green moss on wall


Walking about the city last week, I couldn’t help but stop and admire this lovely bright green moss growing on the wall of a local churchyard… looked stunning against the grey and silver stone…

I love moss.  I always want to touch it, it looks like velvet and it feels so soft when you gently stroke it with the tips of your fingers.


mossy wall


It reminded me of wave swept rocks at the seashore covered with huge swathes of seaweed and kelp….The colours together looked incredible…wild and rugged and fierce.


moss and tiny fungi


Amongst the moss were some tiny little fungi, like the most delicate sprouts pushing up through all the fuzziness of the moss.  The fungi were barely the size of my fingernail….pale and slightly trembling in the Autumn sunshine.

In the Spring this wall is covered with tiny pale blue hairbells, it must be something about old church walls as I remember picking the harebells from the churchyard walls when I was little.

Today it’s my birthday…..and I was woken at the crack of dawn by the cat serenading me…he was scratching up and down the sides of my vintage ottoman, perhaps he thought he was in a hill billy band and playing the washboard….I was most very not impressed!

Each birthday morning I remember this little poem (growing up we had a huge 365 days of poems book…this was the poem one for my birthday.  I was quite a naughty little grumpety grump and would pout and sulk and stick my lip out so I think this poem was probably most apt…….it always me made laugh to read it.)


Don’t Care, Didn’t Care

Don’t care, didn’t care

Don’t care was wild,

Don’t care stole plum and pear

Like any beggar’s child.

Don’t care was made to care

Don’t care was hung

Don’t care was put in the pot

And boiled ’til he was done.














tack in stiffener


I’ve nearly finished sewing the dog coat for Ruby (who is the prettiest little russet coloured King Charles Spaniel) that lives just round the corner from me….. I’m using a beautiful Harris tweed fabric from Butt of Lewis Textiles which is both a little bit Sherlock Holmes and a little bit Miss Marple.

The coat has an upright collar which I’ve hand stitched using a tiny backstitch as I wanted to make sure both corner curves would be nicely rounded, I didn’t want to unpick the  tweed if it wasn’t exactly right and I wasn’t sure if I’d get the curve quite right on my machine.  Then I pinned and tacked a piece of sew-in interfacing so the collar would keep it’s shape, even after lots of wear.

After basting I’ve hand-sewn it into place.  While I was sewing the collar I tried to keep the fabric held slightly bowed so that the finished collar would have a nice curve, and sit more comfortable around Ruby’s neck.


trim and notch


I’ve clipped out tiny notches around the collar edge so the pieces fold over better, and have also trimmed the inner fabric a little shorter which helps create a nicer line as the collar is rolled over. (It also cuts down on bulk)

I still find the best thread for hand sewing is the old fashioned Dewhurst Sylko threads…I had some nice Autumn shades which blended into the Harris tweed a proper treat.  I also tend to use vintage needles for hand sewing, especially on a fabric as thick as the tweed (even though it’s incredibly soft, it’s also incredibly thick and on a test piece of fabric I noticed newer needles were tending to bend within minutes…the quality of vintage haberdashey items is so much better than most of what is available today, and if you’re lucky then it can often be picked up pretty cheaply.)




Once the collar has been turned over I’ve pinned it into place.  On a test piece I tried out some top stitching but it didn’t look quite right, so instead I made 2 rows of tiny stab stitches near the edge, these are worked back and forth and are a bit fiddly but I think give a neater finish to the seam edge.

I worked one row about an eight of an inch away from the edge, and then the second row three/sixteenths away, they are pretty close but as the stitches are so small it means teach row strengthens the other.  The stitches themselves are worked about a quarter of an inch apart, the second row being sewn in the gaps between.




I’ve tried to incorporate some nice little details into Ruby’s coat so it looks a bit more swishy and swanky than the average type of doggy coat that is found those huge pet supply stores.  As well as looking pretty nifty these also help the coat sit better and take into consideration that Ruby wears a harness rather than a collar for walks.

