Monthly Archives: January 2014

Getting in a mess!

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Getting in a mess!

I started to knit a felted bag today. Oh boy did I get in a mess!

Number one problem was the circular needle. I’m not used to knitting in the round and found it really hard to get going. I was uber careful not to get the knitting twisted as advised in the pattern. I started with a needle too long and had to “un knit”.

Number two problem was having to use three strands of yarn, one of which is a lovely fluffy black. Needless to say the three balls of wool got knotted, knotted and knotted. I “un knitted” and started again.

Number three problem was that Benji the dog thought that the large balls of yarn were a good game and nosed them all around the carpet trying to pick them up!

Number four problem was that the Hubby kept talking to me when I was trying to concentrate. But don’t tell him he was a problem!

Not to be defeated I carried on and started the haute couture hand bag to be modelled at the spring fashion shows. Well you have to have a dream 💃👜

Bargain Book and New Project

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Bargain Book and New Project

I picked up a knitting pattern book in my local bargain supermarket (Aldi) today. Its cost was £2.99 which is less than I pay for a magazine and even less than I payed for a pattern of the Internet! That is another lovely project that I hope no WILL start next week.
This book contains many easyish patterns that inspire and teach various techniques.
I can’t start the next project (the Internet pattern one) until it get help from my friends at my craft group on Monday.

Bara Brith

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Bara Brith

Bara Brith is Welsh for Currant Bread and is a traditional fruit cake from Wales. This recipe is pretty much fool proof and was given to me by a friend from the WI (so it must be good).

Soak 1lb mixed fruit and 6 ounces brown sugar in half a pint of warm tea overnight.

Stir in 1teaspoon cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of marmalade, 1 beaten egg, 1 pound self raising flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder.

Divide into 2 well lined 1 pound loaf tins

Bake at 160 degrees for 50 minutes

This cake is fat free but you could butter if you wish! Put the kettle on and enjoy with a cup of tea!

Finished at last

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Finished at last

I’m not sure which pleases me more. Actually finishing something or the fact that it fits and feels gorgeous! I used a beautiful 100% Alpaca yarn. I was surprised how fine it was when it arrived and would probably not been brave enough to start it had I seen it first! I am a return to knitting knitter after many years of in activity on the craft front. I feel very much like a novice but plodded along with this project and whey hey! Result! Now I feel like the World is my crafting oyster (well not quite) but watch this space.
The pattern is Vintage style, close fitting and three quarter sleeves-nice.

A delightful afternoon with the Craft Group

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Cilcain Village Hall /Neuadd y Pentre Cilcain

We never know beforehand what the numbers will be for any cafe: today, with a sudden hailstorm, the street lights on at two, and torrential rain, we didn’t expect a busy cafe – especially after a chapel lunch. But how wrong we were! The craft group delighted us with an elegant display of cakes and sandwiches, and with tempting stalls, and a very good time was had by all.

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How to make container candles

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Following a request from mammamakesandbakes.wordpress.com I thought you might like to know how to make container candles. (Also take a peek at her blog, it’s good!)

Choose your containers, I use china and/or glass. The finer the china the prettier the candle as you will have a transparent effect as the candle burns down. I have never known the heat to crack the cups so don’t worry. China cups etc have really increased in price since I started but you could miss match cups and saucers if you wish.I use soy wax as it is Eco friendly,burns without soot,and burns slowly. The soy wax burns with a rich cream colour, rather like a magic potion! IImage use http://www.fullmoons-cauldron.co.uk to supply wax and wicks. They are very efficient and prompt delivery.

You need to position the wicks in the clean container. I re cycle wooden coffee stirrers from a well known coffee shop chain. Fasten two together at either end with elastic bands so that you can grip the wick between the stirrers and balance them across the cup.

Melt the wax in a double boiler. You can use a jug in a pan of boiling water which makes pouring of wax easier. When the wax is melted pour into the container with the wick in the middle. It is best to pour a full candle in one go and avoid droplets of water getting in. Leave to set without moving over night and voila! Candle complete. Good luck!

 

Vintage Afternoon Tea

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Vintage Afternoon Tea

Each week our village hall hosts a community cafe. I have mentioned this before but this next Saturday is the craft groups turn to be host. Each group or charity in the village takes turns. Interestingly there are hardly any dates available on the 2014 calendar already. The really good outcome is money raised for charity, and the fact that the village hall has been re furbished and is now a lovely bright location for an event. (I will try and take some photos on Saturday). The hall has also become more of a community meeting point within the village.
Today I have been making more cup and saucer candles as we are having sales craft tables at this Saturday cafe. I have now run out of soy wax,wicks and china cups so maybe this will be my last batch! I do enjoy hunting down the china and actually making the candles so we will see. The vintage china cups have become much harder to find and more expensive as the vintage craze runs its course. It’s good to know that I was ahead of my time with this vintage make for once!
I’ve also made a Victoria Sponge cake as we are selling traditional cream teas with a vintage theme.
I will post about the cafe with some pics next week.

Blocking vs Pressing

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imageimageBlocking vs Pressing

I returned to one of my UFOs, an Alpaca cardigan that I started a age ago. The reason for the abrupt halt was that I had to “flatten” out my attempt at fair isle. I hadn’t done any fair isle for many years and had knit the squares a little tight so that they puckered somewhat. I announced in a previous blog that I intended to press the garment pieces. Everyone threw up their hands in horror and said that I would flatten it out too much. The advice was to block the pieces before sewing together and completing.
I have just blocked as advised and it works! I was told to use a heavy ( bath sized) towel which was very damp but not wet through. I opened up the towel on my ironing board and pinned out the knitting to size onto it. I then folded over the knitting the heavier part of the damp towel. I left it overnight and voila! Knitting flat but not too flat or flattened.
All I have to do now is sew together and knit the bands etc not much!

Sorry I seem to have got in a photo mess!

Damask Linen Table Cloth

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imageThis Damask linen tablecloth emerged from my vintage linen stash today. It is a lovely, hardly used tablecloth. There are two of these cloths one is “small” at 8 foot long and the second is a huge banqueting table cloth at 15 foot long!

Now there’s  two problems here.

1) I don’t often have a banquet and

2) I don’t have a table anywhere near that long.

This particular linen is made by weaving a pattern into the actual warp and weft of the fabric. A shiny thread is woven to create a pattern as the light alters on the fabric.

Damask linen is a beautiful fabric and maybe would make a set of very nice curtains if I was ever brave enough to cut it!