KALs, coasts, castles and cake…

…but not necessarily in that order.

I mentioned in my last blog post that I was going away on holiday, well I’m back and missing it terribly (sort of). Every year we go away for a week with my in-laws and hire a couple of little wooden lodges on the Solway coast in Scotland about 20 miles from Dumfries. Its where my OH and his family used to holiday when they were children and it holds special memories for him. I like it because its the seaside* – I am easily pleased. If I could wake up to this view every day I would be happy.

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The only downside was the distinct lack of phone signal or WiFi connection. I recently saw a modified version of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that had a huge wifi box tacked on to the bottom of it and I laughed at how ridiculous it was but not any more my friends, after my trip to Scotland and feeling faint at the idea of missing what was going on in the real world by which I mean the very unreal world of Twitter etc I can completely identify with the modified version! #firstworldproblems

I also found my new house whilst I was there, I just need to convince the current occupants of Drumlanrig castle to move out so that I can move in.

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On the needles:
Up until the end of October I am going to be absorbed in the Stitched Together Crafting Library KAL (#STCLKAL) that I mentioned in my last post. I cast on for my Maeva jumper from Rowan’s Nordic Tweed collection on the 31st August. The plan had been to cast on in the van on the drive up to Scotland but I got funny looks from my OH so I had to stick to map reading instead but I cast on that night after I’d put crafty baby to bed. Here is the pattern and yarn I am using:

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As you can see its not the original yarn choice, that called for Rowan Colourspun and Kid Classic but my budget doesn’t quite stretch to that plus at least one of them has mohair in it and I’m not keen on the idea of wearing something knitted out of a yarn that sheds fibre around Crafty Baby, I worry about just how much of it she is inhaling plus my OH has a number of allergies so he would probably end up sitting next to me just scratching. By substituting the Patons yarn for the suggested one I managed to bring the cost of the jumper down by 2/3. Instead of costing just under £45 to make it should work out at just under £17. The yarn I chose it wool rich (63% wool, 37% acrylic) so it fits in with my aim to use less acrylic yarn but stays within my budget and allows for machine washing of the finished item. I decided to make a number of additional modifications to the pattern as well, these were:
– going down a needle size** (although this was to obtain gauge rather than an actual modification)
– elongating the body by a whole 12cm (cropped jumpers are not mummy tummy friendly!)
– shortening the sleeves to 3/4 length
– omitting the roll/ polo neck completely
– including waist shaping
– working it in the round rather than flat in sections

Whilst on holiday all I completed was the ribbing section as the only real knitting time I had was on an evening after I’d put crafty baby to bed and before she woke up again and demanded feeding about an hour and half later! I did however manage a short stint of knitting on the balcony over looking the lake.

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This is how far I’ve got now, I’ve finished the waist shaping and have about 8cm to go until I reach the point I need to stop at for the yoke.

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I have a confession to make though, even though I did 2 swatches for the main body I still haven’t swatched for the colour work section. I know I need to do it and I will but please just let me hide a little while longer. I have made a deal with myself though, I’m not allowed to cast on any other projects until after I’ve done my colour work swatch. This is proving quite a challenge especially as my cable obsession has been boosted by the number of lovely projects other people are knitting for the KAL that have cables on them so instead of casting projects on I have been adding significantly to my queue on Ravelry instead. You can catch up with the progress of all the KAL projects on the Stitched Together group on Ravelry.

Off the needles:
I finally finished the contract knitting I had been working on for the last month, and here it is in all its glory:

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As pretty as it is I am so ready to knit things for myself now (or at least things for the baby or friends and family for Christmas) and the next thing I cast on may have to be almost psychedelic in its colour choice as a bit of an antidote to all that monochrome yarn, especially as my KAL sweater is on a similar black/grey/white theme.

Baking:
And now for the cake, or rather Key Lime Pie that I made on holiday. I don’t know if its a Yorkshire thing or just my family but I don’t consider a meal finished until I’ve had pudding. My OH’s family don’t really share this pudding obsession so they don’t always eat a pudding if I make one (we take it in turns to cook whilst away on holiday) so I was pleasantly surprised then they wolfed this down and came back to scrape the cake tin out! My mum gave me the recipe (well more semi-vague instructions) so I’m not sure where it originally came from but this is how you make it:

– Melt 75g butter or margarine and stir in one packet of crushed up ginger biscuits
– spread these in an even layer in the bottom of a 23cm spring form cake tin lined with 2 layers of tin foil and leave to cool
– To half a pint of double cream ad the zest and juice of 3 limes. This is the really fun part and its crazy kitchen science. When you stir the lime juice in to the cream it thickens up all by itself – no whisking required!
– Add one whole tin (minus a couple of spoonfulls – for testing purposes obviously) of condensed milk to the cream and lime mixture and spoon on top of the cooled biscuit base.
– Leave in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.

That’s it, super easy yet absolutely delicious!

*By seaside I mean quiet costal beaches not busy tourist heavy ones like Blackpool, that is not my idea of fun!
** I decided to use the suggested needle size for the sleeves as they looked a bit too slim fitting on the pattern and I was worried my bingo wings might give me problems. Changing the needle size should give me more room in the sleeve without changing the number of stitches on the needles and messing up the stitch count for the colour work yoke.

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About themanyknitsofnadine

Interested in all things crafty, I knit, spin, sew, crochet, quilt, grow my own and bake (although the baking these days is all allergy friendly) and I try and blog about all these things. I also host a bi-weekly podcast on incorporating slow living into all my crafty adventures
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