Jelly Practice

A little jelly pick-me-up

A little jelly pick-me-up

I’ve been playing with jelly lately. I just unmolded this one today. It’s my ‘Rum and Coke, Cherry Float,’ a spin on the concept of the cherry cola float. That is, there’s a layer of rum and cola on the bottom, followed by a layer of vanilla spiked milk, topped up with sour cherries in their juice. It’s really rather delicious… and gives you a pleasant little buzz after a day battling red tape!

The Mysterious Cherry Squirrel

The Mysterious Cherry Squirrel

As an added bonus, I made the jelly in my copper squirrel mold. Although as I was demolding, you can see that the jelly began to slide off the plate!

Cherry layers

Cherry layers

It features a funky layering of cherries.

Speaking of cool layering effects, I’ve been working on the concept of a polka-dot jelly.

Nothing but polka-dots!

Nothing but polka-dots!

Those are cherry tomatoes from the garden suspended in a very simple jelly of lemon and apple cider vinegar, with a few basil leaves for good measure.

A little retro flair

A little retro flair

I love the retro look of it! It’s not perfect yet, but seriously… it’s lovely. I put a thin slice of the jelly on top of cottage cheese and ham as a salad. The jelly isĀ  simply salad dressing, but it doesn’t make everything soggy. Win!

An Agent and a Raincoat

Sometimes, when it all feels a bit much, I start sewing.

Just in case I need some SHIELD intervention

Just in case I need some SHIELD intervention

I’d finished my little cross stitch project of Agent Coulson. What to do with him? There are only so many walls for cross stitch art. So I found a little left over fabric and turned him into a cuddly pillow!

Yes, I’ll admit it, despite so many giving up on Agents of SHIELD, I still enjoy it. It’s fun. It’s light. I love May and Coulson. Like many, I wouldn’t mind if Skye disappeared from the show, but I did catch myself actually liking her character before the show vanished from our screens. Seriously, commercial television is the worst.

Oh well, in the meantime, I have my own little Agent Coulson! And I’m sure there’ll be a DVD set.

I finished the pillow and still felt a little squiffy, so I decided to finish the Scot’s raincoat. I did originally line the hood, too, but it wasn’t quite working, so I had to dispense with it.

The Scot: "Seriously... I don't see any rain."

The Scot: “Seriously… I don’t see any rain.”

It’s made from a laminated cotton, so it’s super light weight and not too plastic-y. I ad-libbed the pattern, so I am still working on that hood shape.

The Scot: "The sky is blue. The sun is out. Why am I in this raincoat, again?"

The Scot: “The sky is blue. The sun is out. Why am I in this raincoat, again?”

I took him to the dog park the other day and he was a big hit.

The Scot: "And why am I just sitting here in the backyard? You said 'walkies'"

The Scot: “And why am I just sitting here in the backyard? You said ‘walkies’”

Well, I may have a secondary career in dog fashion yet!

Socks and cookies and jelly, oh my!

Mod Poppy Socks (and Veronica side-eye)

Mod Poppy Socks (and Veronica side-eye)

I’ve been making things. Introducing the Mod Poppy Socks! I’m planning to write up the pattern when I get a minute, so this is sort of the sneak peak (I posted an Instagram picture to enter the Holland Road Yarn Company competition). They’re in Knitsch “Caboose,” which is a fiery orange-red and really suited the wrapped stitch, mod look of the socks.

I finished the second sock while watching the Veronica Mars movie. Seems like just yesterday we were all cheering on the Kickstarter! So worth it. Although, I think Dick Casablancas is now my favourite character. Should I be worried??

What's for supper? Cloned, peanut butter flavoured 10th Doctors.

What’s for supper? Cloned, peanut butter flavoured 10th Doctors.

The Scot wasn’t worried. He came padding through last night looking for supper. I’d baked him a fresh batch of cloned Doctor cookies! I may have too much fun baking dog biscuits.

Best of the British Empire jelly in cherry-coke flavour!

Best of the British Empire jelly in cherry-coke flavour!

I’m also finishing off the triumphant jelly I made. I found the retro-recipe here for a coca-cola salad jelly. Don’t panic – it’s fruit salad-y. You don’t really taste the cola. I used my amazing 19th century mould that features the best of the British Isles. There are Union Jacks, roses, crowns, thistles, four-leaf clover, pineapples, leeks… you name the British symbol, this mould has it! Tremendously difficult to get all the symbols to come out properly, though. I came much closer this time and it tastes amazing.

Retro inspired camera bag

Retro inspired camera bag

I also finished sewing up my new camera bag. I won’t tell you how many sewing machine needles were broken (4) or curse words uttered when turning this in the right way after sewing (still counting). It’s a basic box bag, but with four layers. The lining (retro scooter fabric) is quilted. The exterior fabric (a laminated print of retro cameras) has a very stiff interfacing. That’s a lot of layers to work with for a small bag! Still, all done. There’s a couple of loops to attach a strap for carrying.

