Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy holidays!

Is it really Christmas?
It seems like it was yesterday, I was back from visiting my family in Australia last year just a few weeks before the holidays and suddenly it's Christmas again....
I am almost frightened by how quickly the past twelve months have gone but I guess it means that life hasn't been boring for me lately.

Anyway, I want to wish all my readers a peaceful Christmas with their loved ones and a new year of good things!

Enjoy the festivities!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Scarborough Fair Crochet Shawl Pattern

Finally ready and available in My Original Designs, on my Ravelry page and on Etsy.






Materials needed for a rectangular shawl that measures cm45 x cm170 -

approximately 150gr (1100 - 1200 yds) 2ply laceweight yarn,
1.6mm ( US 6 ) crochet hook.

Pattern includes written instructions and chart.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Scarborough Fair Shawl sneak peak

And here it is finally blocked!

Just over 120gr. of my favourite Lana Gatto laceweight wool in a lovely shade of sage green and less than one week of work at night time in front of tv.
The pattern is being tested by some lovely ladies from the Ravelry Testing Pool and will be available early next week.

On the knitting front, my favourite pastime has been designing and knitting scarves and neckwarmers, some of which can be found on ETSY such as Capuccino Scarf with pompoms-


Persimmon Neckwarmer-


A very versatile Mohair Scarflette - Neckwarmer - Shoulderette - that can be worn in different ways-

just to mention a few, and lastly another knit shawl in soft and warm lilac mohair.






Monday, November 23, 2009

Scarborough Fair Shawl

This is the suggestive name of my new crochet shawl pattern which will be ready just in time for Christmas. Curious? Sorry, you will have to wait for a few days. ;)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween and Pumpkin Risotto recipe.

Although Halloween does not belong to our tradition, it's not unusual to see it being celebrated here in Italy where on the 1st of November the catholic church celebrates All Saints, the following day it commemorates the dead and therefore the first two days of November are considered religious festivities. Nowdays our population is becoming more and more multicultural and influenced by culture and traditions of other countries. It is only natural, isn't it?

And Halloween means pumpkin. How about a delicious Pumpkin Risotto?

Ingredients for 3-4 servings
2 cups diced pumpkin
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 tblsp olive oil
chopped parsley
1 1/2 cups short grain rice
stock ( chicken, meat, or made with your favourite stock cubes )
2 tblsp grated parmesan cheese ( or your favourite mature cheese)
2 tsps butter ( optional)
salt and pepper to taste. ( you will probably find that you will not need to add salt because the stock is already very sapid and the cheese will add extra salt to the dish)

Sautee’ onion and pumpkin with the parsley and the oil until cooked and soft, adding a little water when needed. Add rice, stir for a few minutes, add stock gradually until the rice is cooked (absorbtion method), stirring often. Turn off the heat, add the cheese and the butter, stir well and serve hot.
Enjoy!! :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recycle!

The "health" of our planet is compromised, there is no doubt about it and there is no turning back. How sad! But each one of us can play a very important part in reducing the amount of trash we generate by re-using as many products as possible. I have thought of a nice way of decorating my home at Christmas using "trash", which also means saving money. ;)

Firstly, these crocheted Christmas tree ornaments made with cotton thread, beads and soda can tabs that I created for the Etsyhookers crochet challenge 7 -




It took me about four hours to complete both.

And how about these candle holders made with green and yellow plastic soda bottles. Don't they look like glass?







There's a bit of work involved into making these but I think the result is worth it.
I'm thinking about making a few more with clear plastic water bottles.

Think about it... Together we can save our planet for our children!




Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New crocheted projects

The Deep Raspberry Shawl went fast! :), and I quickly made this Pink Camellia Lace Shawl to replace it on Etsy




And this romantic accessory

Rose And Ruffles Scarf - Neckwarmer




Extra long, 200cm, it can be worn in many ways - wrapped many times around the neck or as a scarf. I made this without following a pattern using a wool/acrylic blend (80%wool, 20%acrylic) in black and light grey-brown.

As far as knitting is concerned, stay tuned: free scarf pattern coming soon!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Knit, crochet, cook.

One of the things I have neglected very much lately is cooking. I obviously cook every day, lunch and dinner, but nothing special. Being in Italy means eating pasta very often and I have plenty of personal recipes for tasty pasta sauces which are made in a jiffy. Which comes handy especially when it's hot or when I'm too taken by my work.
Although I like hot soup all year round, the rest of the family enjoys it only in the cold season with the exception of my "Peas and prawns pasta soup" which can be eaten hot or warm. It is delicious.
Here on the coast I can get the freshest seafood and I can assure you that using fresh prawns is the secret for making this dish a masterpiece!


Made it yesterday. And a banana - nut bread for which I didn't follow a recipe. I used my bread machine and the recipe for white bread with milk and one egg instead of water, a small piece of butter, a little honey, 2 mashed ripe bananas, raisins, chopped walnuts and hazelnuts, cinnamon.


Quite good. Plan to make another one tomorrow, but I will add a couple of tbls of sugar to the mixture this time.




Friday, September 11, 2009

Two new shawls on Etsy


Deep Raspberry crocheted triangular shawl


100% pure new italian fingering weight wool in deep raspberry. What a lovely shade! And the crocheted floral pin with bead gives it that extra touch... :)
(From my original pattern available on Etsy or here )

And.. Venezia Lace knitted wedding shawl




in 2ply cream- white wool blend and 5.5mm needles. It blocked out rather large- 200cm x 95cm. It's amazing how "stretchy" this stitch is. (My original pattern for the Venezia Shawl is available on Etsy or here)
I have always wanted to knit a wedding shawl. Probably because wedding shawls are not in the italian tradition, which is a pity.
Both listed in my Etsy shop - check them out!

Finally the warm season seems to have come to an end and the rain these days is such a welcome change, finally. Which means inspiration for new winter designs and items. My hobbies room is such a mess at the moment, with yarn balls all over the place not to mention needles and hooks. No, no pictures!!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Pattern sale - one more week!

My buy-one get-another-for-free offer has gone quite well and so I have decided to extend it for one more week. It will end on the 6th of September 2009. Don't miss it!