Monday, 30 June 2008

Today is the last day of the month

I'm probably the only person in the world who hears that line the way the Tramp says it on the cast recording of Salad Days. Anyway.

So! I got eight entries to my competition, and I was very pleased, because four of them were from people I had no idea were out there. I numbered off the comments, and used a random number generator to pick a number between one and eight inclusive, and it gave me 3. So the winner is quitecontrary1977! Well done and I will be in touch to get your address. I'll write about the prize once I know it's been received.

It's been a good weekend - the picnic on Saturday was lovely, the weather was beautiful and it was so great to see everyone (also, they gave me baby presents! Which I was totally not expecting, thank you you lovely people). Mark took this picture of the park, so you can see how gorgeous the weather was:



And yesterday we did some more painting. It's all coming together!

Since today is indeed the last day of June, I've made it all the way through the month, blogging every day. It's been fun but I don't think I'll do it again in a hurry; writing posts in advance helped but it still got to be a bit of a slog. Back to a couple of times a week, I think.

Filler post

Just so that something comes up at 8am, to stop everyone worrying. =) I'll do a proper post later in the day, and announce the winner of the competition (ooh!). I should finish the prize at some point, as well.

Talk to you later my lovelies!

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Love

What I love: a man who takes a day off work just to decorate the baby's room.



What I love even more: a man who takes a day off work just to decorate the baby's room, and does it listening to a musical theatre playlist.

I think my mother's right. We're a right pair.

Saturday, 28 June 2008

28th of June and I'm running out of titles

Firstly, make sure you've entered my competition! It's very easy. And only five entries so far gives you a very good chance of winning. All you have to do is comment on this post.

Secondly, brother Tom wrote a book! I've ordered my copy but apparently it won't turn up for a week or two. Go Tom!

Today I had to pop out to the supermarket, and while I was driving out of the cul-de-sac I decided to go to the garden centre and buy a new 4mm crochet hook (as you do). So now I have one again! Please start the countdown until the old one turns up. But at least I can start my cushion cover squares now.

So today is Friday, but this is going to post on Saturday morning, and on Saturday we are going to a picnic in London with a group of ladies I know from t'internet. Mark is coming as well. Please all keep your fingers crossed that we don't have any rain; the forecast is slightly dodgy but I think we should be OK. I've baked lots of cookies and cleared out the memory stick in my camera. Bring it on!

Friday, 27 June 2008

Yum yum yum



My first strawberries are ripe! I hope they taste as nice as they look.

Also under the heading of 'yum', I've been doing more baking today - I'm off to a picnic on Saturday, and I said I'd take biscuits and cakes. So this morning I made a big batch of chocolate chip cookies. Did you know, if you bake M&Ms into cookies, the colouring spreads out into the mixture? They look quite festive.

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Fiftieth Post! W00t!

Although it is quite easy to get to 50 if you blog every day for a month.

And so, a competition! Or rather a giveaway because I couldn't think of a good competition, and I think I'll get more entries this way. I haven't completely decided on the prize yet, either, but I can tell you that it will include:

- a little something handmade by me
- a little something tasty
- a little something for you to use in your own crafty endeavours

And I'm happy to post internationally so everyone can join in! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. That's it! Just say 'Hello' if you can't think of anything else. And I'm not going to rule out family members like all the proper competitions do, because let's face it, that would leave me with about three entries. I'll leave this open for a little while, and will select the winner randomly and announce it on the last day of the month.

Not a lot else to post about really. All my crafting time is being spent knitting away on this blanket. Isn't it funny how once you start working on something regularly, you make regular progress?

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Bits and bobs and Bob

Blogger tells me that I have posted 48 times on this blog, making this post 49. Since 50 is such a nice round number, I've decided to have a little competition tomorrow. What it will be, I haven't decided yet. But I'm curious to know who is actually reading this and giving things away might draw out some lurkers, if lurkers there be! So need to have a little think about that. Announcement tomorrow!

Our main projects here at the moment are all baby-related. I'm 30 weeks now and it seems to be creeping up very quickly! Mark has started work on the baby's room - he's clearing it out as we speak (does anyone need any bookcases?). Then it will be decorated, and have a new carpet as the old one is pretty manky. And after that, he has some flat-packs to deal with. So he will be a busy boy.

