Friday, 16 March 2018

Ginger Nuts ...

The other day in the freezing weather I developed in itch for Ginger Nuts. My grandma used to love Ginger Nuts. They were her all-time, best-of-the-best, favourite biscuits. She'd dunk them in her tea to soften them up a bit, and to flavour the brew with their wonderful gingeriness, and all the while she'd offer careful advice about not leaving them in too long; that was the way to a horrible messy sludge in the bottom of the cup. Hot, steaming tea, the colour of creosote, and carefully dunked Ginger Nuts became a little afternoon ritual of ours. And in the cold, with hostile grey skies and nowhere to go, I had to scratch the itch. And so, I made these Ginger Nuts in honour of Granny J, because the truth is I think of her every time I eat one.

Just read on for my recipe:

Friday, 9 March 2018

St. Patrick's Key Fob

Like just about every other Irish person I celebrate St. Patrick's Day with genuine gusto. It helps that it's such a big everyone's-invited kind of gig. For one day the whole world gets to be Irish, and I'm all for inclusivity. Let's build bridges instead of walls, and hold parties instead of wars. And if you can dance a jig or two, down a drop of the hard stuff and tell a few tall tales in our time-honoured national tradition, more power to you, I say.

The shamrock, symbol of my homeland, is one of my favourite motifs. So, inspired by St Patrick's Day, which is looming large on the near horizon I give you my latest creation, craftily made from left-over 4 ply from my Spidery Scarf, and, as such, another idea for using up your left-over sock wool.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Spidery Scarf

Here's a little something I've been working on for a-g-e-s - literally since forever. It's knit from the top centre out, adding stitches as you go, and, in the natural order of things, the rows accumulate more and more stitches. In the end I think I got a bit intimidated by just how many stitches that totalled up to. I'm a tidy knitter, who likes to finish the row she's working on before putting the needles down to go and attend to whatever emergency needs to be dealt with, but when you're wrangling 300+ stitches on a row that can mean a lot of missed telephone calls, postal deliveries and other deadlines. So I'd only start a row if I was totally sure that I'd have time to finish it. And, for someone who knits on the hoof, in between doing all the other things that have to get done every day, that became a major disincentive to doing anything. Anyway, that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

I've knit this using own, hand-dyed 4 ply Merino on 3.25 mm needles. If you've got lots of left-over sock wool, you could think of knitting a stripy version to use up your left-overs. The purple trim on my scarf came courtesy of some left-over wool from my New Model Socks. I was worried about how far the green wool would go, and didn't want to play yarn chicken at the end, so I introduced the second colour-way to give me a little more security. Given how (very) many stitches I ended up with on each row I opted to use circular needles, knitting back and forth on the flat.

Just read on for the pattern: