Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Chocolate and Mittens

Christmas seems to have practically flown by this year. M and I did a lot of cooking on Christmas Eve, making chocolate truffles, shortbread festive biscuits, mince pies and jam tarts (for M, who doesn't like mince pies).

I cheated on the pastry, buying pre-made as while M loves making it, she also enjoys handling it and working it a lot, sadly to the point that the pastry becomes impossible to work. I managed to roll the pastry myself, prepared the mincemeat by adding chopped apple to shop bought and M filled the pies and decorated them.

It was a successful compromise, with both pies and jam tarts turning out well. No photo's I'm afraid, as I forgot!

We made chocolate truffles using this recipe and they turned out very yummy. M enjoyed making these, the ganache was easy enough to do but I left it in the fridge for a few hours and it came out very hard, which made rolling it into balls a bit difficult. For this reason our truffles look a bit rough, but this didn't detract from the taste.
Chocolate truffles - surprisingly easy to make.
M and I also made a few Christmas decorations:-

A ballerina, a queen and a king (rather than three kings)

A Christmas wreath

M tackles the problem of how exactly do you glue tinsel?
I tried my hand at making two tutu's; one for M and another for my niece.

A tutu for M
And finally, I managed to finish the mittens I'd been working on for M. Both M and I have long fingers which means that shop bought gloves and mittens are often too small. One of the benefits of making your own is you can make them roomier.

Mittens - colour chosen by M
Based on the child version of the mittens in Pauline Turner's How To Crochet, these mittens are worked flat on a 4mm hook. The cuff is worked into the back loop on a 3.5mm hook and the thumb is made separately. I had problems with the thumb as the numbers in the book didn't work so I did my own. I also enlarged the hand, starting with 16 stitches and increasing as described in the pattern until I had 28 stitches. I worked a deeper cuff too (10 stitches) as I find that means they stay on, even when worn by someone with flappy arms and wiggly fingers.

Happy New Year!

Sunday, 22 December 2013

A tiny snowman

Life and general business does seem to have caught up with me of late, hence the lack of updates here. Christmas preparations have taken central stage over the past few weeks and finally, with only one present still to wrap I'm about ready to settle back and enjoy the holiday.

While browsing the internet with M, we came across these little fellows and so, with encouragement from M I made my version.

One tiny snowman having fun at the park.
M has yet to name her, but while technically this snowman (snowgirl) is intended for the Christmas tree, I doubt she'll make it there. M claimed her as soon as the last stitch was in place and yesterday she took her first visit to the park, where she played on the swings, roundabout and climbing frame.