Thursday, 31 January 2013

Basic Bread//12 Breads

I love fresh homemade bread; so I thought a nice new feature on the blog would be 12 Breads - that's one a month for the year. So I decided to start with a nice basic bread; it smells delicious even as it's prooving!! So the recipe is Jamie Oliver's; it's quite simple but not necessarily the quickest bread as there is quite a bit of prooving time. Here are some pics of my bread: 
Here is the dough as it's being kneaded:

 Here is the dough just before it's 2nd prooving; it's covered in clingfilm that's why the photo is odd:

Here is the loaf before going in the oven:
 Here is the loaf all baked, and looking yummy!!!
I'm really pleased with how this loaf turned out, it's super yummy. I would change a couple of things - I did make this on my work surface as per the instructions but alot of water leaked out and it was quite messy however I will try again. I also put some rock salt over the top of my loaf before baking. I will use this recipe again; but I might try some different flavourings etc. The bread is really nice but it's quite a close bake; so I might make 2 loafs using the mixture instead HOWEVER it's lovely as it is dipped in soup!!
What have you been baking lately?
V xo

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Then Add Stripes//WIP Wednesday

I have just 3 WIP's right now.... how come you ask? Well last month I really had a think about the direction of my 6 current WIP's. I finished the everlasting scarf stopper; I've put my lace scarf into hibernation (lace doesn't say winter to me) and I've frogged my poncho - I just didn't love it anymore. So that leaves my afghan (which is an ongoing large project); my luxe hooded scarf (which I intend on working on very soon) and of course my Blue Fudge Plains shawl...... so guess what that means? I'll beable to cast on OWLS very soon - I'm very excited to try out a sweater.
Anyhoo my shawl has made alot of progress; the fudge baby cashmerino arrived at the weekend and so the stripes have begun. I'm loving how it looks with stripes and I'm over 60% done with this now - I'm hoping to have it finished in the next week and posted off:
What are you working on this week? I'm playing along with Tami and Ginny this week, go check them both out and see what others are working on!!!
V xo

Friday, 25 January 2013

The Everlasting Scarf Stopper//FO Friday

I finally finished the Everlasting Scarf Stopper; and it's super pretty. I know it's only a garter stitch scarf right? But sometimes you put together simple stitches with some smooshy yarn and you get the perfect scarf. My wife loves it - she has been wearing it everytime she goes out, so really I couldn't be happier.

I'm still working away on my shawl; but I'm awaiting some yarn so I'm going to have to break on that until the yarn arrives - meantime my wife wants some mitts, so I'll get them knit up in the next day or so.

As usual I am playing along with Tami; excited to see what everyone has finished this week!
V xo

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Blue Fudge Plains//WIP Wednesday

My WIP from last week is now finished; the ends are weaved in and I'll tell you a little bit more about it on Friday. This past 4 days I've been working on my High Plains Drifter Shawl (or Blue Fudge Plains); it's really growing and I've ordered some Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Fudge to add some pretty striping. I'm really pleased with this, the yarn is lovely and smooshy - and guess what? I don't even get to keep it!! I've made this for a friend..... however I may knit one for me, later in the year.
I had a lovely new Knit Nerd on my blog yesterday, so go check it out and leave the lovely Amanda some love. As always I am playing along with Tami and Ginny.
V xo

