Posts Tagged knitting needle roll

Knitting Needles, Crochet hooks and Dodgy Cakes

knittingneedleholderforannelaure-6

A friend of mine has just started to learn to knit and it was her birthday last week so I knew just what to make her.

knittingneedleholderforannelaure-3

I went back to the pattern in ‘Stitch and Bitch’ that I’d shrunk down to make a roll for my new crochet hooks and made a full size one for her.

knittingneedleholderforannelaure-1

I didn’t leave my gorgeous knitting needles in though – I bought her some plain ones.  I’m not that good a friend.

colour-mix-v-chain-blanket

Possibly becoming adventurous beyond my burgeoning crochet ability I bought a kit from Black Sheep Wools who kindly deliver to France at a reasonable cost.  I was tempted by those lovely colours.  The yarn is James C. Brett DK Merino.  It’s actually mostly acrylic  – well, it is for a blanket that will need washing – but there is a 10% merino content so it feels lovely and soft and is great to work with.

I was daunted by the 162 chains as I’ve never yet managed to make even a small  one without twisting it and then, getting my U.S. and U.K. terms mixed up, I did the foundation row in double treble crochet instead of treble but that is how it’s staying as I’m not re-doing that chain!   It’s a nice easy pattern and perfect for me to get used to the whole technique of crochet.

This is it so far…..

Crochet Blanket Start

….. and this is how I’m hoping it will end up.

Highland Heathers Blanket

Sara’s Highland Heather Blanket Kit – available from Black Sheep Wools here

Just in case you are thinking I’ve gone all ‘perfect’ over the weekend – think again.

It was Mlle. Tialys the Younger’s birthday on Friday and, flushed with success after making Nigella’s Madeira cake (feast your eyes here – no calories!), I had a go at her Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake (also from ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess’).

Salvaged Cake

If you think this looks a little like a pig’s breakfast, then you should see how it looked half an hour after it came out of the oven.

And you shall –

Nigella says the cake is so dense and damp it will sink a little when it comes out of the oven.

Burnt Cake

 I don’t think she meant quite this much  😦

Some days I’m more of a domestic goddess than others.

I broke a few pieces off around the outside and it actually tasted good so I chopped it up into brownie sized damp, dense pieces and arranged them on a plate, sprinkled them with icing sugar and, because I couldn’t find the birthday candles, stuck a fancy straw in the top.  Luckily my daughter is easily pleased especially when chocolate is involved.  How fortunate was my friend who got a hand made knitting needle roll instead of a cake.

I Googled the recipe expecting to find loads of other, similar disasters but I didn’t.  So, it’s just me then.

I know I have a follower who happens to be a baker and, if he’s managed to get past the knitting and crochet, perhaps he will have an idea of what went wrong.  I think it was because I’m a lazy cow and, instead of creaming butter and sugar together by hand and adding the rest of the ingredients gradually, I did the whole thing in a stand mixer – although stage by stage and fairly gradually – so I might have beat too much air in.

Anyway, Sunday night we heated it up and had it with cream and it made a really nice dense, damp, chocolate pudding 🙂

 

 

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Knitting Santa Goodies – Oh Yes, I Entered Both!

I wasn’t really being greedy by entering both the Stitching Santa and Knitting Santa organized by Sheila of Sewchet because it meant I also had to send out two packages but in for a penny in for a pound as I never say outside of blogland and why have one surprise gift when you can have two?

Knitting Santa

I showed you my gifts from my stitching santa (Susanna)  a couple of days ago here.  My secret Santa for the knitting section turned out to be Nikki of SewingNikki who blogs here and also has a pretty Etsy shop here.  As France does not have a public holiday on Boxing Day like us Brits, the postman came and bought this festive looking bundle.  It was actually really nice to have an extra pressie to open when I’d gorged myself with all the others on Christmas Day.

Felt Bags

Two handmade felt bags were inside the package – lovely in themselves but holding yet more surprises.

buttons

A sweet smelling owl, some buttons –  you can never have enough! – and an intriguing item made from a twisted vintage metal knitting needle.  Is it a hatpin,  a stitch holder – help me Nikki – I love it anyway!

Knitting Needle Roll

Some knitting needles in the roll and, in a blatant attempt to lure me back to the dreaded crochet, a couple of pretty pink crochet hooks.  Also some cute earrings which Nikki also sells in her shop.

Knitted Cushion Pattern

However, my favourite, favourite gift was this splendid pattern for cushions, complete with four balls of navy aran yarn to knit one with.  Spookily enough, I was looking at buying this pattern just before Christmas as I have so much fun knitting my huge cable blankets, I wanted to knit cushions to go with them.  I particularly like the design on the centre one on the chair as the middle cable is one I haven’t tackled before.

Thank you Nikki, I love everything.

Like a fool, I didn’t photograph my gifts before wrapping them up and sending them to the bloggers I had been paired with but, if you are interested, they have both done my job for me and blogged about what I sent them here and here.  I’ll know better next year and there will be a next year as it was a really fun swap.  Thank you Sheila for all your hard work in organising us all.

 

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