Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Bunting fever

Unfortunately, I have nothing to report as I am buried in lab reports, dissertation and research project. Just a few pictures of pretty, personalised bunting I have been making.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

I declare myself a 'procrastiknitter'

Well, what a start to 2014. I apologise for not blogging in so long; Christmas got in the way (more about that in a minute) and then January madness, back to University with looming lab report deadlines, Dissertation, presentations, Honours Project, exams... (are you stressed just reading this?!) 

You might be thinking 'why is she blogging instead of doing University work?' and the answer is... 'procrastination'. It is a global phenomenon, not just a student illness! Are you reading this when you should really be doing work, laundry, dishes... etc etc? They can wait until the end of this; I promise some nice pictures soon!

I will start with my Christmas story...

Arriving home was nice because my Uncle is a feeder and conveniently they only live around the corner - winner for my tummy! Unfortunately, my little brother started feeling ill in the weeks before Christmas and stayed off school with me as Mum had to work. She is an estate agent and apparently Christmas is manic for house buyers and sellers, who could be bothered with the stress? Anyway, I digress... back to my brother, Freddie. The poor little mite started complaining of stomach pains (I will spare you the rest of the gory details) and I had to carry him from his bed to the living room and bring him everything but he isn't usually one to complain so I didn't mind. The end of a very long story and a hurried visit to the emergency doctor: he had appendicitis. Off we went to the hospital one evening and after blood tests and a loooong wait they decided to keep him in overnight and operate the next day. During this waiting time I fainted and woke up in a bed on the children's ward with dinosaur stickers on the wall, a very confusing experience! My blood sugar was low so I had a few biscuits and some chocolate and was fine. 

The surgeons operated, only to find a very large, very necrotic appendix and they were amazed at how brave Freddie had been whilst they were prodding and poking him the previous day. The next few days involved lots of trips to and fro between the hospital, home and Auntie and Uncle's house. I also completed all the Christmas shopping the day before Christmas Eve then went to collect Mum and Freddie from the hospital in the evening to bring them home. Two of the surgeons had a bet that Freddie wouldn't be out for Christmas day and were amazed when he came out. All was well and we had a lovely Christmas Day.

Bethany, Freddie and myself on Christmas Day

Boxing Day I began my drive to Eglwysbach in Wales for a second Christmas. My other half, Tom, and his family have been doing up an old pub (lots to come on that at a later date) in Eglwysbach called 'The Bee Inn'. It looks lovely now and I would definitely recommend a visit! My second Christmas was much calmer than the first; a very welcome break. Below is a cork board which I made for Tom's parents as a Christmas Gift. All corks used were collected from the wines drunk at Tom's house in the previous months... Rioja is a favourite! 

New year's Eve was one with mixed feelings - I was in Wales and due to go to a house party when Freddie was admitted back into hospital with a fever, infection and fluid in his abdomen. I was assured he would be fine and celebrated the coming of 2014.

And that brings us to now...
The beginning of January involved lots of University work and am currently taking a break from writing my Dissertation to blog. In the previous weeks I have done some sewing, baking and knitting in between lectures and working in the library.  

These cute pink and cream candy stripe mittens are a result of my 'procrastiknitting'... do you like?

Personalised bunting - very cute!

A delicious Devil's food cake.

If you have reached this point, congratulations for surviving and thankyou ever so much!

Sophie x

Friday, 6 December 2013

The weather outside is frightful...

Whilst feeling festive last night I decided I wanted to make something other than a tree decoration. As a child I never had a stocking so I decided that would be perfect to make. Armed with my cereal box (to make a template), felt, embroidery thread and needle I set to work...

In my opinion, there is nothing cuter for Christmas than blanket stitch... would you agree?

I drew a stocking template on my cereal box, several times might I add; I just couldn't get the right amount of 'curviness'. However, I am happy with the final shape, especially the heel and toe patches.

The idea for lettering came from looking at a picture in a magazine where there were several stockings hanging on a fireplace and each had a name on. When I'm older and have a house and a family I will definitely be doing that! I wanted to try it out with a simple letter shape, but one that could also be used to give as a gift (providing it turned out okay)... so, T for Tom.

The actual colours are a forest green, red and white but my mobile phone camera filter didn't quite do the colours justice so here is one with no filter.

I hope you like the design, I'd love to know your thoughts! Please leave a comment. xx

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Christmas is coming!

I have been waiting until it is officially December to post pictures of my Christmas decorations! How exciting? This is just a quick post to show you some of my designs... there ill be more in the coming days! I'd love to know your thoughts on them and hear any ideas you have of more that I could make. Leave me a comment in the comments section :) 

Christmas pudding... I hate the taste but they look so cute!

