Thursday, 2 October 2014

Woodland Finds - Funky Toadstools and Crochet Stones plus Plummy Cake

Hello my blog friends!

It seems you all enjoyed coming along on the virtual version of my walk in the woods!
Thanks so much for all your lovely comments, it makes me happy to read them all!

Making Funky Toadstools when you can't get to sleep

Yesterday I spent a lot of my time travelling (thankfully the Harlequin Blanket and the Shrug both benefitted from it), but it also meant I was very tired late in the evening.

But for some reason I couldn't get to sleep, so after lying there for a while, I got up again and made myself comfortable at the table. I decided to let creativity take it's own course and have a go just playing with yarn! I was still thinking about my lovely walk and decided I would try to make my own toadstool - I ended up with 3 even! This is the result.

Funky Toadstools
Recently I had seen some knitted versions here on Lisanne's blog (which is always brimming with lots of cool ideas, I don't know how she does it!!!). Knitted Toadstools - the pattern is apparently in this book.

Whenever I stay up during the night like this, I make a point of not turning the computer on. This stops distracting me and I can just make something until my eyes feel tired again and I know I will get to sleep easily enough!

So I began crocheting 4 chains with white cotton yarn and started on the stem of the first toadstool, crocheting in the round and adding 2 extra stitches along the way, then I did some trebles representing the gills, doubling the stitches to 12. Attaching the dark red Cotton from Rico I continued in the round, increasing stitches regularly and then later decreasing. I had left a long tail of the white cotton and used this to add the white spots before closing up completely with red. Likewise, I added some stuffing during this process which helped with the shaping.  Finished size: 3.5cm tall with 2.8cm diameter! Tiny and cute!

My next toadstool was to become even more funky as I reversed the 2 colours and added a more pointy shape! Finished size: 5cm tall and 3cm diameter.

The last one took the longest, because it was also the biggest, measuring about 7cm tall and 6cm diameter.

This time I crocheted the white stem first with about 10 stitches in the round. Then I fashioned the top, beginning at the centre with a magic ring and 4 stitches, increasing more and more each round. As I approached the last 3-4 rows towards the edge, I deliberately increased and on occasion, decreased, in a more random fashion. This resulted in a much more organic shape which was not completely round!

Then I worked the underside with the gills, decreasing until I had also about 10 stitches left to match my stem. I added the white spots by sewing with a double strand of white cotton, added stuffing and sewed the stem to the top. I squeezed the toadstool into shape until I was happy with it! (If you wanted to be precise, you might insist on doing the gills in white, I did mine in red and call it artistic licence!!!)

If this inspires you, then why not have a go yourself? The toadstools do not need to look perfectly round and even, in fact the more unusual, the more original! A nice way to practice crocheting in the round, though it does get easier if you use more stitches or thicker yarn! Use your own imagination!!!


My fresh harvest!!!
This morning when I saw my Surprise Night Project it made me smile!

Crochet Pebbles

I had collected a handful of nice pebbles on my walk as well. To all my British readers I say this: it might be much easier to find perfect pebbles if you have access to a nice beach somewhere instead of looking for them on your woodland walks! :)

Pebbles from my walk
I always wanted to try to crochet around a pebble, so I used some extra fine Katia Jaipur cotton with a 2mm hook and did some granny stitches on one, and some simple loop or mesh stitches on the second pebble. It gets a bit tricky once you have to leave the pebble in place and continue crocheting. These pebbles only measure 3.5cm and 4cm each - they were the smallest ones from my collection.

This was a fun way of doodling with yarn, just seeing where it leads to!

My finished Crochet pebbles made with Katia Jaipur
Lovely effect of the yarn
Granny square stitch versus mesh stitch
Happy Harvest!
Here you can see the combined results of the two little projects plus an earlier little fine Granny Square Doily I had made with the same yarn, showing off the colour effect beautifully!

After that, all I wanted to do is bake a quick cake or tart! I used a few plums which I sliced and placed on top of a layer of Mascarpone cheese spread onto some ready made shortcrust pastry . Sprinkled with plenty of Cinnamon and some Vanilla flavouring! I didn't add sugar, because I like it that way! Baked in the oven as two halves (since we have a very small oven) and voila! Some yummy Plummy cake! (I sometimes vary this simple recipe by using puff pastry instead which also works well. You could use other fruit, too!) It tastes delicious! Of course you can make your own pastry (and some of you would say, grow your own plums even - and I applaud you certainly for that!), but for me this was a quick way to produce something fun and edible without worrying too much about the ins and the outs of things!

PS: Random Health Warning: Do not attempt to add Funky Toadstools and Crochet Stones to your own Plummy Cake - these projects are best enjoyed separately!!! ;D

Some quick Plummy Cake
Are you enjoying the simple things? I do hope so! Not everything has to be difficult or to take a long time to produce something you love doing and that makes you happy in the process!

Have a lovely weekend! I am looking forward to it very much since my family from Germany is coming to visit, so there will be less time for blogs! (I'm hoping to catch up afterwards and look forward to find out what everyone has been up to!)

What do you think of my little quirky makes? Did they make you smile a little? Please leave me a message, I love reading them!

