Vix Knits… and crochets and sews…

My adventures in the wonderful world of arts and crafts

Apples galore!

These pics are from last year when we were trying to identify our lovely apple trees

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At the time, we had three trees of varying sizes.
The harvest last year was, frankly, pitiful. I think I ate a couple and made one apple cake, the wasps had most of the rest and we lost a lot to disease.
Earlier this year we removed the largest tree (which was both in the way and poorly) and the smallest (which was also oddly located)
These are pics from this year

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And this is just the first harvest!
I’ve made two batches of jam, three loads of apple sauce and three trays of muffins plus eaten a few and got some left.
We’ve still lost a load and the tree is helpfully tucked in a corner so I can’t reach all of them but I’m very pleased.
The jam has definitely been a lesson and the muffins are disappointing but it’s so nice to grow our own and I love apples!
I’ll write up and post pics about the jam another time
Anyone else growing goodies this year?

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Trying new things

I don’t know about the rest of you but I think it’s pretty safe to say that, as crafters, we love to try new things.

Whether it’s a different way of working our favourite craft, a new tool or accessory or a whole new craft, there is something really satisfying about mastering a new skill.

This week, I’ve been doing loads of experimenting!

On Saturday, I went to a Tunisian Crochet class so I’ve been practising the skills and stitches learnt there.

Technically, this was two new things because I’ve never tried Tunisian Crochet and I’ve never been to a class like that.

It was a really lovely afternoon. The host yarn shop isn’t one I visit often (due to it being 20-odd miles away) so it was fun to fondle some different yarns and discover some new accessories.

The class itself was brilliant. There were only six of us so it was cosy and the tutor was able to help everyone individually. We all seemed to be at different levels, there was even one lady who had never crocheted before, so it was nice to encourage and help each other.

If you’re in my part of the world, or popping down for a visit, I’d highly recommend a visit to Jenny Wren’s Yarns in Ipswich. Check out their website here.

So, continuing the theme, today I’ve been preserving rosemary!

We’ve got three huge rosemary bushes in the front garden and their days are numbered. But I hate waste so I was determined to try and use at least some of the yumminess.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get into the greenhouse to get the secateurs so I had to use the kitchen scissors and they’re not very handy.

I collected a bag of rosemary sprigs (hardly making a dent in the bush) and am experimenting with three different techniques.

Some have been bagged up and frozen. Some bunches are hanging in Hubby’s ‘ebay room’. And the rest I dried in the oven.

I have to say the last option is my favourite so far, they only take about 90 mins to dry out and once they’re cool you can strip off the leaves so they don’t take up much space.

We’ll have to wait and see how the hanging bunches turn out, they take about two weeks…

Tomorrow, I will put the rosemary to good use by making a salt scrub – more newness!

Finally, I made a bread and butter pudding.

I’m not convinced I like it, hence never having made one, but Hubby asked for it and it’s really the least I can do

But, have you ever asked an older person for a recipe? The ones I found in my cookery books were overly complicated so I thought I’d ask my Nan.

Her response: butter some bread, beat an egg into some milk, layer them and bake

Bake for how long? Until it’s brown

How much of each ingredient? I never found out

So, again, we’ll see how it turns out – think of me in about an hour

What newness have you all been up to?

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More craft room crochet – finished!

Now that I’ve got the freedom of a dedicated craft room, I’ve gone a little crazy for making little pretties to jazz it up
Here’s the latest
WallTidy (1)

 

Please excuse the fairly dodgy looking wall behind – we’re not decorating until we’ve knocked some walls down, put some more walls up and replaced all the windows…

WallTidy (2)

 

There are supposed to be buttons on the top tabs but I quite like it without and it was far too difficult to decide what kind of buttons to use so mummy and I decided it should just go up as it is. 

