Wednesday, October 15, 2008

FO: October Baby Sweater

autumn baby sweater - side

You'll have to excuse the lack of blogging. I do love our new house (the door to the roof terrace has a built in bottle opener, what's not to like?), but the whole moving palaver has certainly been a blow to knit-blogging.

The picture above is a recent FO I've dubbed the October Baby Sweater. Its based on Zimmermann's February Baby Sweater, but I cut out the lace, replaced it with stocking stitch and finished with a bit of autumnal leaf embroidery. The yarn is some tea-dyed bamboo/ wool and a bit of left-over brown 4ply. The leaves are placed to fall across the left side, and down that edge of the back. See also its ravelry page.

autumn baby sweater - back

Its for my lovely friend Nadiya, who along with her also-lovely husband Ian recently reproduced an equally lovely baby, little Jaan. Last week I packaged it up with two Baby Surprise Jackets and a batch of diabetic lactose-free brownies. Recipe follows, its easily adaptable for those who know no fear when it comes to the sugar and cow juice (though hard to vegan-ise, you need the eggs). After many years of searching, its my favourite brownie recipe.
  • 250g good quality dark chocolate.
  • 200g dairy-free margarine. Or, for dairy-freaks, 250g of butter.
  • 100g cocoa.
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
  • 200g perfect sweet. Or similar sugar substitute, or 250-300g fine sugar.
  • 40g plain flour. Use whatever type of flour works for your diet, though my personal preference is fine white cake flour.
  • Five eggs. Or four large ones.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Melt chocolate and fat. Slowly. While that's cooling, mix the dry ingredients together. Beat the eggs into the choc/fat mix. Make a well in the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the wet. You can also add nuts or fruit at this point - a chopped up Mars Bar is ace if you don't mind the sugar. Mix to a thick paste and pour into a brownie tray (or rather splat it rather than pour, the stuff is thick, a spatula is useful). Bake for about 20-25 mins. Its should still be quite squishy in the middle. Leave to cool and cook a bit further while it does so. They are gorgeous while still warm with yoghurt or ice cream, but they actually improve with age, so worth making a large batch and letting them last a day or two.


I'm currently in Leeds, giving a couple of seminars in their philosophy department. I might have an hour or so free tomorrow afternoon, depending on trains - anything I should catch? Next week, I'm off to Dublin for a few days (very excited, never been to Ireland) - again, any recommends?

autumn baby sweater - button band

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


This was meant to be a messy tuesdays post. But of course, I'm behind, and its now wednesday. I've decided that is appropriate.

We moved house over a week ago now, but we're not entirely unpacked yet and the mess is starting to upset me. Every time I walk across a room, I trip over something that hasn't got a home yet. So, to save my sanity, this photo utilises the macro setting to blur it all out behind a kitchen utensil*. I have too much work to do this week** to worry about the rest of the unpacking.

kitchen mess

It will get sorted in evenings and at the weekend(s). Eventually. And then the house will be lovely. We've bought a great bed, which actually has bookshelves built inside the base (its called a 'library bed'). That's got to help the unpacking.

There has been some knitting amongst all of this. Its a cotton tee with a heart texture pattern. Not very much, as the moving, cleaning, phoning up utilities companies (don't get me started on BT...) and general screaming into the abyss of boxes hasn't really left much time for yarn. Plus, as predicted, the bicycle has been a serious competitor to knitting. I hope it'll be done in a couple of weeks though, then I'll write up the pattern.

purple hearts

* I'm not entirely sure what this utensil is. We use it for fishing pasta out of water. Sort of like a slotted spoon, but wire based - more slots than spoon.

** I start my new job today. This afternoon, I'm moving offices.