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1  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Help for my scones on: November 24, 2010 03:00:12 PM
I'm having problems making scones that are not like stones.
At first I suspected my oven so I bought an oven thermometer and it turns out it's perfect. 
It must be me then!

Do you have any tips for getting them to rise?

2  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Scottish square sausages (Lorne sausage) on: November 24, 2010 02:52:36 PM
We moved to the US 3 years ago, and one of the things I miss the most about home is a roll and square sausage.  It's a particularly Scottish thing and is part of the perfect Sunday morning hangover cure. 

Yum yum yum yum, try this..... it's dead easy.

1lb of 85% or 80% ground beef
1lb of ground pork
2 cups of breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon of onion salt
1 teaspoon of ground pepper
1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of salt

Mix all the dry stuff together, mix the meats together then add to the dry stuff.
You could use a mixer, but it's more satisfying to get your hands in there and mush it all together really really well.  If won't come together you can add a wee bit of water (probably only about a tablespoon max).  Keep going till everything tends to come together in a big lump.

Line a 2lb loaf tin with cling film and press the mixture as firmly as you can into it.  Make sure you get all the corners.
Cover the top with cling film and put in the freezer for an hour to help it set. 
After an hour, take it out and slice with a really sharp, unserrated knife into slices about 1cm (umm that's about 0.4 inches)  I think you get about 12 sausages. 

If you're storing it you can wrap it in greaseproof paper or parchment. 

To cook it, oh yum.  You can broil them or fry them like burgers.  Best eaten on a nice unsweet roll like a kaiser roll with ketchup, or if you're lucky enough to have any, brown sauce like Daddy's or HP.

Wash it down with a cup of tea. 

Again, I say yum.

3  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / kakashi hatake coin purse on: May 21, 2010 01:43:20 PM

Ok, I admit it, I have no idea what this is all about, apart from it's a cartoon, lol.
My 17 year old son's 15 year old girlfriend "loves" it.

So, I made this other one while I was in a pursey mood, and I love this wee guy!

Ohhhh nooooo!
His mouth is the bottom ring from a bottle of coke, you know the bit you crrraaackkk when you open it?
Who knew you could have that much fun with 2 beads and an old coke bottle?

4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Help? Antique shell necklace.... on: May 19, 2010 09:19:31 AM
I inherited this broken necklace about ohhhh 20 years ago.  I've kept it in a baby sock all that time because I have no idea how to fix it, or rather, reconstruct it.
It came from my Ma, who was my Dad's mum, and she got it from her husband in the 1920s. 
The cotton thread in the middle has all but disintegrated, and some of the shells have crumbled in the sock over all these years, so I think it's time to do something with it.

What kind of thread should I use to restring these?  Is there a special kind of very thin needle I should use?  Each of these are about 4mm long.

Many thanks in advance for any advice
5  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Super fast super easy friendship bracelets on: May 19, 2010 08:59:41 AM

These are so fast and so easy I almost feel like a fraud putting them up.
I am going home to Scotland next month and started making these for all the girlies I'm going to visit and drink too much wine with.  They take less than a minute to make but are really cute with the shell buttons.

All you need:
Lion Suede yarn, Teal and Spice
(or anything else thick enough to stand alone... but suede stuff doesn't fray at the ends)
A big bargain bag of shell buttons from Walmart
A 6.0mm crochet hook (J)

Thread the buttons onto the yarn (this is horrible, but I licked the yard to make it go through the holes then cut that bit off)
I made 3 chain, slid a button up, chained 3 more, put a button up... etc. 
Even finishing is too easy, just pull the yarn through and use the end to fasten the bracelet.

This would be a great project for a bunch of girls like brownies or guides, you could entertain a whole troup with one ball of yarn!

Just for interest, this is what they look like undecorated

I'm off to buy some wooden beads... oh the decorating possibilities!!!!!

Thanks for looking!

6  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Bag binge on: May 09, 2010 08:12:54 AM

I got a book from the library and learned how to make bobbles!
I just love the way the strap turned out on the peace sign bag..I'd actually almost run out of the brown yarn, so I did a big long chain (150) in the brown and changed to the red for the rest.  Isn't that cool the way it gives you a wee pattern?  That's the back side of the strap, it was so nice I decided it would become the front.

The wee charms were absent minded fun. 

I think the one that looks like a target is my favourite, and it also has my very first bobbles on it.

