Saturday 31 January 2015

Winter Sale, knitting, recipe and he's 21!

Hello friends

A long chatty blog post today!
First off my eldest, Mitchell is 21 today!!
I remember my 21st clearly and I cannot believe I now have a son who is 21,
someone please stop time!
Here he is with a variety of pets....oh yes he's a bit of an animal lover!
With Imogen - posh name for a grumpy cat of ours!
Lucy - Mum and Dad's cat.

 And of course Bella!
Mitchell has chosen to spend his birthday with Elliott and I,
he's just not into parties and drinking (unlike me when I was 21!)
We have a busy fun day planned in London, we are visiting some really geeky stores...
Forbidden Planet, Cyber Candy, Tokyo Toys and a special dinner planned at
Benihana - a Japanese hibachi restaurant.
I am sure I will be posting on Facebook and sharing photos on my blog.

I've received a few requests for the blueberry muffin recipe.
These muffins are calorie free - well, in an ideal world!
But they do contain a lot of blueberries so that's good.
They are not too sweet, if you prefer sweeter I would add a little more sugar on the top!
350g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g sugar
125ml vegetable oil
1 egg
125ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
300g blueberries (fresh or frozen)
sugar for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

Place the flour, baking powder and sugar in a bowl.
Place the oil, egg, milk and vanilla in a separate bowl and whisk to combine.
Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Add the blueberries and mix.
(Do not over mix, it makes the muffins too firm and chewy!)

Spoon mixture into a 12-hole muffin tin lined with paper cases.
Sprinkle the tops with sugar and bake for 30–35 minutes or until cooked
when tested with a skewer. Remove from tin and cool on a wire rack. 
Eat and enjoy!

I will be posting the chocolate chip cookie recipe soon,
again it is nice and simple - I cannot cope with complex recipes!

Next item...

I heard from Raystede Wildlife - they are doing really well for chickinis now,
if you are knitting them then please finish and send.
There is now another item they need... knitted nests!
Though it may not feel like it, spring will soon be upon us and Raystede see a surge in the 
numbers of young birds being brought in. 
Knitted nests provide a safe and comfortable place for the baby birds whilst they are being looked after.

This is the pattern:

Using 2 strands of yarn, cast on 54 stitches; then divide evenly among 4 dpns (double pointed needles).
Work in stockinette (all K stitches) until the nest is approximately 3″ tall.
Purl one row, and then start to decrease:
Row 1) K7, K2tog—repeat to end
Row 2) K6, K2tog—repeat to end
Row 3) K5, K2tog—repeat to end
Row 4) K4, K2tog—repeat to end
Row 5) K3, K2tog—repeat to end
Row 6) K2, K2tog—repeat to end
Row 7) K1, K2tog—repeat to end

 Cut yarns, leaving a 6″ tail. Slide yarn on needle, draw tight to close up end 

(put a few stitches across the gap if need be.) Weave in yarn and cut off.


To make sure the nest is tight and washable, use two strands of washable yarn 

(using two different colors to make counting stitches easier). Use three strands if the yarn is very fine.

Use double-pointed needles—just about any size, from 5 through 9, depending on the weight of the yarn. 

You can use circular needles if you prefer.

When doing K2tog, it seems to be easier to knit through the back loops rather than the front. 

If you’re still having problems with K2tog, try using a crochet hook to pull the yarn through.

Only decrease to the point where you have a small, easily closed gap in the bottom of the nest; 

otherwise there can be a bump on the bottom that can make the nest unstable.

Directions given are for nests that are about 4” across. Cast on fewer stitches for smaller nests. 

They knit up so quickly, it’s easy to experiment. 
(If the nest is much smaller, start the decrease with K6, K2tog.)
The yarn should not be fuzzy so toes don’t get caught!

And lastly... phew...long blog post!
Over on the website there's a Winter Sale going on, nearly 200 items reduced!
Pop the kettle back on and have a browse - here is the link.
Take care friends - keep warm,
I'm back tomorrow - 1 February!

27 comments: said...

Happy Birthday Mitchel
Have a great time. Take care. Kitty

Chris said...

Happy 21st to Mitchell, hope you all have a great day out.
Chris xx

Craftin Suzie (Susan Wykes) said...

A big happy birthday to Mitchell he looks so handsome! Sounds like a wonderful day we went to Benihanas in the States and had such fun. Susan x

Jane Willis said...

Happy birthday Mitchell! Hope you all have a lovely day

Lynn said...

Morning Christine, and happy birthday Mitchell. Just been catching up on blog posts, my sons moved out yesterday to house share.... My house is quiet and will soon be tidy!
In response to your question on Thursday, I think a journal would be great as a kit, I use the recipe book lots. Have a great day in London, lynn xx

Mrs B said...

