Preparing for the Cold Front and a Giveaway

Hello lovely People,

The news from the outside world is absolutely horrendous isn’t it?  It’s good to escape into blogland for a bit of respite and I am glad for that.  It also gives me a chance to chronicle the latest makings.

First up is a Christmas present for someone who doesn’t yet know about this blog, so I think it’s safe to reveal it here:

Purple Blanket

This is another version of the Spice of Life CAL I did a few weeks ago.  Remember this?

Spice of Life CAL2

same pattern – different look.

Then I finished the first try of the star baby blanket in left over scraps – put on your sunglasses because it’s a bit bright:

bright Star blanket

I haven’t got a recipient in mind so it might go into the fund-raising pile.  In the New Year I am planning to raise funds for my local Breast Care Centre.

Next up, I am thinking about the coming cold weather and so have made some nice, warm hats.  Yup, hats, plural.

winter hats

and finally….. drum roll please……. the giveaway.

I have this lovely knitting book for one lucky reader to win:

2015-11-15 10.25.27

If you want to have a look inside click HERE.

Now, if you are interested in owning this book, just post a comment below telling us all who taught you knit, (or if you taught yourself, then by all means say so).  I will pick a winner at random next Friday, (27th November).  Comments close midnight on Thursday 26th.  Hope y’all have a great week,

S x

Posted in Autumn, Blanket, Christmas, colour, Crafts, Crochet, Giveaway, Home Made, Knitting | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hot off the Hook….

Hello You Lovely People!

Autumn is well and truly here, (U.K, Northern Hemisphere), and whilst I generally LOVE this time of year, I could do with a bit more light.  This week we’ve had fog and rain and the days have been dark and gloomy.  I was coming home the other day at just 2pm and had to put on the car headlights as it was so murky – ugh!  The other drawback to this lack of light means I haven’t been able to photograph stuff outside and have had to resort to indoor lighting, so apologies in advance.

On the upside though, dull days just lend themselves to lots of sofa and audiobook time whilst whipping up the latest makings:

BBlankie and cushion


First off is a Star-shaped baby blanket and “Hola”! Cushion.  The blanket came in kit form and I bought it because a new baby is on its way in the family friendship circle.  His or her nursery is a specific colour scheme, so I really only wanted the pattern, but I thought I’d have a practice run with the yarn included and this is the result.  I shall be making the ‘real thing’ after Christmas as there’s plenty of time and it’s a quick and easy make.  The cushion is made from left overs from the Spice of Life CAL run by Black Sheep Wools and Cherry Heart, shown in the previous post.

The next item is to be a Christmas present for my friend Y.  I can safely post it on here as Y spends as little time on the computer as is possible, (for someone who needs to use one for work), and so is very unlikely to see this:

needlecase1It’s a needlecase, complete with useful innards.  This is the front.

This is the back:

Needlecase back

and this is what the inside looks like:

Needlecase open

Of course, we are only in November and it’s not even Advent yet.  There are plenty of other days/events before Christmas – though you’d never know from the way the TV and Retail sectors are advertising their wares.

This Sunday is Remembrance Sunday, (always the Sunday nearest to 11th November), and it seems that more people than ever are wearing poppies, although it seems, from social media, that poppy wearing has become quite a contentious issue.  There are articles all over the internet that tell you that you should wear a poppy, the implication being that if you choose not to you are deficient in patriotism, gratitude or some other thing that marks you out as a ‘wrong ‘un.’ Not only that, you should wear a red poppy as that’s the one sold by the Royal British Legion and is seen as the most patriotic one.  I am horrified by all the vitriol I’ve read on this.  My preferred option is to wear both red and white poppies, (white symbolises the hope of peace) so I’ve made my very own brooch this year:

Remembrance brooch

My opinion is that people should be free to wear or not wear whichever poppy they choose, (or not), to wear.  Red, white, purple, (this last is fairly new and is meant to be worn to remember all the animals who have died in various wars), they all have meaning and I am not going to go on about it here because I’ve written more about Remembrance Sunday on my work blog and if you’re interested you can read it here.

I have other work in progress, but I’ll leave it there for now as the various stuff will turn up completed here in due course.

Thanks for stopping by – have a good week,


Posted in Autumn, Blanket, colour, Crafts, Crochet, cushion, poppy, Remembrance Sunday | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

A knitted Jumper and Crochet Blanket

The weather here has really begun to get into its Autumn stride.  The days are still nice and bright, but the air is much cooler and the evenings are getting longer and longer.  This, of course, presents me with the ideal conditions for curling up on the sofa and making stuff.  I have just finished a very small jumper for my lovely 2nd grandson’s birthday.  It’s a Sirdar Baby Crofter pattern and it looks like this:

A's Nov jumperI really like this patterned wool as it does all the work for you.  All you need to do is simple stocking stitch and lo and behold a mock fair isle garment appears.

At the same time I have been working on the Cherry Heart/Black Sheep Wools Spice of Life Crochet Along.  I have now finished the rows and am waiting for the final part to be released so I can complete the edges.  I may, though decide to do my own thing as I have a book of crochet edges to inspire me, but we shall see.  The blanket looks like this:

Spice of Life CAL2This afternoon I shall begin on a crochet bag which will be a Christmas present for a friend.  The needles are never still!