And there’s another project almost finished, but I’ll save that for a later post!

Sherlock

I have a blue scarf too!

I have a blue scarf too!

So, another night, another Sherlock installment.

Did you know that the internet has decided Sherlock looks like an otter? I downloaded a pattern (Wee Woodland Wuzzies), grabbed a tangle of leftover yarn, and settled in my armchair for the night!

I can also look at you quizzically and disdainfully.

I can also look at you quizzically and disdainfully.

I loved that final installment. I also rather love my little Sherlock Otter. It’s quick to whip up and it’s pretty amazing how much expression you can get from a bit of wool!

The Scot isn’t so sure about the Sherlock otter, though.

How can this be Sherlock? I'm Sherlock!

How can this be Sherlock? I’m Sherlock!

Watson

Last night, I was watching Sherlock. It was the wedding episode. In preparing for a night curled up in my armchair with my knitting – as you do – I had a thought.

I like Watson. Watson in his funny old cardigans and jumpers. I’d also become aware of the “Martin Freeman looks like a hedgehog” meme. I love hedgehogs. They’re adorable!

During the day, I happened upon the Purl Bee hedgehog pattern.

A-ha! Serendipity!

So last night, while watching Watson’s wedding, I knitted myself a Watson.

Watson (Number One)

Watson (Number One)

Because that made sense.

Watson (Number Two)

Watson (Number Two)

Of course, the Scot thinks he’s Sherlock.

Sherlock and Watson

Sherlock and Watson

 

The Animals We Love

The other day, a Twitter friend lost her dog. I’d never met her. I’d never met her dog. But, geez, I loved that dog! He was a character and I was so sad when she tweeted the news. I’ll genuinely miss him.

Losing animals is rough. I still think about my hens at least a few times a day, I still expect to find Cosette trying to boss her way inside or Lola waiting for me to do her bidding or Fifi giving me that look as if to say, ‘They’re a bunch of nutty chickens, aren’t they? How do we put up with them?’ Fifi was always the one with the sense to get in out of the rain.

I’ve seen some extraordinary and wonderful tributes in the wake of loss, like Sue Perkins’ letter to Pickle or Jimmy Stewart’s poem about his dog, Beau. There are many others out there, letters and poems that not only celebrate the lives of some fantastic animals, but also relate that shared experience of loss. Those faces we see every day are so very loved. Recently I did a quiz to find out which Hogwarts House I’d be in (Hufflepuff, of course). One of the questions involved a choice of magical gifts. I chose the ability to talk to animals. I think it’d be a hoot to talk to the Scot and I wish I’d been able to chat to Lola. She was always full of things to say. Mind, I expect if I could have talked to her, she’d have spent most of her time ordering me about…

I am queen of the castle, everyone else is a dirty rascal!

I am queen of the castle, everyone else is a dirty rascal!

Yes, I have a special soft spot for Lola. If you’d met her, you’d have understood. Mind, I have a special soft spot for them all, but today I was thinking particularly about Lola and I know she wouldn’t mind the tribute.

Anyway, enough sadness! I posted about being okay with my quirky style. The poor Scot! He was quite the hit at the dog park, though, when he wore the new harness I sewed for him.

You said we were going on a walk. Why are you standing there with that black box?

You said we were going on a walk. Why are you standing there with that black box?

Actually, I think the Scot is more of an Iron Man fan. They share a certain desire for attention. Anyone seen Iron Man fabric??

I was really pleased with how the harness turned out! If you look closely, you’ll see that it almost looks like Spiderman is holding his lead in his hand… or, at least the bunch of sausages that now passes for his lead!

It's so embarrassing what you do to me.

It’s so embarrassing what you do to me.

Yes, he has much to put up with! Particularly since I have plots for my own dressmaking that may be inspired by this creation of cats at the cinema, some knitting. Yes… I may have ordered some of the fabric… it is simply too awesome to ignore.

 

I’m knitting a sock

The board of mood

Mood Board

I’m knitting a sock. It’s the new design. I know you usually do a mood board as you’re designing, rather than half way through, but I don’t really want to show the sock yet. So I thought I’d have a little fun and put together a mood board for it and show you that! Okay, procrastination may be involved, too!

In honour of Luna

In honour of Luna

I also started to knit a sweater for fun. The moment I saw The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, I knew I had to knit the cover sweater, which, though technically “Ginny’s Cardigan“, I think of in connection to my favourite, Luna. The soft, light grey of Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury ‘Ghost’ has always delighted me and this seems a good match – a little nod to owls and to Ravenclaw’s Grey Lady. I don’t usually wear grey, but I like the brightness of this shade. It’s a nice, simple style with pockets and the shoulders should be flattering.

Okay, time for another coffee before I return to work!