Hello again and welcome along. A fab way to look great, save money and learn a skill is to get those knitting needles out. They are super cheap to buy from Ebay or ask a relative if you can have some of theirs. Once you have learned to knit and purl you can make scarves until the cows come home but eventually, you are going to get bored.
A great place to start
So here is a simple pattern to knit your very own hat, they make fab gifts as well if Christmas is going to be a tight one and once you get into it, you should be able to knock one out in a few days. This pattern is for people that can cast on and off and can knit and purl. The hat can be as deep or as shallow as you like, i like my hats like hipster beanies, lots of extra room!
- 3 oz of 4 ply wool in any color
- #8 or #9 Knitting needles
- Yarn needle
Abbreviations for this project:
Stitch = st
Stitches = sts
Stockinette/Stocking Stitch = St st
Knit 3 stitches together = k3tog
Ribbing of knit 1, purl 1 = 1 x 1 rib
Instructions for knitting your hat:
- Cast on 86 sts to your knitting needle.
- Work in 1 x 1 rib until your work measures 1 inch long.
- Row 1. Knit 86 sts.
- Row 2. Purl 86 sts.
- Carry on with this until your hat reaches the size you want and finish on a purl
- To shape the top of the hat;
- Row 1. *Knit 3 sts., then k3tog, (To do this, simply do a knit stitch but instead of sliding your right needle under only one of the stitches on the left needle, slide the right needle through three stitches and knit them all together as you would have done with the one.)right to the end.
- Row 2. Purl as normal
- Keep decreasing your stitches by knitting 3 and purling as normal till you reach the last 3 stitches (or the smallest amount you are left with, your stitches might be a bit out)
Finishing your Hat:
- Measure about 15 inches of yarn from your last stitch and cut yarn.
- Thread the large yarn needle with the yarn end.
- Pull the knitting needle out of the last 3 stitches.
- Send the yarn needle through the 3 stitch loops.
- Pull the yarn until you can no longer pull and the last stitch loops disappear into what makes the top of the hat.
- Fold the hat, right sides together and bottom edges even.
- Start sewing the hat edges together with the same needle and yarn from the top of the hat down to the bottom edge.
- Tie a secure knot when you reach the bottom edge.
- Turn the hat right side out.
Here is my finished product
You might notice the band near the top, that is where i got my knits and purls mixed up, but you wouldn’t know it was a mistake to look at it. Give the hat a go with different colours and patterns.
So the best way to keep costs down but still have filling and tasty food is learn how to make a few decent soups. It freezes, it tastes great and it is the perfect excuse to have some thick slices of fresh bread and butter. I am trying to only have meat once a day to save costs so again soup is fantastic for getting all your vitamins and five a day without spending a fortune (though I will be posting recipes for meaty soups in the future because we all like a choice!).However the danger is you start replacing meat with cheese…at least that is the danger I am finding. Destined to be a chubby vivante forever!
My sweet potato soup has a good kick of chilli which can be omitted for the more fragile of you and remember, if you get your veggies locally at the green grocers you will save a fortune. Not only is it cheaper, you don’t have to throw away tons of crappy plastic packaging. Though do remember to take bags with decent handles with you else you are guaranteed an embarrassing bag splitting accident on the way home.
BBV’s sweet potato soup (makes enough for about 4 people or a weeks worth of lunches)
- 3 large sweet potatoes
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- As much chilli as you like, i used half a hot one
- Red pepper
- Stock – veggie or chicken is fine, depends how meat free you feel
- Cumin seeds
- Ground coriander
- Tomato paste
- Olive oil
- Put olive oil into a large pan and allow to warm on a lowish heat
- Slice the onion and add to the pan, we only want to sweat these not fry so keep an eye on them and reduce the heat if they don’t behave
- Chop the garlic and add, again you don’t want to burn the garlic because it will taste bitter and horrid
- Once the onion starts to go translucent (science speak for see through) add the chopped chilli and red pepper and cook through
- Whilst the base ingredients are doing their thing peel your sweet potatoes and chop into chunks
- Add the potatoes to the mix and start cooking, then add your cumin, coriander, salt and lots of black pepper
- Squeeze some tomato paste into a lump at the bottom of the pan, it is so important to let the paste cook out else it doesn’t taste too good. Stir it all in and add your stock.
- You want enough liquid to just cover the veg (you can add more later for your idea soup consistency) and turn up the heat to get it boiling. Once boiling turn down the heat to a simmer and leave for at least 10 mins.
- Once everything is soft transfer the mixture either to a blender or use a handheld job and blend till smooth. If you think the soup is too thick then add some more water but be careful, you can always add more liquid, taking it out again is going to require more cooking.
- Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche or similar or, if you are like me, some warm bread and far too much butter
- This is about what your finished product should look like
By the way the photo is a stock photo as I am sans camera and my phone has decided that when i use the flash it should promptly turn itself off. Hopefully will be sorting some sort of picture taking equipment soon.
Hello and welcome to my brand new blog
It hit me the other day that my life is a walking contradiction. I work a boring office job, get paid pittance and live in a bedsit in a rather gentrified area of town. On the other hand I am a massive foodie, love the finer things in life and have learned over the years to live well on a shoe string, never dropping the middle class mask I have embraced and learned to love as I’ve got older. I am hoping you will find my recipes, reviews, social ramblings and tips for living far too well in relation to your bank balance as entertaining as i find writing them.
I am hoping to update with my first post of interest this week and have a wonderful chocolate cake planned for the weekend so watch this space!
Bedsit Bonne Vivante