Monty Mcvitty goes to work

Our little Monty has settled in beautifully at Mr Sharp’s office, and he takes his role very seriously indeed! Every morning he fills his little head with a dose of caffeine, nibbles on a biscuit (or three), and sets about helping Mr Sharp with whatever the day has in store:

Montgomery McVitty the accountant

Montgomery McVitty the telephone operator

Monty just loves manning the telephone lines. He sure does rock that headset! Hang on a minute….. Is Monty talking with his mouth full?! I will have to have words with him about that, how very rude……Tsk tsk!Mr Sharp and little Monty make a fabulous team, and I’m sure that if Monty had arms those two would be high fiving each other all day long. It’s wonderful to see them becoming such good friends, bless ’em! Between the two of them they manage to consume an extraordinary amount of biscuits, which gives me a fantastic excuse to get my bake on, something I get great pleasure from. And, as all the biccies get eaten by Monty and Mr Sharp, I am saved from the temptation of those calorific little blighters while it’s bikini season, phew! I can bake and stick to my bikini diet all at the same time, huzzah! Monty’s favourite biscuits by far are my Vanilla Shortbreads, which is lucky because they are also my favourite biscuits to bake! They are so ridiculously easy to make, and are completely fool-proof, so I urge you to give them a try, you won’t be disappointed: 

Ingredients:

  • 325g plain flour
  • 200g chilled salted butter
  • 125g golden caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large free range egg yolks

Method:

  • Tip the flour into a food processor. Cut the butter in to small pieces and drop them into the bowl, then whizz together until the mixture looks like bread crumbs
  • Add the sugar, vanilla and egg yolks and whizz to until it comes together as a dough.

OR

If you haven’t got a food processor, rub the butter in to the flour in a large bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and mix to a form dough with your hands.

  • Roll the dough in to a sausage shape approximately 5cm in diameter. Wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 30mins.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180c/gas4/fan 160c.
  • Once the dough has chilled, remove from the fridge and take off the cling film. Cut the dough in to slices 1cm thick and place on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
  • Bake in the oven for 18-20mins. Once cooked, sprinkle the shortbread with golden caster sugar while they are still warm.
  • Eat and make yummy noises, for they are darn tasty biscuits. Nom.

I hope you are all enjoying the fabulous weather we currently having here in old Londinium. It’s so good to see the sun again, I had almost forgotten what it looked like. Fingers crossed it will be here to stay for the duration of the Olympics! Today I shall mostly be making bunting, for bunting is awesome and I love it so. It’s impossible to be miserable in the presence of bunting, it’s just too darn jolly! xx

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Things I made last year

What with all the crazy-can’t-keep-up-stupidly-busy-ness that I encountered back in January, I completely forgot to post pictures of some of the gifts I made for people as part of my Handmade Christmas Pledge! Oops! Here is a selection of some of them:

A knitted wolf for Josephine

A knitted cat for Kayleigh. She called it Amy Cat! Aww!

A cowl for Jackie

A stocking for the cat.... ahem....

I foolishly forgot to take photographs of some of the gifts I made as I was in such an excited hurry to wrap them and put them under people’s trees! Must remember to take more photos. I absolutely loved taking and sticking to the handmade pledge; sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea and my balls of wool beats going out in the cold and battling the crazy crowds at the shops. I will definitely do it all again next Christmas, can’t wait xx

A handmade Christmas meets Sunday night knitting project

Oh my….. I appear to have fallen bottom over breasticles in love. ‘With what or whom?’ I hear you cry. Well, I shall tell you! I have fallen in love with (drumroll)…….wait for it……waaaaaaait for it………a knitting pattern. There, I said it. Don’t judge me, I’m happy.

As part of my quest for a handmade christmas I decided that as well as sewing some decorations for our chrimbo tree, I would also knit some. So, off I went to consult my knitting pattern bible, Ravelry. And there it was. Nestled in amongst the various Christmassy type patterns were these little fellows:

It was love at first sight! So under their spell was I that I was reaching for my knitting needles before I knew it. Just over an hour into my trance and the first stocking was birthed! I was completely smitten with the little fellow, it looked deliciously cute! This pattern is so wonderfully easy to follow, and the best part for me is that its knitted flat and then seamed. Most sock patterns are knitted in the round, and the be frank, I sometimes can’t be arsed with all the faffing that knitting in the round entails. I end up jabbing myself with the double pointed needles more times than is possible for any human to endure without throwing them across the room in a sulk, and I haven’t quite got to grips with the magic loop method yet, so this pattern is just perfect for the likes of me.

They will look simply wonderful on our little Christmas tree. I’m going to fill each one of them with a little gift or sweet treat for Mr Sharp to find. Well, that’s if our new little kitten doesn’t get to them first! If I had time I would knit twenty-four of them and make them into an advent calendar, but alas time is against me. Maybe next year aye? So far I have knitted three, but will be making as many as I can before we collect our tree in two weeks time, otherwise it may end up looking pretty bare…..

