Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Ijeoma Ruana: Major Hitch

I posted a couple of months ago about the Ijeoma Ruana and how I'd found the perfect yarn, Patons Colour Works Aran.


Well, on Monday night I was in the process of purchasing the yarn for the Ijeoma project. Deramores was having a big sale on some of their yarns so I didn't want to miss this opportunity.
When I tried to add my required number of balls to the basket a little message popped up telling me that only four balls were available. Now at first I was going to just buy these four and then get the rest at a later date, but then I got thinking, is this yarn on sale, because it's on sale or is it being discontinued.

I decided to do a search on the yarn and found other sites selling it at full price, then I stumbled upon one that had DISCONTINUED written in big read letters.

This is when I began to panic, the next step was to check the company website, so I went to Coats Crafts, and tried to check their list of current yarns. Patons Colourwarks Aran was not on the list.

I  now panic even more, but I needed absolute confirmation so emailed them. Yesterday morning I got the response...

Unfortunately Patons Colourworks Aran is being discontinued. Sorry for the inconvenience.

I worked so hard searching for this yarn. Now I feel like I'm back to square one and contemplating whether or not I'm going to do another swatch.

If the yarn knits up to the same gauge I won't, but otherwise it looks like I'm going to have to take a few steps back with this pattern.

Ijeoma Swatch
Ijeoma Swatch

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Madison Progress

I've been working on Martin Storey's Madison Poncho for a few months now. After a shaky start I'm now getting into the groove of things, despite my jammed pinky finger. Yesterday I hit a milestone by completing one of the neckline sections. In the picture below, I'm a few rows away from completing it. I worked on a few rows of the other section last night and I'm now 52 rows away from this being complete. If all goes to plan I should finish this by Friday, with DH being on holiday from work I'm hoping to get this done sooner.

Below is a snap of the project as it appears in Simply Knitting magazine, its looks so daunting but is actually easy and quick to make up (as long as you keep track of your rows).

Here is a picture taken from Hannaknits1's Ravelry project page, you can see the finished piece much better. Doesn't it look cosy, if I saw someone wearing this on the street I'd want one for myself.

I can't wait until it's finished and I can strut down the street looking fabulous, with everyone unable to believe that I made it myself.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Chocolate Domes

In my last post I talked about my recent baking ventures. One of the my experiments was a mix of chocolate ganache with the biscuits that I mistakenly made without butter. I cut the ganache/biscuit mix into squares, but they were too soft so I needed to think of a way to have that soft biscuity texture without leaving hands covered in chocolate.

After much pondering I though about covering them in melted chocolate which would solidify making it possible to handle, but just covering it in chocolate wouldn't be enough...oh no...I had to think of a way to jazz them up. So after more pondering I remembered that I had bought cake pop moulds which would be perfect for my new creation.

This is the result. (I only had enough chocolate to make two)

Here's what it looks like on the inside...

I'm going to make these one more time before finalising the recipe. I think these will make a great contribution to the family Christmas meal, though as one of my sisters is vegan (yeah, more meat for me), I'll have to do a vegan version.

So I will en devour to get this done for Christmas so that you can all enjoy them too.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

More Baking Trials

I felt like baking over the weekend and as DH was at work I didn't want to make anything that was too time consuming or messy. I'd bought a madeleine tray a few weeks ago, something that I'd had my eye on for a while, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it out. The moulds were a lot larger than I was expecting, the madeleines I'd seen online and in books were all small and dainty, mine almost looked like scallop shells.

Madeleine Pan
Madeleine Tray

All the recipes for madeleines seemed pretty straightforward so I was confident I could develop my own.

The first batch were baked at a medium to high temp, and by the time they were done, some of them looked a little dark.

Home made Madeleines
First batch of Madeleines

For the second batch I decided to lower the temperature, this helped a lot though when I added the remaining batter and put that in the oven, they were done a couple of minutes earlier and were almost darker than the first batch. I think I'll have to cool the tray down before putting another batch in next time.

Second batch of Madeleines

In terms of taste, they were delicious, my tripolatas snuck a few from the cooling rack when my back was turned. This the first non biscuit treat that they've loved, I'll have to think of other flavours and toppings once the recipe is finalised.
The only thing I wasn't happy about was their appearance, these don't look as defined as other madeleines I've seen. I'll keep on the look out for another tray with smaller, better defined moulds.

Chocolate and Biscuit Bites
Chocolate and Biscuit Bites

In my last post I discussed the baking fail, which I accidentally turned into a possible great new recipe. On Monday night I decided to try mixing the biscuits with chocolate and make some chocolate biscuit bites (I'm still working on a better name).

After leaving it in the fridge to set I cut them into squares, the chocolate seemed quite soft so I had put the bites in a container and keep them back in the fridge to firm them up. I should have expected this as it is a ganache, but I've come up with an idea on how to overcome this. I'll also add more biscuit for some extra bite.

They tasted delicious by the way.

These trials will have to go on hold for this week, due to other commitments. So if I'm very organised this coming weekend I'll make another batch of madeleines on Monday and maybe do another of the chocolate bites later that evening.

If all goes well, you'll have two more of my fabulous recipes to add to your collection.