The plait for hanging was made in a bit of a rush too but I think if I trim the straggly ends, it will look quite nice

WallTidy (3)

 

They haven’t photographed very well but I’m pretty chuffed with the colours. I used the recommended yarn – Rico Creative Cotton – but had to choose colours online (always a risk)

I’m not sure how actively useful it will be but I love it

I originally saw the pattern in an issue of Crochet Today (an American magazine, now out of print I believe) but it was recently published in an issue of Homemaker as well (issue 21 off the top of my head… okay I checked)

I’ve heard a lot of good things about the yarn and it comes in an amazing range of colours but I wasn’t overly impressed with how it handled. I found it quite splitty and the stitch definition isn’t as good as some other cottons I’ve used.

However, I would use it again because, lets face it, I’m a bit cotton obsessed

On a completely different note, is anyone watching The Great British Bake Off right now? I feel sick just looking at that Swedish princess cake but I’m suddenly desperate to go and buy eggs!

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GBBO love

I’m so excited that the Great British Bake Off is back!

Last week, it inspired me to bake a yummy swiss roll. Which subsequently went wrong so I had to make a battenburg as well. Said battenburg also went wrong.

But they both tasted really good so it doesn’t much matter.

In fact, hubby loved the swiss roll so much that I made another today for my birthday tomorrow!

I also used my cake pop mould for the first time… maybe let’s not talk about it just yet (until the disappointment and hilarity have died down a little)

Today’s Bake Off is making me drool over florentines and seriously contemplate buying a Mary Berry cookbook

In other crafty news, I’m working on some lovely crochet projects, have almost finished my latest knitted jumper, have done some serious sewing and am expecting some crafty gifts tomorrow so there will be lots of news to come later in the week

Oh, and I haven’t shared one of my biggest ventures yet so look out for that one

And, of course, I’ve been so busy I haven’t said much about the wedding yet either so I think I’ve got a long night of post scheduling ahead

Enjoy the Bake Off!

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Yummy V-day treats

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They didn’t quite come out as planned but they’re really good!

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Happy Halloween!!

Just a quick few pictures today as the unpacking and sorting continues…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m so happy with how the cupcakes came out, I think they look great (even if I do say so myself)

I wasn’t so happy with the gingerbread but they tasted really good and with a bit more icing practice, they’ll be better next year

Unfortunately, they’re all gone now. I actually made them for our celebrations on Saturday night and we’ve been chomping away at them ever since

But I figure it’s just an excuse to make more goodies!

So, my coffee break is over and it’s back to more sorting. It’s nearly finished so hopefully normal service will be resumed very soon and I’ll have some lovely pics to post of my beautiful flat

 

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Yummy treats!

So, over the last couple of days, I’ve been combining two of my favourite things… knitting and baking!

I know, I know, the two don’t seem to go together but trust me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to say the baked versions were a nightmare to make! The dough did not want to cooperate so some of them are very funny shapes

But the little nibble we had last night was so good (I banned us from eating anymore until after I’d taken the pictures – willpower is in overdrive today!)

The recipe came from issue 11 of Cake Decorating and is really easy but time-consuming. I think my main problem is not knowing how the handle the dough yet, which I’m hoping will come with practice and some advice from my ex-baker grandad

I made some little choccy doughballs too to use up some of the leftover dough.

I made one of the knitted versions a few weeks ago when I was trying out patterns from Tasty Knits. I made another yesterday while the others were cooking and another this afternoon.

They only take about two hours to finish but can be fiddly because they’re knitted in the round on double-pointed needles.

They’re cleverly done though: you start at the edge of the icing and decrease into the middle, then change to beige yarn and increase out again, then sew up on the outside and stuff as you go.

It shows how good the pattern is that I’ve got the patience to knit more and more

In fact, maybe I’ll knit some with different toppings… brightly coloured icing with sprinkles or glitter… or maybe a bagel filled with cream cheese and (veggie) bacon, that would be a challenge, I wonder if you could knit halves…

Anyway, here’s a couple of pics of my little knitted doughnut tower

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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