We do love beautiful sunflowers…

Somehow they manage to perfectly capture the fullness of summer abundance and mirror the warmth of the sun whose rays have fed their spectacular growth through the season – and yet they subtly hint at the autumnal treasures waiting just around the corner. They are the perfect bridge flower, helping us all to transition to cooler evenings and slightly shorter days.

If you are looking for a little woolly something to help your summer wardrobe stretch into the autumn, do take a look at Sian’s range of sumptuous ponchos and wraps; so easy to pop around your shoulders at day’s end to help you stay out just that little bit longer.

Arts Council of Wales National Lottery Fund

We recently had some wonderful news! Sian has been awarded a grant by the Arts Council of Wales Lottery Fund to help with the development of the online courses in machine knitting due to be launched later this year.

The idea for a remote learning experience based on the courses at Ash Farm has been a dream for some time. The challenges that have accompanied 2020 have brought this idea into much sharper focus and Sian is excited to be able to use these funds to bring the fun and satisfactions of learning these skills to a wider audience.

“I am delighted to have been awarded this grant by the Arts Council of Wales National Lottery Fund. It means so much to me to have their support and belief in my business ideas and growth for the future. This project is so important to me and is one that I have wanted to pursue for some time as it will allow me to continue with my love of teaching, sharing my passion for machine knitting as well as making my workshops more accessible to all. I’m very excited and looking forward to start this new project this September. I’ll keep you posted with all its developments!”

Gweneira loves her tedi!

What a lovely experience it was to order and receive our Evie Tedi from Sian and can‘t wait to give it to our little granddaughter next month. Sian included us every step of the way and it was so exciting to see our little tedi emerge on instagram! Personal attention and great quality….thank you so much Sian and I’m sure I’ll be back for more! Maryx

Would you like one of these exclusive handmade teddies for a special someone in your life? Not found on the website, these adorable friends are only available by request to those in the know! Starting at £38, each is designed and made to order, in consultation with you with regard to available colourways and personalisation (embroidered bears are £48). They are gift wrapped and include a matching giftcard as well. Use the contact form to get in touch and start designing your unique gift!

Let’s do things differently again! An update on Craft Festival Bath…

Sadly, another opportunity to see Sian’s lovely customers and community has fallen to the vagaries of 2020. We were so looking forward to seeing you after such a long time, but the Craft Festival in Bath, due to take place in November, has had to be cancelled as an in person gathering this year.

But Sian is looking forward to taking part in the digital event that will take place over the weekend of 27th – 29th November. There will be new online content to enjoy as well as special offers to look forward to so make sure you are following Sian on instagram and look for a series of special emails during the event.

Come to Ash Farm this November

If you are local to Ash Farm or likely to be visiting the area in November we have exciting news…!

Although the Christmas Open Studio that has been such a wonderful event on the Ash Farm Calendar in recent years will not be able to take place in the same way as we known before, the doors will be open and the welcome as warm for a wonderful Christmas Gallery shopping event from 7th-15th November. This will, as ever, be a chance to showcase the work of wonderful designer-makers in West Wales as well as to welcome you back to Ash Farm for some festive cheer. Attendance will need to be pre-booked to enable us to welcome you safely, but the special extended programme will give ample opportunity for all who would like to visit.

Do look for more details coming soon and an early-bird opportunity to book your visit available only to newsletter subscribers!

A special deal for a special yarn

Are you a Christmas knitter? Or have you seen that small hint of yellow in the leaves and felt a slight chill in the recent evenings? It’s time to get those needles clacking!

To help get those creative knitting and crochet juices flowing, Sian is offering a very special autumn sale on her signature alpaca yarns. For a limited time only, if you purchase 4 balls of any alpaca yarn from the website, you can choose a further 4 for free! That’s a lot of Christmas knitting! Head over to the website to make your knitting dreams a reality.

Scrumptious Sunflower Seed Pate

You have really been enjoying Sian’s plant based recipes and as we have had the benefit of tasting her cooking we know why – they’re delicious!

Many of you were inspired by Sian’s Instagram post featuring her sunflower seed pate and wanted a recipe – so here it is. Let us know if you try out this seasonally inspired treat and post some pictures using #sianodohertyproject. We love to see what you are creating, whether it’s with one of Sian’s fabric bundles (still available here!) or in the kitchen.

I love making this sunflower seed pate as it is full of flavour, incredibly quick to make and can easily be altered as to what you have in your cupboards at the time. The other thing I love about this recipe is that it uses sunflower seeds which are far more cost effective and readily available in stores and above all it just tastes delicious spread on to toast, crackers or served alongside a salad…. the list is endless! 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do at Ash Farm and have fun trying out your own variations/experimentations to the recipe. Please do let me know how you get on. It is always great to hear from you!

Ingredients:

140 grams of sunflower seeds 
3 tbsp of nutritional yeast  
The juice of ½ small lemon
1 clove of garlic peeled and finely diced 
½ tsp of garlic powder (don’t worry if you don’t have this but I like the additional layer of flavour it brings) 
½ tsp of smoked paprika 
1 tsp of dried parsley 
25 grams of fresh parsley  
1 tbsp of water  
Salt and pepper for seasoning 

Method:

  1. Soak sunflower seeds in water overnight. Drain and rinse after soaking. 
  2. Keep 5 grams of the fresh parsley to one side and then add all the other ingredients to a food processor. Blend until all the ingredients come together into a fairly smooth paste, pausing every now and then to scrape down the sides with a spatula. 
  3. Season with salt and pepper to your preference. I tend to put a tsp of salt and pepper in. 
  4. With your remaining 5 grams of fresh parsley- finely chop and line the base of a circular ramekin/dish (approx 10cm in diameter)  
  5. Add the sunflower paste on top of the fresh herbs pressing it down into the shape of the dish. 
  6. Using a knife or spatula go around the sides of the dish to loosen and tip the dish over onto a plate. You may need to smooth out the sides to get the finish you want for serving… but at this point you can either serve immediately or store in the fridge until you are ready to tuck in : )  

Notes:

I have found that the flavours of this pate are so much better if you can leave it for at least a few hours in the fridge or even better overnight so that all the flavours can come together. But if you’re anything like me, it’s hard not to tuck in straight away! 

Store covered in the fridge to keep fresh and moist and use within three days

Variations:

I’ve made this many times and have tried so many different variations as to what I have in the cupboards. All of which taste delicious.  

Things I have tested are: 

  • Using ½ pumpkin seeds and ½ sunflower seeds. But I think you could also experiment with cashews and almonds too.  
  • I have used various herbs to that of the fresh parsley –chives, fresh wild garlic,  fresh coriander and rosemary all work well. 

Q&A with Sian…

For a reminder of what to expect from the Bath Craft Festival event – or if you missed them first time around on Instagram – check out the videos produced for the Bovey Craft Festival! They are now available on the website to help get us all inspired for what is to come!

© Sian O'Doherty, sianodoherty@hotmail.com 07983 453210 Ash Farm, Ivy Chimney Lane, Stepaside, Narberth SA67 8JU | Crafting Beautiful Website Design Hu Studio
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