Along the bottom edge I’ve made a couple of small darts, it’s not that Ruby has a particularly large bottom or anything like that (really she’s gorgeous and I hope to take some pictures of her wearing this  when it’s all finished) but more because it helps the coat sit better.  The coat is quite long  and was flaring out a little at the end. I originally made a calico toille to check the pattern was fitting properly, and once Ruby was wearing it, it was easy to pinch up the fabric required for darts and pin and mark when the darts needed to be.

I’ve tacked them in blue thread in the picture, and then hand sewed them so they’d be nice and soft and blend in better.  These were then lightly pressed with a little steam, and then carefully stab stitched down so the fabric of the dart won’t rise or bunch up (the tweed being very springy)


bar with buttons


These are the finished darts, I’ve tried to match the horizontal lines across the darts, the vertical lines were a little harder do to the pattern of the fabric, where the darts needed to be, and also their width.

Just above the darts is a little back band, it’s an extra detail and helps to add a bit more weight at the back to help the coat drape nicely.  I’ve used some lovely vintage “grand-pa cardigan” buttons (I checked first to see that I had enough buttons so I could package up a couple of spares in case a button should ever go a stray)


buttonhole with welts


The last detail in the coat is the button hole between Ruby’s shoulders.  Ruby doesn’t wear a collar, but she does wear a harness when she goes out for walks and her lead clips on to that.  I’ve measured where the lead fits to the harness and then made a bound buttonhole with welts.  This means there isn’t a hole in the back that’s constantly open, when the lead isn’t being used the welts close over.


I learnt the basics of making patterns and toilles when I was studying fashion at college (I didn’t know then I’d be using those same techniques to make coats for dogs…….I wish so much Bernard would let me dress him up but I suspect there’d be grumps to last a month of Sundays if I tried it)……. however I’ve also found the following books really helpful in refreshing sewing techniques, and explaining different ways of sewing seams, collars, buttonholes etc

Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire B. Shaeffer

the Arpette bought me this as a surprise some years ago, if you dress-make and fancy incorporating some rather lovely details into your wardrobe then this book is worth every penny, there are some amazing pictures of Haute Couture items un-picked so you can see exactly what is going on under-neath as well as how the garment has been constructed.  The book is full of some invaluable information about how couture items are made and which techniques can be learnt with practise at home and then incorporated into your own dress-making.

Practical Home Needlecraft in Pictures by Dorathy M. Cox

The Big Book of Needlecraft by Annie S. Patterson

These are both vintage sewing books from the forties, full of often no longer used techniques and details but very thorough!

Needlework for Schools by Melita M. Neal       

I originally bought my copy because a) I liked the lovely typeface and pink, green and black colours on the cover, and b) because this was the book we were still being taught from when I was at school in the eighties!  Details and methods are really easily explained, and as it was originally a school book, there are pieces you can set yourself as homework so you know you have really learnt what you are reading.


green and orange


Walking into the city I was struck by how beautiful these copper coloured autumn leaves looked on the mossy pavement.  The moss is a mix of both the most intense bright green and a dark deep forest hue….it’s impossible not to crouch down to stroke it, velvety and soft to the touch, like a huge sleeping bear or something else wild…… even the dark charcoal of the pavement was transformed by the moss and leaf fall.


moss and leaves


The leaves are copper, persimmon and flame coloured, gold and deep chestnut brown…….it’s such an incredible contrast of colour..already fantastic colours by themselves, together they look breathtaking….like something from one of those fairy tale woods……




And thinking of fairy tales, I’m reminded by this whopper I saw growing at the base of a tree recently.  The brackets of fungi were easily the size of large dinner plates, though they looked more like fat puffed pancakes waiting to be drenched in maple syrup.


mushrooms on tree


It was a gorgeous buff and fawn colour with darker umber colouring on the top….it looked so odd, appearing within the last week up the side of the tree.  I love the contrast in colour, the fungi looking so soft and touchable, and the bark looking rough and almost silvery.

