Hexipuffs and The Bee Keepers Quilt……

As the clock go forward I find a project for dark winters evenings; A Bee Keepers Quilt. So a called because of the knitted hexagon sections that will (eventually) be combined to make an amazing quilt.

This may take some time to complete but, 1 Hexipuff down and only 101 to go until I have enough for a pram blanket (not that I know anyone in need of a pram blanket!!)

The pattern can be downloaded from Ravelry and only costs about £3.42 or $5.50 and it’s not a traditional pattern with complicated codes. It’s very simple. That being said I had to take it to my local wool shop http://www.thewoolmerchant.co.uk and with their help (and another set of dpns) I’m up and running

Ask me in 12 months time how I’m doing………,,

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After the pleasure…….

 

of last nights chocolate mousse I felt it was time to go back to the gym after several weeks (well months actually) off. Not just because of the vast amount of chocolate mousse I ate last night but there is a rumour of a re-run of the charity bike ride that I completed last year and I will need to be fitter just to be able to think about it.

Its the pleasure/pain (first the pleasure, then the pain) principle followed by the ‘no pain, no gain’ principle. So, down to the gym for a half hour session (always start slow, you can always do more another time!!) and then home to bake and knit!!

Baking

I wanted to make mini cupcakes but had no mini cupcake cases so had to make big ones! Thinking along the lines of Black Forest Gateau I’ve made dark chocolate sponge cupcakes with a cherry popped inside. I’ve not topped them yet but I’m thinking either a simple piped whipped cream with a sprinkle of chocolate on the top or a piped cream cheese frosting…….will decide on this tomorrow.

This is them before the oven.

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RECIPE

250g unsalted butter (room temperature)

250g caster sugar

250g self raising flour

5 eggs

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

glace cherries

 

Whisk together the butter and sugar

Add 2 eggs and mix again

Add half the flour and mix again

Add 2 more eggs and beat well together (electric whisk used for all of this)

Add the rest of the flour and mix well again

Mix the cocoa powder with a few desert spoons of water to create a paste-add water until you have a smooth paste

Add the chocolate paste to the cake batter and add the final egg

Pipe the mix into cup cake/muffin cases but only fill to about one third

Cut glacé cherries in half and pop on the top and gently push halfway into the mix

Fan oven: 160-cupcakes 12 minutes, muffins 15 minutes

Remove from oven, cool and top  (see above for topping comments!)

 

KNITTING

Well, I’ve now made 3 knitted beanie hats for the man who keeps complaining that he cant find a hat big enough in the shops, so he has NO excuse for a cold head!!

So, what to knit next…….

Having had a glass or two of wine last night (another reason for the gym) I decided to K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid) so, after some internet search decided on egg cosies. Well, how difficult can this be????

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Ok, so it’s only one so far but I reckon by the end of the week I will have a family of egg cosies……if only I ate boiled eggs!!!!

For those who want to knit; it was a cast on of 15 stitches, very simple garter (knit) stitch, knit for about 18 cm (sorry, I lost count of the rows). Cast off and stitch up 2 sides, and there you have it; an egg cozy! Very simple and strangely satisfying.

Knitting……….

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I only knew 1 stitch up until a few weeks ago and I’m told it was a knit stitch. I’ve now learned a purl stitch (thanks to You Tube!).

I’m trying to loose weight in advance of a 3 week holiday so I needed to find something to do that keeps my hands occupied in the evenings and knitting helped me stop smoking a few years ago so I thought I’d rekindle my love with the needles.

Family, be warned, you are all getting scarves for Christmas presents!!!

I made the mistake of going into my local knitting shop which is one of those fantastic emporiums which stocks the most amazing wool; fair trade, hand painted, you name it, they stock it and IT IS WONDERFUL but very very expensive. I’ve promised myself that I won’t go back until my knitting improves having bought 3 skeins of wonderful hand spun, kettle dried Uruguayan wool for just shy of £50 which will be a very expensive scarf!!!!!!!

In the meantime, and for practice, I have un-knitted a scarf that my mother knitted for me years ago that is way too long and way too itchy. It’s made of 3 different wools and I have finally managed to recycle enough of the softest one to make a scarf for myself.

Its still a work in progress, but I have lost almost 3kg in the last 3 weeks so something is working!!

In case you’re really interested, I’ve cast on 30 stitches and am doing 1 row knit, 1 row purl on size 5 needles (they may be 5mm, I’m not sure, I got them from my local charity shop)