40 comments:

  1. They certainly did make me smile, I loved the toadstools and that plum cake looks delightful. Have great time with your family over the weekend making lots of memories to share later.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, hope you have a lovely weekend, too! xx

      Delete
  2. Love all your makes and if they make you happy then all the better I say. The toadstools are brilliant. Jo x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers, Jo! You would be pleased with how I used leftover yarn and recycled some wadding offcuts for my stuffing, I reckon! xx

      Delete
  3. Ohhhhh I love that multi colored yarn!! yellow peach pink thing *wow*
    Thank you for stopping by my blog today. Crocheting hats this evening and having a nice irish cream coffee. Not with alcohol, but hte coffee had been added something, so jummy!
    Have a nice evening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Monica! Hope you enjoyed your Irish coffee whilst I was studying hard this evening, heheh! ;) Here is a little link about that Jaipur yarn: http://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/katia-jaipur which I also love, last year I made some skinny crochet scarves from it! Have a colourful weekend! xx

      Delete
  4. Hi Ingrid, your toadstools and covered pebbles did make me smile, fun projects.
    Have a wonderful catch up, family weekend-hope the sun shines for you all.
    Helen

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful creations!!!
    Have a great weekend.:*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much - enjoy yours too! xx

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. ... glad you do!!! Have you been doing any crochet???
      Wouldn't it be something to make some of your fancy Indian corn in crochet? (wow, look at this: https://www.google.com/search?q=crochet+indian+corn&safe=off&client=firefox-a&hs=D8U&rls=org.mozilla:en-GB:official&channel=sb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=KcQtVOf-FOTjywOvy4DoDQ&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1252&bih=567) Amazing!!! xx

      Delete
  7. Your plum cake/tart looks amazing

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathy! Nothing much to it really! But totally tasty! Even the sun shone through the kitchen window when I took a quick snap! (Wish I could offer everyone a piece to try!) Have a lovely weekend! xx

      Delete
  8. I agree with you that crochet is a nice relaxing way to settle off to sleep at night, and if you should fall asleep with crochet in hand, it isn't such a disaster as having lot of stitches fall of knitting needles! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Jodie, that is a good point! xx

      Delete
  9. Zo'n mooie kleurrijke creaties! Wat de nacht soms goed voor is!
    Vandaag zag ik een pagina over 'brioche knitting':
    http://mercedesknits.com/brioche-knitting/brioche-resources/
    Maar dat raad ik niet aan voor nachtwerk!!!!
    Nog een prettig weekend!
    Christine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dankje, Christine! :) Brioche lijkt mij ook interessant! xx

      Delete
  10. Your plum cake looks delicious. The toadstools are great! I've seen crocheted stones before (in a shop, for sale) and always wanted to have a go. I must try it - it looks good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Gillian! Yes, I have seen some amazing versions on etsy (here are some I saved previously under my favourites: https://www.etsy.com/people/funkycrochet/favorites/oh-for-the-love-of-crochet?q=stone) One tip: maybe start with a slightly larger stone than I did! Have you used your weaving peg loom yet? xx

      Delete
  11. Cute Fliegenpilze! :-) They would look lovely in a bed to green moss as inside decoration, don't you think?

    Hope you had a better night sleep this night! :-)

    Take care
    Anne
    http://crochetbetweentwoworlds.blogspot.de

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Anne! Yes, they probably would! They are currently lying in my pretty wooden bowl with some of the (bare) pebbles, I like looking at them on the table. I need to do some pumpkins (Viola had posted a great link on her page: http://www.bloglovin.com/frame?post=3414911935&group=0&frame_type=b&blog=12590159&frame=1&click=0&user=0 and follow the link (to a German blog) but I won't have the time for now! Yes, I slept like a log last night, hehe! xx

      Delete
  12. I think your quirky little makes are amazing, I LOVE the toadstools, so bright and festive. Also loved your walk in the woods from your last post.
    Hugs to yo and happy weekend,
    Meredith

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I loved that walk, it was great! :) xx

      Delete
  13. Der Pflaumenkuchen sieht total lecker aus! Liebe Grüße, Didi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Didi! Ja, er kam gerade frisch aus dem Ofen!!! xx

      Delete
  14. Your makes are wonderful ! Miaammmm...... hope you had a better night .... have a lovely week rend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did, thank you! This weekend was very busy, spent with family! xx

      Delete
  15. Love your lovely makes - I often crochet late at night when I can't sleep x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to hear that I am not the only one! I love it when creativity takes over! xx

      Delete
  16. What a funny post! I love toadstools, pumpkins and everything that belongs to it. I would love to crochet acorns but since there are birthdays in Oktober I have to hurry up finishing birthday presents. Have a nice weekend with your family, Viola

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Viola! Good luck with making/finishing your presents! xx

      Delete
  17. Yes your little makes really did make me smile a lot :) Such cute toadstools :) Your pebbles are great and you are so right, sadly woodland walks yield few smooth pebbles, just big sharp pointy ones which have their place in life, just not under crochet goodness possibly!
    Your plummy cake looks delicious! What did the mascarpone do during the cooking process ? I'm intrigued to know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jill! I guess the mascarpone just acts as a base for the plums, adding a bit of moisture, but it goes also nicely creamy. (You only put a thin layer onto the pastry). You could use other things such as quark (fromage frais) or custard, too. Likewise, you could use other fruit as well! xx

      Delete
  18. Well done for doing something productive when you could not sleep. The toadstools are so cute an the pebbles are lovely. I think I will make some and use them as paper weights.
    I hope you enjoy yourself with your family

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks Helda! Yes, these are nice little projects to make inbetween. xx

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beautiful "Funky Toadstools"
    Have a nice day!

    ReplyDelete