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Amanda//Knit Nerds

Yup, that's right - my favourite feature, Knit Nerds, is back!!! This week I have the lovely Amanda of Life.As.I.Know.It; she is just 19 and  she crochets and knits beautifully; so here she is:
1. How long have you been knitting/crocheting and who taught you? I first learned to crochet the summer before fifth grade. One of my former teachers taught me, however, I didn't get very far with it. When I was in high school, I decided to start loom knitting and taught myself with the instructions that came with Knifty Knitter looms that were purchased at WalMart. That of course spurred the addiction onwards and I learned to needle knit from online videos.
2. What is your favourite yarny thing to make? My favorite thing to make has got to be dishcloths. I've made probably hundreds of them by now. If you look on my Ravelry page at the sheer number of projects you would probably be shocked, however, most of them were quick and easy dishcloths. When I'm not knitting dishcloths, I'm obsessed with making baby blankets. I have several of those at home in a bin right now, just waiting for the next baby announcement!
3. Who is your biggest yarny inspiration? Oh boy, I'm not sure. My great-grandmother, who I only have vague memories of because she passed away when I was a small child, was an avid crocheter and made gorgeous afghans. There are several in my parents' home that I love admiring. One of my favorite things that she crocheted was a table cloth made out of crochet cotton. It's so lacy and gorgeous. I spent last Thanksgiving admiring the table cloth rather than eating! That's when you know that you're addicted to yarn. I also love the Yarn Harlot!
4. What is your favourite completed object? My favorite completed project is probably my Summer Flies Shawl. It's such a gorgeous pattern! 
5. What inspired you to start your blog? For as long as I can remember, I've always been a fan of blogs around the internet and have read blogs. I like to see what other people are doing and how they express themselves, so it was natural for me to want to start my own blog. I first started writing when I was about ten years old. I've always kept journals or blogs all over the internet, keeping track of what was going on in my life and what I was making or doing at the time. I just need an outlet to talk about my feelings, emotions, and to document what's happening to me. I started the blog where I'm at now when I was in high school, wanting a fresh start with a new blog as I was moving towards college and getting more serious with crafting. Now my blog is a hodge podge of life, knitting, softball, college, and photography.
6. If you could give 3 pieces of yarny advice, what would they be? First, don't be afraid to try new things! I set knitting new year's resolutions every year in hopes of trying something new during the course of the year, as well as documenting things. Cables, charts, bobbles, stripes, knitting in the round, knitting socks; all of that managed to get accomplished because I let go of my fear. Secondly, if you are a knitter I seriously recommend evaluating your setup. I recently did a serious overhaul to how I had things organized. Getting things clean, put away neatly, and the stash tamed helped make my life so much easier. I also got an iPad Mini for Christmas and I am shamelessly addicted to knitCompanion, an app that helps me keep my place in my pattern along with a lot of other cool features. Finally, my last bit of advice would have to be to occasionally splurge for the good yarn, the luxury needles, the handcrafted hook, whatever it is that suits your fancy! Using the "good stuff" makes the entire experience so much better sometimes.

So that's the lovely Amanda, please leave her some love!! You can find Amanda on Ravelry as amandacake and on Twitter as udontknow.

I'll have another lovely knitnerd in the next week or so.
V xo

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Learn//Knit Life

Kristofer has wanted to learn how to knit for a while, I tried to teach him when he was 4 but he just wasn't getting it. However he's 5 now and we decided to try again - maybe it was something Kris and Mummy could do together......
So I cast on 10 stitches and knit 3 rows for him, while he watched and then we started knitting together. He managed to do a whole row by himself - I'm so super proud of him. It was definitely a huge proud mummy moment:
He got a little bit stuck on the next row, not really understanding the whole turning your knitting around - but we'll get there. We're going to try again in the week, and see how much we can get done. I bought him a little knitting kit just before christmas so once he knows the basics we'll have a go with that.
Hope you are all well, in the coming week I have a FO and a WIP to share - yes a FO, you read that right. I'm really enjoying knitting right now and it's going well for me. Remember I have a pattern testing right now, so if you're interested just pop over and let me know.
Have a knitty day.
V xo

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Yarn//WIP Wednesday

Ok my WIP this week is not technically knitting (or crochet); this week I have been sorting out my yarn cupboard - it has been quite a job. Taking photos, taking yarn notes and uploading it all to Ravelry:
Anyway I thought it might be fun to share a few of my favourite yarns; I've got projects in mind for just one of these - I sat last night and planned yarn for projects, it was fun!! I am a nerd - but most of the time I just don't care.

*all of the following linky's go to my ravelry stash page*

Lang Yarns Jawoll Colour Superwash

I love this yarn, it's super soft and so gorgeous - I plan to knit the Hitchhiker shawl with it:
Cherry Tree Hill Potluck
This yarn is super pretty, I bought it from someone on Ravelry for my anniversary as it's not available over here. I have 1800 yards of this yarn; any ideas what I could knit with it?
Dream in Colour - Smooshy

I fell in love with this yarn the second I saw it; I'm wondering if it could make a gorgeous shawl? Or maybe a hat and mitts...... ideas on a postcard!!!
Hume Sweet Hume
This yarn is incredibly random; I picked it up in Orkney and it's so beautiful. It is a mix of lambswool and silk - but I don't know the weight or yardage so I'm completely stuck on what to knit with it:
Also I am reading The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs; it's really good so far and it's available in paperback and for the Kindle.

