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Friday, 29 April 2011

Masquerade as of 28.04.11

So I've been working on Masquerade again this week and finally feel like I am making progress.  I did 863 stitches this week which means she is now 83.01% complete.  I can finally see the end in sight.

On the knitting front I've not made any further progress with Little Boy Blue this week but I have managed to do quite a bit on the blanket for my cousins baby.

                                

 I also had a little more success with my baking this week.  I made triple chocolate cookies and Devon simnel loaf.  Everyone who had some said they were both delicious.  Might try making the carrot cake again next week (following the recipe properly this time!!)





Thursday, 21 April 2011

A New Start & Finish & Carrot Cake Catastrophe

I'll start with the thing that went wrong this week.  I decided to make the Carrot Cake from Issue 2 of Baked & Delicious Magazine.  The recipe said to cook the mixture in two tins and then sandwich together with the frosting.  Well I could only find one cake tin so decided to just make one cake and then cut it in half after baking.  I didn't take into account that it would take a lot longer to cook one big cake than two small ones!  So I cooked the mixture for the required length of time, got it out to test and it was still liquid.  So I cooked it for a further 45 minutes and the top was quite burnt.  This is what it looked like.


So I left it on the side to cool thinking it was cooked.  But when I turned it out of the cake tin the entire centre of the cake was still liquid, this is how much cake mixture I scooped out of the middle.


And this is what the bottom of the cake looked like after having the mixture scooped out.

 It wasn't cooked properly all around the inner edge, I ate a bit of the outside and after picking the burnt bits off the top it was very tasty.  However I ended up throwing it away because I just wasn't sure if it was cooked properly and didn't want to risk poisioning anyone!  I was even more cross with myself the next day when I discovered two tins the same size at the back of a cupboard!!  Anyway it didn't put me off and I made some more Chelsea Buns the next day, I didn't put the glaze on top this time and they were a lot drier than the first time but still nice, I'll definitely use the glaze next time though. 

I discovered Stitching the Night Away recently and they are having a give away for anyone that sends photos in of a completed Brushstroke Butterfly.  This is a free design which you can download from their website.  A colleague of mine is retiring early in May and I decided that this would make a lovely card for her.  It is stitched on 25 count hand dyed Lugana called Apricot Blush from Crafty Kitten.  I used a variegated Anchor thread (1315) rather than the recommended colours and did tent stitch 2 over 1.  Rather than doing the rows in straight lines I stitched on the diagonal so the stripes wouldn't be quite so obvious.  I'm pleased with how it turned out and will probably stitch this design again as I think it is a very effective design.  I started this on 16th April 2011 and finished on 21st April 2011.  I'll add another picture when it's been made up into a card.


Some progress has been made on the jumper "Little Boy Blue" for Samuel.  I have now stitched one shoulder together and picked up all the stitches for the neck band and knitted the neck band.  I now face the daunting task of stitching in the sleeves which I will hopefully be able to do sometime soon but not without the help of my mum!  I've also been knitting a blanket for my cousin who is currently pregnant and will hopefully post a picture next time.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Giveaway

Check out the awesome giveaway at Cross Stitch and Cupcakes

Not much to update on for me at the minute.  I started a new small project earlier in the week and will hopefully get it finished this weekend and post a picture.

Also given in to temptation and bought myself some more HAED charts - just can't resist a bargain and the sale is awesome!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Shy Baby as of 10.04.11 - PAGE 3 COMPLETED!!

So lots of things to update on this week.

I decided to work on Shy Baby this week even though it should have been the HAED Freebie SAL.  I love working on Shy Baby and even though she isn't in my current rotation I just knew she would help me get my stitching mojo back and I was right.  I managed to do 2,500 stitches on her and completed page 3.  You still can't make anything out but when I compare it with the actual picture I can see images starting to form.



I've made good progress on Little Boy Blue, I've now finished the back, front and both sleeves. The sleeve was supposed to be all stocking stitch apart from one row of pattern at the top of the sleeve but I decided to add in a couple more rows of pattern one of which was in the main design and the other I made up myself. I love how easy it is to make pattern and texture by just changing whether you knit or purl.  So all I have to do now is pick up stitches to do the neck and stitch it up.  I'm going to wait for my mum to come back from holiday though as she is an expert at this and I don't want to mess it up by tying to do something I don't know how I'm doing.  I'm really starting to love knitting and have a whole host of things I want to knit. I absolutely love some of the colours that you can get in sock yarn and would love to knit myself some socks. I wonder though why it is specifically called sock yarn - can you use it for other items or only socks? Any experienced knitters who can answer this I'd be very grateful.

One of my 210 in 2010 goals is to bake all 196 cupcakes from the recipe book 200 Cupcakes. I know it doesn't make sense that there are only 196 recipes but there is a main recipe on each page and then an alternative recipe except for four recipes which are for things like cinnamon butter to dip the cupcakes in. So there are only actually 196 cupcake recipes. Anyway after all that waffle I showed my sister the book and she requested that I make the Mini Simnel Cupcakes next so as I am a good big sister and always do what my little sister says (apart from when she tells me not to buy anymore stash!) I made them a couple of days ago. They have mixed fruit in them and you put a teaspoon of cake mixture in the case and then a little round of marzipan and then put some more cake mixture on top, you then bake them, leave them to cool, top with more marzipan and toast under the grill. To be honest I was a little disappointed with these. I absolutely love marzipan so expected to love these and they were nice but they weren't delicious and I'm not sure I would make them again.


So I'm going back to Masquerade and hopefully I will be able to make some visible progress.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Baking, Knitting, Voting and Stitching

Well over the past couple of weeks I've wanted to start doing some baking.  I used to make cakes when I lived at home with my parents but haven't baked anything for years.  It may have something to do with a new magazine that is being published in the UK called Baked and Delicious.  I saw the advert on the telly and it looked really good and my husband agreed so we bought the first copy.  I made the cupcakes and they were lovely so we decided to subscribe to the magazine.  I then decided that I needed a mixer because I only have a hand held one that has one speed and when you mix with it everything flies everywhere.  So I got myself a Breville Stand and Hand Mixer.  So I decided today to make Chelsea Buns (recipe recommended by Dawn from http://www.craftykitten.co.uk/) because they used to be my favourite cakes but I haven't had one in ages.  Here's how they came out.  I haven't had one yet so can't say what they taste like but they look good! (Edited: Me and hubby have just had one each and they taste even better than they look!)


Onto the knitting update.  I've now finished the back on Little Boy Blue and am part way up the front.  I've bought more wool to make another one for Samuel in a large size and one for my niece Jessica.  I went to the library today and borrowed five Debbie Bliss knitting books and there are some really gorgeous designs in them.  I think knitting is going to get as out of control as stitching at this rate.  But hopefully it won't take me years to finish something I start knitting, and you don't have to find room on your walls for people to see them :-)

So the poll is over on which design I should start stitching next after I finish something and the outcome is the Gerbera Daisy Pillow which is three quarters complete so hopefully won't take me too long to finish.  But I have to finish something first before I can start finishing it!

And finally a stitching update.  It is the HAED freebie SAL this week so I should be working on Blue Rose Fairy but I'm really not back in a stitching mood yet so I have gone back to my old favourite Shy Baby.  I always love stitching her so I figure if anything can get my mojo back she can.