Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Free Pattern : cable fingerless gloves

Antler Gloves
By Anna Nikipirowicz

The lovely Anna over at Moochka has let me share her free Antler fingerless glove knitting pattern with you.

I started my first pair on Sunday evening and my first attempt at using DPNs! It's a lovely pattern and once you get the hang of having so many needles its actually not that hard. Anna has been on the end of her PC over the past few evenings and offered me great email support (I'm useless at following patterns!). I should have my first glove finished in the next few evenings and I'm already planning my next pair!

happy knitting. Amanda x

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Giveaway : Crafty Christmas

It seems like a long way off but if you’re a crafter then it’s come round quickly again, too quickly! I thought it was long overdue for a giveaway and this one is all about crafting and Christmas.
On offer are the following items: Emma Bridgewater Sampler heart tin (to draw your heart shapes); red felt sheets; selection of buttons and ribbon; embroidery thread; embroidery needles; household kit containing thimble, threader and  12 assorted needles; hand-made felt heart and fabric pin cushion with my Eight-by-Six logo (filled with safe stuffing and lavender)

You will receive all you need to make hearts for your Christmas tree, friends or yourself.

All you need to do to join in is become a follower of my blog and/or share on your own blog.

I will close the giveaway in just over a week’s time.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

home made Christmas gifts : chilli jam

Christmas preperations have started in my house today, its not too early is it? Well its been a miserable day weather wise and I was tidying up my craft room this morning, one thing led to another and it got me thinking about Christmas.  I found some paper I printed from some free downloads last year in my craft box and the fact I was planning to make chilli jam anyway; I've now made a batch to give to friends as presents. Nothing like getting ahead is there?!

I've also invited my parents and Ian's; so seven in total for dinner (8 including Moss!) Christmas cards have been bought (but not written, I'm not that organised!)

With Christmas in mind I'm planning a little Crafty Christmas giveaway next week, just need to gather everything together and take a picture. This will include some red felt for making tree decorations, buttons and ribbon plus something hand made from me. A useful little package for you crafty people out there and to say thanks for following me this year.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Recipe : Orange & Poppy Seed Cake


I baked this recipe today from most of the ingredients I have in my cupboards! This zesty orange cake recipe has been created by the 2011 Great British Bake Off finalist Ruth Clemens to celebrate National Baking Week 2012 taken from the ocado website

Prepare Ahead

Preheat the oven to 160°C.


  1. 1 Grease and line a deep 8” cake tin.
  2. 2 Cream together the softened butter and caster sugar on a medium speed until light and fluffy.
  3. 3 Add the orange zest and beat until evenly dispersed.
  4. 4 Add the eggs one by one following each with a spoonful of the flour. Mix until evenly combined.
  5. 5 Sift in the remaining flour and mix using the fold setting.
  6. 6 Finally add the milk, orange juice and poppy seeds and fold through until the cake mixture is an even consistency.
  7. 7 Fill the prepared tin with cake mixture and roughly level the top using the back of a spoon.
  8. 8 Bake in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes until well risen and golden.
  9. 9 Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  10. 10 Mix together the icing sugar to a smooth glaze with the orange juice. Pour over the top of the cooled cake, leave to set for around 10 to 20 minutes and enjoy!


  • 250g butter, softened
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 5 eggs, large
  • 180g plain flour
  • 60g self-raising flour
  • 50ml Just milk
  • 1 orange, the zest and juice of
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 100g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tsp orange juice

Total time required 1 hr 45 mins

  • Preparation time: 25 mins
  • Cooking time: 1 hr 20 mins
  • Other time: Plus cooling time.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Kennet and Avon canal

I'm back, refreshed and I had a fantastic week on the Kennet and Avon canal. I will tell you all about my holiday soon but for now here is my favourite picture taken on Sunday morning after turning the boat around to head back to Bath Narrowboats at Sydney Wharf . It was misty when we left our overnight mooring and then the sun appeared after we turned around and this is the result, fantastic!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

messing about on the water

In just a couple of days our long awaiting adventure will start with us collecting our hire boat in Bath and heading off for 4-5 days of R&R. To say I'm exited would be an understatement!

So I bought a new pair of these (a girl has to be comfortable doesn't she?!)

these are needed to walk Moss, yes we are taking him this time! English Springer Spaniel + lots of water = madness!
It should be great fun and hard work at the same time. I'll post lots of pictures when I get back.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

do you crochet?

You do that's great because I bought myself two new books that I'd like to share!

Granny Squares (Barbara Wilder, Melanie Sturm and Stephanie Gohr) and 150 Blocks to knit and crochet (Heather Lodinsky). Granny Squares is my favourite book and has some lovely little projects that would make great presents. Here are a couple of my favourites.


You could make this from some bits in your wool stash. It would be good for an allotment friend, I might make this for a friend at work!

I love the idea of making it look like a patchwork rather than a traditional blanket. The bedspread has given me an idea for my current project. As I've only managed 11 blocks in total so far its not too late to change my mind on the design. The book is very reasonably priced on Play.com for £6.61 and free delivery. It would also make a good Christmas present for a crafty person you know.

It also gives you different patterns to use for your granny squares at the begining of the book - just what I was looking for!