3 June 2020

Gemstone Blanket 'Energised' Crochet Pattern

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27 May 2020

Chatting about Pear Upside-Down Cake, Tadpoles and Romantic Hearts Crochet Pattern

It's been busy around here since the last blog post on Wednesday last week.  I'm never at a loss of having things to keep me busy thanks to being craft and book mad and that's not changed much while we are in lockdown.  I don't know about you but I often have trouble stopping for a break (and sometimes lunch) when I get in full swing with something, especially if it's something outside in the garden.  Total awareness of time disappears when i'm out there pottering about.

Work on my upcoming crochet blanket pattern has been going at a great pace and alongside this i've been having loads of inspiration coming through for other patterns for later in the year.  The release day for the pattern for the Gemstone Blanket titled 'Energised' is Wednesday next week so keep an eye out for the announcements. 

What a great way to start the day on Monday..........with a rainbow in my teacup :-)

Speaking of colours; what about the colour of these Snapdragons?  Aren't they delicious?  These are self-sown from last year's crop so a nice surprise to see then popping up amongst the 'Love in the Mist' I showed you last week.  Swiping through the photos on my phone on Thursday and coming across this one,  I had this silly little poem compose itself in my head.  It turns out it was useful in cheering a few people up, and an appropriate reminder to me later on in the day when I had a meltdown over the sink being filled with dishes yet again when the washer was empty.
"Try not to be snappy like a Snapdragon today, 
instead find some time to be silly and play.
If you can't do that then find a hook,
to go with some yarn, 
or a nice chunky book."

Last Friday saw the one year anniversary of the last episode of Game of Thrones.  What a night that was and what an ending!  It was fun seeing that memory popping up in my Facebook feed, but let's face it, it's not always great in flashing up memories that are actually lovely.  Some of them have been inappropriate or unfortunate for being referred to as a memory you might want to be reminded of.

More baking again this week.  This
time an upside-down cake combination inspired by the can of pears in the cupboard combined with an urge to bake. Traditionally this cake is made using pineapple rings and sliced glace cherries but I didn't have any of them on hand and I was in the mood for a bit of experimenting.

Many of you asked for the recipe in response to the photograph of the cake on Facebook and Instagram.  I was reluctant to do that because i'd used a recipe out of a book.

However, I did rummage through my own handwritten gathering of recipes for the upside-down recipe I knew I had, and which i'd be able to share with you in good conscience.

Wouldn't you know it, the ingredients are the same.  So here is the recipe, with my own bits added for Upside-Down Cake.

Pear Upside-Down Cake 

1 400g can Pear Halves or fruit of your choice.
125g Self-raising Flour
125g Baking Margerine or Butter
125g Castor Sugar
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp Baking Powder
1tsp Vanilla Essence
Note:  (For this Pear version of the cake I added 1 tsp Ground Ginger to the mixture instead of the Vanilla because it's a good combination with Pears.  If you make a version with Pineapple or other fruit, I don't think Ginger will work well for flavour, so use Vanilla Essence instead.)

To make:

Preheat oven to 190˚C/170˚C Fan/Gas mark 5
Line a 20cm round baking tin.

Beat eggs.

Cut pear halves into slices, but not too thin.

Put all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat until the batter is pale and creamy.

Arrange the slices of  pear onto the bottom of the cake tin, then place the batter on top and level it out.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the knife comes out clean when inserted into the cake.  Note: The knife tip may have moisture on it from the fruit, but you will see the difference between this and unbaked cake batter.

Leave to cool before turning the cake out onto a plate. 

Enjoy x


The tadpoles in our garden pond are doing well and have begun to develop their little legs, which you may be able to see in this picture.  As you can imagine it's difficult do photograph them because the minute I get close to the pond surface they dash away and hide.  There aren't as many as there were right at the very beginning when they first hatched, but there's still plenty of them to ensure a lively population amongst the ivy in the flower beds in a few weeks time.

