Crochet Tuesday: Bobble Necklace

This quick little bobble necklace is the product of the last Hook Club. It was a little fiddly but great fun to make these. So fun in fact that I made another one just like it for my friend shortly after. The pattern is free from Lion Brand Yarn and is very straight forward and easy once you get the hang of it. It’s certainly a great option for a little present and the choice of yarn determines how smart or casual the necklace will look. It would also be nice to make a longer one and wear it in several layers or maybe to have a shorter, bracelet version to match the necklace.

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Crochet Tuesday: Small Patterned Bag

patterned bag (1)I recently completed this small patterned bag as a present for a friend. I found the pattern for this Granny Stripe Boutique Bag on TangledHappy.com

I love the pattern. It’s so cute and works up really quickly and easily. I made only one change to the pattern. Instead of sewing up the bottom of the bag I inserted a flat bottom.

patterned bag (2)

This is what I did:

Ch = chain

hdc = half treble crochet / half double crochet

Row 1: ch 7.

Row 2: work 1 hdc in 2nd ch from hook, 5 hdc, ch 1

Row 3-15:  6 hdc, ch1

Row 16: 6 hdc, finish off

Now turn the bag inside out and sew the bottom in. Turn the bag back and you have a nice smooth finish.

Oh yes, and I also filled the bag up with chocolate…  😉

patterned bag (4)

Crochet Tuesday: Flower Bookmark

flower bookmark (1)These flower bookmarks are based on a free pattern I found on  Freepatterns.com. It was designed by Debra Woodard. I love the pattern as it’s so delicate and flowery. I only had to adjust the size of the bookmark a little as the original  pattern was too big for my purpose. Adjusting the size is easily done though by adding or subtracting stiches or rows and fixing as many flowers as prettily fit. These two books marks made great little presents!flower bookmark (2) flower bookmark (3)

Foodie Friday: Easy homemade wholemeal bread

bread (12) A little while ago I read one of those articles about things you should stop buying and start making yourself. One of the things listed was bread. This tempted me to read the ingredients list of the bread my family usually ate and I was surprised and a little upset to find how many unnecessary and undesirable ingredients it contained. Therefore I decided to go along with the advice and stared making my own bread. As my days as a mum are super busy already I needed to find an easy recipe that was quick to prepare and as I wanted the bread to be as healthy as possible I wanted it to use wholemeal flour. I found a nice looking recipe on the BBC good food site. I quite liked the result in principle but was not entirely satisfied, so that I adjusted a few aspects of it and here is my version of an easy and quick wholemeal bread. If you are new to baking bread have a quick look at my tips sections at the bottom of the recipe, so you can learn from my mistakes. bread (11) Ingredients

  • 500g wholewheat  flour
  • 70g mixed seed (or seeds of choice)
  • 7g fast-action dried yeast
  • 7g (1 tsp) salt
  • 300ml warm water
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil, plus some extra to oil the baking mould
  • 15ml (1 tbsp) clear organic honey

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Food scales
  • Cutting board or other clean surface for kneading
  • Metal bread mould
  • Clean dish cloth

Method bread (1) bread (2) bread (3)

  1. Mix the flour, seeds, yeast, and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the water, olive oil and honey in a separate measuring jug
  3. Stir the liquids into the dry mixture until you have a soft dough
  4. Knead the dough for approximately 5 minutes
  5. Oil baking mould and make sure the insides of the mould are oiled up to the top as dough will rise
  6. Spread the dough evenly in the mould
  7. If you like sprinkle some seeds on top and slightly press down to decorate the bread
  8. Cover with a clean, wet dish cloth
  9. Let rise for at least 2 to 3 hours

bread (4) bread (5) bread (6)

  1. After a minimum of 2 hours preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6
  2. Make several cuts across the top of the bread with a very sharp knife
  3. Bake for 30 minutes
  4. When done take the bread out of the mould and leave on the cooling rack or similar until cooled down
  5. Enjoy!

bread (7)  bread (8) bread (9) Tips

  • Use a metal baking mould! When I first started making bread I bought a silicone mould thinking that it would make it easier to get the bread out. I then found that the intense rising of the bread completely deformed the soft silicone resulting in very odd looking, collapsing loafs. When I changed to the metal mould I realised that, if well oiled, the bread doesn’t stick in the slightest. It just slides out when the mould it turned upside down.
  • Don’t shorten the rising time of the bread! I find that less than 2 hours will result in the bread being too solid and not fluffy enough. If you want to leave it longer that is fine. I have previously let the bread rise over night with very nice results.
  • Leave the loaf on a cooling rack until cooled down! If you leave it in the mould or pack it away too soon chances are it will go soggy  and lose its nice crunchy crust.