Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cakes of the Pan

For those that don't know, this is the oft-spoken-about but lesser-spotted Holly. She's a pancake whiz.

And so it came to pass that the greatest day of the year was yet again upon us. It is a day for celebration, for rejoicing, for merriment. For eggs, for milk, for flour. For maple syrup, for bacon, for sugar (yes really, keep reading).

It's Pancake Day is what it is, and it is, quite frankly, my favourite day in the whole goddamn year.

Holly's so good at pancake making, she can iPhone it up and do a pancake all at once. That pancake was the best one.

I didn't celebrate last year in America because I pretty much had pancakes every Sunday as part of what I (and possibly others, who can tell) like to call "brunch".  

But on a normal year, when I'm not living my life in foreign countries, I abstain from any pancake eating as much as possible throughout the year in preparation for this momentous occasion.  Because it makes them taste that much sweeter. The anticipation is electric. 

What a tosser

Throughout my university years, it was the beautiful Holly that kept me sated every Pancake Day. She was the undisputed Champion of the Toss; the Master of the Batter. In short: the Princess of Pancakes.  So you can imagine how fantastically excited I have been that I managed to move myself in with her just before the greatest of days arrived again!

Check the skillz, man

And this year, Holly did not disappoint.  She rustled up a hefty batch for all of us, and lo, it was good.

But, what did I ever do in return for all this kind pancake flip/tossing over the years you ask?!

Why but of course! I introduced Holly to the best pancake combo literally known to man. All men. On earth. That ever lived.

There it is.. hit me with the good stuff...

A hefty stack of pancakes. Plus bacon. Plus maple syrup*.

Try it. Have it. Make it. Make it and put it all up in your mouth. I promise you, your mouth will love you forever.

*Or, if your local shop has decided that maple syrup is not to be stocked on Pancake Day, we found honey also works. It's also a healthier albeit slightly inferior substitute.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Vintage Birthday Beret

This birthday was handmade from head to toe. Or card.. whatever.

Big news! I found wifi!! Free wifi!! So I am able to bring you this post from a table in the Barbican on a Sunday afternoon, which I am typing whilst listening to all the podcasts I have fallen behind with since being in London without proper internet access for the last two weeks. Oh Claudia Winkleman, President Obama and Woman's Hour, I've missed you!

Hopefully I will be moving into my permanent base (with actual internet!) next weekend, so normal blogging (and reciprocal blog comments) will resume!

So what do I have to show for myself for the last two weeks? Well, I am settling in well in my new job for those who were wondering. And to pass the time without the internet I have been working steadily away at my super friend Holly's birthday gifts.

The card, I made myself with my new interchangeable blade craft scissors. But the thing I am most pleased with is the beret..

Knitty Gritty:
Pattern - 'Vintage Beret' from Rowan Magazine No. 44
Yarn - Two skeins of the recommended Rowan Wool Cotton. I used it in French Navy.
Needles - 3.75 mm for the ribbing, changing up to 4 mm for the main body of the hat

Yeah, I keep my hats on my digital radio... don't you?!

I used a pattern from one of my Rowan books that I got in the mail all those weeks ago. As can be expected from a Rowan pattern it was really easy to follow, and well written and quite a pleasurable, fairly quick knit.  I'm not sure why, but I expected it to be knit in the round... but no, it's knit on regular needles and then you sew up the seam... clever huh?

Talking of seams: can I just take a moment and marvel at the genius that is mattress stitch?! This was my first ever foray into seams and of witnessing the wonder of this miracle. At first I was sewing quite loose, so I could see what I was doing (as per the advice of my knitting bible) and was skeptical, as it didn't look like it was going to do anything spectacular, and possibly ruin at the last minute all my hard knitting work: sabotaging and spoiling the final look of the piece.

But no! I worked a few inches, and then pulled tight, and LIKE MAGIC... a beautifully invisible seam was born!! Very professional. 

So, now that I can do seams... I am now looking forward to getting my next project on the needles: my very first item of clothing. I'm toying between what to choose, but I think it will definitely be a cardigan (I am the cardigan queen). I literally can't wait.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

So Long, Fare Thee Well, Pip Pip Cheerio, We'll Be Back Soon

Case closed..

Packing? Yes, I've been packing. As some of you may be aware, since I came back from New York in September, I've been looking for a job in London. And some of may also be aware that that search came to an end just before Christmas, when I finally found my dream position.

I'm such a fan of luggage tags as labels...

Well, it's taken until now for all the arrangements to be finalised and for me to finally be able to move to London and get stuck into my new, first, proper job since leaving university.

So that's right, I'm finally leaving my hometown properly for the first time, and I'm very excited! However all this means, that while I'm getting my new home in London sorted, I will have sporadic access to the internet, so I'm not sure when I will be able to blog again, so it's a short intermission around here for a few weeks.


But don't worry, I will be back as soon as I can, with more tales of London, knitting, baking and anything else that pops into my brainbox.  And all is not lost, until then you can always follow me on Twitter if you are into such things. But I'll miss you guys and I'll definitely be back soon! Wish me luck!! x