Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Skinny stripes and a winner!

Hello everyone!

I have a bit of a colour overload here, but it has been very dreary and cold here today, so I was in need of a little brightening. :) 
This is the thing I am working on at the moment, I call it the Skinny Stripe Blanket, just rows of sc in a lovely random patterning of colours.  So simple, but I love the effect.
I am trying to do 10-20 rows a day, but I am falling behind a bit this week. :(  Must keep plugging away, the rows are very soothing, just sc over and over again! ( they are soothing until they are boring, then I stop and do something else!)

Anyway, what else has been happening around here...hmmm, well I received a new yarn delivery for the shop today, something lovely and chunky and warm and wintery and interesting.  It was too dull to photograph it, but I can't wait to get it in the shop and show you all.  I've never made anything in chunky or super chunky yarn, I'll have to go and immerse myself in Ravelry for a while and find some new projects!  Hopefully I will be able to show you tomorrow!

Oh, and I have a winner for the April giveaway! Yay! 
Max chose a number between 1 and 189, and I counted down to that comment, and guess what?
Kate Eastwood the 5 balls of cotton are all yours! 
Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter, I wish I could send a prize to you all!

(......and yes, I do have to deal with all these ends!  I know I should have crocheted over them as I went, but I started doing that and I didn't like how one end of the stripe was thicker than the other! So I will weave them in at the end, surely it won't take that long..... :)  )

Well, that's about all for now, not much too report really, hopefully I'll have more interesting posts for you all soon, I think I've been lacking a bit of posting inspiration recently, so I apologise for the slightly boring sameness to my posting, I guess that can happen when life follows a gentle rhythm, and patterns and routines repeat themselves over the months.  I think it is called contentment, or something similar, just a happy life really. :)

How is life treating you at the moment?

Have a great day!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Weekly Stills....

1.  Some new holiday hooky, hopefully I'll show you the finished thing before too long.

2+3. Lots of family time this holidays,We spent a nice afternoon at Pt Leo beach, the cousins all together and having a late Autumn swim, probably the last one for the season, it was pretty chilly!

4. Afternoon sun makes the couch a very nice place to do a bit of crochet, (or have a little nana nap!)

5. Franklin looking cute, this kitten does a lot of sleeping!

6. Still hooking up flowers!

7. Easter egg hunt fun at Mum and Dads, there was no shortage of chocolate yesterday!

8. Also celebrated my Dad's birthday yesterday, I think we were missing quite a lot of candles!

Joining in with the other weekly stillers over at Emily's place .

What have you been up to lately?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chocolate coconut fudge - so delicious!

Ok, so this is a little off the crafty topic, but I had to share this recipe!  This is one of my favourite sweet treat, I have a very demanding sweet tooth, and this stuff hits the spot!  There is nothing remotely healthy about fudge, pure sugary indulgence, but I adore this combination of chocolate and coconut.  I only let myself make this a few times a year, as I know I will eat the whole tray over a week or so!  Being Easter time, I thought it was an appropriately chocolatey treat to make this week.  The rest of the family are not real fudge fans, so it's all for me!! Yay! 

Anyway, here is the recipe, I had trouble finding a choc coconut fudge recipe, so have made my own adaption of a straight chocolate one, and I think it tastes pretty good!!



2 cups castor sugar
1/2 block chocolate (around 100g)
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons glucose syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tsp natural coconut essence 
2 handfuls shredded coconut ( around 1 cup)

Line a small cake tin with baking paper and spray with one of those oil sprays for a fine mist of oil.

Mix all ingredients except coconut essence and shredded coconut in a saucepan and heat slowly on low heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved and the chocolate has melted.  (Brush down sides of sauce pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystallising.)

Increase heat to medium and slowly bring to the boil, stirring occasionally until temperature reaches 112 degrees ( soft ball stage).  ( I find a candy thermometer very useful for getting the temperature right.)

Remove from heat, and  mix in the coconut essence.  Cool for about 5 - 10 minutes.

Beat with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens slightly and loses its gloss.  
(This can take a while!) Quickly mix through the shredded coconut and pour into tin.  Allow to cool completely.  Once the fudge has set cut into squares and store in an airtight container,  I like to keep it in the fridge, just so I don't keep sneaking pieces every time I walk past the tin on the bench! 

Like all fudges, a little goes a long way!  
Sit down with a cup of tea and enjoy a little chunk of deliciousness!

I hope you all enjoy the Easter break and get to have a few sweet treats over the weekend!

Talk soon!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April giveaway!


I have a nice little collection of 5 Heirloom 8ply cottons to giveaway this month.  One each of blue, aqua, red, lime, and pink.  I think you could make some lovely soft washcloths or maybe start a soft cotton granny square blanket or cushion cover?  Or  lots of flowers and make them into a garlandy thing...... lots of possibilities with cotton!

If you would like to enter, just leave a comment telling me what is your favourite thing to make with cotton.  I will pick a winner next Tuesday!  Good luck!  