I'm excited to see what everyone else is working on so I'm playing along with Tami and Ginny - go check it out and have a knitty Wednesday.
V xo

Monday, 14 January 2013

Queen of Hearts//Design

So this is not a FO for 2013; it's my last from 2012. I started this shawl in the summer but due to illness etc, I finished it at the end of December just in time for my Gran's birthday - she loves it, she's even worn it out!!!

I am really pleased with how this shawl turned out, I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino DK yarn - it was wonderful to work with, it's so gorgeous and smooshy. If you get a chance to use it - go for it, it's beautiful. Anyway's because I enjoyed working on this shawl so much I decided that I am going to release the pattern!!!
However firstly I need the pattern tested, so I've set up a post over on Ravelry - if you want to test it for me (I would be very grateful) please pop over and drop me a message. I'm really excited about this but nervous too and I need to know if my pattern reads well.
I will be back on Wednesday with updates on what I'm working on; it's still the never-ending scarf.

V xo

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Simply//Journey into Crochet

So last year I crocheted just one item; this year I am determined to learn a little more - so I bought the new Simply Crochet magazine; I've had a good read through it and I'm feeling really inspired. I'm hoping that crochet goes well for me - I want to learn so who knows? Does anyone have any hints and tips for me?

V xo

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

WIP and Yarn// WIP Wednesday

I can't believe this is the 2nd Wednesday of the year already........ I am getting organised to get going with my WIP's but my wife asked me to knit her a simple scarf - so I picked up a 10mm circular needle and 2 balls of cream aran yarn and got to work:
It's just simple garter stitch; 20 stitches wide and with the yarn held double. I'm loving how quickly this is knitting up - it will be a FO before I know it. Next I plan to work on my high plains drifter; I am so determined to get all of my current WIP's finished so I can start knitting a cardigan - any favourite cardigan patterns?
So yesterday I went shopping; a whole day spent in Edinburgh by myself and it was amazing. I bought lots of stuff including boots, a coat and some new socks (I love me some socks - and these ones have foxes on). Anyway I also went to K1 yarns and bought some beautiful yarn:
First of all I found this gorgeous skein; it's all in different thicknesses and I plan to knit a small shawlette and then hand dye it - so exciting:

I also bought these artesano skeings; the pink ones are 4-ply and I think the gold/yellow ones are DK - aren't they pretty? No specific plans for the as of yet but I'm very excited to make some:
As usual I am playing along with Tami and Ginny; I'm excited to see what you are all working on.
V xo

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Remember Remember//Knit Nerds

Do you remember last year, all of my lovely Knit Nerds? Well now you have the chance to become a Knit Nerd!

So what do you have to do? Just email me ( or contact me on Ravelry as knittingv.

What happens next? I will contact you with all the details you need for your interview. You just need to provide some photos, your answers and possibly a giveaway; although that is optional.

If you have any trouble contacting me just leave a wee comment below and I'll get in touch.
V xo

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Knit 2013// Knit Life

So a new year; means a new lust list!!!! Here are just 4 of my lusts for 2013:
I have become a huge fan of shawls (I have my own shawl pattern release coming very soon); and I just think this one is beautiful - I think it would try to make it in similar colours.

I absolutely fell in love with this hat the second that I saw it; it's simply beautiful.

Pekoe by Laura Chau

I do want to knit a sweater this year; I'm not sure that this one will be my first but it is on my sweaters I love list, it's very simple in the front but the back is super pretty.

 2 Hands Make a Heart by Mari Chiba

And lastly, these mittens are amazing!!!! I'm not sure I need to say anything else about them.
So what's on your lust list for 2013? Are you making plans already? I'm going to get my WIP's finished before I cast on anything else....... so wish me luck. And Happy 2013!!!!!

V xo