Wednesday, 1 January 2020

Happy New Year 2020!

I hope this year will bring you, happiness, joy and of course lots more yarn...


Don't forget our New Year Stashdown and 2020 Temperature Blanket cals both start today!

Join the Facebook group here...

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Boxing Day Pie - Use up all those leftovers from Christmas lunch and make this delicious pie...

We like to go all out for Christmas lunch in our house.  We have the traditional English Christmas fare of, turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, roast potatoes and parsnips, sprouts and more.  So as I'm sure you can understand, there are a lot of leftovers, but, not wanting anything to go to waste we always have a delicious turkey pie on Boxing Day, to use them all up and I thought you might like to try it too...

Boxing Day Pie

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

2 leeks
Double cream
1 sheet of ready rolled pastry (short or puff is fine)
Stilton cheese (optional)
1 heaped tsp plain flour

Christmas Lunch Leftovers

Turkey, veg, stuffing, pigs in blankets, gravy

  • Wash and slice the leeks and gently fry them in a little oil.  We use olive oil, but you can use your favourite.
  • Cut your cold turkey into chunks and add to a pie dish
  • Do the same with leftover veg, stuffing and pigs in blankets (you really can use whatever leftovers you have)
  • Once the leeks are softened, stir in the flour and cook for a minute
  • Add the gravy about half a cup (you can use chicken stock if you don't have leftover gravy) and the cream about half a cup also.
  • Stir until thickened, add water until you get the right consistency.
  • If you like stilton cheese you can crumble some in to taste and stir until melted.
  • season with salt and pepper
  • Pour the sauce over the turkey leftovers and cover with pastry
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180°C until pastry is golden and the filling is piping hot

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I hope that you will give this recipe a go.  What do you eat for Christmas in your house and what traditions do you keep?  Let me know in the comments below...


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Sunday, 22 December 2019

The Hot & Cold Blanket - Join me in 2020 for a temperature blanket crochet along...

So you want to make a temperature blanket?  Well you have come to the right place.  We will be starting a new crochet along in 2020, with a brand new blanket design.  If you took part in this years crochet along, then you will be well on your way to completing your blanket.  If you didn't then you can read all about it here...  So what's new this year?  New colours, new design and a different approach to choosing temperatures, I give you, The Hot & Cold Blanket.

For those of you that have never made a temperature blanket before, the concept is simple.  You allow the daily temperature, to dictate what colour you will add to your blanket on that day.  There are many different styles and patterns to choose from.  Our pattern for 2019 was a stripy blanket, in Linen stitch using 20 different colours.  This year I will be using only 10 colours, with 1 extra colour for joining.

Hot And Cold Blanket


US Terms (UK conversion)
dc - double crochet (treble crochet)
sl st - slip stitch
ch - chain
sp - space


DK yarn in chosen colours
4mm (G) hook
Darning needle

I am using Scheepjes Softfun Denim in colours 500, 517, 516, 518, 520, 507, 504, 503, 505, 514 and Scheepjes Softfun 2510 for joining.  Don't you just hate it when yarn companies don't bother to name their colours?  This particular yarn is delicious though so I'll forgive Scheepjes just this once.  It's a mix of cotton and acrylic and is very soft.  I love the slight variation in colour throughout the yarn and am really looking forward to hooking this up.

This chart shows my chosen colours and allocated temperatures for 2020.  Depending on where you live, you might want to adjust the temperature range and colours.

Each day you will check your local weather station for both your highest and lowest temperatures of the day.  We are going to be making 3 round granny squares.  The first round will be your coolest temperature of the day, the second your highest and the third round will be your joining colour.  I recommend the join as you go method for this blanket.

Granny Square

Ch4 and join with sl st to form ring

Round 1 Ch3, 2dc into ring, ch2, [ 3dc into the ring, ch2] 3 times, join with  sl st to top  ch3 and fasten off if you are using a new colour for next round. 

Round 2  Join new colour in any corner sp (or sl st to corner sp if working with same colour), ch3, 2dc into same sp, ch2, 3dc into same sp (corner formed), [ 3dc into next sp, ch2, 3dc into same sp] 3 times, join with sl st to top ch3 and fasten off.  

Round 3  First square only, with joining colour, join in any corner sp, ch3, 2dc in same sp, ch2, 3dc in same sp, [3dc in next sp, 3dc in next sp, ch2, 3dc in same sp] 3 times, 3dc in next sp, join with sl st to the top ch3 and fasten off.  

Round 3 Subsequent squares, complete using the join as you go method...

Join squares diagonally from corner to corner using the formula below.  Day 7 will be next to day 4 and so on...

The finished blanket will be 19 x 19 squares, making a total of 361.  We will use the last 5 day's colours to add to the border.

I will post updates as we go, along with a border pattern.  Why not join the CAL group.

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I can't wait to get started and I do hope you will join me.

Happy hooking!

