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!


Why would you ever want a hand-dyed fairy silk plumb line?

I confess i’m a wee bit girly around DIY and usually shy away from using power tools if there’s a big man handy to do it instead. Not a great message to send my 7-yr old daughter, so am trying not to worry so much about cocking it up and Just Get On With It.

Our bathroom was originally put in by either a rank amateur or a bunch of con men cos nothing in it has ever worked or been leak free. The latest casualty is the shower thingy that holds the head up. It would slowly wander down the bar from over-head height down to navel level. For the past few days, my husband and I have had lovely clean torsos, but shampooing has been a bit of a palaver unless we sit down (or, you know, do it one-handed, v 80s, dahling).

So I decided this morning to bite the bullet and try and do this small bit of DIY. I have now learned about tiny hexagonal screwdriver heads for headless screws.

I’ve learned about which drill bit to use on ceramic tiles (masonry, if you don’t have a tile and glass one). I even know which drill bits are which:

Top is for wood, middle is HSS for metal and bottom for masonry.

I improvised a plumbline with a weight and not just any old string, but some hand dyed fairysilk mohair.

Gosh it’s a lovely day outside.

And ta dah! We have a working shower head holder thingy again. Yay me! Not bad for someone who’s heart was in their mouth the whole time that drill was making that noise. Anyway, now I have to go clean up the mess.

Oh, yes, one last thing, the old one left holes. Not sure how to hide those, I could google it, but what would you do?

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.

Cottage effing cheese

I’m on weight watchers (again). I yo-yo like an elevator in the shard. I quite like ryvita; I quite like philly, I love it all together with fruit, salt and pepper and fresh herbs. It’s a very low 3-point lunch. My local tesco for some unfathomable reason, does not stock philly at the mo, so I’ve tried cottage cheese for the first time in my life.

This stuff is really just chilled baby vomit, isn’t it?
Continue reading

Funky necklace challenge complete!

Last night I posted a list of “ingredients” and challenged myself to make a necklace with them.
Stage 1: attach clasp bits to each end of a length of cord. Make half-hitches along entire length of straight cord.
Stage 2: increasing then decreasing lengths of crochet sts across central 11 sts

Stage 3: chain some more cord either side of central sts, wrap with remaining black ribbon (secured with leftover links from findings). Weave in ends!

Hope lil sis likes, she’s quite poorly at the mo.
Well that was fun! But I think I’ll go back to knitting now.

**Update, next day**
Fiddled with it a little more. Thought the hanging chain was a bit too long, so took some links out and wrapped the ribbon around a couple more times. Think A likes it. She put it on straightaway, anyhow!


Making challenge time

So I want to make a funky necklace for my sis. Today I bought 5m of this

2m of this

one of these (rose gold “look”, sprung hinge)

And 2 of these


I have no idea what I’m doing. But I’ll post about it when it’s done!

Driving from Dublin to Ardee for Wildacres Workshop in Puddleducks, Aug 3rd, Want a Lift?

Hello Dublin knitters!

My car. Not.
My car. Not.

I’ll be giving a very cool workshop on Aug 3rd in Puddleducks in Ardee, Co. Louth next Saturday (3rd Aug). See my previous post

If you’re thinking about coming, but don’t know how to get there, fear not! Your tame designer will chauffeur you there herself! So long as you don’t mind arriving half an hour earlier so I can set up. Let me know! At mo I have three empty seats. Save the environment! Come to my class!


Image from http://crazyfunspot.com/30-most-expensive-stylish-and-lavish-cars-of-the-world/