Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Working on my cross stitch WIPs

I have grossly miscalculated how much I can achieve this month, so I have adjusted my expectations. I have finished October and most of November on my Woodland sampler with just one month to complete - July.

Progress will be slow as I can't get good stitch definition with white and the remainder of November is white and there are white dandelions in the July block.

However I have now put it away until after Xmas and I am working on Merry & Bright, clue 2 of which was released on Monday evening.

I will work on this every day after my advent knitting. It should be finished but not framed by Xmas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Progress on my knitting WIPs

A plan only works if you follow the plan and I am easily distracted. However I have finished my first WIP of my juniper socks.

The wool came in a Tunisian crochet kit from my friend Claire. However I will be trying out Tunisian crochet in 2017.

I took my cables down the back socks to my WI sock knitting group and I made progress, but I soon realised why they were languishing - they were too narrow. They have been ripped back and replaced with my vanilla advent socks.

The toes were knit from the same Opal mini skein and then I am doing different skeins on each foot and aim to add matching heels and cuffs. This is not a knitted bikini, thank you Jo for the feedback! That brings all sorts of horrible pictures to mind.

I also started the Peace cowl by @healthyknitter but I didn't like how it was turning out, do I ripped that out too. I have added six more sets of three rows to my mini mania shawl and it's interesting to compare the two ends as they have some completely different colours in them.

The only other progress to report is that my White Stuff inspired scarf is out of my cupboard and in a bag with the pom poms to work on one evening. The parts are assembled in one place to make it easy to grab the bag and finish the scarf.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A plan for my knitting WIPs

I need a plan for my knitting WIPs as well as my cross stitch WIPs. So in progress I have:

1. Juniper socks for Knitvent. I am on the second sock

2. White stuff scarf, just needs the pom poms to be sewn on
3. Afterthought heel socks, just need the heels to be knit
4. Gondola shawl - I need to add some beads to a row that I have already knit and then finish the last clue.
5. Inglis Raven Mitts by Ysolda Teague. Both mitts are half complete
6. Cables down the back socks. I am doing the heel flap on the first sock
7. Mini mania scarf. I will add one set of three rows from my Opal advent calendar in December.

I would like to get all of my knitting projects finished in 2016, ready for Little Bobbins' Christmas Eve socks cast on. Now back to my Woodland sampler cross stitch.

Monday, November 28, 2016

A plan for my cross stitch WIPs

Having got back from a 16 day holiday in the Mediterranean , I have found it difficult to get back into the swing of things. So I decided it was time to formulate a plan to finish some WIPs in December and 2017. I also added to my cross stitch WIPs by buying two further Christmas patterns. There is no hope for me.

I have 11 WIPs including my hugs tapestry cushion and a floral cushion in tent stitch, which I need to move into the same bag as my other WIPs. So firstly I have:
3. 12 days of Christmas to work on during November and December 2017
4. Xmas on Gingerbread Lane to work on during October 2017 as this one is nearer to completion.
5. Pretty Little London which has twelve ten stitch wide columns so I will do one column per month in 2017 as well as taking it on our cruise in March.
6. Holly Jolly Santa which is the smallest chart and which I am going to work on at my quilting group in December 2016.

7. Christmas Celebration sampler is a new purchase for which I don't gave the threads so this will be hibernating.
8. Merry & Bright is a new pattern which I took on our recent holiday and completed the first clue. The second clue is released in a week's time.
9. Woodland sampler will be completed this year as I have already done the date on the sampler.
10. Spring sampler to be worked on at my quilt group in January and February 2017. It is very nearly complete.

11. Once upon a time which I will sew each month and if I have already completed the relevant month, I will stitch two border squares.

Assembling all my projects in one place has been therapeutic and I have put away the kit I was working on and have moved the Woodland sampler into the lounge yo work on in the evenings and Holly Jolly Santa is now in the car ready to work on this Wednesday.

I have also formulated a plan for other aspects of cross stitching:
1. I am going to unsubscribe from the temptation which is the Frosted Pumpkin on Facebook and Instagram
2. I am going to destash my stock of linen and aida immediately
3. In 2017 I am going to destash all of my threads that are not needed for these projects
4. My one remaining kit which hasn't been started is to be given to a friend on Wednesday.  First I have to find it!

That feels much better. Now I need to do the same for my knitting projects.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Black butter bundt #bundtbakers

The theme of this month's recipe challenge is apples. I have to admit I don't like cooked apples nor do I like apple juice from a carton. however I have found out over the last year that I love fresh apple juice as it tastes like apples and isn't processed. Whilst away at the Festival of Quilts last week, we were discussing comedians who have appeared in Jersey and Stephen K Amos came to mind along with the jar of black butter that he was given and an idea formed.

Black butter is  locally produced mostly by the National Trust once a year but also by La Mare Vineyards. Read more about it here. we have had two 220g jars in the cupboard for some time that came in hampers as gifts. So a black butter bundt it would be.

I paired the black butter with apple and cinnamon yogurt as both flavours are in the black butter and decided on the Nordicware heritage tin.

So here's the recipe which worked beautifully at the first attempt. The icing, wasn't such a success so I will let you use your favourite icing recipe.

225g margarine
200g black butter
250g homemade vanilla sugar
3 large eggs
350g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
250g yogurt

The addition of the baking powder to the self raising flour means that you can do an all in one method (thank you Delia). Pour into a greased pan and cook for 75 minutes at 160 degrees C

I decorated the bundt with a lemon, cinnamon icing and air dried apple slices. The kitchen smelt like Christmas had come with the lovely spices. It didn't taste overly appley and there is not much left.

If you liked the sound of my bundt, follow these links for more apple bundts:


#BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on the BundtBakers home page.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

July 2016 in socks

I have been hit by the sock making bug and so has my credit card. So many photos of so much lovely yarn on Instagram tempts me every day. However this coming month I am going to give myself a weekly budget (with some birthday money added on) to try and get my stash under control.

Kate Selene is a case in point, even on holiday, she tempted me with her wares and unfortunately Juicy Oasis had good Wi-Fi and thankfully good air conditioning. These are the popular pattern - Hermione's everyday socks in grey pop fizzle.

And these are made from two knit rows on circulars and one row of K1 P1. The yarn is by Biscotte yarns and was some that I won in an online draw. Unfortunately I don't know the name of the colourway as its not on the ball band. Biscotte do fantastic self striping yarns.

And yesterday I cast on this wool for some socks for Imogen of Fig Tree Yarns to take to Yarndale to show off the Holiday Yarns in Norah's Peacock's Big Brother. I am embracing the grellow.

I plan to knit these whilst travelling to and from London on Tuesday. I have an interview near Parsons Green and plan to do some yarn shop visiting using my travel card to its fullest as the interview is at 2.30 pm for an hour. I am on the red eye and will then knit in Gatwick airport until the cheap train fares kick in at 9.30 am.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

My secret garden BOM month 7

I am up to date on this block of the month (BOM) for all of a week as the ninth block will be released next week. I am now having to substitute fabrics for my original picks as a 16" block requires more than just leftovers. I am pleased with how it's coming together.

I love the eclectic background for this block which I am guessing came from an I want her stash bundle from Westwood Acres.

This block was a bonus block in that it is a ten month sew along with twelve blocks to see. It is a variation on a block from a previous month.

And all my blocks so far. Now to catch up with the Summer Sampler.