Tag Archives: knit

The Covid-19 Chronicles: Day 28

These are indeed strange times we are all living through just now. I’m sure there are more eloquent voices than mine chronicling our collective and individual journeys through this, however, it felt like the ideal time to revive my blog, as isolation has brought with it time to create. Creativity as necessity – food and grocery shopping being a challenging experience, but also as stress relief for me and active engagement for an vivacious pre-schooler.

To start this is just a collection point for all the things we’ve done so far, in no particular order. Going forward I have an idea to try to post every few days, we’ll see.

Baking has been our primary occupation I think. Comforting body to comfort mind. Also, Jamie Oliver has put out there so many straight forward and inspirational ideas, it seems rude to ignore him! Around Christmas time I was asked to bake a Camembert Christmas tree (yes, Jamie’s influence on my cheese obsessed husband!) so tried to get to grips with making yeasted bread, something I’ve not baked in over a decade…it did not go well, but laid the foundations of a desire to get it right. Queue plenty of time at home, a pre-schooler to occupy and Jamie on the telly box showing just how easy it could be. Bread abounds in our house – with the new favourite being a cinnamon roll created from my own imagination. Just too yummy. Too yummy when you’re still hitting up the slimming world group via Zoom every Friday 😜 Bread has also been baked in the form of flatbreads to go with soup at lunchtimes and turned into lunchtime pizza.

Original cinnamon rolls – white flour. Simply the BEST!
Using up the wholemeal flour so half and half, not quite as tasty…
Deep pan ‘pizza’
Lunchtime thin and crispy

I’ve made several other new to me recipes in the past four weeks, curry veg fill pie (thanks BBC Good Food for the inspiration), what turned out to be epic quantities of Jamie’s (yes, him again, sorry) baked beans from the Veg book, a deep pan ‘pizza’ from his ‘Keep Cooking and Carry On’ series (soooooo good, especially with added mushrooms) and tonight getting thrown in the oven will be spicy roasted chickpeas as a snack. This new situation having driven me to finally get to grips with how to cook beams successfully from scratch. Note to self – slightly less time than the BBC Good Food site says for chick peas next time.

Filo curry potato and rice pie

Then there’s the cake and flapjack baking. To be fair, flapjacks happen whatever the situation but they still deserve a mention. we had to bake a cake in honour of Grandad as we couldn’t see him personally for his birthday, doesn’t stop us having cake for him! Small girl required both strawberry and rhubarb jam to be added to the middle of the Swiss roll. I mean, why not? It certainly tasted good… finally yesterday a rather good all-in-one chocolate beetroot cake recipe. Definitely counts as one of your five-a-day, even in cake, yes? It’s also completely delicious. Thank you once more BBC Good Food.

Birthday rhubarb and strawberry Swiss roll
Flapjack (Nigella Lawson recipe) with added fat raisins from our local packaging free shop
Chocolate beetroot cake with cinnamon chocolate drizzle

There’s also been non-food related crafting. The trend for creating rainbows to show our thanks for keyworkers we’ve embraced. Creative coloured paper and sticking, we have no paint at home; followed by a crochet rainbow from me. That one’s just waiting for some wire to help it be a little more rigid for hanging.

Tearing and sticking.
Brightening a window
Crochet creating from an idea to a rainbow

The crochet rainbow came about after making a bunch of Easter eggs for our own little garden hunt. A lovely little pattern which was so simple and only involved around 14 rows. I’d also made some small felt ones (not shown here) out of bright green felt and bright blue thread. Some were delivered to neighbours but most were used for the hunt. This year that really came alive for our small peep, she really got into it. She also enjoyed delivering the egg gifts to the neighbours in her ostrich chick suit.

Crochet eggs. Using up leftover yarn at last
Little chick ready to make deliveries

Knitting has had a look in too – I made a pair of mittens late last year to keep little hands warm, one was lost on Christmas Day. It’s taken isolation for me to find the motivation to finally make a replacement.

Almost there – pattern from Purl Soho NY

One morning of inspiration while the small peep ate breakfast – and 20 minutes later a pair of ‘binoculars’, she’s been almost inseparable from them since. They come on every dog walk and most scooting exercise outings. She regularly pauses, lifts them up and takes a look to see what she can see.

An abortive attempt to make egg bunting for Easter – not pictured here but eggs of varying sizes on various patterned paper. They didn’t quite look right in the hanging so will get put away for recreation next year. There’s been gardening too, and doing our faces as Harry Potter for a virtual birthday party and singing and dancing and Cosmic Kids Yoga. Making silly faces on video calling with family and friends. All these things I count as creative. We’re creating the most healthy environment we can, both for us as adults and for our small peep who is missing her friends so much.

On Twitter, Instagram and Facebook I’ve been using #covidbaking #covidcraft #covidcreative by all means jump on in.

Month 12

As always, December has been full to the max with projects being wrapped up (mostly for Christmas). There’s been baking, knitting and sewing. 

The month began with finishing a project from the month before (a very familiar scenario this year) knitted wrist warmers which had been requested as a birthday gift. 

   

Then some Christmas gifts. Prettified notice boards, lined zipper pouches and pencil cases. 

   

  

 For the first time I felt I  might need my own actual Christmas stocking. After seeing many in shops, I decided to make one…

   It was happily filled with delightful gifts from Father Christmas!
Our pre-Christmas Christmas weekend with friends (a tradition of almost a decade now!) meant baking biscuits for creative decoration, and the adults taking way more time than the children colouring in!