Bye for now


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Over the Summer

I say, ‘Summer’ but actually, in my opinion it’s hard to categorize the wet, cold, clammy weather we’ve had during July and August as summer.  No, summer bided it’s time and finally showed up for a couple of weeks in September.  We did have an outstandingly wonderful day for the wedding of my beautiful daughter and handsome son-in-law, so I’m not complaining.  Not really.

Actually, the weather did contribute in part to the many makings that have come into being over the past few months.  I’m not going to write about them in detail, but here are some pictures:

2015-07-30 17.34.27Birthday present cushions for the lovely Leah.

2015-08-14 15.19.53Yummy Banana Bread.

2015-08-22 11.28.37

A cardigan I made for myself – lovely and warm.

2015-08-27 17.42.43

Apple meringues.  My mum used to make these all the time and this was my attempt.  Mine were not nearly as good as hers.

2015-09-18 13.01.52

Lemon and Coconut Cake – I shall make this again!

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this is what it looked like with its hat on!

2015-09-23 19.39.15

Work in progress – these were the pom pom flowers the Bridesmaids held and as I can’t resist it – here’s a picture of the newly married couple:

2015-09-29 19.56.27Her bouquet is made up of knitted flowers which were made by some lovely friends at their knitting group and I put them together to make the bouquet.  We didn’t use real flowers as the lovely bride is allergic to them and didn’t want to be sneezing all day!

So for the current ‘makings’….. I have just finished this:

A's hoodieA birthday hoodie, 1st installment of Grandson’s birthday next month.

The current wip.  I am doing the “Spice of Life” Crochet Along from Cherry Heart and Blacksheep Wools and this is the story so far:

2015-10-08 13.27.26

I am really, really enjoying this.  It’s very therapeutic and as I am following a pattern, I don’t have to worry about working out what comes next.  The colours are from my stash and I just picked out the yarns I already had that most closely matched the colour descriptions of the original.  They are nothing like and I wouldn’t have naturally put them together, but I do like them.

That’s it then, for the moment.  hope you are having a good time wherever you are.

See you next time,

S x

Posted in Autumn, Baking, Blanket, Cake, Coconut, Crafts, Crochet, cushion, Family, Home Made, Knitting, Summer | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Evolution of a FaceCake…

Hello lovely people!

Baking has taken a bit of a back seat this year.  It turns out that 2015 will go down in my personal history as, “My Year as a Sofa Bear.”  This is because of health issues, but I am doing very much better at the moment and this is why I have a post today.

My youngest son and I were talking the other day, and he mentioned that he would really like a cake with Batman’s face on it.  As it’s his birthday soon, (today actually – Happy Birthday D)! I said I’d make him one, and I asked what flavour he’d like Batman to be – carrot.  OK then.  By the way, he’s quite grown up now, so this isn’t for a party, just for him and whomsoever he chooses to share it with.

I began with my favourite Cake book by Rachel Allen:

Cake Book

and turned to the Carrot Cake page – yum!

Recipe Page

and got to work.  A relatively short time later…….

Yummy Cakes

and then all I had to do was add the cream cheese filling, shape the cake and cover it with fondant icing.  Finally I had to find something to put it on so he could take it away with him.  I found a picnic plate that I could spare – a bit small, but it would do.


Batman FacecakeSo that’s what I’ve been doing lately.  Hope you’re having a good summer/winter wherever you are in the world.

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Making of a Birthday Waistcoat

One of the most satisfying things to make, in my opinion, is something that the recipient has chosen for themselves – picked out the pattern and yarn – and all I have to do is make it!  I paid close attention to the tension so I knew it would be the right size and I can’t wait to give it to my sister-in-law when her birthday rolls around at the beginning of July.

This is the pattern she chose:  King Cole, chunky:

King Cole Cable Patt



The colour she chose was purple – and the yarn came from one of her local shops and is very reasonably priced at £1.20 a ball for 100grms.

My finished version looks like this:

waistcoat in purple

and this:

purple waistcoat 2

and this is a close up of the cable detail:

cable detail2

So, were currently up to date with the makings.  The next thing on the needles, or rather crochet hook is a scarf for me in shades of red, or as the ball band calls it, Rose.

Hope you’re having a productive time too.

See you down the road!


Posted in birthday, Crafts, Family, Home Made, Knitting, pattern, purple, waistcoat | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Keeping Track of wips


It’s been a while.  The reason is that I had rather a nasty surprise early in the year when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  I am now having chemo and am doing o.k and according to my surgeon the outlook is good, so enough of that then.  Craft is a real tonic and is helping me whilst I spend hours and hours on the sofa.

One of the ways I keep track of the stuff I make is to chart it all as I go along in a note book.  It’s a real mess, but it does help.  It looks like this:

2015-05-24 12.38.48

This is for waistcoat I have just finished knitting – it’ll be here once it’s got it’s buttons on.  It was a relatively easy cable pattern, but you’ll see at the top that I had to unravel it twice before I finally got the hang of it.  I think it was because I wasn’t paying attention, but it is really frustrating to knit up 50 or so rows and then discover you made a mess at row 10!  Sometimes it’s possible to rectify a mistake, but cable patterns like this one meant I had to go back to square 1.

