Thursday, 30 May 2013

Quick update

Ooops! Been meaning to post for a while, but have been pretty busy lately. I've been (mostly) good this month, and haven't started many (just one!) new projects, and have even finished a couple!

Here's the Sprite Stitch April SAL that was carried over to May:

I was hoping to do a beaded heart in the centre, but didn't like how it turned out, so used bugle beads for the green and red borders instead. I quite like the effect this had, and it was pretty simple, so it's something I'll probably do again.

I also managed to finish off one of the cushion covers, hand sewing in the zip. Really impressed with how it turned out, and will try to get a decent photo for the blog.

While I did start one project, it's a simple stash busting one, using up some spare yarn I have. It's a simple knitted wrap, which is great for mindless knitting in front of the tv. It also won't require any sewing at the end! It's not a colour I'm mega keen on, and the yarn is a bit fiddly to work with (Sirdar Filigree) but I'll see how it turns out.

I've done a fair bit of crocheting, and also filled in a good portion of M'aiq. Pictures next week hopefully!

Monday, 20 May 2013

Review - Flower of Gold Rapeseed Oil (from Cheshire!)

So here's my second review - rapeseed oil from Flower of Gold.

After winning a competition on Twitter (I was the only person that entered, so I'm not fully sure it counts as 'winning') Flower of Gold sent me a bottle of their Rapeseed Oil. I'd never tried rapeseed oil before, and was intrigued.

The bottle arrived, and was really well packaged which was great. The oil is a lovely dark amber colour, and smells lovely. The first time I used it was on potato wedges, along with some parsnips and carrots that were roasted at the same time. They were delicious. Fairly sure that was due to the rapeseed oil rather than my peeling and cutting skills!

The next thing I tried it with was a stirfry - and again, it came out tasting wonderful. The rapeseed oil gave everything a lovely nutty and buttery flavour.

The best thing about Flower of Gold in my opinion? It's local. Grown in Cheshire. If you know me, you'll know I get involved with a local beer festival, where we only have Cheshire ales. (This year we will also have a Cheshire cider, which is pretty exciting, courtesy of )

How can you get some of this lovely rapeseed oil? It's out in some shops, and you can contact @FlowerOfGold on twitter if you want more information.

Book review - Poison by Sarah Pinborough

Occassionally, I'm lucky enough to get free stuff. And when I do, I'm going to write a small review about it. The first one is a book,

Poison by Sarah Pinborough

I received this from Gollancz Geeks, who asked me to review it. I have to say, I’d heard some really good things about the book, but was slightly disappointed when I’d read it. I think it was because I was expecting something amazing, wonderful, out of this world fantastic, and while it is a good read, for me, it didn’t live up to my expectations.

The book is a retelling of Snow White, and it’s a decent story. I just wish there had been a little bit more character development, and interaction between characters. Poison is not a long book, and quite a lot of the book seems to be descriptions, with lots of similes and metaphors. While I enjoyed the attention to detail, I felt that it would have been nice to spend a bit more time getting to know the characters. For me, the characters seemed a little flat, and uninteresting.

The ending has a nice twist – pretty dark and original, and I thought it worked really well. I liked how it wasn’t set up to have a sequel, but there is the potential to have a sequel if Sarah Pinborough desires.

One thing I really loved about the book was the illustrations. Wonderfully done, and matching the story really well.

All in all, I wasn’t bowled over by Poison, but it was a nice easy read with great attention to detail and lovely illustrations.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

April SAL and spur of the moment

As I mentioned last time, I took part in the Sprite Stitch Stitch-a-Long. Sadly, I didn't have nearly as much time as I had hoped, and below is my efforts as of the end of April, missing the 4th band, and without any borders!

As May is the month of finishing off, I'm hoping to complete this. It just needs a 4th band (either Lemmings or Sonic, not sure which to go for...) and a border, along with a couple of words and the SS logo somewhere...

Speaking of finishing off, I said I'd try to photo all my projects at the start of the month, and at the end of the month as well. I haven't done this yet, but hopefully will over the weekend!

Ah, the weekend. I saw a tweet from the lovely Black Sheep Wools yesterday, saying there were still spaces available on a professional finishing touches course this Saturday. I mulled it over for a couple of hours, and decided to go ahead and sign up, which I did last night. I'm hoping that if I learn to sew up garments properly, I'll have more motivation to sew it together and make it look half decent, rather than bodging a project at the end after spending ages knitting up the pieces. What I didn't realise, was that I need to take 3 squares of knitting with me, each 10-15cm. This means I've had to alter my evening plans to get started on it, and will probably spend a lot of tomorrow afternoon knitting as well! (which is fine, as I have tomorrow off, but I was going to tidy up a bit and perhaps bake some cakes as I have friends coming over!) Still, if I can get the squares done, the course should be good - and I'll try not to spend too much at the Black Sheep barn... They don't make it easy though, with all the lovely wools!