Honeycomb recipe

 Honeycomb’s kinda my thing, I make it and bring it to shindigs, or pop it in a takeaway box if I want to make a quick gift. It’s very easy, except for one thing, which is catching it at the right moment – after the sugar melts but before it burns. If the sugar is even an eensy teensy bit caught, the honeycomb will go right over, because as it foams upon addition of the bicarb, it gets even hotter inside, or traps the heat or something.

I was at a wonderful studio warming party yesterday hosted by Renee Callahan (East London Knit). I brought some honeycomb and exclaimed how easy it was to make but failed to give  any details. Hey, it wasn’t the only bubbly stuff consumed that afternoon, ‘k?

So my apologies for teasing, and here it is:

200g white caster sugar (brown sugar won’t work)

50g golden syrup (measured by weight straight into the saucepan on a scales – spoons are kinda pointless with golden syrup)

2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

Important: silicon bakeware to put it in (it’ll just stick to tins and glass) do not butter or otherwise prepare

1) melt the sugar and syrup together over a medium to hot heat and until it all starts to bubble briskly – I don’t think you’re supposed to stir but I do anyway

2) turn the heat down so it’s still bubbling, but more slowly. Let it completely go to liquid, it should be a lovely clear golden colour by now. 

3) take it off the heat, rapidly stir in the bicarb, and get that stuff into the silicon bakeware as soon as possible

4) let it cool completely. Don’t prod or poke at it. Don’t even pick bits off the side. Go lick the spoon instead. (Seriously, it could collapse)

5) try to break it into chunks without touching it. Baking parchment rocks, plastic bags are bad (sticky!!!!)

6) eat same day or maybe day after, and don’t get it wet or feed it after midnight.
:) xxxxx e enjoy!

Advertisements

Lady Lismore

One of my patterns has made it into Knitty! And I am running a KAL with prizes!

My beautiful sister models the crescent-shaped shawlette in St. Pancras station.

Lady Lismore features a trio of wrapped-stitch stitch patterns. Wrapping a stitch is a way to make a longer-than-usual stitch. The more times you wrap the stitch as you make it, the longer it will be. On the next row, you drop the extra wraps and just work with the elongated stitch. In Lady Lismore, different ways of manipulating the wrapped stitches give different effects. Each band of wrapped stitches is separated by some gratifyingly easy stocking stitch (stockinette) sections. Increases are at the edges only, and are consistent.

The Large sample for Knitty was worked using a variegated purpley-red and an almost-completely-solid grellow.

Dragonfly Fibers Pixie 4-ply [100% Superwash Merino; 475m/4oz skeins]
[MC] Redbud; 1 skein
[CC] Weaverknits Grellow; 1 skein

The above Large shawl used up less than 100g (422yds/386m) of MC and 61g (256yds/234m) of CC.

I originally worked up the Small shawl in electric blue and shocking pink.

West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply [40% Wool, 35% Blue Faced Leicester, 25% Nylon; 400m/100g balls]
[MC] Sarsaparilla; 1 ball
[CC] Bubblegum; 1 ball

In fact the Small shawl used about 80g (350yds/320m) of MC and 40g (175yds/160m) of CC.

Now for the KAL info

If you would like to join the Lady Lismore KAL, it starts on May 1st and you can sign up here. There will be some great prizes, including yarn, pattern vouchers and a handknit Loom Band Hat by me.

Start Date: May 1st – this should give everyone enough time to source yarn and materials 
End Date: July 20th – this will give me enough time to wrap up the competition before my kids go on school holidays! 
How to enter: Sign up by introducing yourself and showing or describing the yarn you’d like to use 
Prizes: To be announced, but categories will include

  • Most “loved” – as voted by people reading the FINISHED!!! thread (automatically entered by signing up below)
  • Most “helpful” – as voted by clicking the “helpful” button on the project pages (automatically entered by signing up below)
  • First to finish – no cheating! If you’re entering this category, we need to see a pic of your unused yarn next to a date (on or after May 1st) in a newspaper or in a bank or similar (entry by posting date pic on your project page and signing up below, first to post a project with pics in FINISHED!!! thread wins)
  • Best riff – I just love it when people take an idea of mine and really make it their own, whether by changing up the colours, changing the shape, adding beads, shells, whatever – I will pick a handful and then ask for votes (entry by signing up below and stating your intention to riff)

If this sounds like your kind of -along, then please step right this way and sign up here! I’m so excited to see what you do!

