Sunday, July 30, 2006


My latest cupcake venture - Lamingtons - mini-cupcakes.
An australian cake with a sponge-centre, and cocoa/icing sugar covered with dessicated coconut.

It took me a while to get a 'technique' for dipping the mini-cupcakes into the cocoa/icing sugar mix then dipping in coconut then putting on a cooling tray without leaving fingermarks. Squewers in rotation seemed to be the best idea.
I used silicone cupcake trays to bake these - my first time [thanks Lakeland Plastics for stocking them!] and they really really don't look like they should go into an oven at all. But they do, and don't melt or anything - although *tip* they are still roasting-a-rama to the touch once out of the oven! Rubs more aloe vera onto the wound...

And all the rest ...

I had planned to upload photos of everything that is currently in progress, and a couple of FOs [baby blanket, and Colinette Point 5 scarf] but everything except the above and my Jaywalker [still singular] are currently buried in the yarn room.

We are in process of putting more shelves in there as my crafty goodies are bursting from the shelving and boxes. The shelves are also a WIP, hence all my room is currently stacked in on corner... and I can't access my yarn *gulp*

The WIP above is Misty Garden pattern by Jo Sharp, knitted from Bernat Satin that I bought along with some Bernat Handicrafter Cotton [for the iPod cosies]. I just bought it because I wanted to feel it's texture and that's impossible over the internet. It's 100% acrylic [stop shuddering Lilith and India] and I thought when I got it and realised its squeakiness that I'd just put it up on eBay as I've become such an yarn snob these days.

However I found myself at a bit of a loss earlier - pmting, angry and in need of some knitting. I knew that any beautiful yarn could potentially be ruined the mood that I was in, and all my WIPs are just too precious. So I picked up this, knowing that it's cheap therefore no matter if I arse it up, and found a pattern. At first I tried knitting a vest top with it on metal needles, but ... well ... you know when metal cutlery hits a metal filling? Oh yes ... so I changed to Brittany.

It seems a bit of nonsense knitting 100% acrylic with birch needles, but I'm happy to have a project that has no *danger* to therapeutically knit when pmt strikes. You know that mood, when everything is going to sh*t, but actually it's because pmt is actively hunting things to go wrong just to find a vent?

oh well - back to the cakes.

SP thank you #2

I received another SP parcel on friday after work - a lovely start to the weekend! I am overwhelmed SP - truely I am.

Gushing words and exclamation marks will not suffice here - however ... she made me an absolutely fantastic scarf in her own design, with a variegated Wendy's yarn and chain stitched details. It's stunning, and I do sincerely appreciate the work that has gone into this - I totally love it!!!

Hesitant to say I can't wait for winter [as I am enjoying this lovely summer so] I will say instead that I can't wait for the opportunity when I can wear this! Thank you so much SP! :)

I also received some gummi bears that are gelatine free and I can eat to my hearts content worry-free of migraines.

SP Thank you #1

Rather belated pics from the fabby parcel received from my secret pal last week. A stunning grey/brown fleece colour [no dyes at all] aran weight yarn. Its 100% wool and I have decided to make a bag with it - initially I thought about having a fiery orange lining - however now I'm thinking a lime-y green will look perfect. I'm thinking asymetrical cables across the bag to make a fun autumnal style.

Thank you again SP - I love this!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Vogue Knitting Magazine Fall '06

Loving these socks above - although I think I'll probably just look at the pattern - this is WAY above and beyond my current knitting capabilities!
The front of the pattern below is really interesting to me - cabling fun - this could be used in some form for the bag I'm planning to knit with the beautiful yarn (images soon!) recently sent by my secret pal. I'm dying to do some kind of freeform experimental cabling.

Vogue Knitting Magazine (out in the US August 8th - the UK *shrug* who knows - watch K1 Yarns website for latest news)
Can't wait!!

Knitsimple also has a sneak preview including a fabby "tie under boobs, bell-sleeved shrug" thingy. (but I had already added the pics to this post and couldn't be bothered starting a new post!)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes unadorned

Decorated cheesecake cupcake

Strawberry Cheesecake cupcakes book picture.

Cupcake #3 from Cupcakes Galore. I had a bit of difficulty making the frosting for these - I think it was because I didn't whip the whipping cream enough. My tip for this cupcake would be to only make a third of the frosting at a time. As the cupcakes are decorated when served and cream only lasts 3 days it's probably better to make it as needed.

I had just enough cake mix this time although I think I have about twice as much frosting as I need.

The knitting front is kinda slow at the moment - I'm busy making gauge squares for all the new yarn I've recently acquired. Jaywalkers have slowed as in Tuesday's SnB group I knitted past the start of the toe shaping by accident and have only been able to go backwards about 1 row before losing the will to live ...

Oh! and I got another fabby parcel from my secret pal. I will post pics later :)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Brownie Cupcakes

Above - the book pic.

Left-over frosting mix - about half - my tip: make half as much as the recipe states. Although the boy is very happy with the bowl of frosting in the fridge that he keeps nibbling at.

Arty sunshine shot

My latest Cupcakes Galore venture - Brownie Cupcakes for the boy's birthday. They are utterly delicious. They have a walnut caramel frosting, and instead of adding walnuts to the cake mixture, I added raspberries instead. mmmm-mmm!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wednesday 12th July

Fun with the ball winder!

I concede defeat on the Knitty World Cup! This is as far as my Jaywalkers have come. What with my f-t job, SP8, Woolfest, Etsy and my upcoming stall ...
just too many commitments & not enough time!

