Saturday, 18 February 2017

Let's Knit a Cute, Soft Rabbit


I have three grandchildren and it really is not possible to make for one without the other three wanting the same or similar. So when I made the rabbit with the pink spotty dress, the other two put in their orders. 

For my little grandson, I have decided to make a boy rabbit complete with clothes. The rabbit is finished but the clothes will arrive within a couple of days. I need some black and grey wool and I, amazingly enough, don't have any. This does come as a surprise to me as I have a lot of bits of wool floating around this house. 



The picture shows the new addition to the warren. I've seated the two rabbits together so that you can see the difference in their sizes. Surprisingly the larger rabbit only took 50g of yarn. That's pretty good value for such a sweet toy.


I'm sure that by now you will want to know more. 

Let's start with the pattern. It came from a back copy of 'Let's Knit' magazine. You can see this magazine, while it's still live on this link:



I started by knitting all of the pieces and I've set them out below. I really had to force myself to do this as I am usually a kit a piece and sew it up as I go along kind of girl. 





I did get around to the sewing and here's the first leg.


The head. I thought that this was too small at first but it sewed and stuffed up to a good size. On reflection, if I made it again, I would make the head a bit bigger. By that I mean I would put in a few extra rows rather than stitches, It needs to be longer, not wider.

For stuffing, I used my trusted pillow stuffing and made sure to put plenty in. if you want this toy to sit up you can't make it too floppy.




Did you see my earlier post? The one where I knitted a cute soft rabbit using the Julie Williams pattern that I bought from her web site? If you missed it you can find it here. 




Monday, 6 February 2017

Low Carb, Chorizo, Cabbage and Kale Soup

Low carb food does not have to be boring . It is not only about hunks of meat and cheese. You need a fair sprinkling of veg if you are to survive all the meat and cheese and you want to eat a nutritious diet. So I spent a bit of time looking at combinations of food that I rather likes and this is yummy and satisfying bowl of comfort is the result.

The other great advantage of this soup is that you can serve it to other members of the family that don't want to eat low carb. They can have chunks of crusty bread to make a filling lunch time meal. My husband loves it and has asked for it again and again.




I promise you that you will want to lick the plate. 


So, let's get cooking.

For 4 servings you will need:

1/2 a white cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion
1 chicken stock cube
1/3 of a chorizo sausage. I buy mine from Lidl
100g of Kale. Remove the tough stalks
Grated cheddar or red Leicester cheese 
Salt and pepper

To make 

Put the oil in a large saucepan. Put on the heat and add the chopped chorizo. Cook gently until the oil starts to turn orange. I always love this part as the smell is simply divine.
Add the onions and sauce for a few minutes until the onions turn translucent.
Throw in the cumin and stir around to bring out the flavour.
Now add the cabbage and the kale. Cook slowly to sweat the vegetables. This should take a further 5 minutes. 

Make up a pint of stock with the stock cube and boiling water. Add to the pan. Turn down and cook until the cabbage and kale are tender. Approx 30 minutes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

If you like a chunky soup you can serve the soup as it is. I prefer this soup smooth so I whizzed it up with a hand blender. Yumm.

Label out into warm bowls and pile the cheese in the centre. Or if you don't like cheese then a swirl of cream will make a rather boring looking soup smile. This is probably necessary if you are serving fussy children.




If you're in a hurry this cooks up a dream in the pressure cooker. Depending on the make of your cooker it should only take 10 minutes.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Never show your granddaughter a pretty soft toy unless you are prepared to make one. It's a good idea to read the pattern first to make sure that you have the patience. This took me far longer than I thought it would and now the other two grand children want one each. LOL.


This fabulous rabbit is made from a pattern that I bought from Revelry.com and is by a lovely and talented designer called Julie Williams. Here's her page.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/little-cotton-rabbits

She has lots of patterns. I have also bought the bear pattern so that will be the next one.

I have to admit that you need to know what you are doing as far as knitting is concerned. It is a bit tricky when you have to cast on so many stitches to form the shape of the head and feet. It didn't help that I used a stiff yarn that had no give in it. 

You will also see that I deviated a bit from the original pattern as I didn't have the right wool. Hence the purchase of the bear pattern. I used the feet from the pear to make the rabbit feet.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Learn to Wrap gifts with Alison

Alison Westwood, a fantastic and talented friend of mine has a gift wrapping course for you at her  workshop in Wales.



She also has a set of taster videos on YouTube so you might want to have a quick idea of what you can learn.



Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Italian plums in abundance

The long awaited plum  season has finally arrived and this year there is an excellent harvest.  I couldn't resist taking this photograph of a branch of a plum tree so heavily  laden with plums that it had to be supported with a crutch.

 Now all I have to do is make lots of jam. Watch this space.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Felt Heart update

Hope that you liked the felt hearts that I made yesterday. I promised that I would make a white one to go with the other two so that's exactly what I did.


This time though I used a green embroidery thread for the detailing and the sewing. White would have blended into the background and not been worth having at all.

Below are alll three. So very, very cute.


Saturday, 20 February 2016

These felt hearts are just too, too cute

We all live in hope and mine today is that Spring is just around the corner. I feel like this because it has been an awful day. The rain has poured down and we have had to keep the lights on almost all day. So to cheer myself up I decided to make some Spring like hearts to decorate my little tree in the lounge.


These hearts were quick to make as they only used running stitch for the edges of the hearts and the buttons take no time at all to sew on. The extra bits and pieces are embroiderd on. I used some straight stitches, some lazy daisy (fantastic name), and some French knots for texture.

I'm going to make a white one this evening but I shall use green embroidery cotton  for the stitching.