Saturday, October 29, 2011

Bike Cosy?!

A while back I noticed a trend in covering objects in knits or crochet.  I'm certain this trend has been around for ages, long before it featured in adverts.  The simple tea cosy has been adapted to fit anything and everything.
It's a great art form, but somehow I don't think my Brother would be very happy to find his pride and joy kitted up like this  ;o)  Not that I'd waste my wool on it, be much more practical in a blanket!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dog Lover has a whole new meaning now..........

Ok whilst on my search for a suitable image to put on the front of my disk of knitting patterns, I came across this book.
Now it doesn't sound very appealing to make a sweater out of dog hair does it?  It made me think back to when I had a dog, she was a collie cross, to be honest the vet thought she was like a bag of allsorts. 
She had this remarkable white speckled coat which was so soft and fluffy, it would have been perfect  for spinning, I think.
We used to dread the time of year when it was time to cast..... I could have stuffed a few pillowcases every-time she got brushed.  come to think of it the rabbit could have contributed to the mix too.

I think I really missed a good opportunity back then, if only I'd had the time and the interest in that side of being a knitter!!  Although I don't know what the dog would have to say about

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


I had this idea that it would be great to have legwarmers for the upcoming winter. I was thinking I could wear them with leggings over my boots, hoping that I would actually get to wear the boots for a change {wish I'd got flat ones} and that it wouldn't matter if they were brown or black.
Sooo I chose to make the Drops cable ones that look more like footless socks on the model.  however the amount of stitches that you're asked to cast on is ridiculous. There's definitely something wrong there! I tried 90sts and it was still too loose, so went down to 80, it has to be in multiples of 10 stitches because of the cable pattern. It looks ok and I'm hoping they stay up, I have decreased on every second cable twist down to 60 sts which made it about 22 inches long, I worked another two rib pattern repeats.

I'm not convinced they will stay up, even though they are a good fit.  I like them, but I hope never to knit with pure black yarn again after this!  Says the one who's  next project is likely to be with reclaimed blackwatch  aran.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Cardigan complete

Haven't blocked it as I think it's going to be ok as is.  Worked the single crochet all way round the edge adding another row on front where the zipper is. Also put crochet tabs on the collar for button closure. 
I expect my DH will be wearing it before it gets a wash.... he was wearing the last one before I got the buttons for it.
I think it would have been great with a fleece lining but he said that he didn't want  that.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Sleeve

The Sleeve worked out great.  CO 42, worked 10 rows 2x2 rib. Increases on the 1st and every 8th row until 72 sts, it measured about 22 1/4 inches long. armhole shaping cast off 4 sts at begining of next 2 rows, 3sts on next 2 rows, then decreased at each end every 3rd row 11 times [36sts].
 Cast off 3 sts at beg of next 6 rows. Cast off remaining 18 sts.
Just to make sure I quickly stitched it all together and had himself try it on and it is a good fit, so the second sleeve is on the way up and at some point I have to go hunting for a very long zipper, but that'll be when everything is knitted and sewn, as I want to have the right length.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Soups ~ Day 7


50g [2oz] butter
1 onion chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped
250g [8oz] smoked salmon finely chopped
3 tablespoons plain flour
900ml [1 ½ pints] chicken stock
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon paprika
150ml [¼] pint single cream
125g [4oz] cooked peeled prawns
1 teaspoon Dill

  1. melt the butter in a pan add onion and garlic, cook over a moderate heat for 1 minute. Add salmon cook for 1 minute, stirring. Stir in flour, gradually add stock. Stirring constantly bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins.
  2. Add lemon juice, bay leaf and paprika. Season and simmer for 5-8 mins. Remove from heat and leave to cool, remove bay leaf.
  3. Blend the soup until smooth, stir in cream, prawns and chopped dill. Cool and cover closely. Chill in fridge for 3-4 hours or overnight
  4. Serve in chilled bowls with a pinch of dill.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Aran Jacket ~ sleeves

Well I started the notorious sleeves, I cast on and worked some 2x2 rib then started the increases which I've chosen to do every 8th row.  Looks ok and not too wide at the moment but I still have a few inches to go before I start the sleeve shaping. 
The whole pattern was too short anyway but I always lengthen knitwear so that is nothing new to me, it's the way my mum taught me.
I'll know by the end of this evening whether I've done it right or not.  I've been doing back to back knitting for the past year now, I think I'm becoming obsessive! 

