I’m sitting at my desk, it’s Saturday 23rd March and it is SNOWING!
My two youngest sons are in turmoil. No.3 son has his birthday in the middle of December. On his birthday the sun was shining and it was a lovely day. His younger brother had his birthday on 20th March… and it was SNOWING! What is going on up there? The weather fairies have gotten their knickers in a proper knot I think.
I’m planning a book.
Not a novel or anything so bold, but a book of knitting patterns. So what? I hear you mutter. Well the current weather gives rise to another predicament you see. By now, I would ordinarily be thinking about knitting summer tops in cotton yarns and open, lacy patterns, but no, I’m knitting warm cuddly jackets because it’s too darned cold to even sit in the house without one. So what patterns do I put in the afore-mentioned book? I’m planning on a publication date in June. It makes sense to knitters – usually. It makes sense to have a good stack of stash-busting patterns to use in making lovely winter woollies for our nearest and dearest with plenty of planning and knitting time ahead of the festive season in December. Now though, do I include a few patterns for summer knits too – a cotton bikini top or beach wrap perhaps? The mind truly does boggle. It’s a good job that knitters are flexible folk who are able to adapt to the passing seasons with relative ease, or we would be totally flummoxed by the confusion which presently reigns over Mother Nature’s weather plans.
Teen daughter asked me to make her a hoodie-type top late last year and with all the Christmas crafting out of the way, I started knitting in the new year. I haven’t been able to knit by hand for quite a few years, so this was a brave undertaking for me, but after having made half a dozen pairs of gloves, several cowl scarves, a couple of beanie hats and even a zipped jacket for No1. Grandson in the two months leading up to Christmas, I thought I might be able to at least have a good try at it.
We have been collecting the ‘World of Knitting’ magazine for the last year and the pattern I used appeared in the early issues of it, billed as a ‘Yoga’ top. Being the tight person that I am, I didn’t buy the recommended bamboo fibre yarn, instead I had a cone or two of some Aran weight acrylic waiting to be used… in for a penny, in for a pound!
As you can see, the result was not too bad, even though it did take me a month to knit. I am quite proud of myself as this is the biggest garment I have hand knitted in over twenty years, and the first adult sweater I have ever made by hand ( I am a machine knitter by choice, but more of that in another post in time to come). I think teen daughter is pleased with it too, although she declined to be photographed wearing it, more to do with not wanting her mugshot on line I think.
A few of the Christmas knits are pictured below.
Young teen son announced that he would rather like a Rubik’c cube cake for his birthday last month. I took this in the spirit in which is was given – a challenge. Work began on the morning of his birthday after shuffling him off to school.
The cake began life as a 12 inch square Madeira cake, baked for approx 55 mins at 160 degrees Celsius, then cut into four equal squares, of which only three were used for the final cake. I wrapped the tin with newspaper to prevent the cake from browning too much on the top during cooking.
The cake stack was then covered in a layer of Asda Banoffee spread, and the icing begins, by covering two opposite sides with Fondant Icing.
This was followed by a strip of fondant icing laid across the remaining part of the cube. Edges were neatened and the surface smoothed out, ready to add the colour.
Ready-coloured fondant icing was used to make the squares of colour to represent the smaller cubes of the Rubik’s cube. I had made a conscious decision to use white as the background because of the slightly bitter taste of heavily coloured fondant. Therefore black was used in the smaller squares to provide a sort of negative image. The small squares with ‘glued’ to the cake with water and a soft paintbrush.
This picture shows the finished cake, complete with the original cube, used to ensure than I had a good representation of the spread of colours. I thought that it would be better to show a random pattern of colour, than the completed cube pattern.
Et Voila! It didn’t last long of course – these things never do, but at least my son was happy with his cake.