Whenever I feel a little less than inspired, going outside always lifts my spirits, seeing how colours and tones appear together in nature helps me with choices in my embroidery or patchwork, and generally I arrive at combinations I wouldn’t have thought of cooped up indoors.

tree in our neighbours garden


Every leaf speaks bliss to me,

fluttering from the Autumn tree……

-Emily Bronte


Right now it seems that everywhere I look there are sights to inspire…from trees that are in turn mustardy yellow, orange, deep chestnut brown and bright green (this one is in a neighbours garden and it’s such a treat for sore eyes…when the sun is shining it’s leaves look alight and on fire)….


red tree


To trees that are deep red, carmine and rosewood…….this is such a gorgeous colour.  Some of the leaves are a persimmon orange, dancing in the Autumn sunlight…….I want to knit a scarf in this colour…I’ve seen the perfect wool at my local yarn store and I’ve seen a pattern that I like a lot….. perhaps once all the sewing for the Christmas Fairs is out of the way.


horse chestnut


Each year I stop and gawp open mouthed at this tree on my way into the city, it’s leaves slowly turn the most incredible shades.  There have been times when I’ve been joined by people walking by and we just all stand admiring how stunning it looks….other times when it is raining cats and dogs I just keep my head down and don’t give it a second look….. but right now it’s a proper treat, mustards and goldenrod, mahogany and rust, tawny and bronze, chartreuse green like bright spring growth…..every few days it changes, but right now I think it looks breathtaking.


embroidry stitch inspiration


Even the dried Mare’s tail (it’s normally host to a colony of humbug striped snails, they perch right at the tip and sway precariously) is looking beautiful….




…the dry stalks and seed pods are a soft buff, almost metallic….they look like rows of carefully worked embroidery stitches….

Years ago I remember reading the phrase “magic is all around us , you just need eyes to see” and I think inspiration is like that too……


harris tweed for ruby


I’m currently in the middle of sewing an Autumn/Winter coat for a beautiful King Charles Spaniel called Ruby.  I’ve already made her a couple of lightweight coats for cooler weather but this is more for proper cold mornings and frosty evening walks.

I’m using some Harris Tweed (it comes with an authenticity label which will be sewn to the lining to show all and sundry how spoilt she is)….  the tweed comes from Butt of Lewis (Ruby’s owners chose Harris Tweed 228…it’s a gorgeous blend of soft grey, cream, orange, chestnut and charcoal…perfect colours for Autumn)…

I sorted through the button box to find some suitably matching vintage buttons, we decided on these lovely brown buttons.  I call them “grand-pa buttons” as they are always on grand-pa cardigans.  It’s going to be a little bit Sherlock Holmes, a little bit Miss Marple.  Finally, a few reels of vintage sewing thread for any hand sewing and top stitching…(rust red, golden cinnamon and harvest)

While I was pinning and tacking it yesterday, I couldn’t believe how warm and cosy my lap felt, I can understand why people in large cold stately houses favoured Harris Tweed for trousers, skirts and jackets.  It’s also lovely and soft to handle.

Once I’ve finished Ruby’s coat I’ve got a huge stack of pieces to finish in time for the Glory Days Christmas Fair in Holt in two Saturdays time…. it’s at Holt Village Hall on the 1st November.  I’ll be bringing lots of hot water bottle cosies, some hand sewn baby quilts and a huge range of Christmas stockings along with some smaller items I’ve been making over the summer and that have been inspired by my marshy meanderings.


sewing box


Last week when I was having a look round the charity shops I found this little beauty, it was under a fiver and needed a bit of tlc (the lid was hanging off and the braid edging was all unravelling but I knew those were both fixable)  I’ve seen some some sewing boxes that were a lot more money and not half so nice so felt it was a worth while purchase.


sewing box bric a brac


Also inside was a bounty of sewing treasure…lovely old wooden reels with lots of thread, vintage fasteners, buttons, a box of tiny pins…….


darning mushroom


And best of all the treasures inside was this marvellous mushroom (I have a particular fondness for darning mushrooms) this one is brilliant, the bottom un-wiggles to reveal a wooden bobbin for your darning wool, and a little mushroom-esque cap which pulled out to reveal a selection of darning needles.  I love little sewing pieces like this which open and reveal tiny compartments to keep things neat and tidy.


chain 2


Once you’ve finished the crocheting the chain loops around the circumference of your shawl (or whatever else you may care to make) it’s time to work into those little foundation loops and build up your crocheted edge.  I find it much easier to once again place stitch markers into position around the sections where there is a straight edge before it goes in and out or zigzagedy.

