Saturday, 29 March 2014

I've Been Featured

                    

For the past week and a half I have participated in linky parties all over blog land in an attempt to get more people reading my blog and hopefully build up my followers.

It's a lot of hard work, remembering to actually add a link and then checking other links that have been posted. Things have been made a little easier by Alice of Mum's Make Lists. She has a great calender on her blog that lists a vast array of linky parties plus their general start times. I've selected a few each day and linked these to my Google calendar.

I think that all the linky parties I've participated in so far are based in the States, so for the first couple of days I was up late linking away not wanting to be number 183 on the linky list. I soon realised that I couldn't carry on that way and now focus on parties that launch between 7am and 11pm GMT.

As I have anticipated more traffic, I decided to vamp up the blog. So if you are a returning reader you'll now be able to see what I look like (well from the side any way). I'm also taking my time when taking pictures and have used various editing apps to give them a professional feel.

All this partying seems to have paid off as I've been featured in not one but two linky parties.

             Tropical Fruit Drops @MrsUMakesCinnamon Crunch Cookies @MrsUMakes

The first is over at Go Crochet Crazy and was for my Tropical Fruit Drops. The second was at The Weekend Wind Down for my Cinnamon Crunch Cookies.

If you're also a blogger and you haven't taken part in blog parties, I suggest you start now. I've put together a list of the parties that I take part in under the linkup parties tab.

Let you hair down and PARTAY.

Friday, 28 March 2014

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Almond Loaf Cake




This is the cake that I forgot to take a picture of in my last post, the almond cake that tasted great but was too greasy from all the butter. This time I reduced the amount of butter and allowed the batter to rest in the fridge before transferring it to the tin.

As soon as it came out of the oven, the tripolatas were all over it, I'm surprised that I was able to take the picture. They kept coming over to the book case (the only place were there is enough light), trying to pick out the almonds. In the end I gave each of them a few sprinkles of the almonds to tied tem over til dinner time.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

New Recipes

After posting the recipe for my Cinnamon Crunch Cookies last week, I spent most of this week working on two new recipes.

The first was for yet more biscuits, a sort of jam rolly polly biscuit. In terms of flavour, they turned out great,  I just need to work on the texture of the biscuit itself, with the jam adding a caramelised Jammy Dodger feel to it.

Coconut jam rolly polly biscuit


The second recipe was for a cake, a loaf cake, an almond loaf cake to be exact. This was delicious, however, the butter content was too high, which left the base of the cake greasy.

This is where the picture of the Almond Loaf Cake would have been if I remembered to take one before it was gobbled up

I'll try another batch of the cake over the next few days.

As most of the week has been taken up by baking,  I have done little to no knitting or crocheting. I still haven't received a response from the makers of the Ladies Shrug, but I know where the mistake is so when I get the urge I'll rip the last few rows and carry on.

Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Cinnamon Crunch Cookies



Biscuits seem to be the baking staple of the U household. It's the only baked good that the tripolatas are guaranteed to eat (I've tried apple pie, they ate the apples and left the crust).

Mr U (supposedly) only likes plain cakes, no frosting, no fruit, seed or nuts. So until my boys learn how to appreciate a good home made pie, my oven will be filled with biscuits and the odd cake.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

How To Get Yarn From Old Sweaters


Recycling a sweater for yarn
Unraveled Sweater by My Virtual Sanity

Most of us have a jumper hanging in our wardrobe that we no longer wear because it's misshapen, looks worn or simply doesnt appeal to us any longer and though we don't wear this garment, we just can't seem to get rid of it.

Thanks to Pinterest and Dawn Prickett of My Virtual Sanity I've found a nifty way to put that old jumper to good use, and save money at the same time. It involves unraveling the yarn and using it to knit another piece.

However, if unlike me you don't have an old jumper,  you can do as the original blogger does and check out the offerings of charity shops. This is a great idea as not only are you saving money on yarn, you're also giving towards a good cause.
Click the link to check it out.

Recycling Sweaters for Yarn

I will definitely give this ago, what other methods do you know of for reusing yarn from knitted or crocheted garments?


Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Ladies Shrug & Pocket Poncho Progress


Ladies Shrug by Mon Petit Violon

In my last post I wrote about the new project I was working on,  the Ladies Shrug.  I've been working on this for a few days now and the pattern seems to have a few mistakes in it. I sent a message to the designer but the response didn't help as I don't think they've realised the mistakes that have been made.  I sent another message yesterday evening so hopefully this will bring some clarity.

Ladies shrug progress
Ladies Shrug progress

I'm on the verge of frogging this piece completely,  but I really like it and hope everything can be sorted out.

Now for some positive news,  I'm getting a steady pace on the 'Pocket Poncho' and have made a slight change by way of a button hole (as pointed out by the knitting needle). In the first piece I attached the button to the front of the poncho and fashioned a loop to use as a strap. A button hole feels like a better option and will provide a closure that is a lot more secure.

Pocket Poncho progress
Pocket Poncho progress

Testing the pattern was a very good idea.

Monday, 10 March 2014

On My Hook

Now that I've finished Madison (yay), I needed to move on to another project in my "To Make" list. The pattern I've decided to work on is a crocheted shrug by Mon Petit Violon.

Ladies Shrug
By Mon Petit Violon

The pattern doesn't recommend any particular brand of yarn, just one which knits to a DK weight and to the specified gauge.

I'm using J C Brett Top Value,  it is a cheaper yarn but you get a great amout of yardage for your bucks. I'm making my shrug in blue, I would prefer to do grey like in the above picture but Madison was knitn in the same shade and my wardrobe is in need of some more colours.


I'm already working on a knitted shrug/jacket (also in grey), the pattern for which will be published upon completion. It's worked in moss st with ribbing on either end so only God knows when it will be finished.

Speaking of patterns, I should have published the pattern for the Pocket Poncho by now, but I decided that if I'm going to be a proper knitting/crochet designer I'll have to do things the right way. That means making another one to ensure that the pattern actually works.

Once I've done that I'll swatch for Ijeoma and then MAYBE start work on that also.
If all goes to plan, and that's a big IF, I'd like to have these finised by the summer. So no interruptions please.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Tropical Fruit Drops



My first fruit drop recipes were such a hit with my tripolatas that I decided to try and whip up something new. They love mango, I mean LOVE it. Anytime I buy mango chunks they end up devouring them. I've now resorted to only buying them when the boys are in nursery, it's the only way I get any.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Madison Is Finished

On Saturday, after five months of knitting, a fractured and jammed finger, slipped stitches, and knitting fatigue, I finished the Madison poncho. I have to say that it was worth it, I felt proud wearing it to church on Sunday.

As I neared the finishing line, I was a little worried that I wasn't going to have enough yarn, but the small ball of remaining yarn sitting on my dressers tells me that I was worrying for nothing. I also worried that the cuffs would be tight around my arm, but they were a perfect fit. They're a great feature, and really set the poncho apart from others I've seen. They almost cover my whole hand,  and do the job of a good pair of gloves (black leather gloves will go perfectly with this).

For my first big project I am very veery pleased with the finished piece,  there was only one big mistake, which isn't visible unless you look very closely. The only thing I would change, if I could, would be the positioning of some of the decreases, but again it doesn't detract from the beauty of the finished piece.

If I had the time (and money to spend on the yarn) I wouldn't mind making another one.