Thanks for looking
7  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / hot water bottle cozy (pattern too) on: May 03, 2010 07:01:09 AM
I got round to this just as the thermometer hit 92 yesterday.
Still, it'll keep.

This is a bit plain and there is a BIG space on the front just asking for some kind of decoration, but it's what I was asked for Smiley  

Worsted weight yarn and a J hook
This is worked in the round, no seams
I know that it's usual to use stitch markers and count your rows etc, but I use the hold up and see method, so I hope you can follow this.
Also, check before you begin that your hot water bottle will fit, I started with 15 stitches because that was how big the very bottom of the bottle was.  

Chain 17 (15 and 2 to count as your first hdc)
First round
hdc into second 3rd chain from hook until second last stitch on chain
2hdc into last stitch, one chain, 2hdc into the other side of the last chain (you're going back down the other side of the chain now)
2hdc into each chain until second last stitch on chain
2hdc into last stitch, one chain then one hdc into the first chain on the other side
Join to the turning 2 chains with a slip stitch

Second round
Chain 2 (this counts as your first hdc)
hdc in each stitch around to last stitch
2hdc in the chain of the previous round
hdc in each stitch until the turn again, and 2dc in the chain of previous round again.
hdc in next stitch the join with a slip stitch to your first hdc of this row.

Third round
hdc in each stitch around, don't join with a slip stitch

Fourth round
hdc in each stitch in the round.
(continue until the cozy is tall enough to reach the neck of your hot water bottle)

The cozy will be a nice envelope shape by this point, with well defined turns, so that when you lay if flat, you will be able to see where the fold falls.
This is where you make the strap
One stitch in from the fold, sc 7 stitches, chain 1 to turn
(Chain counts as your first sc)
sc 6, chain 1, turn
continue until your strap is 1/2 inch as long as you like, then make a button hole
sc1 in second stitch from hook, chain 3, 2sc, chain 1 to turn
6sc, finish off

Strap 2
Remember you are starting strap 2 on the same side of your work as you started strap 1!
Again, lay the work flat and this time count 8 stitches in
sc 7 stitches, chain 1 to turn
(Chain counts as your first sc)
sc 6, chain 1, turn
continue until your strap is 1/2 inch as long as strap 1, then make a button hole
sc1 in second stitch from hook, chain 3, 2sc, chain 1 to turn
6sc, finish off

Using contrasting colour,
6sc in a magic ring, join with a slip stitch to first stitch, chain 1
Using main colour
1sc in same stitch as the first chain
2sc in each stitch around, join with slip stitch to first chain, chain 1
Using contrasting colour
1sc, 1dc all the way around, join with a slip stitch, finish off, leave a 18inch tail.

Using a yarn needle, use the tail to make a continuous slip stitch through the front loops of each stitch around.
Pull the yarn tight and it makes a wee mushroomy shape. I stuffed all the tails from changing colours inside which stuffed it enough.

Sew the button into the middle of the cozy leaving a long enough "stalk" to fit both straps' thickness, pull the straps over to close.
8  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Baby boy blanket finished! on: April 29, 2010 08:24:38 AM
This didn't take me weeks, but I seemed to get a bit obsessed with it, I've done this in about 48 hours.
The pattern was from Chris Simon (www.yarncrazy.com the pattern is called Butterfly Garden, it's really easy and satisfying, but it's like a weird optical illusion, she sees butterflies in the negative, I see dragonflies in the positive)

I used Pattens Beehive Baby sport in Bonnet Blue and Angel White and a F hook.
The yarn is adorably soft, but I have to say, it's a bit inconsistant.. there were a good few blobby bits and less than tightly wound bits. I did try these squares with a heavier yarn though, and it really didn't look good, so I stuck to Patons.

My squares are almost square!  I'm astounded! I think I might be crochetgrowingup.

Thanks for looking Smiley

9  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Travel weary wee guy on: April 26, 2010 12:24:18 PM

I was on a road trip last week to Canada, and I made tons of stuff most of which I gave away to relatives.

This wee guy has just had enough of all this nonsense.. he can't even make eye contact now we're home.

Tut, teenagers.

10  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / baby shoes on: April 14, 2010 01:54:54 PM
I seem to have completely forgotten the way to make baby shoes, and when I try to follow a pattern I can't get 2 to look the same.
Does anyone have a simple pattern that describes in stupid person terms the way to change a boat shape sole and side of foot to a shoe.... I can't grasp the top of the shoe bit?!

I was making these when I was 10!  Duh
Thanks in advance Smiley
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