Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday Pudding

One crust blackberry and apple pie - recipe courtesy of Delia, adapted by me. This is what the boys all had. With custard. I love custard almost as much as I love blackberry and apple pie.

What did I have for pudding? Why sugar free jelly with strawberries and muller light yoghurt of course.

Trying to lose weight is not an easy path to follow sometimes.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thank-you Kitty. x.

Look what postie brought for me today. Very pretty and very delicious goodies! I won a bag on Kitty's blog and oh boy am I glad it was me who won and not one of you. It is absolutely beautiful - I can hardly begin to tell you just quite how beautiful. It's a perfect size, a perfect shape, perfect handles, perfect inside pockets... oh I love my new bag - and not least because there's chocolate inside! But fear not all you dieters, I shall be limiting my intake of this chocolate - 2 squares a night providing I've been good all day. Sadly I don't think I deserve any today - I ate 2 sausages at tea time (along with lots of other 'allowed' stuff). So my penance tonight will be to just look at the divine brown stuff, smell it and not eat any. Torture by any other name.

There has once again been a lack of pudding pictures on this blog, so here's one that you might like to see. I'm unsure of the name of this - it's basically a pastry case filled with apples and cooked in a sauce that looks and tastes just like lemon curd.

It tastes very delicious. Well, I seem to think it does - I held back and didn't have any of this. Mr Stressy ate most of it and the boys had a bit. I settled for a spoon of sugar free jelly!

Hmm. I know which one I would have rather had (and it didn't involve anything remotely sugar free!)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Swamped again!

I have no exciting photos to share today (not that they're ever very exciting). I have no exciting news to share either. In fact I have absolutely nothing to share at all, but felt that being as I'd been quiet for a week, I ought to pop by and say hello.

I really am feeling swamped yet again by the multitude of things I have to do. Mr Stressy has been away since Tuesday and the plan was that I get some knitting well and truly off the needles. The knitting corner would be all neat and tidy on his return. But hey, guess what. It's not tidy. It's a tip. No knitting has been completed apart from blanket squares, so as the blankets are nowhere near finished, more clutter has been added rather than taken away.

I am beginning to panic at the sheer enormity of the 'to do' pile. And the house is untidy (ooh, Mr Stressy won't like that) so I really have to go and get something constructive done.

Where did I put the hoover? The duster (do I even own a duster?) Open cupboards, put some things away, tidy up.

But then again, the final Mystery Blanket package has arrived today and I haven't completed all of September squares yet. So it's only right and proper that I concentrate on knitting rather than house work. After all, Mr Stressy isn't back until tomorrow and that's ages away...

Oh and as to weight loss, I lost a pound. A teeny weeny stinking rotten pound. I was very upset - what's the point in dieting all blinking week to be told that's all you've lost. I wanted at least 2. Bother. Must drown sorrows. In yarn of course.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Look here everyone! They are finished! Ensnared are finally, finally off the needles! As you know, I've not enjoyed knitting these much, but actually, looking at them here, I really quite like them.

It has an awful lot to do with the yarn, which is as near to perfect as yarn can get. Of course it's Posh, but just look at those colours. Fantastic. Mum saw them yesterday and fell in love with them. So guess what Father Christmas might be bringing her in December! We suffer badly with cold feet, mum and I, but as she pointed out, I have far more hand-knitted socks than she does (my 5 pairs to her 3), so it's only fair to share. Oh, ok mum!

I've been meaning to show you this for ages. It's another offering for the great Bloggy Diet Raffle. Now the generosity of Frances has quite astounded me. Eight (yes count them!) skeins of Fyberspates Blue faced Leicester yarn. Absolutely gorgeous. And just in my colours too. (Frances felt that 'Healthy Greens 'would be very appropriate!) Delicious. So come on everyone, if your diet has gone by the way side, start again now. Wouldn't you just love to have a chance at winning this?

It is Thursday, which means it's weigh day. And for the second miraculous announcement of the day, I am pleased to tell you that I have lost 4.5 pounds this week. I was gob smacked when they told me the news. I have never lost that much in a week before - I knew my clothes felt more comfy, but hey, I was hoping for 3!

