Saturday, 3 December 2016

Baby Joggers Simplicity 1564 from an Old Pair of Yoga Pants

My old velour jogging suits had seen better days.  Saggy and worn with straggly bits on the leg cuffs where I've neglected to turn them up.  But it's a lovely stretch fabric so I cut up the bottoms and made a new pair of jogging pants for Little Miss.

Here's the pattern I used from Simplicity 1564:


I always feel the need to top stitch the cuffs when using this pattern.  I really need to remember that it really doesn't improve the look of the pants.



This pair is made up in the large size so it'll be a little while before I can add a picture of them being worn.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Italian Pork Stew with Summer Herbs

I fancied something nice and easy this week, hearty and flavoursome for these chilly evenings.  I flicked through hubby's copy of I Love My Slow Cooker and came across this one.


Here's my ingredients gathered together.  I appear to be completely out of dried mint, I'm not sure how that happened.  So I'm going to butcher my rather pathetic little mint plant.  The fact that my mint plant is struggling should be telling me something about my lack of gardening skills, but no doubt I'll continue to persevere with it.


As always I'm skipping the salt to keep this baby and high blood pressure suffering hubby friendly.  I'm using half a bag of carrots and half a bag of onions as I have plans for the other halves.



No browning of the meat with this recipe - lovely jubbly.

Lots of veggies to chop and fry though.


I added an extra couple of tins of tomatoes because they're cheap and tasty.


A good mix and this is good to sit there for the day.


And here's the finished article served with mustard mash.


The pork was deliciously tender.  It made a pleasant meal which was nice and simple to make.  I'll definitely make it again but I don't think it'll become one of our regular meals.  


Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Noel Light Up Letters from Papermania

A quick little Christmas project for today.  I have a couple of these Papermania Craft Your Own Light Up Letters sets so i thought I'd make one up as a Christmas present for some family I'll be seeing shortly.



I started by coating the front of the letters with Martha Stewart Multi Surface.


Then each letter was stuck to the back of a sheet of patterned paper, Papermania First Noel.


Cut round each letter with sharp scissors.



Rub round all the edges and corners with a bone folder or something similar.



Pierce the paper over each LED light and round the edges with the end of a paint brush or something similar.


Ink the edges of each letter with a gold ink pad.



Paint the exposed kraft edges with white acrylic paint.


And Voila, the finished article.  


It only took me about an hour to complete and it looked very posh when popped back in it's box ready for wrapping.  


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Cosy Alpine Cardigan from King Cole Aran Book 2 in Martha Stewart Crafts Merino Yarn

Wow, this cardigan has been on my needles for MONTHS.  It is very heavily cabled and the most challenging knitting project I have done to date.

It's taken from Aran Book 2 by King Cole written by Sue Batley-Kyle.  This is my current favourite pattern book.  I love arans on little kids, they look so adorable and cosy.  I also love knitting aran style patterns, they generally include just the right amount of stitch variation to keep me from getting bored but are still simple enough to do in front of the telly.

 

Like everything I buy this pattern book was very carefully chosen.  

It contains a very wide range of sizes from birth to 7 years.  Although to be fair I was misled by this.  Only the blanket and sleepsack patterns are from birth the actual garments start at 6 months.  

The patterns are mostly jumpers and cardigans of course in lovely aran styles with a range of complexity.  This particular cardigan is the most complex, there is also a simple stocking stitch cardigan.



The yarn I chose was Martha Stewart Crafts Merino Yarn from Lion Brand which has now been discontinued.  I had to swap down to 4.5mm needles to make the gauge fit the pattern.  The knitting has come out looking a lot tighter than other garments I've made from these patterns but it also has a lot of stretch being so heavily cabled so I think it'll be alright.  

I'm really disappointed with my button placement.  The actual pattern didn't include buttons but I decided to include some.  I wish I'd put more thought into adapting the ribbing and including bigger button holes.  These buttons are fiddly to fasten (just what I need with a toddler to dress!) and I've stretched the right hand side so the neckline doesn't level up.  All that effort for such a glaring mistake that'll be bugging me for years!

The hat is a very slight variation of the Teddy Edward hat in that I didn't bother to add the ears.  They seemed wrong in this color or yarn.  The stitch pattern is a lot more pronounced in the cover picture but it still looks very cute when a little stretched.


The best bit about doing this pattern was that it forced me to learn how to cable without a cable needle.  It was taking so long picking up and putting down my cable needle every few seconds, it was way too fiddly.  I figured there must be a quicker way!  

It's a really scary concept I know but bear with me.  To cable without a cable needle you drop the stitches, yup, really, drop the stitches instead of putting them on a cable needle.  

Bring the right hand needle behind your work (if you would hold your cable needle behind, in front if your cable needle would be in front) and slip it through the stitches that will be crossed.  Drop the cable stitches and pick them up with your left needle.  Put the unworked stitches on your right needle back onto your left.  Then knit across the cable stitches.  

Honestly, once you get the hang of it it's way easier than messing about with a cable needle.  I'll put some step by step pictures together next time I do a cable, which may be a while as I'm pretty sick of them after this project!

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Baby Jeans Simplicity 2291 from Daddy's Old Jeans

I do like these little jeans from this Simplicity Pattern.


This pair is made from an old pair of hubby's worn out jeans.  The pattern piece is quite large so I lined up the seam in the side of the jeans with the centre line of the pattern and cut the piece from both legs.  I then made them up following the instructions.

I used a contrasting orange thread just like commercial jeans.  I wish I'd used my twin needle as well as it makes them look very professional.

These are made in the large size so they'll be a touch too big for now.


Thursday, 24 November 2016

Chicken and Vegetable Soup Recipe

No recipe for this one, I've just sort of cobbled this together and it's scrummy so I thought I'd best keep a note of what I did.

Here's the ingredients:

  • Celery
  • Leek
  • Swede (my one and only garden contribution for this year)
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Garlic
  • Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Chicken Stock
  • Chicken Breast 

There's no real method to this.  I just chopped that little lot into bite sized pieces and slung it in the slow cooker for the day.  

Then I put about half of it through the blender.  

Here's the result, served with a fresh baked roll, well half of one because Little Miss has the other half.  


I generally freeze my soups without any added water.  Little Miss finds them easier to eat if they are thicker and they take up less space in the freezer.  I add water "to taste" when I reheat the soup.  I found this one tastes better with quite a bit of added water and loads of pepper.  

Monday, 19 September 2016

Plum Crumble

I have some over ripe plums and a bit of motivation - the previous lack of which has led to over ripening of said plums.

Crumble seems inspiring so here goes:



Chop up the plums and sling them in a pan with some butter and sugar.  Add a little mixed spice.  Cook until the butter has melted and the fruit has softened.



Mix 75g butter with 175g plain flour.  Add 50g sugar and mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. 



Pour the fruit into an over dish.  Don't forget to lick the spoon and the pan . . .  Spoon the topping over the fruit.



That's gonna get 40 minutes at 180C.   So I'll sling it in the oven straight after dinners dished up.


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