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!

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