Working up from where you previously slip stitched the last foundation chain, chain 2 and then make 2 single crochet stitches under the first chain loop.


chain along


In the next little loop make 3 sc, and then 3 more in the last loop.

When you come to the edge of the half hexagon, make 2 sc stitches under each loop (there are 8 loops along the length of the half hexagon so you’ll be making 8 lots of 2 sc stitches.


corner one


When you get to the end of the first section of straight edge, make your last 2 sc and then chain 1 and then work the following pattern.

Under the first loop, make 1 sc, then 2 half double crochet stitches.




Under the second loop, make 1 hdc and then 2 double crochet stitches.


joining tripel


Under the third loop work 1 double crochet, and then work one half treble stitch (wrap the yarn around the hook twice, insert the hook, wrap the yarn around and pull through, you’ll have 4 stitches on your hook, yarn over hook and pull it through 2 stitches leaving 3 stitches on your hook.  Yarn over the hook and pull it through 2 stitches on your hook.  Yarn over again and pull it through the last 2 stitches on your hook)…….


into next hexagon


Now go to make a second htr stitch, yarn over the hook twice, insert the hook under the chain, scoop the yarn through under the chain and through the first two stitches on your hook….now insert the hook under the chain of the next hexagon, scoop yarn through the first two stitches on the hook, then scoop yarn round the hook and through the next two stitches on the hook, and finally scoop the yarn round and through the final two stitches on the hook.  This makes a stitch that has two legs which closes the gap between the two hexagons.


filling it


Now work the pattern in reverse, under the first loop make a htr stitch and then a double stitch.


sc into tip


Under the second loop make 2 double stitches and then a half double stitch.

Under the third loop which will bring you up nicely to the top of the hexagon, make 2 hd stitches and finish with a sc.

Repeat along the zigzag edge until you come to the start of the straight edge.


work to stitch marker


When you come to the start of the straight edge (which is shown above with a stitch marker), make the last stitch in pattern (which is a single crochet stitch) and then make 1 chain before working the sc along and under the loops as at the start.


point one


When you reach the tip of the first tail of the shawl, make the last single crochet, then chain 1……


chaining point


and then make a sc between the two single crochet stitches of the previous round, make another 1 chain …….


work zigzag to point


and then you are working the “fill in the gap” pattern again so make a sc, followed by 2 hdc under the first loop, then a hdc and 2 dc stitches under the second loop and so on……


work down to neckline


Work this little pattern all the way down the inside tail of the shawl ……


working the neckline


When you reach the neckline work 2sc stitches under each loop until you reach the first loop of the first half hexagon….




Under the eight loop make 2hdc.  Make 2hdc under loop one of the joining half hexagon and then work 2dc 6 more times…..

When you reach the eight loop, once again make 2hdc and another 2hdc under the first loop of the next half hexagon.


neckline worked


Continue around like so…..making 2 dc under each loop apart from the first and last loop under which you make 2hdc stitches.

When you reach the last half hexagon, make 2 dc under the eight loop.


second point


Continue in pattern up to the second tail end of the shawl, working the “fill in the gap” pattern as you go…….

When you reach the tip, once again make the final single crochet on the inside, then 1 chain, a sc between the two sc of the previous round, chain 1 and then continue in pattern down the other side……


straight edge


Continue working along the edge, making 2 sc under each loop of the half hexagon, and 3 sc under the loops of the whole hexagon.


little gap


Between two straight edges you have a a single zigzag, fill in the little gap with the same pattern of sc, 2hdc, hdc etc….. make sure to chain 1 either end as they are the start and finish of straight edges.




