Friday, 17 January 2014

Culinary adventures

Apart from knitting, crochet, weaving and occasional sewing, I have another passion.  I love cooking.  As a teenager living at home, I never bothered to learn to cook.  The most I could make was a cheese omelette, made with 2 eggs and 1 triangle of Laughing cow cheese.  Mmmmm - yum!

When I left home, many,many years ago to head off to University in a foreign land, I realised that I missed Malaysian food a lot.  Being a poor student, the only way to remedy that was to learn to cook.  Many expensive phone calls to Mum later, I learnt to cook.  I've not looked back since.  I love learning to make new dishes, cooking the same old family favourites, baking.... It does help that hubby and the children love to eat and they're adventurous.

Over the holidays, the children and I tried making cured salmon.  It was inspired by an episode of the Hairy Bikers cookery show.  After a little research on the interwebs, here's my recipe:

Gin cured salmon

500g side of salmon
5 tbsp of sea salt
5 tbsp of sugar
small bunch of dill
zest of 2 lemons
5 tbsp of gin

1 Pat the salmon dry and check for bones.

2. Place salmon on a sheet of clingfilm.

3.  Mix all the curing ingredients in a bowl.  Rub into both sides of the salmon.  Wrap the fish tightly in clingfilm.  Place in a shallow dish.  Weigh it down with something heavy.  I used a bottle of bubbly (which needed to be drunk with salmon!).  Leave it in the fridge for a night or two.

4.  When you're ready to serve, slice the salmon fillet into thin slices.  I served them on slices of crusty baguette, thinly sliced cooked beetroot and a dollop of creme fraiche.

I'm feeling hungry now....

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Feeling blue?

For anyone who knows me, I'm really not a Winter person at all.  I hate the cold, the grey, the wet, the long dark days....  So it doesn't surprise me at all that my next 2 projects were blue and grey.  There's a winter theme here!!

First up, is a simple ribbed manly cowl for hubby's BFF.  It's knitted in Sokkusu X in Lapis and HB2.  In fact, I thought the skein wasn't dyed very well as it had quite a light patch through it.  Having knitted it up, I think it looks quite nice.  There's a bit more variegation in the finished item.  I used the HB2 only in the corrugated ribbing so it isn't very obvious.

My next project is another woven scarf.  I had woven it just before Christmas and it was hubby's present.  I used 3 colours of Sokkusu O.  The warp is Lapis and Sky Blue.  The weft is Bones.  It's definitely a manly colour choice.  It's another plain weave scarf.  I love making plain weave scarves as it lets the colours stand out.  I've got some interesting colour choices for my upcoming woven projects.  I'm not sure how it's going to turn out but I'm hopeful it'll work out!  Keep your eyes peeled!

Friday, 3 January 2014

New directions

I do love learning something new.  I learnt to weave in 2013.  I bought a rigid heddle loom ages ago and had a lesson from a weaver.  There it sat for years, half completed and very much unloved.

I made the decision to remove this project and make a fresh start.  Several youtube lessons later and I was ready to start.  I made a very simple plain weave scarf.  I used Fontainebleau in Sokkusu O as the warp and Triton in Sokkusu O as the weft.  A few evenings later, I completed the scarf!!  It wasn't perfect but it wasn't too bad for a first attempt.  Tension was the main problem,  The edges were a bit wonky.  It's not very even. Having said that, I'm inspired to make more.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

New Year and new start

Happy New Year!!  

I can't quite believe how quickly another year has gone by.  I remember having this exact thought, exactly a year ago.  And here we are, one year later......

2013 had been a year of changes and new adventures.  The new business is still in its infancy but going well. I'm learning a lot about running the business.  I'm having loads of fun with the dyeing.  I'm so grateful for all the support from my wonderful friends, family and customers.  Thank you!!!

One of the drawbacks about making your hobby into the day job, is losing some of the love and enthusiasm for the crafting.  For the last 2 -3 years, this is how I felt.  My Ravelry project page hadn't been updated.  I have tons of started but not finished projects.  I'm surrounded by so much yarn that I'm not interested in yarns, or projects.  Towards the end of this year, I made the decision to actually make and finish some projects.  And to enjoy the crafting.  One of the projects that I really enjoyed was making the button ornaments.  In fact, the whole family got involved too and we had a brilliant time.

My next (almost completed) project is a crochet wreath.   There are so many beautiful crochet wreaths out there and I was inspired to make one too.  It took me a few days to crochet the striped band and the snowman.  I ran out of time to crochet the snowballs but luckily, the white styrofoam balls look OK.  I have a whole year now to put the finishing touches!!

My New Year's resolution, with regards to crafting, is to keep making.  I love making things whether it's knitting, crochet, food, sewing, jewellery and I must remember this.