Monday, May 28, 2012

What would Jane knit?

Last fall, although I failed to mention it in this blog, because I was neglecting it altogether, I ordered a delightful little magazine called Jane Austen Knits. It felt like the perfect thing for me, being a total Austen addict and having discovered a love for knitting. I received my copy in November and love it, although haven't got round to making any of them yet (many a pattern is on my to-do list, though!)

Well, how do you think I reacted, when I found out there's a new issue of Jane Austen Knits with clothing for summer?! I had to have that one too! Today that precious magazine was dropped into our mailbox! I ordered it from Meadow Yarn and have to praise the shop. The ordered item came quickly and reliably, the postage wasn't a lot even to outside UK, the magazine was supported with a piece of cardboard to prevent any bending and on the invoice there was a little hand-written thank you signature and taped onto the invoice, a bag of organic peppermint tea :)

 So I would definitely recommend Meadow Yarn to anyone based on this experience! Now I will sink into the world of Jane Austen & knitting and start making a list of items I want to make :)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Summery waistcoat

 So, now I have finished what I mentioned in my previous post. My crocheted waistcoat is done and ready for summer! I had it on for the first time yesterday and I'm really satisfied with the result. It looks and fits just like it ought to.

This is a Drops Garnstudio pattern from their huge collection. I had to play around with the pattern a little bit. I started making one in S/M size and I noticed fairly early on that it was going to be too big for me. I wanted to have the same fit as the model in the photo: not too loose. So I started out again  made the square back piece smaller. I needed to figure out how to be able to continue with the pattern directions and it took a little thinking, but I think it turned out really nice in the end.

I choose the color white, because I want this garment to be functional and be able to wear it with lots of different clothes. I have many bright colored T-shirts, tops and dresses and white doesn't clash with any of them, that's why I chose it. I believe I will be wearing this a lot in the coming summer months and am already looking for to more sunny days so I can put it on. I might add little strings on the front, so I can tie them in a knot, for windy but warm days. This was a quick and easy project and I'm really satisfied with it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Chocolate tosca cake

We recently moved to a new home (again...!) and have had our work cut out for us arranging things and having to buy some new household appliances. One of the things we bought was a new stove. I love my new one and been excited to experiment with its different functions. For example, the pizzas we made in the new oven were crispier like none before! On this long weekend I decided to try out a new recipe and bake something sweet. Browsing through my favorite sites, this chocolate tosca cake caught my attention. The tosca cake is a Scandinavian pastry, basically a sponge cake with an almond praline on top and it's one of my favorite pastries. This recipe, however, gives a little twist to the traditional tosca cake as its tosca is made with chocolate instead of butter. Also the base has a little orange flavor in it. I really liked this, not least because of its chocolatiness :) It was really easy and quick too. The recipe in Finnish can be found on Valio's website where I took it. Below is the translated recipe, hope the American measurements make sense. I would love some feedback whether the recipes sound plausible with the American measurements. I have had to round some corners in them to make the amounts sensible.


4 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
a full 1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2/3 cup butter
1/ cup orange juice
1/2 orange marmalade


7 oz semi-dark chocolate
1 1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/3 cup sugar
(1 tbl almond liquor)
1 1/2 tbl flour
1/4 qt cream

On top

crushed pistachios of almonds 

Whisk the eggs and sugar into a light, thick foam. Combine the dry ingredients. Melt the butter and add into it the orange juice and marmalade. Mix the dry ingredients and the orange-butter-combination to the egg-sugar foam. Pour onto a parchment covered baking sheet. Bake in the middle of the oven in 390 F for 15 minutes. Meanwhile make the frosting: measure all the ingredients into a saucepan. Bring it to boil stirring. Remove from the heat. Pour onto the pre-baked cake. Sprinkle the crushed pistachios/almonds on top. Bake for another 5 minutes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I have lots of ideas about what to do, but not so much determination that I have managed to finish or even start some of them. But I've made up a list (I love lists!) about things I want to do, handiwork-wise, for or on my summer vacation. I've started some of them and got material for most.

I'm on the last stretch with a crocheted waistcoat. I'm making this in white. I have lots of different colored T-shirts, tops and dresses and I thought white goes with all of them. I love the look of this and hope that my finished product will look as cute as this one on the photo.

I spent a wonderful evening out on the town with a dear friend yesterday, sitting in a cute little coffee place, eating waffles and talking. One thing we did, was going to a fabric store and I finally got some fabric for this skirt.

This is a project I will embark upon once my summer vacation starts in a few short weeks. It's Leanne's pattern and I just had to get the same kind of fabric for this, I love the marine feel of it. If this skirt turns out well, I'm pretty sure I will make more of these in different colored and patterned fabrics.

I have a couple of more ideas brewing, but one of them is a gift and I feel yet so insecure about the other that I don't want to share them yet. After they're done, I will give you peek :)