Please ask questions if you have them, pop ’em into a comment below.

Xxx Elanor

On reading books

I remember now why I don’t read books any more.

I used to read them all the time. Up a tree, in a fort, in my bed with a torch, under my desk, in the loo at a boring party, in the arches waiting for a program to compile, on the train to work, making an excuse and reading instead of going on that blind date.

When I read, books suck me in, own my life, hold me mercilessly, don’t let me go. I cannot physically leave them until they’re done. I cannot sleep, I eat without tasting, wee only when I really have to and then rush back before my hands are dry. I ignore the television, the phone, my children.

And when they’re all done, gone, evaporated, I am bitter. I am affected. I write in melodrama, like this. They leave me here, go on to other adventures, fight to the death, make endless love, tragically go down in flames, get reborn in ashes. But they don’t tell me any more about it. Turning that last page shuts the window and draws the curtains. Off they go about their crazy, risky lives, and they never think about me again.

Here I am, I feel like I’ve just woken up. Get out of the cosy, warm bed, go about my day, prepare the meals, figure out how to avoid doing the hoovering. Wonder what they’re up to, those madcap, fictional characters. Yearn to do something big, dangerous and exciting.

Maybe I should go on an adventure.

But that’s not allowed any more, is it? It’s too big, too dangerous, too exciting. I have people that need me now.

And what should it matter? I love my life. I love my babies, my husband, my job, the suburbanality of it all. It’s safe, comforting, warm, cuddles, soft, quiet except when we’re laughing or cheating at scrabble or tickle-chasing each other round the house. It’s the present pluperfect.

But still. I don’t window-shop when there’s no budget. And I don’t read books anymore.

Ally pally elbow mining 2013

I’m on my way home from Alexandria Palace Knitting & Stitching Show 2013.

20131012-144130.jpg

I’ve actually only been here since 11am (it’s nearly 3 now), but I feel like I’ve managed to get a lot done.

– deep breath –

I have purchased some very interesting yarns and threads that I can’t wait to try out.

20131012-144349.jpg

Here I have silver lurex, retro reflective and glow in the dark!!!! I have such
plans for these! Last two from the hand weavers studio.

Textilegarden.com always have gorgeous buttons.
20131012-152922.jpg

The little square blue ones will be coming to a jumper in a certain mag near you in feb.

Some swatching yarn from handmade nest

20131012-153300.jpg

This gorgeous baby alpaca dk in steel grey from Eden cottage yarns, omg it’s soooo soft.
20131012-153116.jpg

Chiaogoo sticks and stoppers from tall yarns an tales. They don’t carry the spin cables yet, but they did write it down on the show notes so may stock ’em soon!

<img src="https://catchloops.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/20131012-153507.jpg” alt=”20131012-153507.jpg” class=”alignnone size-full” />

And some odds and ends from here and there.
20131012-153636.jpg

Wow, that’s more than I had realised!

On top of all this, I deposited my offerings of honeycomb in strategic locations around the show; basically one at each yarnie who has generously sorted me out with yarn support during the year. I apologise to anyone who needs to go to the dentist next week!

I had a lovely chat with Victoria and David from Eden cottage yarns (oh! just realised! like posh and becks! bet they get that all the time…), Rachel from uk alpaca and Alex from coolree, all of whom shall be getting sketches of designs in the next couple of weeks! Phew! Busy busy! The children are getting quick and easy beans on toast for din for a few weeks…

Finally I have to mention sallyhewett.co.uk whose erotic art textile pieces were very dramatic. I thought they were gorgeous and I’d love a couple for the bedroom, or living room for that matter. Don’t think I’d be let, though!!!

