Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Granny square scarf (dreamy denim)

It's finished, hot off the hook! No idea why it took me so long to complete other than being distracted by lots of Sheepjes Whirl and other gorgeous yarns.

So here it is and the custom order has been received by my customer. I hope she likes it!

To make your own version here are some basic instructions (very basic as I haven't got round to making lots of photos but I will for the next one I make)

How to make a granny square scarf like mine

1. make 39 granny squares in your own yarn, colour combo, finishing on round 3 (you will join on round 4) I sew in the dangly bits as I go along to make it quicker at the end.
2. I've used Debbie Bliss Rialto DK in many colours that I have in my stash
3. to join I've used Debbie Bliss Rialto DK Heathers range (denim blue) I really love how this sets off the other colours. This yarn is so soft which is perfect when it will be so close to your skin
4. I used the join-as-you-go method as I find this works for me and I like the little hooks or hinges as I call them. You could use lots of colours to join which I will do for another version.
5. when you've joined all 39 granny squares finish off with one row of granny trebles to neaten up the edges or use double crochet or whatever takes your fancy.
6. finish off with a pom pom on each corner (I do love this bit!)
7. sit back and admire your work! 


Here are just a few of the many many photos I took!

You can also see the progress on my Instagram account here


coffee break in the garden




almost finished


ta dah

pom poms

Monday, 21 August 2017

Raspberry gin jam

I kept the raspberries left over from the raspberry gin recipe I posted a month ago, too good to waste. I kept them in a sealed Mason jar with some gin, shaking now and then to keep them coated until I decided what to do with them. I sieved out the gin and drank that whilst making my new recipe (a win win situation) On Sunday, I had a flash of inspiration, adult jam! Not just any jam, raspberry gin jam. Oh wow it tastes amazing!




If you are in the process of making my raspberry mint gin recipe you really must try this, its so easy and so delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1kg bag jam sugar (the one with pectin added)

Before you start, sterilise your jars (I do mine in the dishwasher) and put a plate in the freezer to chill, you will need this later. 

Recipe

Bring to the boil, then boil rapidly for 5 mins. Remove from the heat and drop a little jam onto the chilled plate. Now push your finger through it – it should wrinkle and look like jam. If it doesn’t, boil for 2 mins, then test again.
The top of the jam may look like it has sediment on it, but I find that if you stir it well as it cools, a little of this disappears. Pour into the jars and seal. It will keep unopened for a year, but I doubt if it will last that long because you'll have lots of friends asking for the recipe! Once open keep in the fridge. I plan to use a jar in a home made victoria sponge over the bank holiday weekend, yummy

Tip the raspberries into a preserving pan and add the lemon juice. You will have around 500g left from the gin recipe and you'll need to make it up to 1Kg. Although I could only manage 800g because Morrisons had run out! 

Mash the berries to a pulp over the heat with a potato masher, then leave to cook for 5 mins. 
  1. Tip the juice and pulp back into the preserving pan and stir in the sugar. Heat gently, then add the remaining whole raspberries (I left out this bit). 

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Raspberry and Mint Gin recipe



Ok, so here's another winner that I made a few weeks ago. It's a lovely refreshing drink and my sister loved it!  She's my official tester (taster) not a bad job on a Friday night, your sister arrives with another gin to sample! I've tried a little and loved it but have left mine to mature for another week. Truth is I'm still drinking my rhubarb gin and like to save it for sunny evenings and the weather isn't sunny right now.


Here is the recipe in case you want to try it .......

You will need...

500g Raspberries
Caster sugar
Fresh Mint
Gin

Glass Jar or bottle big enough to hold the ingredients, that seals well enough that you give it a good shake without wasting the contents! I personally love the Kilner jars and you can get them in most supermarkets, TK Maxx etc.


Add the caster sugar to the raspberries – I used about 100g (you can leave out if you prefer a less sweet drink, or alternatively add sugar syrup to taste once the spirit has matured)
Throw in a couple of handfuls of fresh mint - I've used spearmint thats growing in my new handy herb garden near the back door (the container I picked up at the Hampton Court Flower Show in July when we had sunshine!)

Top up with the Gin (I used Gordon's London Gin). I don’t sterilize my jars, I just go for dishwasher clean (I do this for my jam jars too)

Give the jar a good shake and store in a cool dark place. Then give the jar a shake each day for the first week. Leave to mature for at least 2 weeks, you will notice that the colour leeches out of the fruit into the spirit as time goes on.The original recipe I found here suggests a whole month, why wait, 2-3 weeks is long enough I think and the fruit is still nice to put in the bottle to give as a gift or to serve over ice.