Saturday, 13 August 2011

Cosy and miscellany

Yes I know the country has been in turmoil this week, but there are people more competent than myself who can comment on this, my blog, therefore, will be along its usual lines with articles on 1) knitting, 2) a recipe, 3) a podcast review and 4) a suggested site to visit (for welcome relief from the news of the week)
5)Twitter follow suggestion

This week I bought a copy of Let’s Knit as it had a nice shawl pattern, and on the front was a kit to make a tea cosy.  I made that cosy and thought to myself “wonder if I can design one?”  My forays into designing are new and very limited, but I realised that a tea cosy is a hat with 2 holes, one for spout and one for handle.  So I made a hat and put in steeks for cutting the two holes.  I decided to knit in the round so that I could avoid sewing seems and because I wanted to use the Sanquhar Dukes Pattern as the main pattern, and that is so much easier in the round.  Here is the pic of the finished cosy and some pattern notes underneath.
I will explain steeks in the very near future.
 This was made with Jamieson and Smith 2ply jumper weight, less than one ball of each colour was used, any 4 ply would be fine so long as pure wool because of the steeking.  If steeking not required then it wold be knitted flat and seamed top and bottom leaving holes for spout and handle.
Size 3.5 needles, and the Duke's Pattern requires 44 stitches, and I steeked with 10 sts, so a total of 108 sts casted on, with markers at 44, 54, 98,.  After about 34 rows knitted in any fair isle type stitch chosen, the steeks can be casted off and the top still knitted in the round, with regular decreasing every other row, starting with say k7 k2tog, then next decrease row will be k6, k2tog, then next dec row k5 k2 tog etc.  Odd multiples can just be accommodated.  If anyone would like more actual details just let me know.   When te steeks are cut they are just tacked down on wrong side for neatness if desired.  Then the cosy is joined at each side at the bottom for a few centimeters. 

HINT:  When making a hat or cosy and perfect fit required, then dampen the project and place it on the teapot it is to fit, or a bowl the right size if it is a hat, and let it dry naturally.
Recipe of this blog is:
Creamy pasta sauce. This tastes better than it sounds.   Every Summer we get a glut of cucumbers or courgettes and this recipe takes advantage of nature’s bounty.  Either cucumber, or courgettes (zucchini) or a combination of both can be used. 
Ingredients: about 4 large cucumbers, 1 large onion, knob of butter or margarine. carton of single cream or soya cream,
Method: peel and take seeds out of cucumbers/courgesttes, and chop the onions.  Place them in a pan and sauté in the margarine or butter, put lid on pan and leave them on very low light for at least 30 mins.  When they are really soft, (drain if  a lot of liquid has generated)  mash them down with potato masher and stir in cream, when reheated without boiling, pour the sauce over pasta of choice


Podcast Review:
NPR is National Public Radio in the US, and they produce some good podcasts, my favourite being “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, it is a satirical current affairs quiz and  is available on itunes, or via their site  Makes a change to listen to this rather than music in the car.
Suggested site to visit: Anyone who has had a cat in their life will recognise that cat in the short animations on this site: 

Twitter Suggestions:
For crafters:  @
 Daily twitters from Red Heart Yarns with loads of links to their massive free pattern data base for knitters and crocheters.
For non crafters:  @  
Always topical, witty and often funny.

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