And another SP gift!! It's a knitting mystery with beautifully handcrafted bookmark charm thing - that is a great idea I haven't seen before :) A police notebook in case anyone tries to steal my stash! And another fabby knitting-related card! I can see knitting related cards and postie cards becoming a collectible with me! Thank you so much SP! My apologies for not yet sending you a thank you email - its absolute chaos this end - my flat looks like a crafters studio has exploded - the poor boy! For anyone interested I'm having another stall at the Miso Funky Craft Fair this upcoming Saturday 15th July at Hillhead Library, Byres Road, Glasgow - 10am- 5pm.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

As if I wasn't spoiled enough recently, what with Woolfest and Barcelana ... a yarn parcel arrived from my Secret Pal!! Containing this beautiful Kaalund Classic 2-ply in a stunning colourway! It came in a bag headed Norfolk Yarn, although it is Australian Yarn!

It came with a feather and fan pattern, which I love and seems to be THE pattern at my Stitch n Bitch group at the moment, however is also my nemisis! So I'm thinking of what to knit with it at the moment.

The postcard is too fab - it has knitters on it - I may start collecting postcards with knitters on them as I also got one [further down] from Heathrow about knitting in war.

I love it! Thank you so much Secret Pal - you have been a fab spoiler!

Better go back to the day job - have blogged my ass oft today.

The stash!

1000g pure wool variagated pale purple & browns £18 [!!]
2 x 100g skeins Colinette 5 point peach melba £10 [!]
3 x 50g balls of DK Socka & a DK sock pattern
Ball winder £23.00
2 x 100g Finnish merino sock yarn - machine washable £3 [!!] - to be Kool-Aid dyed
2 x 50g Regia sock yarn
Knitscene - Fall 2006
Knit-in sock elastic
2 giant buttons
iron-on paws to put on the soles of socks for Lilith
Pattern for gloves using sock yarn
... and that's me!

I will definately be going back next year! Fabulous!

My Sponsers

A big thank you to my sponsers for funding my Woolfest experience:
My mum for £30 birthday money
My Granny for £20 birthday money
The boy for hiding the cutest alpaca card under my dinner plate that I didn't see until I was clearing everything away that contained £40.

I didn't have all that much trouble spending it - infact I don't think I had even a penny left by the end of the day!

The day!

I think the photos speak far better than I ever could about Woolfest ... I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed! As we drove towards Cockermouth [from our B&B in Keswick] a huge pastel green aircraft hanger-sized building came into view; "wouldn't it be funny if that was Woolfest?" joked the boy ... as the the Woolfest sign made it apparent that this was indeed Woolfest. Woohooo! And I came though the door to the view you see above.

Deep breath....

Another deep breath ...

You know when you find a new and fabby yarn shop full of Colinette, Noro, Rowan, Debbie Bliss etc and simply don't know what to look at cos there so much? Every new yarn spied brings a flurry of knitted up items you could make with it, and a rush of adrenaline? Multiple that ... Alot!
Basically you have a hyperventilating Elaine and an inwardly groaning boy! His vision of Woolfest being rather like a Highland show with music and bales of hay to sit on is blown to pieces.

I have to say an enormous thank you!! to him for driving me there, staying with me all day despite the heat and intense boredom - esp. as I lost the ability to understand how all this yarn could be anything but amazing and started showing him it all whilst chattering away about how much I NEEDED it all...


I missed these guys - Cumbrian Angoras! How cute
[I only know what they are cos there's a sign in the photo!]

Woolfest animals

I never thought I'd be bothered by the livestock section of Woolfest [having a fear of sheep due to their evil eyes ... ] but I have to say I really enjoyed it. There were loads of cool sheep, alpacas, angora bunnies, little lambs and stuff.

There was a moment, during my hunt for India where I realised that sheep were being let out of the pen heading in the general direction of me. I turned to exit into an aisle and found all the gates had been shut and the sheep were galloping, taking up the entire width of the aisles. They were off to be sheared for us knitters to watch. I managed to leap into an aisle to safety, but keep a keen eye on closing gates signalling another potential stampede.

Aww - the pretty pretty alpacas having a wee sit down in the scorching heat of inside the Woolfest arena. The metal roof, fibres and thronging excited women turned Woolfest into a sauna. Not to be deterred I wore a vest and soldiered on!

I didn't take any pics of the Angora bunnies cos I thought the flash going off might give them a heart attack - they were so small and vulnerable looking. It was a bit too dark in their hutch to take a flashless photo.

Little lambling

Rasta sheep - poss. Wensledale? Until it's spun I don't have a clue! Stash haul news to follow :)

Monday, July 03, 2006

My First Crochet

I don't have the time at the moment to go into raptures about Woolfest so instead I am publishing a couple of photos of my first crochet attempts.

Very first attempt is the bottom photo [Blogger refuses to put them in the opposite order no matter how I list them!] and the second attempt is at the top. Both are [despite evidence to the contrary] rectangles...

I think I have cracked the basics - however, [as with the law of crafting] as soon as I get cocky with it stitches mysteriously disappear from rows!

Och well - more soon - things are getting rather hectic at work as I have just had a temporary promotion as my boss is on maternity leave. My brain - which knows my job inside and out therefore does not get exercised too much - has suddenly found itself having to do new tasks at designated parts of the day, whilst also ensuring that the tasks of another staff member [soon to be 2 staff members!] are fulfilled.