Blocking Wires, Yarn and Chocolate Cake!

March 31, 2012 § 2 Comments

Blocking Wires

I’m sorry I’ve been absent but I’ve been very busy and and a little “blog-lazy”.

I’ve finished knitting my Japanese Feather scarf and the other day my ultrafine blocking wires arrived so I’m hoping to get it blocked this weekend so I can show you the finished product next week.

I bought these from Inspinknity and I notice at the moment they have free US and Canada shipping and $5 international shipping until the end of the 31st March. If you’re in the market for these then you better be quick.

 

2 ply Cashmere Yarn

I also bought a ball of the finest Cashmere 2ply I have ever seen from Knitters’ Addiction.

It’s so fine (100g = 1000 yards!) that I really gave up on knitting lace with it because it looked so unstructured. It is no exaggeration to say that I knitted and undid at least 15 or 20 different patterns trying to find one that looked good with yarn this fine.

The photo doesn’t really show you how fine it is. A friend actually thought it was single ply it is so fine.

I ended up opting for a 6 stitch rib which is light and airy and classic. I’ll show you soon.

Chocolate Cake

I have found what I believe to be THE BEST chocolate cake recipe I have ever tasted. I found the recipe on the Cadbury site here.

You know me though, I had to tweak it a little. My tweaks were: I substituted Flora ProActiv Buttery margarine for the butter and I added 1 cup of frozen raspberries to the final batter. I didn’t make any icing/frosting as I didn’t have icing sugar in my pantry but it really didn’t need it.

The cake was rich and moist and light and it really didn’t leave you feeling weighed down. It was so moist and the raspberries just took it to a whole other taste sensation! What’s more as the cake aged it got moister and tastier not drier. A real winner!

The Cat in the Cupboard

March 21, 2012 § 4 Comments

I was sitting hand-quilting my In a Spin quilt this afternoon. I looked up and saw that Mr Tiggy had decided to stake his claim to an empty shelf in the Ikea cupboard I use for my stash. Previously the stash shared the cupboard with books but now that we have all those lovely new bookshelves I have some spare space. I haven’t bothered rearranging things yet as all this furniture will have to be moved (yes and my stash packed up) for the new carpet to be laid so I guess Mr Tiggy can have it for a while yet.


P.S. That’s my latest lacy scarf he’s curled up with. I’m waiting for my blocking wires to arrive so I can wash it and block it into shape, then I’ll show you.

Now you see it…

March 19, 2012 § 8 Comments

Ugly, ugly TVs. I detest them. We just bought a cheap one, previously we didn’t have one in the lounge at all. However, it’s kept to the side and we only wheel out in front of the couch when we want to watch it. I still don’t like it though it’s so ugly. Hence the title:

Now you see it…

 

And now you don’t!

Serendipity to the rescue

It just so happens that my Arabesque reverse appliqué quilt is the right size to cover it. So, some elastic, two safety pins (don’t tell anyone)and a few minutes later the offending TV is invisible. We keep the TV unplugged when we’re not using it so there’s no chance of it overheating or anything like that. What do you think? Does it work or does it look seriously weird – or perhaps both?

Banana and Blueberry Cake – free recipe

March 16, 2012 § 1 Comment

I’ve had a few requests for the recipe for my Banana and Blueberry cake so I’m posting it here. Just a few things to note: as I make it, the cake contains no added sugar, I use Splenda™. This is an artificial sweetener that you can use measure for measure like sugar. So if you prefer sugar just substitute the same quantity. Also you can make this cake using sultanas instead of blueberries if you prefer. I also used Flora ProActiv, a cholesterol lowering margarine but you can use any margarine or butter if you prefer.

Ingredients

2 tbsp melted margarine/butter

3/4 cup Splenda™/sugar

1 1/2cups of self-raising flour

2 ripe bananas roughly mashed (not a complete mush, you want it to be chunky)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries (or sultanas)

2 Extra Large Eggs (weigh more than 73g each)

1/2 cup milk (I used low fat A2 milk but you can use your favourite one)

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste.

 

Method

Place the dry ingredients (flour, Splenda™, cinnamon in a bowl and mix well. In another bowl add the melted margarine, then the vanilla paste, then the milk and finally the eggs and mix well.

Add the frozen blueberries to the dry ingredients and mix so they are coated. Make a well in the centre and add the mashed banana and then add the wet ingredients to the bananas, stirring all the time. When these are mixed, gently stir the well mixture so that it picks up the dry ingredients and incorporates them  into the mix. Do not over mix or the cake will become tough. Mix it just enough so that it is thoroughly mixed and no more.

Grease a silicon loaf tin and pour the mixture into it. Cook in the middle of a fan-forced oven for 40 – 45 minutes at 180deg C. The cake is cooked when a skewer placed in the thickest part comes out dry. Let the cake stand for 2 or 3 minutes once you take it out of the oven then loosen the sides with a knife and turn out onto a cooling tray.

I hope you enjoy it. I like it sliced with a bit of margarine or butter on it.

 

The finished shawl

March 14, 2012 § 6 Comments

Well all that careful, if amateurish, blocking paid off. Here’s the finished shawl and I’m really pleased with the way it turned out. I took the “crumpled” photo so you can see how beautifully it drapes. I do have a question for you experienced lace knitters out there. Do you have to re-block the shawl every time you wash it??

This shawl pattern was a free one from Ravelry called Easy as Pie by Marisa Hernandez. You can access it here if you’re interested.


And just to divert myself because a watched, blocked, shawl never dries I whipped up this Banana and Blueberry cake with no added sugar. It really is delicious.If you’re interested I can post the recipe.

Using what you have

March 13, 2012 § 7 Comments

I’ve finally finished my lace shawl! I think I spent more time unknitting than knitting on this one. The next task was to block the shawl. However, I do not possess a blocking board, blocking wires or T-pins so I had to make do with what I did have – a room whose carpet will be replaced shortly (I hope), a couple of towels, some of those two pronged pins and some quilting safety pins. Here’s the not completely satisfactory result. Let’s hope it’s all right when it dries.

Marla’s scarves

March 10, 2012 § 4 Comments


One of my lovely readers, Marla, has made two scarves from my free Moebius/scarf/cowl pattern and has kindly sent me some photos which she has agreed to let me share with you.The grey one is 100% wool and the coloured one is knitted with lambswool, mohair and silk yarn.

 

Aren’t the colours just beautiful? And it looks so lovely and soft and drapey. Here are some close ups of it.


I think you’ve done a great job Marla. I hope you enjoy wearing them and thanks for sharing them with us.

 

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