“Hitch” available for preorder next week!

Way back in March last year, I tentatively answered (for the first time) a call for submisssions. The project was a book to be “curated” by Stephannie Tallent, and the theme was “Patterns inspired by the films of Alfred Hitchcock”.

This was my initial sketch

Image

I wanted to create something sublimely feminine; echoing the graceful look of Grace Kelly as Lisa in Rear Window. This is a top that would really look sexy on a woman with curves. I used a whole bunch of tricks to enhance the hourglass look: a crossover top, ease difference between upper and lower body, deep waistband, geometric chevrons at the waist and some deep waist shaping. The sleeves are 3/4 length, coming to just below the elbow, with lots of curves to echo the body. Instead of chiffon, I made the sleeves loose, worked up with a mesh stitch so when the light’s right, you can see through them. I am VERY pleased with the result. It’s by no means an easy knit, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Image

This photo by Nick Murway.

 

Preordering will begin on September 5.

Kaava is Hot Right Now!

I can’t believe it! So, so happy to announce that Kaava has reached #15 on the ravelry Hot Right Now list! Out of 127,977!

Kaava is Hot Right Now
Kaava is Hot Right Now

This is a huge “designer moment” for me, I thought I was at least 20 more patterns away from making “the list”. Seriously guys, happy, happy, happy dancing going on here.

Farnham Maltings Unravel 2013

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

  1. Buttons
    www.TextileGarden.com have such gorgeous buttons. I had to restrain myself from spending a fortune. I got some pearl buttons that stand out on a shank. These buttons are great, I use them all the time as they’re elegant and feminine. They’re also the perfect size for a 4-ply YO buttonhole. You might be seeing these again this summer ;) ! I couldn’t resist these lovely red oval s either – I think they’ll be great on a grey assymmetric layering piece. And who could leave these sweet little hearts? No idea what I’ll do with them, but they won’t go to waste!
  2. Spring edition of Pompom magazine. I’m working on a proposal (or two) for Pompom magazine, so I wanted to meet the editors and see if they had any hints for me J! The spring edition has a very clever raglan cardi with lace raglan increases. Lobelia by Meghan Fernandes. I might make Roseroot by Anna Wilkinson
  3. Chiaogoo Lace Interchangeables from Tall Yarns ‘n Tales. I’ve been wanting some of these FOREVER. Well, about 6 months. I’ve not been happy with my existing supply of 3mm needles, and I seem to be working more and more frequently with 4-ply and other weights down at that end of the needle spectrum. I cracked them open at lunchtime and oh, they’re so smooth. Me likey, bigtime. I am saving up for the set now. Fortuitously, the 3mm ones are the only size NOT in the set, so I won’t be doubling up. Anyone want to make an offer on my extensive collection of knitpros? J
  4. Project Time! I have an idea for a beaded wrap/shawl and I wanted it in RED. I mean RED. And d’you know what? I couldn’t find a deep, luscious, full-on red anywhere – plenty of dark reds, tomatoey reds, and faded reds – but nothing matched the colour in my head until I found some Deeply Wicked Cherry Red from EasyKnits. I really wanted some 4-ply twinkle in “Night Sky” too, but it had already sold out. And the beads? Those I got from Moon Beads. I picked out some sheeny-jet black ones in size 5. They’re gonna really give the wrap some heft.
  5. My last purchase of the day was a set of blocking wires from Jillybean Yarns. I actually sourced them earlier in the day, but left it to the last minute to pick them up – there’s a yardstick in there! Nice flexible but strong stainless steel wires, T-pins and yes, a Yardstick! It’s huge. My daughter was completely wowed by my new enormous ruler. “What size of paper are you going to use that on, Mummy?”

This was me at my most abstemious. I could have spent a fortune so easily.

The best thing about Unravel though, is bumping into people you already know from the knitting community, including a good many I heretofore only knew online. In my previous post, I mentioned how complimentary people had been about my capelet, and I gotta tell ya, I’m still on a high from that, knitting peeps rock.

 

Mwah!

X Elanor