Christmas cakes and crafting

I’ve had one of those wonderful not doing much weekends…. Saturday, my friend Sam and I got together to make our Christmas cakes. This is late for me, I normally have it done by the end of September, but this year we were busy electioneering! I love the mid- make clutter in my kitchen:

IMG_8269.JPG Sam’s cake is the one in the oven.

His cake:

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My cake:

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They look different don’t they?! They are exactly the same recipe and quantities except his has less currants and more raisins, and I forgot to put the brandy in mine before it was cooked, so I had to feed it when it was cool on Sunday morning. They were cooked on the same temperature for exactly the same amount of time! The only real difference was the tins we used. Mine was an old battered one and his was brand new. Hmmm who knows! My house smelled fantastic all day!

I worked on the back of my Mum’s cardigan and finished it:

IMG_1173.JPG I also cast on the left front.

I did a second square of week 4’s pattern in the Scheepjes CAL…

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And I made quite a few squares for Dad’s waistcoat:

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IMG_1174.JPG I have 50 squares now – only 32 more, plus blocking, sewing in ends etc etc etc

Three works in progress

I am, as I have said before, either obsessed with one project or flitting between projects! At the moment I am trying to get a shift on with my godson’s Christmas jumper but I find knitting in the round gives me cramp in my wrist so I am alternating between it and two shawls. Although both the shawls are on circular needles, I’m not knitting in the round which is what seems to be the problem.

First up the start of the Christmas jumper:
image Fairisle in the round.

The Stephen West shawl I’m knitting for Sam for Christmas:
image Intarsia. I do love this one but it does require my attention with the balls of wool!

And last a shawl for my sister. As it’s knit in Rowan felted tweed and kid silk haze, it is too warm to knit in the summer, so I’ve got it out of hibernation and am planning to finish it now:
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image Lace.

Right, Trillian 2 & Annie’s bandana are just about to have a little bath (for they are both finished!). I shall do half an hour’s knitting, then pin them out. (Photos later). After that I need to make the Christmas Cake and a pan of soup. I’m trying a new recipe from the BBC Good Food Guide online – spicy butternut squash. Sounds yum. And as I have convinced my husband that making a Christmas cake is a chore equivalent to cleaning the bath, I can safely avoid any housework today too. #win

Quiche

I have done quite a lot of knitting today but it’s too dark to take a good photo so that will have to wait ’til tomorrow morning. What I *have* done today is make quiche. My nephew and niece were appearing in their dance troupe’s performance this evening and beforehand a family party had been arranged to feed the various uncles, aunts and grandparents who were going to the show. The kids are the only children on both sides of the family so they get to share these occasions with quite a lot of us!

Mum and I had decided that with the weather we’d have salads and we’d make a couple of quiches. We chose two recipes online that were new to us and we had great fun this morning trying out the recipes, pre baking the pastry cases and making cheesy straws from the leftover pastry.

The first was St Delia’s classic Quiche Loraine from http://www.deliaonline.com
Uncooked:
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Cooked:
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The vegetarian quiche was a Leek, Mushroom and Gruyere quiche from http://www.bbcgoodfood.com
Uncooked:
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Cooked:
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Obviously as a vegetarian, this was the only one I tried, and it was DELICIOUS! If you like quiche, then I very much recommend this recipe.

We spent the entire morning telling Mollie and Lucy to ‘move… Move… MOVE…’
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And the best bit of the day? My nephew, the only boy in an 80 strong cast, winning the prize for the best improvement in his class.

A chilly May Sunday

Unusually I spent today at home. Normally I spend Sundays with my Mum and sister but today I had loads of little jobs I wanted to do. First up was bottling the mincemeat.

I’ve got a good collection of Kilner Jars now. I really like the way they look and feel:
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Here are the jars filled!
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Mollie spent most of the day in her basket. Sometimes fast asleep
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Occasionally awake and not in the mood to be photographed!
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I found my nephew’s birthday presents…
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And wrapped them up. Love the ‘little gems’ paper!
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I had an important note to write to someone and decided to use one of the cards that had been printed with Mollie’s portrait on. A friend, Liz Strachan, drew Mollie’s portrait for my husband for Christmas and when she sent me the portrait she also sent some cards. I hadn’t used one until today.
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Please do have a look at Liz Strachan’s website. www.lizstrachan.co.uk She’s so clever – and Mollie’s portrait is on the front page!

I also did quite a lot on the sleeve today but I haven’t taken a photo! Mostly because we went to my nephew’s birthday dinner this evening 😀

The rest of the day…

Mollie spent today being terrified by the wind. This mostly manifested itself in sitting down the bottom of the garden, well out of the way of the terrifying sitting room door that kept slightly moving…
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(I know the grass needs cutting…)

D and I had a burst of energy and collectively did some housework (!) and then I decided to make some shortbread. It wasn’t *that* brilliant.
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But D ate it!
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