Regretably i've not been on the ball with planting seeds into propagators this year so i've sown directly this time.  Yesterday the winds had died down so being outside was pleasant once again, allowing me to get stuck in with sowing,  sorting out the compost, tidying up the pots and re-potting some plants that needed more space.  One of them was a succulent that had been growing in the conservatory and which took a tumble off the window sill because it had become so lanky and top heavy.  Sadly quite a few of it's petals (are they called petals?) broke off but it's still okay, has a larger pot and the addition of some skewers to keep it upright until it settles it's roots.

Seeds sown in the giant pots yesterday were tomatoes, spinach and radishes.  In previous years we've planted much more, but with no longer having the raised beds because our dog loved to scamper through and 'water' them, we've had to use giant pots instead which has changed what we plant.  I would like to change this in future because we do miss growing our own vegetables.

The twigs you see here are to prevent birds and the resident squirrels from scratching about in the new soil and compost in the giant pots - or so I hoped.  This morning I came out to find that there had indeed been some disturbance, so all going as planned the mesh that's now been added will prevent this from happening again until the plants are well on their way.

Last week I decided to surprise you all with another free crochet pattern called the Romantic Hearts Square.  It's an oldie but a goodie that i've given a bit of a revamp. If you didn't see the release announcement, not to worry because it's waiting for you here

Monday was Bank Holiday and an unexpected surprise filled the sky that afternoon.  Isnt' it great?  It was thanks to Pilot Rich Goodwin.  You can read about him and why he did it here

In closing, a reminder that i'm aiming to release the pattern for the Gemstone Blanket titled 'Energised' on Friday this week so keep an eye out for the annoucements here and on Facebook and Instagram. 

Wishing you a good week.
Stay well and safe,
K x

23 May 2020

Romantic Hearts Crochet Square

Another oldie but a goodie.  I first created this design eight years ago but was never entirely pleased with it, namely because of the yarn used at the time.  

I really wanted to update the pattern and change the yarn, so I did and here it is as a surprise freebie in the middle of May 2020.  I've renamed it 'Romantic Hearts' because it's perfect for anytime of year and any occassion, not just for Valentine's Day.

Note: The completed square measures 19cm.

#karenwiederholddesigns #romanticheartsgrannysquare #crochet #grannysquare #crochetblanket

20 May 2020

Chatting about the Gemstone Blanket, Flowers, Biscuits and a Fox

Hello all,

Today is an absolutely beautiful day  and i'm loving the bright sunshine and warmth.  I'm not a fan
of being too hot, so i'm thankful that at this time of the day the conservatory is in the shade and I can sit and crochet and listen to podcasts without melting.

Progress on the Gemstone Blanket pattern is coming along nicely and i'll be ready to release it next week.  So excited to share it with you.  As you can see by the image here, the colours for this project were inspired by a selection of gemstones from my collection; more on this later. 

Over the past few weeks i've been enjoying walking with our dog in the evening; something so many people are unable to do right now.  I started taking photographs of flowers to send to family members who are in lock-down and not allowed daily exercise, and those who are elderly and struggling to get out and about.  It's become a bit of a thing with them all to get these floral photographs from me.

I don't know about you but i've definitely become more aware of tiny changes in my neighbourhood each day.  How many times in the past have I walked past these neighbourhood plants and flowers and not given them much notice?  Now with outings being limited, the experience has been one of drinking in as much of the outdoor surroundings as possible.

Here are some of the beauties from last night's walk.

As we made our way back home, we noticed this little face peeping at us from behind some tall grass close to a neighbour's house.  They sat there for ages watching us.  It was so lovely and really made the perfect end to the day; especially for me because of my fascination with Foxes.

On Monday I shared the recipe for my favourite Ginger Biscuits and have some lovely messages from people wanting to try them.  I hope they do because they are very tasty and very easy to make.  You'll find the recipe for them and some other favourites of mine over here.