Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Happy Birthday Mr Burns!

I attended my habitual Burns' Supper this weekend.  As ever the Address to the Haggis, Toast to the Lassies and Response to the Toast to the Lassies were superb.  But this year our contribution to the desert table was a triumph.  Mr Burns' got a birthday cake:
Shiny chocolate ganache with an artistically sprinkled thistle (in case you were wondering what that was).
And, because Sunderland are in the Cup Final (or so people tell me who know about such things), there was a surprise inside...
Stripey Cake!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Tall Cheats

Over at Already Pretty yesterday, Gracey was sharing some of her 'Tall Cheats' and I am pleased to say that I have employed all of these myself, even at 'only' 5'10.5". Back in the day as a growing teenager I used to shop predominantly at Tall-specific shops, because Long ranges were limited (and still, sometimes not long enough) and Tall barely existed. Then I became an impoverished student (or rather, an insanely frugal student) and started to discover charity shops. At first I stuck with mostly bric-a-brac purchases (and the crockery I bought those 12 years ago is only just being gradually retired as it gets replaced) but eventually someone persuaded me to try on some clothes and I've never looked back.

My major discovery was that skirts are a lot more forgiving than trousers if you are not the height that they were designed for. I still find more skirts and dresses than trousers while charity shopping but my style is generally more skirt-based these days so it's not really a problem. Perhaps I will brew up a 'Charity Shopping while Tall' post at some point, some thing could be marinating at the back of my mind.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Photo of the day 140102

Making cranberry gin and drinking wine.  This is the life.

Photo(s) of the Day 140101

Two photographs for the first - one taken when it was only just the first and the other once it was nearly the second.

Fireball swinging at Stonehaven.

A pair of brothers singing along to a traditional song.

2013 Christmas Crafts - Ta da!

Now the Christmas season is over it's safe to post piccies of a couple of my Christmas makes.

Knitted Stocking

Red-and-white stocking by Yours Truly, green one by flatmate.
A couple of friends requested Christmas stockings and fortunately I had previously had the same idea so just needed to add some jingle bells to the stocking I had knitted.  Doing the HJC was a bit of a challenge as the red was knitted in the round but the white was knitted back-and-forth.  And I've never done much colourwork before.  It's something I will have to work on if I decide to do it again - having colour as well as texture to work with is a good move.

Hot water bottle cover

Late-night efforts paid off.  There are varying random stripes on the back.
This year my research group had a Secret Santa.  When it was mooted I thought 'if I drew L out of the hat, I would know exactly what to do'.  You see, one of the colleagues I share an office with has an office hot water bottle and used to keep it wrapped in a pillow case.  Imagine my surprise when, sure enough, the name I drew from the hat was hers!

So the crochet began.  I had some Patons Smoothie DK from a baby blanket project and started knocking up little pinwheels.  Everything went pretty well but, true to previous form, I had underestimated how much time was available for this make.  As a result I was frantically crocheting away the night before the present exchange - so late that I heard the Shipping Forecast on Radio 4 before the switchover to the World Service.  It all paid off in the end though and my colleague was very pleased.

Not Pictured Here

The other people who got handmade gifts this year were my sister and sister-in-law.  Sister got an owl-cable snood in lovely soft and smooth bamboo yarn to match some owl cable items I made for her birthday in the summer.  It did get sewn up just before I left to return home rather than before Christmas, but as previously noted, such is my wont.

For some reason I generally wrap presents to my sister-in-law in scarves.  This year that turned out to be a green tartan infinity scarf with a white backing.  Pretty simple to sew up but (again) I wish I'd had time to wash it into softness and I might have made it a bit bigger - apparently her head is a bit bigger than mine, so while I could get it on both singly and doubly wrapped she struggled with the double wrap.  I'll maybe use up a bit of the fabric stash on these for presents in the future.