Tuesday, 17 November 2015

A Trio of Chocolate Treats

Mrs U Makes... A Trio of Chocolate Treats #nobake @MrsUMakes

I'm not able to bake at the moment and as usual the tripolatas keep asking if I've made them any treats. I don't like giving them a lot of sweets and chocolates, they generally only get these when grandma visits (because she just can't say 'No' to her grand babies).

Monday, 16 November 2015

A Cast On, A WIP and Some Sewing

Mrs U Makes...A Cast On, A WIP and Some Sewing (Rosa Scarf)

I've been a busy bee this weekend, I've worked on the Infinity Scarf, started another project and made a bag.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

WIPs Update

Mrs U Makes...3 in 1 sweater

This is just a quick post to update you on my current projects. Since my last WIPs post, I've done quite a bit of work on the 3 in 1 sweater as you can see in the picture.
I have to do three more pattern repeats of the increase section before the sleeves need to be attached. The sweater has cinched a little where I've stranded the yarn during the colour changes though I should be able to fix this once I've finished this section. I'm now allowing a little slack when stranding the yarns.

The other project I have to show you is my latest crochet design, which for now I'm calling The Infinity Vest. Below is a teaser picture.

Mrs U Makes...Infinity Vest

I started on Sunday and managed to get a portion of it done, I only stopped because I had to calculate how much yarn I'd used and I couldn't be bothered to fish out my scales. Plus my elbow  has begun to get  a little stiff so it needed a rest. This pattern should be quick to make up, so if all goes to plan it will be finished by mid to late December, ready for testing.

I won't be making any Christmas gifts this year, I just don't have the time and can't be sure that all the recipients will still be using, let alone still have their gifts by the time summer rolls in. I'll work towards making something for my mum next year as she is the only person who I can trust to take care of a handmade gift.

What crafty gifts a you making this year?

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Goodies Galore

I've started watching a lot of knitting podcasts on YouTube, they're a great way of passing the time by whilst I'm knitting especially if Mr. U is watching something that I don't particularly care for (e.g. The X Factor). As I'm watching these videos, I find myself staring over their shoulder, looking at their stash of yarn piled into shelves and bookcases.

This got me thinking about my yarn stash and I realised that I don't really have much of a yarn stash. Even before giving away about half of my stash to my sister, most of what I had were either left over balls or yarn I didn't wish to use. What I'm left with doesn't inspire me and I really want to be excited by the yarn I have.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Current WIPs

Mrs U Makes...Fuss Free Baby Cardigan

In my last post, you saw the 3 in 1 Top. At the time, I had only cast on a few stitches for the third section. I'm now happy to announce that since then I have not only cast on the third section. I've also joined it to the second section and worked quite a few rows.

Monday, 26 October 2015

3 in 1 Sweater: An Update

I've come to the realisation that a lot of my post are either about recipes or my own patterns. I don't have a lot of post about my current WIP's. I always have the intention of doing this but most of the time I get so carried away with the actual making.

At the moment I have two main WIP's a top for myself and a cardigan for Little Miss U. I briefly mentioned the 3 in 1 top by Atelier Alfa, in a previous post. This top is knitted in one piece but looks like three layered tops (check it out it looks great).

Friday, 16 October 2015

Rhubarb Frangipane Tarts

Mrs U Makes... Rhubarb Fragipane Tarts #baking @MrsUMakes

In the U household, we don't tend to have desserts after our meals. However, since the tripolatas started school (where they always have pudding) they have been asking, "What are we going to have when we finish our dinner?". Saying 'no' to this question leads to them opening cupboards to see if in fact there is nothing for dessert, then protesting at the lack of said dessert.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Rainbow Coconut Bars

Mrs U Makes... Rainbow Coconut Bars #mymrsumakes #nobake @MrsUMakes

With the cold weather setting in, I can now make a few chocolate based treats for the tripolatas (and for me too). Since the middle of spring I've had a few ideas floating around, and these Rainbow Coconut Bars are one of the simplest to whip up.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Get the Diamanté Shrug