Hi Christine. What a lovely long blog, it is always a pleasure to read : )

HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY MITCHELL. Wishing you a really great day. Have fun in the stores and enjoy the food : ))

Christine, it is scary how fast the years go by isn't it! My 21st birthday was the day that RJ, our eldest son was due so as you can imagine not much celebrating went on! (He finally arrived a week later)

Have a special day with your boys, making lots of lovely memories and taking lots of photos : )
Take care, Mrs B x

Lucycat said...

Hi Christine,
Happy 21st Birthday Mitchell.
Thank you for your muffin recipe they look lovely.
I hope you have a great day. Take care. x.

lydia jordan said...

Morning Christine,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Mitchell, have a great day enjoy it all. Look forward to seeing some photos.
Lovely post today the muffins look so good.

PharmacyMichele said...

Happy 21st Birthday Mitchell. The day in London sounds great. The muffin recipe also sounds great-may try that later.


Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Mitchell! I was preggers on my 21st, with my second child! (got married at 18) Lots of memories of those times.

Hope you all have a great day, I haven't heard of any of those places you are going to, but then I had girls, not boys.

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday Michael. Have a great day in London.
Janice W

Stamping Bubbles said...

Good Morning Christine
Happy Birthday Mitchell - wow 21 - congratulations. I hope you have a wonderful day out in London. Forbidden Planet is my boys' favourite shop, although ours in Manchester is not as big.
Take care
PS. Have been happily knitting all wek and will send my chickinis off this weekend.

Jean Z said...

Hi Christine, Happy Birthday Mitchell have a good time. Love the picture with the cat . love Jean Z xx

Claire said...

Hope you have a wonderful time and that Mitchell has a wonderful birthday.

Take care


Val Jones said...

Happy Birthday Mitchell, have a wonderful day.
I do know what you mean about time passing. My son was 40 a couple of weeks ago- where does time go?
I've not such a good knitter but I've almost finished one chicken coat and will try the nest next.
Love val in Spain x

Wendy L said...

Wow, HB Mitchel and hope you all have a great day.
Love the tiny chicky pic and nest. xx

utilitygirl said...

Congratulations to Mitchell - oh yes my 21st seems a lifetime ago. My granddaughter was 21 this year - makes me feel really old, which I am of course :-(
I hope you all have a lovely day in London
Thanks for the recipe - will give that a go.

Ann said...

Hi Christine

Firstly Many Happy Returns to Mitchell Hope you all have a fabulous day out in London and the sun is shining for you all.

Look forward to seeing all the piccies.

Luv n hugs Annxxx

pinksparkle said...

Best Wishes to Mitchell on his 21st! A lovely way to spend the day. My sons love Forbidden Planet. Have a great day.

JJ said...

Wow! Christine, so much going on lol! Love the little knitted nest, i do hope you get plenty through, sadly I don't and can't knit otherwise I would have made some.

Love images of Mitchell and family pets, Imogen does not look at all grumpy lol! My Son Jonathon was 27 yesterday 30th and he would have loved those stores, Mitchell sounds like a very sensible guy. I hope you all have a fabulous day and look forward to more pics.

Thank you for sharing.

Love & Hugs

Jacquie J xxx

hazel young said...

Happy Birthday Mitchell enjoy your day. Chrisitne my son was the same when he was 21 last year kinda sweet i think. Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing muffin recipe. I might have a baking session later. enjoy your weekend xx hazel

Janice said...

Happy 21st birthday to Mitchell, hope you all have a wonderful day out.
Thank you Christine for the muffin recipe, will add to my/your collection of recipes!
Janice x

LoraineC said...

Happy 21st Birthday Mitchell, hope you all have a wonderful day. Thanks for the recipe, will definitely be trying this one x

Sarah said...

Have a wonderful 21st Birthday Mitchell. My son Sam is 18 and I just cannot believe how fast time goes. Like you said Christine - Please stop time! Hope you have a great day out. Those blueberry muffins look gorgeous and the little nests are so cute.

Best Wishes

Sarah x

Patricia Howarth said...

Hi Christine, Happy 21st Birthday, Mitchell, I hope you are all having a fabulous time !!
Brilliant piccies of Mitchell with kitties and Bella, also an awwwww moment with the piccie of the baby birdies in their knitted nest, lovely.
Thank you for the muffin recipe, I will be trying this.
Lots of love from Patricia xx

Anonymous said...

Happy 21st birthday Mitchell. Hope you have all had a fantastic day out. Must try the blueberry muffins xx

Carole Z said...

Hope Mitchell had a fab birthday yesterday...snap! We were in Forbidden Planet in Bristol at some point yesterday! I'm going to try your muffin recipe, we always have blueberries in the house. The nests are so cute, wish I could knit! Better not show the photos to my 'ladies' though, they might get ideas! Hugs Carole Z X

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