Shop Update 12.02.16

This week’s update is all about something new – scrap balls.
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Last week I blogged about making odd socks, and was quickly asked about selling the yarn for these.

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I suspect these might be a one off – they’re fiddly and time consuming to make, although it’s been great fun putting the colours together.

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Given this, I’ll be adding the scrap balls to the sale section of the shop – and that means that all of the proceeds from then will go to Shelter. Each scrap ball will cost £15.

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The scrap balls are made from our British wool and nylon yarn which has 400m to 100g.

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Each scrap ball will weigh at least 95 grams, and will contain at least 15 colours (probably more). The different colours are knotted together and there will be between 1 and 8 grams of each colour.

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Each scrap ball will be unique – even if they contain the same colours the proportions and order of the colour will be different.

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You’ll be able to browse the  full scrap ball selection from 1800 on Friday  12th January, then buy from 1900.

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The yarns above will be in the shop from 1900 on Friday 12th February.

Happy shopping

Joy

 

 

 

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Print – and a Giveaway.

Anyone who follows me on instagram (I’m theknittinggoddess) will have seen lots of pictures of screen prints last Thursday.

I was at college, and given a huge range of coloured ink to play with I decided I’d like to play with stacking skeins.

Here’s what I was aiming for.

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These panels will be turned into zip pouches and will be in the shop in a couple of weeks time.

It took me a few goes to get everything lined up perfectly.

I loved a couple of the panels which went a little wrong, so I’ve turned them into a zip pouch.

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The pouch is made with heavy cotton canvas .

Measurements are

length along the zip 32cm

length along the base 25cm

height 20cm

width at base 8cm

If you’d like to win this bag, leave me a comment telling me about the the best mistake you ever made. Comments are moderated, so it might take  while for your comment to show up.

I’ll choose my favourite next Wednesday at 1800.

I’m happy to post the prize anywhere in the world.

Probably obvious, but there’s no alternative prize and my decision is final.

 

 

 

 

 

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Where We’ll Be – Yarn Shows

We’re looking forward to several yarn shows this year.

First up is the Edinburgh Yarn Festival on the 18th and 19th of March. We’ll be launching a new yarn – and there will be a couple of other new things as well which I’ll talk more about nearer the time.

Then a very little show – not so much a yarn show, more a craft event as part of a folk festival. Shepley Folk Festival runs from the 20th to 22nd of May. Last year was great fun – and a good chance to chat to lots of people.

Next up is a lovely little local festival for us – Leeds Wool Festival on 4th June. This is held at Armley Mills, and just that makes it well worth a visit.

I’m sorry that we’ll be missing out on Fibre East this year – it’s on the 30th and 31st of July. Unfortunately there’s some family stuff which needs to take priority. I’m sure it will be another good year though – although I’m a little worried about what the weather might decide to do (it’s alternated between torrential rain and baking sun over the last 3 years.

We’re hoping to exhibit at Yarndale on the 24th and 25th of September, but it’s too early for exhibitors to have been confirmed yet. Fingers crossed.

Finally we’re thinking about the Knitting and Stitching show in Harrogate on the 24th to 27th November. On one hand it’s very easy because it’s a five minute walk down the road. On the other hand it’s 4 days of show – and by day 3 it feels like it’s been going on for quite long enough already. So no final decision on that one yet.

Now that I see that lot as a list, my to do list feels like it needs to be a whole lot longer.

 

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Bake – Marshmallow Teacake Traybake

We had friends visiting over the weekend, which is always the perfect excuse to bake.

Recipes need to be gluten free, and over time I’m finding out what works well with gluten free flours and what needs to be avoided.

This recipe is a variation on Tunnock’s Tea Cakes – but a whole lot simpler to pull together.

I’m a great fan of tray bakes, and although there are three stages to this one, none takes long to do. The result is rich and delicious – and very, very moreish.

I used a 20cm (8 inch) brownie tin for this recipe – you’ll need something which allows for at least 4 cm depth.

Line the tin with non stick baking paper.

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Tiffin base

125g butter

150g gluten free digestive biscuits

1 tablespoon golden syrup

300g chocolate – I used 1/2 milk and half plain for a sweetish base, but I’d use all dark chocolate for a slightly more grown up taste.

Method:

Bash the biscuits into fine crumbs.

