17 for 2017 – July Update

Progress was a very slow with my 17 for 2017 goals in July… in fact I’m not sure where the time went. However, I did manage a few:


a woolly Welsh square

Seventeen… Love Rocks or other little random yarny/sewn gifts. None this month, but I can share this picture from last month (I couldn’t then because it was a surprise) – it’s a square for a blanket the recipient is making entirely out of British wool (of course this is Cambrian Mountains wool). Total 7.


Sixteen… batches of homemade biscuits. This goal is complete.

Fifteen… cheeses.  I  didn’t make any this month, although exciting plans are afoot in relation to this one… watch this space. The total is currently ten.

Fourteen… pairs of knickers. None this  month, so the total is still six.

Thirteen… mends. Target reached in May.

Twelve… letters to friends. Target reached in June.

Eleven… new items in my Etsy shop. None this month. The total is still eight.

Ten... plants given to good homes. Target reached in May.

Nine… games of Scrabble. Still none yet.


Eggs, rosemary potatoes and lettuce

Eight… meals using only our own produce. We managed the first two this month, thanks to potatoes, lettuce, courgettes, tomatoes and eggs. Actually, not a day goes by when we don’t eat something that I have cultivated (even if sometimes it’s cheese!) and so the slow progress on this is a bit misleading in terms of how much food we are growing and consuming.


Seven… visits to see “social media” friends. Sadly, the trip with a friend that was planned for this month had to be cancelled because she is very unwell. I do have plans for a variety of get-togethers with other friends in coming months, but for now the total is still six.

Six… Pairs of socks knitted, using at least three different patterns. I’ve made some progress on the pair I started last month, but it’s still not finished, so the total remains at one.

Five… book chapters written. None yet.

Four… blankets for charity; knitted or crocheted. Target reached in February.


out of the loft

Three… sessions in the loft, sorting out some of the accumulated ‘stuff’ up there. One, as a result of having the new cupboard. Lots of boxes of preserved food are now out of the loft and in the kitchen, where they are accessible. The total is, therefore, one.


Two… patterns published and on sale. No new pattern this month, so just the one published in January.

 One… gardening apron. Completed in April.
 I have been so busy with other things this month, that the list has been rather neglected, but that’s my small amount of progress.
 If you have a 17 for 2017 blog post or an update on your progress, do leave a link in the comments.

Shifting my focus

Self-sufficiency is something we have never aspired to. I like olive oil and lemons and west Wales is certainly not the place where these can be produced. However, I do love being able to eat food that we have grown or collected ourselves. Before Mr Snail departed for his latest week in the big city, we were reflecting on what we had eaten this weekend. The list of food that we were responsible for in our diet was quite pleasing:

  • Homemade chocolate ice cream topped with homemade orange curd

    Homemade chocolate ice cream topped with homemade orange curd

    Eggs – made into waffles (for breakfast this morning), orange curd, ice cream and simply fried for lunch yesterday

  • Blackberries picked from the hedgerows last autumn (frozen)
  • Apples picked from a friend’s tree (bottled)
  • Home-grown redcurrants (frozen)
  • Home-grown parsnips (fresh)
  • Home-grown squash (roasted and then frozen)
  • Whey left over from cheese-making and used in the waffles

Most of the other things we ate this weekend were produced locally or were organic imported items (olive oil, tea, coffee and sugar) and I don’t think anything was bought from a major supermarket chain.

Earlier in the week I started writing a blog post about exploitation and just found it all too depressing. When I told my friend Linda about this, she suggested that the answer is to try to keep our focus local – support local producers and growers, buy from local businesses (especially if they have an ethical outlook). That way you can do lots of good and not find yourself paralysed by how awful some aspects of our modern life are with respect to human rights and the planet. She’s right; by keeping my focus local I can remain positive… and have a delicious diet too!



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