Friday, 28 November 2014

Chelsea Waistcoat is Finished

I have loved making the Chelsea Waistcoat from Purl Alpaca Designs. I have to say I finished knitting this some time ago (I mean at least a couple of months ago), it has been left neglected in my basket with just the ends to sew in and then a good blocking. Finishing off is not always my strong point. I guess I am worried that once I have successfully finished knitting, I will muck it all up sewing together. Once finished and blocked I have worn it a few times before I managed to photograph it (badly) so that you could see it!

As I finished each section I blocked them, I'm not sure if this was what I was meant to do but figured it would make sewing everything together a lot easier. I discovered that my little blocking board was not big enough and resorted to blocking on the carpet in the corner of my living room (much to Mr. M's delight). I then sewed all the pieces together and there is where it ended for a short (okay maybe a little longer) time.

So finally as part of the WipCrackAway group on ravelry I sat and finished it off the soaked it and gave it another hard blocking.

 


I used Brignatia Aran to make my Waistcoat, I think it was 3 skeins I used and I loved the pattern, there are a few mistakes in my knitting but that is my errors nothing to do with the pattern, I am still fairly new to knitting and still working out certain increases. I ended up with little holes where I was increasing which I quickly worked out was because I was doing it incorrectly but I sussed it eventually. It was a lovely simple pattern to follow.

I did start this project back in August and discussed it on the blog. All the details are also on my Ravelry page.

p.s - sorry about the dodgy pictures, the light is shocking and unfortunately for you it has me in them too!


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Reading & Crochet

Oh what a dreary day it is today! so dark and miserable, winter has certainly arrived here in Yorkshire.

So regular visitors to Little House in the Corner will know that I love both reading & crochet/knitting (although not always at the same time). I have two projects on the go currently.

I am still knitting the Susan Crawford Little Angel baby jumper. I am almost finished but I am on the yoke which requires concentration and counting, both things I am incapable of by the time I settle down to my crafts at around 8.30pm after a long day at work. So that is most certainly a weekend job, but I do need to get on with it as it is my nieces Christmas present. My other project also has a time limit on it as it is a Christmas decoration...

Pretty red & White




Isn't it pretty? And bells too, I cant wait to get to add the bells on (although the embellishment is not part of the pattern just my little addition). I hope I will be able to finish in a week so it is ready for when the Christmas decorations go up. I'm sure you have worked out what it is but I shall do a full reveal as soon as it is completed. I am really enjoying the crochet pattern as it is so simple and works up so quickly. Most importantly it matches up with my red Christmas theme in the living room. Look at me being all organised ready for Christmas. What usually happens is I see something I want to make for Christmas just as its too late and the Christmas spirit is leaving so I never manage to have anything home-made. This year is different!

Jingle Bells
I have struggled to get any decent photo's due to the lack of decent light around at this time of year.

I am reading Foxglove summer by Ben Aaronvitch on the Kindle. I am around half way through it at the minute (as of last night) I was hoping to get it finished by the end of the month as part of the 'A year in books' challenge I have joined in with but with all the knitting and crochet I have to do I am not sure that I will manage it, we shall see.

I am linking in with Small Things Yarn Along today.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Slow cooked sausages

Who knew sausages could be slow cooked?! Any one who knows me will know that I'm not a fan (putting it mildly) of sausages & any time the family meal involves sausages I opt for a jacket potato!
Well while on my week off I decided to have a look at alternative recipes for sausages that didn't just involve the typical bangers and mash or toad in the hole. I found a couple of ideas for slow cooked sausages and since the slow cooker is most definitely out I thought I would put something together and it tasted so nice I actually ate it (we have since had it a couple more times). So I thought I would share it with you


Serves 4 adults & a 7 year old (easily halved)

Ingredients

12 sausages (I used some lovely Lincolnshire sausages)
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
A sprinkle of mixed herbs
2 garlic cloves
1 large onion chopped roughly
1 bay leaf

I browned off the sausages in a frying pan and then put them in the slow cooker, added all the other ingredients in and mixed it up a little. Season and Put on the lid. Cook on low setting for 4-5 hours (I did 5 hours and they tasted lush). I made some mash up to serve with the sausages and the sauce from the slow cooker tasted lush over the top of the mash.

So there you have it slow cooked sausages. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Not Much to Report

Its all been a little bit quite over here at 'Little House in the Corner'. You know when life to zooms on past you and you often feel a little dizzy.

Work has taken over my life for a couple of weeks since my break for half term. I seem to have spent the last two weeks catching up with my work since having half term off. Little lady has gotten back into the swing of school and we are just generally settling into a routine again.

I seem to get in from work do the usual evening things and then fall in a heap on the sofa with exhaustion. That said I have been managing to keep up with my challenge to spin although I am a little behind on my target. Ive also been cracking on with my reading but other than that not much knitting/crochet has happened. I have started a new little project (even though I really should get on with My nieces jumper).

Surprisingly I have started to think of Christmas. Often not my favourite time of year and I am usually a last minute shopper too but I've already started to consider gifts and decorations and Christmas dinner too. I know that my feelings towards the time of year will not change, it is just a very sad time of year for my family but this year I am determined to lift the mood a little and not be last minute with everything. Well I got a little side tracked there didn't I! My new project is to do with Christmas.