Testing for the Diamanté Shrug is complete and the pattern is now available to download from Ravelry and Craftsy, check out the PDF Patterns tab at the top of the page. It will soon be available at Etsy, Folksy and Love Knitting. I really hope you like this piece, it always gives me great pride and satisfaction to see something I've envisioned in my mind come to life.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Cheese Straws

Mrs U Makes...Cheese Straws, a quick and easy after school #treat @MrsUMakes

The tripolatas' birthday party has been and gone, I spent the end of July and beginning of August planning and trying out different treats. I had hoped to post the recipes up at that time but there was so much to do. Now that the tripolatas have gone back to school I can get back to baking and making recipes.

The first of these is a savoury snack, which the tripolatas have asked for several times this week. I can't express how simple these are to whip up, making them a great after school treat.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Hat's Off To Ya - Hat 1 and 2

About a week after my last post, the movement in my elbow was restored. There are times when it becomes slightly stiff, but that's mainly due to Little Miss U's night feeds. I have now started the 3 in 1 top by Atelier Alfa, the first section was completed last week. Before starting the next section I want to make the second hat in the Hats Of To Ya Kid series and also start knitting a cardigan for Miss U.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Out Of Action...Again

Mrs U Makes... Crochet Baby Hat @MrsUMakes #mymrsumakes #hatsofftoyakid

Ever since I started testing on the Diamanté Shrug I've had a serious itch to start a new project. I spent most of last week searching through Ravelry and my Pinterest project queue board. Eventually I settled on this by Atelier Alfa. I didn't have enough stash yarn so ordered some from Deramores. 

This didn't ease my knitting crave as I'd have to wait for the yarn to become available. So off again I went looking for items to make until the yarn arrived, I realised that the easiest thing to make would be baby hats, crocheted baby hats to be exact. I'd be able to wing a few patterns and use up some of my yarn stash. My plan was to make about six hats and write up the patterns in an eBook, I even have a name for it.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Infinity Vest: Final Stitches

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had recieved the yarn for my next crochet project. Since then I've been testing different stitches and have chosen my final three.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Party Treats: Ninjabread Men & Superhero Cupcakes

I finally made the Ninjabread Men using the recipe that was on the back of the box they came in. This was the first time I'd made Ninjabread (gingerbread) biscuits, which I find very surprising. The recipe called for molasses and shortening, both of which I didn't have.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Diamanté Shrug

I have finished the Diamanté Shrug, do you like it. The name was inspired by the diamonds running across the cowl , I would have loved to have had diamond shaped buttons on the back but I think the ones I finally choose do a great job of complementing it.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Marshmallow Krispie Treats

In my last post I wrote about the Superhero Party Rings that I tested in preparation for the tripolatas' 5th birthday party. On Friday I made a very small batch of marshmallow krispie treats, I set them in cake pop molds because I didn't think ahead and prepare something larger to set them in.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Party Treats - Superhero Party Rings

It's the tripolatas' birthday in a couple of weeks and throwing them a birthday party for the first and (according to Mr U.) last time. There isn't really a theme for the party itself but most of the food will be based on superheroes.

I asked each of the tripolatas who their favourite superhero was, tripolata 1 said Iron Man and Bumblebee from Transformers, tripolata 3 also said Iron Man for his first choice and "Hulk Smash!" as his second. Tripolata 2 chose Spider-Man and Captain America.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Cowl Cardi Finished...well almost

Yesterday I finished working on the Cowl Cardi (I'm still thinking of a name). Even up to the point of working the last stitch, I was still worried that it wouldn't work in the way that I had envisioned. As it was late I had to wait until this morning to pin the piece together and 'Thank You Lord' it worked. The size is great, the drape is perfect and the stitch pattern on the cowl is noticeable without being too out-there.