Cam is pretty relaxed about the whole thing, though:

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Recipe Time: Doughnut Muffins



After I said about making chocolate muffins the other day, my sister Jen sent me a recipe for doughnut muffins, that are apparently her husband's favourite. Today I finally got round to giving them a try.

Here is the recipe; it says it makes 12, I made half-quantities and got 12 fairy cake sized muffins. If you have a proper muffin tin you would probably would get 12 but that's too many for me.

Ingredients

175g/6oz butter
200g/7oz caster sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
375g/13oz plain flour
3/4 tbsp baking pownder
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (I used dried)
250ml/9 fl oz milk

For the topping:
100g/3 1/2 oz caster sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
25g/1oz butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a deep 12-cup muffin tin.

Beat the butter and sugar together. Add the eggs gradually, beating well.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and nutmeg together. Add half to the creamed mixture with half of the milk. Gently fold the ingredients together before incorporating the remaining flour and milk. Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, filling each hole to about two-thirds full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the muffins are lightly brown and firm to the touch.

For the topping, mix the sugar and cinnamon together, brush the muffins lightly with melted butter, and sprinkle over the cinnamon and sugar mixture.


Jen told me you didn't really need the topping, so in the interests of science I ate half a muffin plain, then put some topping on it and ate the other half. I liked it so I put the topping on the rest - she was right it didn't need it, but I thought I might as well and a bit of cinnamon is a good thing. I'm not sure they really taste like doughnuts, but they're nice, and they have the right muffin consistency.

Monday, 23 June 2008

And now we're back here at Monday...

...so we can do it all over again!

I had four friends to visit this weekend, which was good fun. They usually come up to see me over August bank holiday, but this year we thought earlier might be better. We went to Milton Keynes to have a look around the shops, ate pizza and played on the Wii. So we had a lovely time and hopefully it won't be too long before I see them again.

I've started work on the cushion cover - done the green fabric cover, at any rate, so the cushion is covered, although I still have plenty of crocheting to do. In fact all of it. I've lost my 4mm hook which is irritating as that's the one I probably use the most often - it's the size for double-knitting wool. Dang and blast. At least I've found that a nearby garden centre has a craft shop, so I should probably be able to get a new one there if mine doesn't turn up, without having to make a trip all the way into town.

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Sunday: Silver/Gold/Metallic

Last photos day today! If only I knew what I'm going to write about for Monday. Never mind, I'm sure I'll think of something.

Here is today's first picture:



These are my wedding and engagement rings. I'm not wearing them at the moment because they fit quite snugly and I'm paranoid about my fingers swelling up and not being able to get the rings off. I have an Argos wedding ring at the moment, which is a couple of sizes bigger.


Another dull, cloudy day is ruining my photography. You'd think doing this in June would mean I'd get some sunshine. Although when I tapped the barometer just now, it headed in the right direction:




And here's a drawer of shiny metal things:

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Saturday: White



I know I keep posting photos of this blanket! But I love it so. Here's one hexagon being blocked.




This about sums up the weather today, really. When the sun comes out it's lovely and warm, but then it disappears again and it gets grey and dull. Still managed to dry my washing though!

Friday, 20 June 2008

Friday: Brown

I know I said black, but taking photos of black things turned out not to be so easy. So I went with brown instead.



I made chocolate chip cookies yesterday. Mmm. I think I'm moving closer to the perfect recipe that I've been looking for for a while. They needed more vanilla, though, and possibly slightly longer in the oven (they were cooked, but a bit spongey).




I inherited this clock from my grandmother. Isn't it lovely? It was a wedding present from her parents, back in 1941. It doesn't run unfortunately. One day I'll get round to getting it fixed.

And yes, I have a window in my house that looks out directly onto a brick wall. That's not the main living room window, which looks out over the close, but another window on the side of the room that faces the side of the garage. It lets in a bit of extra light but the aspect is uninspiring.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Thursday: Blue

It's quite gloomy today but I did the best I could!



Blue books




And the major source of blue at the moment - we decorated the guest room! Woo! Well, Mark did most of it, and he's very proud. That's his banjo.

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Wednesday: Green

Where do we find green? Outside!



I have no idea what this tree is. It's in one of the beds along the side of our back garden, and it was there when we moved in. I quite like it though.




This is my bench (it has green arms so it counts). We inherited this bench from Mark's Nan and it is just the sort of bench I would have chosen, were I choosing a bench. It's quite comfy as well.




Round behind the garage we find more green - my pots and some bedding plants I haven't put out yet. I should get to that.