Soups ~ Day 6

Since pumpkins are in stores  now

TUSCAN PUMPKIN SOUP          Serves 6

1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 kg [2lb] pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2.5cm [1inch] cubes
1 onion chopped
250g [8oz] carrots diced
1 celery stick sliced
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 tablespoon wholewheat flour
1.2l [2 pints] chicken stock
250g [8oz] bacon trimmed of fat and diced

  1. heat the oil, add pumpkin, onion, carrot and celery. Cook over a moderate heat for 5 mins until lightly browned. Stir in curry powder and cook for 1 min. stir in flour remove from heat and add stock.
  2. Blend the soup.
  3. Fry bacon for 3-4 mins stirring constantly. Remove and drain on kitchen roll. Then add to the soup. Taste and season, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 5 mins.
  4. Serve and garnish with nutmeg.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Soups Day 5


3 fresh coriander roots roughly chopped
3 Garlic cloves roughly chopped
¼ teaspoon white pepper
400g [13oz] minced Pork
1.8l [3 pints] vegetable stock
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon preserved radish, finely chopped [optional]
625g [1 1/4lb] boiled jasmine rice
2.5cm [1 inch] piece root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
50g [2oz] Chinese cabbage leaves, roughly chopped

To Serve: 2 Spring onions finely chopped
fresh coriander
White pepper

  1. Put coriander roots, garlic & pepper in a mortar and pound to form a smooth paste
  2. Mix the paste with the minced pork
  3. Put the stock in the pan and bring to the boil. Add the soy sauce, radish and rice.
  4. Shape the pork into small balls, drop into the soup and cook for 3 mins
  5. Add ginger & cabbage. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Serve garnished with coriander leaves and spring onions, season to taste.
*chicken or prawns can be used instead of pork. The Chinese cabbage if not available could be substituted with spinach.

When I made this recipe I used basamati rice and a leafy green cabbage and cooked it a little longer.
It is a light oriental soup which is very filling.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Soups ~ Day 4

Good way to use up that leftover turnip.


25g [1oz] Butter
125g [4oz] rindless smoked Bacon, roughly chopped
1 Onion roughly chopped
375g [12oz] Potatoes chopped
750g [1 ½ lbs] Turnip chopped
1.2l [2 pints] chicken stock
1 Bay Leaf
1 small Sprig of Thyme
150ml [¼ pint] Milk
Finely chopped parsley to garnish

  1. Melt the butter in a pan, add bacon cook until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon
  2. Add onion, potato, & turnip, cook over a low heat for about 5 mins. Add stock, bay leaf & thyme, bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 – 35 mins until all veg are tender. Remove and discard the bay leaf and thyme.
  3. Blend the soup until smooth. Return to pan along with bacon and milk and heat gently. Serve with a sprinkling of parsley.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Winter Knit for Him

I'm currently working on an Aran Jacket for the other half at the moment.  I was lucky to get the last 2 balls in aldi a couple of weeks back.  The pattern is plain, something most men will like.
I cast on the size 44 and realised that this was way too big, even on the 4.5mm needles which I chose to knit it on.  I've ended up making the 39 which is going to fit him no bother, since this is my second Interweave knit I am noticing that you can normally make it one size smaller than asked as a rule.
It's going well so far, I've completed the back and left front so far. I suppose I should see if the zip I have will fit or if I will need to order one.  Perhaps I could modify the collar to have buttons instead........ well that's a thought for later, in case it's not long enough I have a back-up plan of crocheting a band around the hem  with a button closure.  I'll just have to see how it goes.
I'm not looking forward to the sleeves as everyone is complaining that they are too wide, however that should be easy enough to sort.....

Soups Day 3

Day 3 ~ One our favourite recipes from the book!


3 Tablespoons olive oil
750g [1 1/2 lb] boneless lean beef, diced
2 onions finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves finely chopped
2 Celery sticks, sliced
3 Tablespoons paprika
1 Tablespoon caraway seeds
1.2l [2 pints] beef stock
600ml [1 pint] water
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 Bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
3 Tablespoons tomato purée
250g [8 oz] Potatoes, cut into 1cm [1/2 inch] cubes
3 Carrots, cut into 1cm [1/2 inch] cubes
6-8 teaspoons soured Cream [Optional]

  1. heat the oil, add the beef in batches cook until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Add onion, garlic and celery cook for 5 mins until soft.
  2. Remove pan from heat and stir in Paprika, caraway, stock and water. Add thyme, bay leaves, Tabasco and tomato purée. Stir well and add the beef. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 mins.
  3. Add the potatoes and carrots, simmer a further 30 mins until potatoes are tender. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Serve and garnish with soured cream if desired.
I don't bother with the soured cream and usually boil some pasta to add to my other halfs serving ~ he's a pasta addict and I have a wheat intolerance but sometimes I use corn pasta.
I sometimes reduce the fluids to make a stew and if there's any leftovers I add more fluid and have as soup the next day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Soups Day 2

Day 2.... not from the book but an edited faster version of yesterdays.


