Sunday, 15 September 2013

Crochet floor rug

Something that I probably haven't written about before is that I love to crochet. Crochet is no longer the domain of our grandmothers with new and different types of yarn becoming available. One yarn that I absolutely adore is Zpagetti yarn.

Zpagetti yarn is made of stretch cotton fabric offcuts and comes in so many beautiful colours and designs. Their website offers some inspiration for different projects you can complete with zpagetti. Also you can ogle the beautiful macrame items that Ouchflower makes with this fabulous yarn. Ouchflower also has an amazing blog with helpful hints on the various knots that you can use when making macrame. So head to her knot school and get crafting.

One project that I tried with zpagetti that turned out amazingly was a crochet doily rug. I used the pattern from a blog called Dandelion Days. I must admit though that I did not include Round 4 mentioned in the pattern as I could not get this to work, otherwise though this pattern was easy to follow and turned out beautifully (well I think so anyway).

One little tip though for working with this yarn is that you will need to take regular breaks. The yarn is very thick and you will need to use your muscles to work with it. Also the biggest crochet hook I have ever seen is essential to getting the right look.

My next project is to use the same pattern mentioned before to make myself a couple of very stylish bath mats and with Christmas now fast approaching I am sure that they would also make very personal gifts for friends and family. I know that I would love to receive something that someone has spent their precious time and energy creating.

So put some time aside in your calendar to get crafting, you won't regret it.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Baking, baking, baking

Busy, busy, busy (or is it lazy, lazy, lazy). Whichever way I look at it my blog has definitely been on the silent side. I have been busy though, I promise you with lots of new things to add to my blog over the coming weeks.

For my first blog back in a wee while I thought I would celebrate my all time favourite kitchen Kitchenaid Mixer.

I was so lucky to get my gorgeous mixer as a 30th birthday present from my thoughtful boyfriend and I have been using it non-stop. I have been inspired partly by Mary Berry's Baking Bible (also given to me as a birthday present from a good friend) and partly by a want to make things from scratch...from 'real' ingredients (no packet mix cakes for me).

I find baking a way to relax and enjoy the art of making something for yourself, friends or family. It shows that you care about those people important to you - you have taken the time to make something that you hope they will enjoy (and you also get to lick the spoon).

I have challenged myself to bake something new each weekend to share with whomever is around. One weekend it was pavlova (Day to Day Cookery Book), the next it was lemon meringue pie and this weekend it has been strawberry and coconut muffins (I added a little bit of me to this recipe by adding vanilla bean paste, making 6 giant Texas muffins instead of the usual 12, and drizzling with white chocolate).

You don't need a mixer to bake something absolutely delicious (although just so pretty) so join me this weekend or any day of the week and bake something new that you have always wanted to try. How about some Amish friendship bread, chocolate eclairs, creme brûlée, whatever tickles your fancy. And share it with someone special to you or as a welcome to a new neighbour.

Yum, yum, yum