So there we have it, not much to report at this end really, life is just zooming on by and making me feel a little dizzy really, can you believe that we half way through November? really? when did that happen? I've struggled to keep up with all of my favourite blogs but know that this week I will really make an effort to get everything done, pop by and say hello at a few blogs so sorry if I've not been and visited of late, its nothing personal. I have just not had the time.

So here we go, a little more positive thinking and more energy, lets hope this week is going to be a good one!


Monday, 3 November 2014

The Year in books Part 3

Its been a very sucessful month as far as books are concerend! I had planned to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and I did. Words cannot describe how much I loved this short story. I finished the book in a week but at 192 pages thats no surpirse really.

This is the first Neil Gaiman book I have read, never heard of him before I saw this book in Waterstones, I have since visted the local tearoom (which is just like visiting a friends house now), Axholme liscensed tearoom, and I had a little (well ok, rather long) chat with the lovely owner Jules who I discovered also loves Neil Gaiman books 'who doesnt?' she answered when I asked her if she liked his work! this made me smile and she immedietly listed of the books that I should add to my ever increasing to read pile. I loved speaking to Jules about books, her enthusiasm for them, she is so animated when talking about them and like me doesnt see the point on wasting precious time on books that you are simply not enjoying, and will (litrally) toss them to one side. My hour at the tearoom flew by and I felt like I could have spoken to Jules for hours more.

Sorry got a little side tracked there! Back to The Ocean at the End of the Lane, The book captured my attention from the start and I felt immediatly immersed in the story, I felt for the little boy in the story through the lonilness, the happy and sad times, so good was the story telling and the world that Gaiman created that it was totally believable to me, at times I wanted to pick the little boy up and cuddle him,tell him it will all be alright (as only a mummy can). I love how Gaiman makes the story so very real! SImply to say I was sorry when the book ended, it left me wondering did that actually happen or was it a dream? I have now been looking at further books by Neil Gaiman to start next! I am in love with Gaiman's writing style and his abilty to create such a world in which I can completely loose myself for hours at a time. 

After reading a good book it takes me a couple of days to, well I guess digest the story completely and understand what has happened, I struggle to jump straight into a new book, I like to think bout what I have read, I like to remeber the charecters. Do you do this? Mr. M can read a book as soon as he finishes another book, which sparked a little debate with good friends and it seemed that I was the odd one out, please tell me its not just me? 

After a few days had passed and much browsing my goodreads list and talking to Jules, I settled on another Neil Gaiman book (seriously hooked) I read the Graveyard Book (which I understand is also a series of graffic novels) I didnt manage a great deal of reading the first week I picked up but when I told Jules what I was reading she said 'hurry up and fisish so I can talk to you how much I love this book' she may have been a little more exuberant than it sounded just there. Again I loved the book, Gaiman's ability to drop you into the story and create a wonderful world in which I can get lost in for hours at a time. I didnt love this book as much as `Ocean at the end of the Lane' but I still loved it.



For my November read I have settled on Bellman & Black by Diane Setterfield, its a book I have wanted to read for a couple of months now. I will also continue reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell which I started last week, I mentioned it just last week in another post. As a last minute entry I'm going to include The Graveyard Book graphic novel part1 which arrived on my doormat just this morning! (a lot to pack in this month)

I am taking part in The Year in Books hosted by Laura at Circle of Pine Trees. What are you reading, I am always looking for books to add to my list.


Saturday, 1 November 2014

Challenge 2 - Lets take a spin

As part of my continued effort to improve certain aspects of my life and health I have taken on board the words of Shelley who wrote How I changed my life in 12 months.

My first challenge Kicking the Sugar habit, has gone reasonably well, as you would expect the first couple of days start great but then it gets harder. I have had stumbling blocks but picked myself back up. The last week of October I will admit I let things slip with it being half term and Halloween but that said I'm going to continue the effort to reduce the sugar intake. I have enjoyed the lovely sugar free cakes produced at my favourite tea room and the reduction of processed sugar in my life has meant that my skin is healthier and I've even lost a few lbs too. The biggest thing I have discovered is that I DON"T NEED SUGAR. so on to challenge two...

Challenge 2 - Lets go for a spin

If you visit Little House in the Corner regularly you will know that I bought a spinning wheel earlier this year and then for my birthday Mr. M sent me on a spinning course. Since then I have not realised much time for spinning. My second challenge is to spin more, but as a person who needs goals 'to spin more' is not specific enough and as Malcolm Gladwell highlights in Outliers (which I started reading this week), in order to be an expert in a specific area you need to achieve 10,000 hours practice. Well I certainly don't wish to be an expert on the subject, I just want to improve, and I most certainly don't have 10,000 hours available just for spinning practice. I intend to manage 10 hours spinning in November, this averages out at only 20 minutes per day. By which time I hope to achieve a more even yarn (My current product is very un even and un usable).

So there we have it challenge 2 is out. here we go, I shell keep you posted on my progress!