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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chocolate and Gingerbread!

Before I start there is something that I intended to say yesterday about ChocoMango,
It was dyed using the same principles as ChocoRaspberry and ChocoLime, but when I saw it, it reminded me of Yarnplayers Tigers Eye......there is no way I want to copy someone else's threads.
Luckily I have some of that thread...I tatted a gecko in it.'s similar but very different I think...the yellows are different and she has a darker more grey brown as the darkest shade...not chocolatey at all.
Hope you agree Yarnplayer?

So you are waiting to see the new colourway.
Here it is!
The 'inbetween' colour I was going to call Caramel Mousse ...
until I saw it ..washed and dried...for the first time.....
and it shouted at me....
well actually it shouted at me 
but... you probably wouldn't know what that is........more on that later...
I tatted my favourite heart...

OK back to the Parkin...
I lived in Yorkshire until I was 12 and every year around this fact just when I was outside in my dye studio...there was Bonfire night. We didn't celebrate Halloween in those days.
November the 5th.
Very near to us was a field where all the kids...and adults used to build a gigantic bonfire. You would see then dragging branches behind them going down the street. It was a time to clear out anything that would burn. 
Kids would be out on the streets wheeling along a 'Guy' that they had made and dressed in old clothes, shouting "penny for the guy".
I am sure that you will all know the story of how Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London.
You can't imagine the excitement..waiting for the bonfire to be lit. We would watch from the bedroom window to see a glow in the sky. 
Especially when it was raining and we would wait to see if it would be lit at all....if it wasn't then dad would usually go out with an umbrella and try to light our fireworks in the garden.

When we saw the glow, we would all four of us go round to the bonfire, carrying our precious few fireworks.  We each lit our own fireworks when there was a lull in the activity.
The Roman Candles, Rockets on a stick that you placed in a bottle to light and the Sparklers that we could hold, it was magic.
We made sure that we kept checking the ground to get out of the way of the jumping crackers that would be moving erratically around or the bangers that would make us jump out of our skins.
All so very dangerous, it would happen now.

Mums would take potatoes wrapped in foil to cook in the ashes and dads would poke them into the bottom of the fire.
Mums would also take trays of 'cake'.....sounds idyllic...well that's how I remember it!

The day after would would go around collecting the empty firework cases to see how many we could find.

Our cake would always be Parkin...real Yorkshire Parkin...Sue Hanson are you there? do you remember this?
It's a very very sticky kind of gingerbread made with oatmeal. It was so sticky..and before the days of non stick cake tins..there would always be a lot left on the bottom of the tins.....just right for scraping out with your fingers!
This is my mum's original recipe, just as she made it.


10 oz Self raising flour
5oz medium oartmeal
9 oz Golden Syrup
3 oz melted Margarine
5oz Brown Sugar
1 teaspoonful Bicarbonate of Soda
1.5 teaspoonsful of ground Ginger
1 Cup of boiling water

Just mix it all together and pour into a greased and floured tin( about 10" by 8" I think)
Bake in a moderate oven 350 deg F if at the bottom of the oven, 325 degF if at the top.
bake until risen and firm (or it will sink!)..about 40 mins.
Cut into squares.
I can smell it now.

Back to the thread, well still in Autumn mood I had been tatting Tatman's Cat on a Broom

.......and in my new threads.....

I was stunned by the result, loved he way the ChocoMango showed all the lovely colors in the broom. Each untwisted thread in the fringe is solid colour the dye really did dye all the way through.
Wondered if Gingerbread might be too 'samey' for the cat..but it complemented it beautifully. I think.

I have dyed some of the individual solid colours...not many as I totally ran out of brown dye ...used such a lot to get saturated colours.
Here they are....

Turned out to be a Spice collection....these are just what I wanted for tatting of the things that drew me to dyeing in the first place.
So from Gingerbread we have Ginger, Cinnamon and Cloves....and a stranger slipped in there!
I misread my recipe for Ginger and ended up with another shade altogether. showed my friends and they loved it. said I should keep it and call it Nutmeg!
Was hoping to show you a collage of little butterflies in all the colours. but still haven't dyed them all!
maybe tomorrow!



  1. Oh, I love those colors!!!!!

    It's amazing just how much they really look like their respective spice!

  2. It's not everybody who can make my mouth water with threads!

  3. You know what might be good with that colorway? pumpkin!

  4. Oh my!!!!! I just love the colours of your dyed threads they are brilliant, and the cat turned out stunning!

  5. Do you actually realize just how gorgeous these threads are? WOW! I adore these colours.
    Fox : )

  6. Your dyed thread and the tatted heart are made my thoughts go back a long way as I was born in Manchester and Bonfire night was a super time...mum always had Parkin and treacle toffee sooooooo yummy and the big fire and the fireworks were amazing...thanks for the memory
    Joy in OZ

  7. Both cats are great, Tatskool! And the untwisted thread in the broom looks amazing! That really completes it. Beautiful colours.

  8. Remember, remember, the fifth of grandchildren have missed all the fun,haven't they!
    I am going to try your recipe, it sounds dense and sticky!

  9. What a wonderful collection and love the names you've chosen! Thanks for the recipe, too.

  10. Tatskoo'ls threads are irresistible (at least to THIS unrepentant thread junkie) because the colors are so gorgeous and well-saturated, the names so true. And of course they feed into my foodie passions. You've dyed another set of seasonal must-haves, Tatskool!

    If they are as much fun for you to dye as they are for us to tat, it is a match made in heaven!

    Now, to go try that Parkin recipe...sounds dense and sticky and oh-so satisfying! (I'll have to imagine the bonfire.)

  11. I don't know how I missed this post until now. Cat on a broom in your new thread colours are just so beautiful.

  12. Your posts are always wonderful!

  13. How'd I miss this post? Gingerbread?? I LOVE the new colors you have created. The cat and broom look great, especially the broom fibres.
    And the Parkin sounds great, I may have to give it a try this Christmas!

  14. Thanks a million for all these lovely comments. I will be back soon with more Gingerbread tatting.


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