Friday, 29 April 2011

Knitting Challenge



A few days ago this was the amazing view from Arthurs Seat in Edinburgh. We went up to remind ourselves what it looked like to be above the clouds and I wore my Glarna so that we could get some photos of it!


Finishing this jumper and loving it so much has spurred me on to complete a few other projects. So here is one I've been dithering over for about a year. Some mitts! I had the yarn, I had a lot of patterns (couldn't decide on one though) but eventually, I was inspired to make these beautiful mitts by Michele Rose Orne. 



That's only the one mitt, so I better go and get started on the other!

X!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Monday, 28 March 2011

Fika!

A friend of mine spent a year in Sweden as part of his degree, so during the winter I went to visit him with my boyfriend. It was only for a weekend and rather than spending our time wisely by seeing the sights, getting in a bit of culture, maybe taking some photos we ended up spending the whole time cooking, catching up and playing in the snow.

It was then that I was introduced to fika. A brilliant concept that should be put into practice everywhere! Fika is basically time to hang out, eat cake and drink coffee (or tea, if like me you can't hack coffee). What's better is that it's not just something your Grandma does, for students it's a normal way to hang out, which makes a nice change from Britain where if you don't drink excessive amounts of alcohol then you're more or less excluded from most student social occasions!

I hardly get to see my friend anymore because he moved away for his PhD, but he's coming up in april so in preparation for his visit, I practiced making something swedish and delicious so we can have fika next month.

In particular I wanted cinnamon buns. I searched the net for ages trying to find recipe I liked the sound of, but none of them quite did it for me so I combined them all and added a few extra touches to create my own Kanelbullar recipe that, it has to be said, is amazing....

I've included the suggestions from other recipes in italics in case you want to try them.



Kanelbullar for Chris

Makes about 24
Takes roughly 2.5 hours from start to finish (it's worth it!)

For the dough:
40g Dried Yeast (other recipes say fresh but it's no different)
1 egg
250ml finger warm milk
500g plain flour (Most recipes say "wheat flour" or "all purpose" this is the same as plain)
100g Demerara sugar (or muscovado)
75g melted butter
1/2 tsp salt


For the filling:
40-50g melted butter
2 tbsps Demerara sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
1tsp vanilla extract


Decoration (optional):
1 egg, beaten with 1/2 tsp water and a pinch of salt
pearl sugar


Equipment:
Muffin trays (they are deep cupcake trays; the deeper the better so the mixture doesn't splodge out)
Paper muffin cases


Method:
  1. Put the yeast in a bowl. Add a small amount of tepid milk and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the rest of the milk, half of the plain flour and the egg. Cover and leave to rise for an hour.
  2. Add the rest of the flour, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Work into a silky dough (this works best with your hands but it IS a messy job!). Transfer the dough to a fresh bowl (or quickly clean your old one). Cover and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
  3. Make the filling by melting the butter in a bowl, and into this put the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract. The amounts given are probably not what I finally used, as I altered it until it tasted the way I wanted. So mess around with this bit to see what it needs.
  4. Roll the dough out into a rectangle onto a lightly floured surface. It should be about 4-5mm thick.
  5. Spread the butter mixture all over this rectangle trying to cover close to the edges but not so much that it al squirts out the sides!
  6. Starting from the longest side, roll the rectangle up into a tight roll. You might need to put some flour on your fingers for this bit, and take your time so it comes out looking great!
  7. With a sharp knife, gently cut the roll into 2cm thick slices and put these slices into the muffin cases.
  8. Cover and leave for 30 minutes (I know! It's hard to think you have to wait another 30 minutes when they already smell so good...)
  9. Finish (if you want to) by glazing with the egg mixture and adding pearl sugar. I didn't bother with this because I'm not a fan of egg glaze.
  10. Bake at 250˚C for 6-8 minutes until golden.
  11. Make a yummy drink and try not to eat them all at once!!! My taste testers recommend hot chocolate, warm milk with vanilla, coffee, or tea as their favourite drinks to have with these buns.


If you're a busy person and pushed for time you can get cheats versions of these in Ikea, but they don't look half as cute, or taste half as good so I urge you to try making some for yourself! Good luck if you give it a go, 2.5 hours is a long time I know, but I promise you they're worth the wait...

Oh and the knitting in the background is my second Glarna sleeve! Almost yoke time...

X!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Working hard...

... But maybe not at what I should be! I've got a university project looming over me at the minute, but my parents have been visiting, I've had a lot to do outside uni and I've also been way too excited about knitting my Glarna take 2!

So I have the whole body, and one sleeve done, just another sleeve and the yoke to go! Can't wait to get to the yoke part, plain stockinette stitch gets quite tedious...

Here's a quick picture of what I've got so far...


... not long now...

X

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Better late than never!

Well, I won't lie and say my new years resolution was to keep up to date with blogging. Good thing too, I would have failed catastrophically. It was however, to finish all the crafty projects I have on the go (which is errrr... an embarrassing amount) before starting any new ones.

She'll never do it! We've all been there before! I hear you cry. Maybe, but it's worth a go. I made good progress in the earlier part of the year before I started to get bogged down with Uni stuff. So here's a few examples!


I started this cushion as a way to practice my budding crochet skills last year, and finally sewed it all up, put the buttons on and tucked away all the ends! I also wanted to make a cushion that used the same colours as ones I already owned.  


Everyone loves a close up! The yarn is Louisa Harding Kashmir Baby by the way. So nice to work with, really springy, and extremely soft... Recognise this


It's the DNA scarf that I finally finished! (Including a key for fellow geeks) Technically It doesn't have a back yet, so the perfectionist in me doesn't really consider this finished, but it does function as a scarf! And it is a work of art!


Most people on Ravelry have knitted this up in a single colour, which would have been a LOT less hassle... But I wanted each base pair to be coded properly so I did it in colour. It meant a lot of crossing over at the back, more brain power than I thought I could muster and just tucking away the loose ends took a whole evening. 

But wasn't it worth it??

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Oh I do love to be beside the seaside....

... Especially on Christmas day with Charlie...


...I hoped, but never really believed, that a Christmas walk in the snow could happen on the beach...


...But it did! It was so cold, and I spent the next two weeks hanging out with the flu...

...but it was worth it...

Hope you all had a nice Christmas and New Year!

X