Thursday, 21 December 2017

Sea Salted Caramel sauce

Ooh you know its Christmas when you make sea salted caramel sauce. I serve mine with home made mince pies, vanilla ice cream and dusted with icing suger, perfect. You can find the recipe here

I'll be making two jars this weekend so its fresh for Monday (here's a photo I posted a few years ago)

If you make it, be careful, you'll be going to the fridge with a spoon to try it!

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

chunky crochet V stitch cowl (a weekend project)

I thought you would like this easy project, its perfect for a last minute Christmas gift or birthday present. But this one is for me!

It uses chunky yarn (I’m using Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky 200g (4 x50g) but you should be able to use any chunky yarn, amounts vary. I'm using 200g and a 6mm hook

The origianl pattern credit is Bellacoco link here but I've added my notes that I think are easier to follow.

So this is how you make it ....

Foundation chain : Chain 23using a 6mm crochet hook

Round one: one tr into 4th chain from hook, ch1, tr into the same chain space (this is the V stitch) *Skip 2 chains, tr, ch1, tr into the same chain space* repeat 6 times, tr into last chain space. Chain 3 turn

Round two : *tr into chain 1 space of V stitch from the previous row, ch1, tr into the same chain space* repeat 7 times, chain 3 turn

Repeat round 2 until you reach your desired length. 65 rows should be enough until you almost run out of yarn but leave some to sew the two ends together.

Connect the two ends of your cowl together using slip stitch or you can sew the ends together using the long yarn end and a darning needle (use your preferred method).

That’s it, a simple weekend project to keep you warm!

Amanda x

Friday, 24 November 2017

make your own Christmas Cranberry Gin

I have a lot of friends at this time of the year and this is why! My Christmas cranberry gin infused recipe. Its so easy and so lovely to gift to your gin loving friends. Wrap it up with a bottle of tonic water and a hand made gift tag, perfect and the recipient will love you forever!

Christmas cranberry gin

So set aside an hour or less this weekend, hunt out some lovely gin bottles and sit back and let the gin infuse ready to bottle in just two weeks. I bought my sloe gin bottles on eBay for £12.95 for 3. Large Kilner jar £7.50 from The Range or Dunelm (3.5 litre for blending) I used Gordon's gin for this batch, so many supermarket offers this week. And I've crochet some cute twinkle stars for each bottle in gold thread, you can find the pattern here

  • 500g fresh cranberries (minimum)
  • 1kg granulated sugar
  • Peel of a large orange
  • 1.5 litres of good quality gin (I used Gordon's or Lidl!)

Get one large Kilner jar (I sterlilse mine with hot water but don't seal it, you won't get it open again!!)

Add the gin, the orange peel and fresh cranberries (prick each one, I use a vintage tomato fork I bought in Whitstable as its perfect for this job) and 1Kg of granulated sugar and stir. You can add some herbal tea bags, I used two Marks and Spencer spiced ones, they come in lovely organza bags perfect for infusing)

You can stir this every day until the sugar has dissolved and set aside in a dark room for a minimum of two weeks. Plenty of time for a last minute foodie/gin friend kind of gift. Mine has been infusing for 4 weeks now and perfect to bottle up for Christmas gifts this weekend and start another batch. 

Twinkle crochet stars

ready to bottle up

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Orla Kiely granny square blanket

After making a silly mistake I had to frog about 12 rows, but I'm back on track now and loving the new colours combination I've picked up. Its so lovely and very autumnal, I think I'll make this for my brother and sister in law to keep them warm this winter. But must make another for myself!

Its all Stylecraft Special DK using a standard granny square, two rows of each colour but I might change this as it grows.

Friday night catch up with my blanket

Sunday morning quick crochet fix

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

crochet granny square tee (top) revisited

Well since you last heard from me I've been mega busy finishing (and starting new projects) managed to have another quick break in Norfolk and yes, you guessed it made another granny tee! I think its fair to say that I am now addicted to this pattern!! I just love it, the best bit is turning the circle into a square and depending on which yarn you use, the stitch definition is wonderful.

So here is the denim blue version I made for my weekend in Norfolk but I didn't get round to wearing it as we had lovely weather.

This version uses three 142g balls of Lion Brand Heartland but you won't use all of the third. Why not experiment with other yarn like I did, it's great fun. Go raid your yarn stash!

my second granny tee in Lion Brand Heartland Glacier Bay

And I've started two more both in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran- I have six balls in the rusty rose colour so this will be a kids version for my Etsy shop. The purple version I bought 9 x50g balls of the same yarn but this should make a size 12-14 ladies. I'm only on row 8 and just over 25g used. I think it will need 4 x 50g per side. I'll update you as I go along so you know how much you'll need if you want to use the same yarn. Now this yarn is normally £4.95 per 50g but if you are lucky like me I got mine on eBay for an absolute bargain, and we do love a bargain!

this time in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran

I will have some exiting news to share with you next week about this pattern release by Sarah at and my versions. Watch this space :-)

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Birch Trees scarf

Well I've finally finished it! Yeah

I bought the wool last November and have been picking this up and putting it down. The last time I worked on it was March 2017, not that long ago really!

So here are some photos. You can find the pattern here over at Ravelry.

Here was my first attempt in 2014 here, I never did finish this one after I dropped a stitch, but it did get re-purposed into a granny snood!

Here is the old photo published in Simply Knitting magazine!

Birch Trees scarf in March 2017

Birch Trees scarf - ta dah

new winter scarf and Clarks loafers

Here are some photos of sewing in the ends last night. The pattern is so lovely that when you sew in the ends you can't see them!

sewing in the ends

Disclaimer: Please do not take my photos without my permission
Pattern credit: Julia Marsh, Hand Knitted Things.
Yarn: Fyberspates Vivacious DK (2 skeins) colour Pebble Beach

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

crochet granny square cushion

Here are some photos of what I've been making this month so far. Still time for more ;-)

First is my first granny square cushion, stripes to the back. I still need to sew in the buttons and undecided on whether to use three of my custom made ones. I've not followed a pattern, just made it up as I went along. Here are some notes I jotted down as I constructed it, not a pattern just some helpful tips.

granny square cushion

I joined both sides together on the right side (ws facing each other) using  htr. For the border I added a row of sc, ch3, sc - it gives it a vintage feel that I was looking for. But please note I left the bottom flap on the second row (sc, ch3, sc) and went around the coner, as shown in the picture. I added this simple border from Around the Corner Crochet Borders  You could use this to crochet the both sides together completely, I might try this next time for a smaller cushion that wouldn't get much use.

first row of htr missing the bottom flap where the buttons will go

joining both sides together with htr but missing the back flap 

I started in the middle bottom row and worked my way around,  I went through both the loops on the sides (not the bottom back) so that the cushion looks like one complete piece, clever? Not really it just happened that way after a little bit of jiggering around.

This makes the frilly edging hide the back piece but you should just see the buttons on the front using the holes in the granny squares. Hard to explain, I hope this makes sense. I have taken some photos, not really step by step, but this might help you.

the front with htr joining

the stripey back with htr joining

Next up is my new granny square blanket, using granny squares I had made and kept in a box (I do like looking at them from time to time, doesn't everyone?!) I've used Debbie Bliss Rialto DK from my stash of leftover bits that I keep in a plastic container.

The pattern is taken from the gorgeous book Granny Squares by Sue Pinner. I think I bought my copy last year in The Works. I wasn't sure about the colours, but I'm actually quite taken by the pastels and the bright petunia pink thrown in to jazz it up a bit.

granny square blanket

colourful granny squares