I wish I could have put these under red. But they aren't quite there yet unfortunately. Come on, strawberries!

Stay tuned for blue!

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Tuesday: Orange and Yellow

As Sarah so cleverly foresaw, orange and yellow means at least one photo of my cat. Who is orange. Seen here above a yellow wall.



I like this photo, except that the light coming in the window screwed up the colour a bit. The reason he looks so annoyed is that we were decorating the spare room (which he thinks is his room) and he wasn't allowed in. Why he'd taken to the windowsill when there were plenty of free soft furnishings, I have no idea.

Then I took the camera for a walk in the garden again.



Photographing flowers out in the sunny garden is pretty easy.

Only two photo today because there doesn't seem to be as much yellow round here as I thought there was. Hmm.

Green tomorrow.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Monday: Red and Pink

First day of the colour photographs! Today is red and pink. First I took the camera for a walk in the garden.



Here are some of the apples growing on Mark's apple tree, starting to turn pink. I like this photo.




I like this one too. This is one of the flowers on my climbing rose, which I must take a full photo of at some point because it's looking lovely as usual.



Gnome! Mark has three gnomes. This was the second one I think.




This is my least favourite of today's photos. I should have paid more attention to the background (you can see the radiator) and the light, it was a bit too dark. If I'd taken the rocking chair downstairs or maybe even outside I think it would have come out a lot better. I like the composition though.

More photos tomorrow!

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Halfway there!

Hooray, I made it halfway through the month, blogging every day! And I haven't once complained about not being able to think of something to write. I've been deliberately trying to avoid that because I know it's annoying. It's been easier than last time I tried this, though, because I've made up a quick list of things that I could write about, and then I refer to that if I can't think of anything new. Don't know why I didn't think of that before.

One of the things I want to improve in my blogging is my photography. I've started to try and put more thought into my photographs, especially where light and composition are concerned, and I've also actually got out the camera manual and found out some helpful things. To help me practise, I've decided that this coming week is going to be a photography week. Each day I'm going to post at least two new photographs, and to give me ideas, I'm going to give each day a colour theme. So:

Monday: Red and pink
Tuesday: Orange and yellow
Wednesday: Green
Thursday: Blue
Friday: Black
Saturday: White
Sunday: Gold/silver/metallic

Tune in tomorrow for the first photographs! Once I've taken some.

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Old Projects: Butterfly Picture

This one is from about February I think.



I didn't make this for any particular reason, I was just rummaging through my scrap bag when I found a piece of wadding, and thought I would try making a quilted picture. As you can see, rectangles aren't my strong suit.

The flowers are my favourite bit



The butterfly turned out OK, but I should have put something underneath it, because there's no quilting there and the fabric is a bit puffy. Possibly I didn't pull it flat enough before putting the binding on (although it was tacked down).

This was fun to do but more time-consuming than I expected - especially as after I'd done the interesting picture bit, trying (unsuccesfully) to get it square and sewing on the binding took a long time. I might try a bit more of this in the future though, if I have a specific project that could use it.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Friday WIPs

Even though I'm writing this on Wednesday, it's time for an update on my works in progress, I think. I'm starting to realise that I don't actually have a lot of time to get things finished before the baby is here (in 12 weeks-ish) so I need to crack on, really. Because of that I've put the sampler to one side for now - I won't be able to finish that until after Bob's born anyway, so no rush to get it done now. I've got the blanket out again instead because I do want that to be ready.

I've just checked on my diagram and to complete the blanket I need 25 full hexagons, 6 half hexagons and 6 edge triangles. Then they need to be blocked, sewn together, and have the edging knit on. So far I've done 10 1/2 hexagons, 1 half hexagon and 2 triangles. They are all blocked and sewn together (except the half full-hexagon). So I've still got quite a bit to do, then. I am enjoying working on it and now that it's in premium crafting position (spread all over the sofa) I should be able to get it done in time. I hope.

The sampler is put to one side, as I said. I did complete the giraffes though and the letters above them. I might pick it up and work on it every now and again, so that only the name/date/weight are left to do. But it is at the bottom of the queue at the moment.

And in the middle of the queue is the cushion cover. I haven't started it yet (ahem) and I won't until I've made a bit more headway on the blanket. I might do the sewing bit first though so that I can put the sewing machine away, it's become a permanent fixture on the dining room table and that isn't where it's supposed to live.

