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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Baking ~ Lady Grey Tea Loaf

A nice light and fruity tea loaf made with simple ingredients, perfect for Sunday afternoons:

Lady Grey Tea Loaf

300 ml strong black tea (lady grey/Earl Grey are nice for this)
300g mixed dried fruit (anything you have to hand, raisins, sultanas, apricots, dates, cranberries etc)
25g mixed peel
60g soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons soft butter.
2 eggs, beaten
275g plain flour + 2.5 teaspoons baking powder, sifted together
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons honey to glaze

Oven preheated to 170 deg.

First brew the tea, then pour into a pan and add the fruit. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat, stir in the sugar and butter and let it cool.

Line a loaf tin with non stick baking paper.

Add the beaten eggs to the fruit mixture. Mix together all the dry ingredients and sift into the fruit mixture, stir in gently but thoroughly, try not to overwork the mixture.

Pour into the tin, smooth the surface and bake for 50 mins- 1 hour. It will be well risen and nicely browned on top, it should feel springy in the middle when you poke it with your finger.

Leave it to cool in the tin for 30 mins then turn it out onto a cooling rack. Warm the honey and brush over the top of the cake.

It will keep in an airtight container for a week and will stay nice and moist. Delicious plain or spread with butter.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Emptying the Bobbins & Tarndie Polwarth

I spent a few hours today plying and emptying some of my bobbins, I love the feeling when I have empty bobbins. Then I finally finished the batch of Halfbred that I started such a long time ago, and plyed up the last bit of the Shetland that was left over:

Halfbred, 446grams, 1425 mtrs, hopefully a sweaters worth of yarn.

Shetland, 984 mtrs, 350 grams

My next spin (starting in about 5 minutes) is going to be this beautiful fibre that I received recently from Australia, it's Tarndie Polwarth. 100g white, 50g grey and 50g dark chocolate. I'm looking forward to spinning this and I like to spin Polwarth by putting a lot of twist into both the singles and the plying as it can poof up considerably when soaked/washed.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Making lampshades......

Yesterday I made a drum style lampshade with a fancy pom pom edging, it proved to be much easier than I thought it would be!

I will post a step by step guide on how to make these next week - I need to buy another set of rings.

I also finally finished spinning and plying some fibre that's been on the wheel since last year, terrible I know:
Gradient spun merino
heavy laceweight
'N' plyed
720 mtrs

It's a beautiful day, making me want to get out in the garden and start planting, but it's way too early for that. Spring is almost here, the daffodils and crocus' are in bloom:

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Birthday Flowers and Special Yarn...

I have always loved receiving birthday flowers, they make me smile right down to my toes and brighten up my day:

Special yarn, that I will admit, - when unwrapped made me smile all over again:

2 skeins of Wollmeise pure in Xaverl and Mauseschwanzchen.

What a gorgeous gift combo!

Friday, August 14, 2015


Time goes by so quickly, it's quite a while since I posted here - my life has been very busy to say to the least. More home renovations, taking on more hours at the day job, family visiting from overseas, family emigrating from overseas, it's all been happening and it's been difficult to find any time to enjoy any crafting - only in the past couple of weeks have I had any 'me' time. So what did I do? I got the spinning wheel out of course.

I bought 100g of sock blend combed top, undyed, here's what I did with it:

I spun a very fine single then 'N' plyed it for a springy, soft and bouncy strong sock yarn.

After a visit to the dyepot:

350 mtrs of sock yarn, I enjoyed spinning it more than I thought I would. The fibre is 80% soft corriedale & 20% nylon.

Then I worked on spinning a small amount of merino that's for a challenge, I had 21g of it and spun it the same as the sock blend:

135 mtrs of lovely soft merino. Just got to decide what to make with it now, there's also a small skein of romney that I spun to go with it~

45g, 280 mtrs. 'N' plyed.

Now I'm working on finishing up some spinning that's been on the wheel for a very long time, I'm about halfway through spinning very fine singles as a gradient yarn. Once the singles are done they will be 'N' plyed to keep the colour changes nice and clean. photo's will follow of my progress.