Monday, 24 November 2014

Blog tour & review: Knit, Bake, Sew

Taking part in the Blog tour for Knit Bake Sew by Evin Bail O'Keeffe, a recipe and craft project annual. In the interests of full disclosure Evin and I follow each other on Twitter and I knit her an Owls once, discovering that we are approximately the same size.  Also in the interest of full disclosure, this being the first time that this has arisen, I am Gluten Intolerant, so I will be glossing over recipes that would be poorly adaptable.

First impressions are good, beautiful pictures.

First recipe is for pastry crust, the idea of incorporating spices into a crust sounds interesting and I should try it sometime.

The Long-tail cast on is detailed in some very clear photographs, that I might use for reference if I was to use it (it's not my default cast-on, but it does have it's uses.  Then there's the Icelandic Bindoff, which looks like something interesting to try and to add to my cast-off repertoire.

Cleverly she has some basic terms and conventions used in the book.  And some sewing conventions and a clear how-to on Blanket stitch, that's one that I always have to check on how to start it, and this is clear.

The first section is Winter

Mugwump Oatmeal pie looks interesting, but not one for me.

The Keating Hat is an interesting slightly loose hat, knit in DK.

The White Chocolate Cheesecake looks good and should be easily substituted (Aldi's Gluten Free Range has some nice digestives by the way)

Cupid's Arrow Cowl is a pretty, loose cowl that would use up a ball or two of treat-me Aran Yarn.

Next section is spring.

Starting with Lime Poppy-seed scones, that looks sadly lovely.

I have been tempted recently to make myself some boot toppers to hold my jeans down during the chillier weather (trust me you start to understand the use when you ride the back of a motorbike in the cooler weather) and the Cobblestone ones tempt me.

The Strawberry Mascarpone tart tempts me too.

The Falling Petals Shawl is another deceptively simple but beautiful pattern.

Next recipe is Snickerdoodles.

Smudge's Handspun Headband is a lovely showcase for a small amount of DK yarn, possibly a use for a first handspun or some beautiful dk leftovers.


And it's into Summer with Aunt Nell's Blondies.

Mary's Hostess Apron is a half-apron copied form an old favourite.  Classic apron.

Buttery Cheddar Biscuits look delicious.

Another sewn pattern with the On the Green Picnic Mat.  An oilcloth backed pattern, very practical for a knit in public day!

Lemon Drizzle Cake makes me want it, on-screen photographs are so clear you can almost smell the lemons. (I did resist licking the screen, just)

Princes Street market tote is lovely, and very practical here in Ireland where we are charged for plastic bags.

Autumn again teases with some Orange and Honey Loaf cake.

Love the Honeycomb Tea Cozy, the colours are perfect for it too, warm and autumnal.

Monster cookies look lush.

Festive bunting is a sewn pattern here.

Grandma's Pumpkin Pie sounds delicious and doesn't start with a tin of pumpkin but with a whole pumpkin... starts to plot possibilities, it's been simply ages since I had a decent pumpkin pie, shush, I had it, in the 80s courtesy of an American neighbour, in Galway.

The Sugar Maple Vest would not be my kind of top, but a very useful, versatile top it would be for many people.

Chocolate Cardamon Tart sounds intriguing.

Upcycled Felt mittens sound like a good use for those jumpers that have had a laundry incident.

Thanks and an index round things out.

It's beautiful, well produced and with something for nearly everyone.  I'm just sad I can't just use some of the recipes straight from the tin but some of them have me plotting and heading for my gluten-free recipe books.  Well done Evin.

Order Bake Knit Sew through the Anchor and Bee (publisher) online store or herRavelry shop during the blog tour to take advantage of a special 10% discount on your entire purchase! Discount code: BLOGTOUR until November 27, 2014 at 23:59 EST.

And one commenter will get a free ebook copy of the book (delivered via Ravelry) Of all the commenters on the blog tour blog posts, one will receive a paperback copy of the book including shipping.



.  So get commenting.

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE
Monday, November 10 – Reckless Knitting
Tuesday, November 11 – Fibre Friends
Wednesday, November 12 – Jen’s Kitchen
Thursday, November 13 – The Dublin Knit Collective
Friday, November 14 – Crafty Tails
Saturday, November 15 – The Writer’s Journey
Sunday, November 16 – Lisa Bogart Thoughts
Monday, November 17 – Moonstruck Quaint previously Glass of Win
Tuesday, November 18 –  TanisKnits
Wednesday, November 19 – Fenns Quay and then some
Friday, November 21 – By Eline
Saturday, November 22 – Yarn Poetry
Sunday, November 23 – Live and Let Pie
Monday, November 24 – Wyvernfriend Knits
Tuesday, November 25 – Cork Billy and This Is Knit
Wednesday, November 26 – EvinOK
Thursday, November 27 –  Lilly Higgins


And the winner, with the help of Random.org is Lise

Sunday, 2 November 2014

ICA and modern Ireland

Now in the interest of full disclosure I have to admit that my mum had issues with the local chapter of this group, something to do with them not respecting her training as a domestic science teacher, I have no idea what the truth of the story was and I have I'm not going to really comment, but there was no real friendliness for them in my household but I thought, a few years ago that it could be something for me to join, I mean I'm a multi-crafter, maybe it would be somewhere that I could find likeminded people.

So I went to the desk at the Knitting & Stitching show, and was ignored, people talked around me.  Now I'm actually a pretty shy person and I find it hard to approach new people, I do a good job sometimes of pretending to be a confident outgoing person, but that takes a lot of effort and, to be honest, I found the women there intimidating.  I mean, I often wonder how good I am really at many of these things, I know I have only scraped the top of many of the crafts I do, and I'm always looking to try new skills, to try something different.

On Friday the Late Late Show had three older knitters racing against the show to produce three items during the production.  There were lots of comments from a lot of people about granny knitting, it's a problem many of us in the discipline have, people don't see younger knitters so they don't think that younger people knit, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Looking at some of the crafts I'm impressed at them, others I'm underwhelmed.  I picked up their new book in work, which wasn't mentioned by the way on the Late Late Show, it was their tea book The Irish Countrywomen's Association Book of Tea and Company: Recipes and Reflections for Every Daythat  was mentioned

I hadn't really looked at the book before last night. I wasn't really paying attention to it, it was part of a pile of books that I have to deal with a bundle I've been ignoring for the last few months, trying to do too much again.  Plus my life has been a bit overwhelming recently.  Yesterday I opened it and looked at it, and to be honest I was underwhelmed.  There were a few that piqued my interest, and I was vastly entertained that the first project was designed by someone whose daughter went to school with me.  And it's important than many of the skills that people of that age have are passed on.  



Maybe what it needs is a better and more open pricing structure.  A site like Craftsy to pass on the skills and an interaction with something like Ravelry, where many of the younger crafters gather, creating a virtual meeting group might help too.  Change is going to be needed if the ICA is going to stay relevant into the future, they have done so much good in the past with water and electricity to rural Ireland, to stay relevant they have to carve out spaces that modern Irish women will use.

They should also be campaigning for domestic science classes in primary and secondary schools, cookery and basic mending etc., skills both boys and girls should have, and basic cleaning skills.  Maybe even some courses in conjunction with marriage courses in how to share domestic chores, particularly in this day and age of dual income houses.  Skills badly needed these days.  They should be leading campaigns for equality, these days they appear to have settled into the regular run of things rather than rocking the boat and maybe they need to go back to being a bit less part of the mainstream and a little more questioning.

And we seriously need more acceptance of other ages of knitters.