Five Things on a Friday

:: CROCHET

Awww just look at him! So cute already for a headless Gingerbread man!

It’s been years and years since I did any amigurami, so I’ve forgotten things that I used to know. You’re meant use a hook smaller than the yarn band states, so that it’s tighter, but he looks okay doesn’t he? I’d forgotten how kind of fiddly it can be, plus stuffing the legs and body and then carrying on crocheting is interesting. It sort of drags the whole thing down a bit on the hook. But I love him so it doesn’t matter!

I had luckily remembered that Stacey Trock of Fresh Stitches website (sadly it’s not current anymore) used to say not to bother with the ends as they can just stay inside of the pieces. Hurray! Minimal darning!

Does anyone remember me making Mr Scrappy? Here he is in all his mischievousness. He’s very much a part of the family still. He’s a right character. Over the years he’s won the Cannes Film Festival, learnt to ride a motorbike, was at war with the frogs in our old garden, was once tempted to join some very dodgy characters and still parties like it’s 1999 when we’re away. I’m not even making it up or trying to be cute, he really does!

:: BOOK TALK

My new audio book Blackberry & Wild Rose is by Sonia Velton and was her debut novel. I’m only at the beginning of chapter three, but I like the two narrators. The story is set in London’s East End, in Spitalfields, amongst the Huguenot silk weavers of the late 18th century. I have wandered the streets of Spitalfields and can picture the area as it is now, while I read about elements of its historical past.

:: DINNER

Tonight I will be making a lasagne with a rich beef ragù, béchamel sauce and using fresh lasagne sheets. Someone has already uncorked a bottle of claret for me to pop some into the meat sauce. We’ll drink the rest with dinner. A first using fresh sheets, and I suspect that I will not go back to the solid as concrete dried sort. I love Friday nights!

:: SLOW VLOG

I absolutely love Country Life Vlog on You Tube. I watched This Film earlier, thanks to Pip for sharing. You’ll need a quiet place to watch and the volume up for all the lovely sounds in this film of the filmmaker’s Grandparents living a rural life in Azerbaijan. (No music, so refreshing!) Just marvel at the egg technique cracking technique. Notice how there’s not a single piece of plastic. If you don’t also fancy making some sort of dough afterwards I’ll be amazed.

Here’s some info about who they are, where and how the account came about last year.

:: CAKE

Nigella’s Lemon & Raspberry cake

Absolutely delicious eaten warm or cold. We ate it for dessert after Sunday lunch, with spoonfuls of creamy crème fraîche. I used huge juicy fresh raspberries, grown in Kent. As you see I placed them on top of all the cake mixture rather than try to mix them in. This way they didn’t sink right to the bottom, or get broken up by a spoon. I would definitely make this cake again.

The recipe is from Nigella’s Simply Nigella book. Message me if you can’t get hold of the recipe. It’s not currently on her site, but there are various versions floating about the net.

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My wishes for the weekend are to go on a train journey and see a film at the cinema. My fingers and toes are crossed!

What are you planning?

Say hello to Stanley….

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If you follow Kate Bruning’s Greedy for Colour blog then you’ll have recognised Stanley straightaway, if not then you’re really in a for a treat. If you scroll through Kate’s posts you’ll see lots more of the cheeky Stanley, his Mum and friends.

So why and how and when did Stanley appear the other side of the world playing his own brand of ‘Where’s Wally?’ Well, last November Kate asked if I would do her a favour sometime and test a pattern from her forthcoming book. What an honour! She sent the pattern recently and I loved crocheting Stanley. I just sewed him up today and what a cheeky face he has! He’s winking isn’t he? Somebody saw him and straight away said “He’s a dude.” He is indeed.

Kate tells me she’s about to send the book to the printers, I can’t wait to read the story and try some more of the patterns. Clever and exciting projects can come out of blogs which begin as chatty crafty diaries of everyday life eh? It’s inspiring.

Mr Scrappy (and the Hilton crochet)

I’ve got a stinking cold but have enjoyed doing a bit more of my Hilton crochet for the bag I’m making…

 

 I wanted a smaller thing to make so Mr Scrappy was the project I began yesterday…

 

I really really needed some advice about stitch markers, so tweeted and got some from the ever-helpful Lynne.

The method above works sooo well!

Mr Scrappy seemed like a great way to use up my odds and ends, though as you see I lost the plot a bit last night and used all green for one of his legs or arms! Blame it on watching/listening to Red Dwarf while counting the stitches in the round…

You can also get the pattern here….

Thanks Stacey!

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Finally, here’s what I’ll make for dinner tomorrow…

I love chicken

I love chickpeas

I love sweet and savoury together

So this recipe from my Good Food Magazine, also available on their excellent website will be perfect.

YUM.