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Monday, 30 December 2013

2014 GOAL: MORGANITE CARDIGAN

I don’t normally make new year’s resolutions. Or at least if I make them, I tend to forget about them about halfway through January. I guess on some level I believe that if there’s something in my life I’m unhappy about and feel I should improve, I shouldn’t really wait until January each year to improve it. Obviously, that’s a lot easier said than done. However, this year I’ve set myself a goal for 2014: to knit myself an article of clothing. More specifically, I’m planning on knitting the cardigan below from the Pompom Autumn 2013 issue. 


You may have noticed this, but most of my knitting and crochet projects are all really quick and simple. There are a couple exceptions to this, such as this project, but for the most part I tend to prefer projects that won’t take me forever, like this one and this one. I tend to get distracted easily when it’s too big a project (here's an example I'm still not finished with--I guess "next summer" was being too optimistic), and I’m terrible at following knitting patterns and tend to prefer to make up my own. I'm getting a bit bored of small projects and I'd like to get better at following patterns though, and since I completely fell for this Pompom cardigan I figured it'd be a good starting point.

I also told myself that I have to knit something out of the magazine before I can justify buying another Pompom issue. And I'm pretty much dying to buy the winter issue, so let's get knitting!

Thursday, 26 December 2013

EASIEST SALTED CARAMELS


I know, I know, like you haven't already spent the past few days endulging in far too much already. But seriously. I don't believe there is a recipe for caramels that's easier than this one. As Graeme put it, "more effort goes into a grilled cheese sandwich." And I'm not gonna lie, I've gone through my fair share of failed caramel attempts. I've ruined both pans and spatulas, and more often than not I've ended up with caramel so hard you could probably use it to cut glass. Or at least to break teeth. I’d pretty much decided that making caramels just wasn’t for me. But then by chance, as I was looking for a completely different recipe, I came across a recipe that recommended using caramels in the microwave. In the microwave?

I was pretty sceptical at first, but as the recipe looked so simple and wasn’t exactly going to take a big chunk out of my day, so I decided to try it out. And boy, am I glad I did. In less than 15 minutes, I was standing there with a tray of perfect caramels. On my first try.




Caramels recipe (yields about a dozen caramels):
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
100 ml double cream
100 ml sugar
flaky sea salt

Directions:
Throw everything in a microwave-safe bowl. I recommend using one that's not too shallow, as the mix is going to end up boiling and bubbling a lot. Put everything in the microwave on a high heat for 8 minutes. Take it out every 2 minutes and stir. After the 8 minutes, pour it into an ice cube tray and sprinkle with the sea salt. Allow them to cool. Once they're cool, carefully poke them out with a kitchen knife and wrap them up individually in some greaseproof paper. Then try not to eat them all straight away.

NOTE: If a dozen caramels aren't enough, make sure to make your caramels in batches. If you double the recipe and try to make it as the instructions above, they will not set and you'll end up with a caramel sauce. Unless that's what you're after.




Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas!

Monday, 16 December 2013

KNITTED CHRISTMAS BAUBLES


I was a little late with decorating my Christmas tree this year. I say late, but that’s only because I basically like to decorate either on the first of December or the first Sunday of advent, and this year I waited over a week. So I suppose decorating it the first week of December isn’t really all that late. My mom commented that my tree was still looking pretty bare though, so I'm still in the process of adding to it. I don't have a whole lot of Christmas decorations here yet though, so I decided to knit myself a few Christmas baubles as well. I love the traditional Scandinavian look of these, and took my inspiration from Arne and Carlos and traditional Norwegian knitting patterns, like the Marius sweater and the Selbu mittens. How's your Christmas tree decorating going?

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

FIRST SNOW!


So last week we had a pretty intense storm going on that caused a bit of destruction. Roofs blew off and Stavanger was completely shut down. We don’t normally get storm that bad around here! When the storm finally quieted down though, we were left with blue skies and the most wonderful winter wonderland. I find it very hard to stay inside when it’s snowy outside, so I took my camera out for a little adventure with Bo. As I mentioned in my last post, I’m trying to make more of an effort to take photos in winter!




These photos are all from around my neighborhood, where I usually walk my dog. However, the woods I usually take her to were taped off due the fallen trees. I let my curiosity reign, ignored the tape and went to explore the aftermath of the storm.





These trees are right next to a row of houses (that were missed by about 5 meters), so it must have been pretty intense in there when the trees were falling. Even a poor little birdhouse had felt the wrath of the wind! Since everything was covered in snow though, it almost looked like the trees had always been like that. I guess the storm felt bad about all the destruction it had caused and tried to cover it up. Sadly, most of this snow has already rained away now though. Fingers crossed we get more snow before Christmas!

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

NOVEMBER ON INSTAGRAM


So, I obviously meant to post this ages ago! We're already over a week into December, and I've been so busy. One thing I've noticed though, is that I take a lot less pictures in winter than I do the rest of the year. With so little daylight, I tend to forget all about my camera. Must make more of an effort!

Looking back at November, I don't even know where it went, but the highlight of the month was definitely a far too short trip to Newcastle to visit Graeme. Hope you had a good November too!

Sunday, 1 December 2013

GINGERBREAD ADVENT CALENDAR






Never too old for an advent calendar, right? I usually get the chocolate ones, but I'm usually not the biggest fan of the chocolate so this year I decided to make my own with gingerbread. Have you got your advent calendar ready?

All you need for this is a branch, some gingerbread, some twine or string to tie the cookies with. I chose a pretty sturdy branch I found int he woods near my house, and then used a saw to get it down to the right length. I used this recipe to bake the cookies, and then made the holes with a toothpick before putting them in the oven. Let the countdown to Christmas begin!