 This wasn’t the only biscuit making, there were three other batches of Christmas biscuits.  

  There were also chocolate muffins and chocolate fudge made with my help by excellent mini bakers, we were so busy I missed the photos though!

A last minute visit to the sewing shop for some necessities (!!) meant the purchase of a little fabric suitable for making a Christmas gift for a three year old…but I lacked inspiration as to what, until I found this pattern for a bunny from Purl Soho in NY. It seemed very well received!

   
  He’s been nicknamed ‘Wonky’ by me!

Finally finished today, another wood project using the last of the wood gathered on our Scottish adventure. Inspired by something seen on Pinterest. Hanging up at last, until tomorrow when all the decorations shall be taken down until next year…

   
   

A small photographic moment ahead of a cycle ride.  

  And now I’m busy knitting a neck warmer, even this evening whilst enjoying a small NYE snifter 😊.  

 In 2016, I’m thinking of making a dress every month…I’ll let you know how I get on 😉. 

  

Month 2

A month of yarn. Crochet booties as a gift for a friend’s newborn followed by the creation of a project I’ve pondered a long while. 



This cardigan is from a pattern produced by Grasflecken just with slightly smaller needles and yarn. I’m hoping that it will fit a small bod for their 7th birthday at the beginning of April.  There’s just the rest of the collar to go, so another couple hours. 



UPDATE: Here’s the finished product, with all that is left from five balls of yarn…but that’s five gone from the stash, freeing up space! 🙂 



Day 365 +1

Time to reflect on the journey – WordPress kindly furnished me with a summary of my year – showing me the infographics and so on which illustrate my year. I am so proud that I managed to stick with it – even on the days where I could barely breathe for tiredness – a little doodle, a small moment made a difference to me. I didn’t talk much with people about the project, it had enough meaning, weight and challenge just held close to myself. Mentioned now and again – I’m not sure people necessarily understood the commitment, the intent or the effort involved in keeping going. Talking about it today, the question posed – would I continue. The answer, well, of course. Creativity had been an integral part of life even before the challenge – though certainly not as formally or determinedly as this challenge made it. Perhaps it may not involve something literally every day – but the creativity will continue, it cannot help but continue. Into this next year though, I think there will be new challenges. More of those in a moment.

I’ve created with food, paper, yarn, fabric, iPad, iPhone, paper, pencils, pens. Made clothes for me, clothes for small peeps. Home decorations, decorations for others. Baked cakes, made sweets, preserved fruit – sharing this manna with an appreciative few. Shared creative ideas and taught family, friends and students new skills. Watched my nieces and godchildren be influenced and want to create. Written and received letters. I’ve learnt new skills and honed old. I’ve made and remade when making didn’t quite work. Most important I think is that I’ve committed to the completion of a project for myself, and seen it through from one end to the other. Not for my work, my career; not for family or friends; not for financial gain or necessity – it’s been completed for me, for my well-being.

On to this year then…there’s a few things on my mind:

  1. January plank challenge – plank every day for as long as possible
  2. 12 dresses in 12 months (or items of clothing, for me, for others…)
  3. House jobs – redecorating, sorting, all *that* stuff
  4. Picking up a violin again…

Meanwhile to maintain the everyday creativity as far as possible (nothing so far today, but if I try deliberately not to do anything I may get itchy fingers and just have to do something!), including writing letters regularly not just to nieces but to other friends and family. Using up my yarn stash (and really not buying any more until everything I already have it used up!) and my fabric stash – including actually making things from all the pieces of fabric I have purchased due to falling in love with the patterns – I have to get past the fear that it might not end well!

Either way – I’m fairly certain this will be the last post on this blog (unless I end up blogging whatever challenges I aim to rise to this year – in which case there’s a chance there might a post here directing peeps to the new one!). In the meanwhile – thank you to everyone who has visited, liked, commented; it has meant a great deal to me as the year has progressed to know others have been sharing a little of my journey and from an awesome diversity of countries too!

The countries from which people have visited.
The countries from which people have visited.

Day 356

Hanging out with nieces 2&4. Today niece 2 has become intrigued with making the stars, the globes have been turned into bunting for her room, the stars are the next project – though she’s running out of hanging space!

I, meanwhile, have been making a pompom garland with m’new pompom makers! I like. Also finishing up the headband/ear warmer gift from yesterday. Pattern from Ravelry. I’ve knitted it as mentioned yesterday using Adriafil angora, it’s used just a little less than a 25g ball, knit on 5.5mm needles as it’s for a 6/7yr old. Also finished it at 19 stitches across, rather than 21. I like it, I may have to make further in the original chunky as gifts for grown up peeps.

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Day 355

A ‘mini-Christmas’ today with bro, sis-in-law and nieces 2&4 in my honour! We’ve had roast dinner and they’ve had their gifts from me and I have been spoiled with lovely gifts from them! This followed by an afternoon of the nieces using some of their gifts to immediately make and write me a thank you note each before mastering the art of the origami globe. Niece no. 2 has grown quite obsessed, she plans to turn her haul into bunting for her room!

I, meanwhile, have been making more stars, and teaching sis-in-law how, before starting a little headband project (a Ravelry pattern I’ll link to tomorrow…) for one of the small bods I shall be spending Christmas Day with. Yarn is Adriafil Angora, I am reliably informed is ethically sourced.IMG_0029-0.JPG

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