Thursday, 25 April 2013

Exciting times at Lynne's Knits

I hope you're all enjoying the slight rise in temperature. I'm not shivering anymore and there's no need to wear a scarf in the house now - at long last!!. We've turned the heating off the timer and just pop it on for an hour when we're feeling a little chilly.
It's been an exciting week here at Lynne's Knits. As I enter my third year of self-employment, I wondered how it could top my busy second year, which involved lots of design commissions for magazines, teaching knit and crochet regularly and authoring my first book which is due out in the next few months - can you see my name in the top left corner? It makes me smile every time I look at it.

Well, I have some exciting things to tell you:
1. My classes at Sandbach School are increasingly popular. My latest learn to crochet course has 10 lovely ladies (quite a big number to teach but fingers crossed it work OK).Three people had to be turned away which is a shame, but hopefully they'll come along to the next course.
2. This week I had a business meeting with the lively (and lovely) ladies at Aunty Mabel's Seat - a gorgeous interior design studio in Knutsford, Cheshire. Rebecca and Louise are creating an amazing craft room and I'll be running knitting workshops and courses. My good friend Tracey Todhunter will be running crochet courses (see Tracey's fab blog here) and Ouisie Gresty will be running sewing classes (see Ouisies's gorgeous blog here). I'm so excited and honoured to be part of their new adventure and can't wait to get planning!!! The business meeting made me realise how lucky I am to craft full time for a living. It was so much fun and we got a little giddy making pom-poms - a far cry from the business meetings I used to have in my previous job which were 'oh so serious' and people struggled to crack a smile. There's an open day on May 11th. and I'll be blogging more about it soon.
3. I met Ouisie Gresty at Aunty Mabel's Seat. She kept her light under a bushel for the first hour. When she told me who she was I nearly dropped off my chair in delight. She's only the designer of the most amazing felt biscuits and cakes that so often appear on the front of Mollie Makes. I think I'll definitely be attending one of her classes.
4. This week I've been working on a sample for a publisher. I really can't believe my luck. I sent off various proposals quite a while ago now (last year sometime) and they're interested in one of them. I'm hoping the sample will clinch the deal. They're small and cute and one of my favourite fun things to crochet - have you guessed yet? Well I can't give too much away but it's an amigurumi book. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a positive response and I'll keep you informed of any decisions.
5. I have an interview in this Month's Let's Get Crafting Magazine - all about me and my work, including my upcoming book. How exciting is that? I'm so grateful to them for their continued support. I also have 2 funky projects in this fun celebratory edition (50th issue), which is one of my favourite issues so far. I designed an ice-cream sundae party had and some cute bunny ears.

6. I received a review copy of Debbie Bliss's latest book this week from the kind people at Quadrille Crafts. Debbie Bliss is one of my favourite designers and I love her yarns, so I'm honoured to be reviewing her book. I'll post the review shortly along with a book giveaway, so you could be the proud owner of this fab book.

So it's busy, busy for me here at Lynne's Knits (and that's just this week!!!)  and there are lots of other things in the pipeline too. I'm trying not to work all hours and to keep things manageable. I even tidied up my craft room yesterday. I just need to clean up the table now and I'll be able to work up there now that the warmer weather is here.

I'd love to hear what you've been up to too. Happy Crafting xxxxxxx

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Gluten free banana loaf for bread machines

I haven't used my breadmaker for a while and since I had three over-ripe  bananas left in the fruit bowl that everyone was avoiding, I thought I'd make a yummy gluten free banana loaf using the following recipe:

Wet ingredients:
3 mashed over-ripe bananas that no-one wants to eat
butter (melted) - 3/4 cup (150g)
vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
eggs (beaten) - 3 medium
lemon juice - 2 tsp
water - 1/4 cup (60ml)

Dry ingredients:
gluten free flour (I use doves plain gluten free flour) - 1 full cup plus 5/8 cup (250g approx)
gluten free baking powder - 2 tsp
caster sugar - 1/2 cup (110g)
chopped raisins or any dried fruit - 1/4 cup (41g)

Mix wet ingredients together in a bowl, and dry ingredients together in a bowl. Combine both together and mix. Pour into breadmaker and choose cake setting. My breadmaker does a bit of mixing then bakes for 80 minutes. I presume oven baking will take about the same length of time, although I haven't tried it myself. The cake is nice and moist - you wouldn't think it was gluten free. I didn't use  vanilla essence or lemon as I didn't have any in. It tastes just fine without them. The cake needs eating quickly as there are no preservatives, so I leave mine to cool completely, cut into slices and freeze half of it straight away - otherwise I end up eating the whole lot in a couple of days - not good for the diet or the figure!! It's great with or without butter on the top.

Let me know if you give it a try.......

Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Cake and Bake Show

Last week, my daughter Izzy and I excitedly caught the train to Manchester for the Cake and Bake Show. We're not early risers so we caught the 11.10 train and arrived at the show at around 12.30. Apparently there had been thousands of people queuing to get in earlier on, but by the time we arrived the queue had gone. In any event we had VIP tickets, courtesy of the press office which was really generous of them.

We received a goodie bag and access to the VIP room, full of yummy cakes, meringues, tea, coffee and cookies. Out goes the diet!! Not to mention the celebs who went there in between their demos for a quick cuppa, interview or just to relax. We saw Paul Hollywood close up and personal (he was shorter than I'd imagined), and Simon Rimmer spoke to us, which nearly caused Izzy to fall off her chair!! She was made up. We saw Catherine and John from the last GBBO and Paul A Young and Eric Lanlard. How exciting!!

I took along a little knitted cake to say thanks and the girls in the press office were delighted.

We nipped out at lunch time for a bite to eat and had a cheeky mojito too. They were the offer of the week at £1.99 so it would have been rude not to, wouldn't it.

Izzy made these delicious gluten-free cakes with the free goodies:

And here are some of the amazing cakes that people had made:

The Cake and Bake Show has inspired me to bake more so hopefully I'll find time between knitting and crochet projects to make something yummy!!

Happy baking xx

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Competition Winners

Congratulations to


who are the winners of my competition.

Thanks so much to everyone who entered - your support is much appreciated.

Thanks to The Cake and Bake Show for providing the generous prizes - I felt honoured to be able to offer them up.

I hope you all have a lovely time at the show and I'll be there on Friday taking lots of photos and no doubt buying lots of lovely baking goodies xx