Continue all the way around and then slip stitch home into the second link of the first chain you made.


I use UK terminology throughout….. but if you prefer the American then that is as follows….

A UK single crochet (sc) is an American double crochet (dc)

A UK half double crochet (hdc) is an American half treble (htr)

A Uk double crochet (dc) is an American treble (tr) and finally ….

A UK half treble (htr) is an American double treble (dtr)


These are links to the previous tutorials for making the shawl.

Finished shawl

half hexagons

joining the half hexagons into the missing gaps

chaining along


If you would like to know how to make the grannies paperweight crochet (it’s also called African Flower) then please go here as Heidi gives a wonderful tutorial, she also shows how to join them.


stitch marker


Apologies in advance as this is a rather heavy photo post and I probably explain things far too much and unintentionally make it sound harder (it’s just when I first started crocheting I found it really difficult if I wasn’t told exactly what I needed to do…hope that makes sense)

When I worked the edging on my shawl I found it easiest to mark off the sections of “straight” and “zigzag” with stitch markers at the start and end of each section of “straight”…this helped me know where I was and when I needed to make an extra chain.

You want to start the edging in the 6th hexagon round from the front (I start here because the join will be covered as this is in the middle and when it is draped around your neck is covered by the shawl’s tails and also your hair.)  I’ve marked the spot with a stitch marker.


insert hook


Insert your hook (I’m using a 3.25mm one) into the corner gap of the brown trimmed hexagon and make a chain, scoop yarn through the gap and then scoop it through the 2 stitches that are on your hook.  (this is your foundation sc) Then chain 3……and count along 3 of the dc which form the edge of the bottom hexagon, and insert the hook between the 3rd and 4th stitch, make a sc, and then chain 3 again.

Insert your hook between the 6th and 7th dc and make a sc.  Finally chain another 3 and insert the hook in the corner gap of the hexagon, and sc.


work along edge


Now you are working along the edge of the half hexagon.  This time you are inserting your hook just under the two loops of the stitch on the edge.


half hexagon


Chain 2 stitches and then carefully count 3 of the stitches of the half hexagon, insert your hook and make a sc.  Chain 2 more and once again count 3 of the stitches before inserting the hook.  Work along to the corner where you make your final sc.  In all you want to make 8 little chains of 2 stitches.


zig zag


Repeat using 3 chains and count along 3 of the dc stitches of the joining whole hexagon, insert the hook in the gap between the 3rd and 4th dc and make a sc, continue chaining 3 and inserting the hook every 3rd dc and making a sc along the side of the whole hexagon.

At the finish of side 1 make a sc, then chain 1 before making a second sc in to the gap before chaining 3 and then counting along 3 dc on the next side of the green trimmed hexagon.

Work down to the inverted corner(between the blue and green hexagons) and make a sc each side but do not make a chain between them.


work to stitch counter


Work up to the tip of the hexagon, chain 3 and make a sc into the gap.  As this is part of the zigzag section, do not make a chain and do not make a second sc, but instead chain 3 and continue to work down the side joining the orange hexagon. Continue in pattern up to the tip of the orange hexagon, as this is the start of the straight section, make your sc, chain 1 and then make a second sc to begin your next set of chain 3.


work the poiint


Continue working up to the tail of the shawl.  As you are crocheting along a half hexagon you are making 2 chains and inserting the hook just underneath the 3rd stitch along (making 8 little chain loops in total)  When you reach the point, insert the hook and make a sc then make 1 chain and insert the hook to make a second sc.


around the point


Then you rotate your work, chain 3 and sc into the gap between the 3rd and 4th dc of the edge.


along the zig zag


Continue to crochet along the zigzags formed by the shape of the hexagons.

As this is part of the zigzag section do not make the chain 1 at the top of the hexagons.


work neckline


When you reach the inside neckline (which is shaped of 5 half hexagons with a whole hexagon either end) work around in pattern which will be 3 chains for the whole hexagons and 2 chains for the half hexagons.

