Sunday 23 February 2014

Year of Projects Update - Half term

I've come over all arty this week!!  I blogged about inspiration here  - but here are a few exerpts:

Beautiful flowers



and robins!!

Now knitting!!  I found these as inspiration for my niece's cardigan (I am not knitting a cupcake design - just the colours!!
Cream roses cupcakes Wallpapers Pictures Photos Images

And I made my first foray into designing - here it is!  There are lots of things wrong with it - stitch count is too large for these clasps, the owl is not centred, I ran out of the blue so the back is two-tone and my colourwork leaves something to be desired!!  But all of these things can be improved!
And indeed have been!

This is the new and improved version.

Here is a glasses case and an improvised pig coffee cosy!! 

And finally here is a cushion cover that I knitted ages ago but it didn't really work as the buttons kept coming undone.  My son chose the material - its possibly not my choice but there we are!
Now none of these are on my YOP list, but again Ruth has inspired me.  This time not to bake, but instead to sell my products.  I have signed up to do a craft fair in June and so these are all prototypes for what I will be selling (all except the cushion cover).
I have made some progress on my top for work, so I haven't completely forgotten about the list - I hope to finish it for next week so I will update the list then.

Monday 17 February 2014


Been trying to find inspiration today!!  This is somewhat hard in a damp and windy Crawley!!
However, I went out into the garden and found these:

My favourite flowers - snowdrops

Helleborus just before they go over

I bought yarn the other day, but I was looking for inpsiration in a colour scheme for a cardigan for my niece and found this..

Cream roses cupcakes Wallpapers Pictures Photos ImagesPerfect colours for a girlie top!!!

Since then have been out and about again and have got a bit arty!!
Made a few of our own cupcakes  - slightly less pastel but tasty nonetheless.

Spotted this handsome young man in the garden and he obliged for lots of photos!

 The above are shots of rain in the garden.

And .. the boys have been making suncatchers so thought I would take a pic!

Lastly, I thought I would sign off with the reason behind all the searching out inspiration - hopefully I will be able to explain further on Sunday.

Sunday 16 February 2014

Year of Projects Update - Half Term

First up, I finished my fish!!  I was learning to crochet for the Ravellenic games - he isn't perfect but will do and I have learned lots of new stitches (if that is the right term!?)

 I also collected my latest acquisition from the post office yesterday - a sweater quantity of Gilliatt yarn from De rerum natura.  It came in less than a week from France and was delightfully packaged with some lavender (so it smells devine) and with some samples of the other colours.  That means when I have finished my top for work (see below) I can co see you there.
And here is the progress on my top for work - I have done a little more now and with it being half term (hurrah!), I may have finished this by next week.

So since it is half term, I'm hoping to get lots of crafting in.  Last week I was asked about the recipe I used for the coffee cake, so I blogged about it here.  I was also asked about the pattern for the purse, so I blogged about that here.

We don't have too many plans for this week, probably some crafting, a trip to a local farm and a playdate!!
Hope you all have a great week!

Saturday 15 February 2014

Purse pattern

I made this purse last week and thought I would put the basic pattern here so that I would remember it!
My long term intention is to knit a few of these with motifs on the front.  I have already sourced a very good supplier of purse clasps - julies bag clasps from Blackpool.

Using 4mm needles - CO 30 st (using DK yarn)
Continue in pattern (whatever that may be) for 12 rows
row 13 increase to 32st
row 15 increase to 34st
Continue in pattern until row 44
row 45 decrease to 32st
row 47 decrease to 30st
Continue in patern til row 60
To make up, work in all ends.  Fold the material in half and sew together until increase and decrease stitches.  Glue material into purse frame.

On another note, I took possession of a sweater quantity of gilliatt yarn in poivre el sel today.  Its absolutely lovely, came really fast (from France), wasn't hugely expensive and came delightfully packaged with some samples of the other colours and lavender so it smelt heavenly!!

Friday 14 February 2014

Tasty Cakes!!

I usually bake chocolate chip cakes for the boys, but this last couple of weeks have branched out into some traybakes.
Firstly, a coffee cake that I based on one by Nigella Lawson.
For the sponge:
115g castor sugar
115g margarine
100g plain flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb
2 eggs
1 tsp instant coffee made with approx 20ml hot water
For the frosting:
1 tub soft cream cheese
1 tsp coffee granules
approx 100g icing sugar (enough to thicken up the frosting for covering)

I always mix up the sugar and marg with a wooden spoon, then add in the rest of the sponge ingredients.
When all combined spoon into a lined traybake tin (approx 15 x 25 cm) and bake at 180 or GM4 for 20 mins.
When cool mix the icing sugar and coffee into the cream cheese until it is fairly stiff - then spoon over the top of the cake and cut into squares.  You can dissolve the coffee into the icing by adding hot water tothe coffee, then mixing it in, but then you will need more icing sugar.

Secondly, I baked a chocolate traybake based on one in the Great British Bakeoff book.  Thomas loves this one!
For the sponge:
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb
75g milk chocolate
2 tbsp cocoa powder
200g light muscovado sugar
50ml hot water
2 eggs
175g margarine
125ml sour cream/milk
For the icing:
75g milk chocolate
20g margarine/butter
50g icing sugar

Put the flour, baking powder, bicarb, milk chocolate, cocoa powder and sugar into a food processor and pulse until is all in crumbs.
Mix the marg, eggs, water and cream into the crumb mix until all combined.  Spoon into a lined tin (approx 15 x 25 cm).  Bake at 160/gm3 for 45 mins.
When cool, melt the chocolate and stir in the marg and icing sugar.  Spoon over the top and cut into squares.

Sunday 9 February 2014

A Year of Projects Update - with a little olympics!

I decided not to post last week as I didn't really have anything to report!!
This week I have lots of bits, few finishes but lots of starts!!
First up - I decided a couple of weeks ago to have a go at making purses (I had a kit with a magazine so thought I would give it a try) and here is the finished article!
I am really pleased with this, so I have found a lovely supplier of clasps from Blackpool and have got some more to go into production!

 Secondly, (not year of projects but inspired by Ruth) I dug out a coffee and walnut cake recipe that I have been dreaming about since Ruth wrote about it.  The result was fab and all that I had been waiting for - there was only one piece left so pictured the cupcakes for the boys made at the same time!
 I also started by project bag - last week I cut the pieces and sewed the back pieces together.  Yesterday I sewed the whole thing together and here are the stages through to completion!!  The handles are terrible but the rest I am really happy with.

This is the start I have made on my project for the Ravellenic games.  I am going to learn to crochet!  I have picked a small fish for my first project and it is going ok.  It is not that neat in places but I guess with practice that will improve!  

 Lastly, I have made quite a lot of progress on my top for work as you can see in the picture.  I love the yarn and the way it is not totally solid colour, there are flecks of lighter and darker.

I have also seen another lovely pattern that is not on my Year of Projects list.  The pattern is see-you-there and I have just bought some yarn from France - Gilliatt yarn to CO this after my top for work.