always be one moment you aren't vigilant enough.

See you later, you never know, might meet you on the cliff top over looking the beautiful South Devon Coast line. X X X