Thank you all for entering, this giveaway is now closed!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Holiday Crochet - Flower love

Wow, we are already into the second week of the holidays here, and each day seems to have flown!  So much so that I keep thinking I'll blog tomorrow, and then the whole week has rolled around and there are no posts!  Sorry about that.  We did go away for a couple of days last week, and that always throws the weekly schedule out the window, so I will just have to make up for it this week, I do have lots of things to share with you all actually!
It is also nearly the middle of April and I haven't done my April giveaway yet, think I will come back later today with that.  The months come  around so quickly!

Anyway, as I have mentioned before, I am doing a little stall at the Western Port Craft Festival held in Hastings ( Victoria, Australia, not the UK one!) in a couple of weeks, so have been hooking up some flowers to add to the table.  I am trying to have some inexpensive things available as well as the dearer things, I know not everyone wants to buy a blanket!
I am thinking that these cute flowers would be nice to embellish other craft works, and am going to sell little sets of flowers.  I have seen them on Etsy and they seem to sell.   
I had forgotten how fun flowers are to hook up, I am loving all the colour possibilities!  I am also going to do some sets in cotton, they have quite a different look.
The 3 colour daisy flower is one of my favourite flower patterns, I love the look of the outlined petals.
Do you have a favourite flower that you like to hook up?

So even though we have been out and about I have been able to have my trusty little hooky bag with me and have managed to complete quite a few flowers on the run!

Sorry for the overdose of pictures, but they are actually making me feel very cheery this morning, lovely and bright and colourful.  The sun is shining outside, I can hear lots of gardening sounds, mowers and what not, busy on what looks like a gorgeous Autumn day, I think I will head outside soon too.

Ok I think that is all for now, I will be back soon with a giveaway post, just got to decide what to give way this month, a fun job.

Are your kids on school holidays too?
Getting any crafty time in?
What do you like to do when it is blue skies outside?


Friday, April 11, 2014

Yarn love....

How has your week been going?  It is school holidays here, and it has been wet all week, so we have been in holiday mode, pretty relaxed and lots of hooky time!
I'd like to say a big thank you for all the generous comments on my Weekend in Stockholm throw, I really appreciate all the positive support that this crafty community shares, you are all awesome!! Sorry I haven't responded to each comment, I am trying to implement this as part of my blogging routine, but am still not managing it on every post, a work in progress I guess...

I have been busy recently updating the shop with some new colours of Merino Magic 8ply and adding some new yarns just in time for the April Sale.  ( Thank you to all my lovely customers!) 
I had a  bit of fun putting together a few little colour combos....

....I am really liking the ice blue on the bottom right, and the deep red next to it, and the olive green in the top left is really lovely too.....

.....these chalky colours look lovely together too, 
I think I will put a chalky harlequin on my to do list...

....and these are the new range of 4ply Baby Merino from Heirloom that I am stocking for all those fine projects and baby makes.  The colours are the same as the 8ply Baby Wool, some beautiful soft shades and a few gorgeous deep ones too.  

I have been getting quite inspired by all these new colours and am thinking I might start a new project or two.  I have a few ideas I'd like to try out, but they will have to wait until I have had my little market stall, I am busy at the moment making some things to fill my table.

What have you been up to this week!

Monday, April 7, 2014

April Garden Update...

Hello.  How are things in you neck of the woods?
It is such a lovely time of year here at the moment, calm days and cool, mild days.  I was up at dawn the other day ( no idea why I was up so early, not my usual habit!), and happened to witness such a beautiful sunrise, a very pink sky! Gorgeous!  It was a great day too.

Another month has rolled around in the garden and we are picking tomatoes galore!  The plants are dying off but the fruit is ripening nicely.  I think I will make some sauce with some of these, there are too many to eat fresh.

I dug up a patch of potatoes that had died off, and filled a couple of buckets, they should keep us going for a while!

....so here's a picture of my little harvest on the weekend, it is definitely time to clear out all the summer stuff and get some wintery things in, all my garden beds need a big over haul.....

...I was curious to try one of these melons, they were very late to set fruit, but we ended up with half a dozen or so.  They are not huge, but one was smelling very fragrant and ripe, so I cut it open to have a taste, very delish!  Juicy, sweet flesh, considering we are in Melbourne I think they grew very well!
The variety was called French Charentais, and I would recommend them as a great cool climate melon.

 .......and here is one bed I cleaned up and got some broccoli, cabbage, spring onions and lettuces on the go. There is still so much to do, I am feeling a little overwhelmed by all the jobs I need to do!  I always start each season feeling like I have plenty of time to get stuff done, I write long lists of things to do and feel on top of things, but as the weeks go by I can feel my window of opportunity shrinking!  

Oh well, I have to remember gardening is supposed to be enjoyable!  I think I need to take a deep breath and just take one job at a time......

So, how is your garden growing?
Are you up to date with everything on your do to list?  
 Or do you have lots of jobs to tackle too?

I'm off to write yet another list of things to do so I don't forget something important!  Talk soon...