24 January 2010

a gray day

It was very gray on the allotments today: from gray skies...

to gray wellies:

Luckily we had a zingy lemon cake to perk things up! Our Seed Store Cafe traybake-of-the-week was Mary Berry's Iced Lemon Traybake:

The recipe was nearly the same as that for my favorite Lemon Drizzle Traybake, just substituting a lemon glacé icing for the crunchy drizzle topping. Super-light and lemony with a terrifically tart top and (after the debacle last week) no sinkage! The perfect way to get over a gray day.

20 January 2010

allotment attire

While Teddington may have looked like this just a few days ago...

and I'm still bundled up in my scarf, we're already thinking ahead to spring allotmenting. This of course means planting plans, compost, and seeds. But it also means new wellies (my old Hunters have finally fallen to pieces) and new his-and-hers tees,

because everything--even digging--is more fun when you're wearing a fab tee!

17 January 2010

solar scarf

The sun finally came out on Sunday, just in time to photograph my new Solar Scarf.

Knit in Rowan Cashsoft DK, the four cables are finished on the ends with blocks of ribbing:

Despite being a skinny scarf, the cables are thick and warm, so it's perfect for wearing in the Seed Store Cafe:

Unfortunately, my traybake-of-the-week (Gingerbread) sunk in the center--bah. And while a sprinkling of icing sugar helped to hide the dip, I'd be wary of making it again. I think I might try a smaller or Bundt-style ginger cake next time. Or maybe I should just stick with knitting...

11 January 2010

cold coffee

Despite subzero temperatures, the Seed Store Cafe is up and running. And this weekend we sold a record number of hot chocolates (in addition to the regular teas and coffees) to plotholders who'd stopped by to see how their sheds had fared in the snow.

I'm on the rota for even more baking this year. And as traybakes are quick to make and can be cut into lots of slices, I thought I'd bake my way through the traybakes in Mary Berry's Baking Bible:

Mary Berry's Lemon Drizzle Traybake is already a firm favorite in the cafe, so I started with the Coffee and Walnut Traybake:

The cake was lovely and light, and the coffee buttercream icing, made using Marks & Spencer's new Coffee Extract, was scrumptious. While I still prefer my coffee in a cup, coffee-and-walnut cake fans gave it a big thumbs up!

So now just need to decide on the traybake for next Sunday...Iced Lemon, Orange, Gingerbread?

07 January 2010

cowls for the cold

For ages it seemed every village in England had been blanketed in snow except Teddington. But now we have our very own white stuff. Hurrah!

And this of course necessitates new winter accessories. Hence the Pashmina Cowl from Joelle Hoverson's Last-Minute Knitted Gifts:

I knit the cowl using the suggested yarn, Joseph Galler Pashmina I, which is unbelievably soft. And while it drapes beautifully, the cowl can also be folded in half and worn standing up when bitter winds blow.

As I seem incapable of making just one of anything (think Lounge Pants...ahem, cough, cough!) I knit one up in gray as well:

So I'm all ready for more snow--please? Because a few centimeters just isn't enough!

05 January 2010

ravelry reverie

The start of the New Year means looking back and looking forward.

Looking forward, Jo has finally convinced me to add pictures to my Ravelry account. And this means looking back to find pictures of projects that have since found new homes.

How I wish I'd photographed all those little mittens-on-strings I knit while nannying. But luckily I still have pictures of Jumbo:

He was knit using the pattern in Zoë Mellor's Knitted Toys: 25 Fresh and Fabulous Designs. But as I wasn't keen on the felt ears in the original design, I knitted and attached the elephant ears from Joelle Hoverson's Last-Minute Knitted Gifts.

Now looking forward again, I'm wondering if I should knit another Jumbo: the perfect companion for our elephant in the living room!