Easter Decorations Found!

I used to live in Germany as a little girl and for Easter we would find branches with buds just about to open and bring them back home to put in a vase. Once they were in the vase we would hang Easter decorations on them and either put the vase on the centre of our dining table or on the window sill, where the sun would help the buds open.

A few years ago when I lived in Germany for my year abroad whilst doing a university degree, I bought a few packets of decorations. Since then, over here in England people seem to have caught on to the whole German wooden decoration trend and I’ve seen them sold over here too.

The big box is from Paperchase in the UK, all of the others are from Germany (Galleria Kaufhof if I remember correctly). I haven’t used them yet (living with parents and all that) but I will one day!

I think they’re quite sweet and I used to love getting our set out as a child and looking at all the eggs and seeing which ones were my favourite.

Who wore it better?

I’m not happy, Bob. Not happy!

If you were to ask me why I would scream at you “BECAUSE MY KNITTED BUNTING ISNT WORKING!!!”

I have knitted all 12 triangles and now I am crocheting around the edges in the same colour, but it just doesn’t look right. The decreases were all k2tog and there is a few holes at the edges. I haven’t taken pics coz I have BUNTING SHAME. Yes, that’s a thing now. ACTUAL BUNTING SHAME.

I will block them on a warm day so I can leave them outside in the sun to dry into the right position, but I am not liking how I spent so much time working out a pattern, knitting them and then not loving the outcome. Disappointing.

BUT

Silver lining.

With last issue of Lets Knit magazine there was a crochet supplement with a crocheted triangle bunting pattern and I tried a triangle, and it was quick and actually looks alright.

I didn’t do the last round of fancy picot edging, but it was just a test.

So, who wore it better? I think the square, but I like them both.

Who knows, maybe I can have some bunting after all! 🙂

Listen to Your Muse!

Ignore your muse at your peril folks.

Sometimes you have a list of WIPS and things to make as long as your arm – some have been on the go for ages and some have deadlines and some you like better than others.

And sometimes your muse says “Nope. I’m going to crochet a bunny jam jar from the latest issue of Mollie Makes magazine! So there!”

Why?! I asked it.

My muse just shrugged and said “I dunno – coz bunny ears! That’s why!”

And she was right. Bunny Ears! 🙂

And the ears even have wire in them which makes them…wait for it…FULLY POSABLE!

Please excuse terrible pic – tried resizing and it got all confused! xx

Citrus Cream Clouds

This is a recipe for a really nice orangey-lemony biscuit that I made yesterday. Every time I make these they turn out perfect, especially if you make the yummy icing to go on top.

It’s from a book called Mum’ Favourite Bakes, edited by Jane Birch and published by Bounty Books (in the UK). I have made a few recipes from this book (a white bread cottage loaf, onion tarts, chicken pie, lemon tart…) and they have all turned out yummy. It’s great to find a cook book that you would actually do more than one thing out of.

I should point out that in the recipe it says to make a sandwich with the filling in the middle, I just use the filling as buttercream icing on the top and do one layer.

Ingredients

For the biscuits:

180g (6oz) unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest [I use lime, lemon and orange all together and add a squirt of juice from each for extra citrus-ness]

80g (3oz) icing sugar

225g (7.5oz) plain flour

40g (1.5oz) corn flour

For the filling:

125g (4oz) unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon each of finely grated lemon, lime and orange zest

160g (5.5oz) icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting

Method

Beat the butter, icing sugar and citrus zests together in a bowl until smooth. Add the corn flour and plain flour to make a dough and knead into a ball shape, wrap with Clingfilm and chill for 20-30 mins until firm enough to roll out.

Either grease a couple of baking trays or line them with non-stick baking paper. Roll out the dough and cut into whatever shapes you like. The recipe in the book uses flower shapes, I just used traditional cutters. Just remember, the bigger the shape, the longer you bake it for.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius (350F or Gas Mark 4) for up to 10 minutes, checking on them to make sure they don’t burn. [They are quite light cookies anyway with the corn flour and icing sugar used] Transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Make the filling by beating all of the ingredients together in a bowl [I like to add a squirt of the juice to the filling too, but not too much as it won’t set enough and will be quite sloppy].

Spread the filling onto the biscuits and enjoy with a cup of tea!

I didn’t make the filling yesterday so here are what mine looked like straight out of the oven. They do keep a couple of days in an airtight container as well.