Cowl Cardi @MrsUMakes #mymrsumakes
Cowl Cardi

Monday, 29 June 2015

Cowl Cardi

For the past few months I have been working on a new crochet project as part of the 'All In One' line. I'd been making great progress, and up until Saturday, was 75% of the way through. It was then that I realised that the cowl portion of the cardi was not working. It was too stiff and so wouldn't sit properly, this is how I want it to look.

Cowl Cardi 

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Apphia Blanket

It's been a couple of months since I posted here, and with good reason. For the past few months I'd been waiting for a very important package, this wait made me very tired and caused me to lose the desire to bake or do anything crafty.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Ijeoma Has Been Published

After weeks of testing the Ijeoma Ruana Wrap is now ready to purchase from Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy. I've also added it to the PDF Patterns tab, where you can purchase or download (for free) all my patterns. This has been the largest of all the items that I have designed and I'm so happy that it's now out there.

I've already started my next project, a sort of oversized crocheted cardigan (pictures coming soon) and hope to be able to work on this consistently so that I can finish it as soon as possible.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Resurrection Sunday Treats: Mini Bites

As mentioned in my last post, this period is very important for me and my family and to celebrate I've made some delicious treats for everyone to enjoy. My second Resurrection Day recipe are these Mini Bites, along with my Chocolate Domes they are sure to make any celebration just that little bit tasty.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Resurrection Sunday Treats: Chocolate Domes

For my family and I this time of year is very important, it's when we celebrate Christ's sacrifice which has allowed us to be part of a mighty Kingdom and opens the way for us to live in relationship with God.

It reminds us of His love and grace towards us, Christ paid the ultimate price so we don't have to.

This is one of those times in the year when the family gets together and I always like to make a special treat. I didn't want to make something that was focused on baby chicks, eggs and bunny rabbits so my chocolate domes seemed like the perfect option along side these Mini Bites.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Crocheted Baby Blanket

I haven't done any baking lately, but I wanted to quickly pop over and share one of my latest projects. It's a crocheted baby blanket for someone close to us.

It's not 100% complete as I may make it bigger as time goes on, if possible, but for now I'm happy with it. This will be published as a free pattern, something I haven't done in a while. So watch this space.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Savoury Swirls

Mrs U Makes...Savoury Swirls

As much as I love home baked goodies, nothing gets my mouth watering or my taste buds buzzing like a savoury snack. Given the choice I'd pick savoury over sweet any day, on the odd occasion that we eat out at a restaurant I will always order a starter.

This week I've been hankering for something savoury, something that I could eat with one hand whilst walking around the house carrying out daily chores (apart from cleaning the bathroom).

Three of my favourite ingredients in the whole universe are garlic, basil, and mozzarella. Combined with tomatoes, they make a perfect marriage and I definitely wanted them in whatever snack I was going to make.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Triple Chocolate Bark

With the half term holidays drawing to an end, I've decided to take the Tripolatas to the Natural History Museum. When planning what to pack in their lunch bags, I wanted to add something that was a real treat.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Great British Biscuits: Fruit Shortcake Biscuits

When it comes to biscuits I personally shy away from the store bought ones preferring to eat those that are home-made. However, when it comes to the tripolatas I will at times buy biscuits when I haven't had a chance to bake any. Even then, I'm weary about what to buy as I don't always know exactly what's inside them and imagine that they may not be great quality.

I can spend a few minutes in the biscuit isle trying to decide which to buy and I've realised that my choices all have a theme, they're all classic British biscuits. I'd eaten all of them as a child and was now giving them to my own children, so why not learn to make them myself and give my boys a classic treat that I know has been well made.
Click here for the video version of this recipe.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Getting My Knitting Pattern Tested

As stated in the last post about Ijeoma, the pattern is currently being tested. The test is due to end at the end of March so the pattern should be available then. One of my testers has already finished working on the pattern and I'm eagerly waiting to see pictures of the completed ruana.