Make your 3 chains and insert the hook in the gap of the brown hexagon make a sc then chain 3 and insert hook 2 stitches along in the half hexagon.  Continue around the neckline like so.


inside the neckline


When you make the sc in the inverted corners, insert the hook into the gap where 3 hexagons meet, make a sc and then continue to chain 2 and insert the hook under the 3rd stitch along.


second point


Work up to the second tail,  sc, chain 1 at the tip and then make a second sc before working along the half hexagon making 2 chains and sc into the 3rd stitch as you go along.


sc and chain


Continue working along the top straight section of crochet, chaining 3 and inserting the hook and making a sc.


chain at corner


Each time you come to the end of a section of straight crochet, remember to chain 1, and make the second sc before chaining 3.


continue working


Continue working around the edge of the shawl, chain 3 and insert the hook in to the gap between the 3rd and 4th dc and making a sc.

The red edged hexagon in the above picture is actually the bottom most hexagon of the shawl, it’s a very short piece of straight crochet so remember to make a chain and the two sc stitches at it’s corners.

(whoops I actually made a mistake at this point….. You can see I’ve just made a second sc in the tip of the green hexagon….you don’t want to do this as it is part of the zigzag section, one sc is plenty!)


slip stitch home


Continue working round the shawl and then slip stitch home in the chain you began.

Do not cut yarn as you will now be working into the chain loops to create the edging.


These are UK terminologies (a UK single crochet is an American dc and a UK double crochet is an American Treble ( or if you are into Star Trek…a Tribble crochet)

These chain loops are used as a foundation for you to crochet your edging on.   The same technique can be used to straighten out a grannies paperweight blanket.


scarf with cardigan


Last week I finished crocheting the blue scarf I’ve been making using a pattern from beautiful Maria of The Casting on Couch……  I thought to make my scarf thinner than in her pattern and I sort of wish I hadn’t as it’s come out a bit on the skinny side, however it’s super long and drapes around a fair few times so I’m still kept pleasantly warm.

I wore it with a sparkly yellow cardi on Friday and got quite a few compliments on the colour combination.


scarf with jacket


I used a soft wool which I’d bought a few years ago from Loop, the brand name is Shilasdair and is a blend of cashmere, baby camel, angora nd lambswool…it feels lovely against my neck, and isn’t the slightest bit scratchy.  When it was knitted up it looked like the soft and faded blue of a pair of old and favourite jeans.

This is a great pattern and I’m currently planning another scarf but this time I’ll make it as wide as Maria suggests in her easy to follow tutorial.

She’s made lots of new tutorials which are on you-tube at the mo and they are incredibly easy to follow (seriously…if I can follow them then you’ll have no problems) and there are some other really beautiful patterns to buy on her website.

shawl with jacket


After more fannying and pfaffing than I thought possible, I’ve finally finished a winter shawl using the grannies paperweight crochet motif (it’s also called African flower but I prefer the granny name)……  it’s a bit scratchy and stiff still at the moment but on the whole I’m pretty pleased with the result.


shawl wrapped


It’s made up of whole and half hexagons, and then I’ve edged it with a super soft wool from my local yarn shop (I used Artesano DK alpaca.  It’s as soft and wispy as a cloud)   It’s wonderfully warm and I’m sitting here wearing it feeling somewhat on the verge of a hot flush (I’m not really complaining, I’m one of those people who feels chilly in August).

Apart from the fancy wool edging, the whole shawl is made from tapestry wool (most of which came from antiquey and charity shops)….. I love the incredible range of colours that opens up to use (I really think this pattern comes into it’s own when you use as wide a range of colours as possible… takes me back to when I was little and would buy quarters of sweeties from the village shop….there used to be a sweet called fair rock which I don’t think is made anymore, but it looked the same as this pattern)  the only down side to using a different colour for each and every row is there are an awful lot of tails to sew in when you’ve finished crocheting, but I think the end results are pretty fine.


crochet the hexagons


To make a shawl, start by crocheting your hexagons together (the best tutorial I found to make and join these was lovely Heidi’s)  You’ll need to make 32 whole hexagons and then 13 half hexagons.  I like to make my hexagons a bit smaller and so prefer to join them together on the fifth round.  Also I use a 4mm hook for the first 3 rounds then change to a 3.25mm for rounds 4 and 5.