If you're at all undecided about 'diets', I can wholeheartedly recommend Slimming World. I'm eating loads, feeling full up, not feeling like I'm on a diet and am even letting myself have a daily kitkat for a chocolate fix! Admittedly, I would like 3 or 4 kitkats, but you can't have everything can you?!

Monday, September 14, 2009

WIP Week. The End.

Well this is the sum total of the whole weekend's knitting. Not very impressive eh? There would have been at least another square, but when I went to press it this afternoon, I thought it looked rather big and not very square. Closer inspection revealed that it was in deed big and it was not square. Instead of 39 stitches, I had cast on 49. Bother. So I've got to pull that one down and start again.

I think I may call a halt to the WIP week now. I've worked hard on it and still have nothing finished. The mystery blanket is calling me, as is this Golden Wedding one. I'm longing to finish Carica. I have yet to do any more to Soho. Ensnared is almost finished. The zig zag anklet remains half done. So does the quiviut snoody sort of thing. I never have shown you the 50 miles of i-cord or what it's going to grow up into.

No, I am slowly becoming swamped by all of these things. So much I'm desperate to do, so little time to get them all done in. I'll probably do something different most nights but will let myself have a couple of days doing the same project.

Why can't I be one of these people who only ever have one project on the go. Why can't I get my arse into gear and shorten the school trousers. Why can't I win the lottery, give up work and knit all day? (And just in case any of you think I'd be bored knitting all day, no, I wouldn't be. I have far too many different things to do to get bored!)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

WIP Week - Day 5

Well I seemed to be knitting Carica for ages last night and this is all I have to show for it. (But thinking about it, I was taxi service last night and later fell asleep in front of the tv, so maybe not quite as much knitting was done as I thought). This is a happy knit. Makes me smile when I look at it. I have always loved stripes and particularly blue stripes.

Today it's back to the Golden Wedding Blanket. I have been wanting to do this all week, so because I'm keen and also dreadfully behind with the self-imposed schedule, I'm going to be kind and let myself have 2 days on one project. Is that alright with you?

Off to make Saturday Pudding now. Not that I'll be joining in with it. Just fruit for me thank-you very much.

Friday, September 11, 2009

WIP Week - Day 4

This is a ridiculously small picture for such an important event. I watched this film the other day - 102 minutes that changed America - and cried all over again at the total unbelievable waste of it all. It still shocks me. It will shock me to the end of my days. It was not just 102 minutes that changed America though, it was 102 minutes that changed the World. We all mourned for those whose lives were just wiped out, for those who lost friends and relatives, for all those whose lives have been affected. As WMK herself has put it, we pray for peace.

Whilst not wishing to seem remotely flippant, I'm getting back to the WIP week. I managed a fair bit of the dreaded Ensnared last night - only another 15 or so rounds and then I can start the toes, decrease and cast off the blinking thing. Never again. Ever, ever, ever, ever.


Today's project is Colinette's Carica. Yes, another lousy photo taken before the sun came up. I really like this yarn - Banyan. It's a bit flippy floppy and I'm quite sure I'm going to love this jumper. I hope so. It will be the first Colinette one that I do love!

It was weigh day yesterday - anyone remember? Lots of you are heading very much in the right direction. I was stuck at the same 5lb loss - didn't put any on or lose any. So drastic measures were called for. I have joined Slimming World. So watch out Mrs Moog and Mrs Locket, I shall be catching you up very soon and am determined to win that yarn! (And on that subject, I have been sent a very generous donation from Frances - but more of that another day. I have knitting to do!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

WIP Week - Day 3

Forgive the somewhat gloomy photos today - it was before 7am when I took them and the sun hadn't made much of an appearance. Anyway, this is what I managed to knit on the ripply blanket. Not a great deal really and I'm a bit disappointed with how much got done. Life got in the way yesterday. But I wouldn't let myself do any more of it today - no, the whole idea of the WIP week is that I do a different thing every day.

I finally decided what to do today.

It had to happen at some stage didn't it? The Ensnared Sock. This really is not a fun knit. It is a chore. All the ribbing and the knitting into the back of the stitches. I'm not even very sure I like it much.

Don't get me wrong, the yarn is gorgeous - fabulous colours (yes I know it doesn't show up on here, but honest, they are fabulous). But I think I prefer the more traditional heel gusset rather than the 'clever shaping'.

