Archive | February, 2012
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Delight Squared

29 Feb

Delight Squared

My friend is having a baby very soon.

To mark this very exciting event I have been working on an old family pattern for a square blanket.

It’s super easy, once you get your head around it. And the squares knit up really quickly.

It’s taken me a really long time to do this but only because of my growing kitten and his absolute LOVE of moving wool. Along with stationary wool, bundled wool, and anything wool based (including my clothes!!).

It’s not quite finished yet, but it doesn’t stop me from posting about it! I’m an excited little bunny!

For beginners of making squares I would suggest just practicing basic knitting skills before you do the one piece blanket. And the joy with this style is that many people can contribute to the finished product 🙂

What you need:
~ a selection of colored yarn. I use double knit (worsted)
~ 4mm (US 6) knitting needles.
~ scissors

What to do:
~ check the paper band around your wool for details of how many stitches and rows make up a square of 10cm x 10cm (4 x 4 inches), It’s usually 22 stitches across by 30 rows. This is important to know, as you will need all the squares to be the same size for sewing up.

~ For this pattern, cast we’ll assume that it is 22 x 30 for a 10cm square.

1. cast on 22 stitches
2. knit the 1st row
3. purl
4. repeat 2. and 3. until you have 30 rows.
5. cast off

It’s really as simple as that. Make as many squares as you like. 100 squares will make a blanket 1 metre squared.

To Make the Blanket
~ Play around with your pairings and patterns of where you want your squares to be placed. Once you are happy I suggest taking a picture so you will remember what it all looks like. This stage could take some time to complete.

~ I would suggest some crocheting at this point. Take a contrasting colored yarn and simply crochet the squares together, working in a diagonal fashion:

3
1 2

Starting with 3 squares, crochet from the bottom of 1 and 2 and then 1 and 3, with the same thread. Then:

6
3 5
1 2 4

This time starting at the bottom of 2 and 4, crochet up diagonally. Making sure to secure squares 1 and 5 at the corner so there are no gaps or holes. Keep going until the whole blanket is complete.

~ Once this stage is complete you might like to add a border. For this I like to make it 50% bigger than the actual squares. Just knit it up and sew each side on as you go. If you want some more help on this one I’ll be writing more about it when I get to this stage of my blanket!

I love this blog post by One Crafty Momma. A very good look for the blanket. Something to aspire to 🙂

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Real Men Know How to Cook…

28 Feb

Real Men Know How to Cook...

…without killing you!

It’s true. This Sunday was my 1st ever official cooking class for two of my very good friends.

We cooked a hearty meal of chicken, potatoes and vegetables. Nothing fancy, hard or exotic. Just good wholesome, stuff your mum made when you were young.

And to top things off, not only did I get to bark orders (ok not so much of the barking) the meal was so delicious that I wish we’d made even more!

The recipe was simple:

Cut up 1 large potato per person, peel and chop. In a pot of boiling water (with a dash of salt) add the potatoes and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and put the lid on. This should take about 10 minutes to cook through. To check if they’re ready prick them with a sharp knife. If the potato stays on the knife it isn’t cooked. You’ll see!

Chop up all your vegetables and wash them. Some vegetables take longer to cook than others. We used carrots (5 minutes), courgettes (3 minutes) and broccoli (3 – 5 minutes depending on how you like it). The wonderful thing about vegetables is that most can be eaten raw, so panic not! Don’t cook these yet!

Dice the chicken into 1 inch squares – this doesn’t have to be exact, just as long as the pieces are about the same size. In a frying pan add a little oil and butter. You only need a little of each, then add sliced onions and cook until translucent. Add some dried herb and garlic. After about a minute add the chicken. This can be stirred continuously or occasionally, but never leave it alone too long, you don’t want it to burn or only cook on one side. To check whether the chicken is cooked all the way through, take the biggest piece in your pan and remove it from the heat. Cut it in half with your knife and look at the color on the inside. If it is still even a little pink then put it back in the pan and cook for a few more minutes. If it is white then good job, your food is ready!

Once the potatoes are cooked, steam the vegetables and drain everything.

Put it all on a plate and enjoy. I added cranberry sauce for some kick.

A very simple dish for two first time chefs, who commented on how easy cooking actually is! I’m so happy!

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Hand made makes all the difference

17 Feb

Hand made makes all the difference

On Wednesday I started my Korean tutoring classes with a really lovely Korean called Chris. She asked me to make a card for one of the orphans that she will see tomorrow.

Now I have a confession. I really don’t like making cards. I don’t like sending them, I do like receiving them, but mainly if they are filled with information from the person sending them. For example, my mother loves to send me these cute little cards. I love them because in the card she will write SO much information it takes me about an hour to read. Normally by the time I have read the whole thing she has spoken to me or emailed the information to me, but it’s nice to get non-the-less!

I am notoriously bad at buying cards. Maybe that is why I don’t like them. Haha. So I decided for this project a hand made beuty using hanji, a Korean paper. It’s really cute.

I simply took an A4 piece of paper, folded it in half and glued it together (this makes it thicker and more card like) I then folded it again to make it look like a card. On the inside I added a smaller piece of blue card, where I wrote a little message. I thought about finishing there, but it seemed to be lacking something. That’s when I thought about adding the strip of blue to the front. But it was still lacking.

I searched the internet for a while until I came across this link, which has a very easy step by step guide to making the ribbon. I tweaked mine a little but using just 2 strips of card, adding a contrasting color in the middle and then a cute little heart.

I’m calling it Korean style!

If you make cards, let me know, I love seeing the creative nature of people 🙂

Homemade Sundried Tomatoes!

10 Feb

 

For the last few weeks I have been on vacation and it has been hard to spend my time doing and making things without the opportunity to blog about them. But now I am back at school, with a little free time, I can finally update the cool happenings of my time off at home.

When I’m in England I love to have Mediterranean food! Now I’m in Korea I really miss fresh unsweetened bread, feta cheese and sundried tomatoes! Lucky for me I found a way to recreate two of the three.

Today’s little tit-bit is about making sundried tomatoes in the oven:

You will need:

    • tomatoes (any size, variety, shape)
    • salt
    • olive oil
    • a knife

  • a bowl

  • a spoon
  • a roasting pan
  • an oven

Method:

  1. Set your oven to the 50 degrees celcius or gas mark 1.
  2. Chop the tomatoes into pieces. (I prefer making wedges out of them so that when they roast they curl in on themselves and look pretty)
  3. Put the tomatoes into a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt  nd mix well with the spoon(it all depends on your taste preference. If you are looking for super healthy food ommit this stage!)
  4. Pour the tomatoes into the roasting pan and place it in the oven for about 1 hour. Check after about 30 minutes and shake the pan to make sure the tomatoes are loosened. Depending on size and ripeness you might need to leave them in longer or take them out early.
  5. Leave too cool before putting them in an airtight container or simply eating them all at once! YUM!

That’s all for today folks. If you try this recipe please leave a comment and let me know! ❤

Have a good weekend!