I wrote about how I made half hexagons the other week so rather than repeat myself, the links to those are here….this is how I make my half hexagons and this is how I join them in.

I found it easier to make the shape of the shawl with the whole hexagons first and then fitted in the half hexagons afterwards (it’s a bit like making a jigsaw puzzle).


laid out


When you join them together you are looking to make a shape that curves around and overlaps in the centre.  (when I first crocheted this up I’d made it a bit too big at the front so I then had to unpick the edge at the front which is why that bottom row of hexagons has a slightly wiggly look*)


edge shape


And this shows how the point of the shawl is shaped  (it’s a bit hard to see on the first picture as the colours all blend in together)…..


joined hexagons


I just wanted to show a picture of the *original shawl (or the crochet that I had to unpick that I mentioned at the top)…… it looked fine but when I tried it on while I was working the edge, it looked too much like a bib for a baby and it also stuck out over my shoulders…..


These are the links you need to make the basic shape of the shawl.

Heidi’s hexagons

Heidi’s hexagons join as you go

My half hexagons

Joining my half hexagons into the missing gaps

Chaining around

Crocheting the edge









marrow chutney


A couple of weeks ago I made my first batch of chutney of the year……I’m a bit of a chutney pig if I’m honest and happily consume huge mounds of it.  I particularly love it under toasted cheese and when we have leftovers that can be eaten cold with a green leaf salad (in the winter we …okay, the beloved boyfriend is really the one who cooks it…..make a lovely chestnut and mushroom wellington wrapped in puff pastry, it’s so good to eat hot but I also like it cold with some chutney on the side)

I like my chutney super spicy and use lots of fresh ginger, I grate it using a Japanese ginger grater which basically pulps the ginger so you get lots of ginger juice (this is also good in lemon and honey tea if you have a cold…and makes for the best gingerbread too)

This is my basic chutney recipe, it’s also really good made with pumpkins rather than marrow.  It’s a good way to use up windfall apples and tomatoes that haven’t ripened, and generally I find those cheap pumpkins for Halloween carving cook down a treat to make for a thick and sludgy chutney.

These are rough measures for the fruit and veg, a little under on one can be topped up with a little extra on something else.  (the weight is after veg and fruit have been peeled, cored, and de-seeded, apart from the tomatoes,  just weigh those as they are)


Marrow, Apple and Ginger Chutney


1 kilo of marrow

1 kilo of tomatoes

1 kilo of cooking apples

500 – 750 g onions (I used 2 huge onions which weighed about 625 g

500 g brown sugar

500 g sultanas

750 ml cider vinegar



fresh ginger (about 1 1/2  inches by 3 inches)

dried chilli flakes (I used 3 tea spoons)

1 teaspoon of maldon sea salt

cloves, coriander seeds, mace blades, black peppercorns (about a dozen of cloves and pepper, and a teaspoon of the coriander and mace blades) tied up in a muslin square of fabric)




Scald and skin the tomatoes and then roughly chop them up.  Peel the apples and onions, chop them up and add them to the tomatoes.  Remove the outer skin of the marrow, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into half inch cubes, and add to the chutney mix.

Pour in the vinegar and a further 250 ml of water.  Add the sugar and the sultanas.  Grate in the ginger (squeeze all the juice out and discard the fibrous part).  Add the spice bag.

Gently bring the chutney to a boil and allow to simmer, give it a stir every 15 minutes or so so that the sugar dissolves and doesn’t burn.

Simmer for a couple of hours until the chutney has reduced and is thick and rich.

When the chutney is cooked allow to cool for 5 minutes and then put into sterilised jars with plastic coated screw top lids.

Leave to mature for about a month before eating.


This made 10 jars.





Please click if you'd like to follow my blog

Follow on

exploring the sonic world of wool


The Visible Mending Programme: making and re-making

ella gordon

textile maker


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 123 other followers