Various projects

I am feeling very pleased with myself. Mostly because I have learned to crochet. I used to crochet, when I was a teenager, so many many years ago now. I made lots of little cloche hats, which really didn’t suit me. I haven’t done any since then. On Friday I went to Stitch Solihull’s Beginner’s Crochet and learned all over again. I’m absolutely delighted.

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Here is my first attempt at a “granny square”. The intention is to crochet several and then join them together to make a doll’s blanket. My tension is rather uneven and wobbly, but I’m doing some every day so that I improve.

Then I decided I need a project bag to put it in, as my knitting project bag is full of the short-sleeved cardigan I’m doing. So I found a tutorial on this website.

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I’m delighted. It’s completely reversible, and I’ve made a reasonably good job of it as well. Very neat and tidy. One lot of fabric is from the Ikea curtains I cut down for the craft room, the other lot is also Ikea fabric which I used to line my denim project bag. I also happened to have the “dressing gown” cord which I’ve used to fasten it.

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Chocolate Brownie

Chocolate Brownies

Can be made in one saucepan.

Ingredients

 70g dairy free margarine
100g dark cooking chocolate
170 g castor sugar
2 large free-range eggs, beaten
70 g plain flour
100g chocolate chips
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

greased pyrex square dish.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C gas 4
  2. Take 1 tbsp of the flour and add to the choc chips in a little bowl. Stir so that the flour covers the choc chips (this stops them sinking to the bottom.
  3. Melt the margarine and chocolate in a saucepan over a very low heat, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from the heat, add the sugar and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Mix in the beaten eggs, then sift in the flour, baking powder and salt: fold in the vanilla extract.
  6. Just before baking, add the choc chips, and stir in.
  7. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and cook for 30 minutes.
  8. Test with a skewer that it is just cooked through (the skewer should come out clean of mixture, although the choc chips will be melted & might stick to the skewer).
  9. Cool in the tin and cut into squares.

For the knitting group I doubled all these quantities.

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It’s been a while.

I can’t believe it’s over a month since I blogged.

On Monday ED came to stay for a couple of days, which is always just delightful. This time she took me to Harry Potter World for my (belated) Christmas present. It’s belated because I haven’t been well enough to go. Until now. It’s absolutely amazing. I can’t remember a better day out. I took 100 photos and videos (trimmed down now!). It is so well done, I spent the whole day saying “Oh my God” and “it’s so well done”. I loved it. And now I want to read all the books again! of course. ImageImage

Things have been quite busy here, not least because I’ve been going to Stitch & Sip (the knitting/crochet group) twice a week. I love it, I really do, but it’s just too much. So I have had to rethink that, and have decided that I’ll go one week on a Thursday (with home baked goods) and the following week on the Saturday. I really like both groups of people, and would miss them if I only went on Thursdays, or on Saturdays. So that’s my plan.

Have also decided to learn to crochet, and my next knitting technique is going to be sock knitting. I’ve cracked knitting in the round (with two circulars) so that’s my next big plan. Am booked on courses for both at Stitch Solihull. Exciting.

I have been minuting the meetings of the newly fledged Patient Participation Group at our local surgery, but will have to stop, probably after the next meeting. It’s too much – first of call because of my wonky hand (of which more later) and also too much energy required for concentration during the meeting. It flakes me out completely.

I am going to a union meeting tomorrow. I’m a retired member of UNISON, and the local branch has just started up a new Retired Members Section. In some ways I’m looking forward to it, in others I’m a bit worried. We will see how it turns out.

Knitting – it has just taken me six weeks to knit a child’s top and matching doll dress. I am very pleased, but it is the sort of thing I would have got done in a couple of weeks in times gone by. I also managed to lose the buttons I wanted to use, but managed to find some nice ones anyway. Here’s a photo:Image

Saw the doctor today. I have been referred to a bloke who will see if he can sort out my shakiness (they seem to call it tremor these days) and another bloke for my poor old hand. But am finally taking Tramadol again, which just works. And I can take paracetamol as well in between the Tramadol doses. My cholesterol is 6.something, so I need to reduce my cheese intake. Boo. On the plus side, I don’t have a chest infection, despite most of the symptoms. Which is good. I think.

My poppies, which are just fabulous, have been a wonderful display in the front garden. I grew them from seed, and they’re a dark orange. In the evening, in the sun, they look as if they’re lit up. The rain has bashed them about a bit, but people actually stop and point them out to each other – including the refuse collectors. It’s so lovely to think that they brighten other people’s days too!Image