And it goes without saying that I'm not planning on starting anything new! =) I'm not sure what else I want to make really. Although now I've started being strict with myself, I'm sure I'll think of a hundred things.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Recipe Time: Fairy Cakes!



I made these a week or two ago now and they are long gone. I like to make fairy cakes or biscuits instead of one big cake, because it's easier to eat, and you don't have to faff around with knives and plates and things. But this recipe works just as well for a sponge cake, and makes enough for two sandwich tins, or about 12 fairy cakes.

The Cakes
2 eggs
4oz/110g self-raising flour
4oz/110g butter or margarine
4oz/110g caster sugar
1tsp baking powder
If you want chocolate cakes (and I can't imagine why you wouldn't), replace 1/2oz of flour with cocoa

The Icing
Icing sugar
Water
Cocoa if you want chocolate icing

Turn on the oven to about 190C. Mix all the cake ingredients together (I usually cream together the sugar and margarine, then add the eggs, then the flour/cocoa and baking powder). Put out fairy cake cases in a bun tin and put a large spoonful of mixture in each one. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Cool the cakes on a rack, then ice them. For the icing, just mix together appropriate amounts of each until you get a good consistency. I find it easier to mix the sugar and cocoa together first, then add a tiny bit of water, then another tiny bit, until it's smooth. Also, while the cakes are cooling, you may find it helps to hide them, because the recipe makes 12, but you may note that the photo above only includes 11. One disappeared pre-icing and it wasn't me who ate it.

And if you like reading about cake (mmm, cake) then you should totally be reading 30 Cakes in 30 Days. And not just because it is my friend writing it!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Cushion cushion cushion



All ready to make a cushion cover!

I have this book, which has many options. I think I probably need nine yellow and orange squares for the front of the cushion cover. I think I'll make these first, then make up the green cover. Or should I do crochet squares for both sides? It might depend on how much wool the first nine use.

A couple of things about that book, though; first, make sure you get the right edition, if you want a copy - the one I linked with the pink/red blocks on the cover is the British edition, using the proper British terms. There's also an American edition with green/blue blocks on the cover. Also, '200 crochet blocks' isn't strictly accurate - quite a few of them are just different colourways, and I'm not sure that should count. But there are as many as you need, to be honest, and the book is well laid out and easy to use.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Summer and Sunshine

(I should point out that I write these blog posts at least a day in advance, and then they get automatically posted on the next day for which I need one. This means you get fresh bloggy goodness at 8am every morning, which otherwise would be impossible)

The weather has been glorious here today and yesterday - really sunny and warm. This is my favourite time of the year, even though it means large amounts of sunscreen. I've been getting on with the rest of my gardening; mainly weeding and putting out bedding plants. My hanging basket is up, and I'm going to do some pots for the decking as well.

And I discovered something fun yesterday. Cats like to chew sweetcorn plants. I couldn't work out why the tops of some of the plants I put out were all raggedy, then yesterday while I was weeding I caught him in the act. The plants seem to be surviving, and he hasn't found the ones in the pots or the greenhouse, so we should be OK. I did do a quick search online to make sure they weren't poisonous for cats (although I'm not sure what I was going to do if they were), and apparently all cats do it.



Who, me?

Monday, 9 June 2008

Felt cat

Quick one today as I need to go and sit down! We've had some friends round this afternoon and their kids have worn me out. It was lovely to see them all though, we haven't managed to get together with them since before Christmas. But now I'm knackered.

So here is a photo of my latest felt cat, looking a bit moody.



This one was a commission (my first - ooh) for a colleague of sister Jen. I made her a cat, and she took it into work to put by her computer, and using her exemplary sales skills she sold one to someone else. Amy might recognise the jumper - it's the leftover wool from the pair of socks I made for her birthday last year! I love the colours of this wool, there's only a scrap left now but I can't bear to throw it away. Very sad I know.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Current projects

Although I've been spending most of my project-time on one thing recently, the cross-stitch birth sampler:



It's coming along nicely. Time for another giraffe!

There's also the knitted blanket but I haven't worked on that in a little while, need to pick it back up. And I have also got together everything I need to make the cushion cover for the rocking chair - I bought the cushion inner a while ago, and I'm going to use some of the green fabric I already bought for nursery things, and I have some orange and yellow wool to make crochet squares to go on top. Once I get started on that I'll take some photos. But I need a clearer plan first I think!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Meme time!