As to what to do tomorrow, I'm really torn. Some new yarn arrived from Posh Yarn for the Golden Wedding Blanket and it's perfect, so naturally I want to do that. But I think I'll have more time to knit on Saturday, so it might be better doing it then. But I think I know what to do instead... just come back tomorrow to see how much Ensnared gets done and see what I chose to knit.

If you're interested of course!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

WIP Week - Day 2

Well, trust me when I say that the squares got sewn on last night (complete with another one found lurking in the bottom of the bag). However, I'm not going to show you them - the blanket will be finished before too long and I'm going to wait to show it to you in all its finished glory. But just so as you believe me that I did anything last night , here's the square that I cast on . That too is now waiting to be added into the blanket as a whole. But first it needs the ironing board. And I'm not getting that out again for a while! Today's WIP is this stash busting blanket which is destined to become a Christmas present. Hopefully for this year, but maybe next!

It's nice and easy but these needles are awful - so slippy it's proving a pain to make. So maybe I just ought to change needles? I'm really enjoying this whole 'knitting something different every day', no chance to get bored.

Hmm, wonder which project to pick up tomorrow. Sock? Other sock? Shawl? Hat? Blanket? Oh decisions decisions!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

WIP Week - Day 1

This is what got finished last night. I think I like making short sleeves - you can finish one in a night! These are done on teeny needles (2mm for the ribbing!) Also cast on for the back - and that's it because today it's all about blankets - the mystery one first up.

These 3 are August squares waiting to be sewn onto the blanket and there's one last August one waiting to be finished - it's barely started yet. Hoping to sew these together and finish this square. See you tomorrow!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Startitis again...

Why am I so rubbish at starting things? No, wrong choice of words. Why am I so good at starting things? I have got so many things started, I'm beginning to lose count! I've already cast on with the gorgeous yarn Lise sent for me (it would be rude to do anything else would it not?!) - this lovely little short sleeved top with stripey sleeves. From Rowan number 31 I think. It would be a quick knit if only I didn't have so many other things to do as well!

I feel in the need for another WIP Week. It worked quite well last time I tried this and I even got a couple of things done. You know, like finished done.

So off we go. Tomorrow I'll show you how much I managed to knit from this top today and then I'll do a different something tomorrow. Do like before and after photos every day. Yes?

Right then, I'm off to do something constructive, probably the ironing. But count on it, knitting will be done at some stage today.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Kindness of people!

Yesterday, in a totally unexpected parcel, I received these goodies. I had not won anything, I had not entered a competition, I had not ordered anything, I was not aware of any reason for receiving such delights in the post. To say I was excited, was a bit of an understatement.

There is a lady from Montreal who sometimes comments on this blog who, it appears, wanted to send me something nice. And Oh Boy, is it all nice! Some soap, some delightful creamy maple syrup sweets (oh how I love maple syrup!) a sweet grass plait and the pink yarn at the top.

It is all beautiful, but the pink yarn needs a paragraph all to itself.

Lise (for that is this most generous lady's name) bought this yarn for me some time ago, saying the colour made her think of England. How strange that I am wearing a sweat shirt of that very shade right this minute. This Inca Gold is 70% baby alpaca, 20% silk and 10% cashmere. Soft doesn't come near to describing how wonderful it is! Now I need your help - I am not going to just use this for a scarf or a shawl. It must be a garment of some description, but what to make with 800m of what seems like sock weight yarn? Off to search ravelry I think, unless someone out there has any good ideas!

Lise, I thank you. I am very lucky. I do not know what I have done to deserve such goodness, but I thank you for your kindness. x.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday pudding

There hasn't been pudding pictures here for ages, has there? For a complete and utter pudding freak like myself, that's not good. So I decided to make one tonight - Mr Stressy isn't here tomorrow, so Saturday Pudding is likely to be something along the lines of jelly!

It's from my new Best Cook Book (the Abel and Cole one). If you haven't bought this book yet, then do so right this very minute. It is worth it for this very pudding alone.

Rhubarb Bread and Butter Pudding

Underneath the crispy bread lies a creamy, gooey, rhubarby delight. Absolutely, 100% delicious.