I'm so glad to have been able to have the pattern tested in this way. So far my testers have highlighted areas of the pattern that needed improvement, which I have done. They've also spotted a slight mistake in the instructions and made other suggestions.

I would encourage every knitting or crochet designer to have their patterns tested. No matter how many times you proof read your pattern, there will always be something that someone else spots or improvement that can be made.
The problem with pattern testing is that for designers like myself who are independent and just starting out, hiring testers isn't an option with our limited financial resources.

That's one reason why I love Ravelry's Pattern Testers Group. First and foremost it's free, you don't have to pay to test a pattern or have a pattern tested. For a designer this means knowing that your design works and getting immediate feedback. For testers it means getting new patterns before they are available to anyone else.

The other great thing about this group is the fact that it is moderated and there are rules and regulations that both designers and testers must follow. You also set the boundaries of your test, such as how many people you want, the time frame, the specific feedback you require and so on.

There may be other free testing sites out there but this is the one that I will stick with for my future designs.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Pancakes Three Ways

With Shrove Tuesday fast approaching many people are preparing for Lent, filling up on the things that they will be giving up. Though I'm Christian I've never observed Lent as it's not a biblical requirement, however, I try to fast occasionally throughout the year.

This time of year is probably one of the most important in the Christian calender as we reflect on the sacrifice that Christ made for the world. For many Lent is a time for them to reflect on their own lives, and giving up their favourite treats is one of the ways in which they do this.

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Berrylicious Oat Bars

Berrylicious Oat Bars by Mrs U Makes

After the success of the Coconut and Jam Roly Poly Biscuits, the tripolatas have been expecting more baked goodies. It's usually the first thing they ask me when I pick them up from school.

Knowing that I would eventually have to present something to them, I looked for some inspiration. I wanted something that was relatively healthy and required little effort, so cakes and biscuits were out of the question.

I considered making another Fruit Drops recipe, but kids being kids I didn't want to risk them getting bored. So I went in between, a fruity bar that had to be baked.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Double Dip Biscuits: Take 1

The tripolatas went to my mum's place this weekend, so I was all alone and took advantage by working on an idea that came to me one night.

I'd been given this great piping gun by my sister a few Christmases ago and had only used it a handful of times.
I thought that it was about time I tested it fully with a biscuit dough recipe I found in a book.

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Fruit and Seed Drops

Fruit and Seed Drops by Mrs U Makes

Last week I went on a trip to the London Transport Museum with the boys and their class. I had to put together a packed lunch, which had to be relatively healthy and nut free. With many of my usual treats containing nuts I had to think of an alternative item to add to their lunch bags.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Coconut and Jam Roly Poly Biscuits

Coconut and Jam Roly Poly Biscuits by Mrs U Makes

It's been a long time since I baked anything,  so I thought it was only fitting that my come back recipe be these Coconut and Jam Roly Poly Biscuits.

I first made these a while back and wasn't happy with the texture, so I made a little adjustment to the baking temperature and placed the baking sheet on a lower oven rack and it worked. They turned out exactly how I wanted them.

Coconut and Jam Roly Poly Biscuits by Mrs U Makes

I've used strawberry jam in these biscuits, but you can use whatever jam you have to hand.

Monday, 5 January 2015

New Project: Sirdar Knitted Vest

Sirdar Country Style DK

I thought I'd drop by and fill you in on what I've been up to. Since finishing the Ijeoma Ruana, I have two people testing the pattern, I'm hoping for a third just to be sure that the pattern is clear and correct.

Before starting on my next designs, I began working on this tank top from Sirdar. I started on Friday night finished the back a couple of hours ago. After reading the notes Ravelry from others who have already made this vest, I see that I could have made this in the round, eliminating the need to seam it at the end.

I'll try and cast on for the front this evening, with the boys going back to school tomorrow I'll have a few uninterrupted hours of knitting. After this I'll work on knitting two more tops, which are already in my Ravely queue.