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February 2016

Weekly Happiness: #5

So, how has your week been? 

I must say, I've been really enjoying my nights in front of the TV. The latest series of Call the Midwife and the new adaptation of John Le Carre's The Night Manager have ensured my bottom has been rooted firmly to the sofa with knitting and a cup of tea in hand.

Much to the neglect of my best attempts to get back into a regular reading routine (sigh...) I've also been re-watching some of my favourite TV shows and films whilst working on my knitting projects. I know it's very, very sad but I'll never become bored of watching the Harry Potter films or The West Wing. Likewise, I think listening to Stephen Fry read the HP audiobooks will always be my number 1 recommended cure for insomnia - his voice is so relaxing.

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  1. I'm really pleased with how this homemade Foccacia turned out: I made the dough in my bread machine, then baked it in the oven with sea salt & rosemary. The resulting italian sandwiches were amazing! | 2. One of those rare occasions on which I managed to take a selfie that I actually liked. | 3. My Chance of Snow cardigan is coming along really well - I can't wait to finish it and show it to you! | 4. I tried Thai food for the first time whilst lunching with my colleagues at Suk Saran. This was Black Pepper Beef - very nice but nothing too amazing. | 5. Sorting out the sock yarn scraps for my blanket. It's going to be colourful for sure! | 6. Honestly, these are the best green olives I've ever tasted - I polished off a whole pack in one sitting! You can pick them up at Abel & Cole or Waitrose. 

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WIP Wednesday: Little & Large

After the madness of knitting a pair of socks from scratch last week, I'm winding down this week by splitting my time over three different projects.

First up is my Chance of Snow cardigan, which has grown quite considerably from my last update. As you can see, I've now finished the body of the garment with just the pockets and sleeves left to work.

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As I'm quite tall, I've also added a considerable amount of extra length to the body so that I can be sure it will reach my hips. Most shop-bought tops/tees run too short. I kept trying it on whilst I was knitting, so I'm certain it's just right. 

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Recipe: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I strongly believe, that for every amateur baker or cook, there is at least one food item that they struggle to make. For myself, American style cookies and shortcrust pastry have always proven challenging. With cookies, every single batch I'd ever tried to make either spread into each other on the baking tray, crumbled as soon I tried to take them off the baking paper, or were overcooked. 

A fortnight ago, I became determined to overcome my 'cookie issues'. Over two weeks, I made endless batches of dough: I tried everything from refrigerating the dough overnight, to placing the baking tray in the freezer and I played around with the ingredient balances.

Finally, my two weeks of testing produced something edible. 

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Ta Dah! Neon Beach Socks

The Neon Beach Socks are finished! 

I managed to knit up the toe in my lunch break at work on Thursday and they've now been washed, blocked and are ready to wear...

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Yarn: Regia Fluormania in 'Neon Beach' 

(N.B - I only have one ball of this yarn range left now but don't worry, it's not being used any time soon - I'm all 'neoned' out for the time being) 

 I'm very pleased with how they've turned out and I love the effect that the pattern provides. It really 'pops': the slipped stitch ridges give an interesting textured contrast to the bright yarn. I'm extra proud, as the pattern is of my design, which I'll be writing up and posting soon.

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WIP Wednesday: The American Dream

Wow, three days into February already - I only noticed the date today!

Somewhat predictably, I'm already quite behind in my annual reading challenge and have so far only read two books (I'm aiming for 75 this year). Although I'm really cross with myself over this, I can't exactly say I've been feeling myself. My Doctor today confirmed what I've know for weeks; I'm quite severely anaemic, which would explain why I've been feeling generally tired and unwell recently.

In all honesty, I've been muddling along with a bit of a haze over my brain, and after a full days work, I've not been capable of focusing on my usual in-depth tomes of non-fiction. Knitting, however, has been a different matter; I've been doing socks that require very little active thought. 

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Chance of Snow Cardigan

I thought I'd surprise you all today and - shock, horror! - discuss knitting something other than socks. 

This neglected beauty is set to be a cardigan, which I started way back in September. As that turned out to be such a, err, eventful month involving overseas travel and job loss, I put it aside and haven't really touched it again until now.

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