She cooks, she knits…

I seem to have been knitting this baby jumper for some time – and the baby has already been born, so last week I thought I’d really better get a move on. It’s a lovely pattern which I’ve blogged about before, from Joelle Hoverson’s book, More Last Minute Knitted Gifts. It’s knitted in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran on a circular needle, so (if you just crack on with it) it knits up quickly and there are very few seams to join up! The only reservation I have with the pattern is that there are no buttonholes, so I’ve added one. Now I can finally go and see the new arrival!

This has been a rather productive weekend, all things considered! It’s not often I have even one thing to blog about on #HandmadeMonday! I’ve been meaning to make these mug-hunger samples for a lovely local cafe for ages, as something I might sell with them. So now I have these to show them later today:

And, finally – I made these gorgeous cookies from a recipe in the Guardian magazine a couple of weeks ago. You can find the recipe here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/nov/01/nut-recipes-almonds-pecans-hazelnuts. The cookies are luscious, really chocolately, and the pecan praline tastes lovely in them. Having said that, the praline took just *ages* to make – probably because I was very nervous about burning the sugar, so I didn’t turn it up high enough to melt it. Because you have to make the praline first, these biscuits take slightly longer than other cookies, but we are just loving them.

 

In Which I Read a Book, and Finally Finish The Interminable Jumper!

Great cause for celebration! The cardigan I’ve been knitting for absolutely ages is done!

I’m really pleased with it. I’ll put more details about how I adjusted the pattern on the pattern notes in Ravelry, but it’s Sirdar 9730 and I think it’s turned out really well. It does look, from that photo, rather as if I have excessively long arms, but these are at least an inch shorter than the pattern said! I’m also very glad that I made it an inch longer in the body than they said, as it’s only just long enough. It’s exactly what I wanted: a 1950s style cardigan which I could wear with jeans. It’s made from rather luxurious Sublime yarn, which I bought on sale in Norfolk, so the whole thing cost about £30 – though I do have two balls left over. Hurrah! Most definitely going to be wearing it to Stitch & Bitch today!

Some rather nice treats to ease me into this week: I’ve finished The marvellous Merivel by Rose Tremain, and, as if by magic, Charlotte Mendelson’s Almost English has arrived today! I ordered it from The Book People after reading this guide to ethical booksellers: http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/miscellaneous/booksellers.aspx.

Merivel was just fantastic. Tremain’s writing is simply never awkward or verbose, despite the novel being in the first person and full of the eponymous Merivel’s musings on love, sex, animals and royalty! It is superbly observant and the seventeenth century settings and characters simply spring to life. This is a unique novel – a delight.