Published February 28, 2010
Tags: Crafts, Gift Men, Hat, Knitting, Pattern, Yarn
My brother in-law has been pestering me for a knitted hat for the past winter. He has a slouchy winter hat that he loves, the only problem was that his brother loved it too and bought one the same. So now he has no hat to wear when his brother is about. Unfortunately it is not looked kindly on when you dress the same as your sibling over the age of 5.
So last weekend he was at it again. And my reply was ’sure, just pick the wool.’ And he did. It was the fasted and most willing entry of a man in a wool shop that I’ve ever seen! I though I would try my hand at designing myself for once. Only a simple pattern, and nice and chunky to keep out the winter cold. This pattern is very simple and suitable for beginners. It can be knitted easily in a weekend due to the thickness of the wool and easiness of the pattern. I knitted mine in an afternoon.
I used 1×100g ball of Sirdar Denim Ultra in shade 0649. Tension 9 sts x 12 rows per 10cms and using 10mm/US15 needles. The tension can be altered to create a looser or tighter fitting hat.
- Cast on 52sts
- *Knit 2, Purl 2* repeat to end
- *Purl 2, Knit 2* repeat to end
- Repeat previous row 22 times
- *Purl 2, Knit 2 together* repeat to end
- *Purl 2, Knit 1* repeat to end
- Repeat previous row 2 times
- *Purl 2 together, Knit 1* repeat to end
- *Purl 1, Knit 1* repeat to end
- Repeat previous row 2 times
- Break yarn and thread through remaining stitches. Pull tight and fasten off securely. Graft to make up seam.
Published February 26, 2010
Tags: Canning, Cooking, Food, Jarring
I have an inherited need to always have a well stocked cupboard. My dad feels this intense need too. I think it was prompted after being snowed into our home (we never got snow, but you couldn’t open the door because of the drifts in this particular freak event) for a week. I feel this need too for some reason. I usually keep assorted beans, chopped tomatoes, some tinned veggies, curry sauce and so on. But I’ve realized that I’m just throwing away money buying Italian tomato sauces for quick pasta suppers. The thing is, I’ve always been pretty lazy and thought it would be an impossibility that the food would keep in jars without incubating some kind of life form. But after a pizza party the other week, I made this stellar tomato sauce for the base and I was convinced to go for it.
I stored up my jars, washed and scrubbed them and put them to dry in the oven at 140 degrees C. Meanwhile I got on with my sauce which was composed of:
- 8 Medium Onions, several cloves of Garlic (about 4) and a liberal dash of Olive Oil in a large soup pot on a low heat to sweat down for 5 minutes.
- Odds and Ends of Vegetables you have in the fridge (optional, I used some mushrooms, peppers and cherry tomatoes), bung them all in on top of your Onions.
- A tablespoon of dried Basel or Oregano (its good to have this in early to soften it up and infuse. Fresh can also be used but put it in last, or when you want to use your sauce) in your pot also. Leave for 5 more minutes for the veggies to soften up.
- Empty 6 cans of tomatoes and a carton of passata and leave your sauce to simmer away on a low heat. Occasionally check on it and give it a stir. Leave to simmer for as long as possible. I left mine for 3 hours but 5 would have been preferable.
- Blend and empty into jars while still hot.
We had some for dinner with pasta and chive and pork sausages and fresh focaccia and it was delicious. I see lots of chilli, lasagna, Bolognese and all sorts in the future!
Published February 24, 2010
Tags: Crafts, Snow
Its snowing and wet and horrible outside. I should really be working, but its such a perfect craft day. What should I do?! The guilt is getting to me. Perhaps I can fly through my work and fit in some knitting at the end. Argh! The work load keeps piling up and my crafty stuff is getting dusty in the corner. The eternal dilemma…
Published February 22, 2010
Crafts , Jewelry , Knitting , Natter
Tags: Beads, Crafts, Crochet, Fabric, Jewelry, Knitting, Shopping
Another great weekend where I went a little bit craft crazy. I really must learn to rein myself in. First off was a stop in Ikea, on Friday, to pick up some pretty fabric off cuts. I love its retro black and white styling. Now just to come up with a project for it…
Then came a quick trip to the Bead Shop Scotland , on Saturday, to spend some christmas gift vouchers. My favourite kind of spending! I only picked up a few things, mainly findings, chain, and chord but I did find some sweet new beads. My favourites would have to be my unusual Russian Doll beads. They were flying out of the shop and I can see why! I also nabbed a little cupcake bead. Made from fimo, I really only bought it to take note of how to replicate it at home. This will have to be an upcoming weekend project.
Then Sunday, to top the whole weekend off was a quick stop by Hobbycraft(much to the dismay of my boyfriend) to pick up a few balls of wool. My main buy was two gigantic balls of DK Cream and a crochet hook. I’m determined to learn to crochet and my ultimate goal is a throw comprised of Granny Squares. And I also treated myself to two gorgeous balls of blue/green wool. I hoping to knit myself something as a treat. I feel I’m always knitting other people things lately. I’m thinking mittens or a hat…
Last night while watching the Men’s Snowboard Cross I started my next project. It’s a sewing one. Part of my New Years ambitions are to increase by sewing abilities. I have a sewing machine which sits lonely in a cupboard of the flat. I would love to be good at using it but unfortunately every time I take it out I end up cursing it the swearing never to use it again. I surprised I never dumped it in the bin prior to this. Also my lack of money is proving a driving force in my will to re-learn how to sew. The lining on my beloved winter coat is looking a little sad in places and I want to prolong its life as long as possible.
Anyway, back on topic, I came across this cute little idea for a cover for the strap on my DSLR. I love the idea of personalizing it and adding a little bit of a feminine twist on its brutish masculine design. And its such an easy project! A perfect starting point for me.
I got a fat quarter of some cute fabric on Ebay, and it arrived yesterday in the post. Although I’m not in love with it for use as a camera strap cover, it’s such an easy project that it would be very easy to make several depending on your mood. Now I need to think of what to do with the remaining fabric.
Anyway, last night I cut out the fabric and ironed the seams ready for sewing. Following a slip up with the sizing (Never forget the golden rule of woodwork: Measure twice, cut once. It definitely applies to sewing), I was ready to go. I intended to finish it tonight but I had an hour to kill at lunch time and thought ‘why not?’ It only took a few minutes after setting myself up with my chosen threads, to sew it then turn it inside out and thread it onto the strap. And it looks fab for the effort involved! I’m really happy with it. The only snag is that perhaps I should have been a little more generous with the length as the yellow lines of the below strap are peeking out a little. Oh well. Overall, its a success, very much recommended.
Published February 14, 2010
Tags: Card Making, Craft, Gift, Tea, Valentines Day
Happy Love Day to you. It’s started off a bit of a disaster as I’ve given up on trying to finish my surprise knitting project in time, but I promise I will get back to it and show you. But I did manage to throw together a card. Super cute eh? I was inspired by a card I saw at Hidden Art. Although I had to sacrifice a precious tea bag I think it was worth it. And it only took two seconds.
In the meantime, the sun is out here so we’re heading out to enjoy ourselves! I hope you do the same.