I've seen this one on several blogs recently, including Knitting Kninja and Domesticali (and others that I can't remember), so I thought I would have a go. It keeps me out of trouble.

1) What was I doing 10 years ago?
Ten years ago this June I was 16 years old and in the middle of my GCSEs. So I would have been revising and taking exams in the school hall. That summer I went on holiday with my lovely friends - one of them, her parents owned a static caravan up in Whitley Bay (near Newcastle-upon-Tyne) and we all went up on the coach and stayed there for a week. It was a bit cold for us southern girls but we had a good time, we went to the beach and up a lighthouse and on the bus into town. Also that summer, Mum took me on a day trip to France that was organised by her work, and we went to St Omer.



2) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
My to-do list for today was:
1. Make meal plan and shopping list, go to Tesco
2. Go to Costco (Mark's got the day off)
3. Go to the post office
4. Clean and tidy kitchen
5. Go to the garden centre for bedding plants and moth trap
6. Make dinner and clean up after
And I've done the first five things already. Hoorah! I'm quite tired now though so once I finished this I'm going to have a sit down and a cup of tea. And maybe a chocolate digestive.

3) Snacks I enjoy:
Chocolate digestives. Actually any biscuit that doesn't have dried fruit in it. Any cake, ditto. Apples, pears, grapes, carrots, crackerbread with cheese spread on, air-popped popcorn with or without butter, cereal.

4) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
I think what's easiest is 'things I wouldn't do if I were a billionaire'. Those would be cook, clean, tidy, wash up. Buy own-brand chocolate digestives (McVities all the way, baby!). Get up early in the morning.

5) Places I have lived:
Horsham, West Sussex
Manchester city centre
Rusholme, Manchester
Levenshulme, Manchester
Bedford, Bedfordshire
Flitwick, Bedfordshire

6) Jobs I have had:
Nothing very exciting. Various bits of temping while at university and just after. Then I got a proper job, working in the IT department of a telemarketing agency - it was just as much fun as it sounds. Then I left there a couple of years ago and now work for myself, doing web design and various computery bits.

7) Bloggers I am tagging who I will enjoy getting to know better:
I know it's a cop-out, but anyone who wants to! This means YOU (be sure and leave a comment so I know you did!).

Friday, 6 June 2008

Random photos

The sun has actually come out today and I was going for a walk up the road into town so I thought I would take my camera and take some photos for the blog. And then was too self-conscious to get the camera out. So here instead are some photos that I found on my camera memory card.

In mid-April Mark went to New York on a jolly work trip and Mum came up to visit me. We went to Bletchley Park and I took this photo of one of the old buildings.



I just really like the shape and the clock. And the windvane but I didn't get all of that in.

We live not far from a small airfield and often get little planes going over. Here's one I saw the other day:



Biplane! That photo is a bit of an optical illusion, I just realised. The plane was actually flying away from me at the time but if you look at it you can also see it flying towards you. Cool.

Finally, here is a photo of the cat being super-duper-helpful (yes, that's clean laundry). Please note the dark object in the bottom left of the photo - that's his fleece which is specifically there for him to sleep on.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Old Project: Rice Heating Pads

Something you can expect to see more of this month is old projects that I didn't blog about at the time. And this is one of them! For Christmas last year, I made rice heating pads for several of my friends. They were quite straight-forward and I took (bad) photos but never got round to sharing them. Or I forgot, because I didn't want to post photos before giving the presents.

Fronts



Backs



They are really not that tricky to make.

The first part is a white, plain cotton bag, to hold the rice. Cut out a rectangle that's double the size you want the pad to be, fold it over, and sew nearly all the way round the open sides, leaving about 3cm/an inch open. Turn it inside out, then fill it about half-full with long-grain rice (don't use easy-cook rice; do use a funnel). You want it to be quite substantial but not too full, so that you can wrap it round your shoulders or wherever. Then sew up the gap as tightly and neatly as possible.

The covers were made almost like a pillowcase. I cut the pieces of coloured fabric about 3cm/an inch wider than the finished rice bag, and just over twice as long. Then I hemmed the ends, and folded the fabric strip round sort of like this:



I sewed it up with the right-sides on the inside, turned it the right way round, then added a button and a loop to hold it closed. I tried button-holes on the first couple I made, but since my sewing machine doesn't have a button-hole foot (I think it should have one, but the machine is second-hand, and I don't have it) I had to do them by hand, and that didn't work so well. The fabric loops looked a lot neater and were quicker as well.