The notebook itself was a cheap one from Paperchase and has a very boring dark, plastic cover.  What to do? What to do? Go to the bookshelf and find some inspiration, that’s what.  So that’s what I did.  I went to this:

2015-05-25 10.29.27

and found this:

2015-05-25 10.29.43

and did this:

2015-05-24 10.59.44

So I now have a crochet cover on my work in progress book.  It was a handy use for the little bits and bobs of yarn left over from other things.

Hope you have a good day, and if you’re in the U.K, enjoy the Bank Holiday.

Posted in Crafts, Crochet | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Playing Hooky

Hello Everyone!

I hope you’re all keeping well and happy.

It’s a while since we got together, so here’s a bit of a catch up.  Christmas time sped by in a bit of a whirl, what with all the making of yummy stuff, but all gifts were gratefully received and I got a lovely surprise on Christmas Day when my beautiful daughter telephoned to let me know she’d got engaged!  No specific date yet, but it will be later on this year, so 2015 is sure to be a busy one.  One of her requests is to have knitted/crochet flowers, (the real ones bring allergic reactions with them), so over the next few months you will, doubtless be seeing yarny bouquets and suchlike things.

Over the Christmas period I began to make a crochet granny square blanket.

I had heaps of yarn in the stash as I was going to join in with an online mystery knit-a-long.  I bought the materials in anticipation, only to discover that I didn’t like the pattern one bit!  It was all diagonal stripes – set off my astigmatism something shocking.  so there I was with all these lovely coloured bundles of woolly potential…. what to do? what to do?

The answer:peacock blankie on sofa peacock blankie close up peacock blankie detail







I wouldn’t necessarily have picked these colours to go together, it was quite a nice surprise to see how well the bright blue and bright green set off the other tones.

It isn’t quite finished yet, I’ve still got the edge to do.  I’ll probably also crochet the squares together on the ‘wrong’ side in order to make the seams stronger.

So that’s what I’ve been up to since we last met.

Bye for now!

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An Angelic Host

O.K, I know it’s only the 3rd Sunday of Advent, but at our church, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,” indeed, our Moderator, (who was visiting this week), said so.  In honour of her visit, both churches got together to worship and at the end shared tea and mince pies.  Some of them looked like this:

Mince Pies 1and, a close up:

Mince pies close upThanks for stopping by.

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Dreamy Recipe…… (or not)

So,  a strange thing happened to me today….  I dreamt a recipe!  This has not happened to me before, and I decided to have a go and see what my sub-conscious was trying to tell me.

It’s good timing as I’ve got a lunch guest tomorrow and, (providing it works), this will do nicely for an ‘afters.’

I’m guessing it came about because I have been thinking about ways to indulge my liking for chai tea, wondering how I might use it in baking. This then is the result:

cake in tin


2014-12-13 16.21.34


Recipe for Flavoured Pear and Chocolate Loaf

400grms firm conference pears, (finely chopped, or a bit chunkier to taste);

Pot of tea, (I used Tesco Vanilla Chai, but you could use Earl Gray or any other flavour you particularly like).

200grms  Caster Sugar

200grms  Softened Butter, (or Pure – dairy free)

4 eggs

200grms Self-raising flour, (I used gluten free)

I tsp Vanilla paste, (or good extract or seeds of vanilla pod).

3 tbs Cocoa Powder

1 tsp baking powder.

1. Make a pot of your chosen tea; once made, allow to stand for approx 3 mins before pouring contents of pot into saucepan, (if you’re using tea leaves, strain into saucepan).

2. Add chopped pears to saucepan and heat gently, poaching pears until soft; remove from heat, strain, (saving some of the liquid), and leave to cool.

3.  Heat oven to 170c and grease and flour a 2lb loaf tin

4. Cream together the butter and sugar, until light and fluffy.

5. Gradually beat eggs into the mix, (you can also add a tiny amount of the flour mix with each egg to prevent curdling), add vanilla.

6.  Sift together the flour, cocoa-powder and baking powder and fold into batter mix.  If the mixture is too stiff, use a little of the reserved liquid to loosen it.  The mixture needs to be what my teacher called, “a dropping consistency,” this means that when you load a spoon with mixture, it holds firmly, but drops easily with a slight shake.

7.  Stir in the cooled and dry pears and transfer mixture to loaf tin.

8. Put into oven, on middle shelf for 35-40 mins, (until skewer comes out clean).

When baked, leave to cool in tin for about 5 mins and then turn onto cooling rack.  Once cake is completely cool, decorate as preferred.

I used melted white chocolate and just dribbled over the top.  I went a bit over the top – but hey, it’s chocolate, right?

If you do have a go, please will you let me know how it worked, (or didn’t), and what you thought of it?  Just leave me a note in the comments, thanks!


Posted in Baking, Cake, Chai, Chocolate, Home Made, Pear, Tea | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments