What’s on my knitting needles?

Running a business takes a lot of time and my knitting time has been severely reduced recently. By the time I’m sat down of an evening, I don’t feel like picking up my knitting needles. However I’m making an effort at the moment to regain my knitting mojo.

I’m currently using the Rowan Summerlite 4 Ply yarn to knit this crossover top, called Hellebore, from the accompanying knitting pattern book and am really enjoying using it.

Hellebore from Rowan Summerlite 4 Ply Pattern Book

The pattern uses a chart and it took me a while to get into it. I had to redo one row 3 times and still couldn’t get it right, so fudged it and continued. I’m now on the third pattern repeat and it’s fine. I don’t know what I did wrong in the first pass, but never mind. The pattern itself has clicked now too, so I’m not having to read off the chart too much.

Hellebore knitting

A progress photo I published on Instagram

Incidentally, in my last post, I talked about using a day to a page diary that I was given at Christmas, to help me with my life planning and I’m finding it really quite helpful. I divide the page up so that I have any appointments or events on the left hand side and a to do list on the right hand side. I also add odd items that I need to pop to the shops to buy on the right hand side. I make notes at the bottom regarding what I might be cooking for dinner and things I need to remember to pray for. It’s keeping my brain clear now!

A new recipe and the search for a planner

I haven’t tried a new recipe for a while and the past couple of weeks I’ve just been taking the easy option at dinner time.

So last night I thought I would try another new recipe from the Mary Berry cookbook I had at Christmas. This time it was spicy schnitzels – pork escalopes in spicy/smokey breadcrumbs, with some new potatoes and salad.

It didn’t go completely smoothly. The recipe said to put the bread in the oven for 20 minutes, then put in a food processor together with the spices to turn into breadcrumbs. However the bread turned to dust, not breadcrumbs! So instead I blitzed some bread into crumbs, then toasted them in the oven for a while, then mixed with the spices before coating the pork.

It tasted good though in the end, and I liked the lemon and parsley mayonnaise to go with it.

  

 I’ve also been looking into planners. I used to love having a Filofax when I was a student but after Uni, the need for one lessened and I stopped using them.

However my brain feels very full at the moment, trying to remember everything I have to do during the week. Not so much managing appointments and events, but tasks and goals that I need to achieve. Having a planner seems to be a real craze at the moment, judging by the pins on Pinterest and photos on Instagram.  I’m not quite sure what style will work out best for me, so I’m going to take a daily diary that I was given at Christmas and try out a few ideas. I need a to do list, meal plans, shopping lists and maybe even prayer points and things to remember. I’ll give it a go anyway and see what happens…

A third quilt top…

I couldn’t resist… I started another quilt yet I still have two to finish, plus a mini quilt.

But the Whitewashed Cottage collection by 3 Sisters that we had in recently to the shop was just calling out to me. I saw this free quilt pattern called Layers of Charm which uses a layer cake plus some extra yardage and last Friday I just couldn’t resist the urge to get started. Work was put to one side and I inwardly groaned when customers came in the shop, because I just wanted to sew without interruptions!

I got almost the whole top done in a day. There were only a couple of seams to finish the following day. If I’d not had interruptions and had started earlier in the day, I would have got it all done.

This is how it was when I was trying to decide where to place the squares.

whitewashed cottage quilt blocks

I’ve chosen the backing and binding fabrics from the Whitewashed Cottage collection and now just need to quilt it. I’m going to machine quilt it on Mum’s Janome 15000 sewing machine using one of the stipple patterns that it does automatically. I want this to be a quick quilt! I’m going away this weekend to visit the in-laws, so it might have to wait until I have some time off over the Easter weekend to get it done!

The Mirabelle quilt top is now finished too, but I’m waiting for Fig Tree’s new collection Aloha Girl to arrive to see if there’s any fabric that might work for the backing and binding.

I still have the Somerset Mini Quilt to quilt too and the It’s Raining Cats and Dogs quilt to finish making, which I don’t think I’ve touched for a couple of years because I became a little tired of all the tiny appliqué pieces.

 

 

FO: Herbert’s Tank Top

At the weekend, I finished the tank top for my friend’s baby which due next month. They’ve nicknamed “the bump” Herbert for now, hence my calling it Herbert’s Tank Top.

I really enjoyed knitting this. There was some interest with the irish moss stitch top half and it came together really quickly. Had a it of a dense moment with doing the ribbing around the neck. Had to redo it 3 times because I was just making silly mistakes, but sometimes it just goes like that, doesn’t it?

herberts-tank-top

The pattern is Rico Knitting Idea 150 and the yarn I used was Rico Baby Classic DK in case you’re interested.

Cooking Success

I think I mentioned a few weeks ago, that I got some cook books for Christmas and I was going to try and cook a new recipe every week. Well, it hasn’t been every week, but I have tried three from Mary Berry Cooks The Perfect so far.

First I tried the Lemon Chicken Risotto which was alright and I’d do it again sometime.

Processed with Moldiv

The Lemon and Limoncello Posset was next and this was amazing!! So smooth and very lemony. It was so easy too. I’d happily serve this at a dinner part and think it would really impress, especially if accompanied by homemade shortbread biscuits. It was meant to have limoncello in it which we didn’t have so I just put some extra lemon juice instead.

Processed with Moldiv

And then tonight I made the Greek Lamb Pilaf with some leftover roast lamb. Didn’t have the Orzo pasta so just did some rice with it instead. Wasn’t sure about this one at first, but I would make it again… maybe without the feta cheese crumbled on top though.

Processed with Moldiv

It’s an excellent book. So many recipes that I want to try in it. Highly recommended!

Finally blocking the poncho

Having quite a productive day today. We went out for breakfast to a local cafe, I did some housework, some washing, guitar practice for church tomorrow and I finally started blocking the poncho!

Processed with Moldiv

Going over to Mum’s in a while and hope to get a bit of sewing done before dinner and then I suspect some knitting in front of the fire and a film tonight!

Phew! Busy day or what?!

Baby Knitting

One of my best friends is due to give birth to her first child in March, so last night at Knit ‘n’ Stitch (the new name for Knit ‘n Natter because we don’t just do knitting these days but sewing too) I decided to knit the baby a little tank top. We know that she’s going to have a little boy, which is very helpful.

I decided on a Rico Design knitting pattern – number 150, which has instructions for both a v-neck jumper and tank top. The bottom half is stocking stitch, but the top half is irish moss stitch which provides a bit more interest for both me as the knitter and for the wearer too!

Sadly it’s a discontinued pattern and we don’t have many copies left in the shop. They’ve discontinued lots of lovely baby patterns unfortunately. Don’t know why because they were selling well for us!

Although written using Rico’s Baby So Soft yarn, I picked Rico’s Baby Classic DK yarn instead as I had it mind that I wanted a beige colour, and they don’t do that in the Baby So Soft range.

I was pleased with the progress I made last night. Normally I don’t get much done at Knit ‘n’ Stitch as I’m busy serving customer and helping people. I have the feeling that this is going to be a quick knit which will give me a bit of a boost to my knitting mojo. My last project, the poncho,  was easy but took ages!!

Still haven’t blocked my poncho which I finished before Christmas. I will try to do it tonight because I want to start wearing it!

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