Mini Christmas Stockings

This fabulous pattern is available on Little Cotton Rabbits blog. You can access the mini stocking pattern by clicking here. A big thanks to the exceptionally talented Julie for sharing her pattern for free. Thank you Julie!

Happy Sunday folks, and happy knitting. Only 27 days until Christmas, eeep! xx

Little Pip meets baby Henry.

Little Pip the knitted rabbit has been on a very big adventure. In his little ship, the SS Parcel Box, he journeyed north on a sea of post to Staffordshire where he was united with his new owner, the adorably cute and very diddy little baby  Henry.

Pip is a very happy little bunny indeed. He is looking forward to lots of lovely cuddles and many more adventures with gorgeous little Henry.

Bless!

A week off, ah bliss!

I have got an entire 9 days off work, and I couldn’t be more excited about it. I intend to spend it drinking copious amounts of tea, taking the occasional nap, knitting blanket squares and little bunnies for easter, making a patchwork cot quilt for a baby boy, watching back to back River Cottage episodes, and cooking lots of yummy treats for my hardworking man to enjoy when he gets home from work.

 I have been working on a few commissioned items for the past couple of weeks which has been really good fun, and I thought you might like to meet them:

Ladles and jellyspoons, it is my pleasure to introduce you to Wolfgang Woolfingson the knitted wolf.

Rather excitingly, this little knitted wolf is going to live in Canada!! That is the furthest that my work has ever been sent! Giggle! I hear it gets quite nippy in Canada at this time of year, so I made little Wolfgang Woolfingson a very warm knitted coat to keep him nice and cozy on his very long trip.

Have a safe trip little knitted wolfgang, have a lovely time in Canada, and take very good care of your new owner.

 And now to meet little Pip the knitted rabbit, cousin to Tatty Babbit.

My fantastically lovely and fabulous friend Hannah has just become an Aunty for the very first time, and a very proud Aunty is she. Little Pip is a gift for her very new and teensy nephew Henry George who was born on Wednesday. Pip is currently winging his way first class to Staffordshire to meet his new owner. He was in such an excited rush however that he forgot his clothes! Ooops!

I will pop some warm clothes in the post to follow after him, but I’m sure little Henry will keep him warm in the meantime.

I love the feeling I get when I finish creating a toy and post it off to its new owner, it’s very exciting!

Ooo, I’ve just seen that the sun is shining outside, yay! I’m going to get out there and make the most of it before it goes into hiding again. Enjoy your day folks, have oodles of fun! Mwah! xxxx

Mmmmm, Onion Marmalade!

Why is it that whenever there is something that I HAVE to do, I end up doing something completely different? I had set aside this Saturday to write my UCAS personal statement (I’m applying to study costume production next year, yay! I really, really hope I get accepted…eeep!) but instead I ended up making onion marmalade. Ooops! How on earth did that happen?

The Urban Goblin (aka Lucy) had presented me a beautiful plait of onions as part of my payment for knitted Dennis, and I decided to put them to good use.

Armed with my River Cottage Jams and Preserves book (which, by the way, I highly recommend it if you like that sort of thing!), I set about making me a batch of onion marmalade.

I made my own labels using a great programme called Avery Design Pro5 lite which is available as a free download from here. It works very well with any self adhesive address labels that can be put through your printer. I was really pleased with how they turned out and had a lot of fun making them.

One of the jars is in my fridge and is encouraging me to eat far too much cheese…..  A toasted cheese and onion marmalade sandwich is absolutely divine! I’m going to stash the rest away to make some christmas hampers for my friends, and of course Lucy will receive a jar this week by way of thanks for the onions she gave me, thanks Lucy! xx

Another happy and very cute customer :-)

The very beautiful, spectacularly cute little baby Blaike with knitted kitty Callie!

My utterly wonderful friend Isi (who is currently all poorly sick with tonsill-nasty-itis, yuck! Poor Isi, get well soon my lovely! Mwah!) commissioned me to knit a little grey and white stripped kitty in a pink dress for little baby Blaike, and the other day she kindly sent me this piccie to show me the two of them together. I always really enjoy seeing my creations with their new owners, it gives me a genuine feeling of contentment. Apparently little Blaike holds the knitted kitty all the time and likes to suck it’s nose! How sweet is that? Oooop, I’m going all gooey now…. I can’t help it…. I’m going to have to say it…. awwwwwwwwww!!! And now for a random outburst of baby doting speak…. “iddybiddyboobooboowajawajawoodododoboo”! Ahem… Sorry about that… Now I just need to find me some squadgy cheeks to pinch… Any volunteers? Anyone? No? Oh well.