A panoply of (sometimes) lovingly handmade crud.

Tag Archives: quick

I wanted to join in with the Pussyhat Project, but I knew I couldn’t make the march, and I missed the postal deadline for donating hats. SO I decided instead to use this pink yarn I was given as a secret Santa present to make some mini cat hats.

You will need

  • A small amount of fingering weight pink yarn
  • 2.75mm DPNs/circular needles
  • 3mm DPNs/circular needles

1. Using smaller needles, CO 40 sts. Join to work in the round

2. K1P1 rib 6rnds

3. Change to larger needles. Work in stocking stitch for around 18 rounds, until total piece measures around 5.5cm/2 1/4in

4. Rearrange stitches onto two straight needles and Kitchener together


My travel knitting this year has been dedicated to Innocent hats. This isn’t entirely selfless as I’m trying to write a pattern for a baby hat, and I’m testing out different ways of doing the decreases. 

You will need

3.25mm circular needles/DPNs (or similar size)

A small amount of DK weight yarn. I used Baby Cashmerino for the brown and 

  1. CO 32 sts
  2. Work 5 rounds in K1P1 rib
  3. Garter stitch for 7 rounds, ending with a knit round
  4. K6 k2tog* *repeat to end of round 
  5. Garter stitch for 6 rounds, ending with a knit round
  6. K5 k2tog* *rep to end of round
  7. Garter stitch for 5 rounds
  8. Ssk k2 k2tog* *rep to end of round 
  9. K1 round 
  10. Garter stitch 3 rounds
  11. K1 k2tog* *rep to end of round (11sts rem)
  12. K1 round 
  13. Change colours and kfb in every stitch 
  14. K 12 rnds. 

Encourage the top to curl whichever way you prefer. I’m going to work on the top part as I think it could look better, but this is just the first iteration of the pattern.

This is my first bake in my new kitchen! I think these cookies came out pretty well even though it turned out that I had the wrong kind of flour, I’ve lost my raising agents in the move and my oven doesn’t have any markings indicating the temperature. May have to capitulate and buy and oven thermotmeter.

These cookies were well reviewed by all who tasted them despite the issues. They are soft and cakey with a delicate lemon flavour. I upped the lemon in the recipe I give below compared to the original. Since I use vanilla sugar, the cookies also have a lovely perfume, and the roll in icing sugar prior to the oven gives a slight crisp to the outside. I will try these again and report back on the difference!



Makes 16 cookies

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/8tsp bicarbonate of soda 
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar

Note: I used self raising flour in lieu of the flour and raising agents, hence my puffer cookies. 


1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F (or a random temperature in my case). Line two baking sheets with baking parchment.

2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 

3. Add vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice.

4. Stir in dry ingredients (except the icing sugar) until just combined.

5. Put the icing sugar into a small bowl. Form a heaped teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.


6. Bake for 9-11 minutes, until bottoms begin to brown and cookies look matte, rather than wet or shiny. Remove from oven and cool for about 3 minutes on tray before transferring to cooling rack.

I want to make it a thing to call a portion of this cake an ‘applie’. Essentially, this is a very simple cake laced with chunks of spiced apple. You can have it ready in around an hour, for all those occasions where you need cake at the last minute. The recipe I based these on was for ‘Apple brownies‘, which is extremely misleading as they contain no chocolate of any description and have a light texture quite unlike the dense gooiness of a decent brownie. This cake freezes really well too, so I might start freezing squares to take as my work snack. So domesticated.



  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar (you will need about 1/4 cup more if your apples are tart)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 medium eating apples, thinly sliced or chopped. Peel if you’re feeling fancy.
  • 1/2 cup (or more) chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • About 1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated if you can

Variations: Try throwing in a cup of fresh berries, or 1/2 cup of dried fruit or seeds.


  1. Preheat oven to 175 C
  2. Butter a 20x20cm (8x8in) tin, ideally loose-bottomed.
  3. Beat together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and mix for a few minutes until fluffy.
  4. Fold in the apple and nuts.
  5. Apple
  6. Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl
  7. Stir until just blended. The mixture will be very thick and seem to be almost all apple.
  8. Batter in bowl
  9. Spread evenly in the tin.
  10. Batter in tin
  11. I sprinkled a tablespoon of caster sugar over the top as I tasted the batter and worried it wouldn’t be quite sweet enough.
  12. Bake for 25-45mins, until a knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  13. Cooked
  14. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before turning out to cool on a wire rack.

These are tasty hot or cold.