Facebook CAL Group

Ravelry Pattern Page

I have been asked for an equivalent colour substitution for Stylecraft Special DK and while the colours are not an exact match this is the closest I could get...

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Saturday, 21 December 2019

Velvet Baubles - Make these decadent decorations for your tree, Christmas Cal...

Well hello everyone.  This is the last addition to the Christmas craft along this year and is so quick and easy you can make it in a matter of minutes.  What better way to finish our craft along than with something pretty to hang on your tree.  I have loved using the Bernat Velvet yarn so much and this is the perfect way to use up those last scraps of yarn.

Velvet Baubles


Bernat Velvet (small amounts)
Darning needle
60mm bauble
Stitch marker


6mm (J)

Abbreviations US Terms (UK Conversion)

sc - single crochet (double crochet)
sc2tog - single crochet 2 together (double crochet 2 together)
ch - chain
st(s) - stitch(es)
pm - place marker

Other notes:  Velvet Baubles are worked in a spiral, do not join.  Move marker up at the end of each round.

Starting with a magic loop

Round 1 ch1 (does not count as st), 6sc into ring.  Pull tight but do not join. Pm in 1st sc.

Round 2 Starting in the first sc from previous round, 2sc in each stitch around (12sc)

Round 3 [2 sc in first stitch, sc in next st] repeat around (18sc)

Round 4 [2sc in first stitch, sc in next 2 sts] repeat around (24sc)

Rounds 5-7 Sc in each st around.  

Round 8 [sc2tog, sc2] repeat around.  (18sc)

Now comes the tricky part.  Stretch your crochet over the plastic ball and continue to work around. 

Round 9 [sc2tog, sc1] repeat around.  (12sc)

Round 10 [sc2tog] repeat around.  (6sc)

Bind off, leaving a long tail and thread yarn onto a sewing needle.  Work your yarn under each stitch and pull tight.  I find it easier to pop off the top of the bauble to do this.  Bind off hiding yarn inside the crochet.  

Replace the top of your bauble and hot glue if necessary.  Add some ribbon and hang on your tree…

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I hope you enjoyed the pattern and have a wonderful Christmas.




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Monday, 16 December 2019

Belated Temperature Blanket Update - The end of summer...

So I'm a little late with this one, OK a lot late, but better late than never right?  I have been very busy catching up with my temperature blanket over the last few days.  I have set myself a minimum of 10 rows a day in order to catch up and have now reached the end of summer, so thought I would share my progress with you.

If you would like to make a temperature blanket, you can find the

I love the summer colours, especially now that the weather is cooler, it's a reminder of those warmer days spent in the sunshine...

A little look at all the colours together so far...

We are definitely on the home stretch now and I can't wait to see it finished.  

Pin it!

I am even more excited to be starting a new temperature blanket and crochet along next year.  I will be posting the new pattern at the weekend, so make sure you are subscribed and don't miss it.

See you all soon...


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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Christmas Bread & Butter Pudding - A delicious way to use up stale bread - Christmas craft along...

Hello friends.  I have something a little unusual to share with you today.  I'm not really sure if cooking counts as a craft, but I thought it would make a nice change to do something different.   I always like to cook a nice roast for Sunday lunch and finish it off with some kind of homemade pudding.  During the week we try to be a bit more healthy, so the weekend is time for treating ourselves, especially as it's almost Christmas.

Although I do love to cook, I am not really much of a baker.  All that faffing around weighing stuff and being precise, it's just not me.  I like to experiment and just chuck stuff in when I'm cooking, so I tend to stick to a few deserts that I can make, without needing to check a recipe or watch Youtube.  Bread and Butter Pudding is one of my goto puddings, as it's so simple and can be adapted to suit your mood.  One of our favourite ways of making it is with chocolate spread sandwiches.  So yummy!  So I thought why not try and make a Christmassy version.  The finished pudding was so delicious, I knew you would like to try it to, so here it is...

Christmas Bread & Butter Pudding

Ingredients (serves 6)

8 slices of bread (slightly stale is best)
Soft butter
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp mincemeat
A handful of dried cranberries
Orange marmalade
2 eggs
2 cups milk (or 1 cup milk, 1 cup double cream)
Icing sugar
Brandy cream

  • Grease a medium sized oven dish
  • Butter each slice of bread and lay half of them butter side down in the dish
  • Spread the other side thickly with marmalade and dot the mincemeat over the top
  • Sprinkle with cranberries
  • Lay the remaining slices of bread on top butter side up
  • In a jug whisk the eggs, milk and sugar and pour over the top of your bread slices
  • Leave for 30 minutes to allow the bread to soak up all of the custard mixture (the pudding can be frozen at this point if you want to make it in advance)
  • Bake in a medium hot oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown.  (160°C or 320°F)

Sprinkle with icing sugar...

...and serve with Brandy cream for extra decadence... 

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I hope you will give this recipe a try.  What do you like to cook at Christmas?  Let me know in the comments below and make sure to subscribe for more posts like this...



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