Sadly though, it has rather a lot of calories. The diet has not gone well. It has gone very badly in fact. So badly that on Wednesday next week, I shall be trotting down to my local Slimming World. In preparation of this, I bought in the fat free cottage cheese, the quark, and the brown rice. Oh goody, I just can't wait!

How's everyone elses diets going? (That sounds very bad grammar). One of our number has a very big announcement to make to us all... step forward Kathryn (that's the lovely lady married to the equally lovely Warren with the even lovelier little daughter) it's time to take centre stage...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Knitting News

Well I did promise some knitting news, but I hope you didn't all raise your hopes too high. I didn't know that I could knit on the plane, so packed the second Ensnared in the suitcase. However, hasty intervention from Marit drew my attention to the fact that I could indeed knit on a plane, so I hastily grabbed some needles and a couple of tiny balls of sock wool and started on a bunny egg cosy during the flight (once I'd calmed down enough to knit that is!)

I must just mention at this point that the flights both to and from Portugal were perfectly OK, it's just me that wasn't - I'm a cowardy custard when it comes to being in a big tin can 35,000 feet above the ground. Gravity. I am a true believer in gravity.

Anyway, all that aside, I did manage to complete all of the knitting for the latest little egg-cosy.

The rest of the holiday knitting was done whenever I could manage it - bear in mind it was very hot over there and sweaty, sandy fingers don't make for easy knitting.

So this is all that I managed. I am a slow knitter and this pattern refuses to grow at anything short of snail's pace (ribbing with every knit stitch being done into the back of the stitch). I am actually quite pleased with the progress made - the nearer the toes the better, this is an interminable sock. I still adore the yarn though (Posh Laura I seem to recall).

Anyway, the competition winner has to be Trashy who said that she thought I'd get past the heel and be well on the way to the toes. A little pressie will be on its way at some stage Mrs Trash. Possibly a book about The Ashes maybe and how ENGLAND BEAT THE AUSSIES.

Now that I am back home though, I feel I have fallen behind on blanket knitting - have only made 1 of August's mystery blanket squares and have September's here waiting to be made up. There is also the Golden Wedding blanket which is also behind schedule (less than a year to go now). I have got the rest of the sock, the rest of another sock, the rest of Soho, the rest of a hat, the rest of the Colinette jumper... well, you get the picture don't you?

Anyway, this is the knitting corner of our living room...

... and it's driving Mr Stressy mad. Or should that be MAD? So for now, I am promising to finish off a few projects before starting something new. But let's face it, I have so many started projects, the likelihood of me finishing them soon is pretty small.

Prioritise Mrs Stashbasket, prioritise!

First up has to be Mystery Blanket, then a few more Golden Wedding squares, then Ensnared, then, um, let's just wait and see shall we?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another holiday post

We're back again, and this time for a whole lot longer. We had a fantastic holiday in Portugal, beautiful weather, apartment, beaches, place, food, people, everything. I'm not going to bore you with a gazillion pictures and witterings about it all though, just a few.

This was the view from our apartment. It was taken in the morning and the temperature was already at 29 degrees. I don't do hot weather, not in the slightest, but there were strong breezes nearly all the time which kept me happy!

We had hired a car which not only helped us get from the airport, it let us explore some of the area. So 2 minutes down the road (yes, we explored a long way!) we found this beach, the longest one in the Algarve apparently. Lovely sandy beach. Warm(ish!) water and nice waves. It was very hot though, so much of the time I sat underneath a sun shade and knitted. Very, very relaxing!

Both children loved playing in the sea and spent much of their time in it.

This was the only picture Mr Stressy took of me - he'd far rather be on the photo than behind the camera - I'm much more modest and prefer to be on the other side of the lens!

I could also tell you about the time when eldest son took me on one of those rubber ring things that are towed behind a speed boat - but being a non-swimmer, the memory gives me the heebee geebees! I could tell you about the fabulous ice cream, the wonderful carbonara in the little Italian restaurant and the delicious shell fish. I could bemoan the fact that I didn't find a wool shop. Or that I was so scared in the plane that I spent much of the time in tears. I could tell you about the water slides, the yachts, the stray dogs, the living statues, the doughnut seller, the fish markets... oh I could tell you so much, but to be honest, I bet you aren't all that interested, and quite frankly, I have so much washing and ironing to do, I really don't have time to be sitting on the computer.

Knitting news tomorrow. Promise.