Melt the butter, syrup and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water.

Stir in the biscuit crumbs, mix to combine, pour into the lined tin and level out.

This layer needs to set before you add the marshmallow layer, so if you’re in a rush pop the tin in the fridge to speed things up.

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Marshmallow layer

6 leaves gelatine

2 large free range egg whites

pinch of salt

350g  caster sugar

1 tablespoon liquid glucose or golden syrup

150ml water

Method:

Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water and set aside to soak while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add 1 tbsp of the caster sugar and salt, and whisk until mixture forms stiff peaks.

(Every marshmallow recipe I’ve read tells you not to do this yet, but to wait until your sugar syrup is almost ready. I’ve found that the syrup is so quick to make that there’s no harm done to the egg whites in the time they have to wait)

Combine the remaining caster sugar,  glucose or golden syrup and water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to the boil then cook steadily until the syrup reaches 115 degrees C  ( 248 degrees F) on a sugar thermometer (see headnote).

Remove the pan from the heat.Drain the softened gelatine add to the whisked egg white mix,  then carefully pour the syrup into the whipped egg whites, continuing to whisk on low speed. Don’t worry when the mixture foams up, this is supposed to happen. Increase the speed to medium and whisk for a further 3 – 4 minutes until thick and glossy.

Scrape into your tin and level out. The mixture needs a couple of hours to set and even then it will still be very sticky – usually you’d coat it with icing sugar and cornflour. I’ve found the best way to cover the tin is to rest a larger baking sheet on top – the marshmallow mix will stick to cling film.

Once the marshmallow is set, remove the tray back from the tin. The marshmallow mix will have stuck to the baking paper, so run a warmed knife round the edges to loosen it.

Using a warmed knife cut the slab of biscuit and mallow into squares. I cut 6 rows either way – but feel free to go for a daintier or heartier option.

Coating 

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200g milk chocolate (or plain if you prefer)

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and allow to cool slightly.

I used a silicone pastry brush to pain melted chocolate onto the top and sides of each square – but if you’re feeling brave you could dip the marshmallow into the melted chocolate.

Leave the coated squares on baking paper until the chocolate has set.

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Eat.

 

 

 

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Shop update 05.02.16

This week it’s all about the mini skeins.

First up a restock of some gradient sets

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rainbow

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shades of pink

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shades of brown

We’ve had lucky dip sets of mini skeins in the shop for a few weeks, but I appreciate that not everyone loves random colours. I’ve picked out 10 sets of 5 skeins and taken photos so you know exactly what you’re getting. As with everything else in the sale shop all of the proceeds from these will go to Shelter.

These would make a great beginning to a pair of scrap ball socks.

They’ll be labelled as packs 1 to 10.

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The yarns above will be in the shop from 1900 on Friday 5th February.

Happy shopping

Joy

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Odd Socks

When we buy our yarn in arrives with us in 100 gram hanks. So to make mini skeins the big hanks are dyed and then split up.

Sometimes there’s a bit extra, and that gets wound up using the ball winder.

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The results are colourful.

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However charming these cakes of colour are, I suspect that they’re starting to breed. So they’re going to be turned into odd socks.

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Very odd socks.

It’s just as well that Bobbie doesn’t view matching socks as anything like essential.

 

 

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A Few Photos

Signing up for a photography class with Alex Gaites at Leeds College of Art has seen me doing some crazy things.

Just over a week ago a group of us ended up standing on a soggy bit of grass, aiming cameras down onto a stretch of motorway.

Why?

To learn about shutter speeds, and what happens when you combine a fast moving object with a slow shutter speed. And to provide lots of entertainment to members of the public.

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I love the ghostly look of the white car in this photo.

After that excitement we returned to college and were let loose in the photography studio to find out about painting with light. Or prancing about in the dark while holding bicycle lights.

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There’s a person in that photo – just a well hidden person. I think I could have masses of fun with this, and I’m planning to borrow a smallish child who I think will be equally entertained by the idea.

Feeling in need of a little practise time. we headed off to Harlow Carr on Friday. Let’s just say it was very windy, which gave me the chance to try taking photos with longer exposures and seeing what happened.

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Not perfect by a long way – but loads of fun. There was cake afterwards in Betty’s, but it moved too fast for any evidence to be captured on camera.

 

 

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