Sunday, 23 January 2011

Pointless, Cake - I didn't mean it like that!

Since I've been at home a lot I have got into the habit of watching day time TV. At first I felt like my brain was slowly dying but then I came across my saviour - Pointless! It's the best quiz show on TV and as I became more and more involved in the show I decided I had to apply as a contestant. Now lets be clear, this is not the kind of thing I've never done before. I am not in the habit of applying for game shows, so I was totally shocked to be called in for an audition with the other half of my team, my sister in law Brooke. After a crazy audition where I was convinced we simply weirded out the production team we have been called up to actually be on the show! The new series starts in March, so you'll have to keep an eye out for us on TV - wish us luck!

I also wanted to share with you some pretty cakes I made at the weekend. They were made using two recipes. One, for the cake, is from a brilliant book called The Cupcake Ward Cookbook. This was put together by a 12 year old who wanted to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital. She has managed to get lots of celebrities, chiefs, family and friends to donate their favourite cake recipes and nearly all the profits go to the Cupcake Ward at the hospital. With this hospital being very close to our hearts, because Florence was resident there for the first 3 months of her life, I really love this book and encourage you to buy a copy here.

The recipe I used from the book was for Fern Cotton's chocolate cupcakes and the icing was from a Jamie Oliver Sainsburys leaflet that I picked up in the summer, which is basically cream cheese, icing sugar and raspberries blended. This works really nicely with the chocolate, YUM!

The Return of Social Knitting

Since the darling Flo came into my life obviously lots has changed and that includes my knitting being, shall we say, a bit up in the air. One of my favourite things about knitting is the social aspect of it. As one of the founding members of S&B London, which was the biggest knitting group in the UK at the time, I was meeting, teaching and knitting with new people at least once a week for four years! That’s a lot of social knitting. However, the only people I’ve been knitting with for the last few months have been the cast of Grey’s Anatomy or True Blood during the odd quiet night in front of the TV. So it was like an angel from above when I received an email from a fellow new mum telling me about a knitting group started by my local NCT group (National Childbirth Trust).

It was hard to contain my excitement at the prospect of a weekly night of knitting again and after two weeks of meetings I’m already starting to feel at home. It’s been so lovely to sit amongst a group of new people and have a good natter about everything from kids to yarn, TV to road rage and suitable birthday gifts to the new John Lewis opening in Stratford by the end of the year (which we’ve talked about at both meetings so far and I think we’re going to continue talking about until it opens and we’ve bled it dry of yarn).

Having people to knit with always gives me so much inspiration. Just seeing what others are working on, the yarns and finished projects fires up my creative juices and makes me want to start about a thousand projects all at once. But I am restraining myself to working on the Hap Blanket by Ysolda Teague. This is basically a simple large garter stitch square until I get to the border but the simplicity of the project is giving me the head space to relax. I think if I attempted anything too taxing at the moment that I’d have a bit of a knitting meltdown.

The lovely photo of Flo in my last post and the one here of the Hap Blanket came from my latest photo shoot with my good friend and trusty photographer James Diggle. You can check out his amazing photography here.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

I'm Back!

I have been informed that the latest issue of Knitting Magazine is out and therefore, I'm back in!

To celebrate, here's a cute picture of Flo brandishing a giant knitting needle.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

It's all over

I hate taking the Christmas tree down. The cavern it leaves makes everything seem so bare and the spaces between all the furniture seem so big. I found these crochet remnants of Christmas 2010 in a shop window while on New Years day which seemed particularly poignant to my woolly brain. Fairwell Christmas, till next time!

I managed to get to the sales in Bluewater today and took a trip to the yarn department in the John Lewis there. The yarn was indeed stacked high but having so many WIPS (works in progress) in my craft cupboard I really couldn't justify buying any more yarn to stash away for no real purpose. Does this mean I'm getting old and sensible?

I did help my Mum buy some cut price Debbie Bliss Eco as I bought her the pattern book as a gift last year. It turns out you need at least 16 balls to make any of the garments in the book, so if you were to buy the yarn full price you're looking at around £80 for most of them! Long live the yarn sales says I!

I promised you pictures of the vintage snood I made from Jane Wallers Knitting Fashions of the 1940's and here it is.

My sister in law is disgustingly glamorous.