Granny Of The Day

And Granny Of The Day goes to….A colour scheme I like to think of as ‘Country Combo’ [You’re not allowed to call this exact selection of colours anything else – that’s the Crochet Law Of Naming – I make it, I name it!].

The de-stashing of wool continues…

Cream, Dark Brown, Tan, Cream. This combo would look good as a granny blankie I think. Or a cushion.

And now…

I am going to have my tea!! 🙂

But before I go here is something to make your brain explode – a mash up of Mighty Boosh and Star Wars (for those of you not from the UK, The Mighty Boosh was a comedy series from about 10 years ago which ran for 3 series, and was the WACKIEST and MOST BONKERS show EVER!!!). You tube it and be confused – my favourite episode is nanageddon if you’re interested (the villain is a demon knitting granny).

National De-clutter Week

Apparently it is National Clear Your Clutter Day on Saturday 11th March and this week is therefore National De-clutter Week.

For more info see here http://www.moneymagpie.com/clear-your-clutter-day

By happy coincidence we cleared a few boxes of old stuff from the loft yesterday. I got rid of a few old cuddlies and dolls, a couple of rucksacks and a big cushion or two. I actually find getting rid of stuff really easy now, for the longest time (and especially when I was studying German at uni) I loved to be surrounded by my stuff, in particular my books. Books have always been my friends. But now, in the past few years, I realise that letting go of physical things and clutter is the way to go. A recent loss in the family has certainly brought that into perspective – after all, the old saying is true, you can’t take it with you.

The hardest thing for me is convincing others to get rid of stuff. I was born in Germany as my dad was posted over there in the British Army and we moved back and forth from England to Germany until I was 6 or 7 and then we’ve lived in England ever since. A lot of the stuff we looked at yesterday was things like ornaments from that time, which have special and sentimental meaning to us and only us (who wants to buy a set of ornaments with Paderborn on them?!).

We found a nice little pink glass vase which is now in my room. Mum doesn’t remember it so we think it was my gran’s yet it still has the sticker on and is in a box, so I don’t think it was ever used.

We also found a few things I had made and I have to say, it was funny hilarious seeing some of the things I drew. And quite sweet knowing I sent pictures to my gran and uncle (who are now no longer with us).

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OK, so far so normal, obviously a great artist from a young age.

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Erm, what the hell is this?! Also a disturbed child it would seem!!

I think it’s time for a spring clean with stuff anyway at this time of year, which is partly why I am trying to clear old stash.

In other news I am now 8.8% finished with my crochet granny square blanket that I have previously posted about (yes the NERDY ONE!!). That equates to 55 out of 625 squares completed – even the ends have been woven in for each one. I don’t think that is bad going at all. I am dreading doing the black squares though as they are quite hard to see and strain your eyes a bit.

I am also looking for the right knitted cowl pattern, think I may have found it on Ravelry, a bandana type of one, but I think I need chunky wool and was hoping to use DK. Oh well, still on the lookout.

Now I really am procrastinating. Back to work Ellen!

A Plethora of Grannies

Today’s post will show you a plethora of grannies.

But first…

(Incidentally have you seen The Three Amigos? It was one of my favourite films as a child! I’m weird I know…but it’s really funny). By the way, I don’t think I will EVER find a clip from a film that is relevant to an obscure and underused word of the English language, so I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself (especially as it came from memory and not a Google search).

What is a ‘plethora’? According to the online Cambridge dictionary it is: ‘…a very large amount of something, especially a larger amount than you need, or can deal with.’

ANYWAY…

Here is a little pic of what I have been making to try and get rid of some of the freebie magazine yarn.

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These ones below are obviously smaller and instead of 4+ rounds they have only 2 and then a round of double crochet (single crochet in US terms). I saw this pattern for a blanket made from squares like this in a book by Nicki Trench called Cute and Easy Crochet. I have a few balls of really soft yarn left over from YEARS ago, right when I started crocheting and didn’t know what yarn to get (so in my kind of style I ended up with 8 balls of it to practice with!). I will do as many of these diddlers as I can with the wool – no labels of course, I think it was Sirdar Snuggly but can’t remember- and then see how many I have. They feel really soft and snuggly and not as rigid as the others above.

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So there you have it kids. A new word and some new grannies. Does it get better than that? Actually it does…I can smell the chocolate cake my wonderful mother is making 🙂