375g [12oz] split Red lentils
1 tablespoons Olive oil
Kabanossi sausage, thinly sliced
1 Onion finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves finely chopped
1.2l [2 pints] Vegetable Stock
900ml [1 1/2 pints] water
1 Bay leaf
1 Sprig of Thyme
3 Carrots, quartered and thinly sliced.

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add Kabanossi and cook on moderate heat for 5 mins until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon, leave to drain on kitchen roll.
  2. Add onion and garlic cook on moderate heat for 5 mins until soft. Add lentils, stock, water, bay leaf and thyme, bring to the boil, skimming off the scum. Reduce heat and Add carrots partially cover and simmer stirring occasionally for about 30-40 mins until lentils are well cooked.
  3. Remove the bay leaf and blend the soup at this point. Season to taste. Add Kabanossi, heat for a further 5 mins. Serve.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Soups Day 1

A few years back my mum bought me a book called “SOUPS – over 200 of the best recipes”. I have to say I'm not a fan of cookery books, mainly because you have all these fancy recipes that require a pile of ingredients that are not in my cupboard!  But I really like this one.
I decided to share some of these here.......sort of a soup for every day of the week. So for Day 1.

YELLOW PEA SOUP WITH CHORIZO. A Spicey pulse-based soup. Serves 6

375g [12oz] split yellow peas, soaked overnight in cold water.
2 tablespoons Olive oil
Chorizo sausage, thinly sliced
1 Onion finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves finely chopped
1.2l [2 pints] Chicken Stock
900ml [1 1/2 pints] water
1 Bay leaf
1 Sprig of Thyme
3 Carrots, quartered and thinly sliced.

  1. Drain the soaked peas and rinse
  2. heat the oil in a large pan, add chorizo and cook on moderate heat for 5 mins until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon, leave to drain on kitchen roll. Retain 1 tablespoon of oil in pan.
  3. Add onion and garlic cook on moderate heat for 5 mins until soft. Add peas, stock, water, bay leaf and thyme, bring to the boil, skimming off the scum. Reduce heat and partially cover and simmer stirring occasionally for 1 1/4 hours.
  4. Add carrots and cook for a further 30 mins until tender. Season to taste. Remove the bay leaf and add chorizo, heat for a further 10 mins. Serve.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Another productive day..... kind of

Ok so this was late last night early this morning. I had to run up a birthday card for the DH, since I couldn't get rid of him in town on shopping day to buy one.  Still it turned out ok in my half sleepy state and on the inside it just read "....... for tea & cake!!!  Happy birthday!"  Well it was all I could come up with at that time in the morning.

Anyway I got up early and baked a cake for him to go with it. And I'm off in a minute to cook his steak dinner.
He had his spending spree yesterday so I guess he's content for now ;o)

He kept me busy today on the sewing machine, it's not often a man asks you to make curtains now is it?  Now they're not anything spectacular or fancy for that matter. Even the pattern runs from left to right  rather than up and down, but hey the front porch isn't used much and it's concrete.
I used the only fabric that I had big enough to fit, added some other fabric to edge the top and used hoops from a belt for the curtain rings.  The pole we bought yesterday, think it's supposed to be for a shower?!

Once all that was finally done, I decided to make a cover for the steering wheel.  This is because I have too many allergic reactions to stuff, and strongly suspect that the car steering may be causing my skin reaction on my hand.  This I've had for years and it has only now occurred to me to make a cover, at least that way it will always be covered and I won't be forgetting to protect my skin when driving.
Basically  you measure the steering wheel circumference. Take that measurement and cut the fabric on the stretch way, to fit that length when stretched.  Mine was 46 inches and the fabric was 42" unstretched.  Then I cut it 5 inches  wide, sewed the ends together so that I had a hoop. Folded the outer edges 1.5 cm and stitched, leaving a gap for the elastic. {The elastic I also stretched to 46 before cutting}, did this to both edges, threaded through the 1/2cm wide elastic and stitched everything in place.  In the end the cover was 3.5 inches wide and fitted perfectly.
I love it and it's such a tight fit that it doesn't slide, another bonus is that it is easy to wash too!!

I've just noticed that it is 1 year today since I started blogging.......... where does the time go?! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Knitted Boots

Ok so now that I've actually finished thanks to the DH or DOH (Dopey Other Half) as he broke my smaller curved upholstery needle.... So he's in the Sin Bin for the day!!!

Just a finished wearable pic and one so you can see the actual pattern clearly.  They turned out to be a size 7-8 in the end so  I think I could have bought a size 6 espadrille for the sole and gotten a good fit for my 7 1/2 feet.

Still I'm looking forward to wearing them when it gets cold enough...... hopefully a good few months away yet!