Ginger the gingerbread lady, I'm working on a special boyfriend for her.

Ronnie the Christmas robin

ADDED: Having seen a post on the Planet Penny blog about creative ways to wrap Christmas presents, I have dug out some pictures from last year where I used pages from an old book to wrap presents.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Ripple sample

Here is a sneak peak of my ripple blanket colour scheme... What do you think?! I was too excited to show you all so i took this without any natural light so the colours are a little off :( 

I can't wait to start the blanket now; I have got the hang of the pattern so hopefully it will turn out really nice.

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Festive Pies

Last week I tried my hand at hot water crust pastry to make pork pies, they were a resounding success! This morning Tom and I decided to get festive; we made chicken and stuffing pies. For dinner last night I roasted a small chicken and four chicken thighs, we ate the breasts and the rest was left for pies.


for the hot water crust pastry...

  • 720g plain flour
  • 320ml water
  • 240g lard
  • 1 egg yolk (for glaze)

for the filling... 
you can use whatever you have, the following is what we used

  • leftover chicken, shredded
  • leftover gammon cubes and onion
  • stuffing

to prepare...

  • Cut 5cm wide strips of baking paper to wrap around your pies before cooking
  • Cut 20cm strips of string to hold the paper in place (wet the string to ensure it doesn't burn in the oven)
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C


1) Prepare the filling by cutting up your meat and combining in a bowl with stuffing. Get your hands in and give it a good mix.

2) Shape filling into balls, roughly the size of a golf ball. It depends on how big you want your pies to be really. Set aside and start to make the pastry.

3) Cut the lard into cubes and add to the water, heat on the hob until the lard melts.

4) Weigh the flour out into a bowl and add the melted lard and water. Mix with a spoon first because it will be too hot to handle.

5) Combine to form a dough, it should be okay to handle once combined.

6) Roll the dough out on a floured work surface to about 5mm thickness, cut circles for cases and smaller circles for lids. (I used a cereal bowl for the cases and a glass for the lids)

7) Place a filling ball in the centre of a pastry case, wet the edges and form a case around the filling. Wet the edges of a pastry lid and pinch together until it looks like a little pork pie. It won't be pretty... but it will look rustic and homemade!

8) Wrap the pie in a strip of baking paper and tie with string. Repeat for all the pies.

9) Brush eat pie top with egg yolk.

10) Place on a baking tray with room for air to circulate between the pies.

11) Bake in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until nicely browned.

12) remove from the oven and ENJOY!

These chicken and stuffing ones truly taste like Christmas, we even have cranberry sauce to dribble over them. I'd love to hear what you put in your pies and I would especially love to see pictures... please leave a link to your blog in the comments section.

Whilst the pies were cooking, I cleaned the kitchen and made DIPPY EGGS!!! you are never too old for dippy eggs. To stop any confusion dippy eggs are soft boiled eggs with toast soldiers. I even found a Milkybar kid egg cup with cowboy hat to go with it.

Dippy eggs are a far cry from my Christmas day breakfast. Tom enjoys croissants with bacon, stilton and cranberry sauce with Prosecco on Christmas day, my family opts for sausage butties and a bottle of Stella... you can tell who is Northern!

I will leave you with this... 31 days until Santa arrives! xx

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

I have ripples of excitement for this next project

Look what arrived in the post today... yarntasic, yarnilicious, yarnahoy!!

The weather is utterly miserable today which made photography a bit difficult; I had to line these up right next to the window to get any natural light on them.

When this lovely lot grow up they are going to be a Ripple blanket :) I will be using and adapting this pattern from Attic 24 and if my blanket turns out half as nice I will be so pleased.

I wanted the same yarn as I am using for my granny square blanket (Rico essentials 365 aran) but the colour range isn't as vast; this is Rico essentials cotton dk. They were purchased from Deramores on Sunday evening and have arrived this morning (Tuesday), I am very impressed with their service. Congratulations Deramores!

The colours I bought (left to right in picture) are:
1 - Cardinal (84)
2 - Silver (03)
3 - Blue Green (42)
4 - Mauve (17)
5 - Dusky Rose (19)
6 - Burgundy (00)
7 - Aqua (95)
8 - Anthracite (28)

Also sneaking in the picture, my giraffe slippers. A Christmas present last year and I love them! I always wear them in my flat, today they will be helping me through a very extensive lab report I have to write. So I need to put down all this lovely yarn, get out of creative mode, into scientist mode and write all about drugs I have been analysing. Wish me luck... x