To heat them up, take the rice bag out of the cover and microwave it for about a minute and a half. You can also use them as cooling pads by wrapping them in a plastic bag and putting in the freezer for a few hours. Then put the cover back on and apply as necessary.

While I was making these I thought 'I wish someone would make one of these for me,' then I remembered that I had plenty of spare rice and fabric. So I made one for me. I particularly like to use it when my back or shoulders are aching. Or in the winter when I have cold feet.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Crops

On Saturday I actually got round to sorting out the contents of my greenhouse. I had some seeds I planted a while back, and some plants that Mum and Dad gave me, um, about a month ago. I realised that I have quite a few edible things growing this year - normally I focus on the flowers because, y'know, they're pretty. And there are still flowers. But this post is about things for eating.



These are some of my sweet pepper plants. I'm growing these instead of the tomatoes that I usually grow and then don't know what to do with as we don't really eat raw tomatoes. I love peppers though.



These are sweetcorn (and a couple more peppers). I have a ton of these - there were quite a few seeds in the packet and I planted them all because, well, why not. I have a tray of them put by for Sarah and I planted some out in the flowerbeds but there are still lots left in the greenhouse. Good thing I like sweetcorn.

I just realised I forgot to take a photo of the rhubarb plant. Mark has a rhubarb plant. He had one before, a couple of years ago, but we put it in a spot that was a bit dark and it didn't do well. We've planted the new one in a flowerbed that gets lots of sun and it seems to be doing better.



The apple tree is also Mark's. It's two years old now. Last year we had plenty of delicious apples and this year we are looking forward to more of the same, provided I remember to go and get a refill for the moth trap.



And here are some lettuce plants that Dad gave me. They're looking a bit sad but they were looking worse before I planted them out so I'm confident they'll pick up. But if I killed them I'm very sorry, I didn't mean to do it. I think they'll be OK though.



Finally - strawdleberries! These plants have been there a couple of years now and we get a few more berries each year. Mmm. Strawberries.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Baby Surprise

I finished the knitting on my Baby Surprise Jacket!

Doesn't it look great?



OK, it looks like a blob. But if you fold it up on one side:



And on the other:



Ta da!

I just need to sew up the shoulder seams and add some buttons. And then put it away for a while, because it turned out the size for a larger baby rather than a smaller one, but that's OK. Babies grow, so I'm reliably informed.

For anyone else who wants to knit this, I'd really recommend printing out Dawn Adcock's notes on the pattern. I found them very useful, because as I said before, the instructions in the original pattern are pretty vague and a bit ambiguous in places. I'm not sure I'd make this again; I've got the hang of the pattern now, but the big blocks of garter stitch were a bit repetitive for me. I want to knit something a bit more fiddly and lacy now, which is just as well, because I've got plenty of hexagon blocks for the lacy blanket to be getting on with!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Chocolatey goodness

A week or so ago, my friend Amy posted on Facebook that she was going to make muffins. Naturally I thought 'Mmm....muffins,' and googled up some recipes. The one I tried was this one from Nigella and I highly recommend it - lovely soft muffins, and very chocolatey!



That isn't a very good photo but I can't take a new one because, um, there are only two muffins left.

The problem I have now is that to make the muffins, I had to buy some eggs. I don't normally buy eggs, because I only really use them for baking. And now I have five eggs that need using up. I'm going to have to make more cake. Although possibly not as much cake as Sarah.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

First of June, let's go!

Following on from my previous post, and also under the heading of 'making it up as you go along', this bracelet.



I only really wear bracelets in summer because I don't like to wear them with long sleeves - everything gets tangled up. This one was put together in about half an hour using a couple of metres of leftover sock wool, some buttons from my button box, and a crochet hook. I saw a similar one online (sorry, can't remember where, bad) and felt inspired to have a go, and I'm very pleased with how it turned out! All I did was thread the buttons onto the wool, then chain about three, double-crochet (for Americans: single-crochet) round a button, chain another three or so, go round another button, and so on until it was the length I wanted. Then I chained about six and double-crocheted it back on itself to form a loop. The first button then holds it closed. Very simple and of course you could also use charms, beads etc as well as buttons. You could even crochet little motifs and add those in, although that probably wouldn't hang as well - the buttons give it some weight and are also nice and rattly. I'm easily amused.