Sophie’s Universe part 6 and 7

12842404_10154069496058487_1021034734_oWell, I am moving swiftly through this pattern and loving every minute of it.

I have so enjoyed making these last few rows but especially the roses right at the very end of the pattern. They look far more complicated than they are and I cannot recommend them enough for sheer pleasure factor.

Rose

You are also advised to block your Sophie at this point as it does start to curl up on the edges. I couldn’t find my blocking pins anywhere so improvised on the ironing board and then on the floor. Think it worked fairly well.

Sophie being blocked, sort of!

Links to the pattern video tutorials can be found here and the link to the original written pattern can be found here

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Not much more to add as the pattern pages are so full of useful tips and tricks, there is not much more for me to add other than, please, please, please do give this a go. Between the written pattern with really comprehensive pictures and the video tutorials you have all the tools you need to make a truly beautiful thing 🙂

 

Enjoy,

 

Lx

A Curry recipe for those who don’t like curry and for those who do :)

IMG_1984I am part of a family who appear to be fairly partial to a curry. I however, do not normally like curry’s as they all seem to contain coriander (shudders)  that has been applied with a somewhat heavy hand 😦 not to mention far too much heat. I don’t mind some warmth but do not enjoy the sensation of a burning tongue while I am eating.

I must admit as well though, to being influenced in part by the pretty dodgy curries I had tried as a teenager. These put me off for the best part of twenty years. Vesta curry anyone?

Anyway, after much deliberation, a fair amount of procrastination and a nagging husband, I decided to have a go at a curry to see if I can make something that I would like as much as the rest of the family.

I turned to Madhur Jaffrey’s book “Curry Easy” that I had picked up fairly cheaply online, had a scroll though and found a recipe that had no coriander in it and a fair amount of spices that I already had in my cupboard. There is nothing worse than wanting to try a recipe and then have to go out and buy half a dozen ingredients that you will never use again 😦

The curry in question is called Kerala-style Chicken Curry. It is a really flavourful curry that is not hot. We served it with a wholemeal basmati, but I would certainly advise perhaps making more accompaniments for this if you are feeding hungry family members. The recipe claims to serve 4, we only served 3 with it, but we are gannets at the best of times 🙂

I sadly or stupidly did not take any photos of this curry as it was my first attempt, I genuinely did not think it would be blog worthy. Turns out it was the most delicious meal I have made this year and resulted in husband and first born offspring making all sorts of yummy noises 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole brown mustard seeds
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into half rings
  • 2 tsp peeled and freshly grated fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1.25 kg chicken pieces, skinned
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet red paprika
  • 15-20 fresh curry leaves or 8 fresh basil leaves (I used the basil as that is what I had)
  • 250ml coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

  • Oil into pan and heat up.
  • Once hot, add cumin and mustard seeds. Once the mustard begins to pop (seconds) add your onions and stir fry gently till browned lightly.
  • Now add your ginger, garlic, chicken, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and curry leaves. Stir for a minute
  • Add 250 ml water and bring to a simmer.
  • Cover, lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  • Remove lid and reduce down. Add coconut milk and cook for a minute.
  • Serve with rice.

Instead of a picture of a yummy curry, please enjoy this fabulous picture of one of our cats, Bernard 🙂

Bernard

Enjoy,

 

Lx

 

Sophie’s Universe, parts four and five

Sophie's Universe parts 4 and 5I am still loving this pattern but starting to find the written pattern is becoming increasingly complicated. I am now starting to use the video tutorials from It’s all in a nutshell more frequently just to make sure I have followed it right. Sometimes I have done a beautiful job, and sometimes I have done something a little random!!!!

It is really important to keep count as the blanket grows as I have managed to add the odd stitch here and there and occasionally lose them too. I can usually fix it on the next row. I’m sure I will eat my words later on but so far I’m getting away with it  (I think!)

I found it really useful as well to make notes as I went. Notes on colour choice and planned rounds to use it on. I also numbered my colours and popped them onto pegs. It helped a lot and is also a stupidly pleasing thing to do! 🙂 This tip came from the rather wonderful Attic24 blog – Blanket planning with Yarn pegs 🙂

This pattern really lends itself to a make it up as you go along approach with choosing of your colours. You can of course plan it out and make sure the leaves for example are always green. In my version of Sophie, one set of leaves are now parchment, and although I did twitch a bit with a hankering to frog that row. I am very glad I left it as it looks fine,  and as long as I try and hold back from telling people where I stuffed up no one will ever know (apart from you of course!!)

Sophie's Universe (1)

As ever a special shout out to my sons talented girlfriend Jasmine Poole, who did the photographs for this section of Sophie. Click here to have a look at her blog 🙂

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Now to get busy with the next section of Sophie, can’t wait to post 🙂

Enjoy,

 

Lx

P.S the last picture does include part 6 of my Sophie but love the pic that Jasmine took so included it anyway 🙂