Mrs Tittlemouse's Easter plans went seriously "a-gley" this year, scuppered by the arrival of a nasty 'flu virus that put paid to all manner of happy, homely activities for all of last week. The simnel cake that was to be baked, never made it; the Easter cheesecake never got eaten when it was supposed to be; chocolate eggs went untouched; Easter cards and gifts were undelivered; visits were unmade and what was supposed to be a week of recreative time away from the pressure of work was spent uncreatively mostly in bed, doing nothing at all. Sic vita.
But this week, life is looking up and over the last few days I have been making up for lost time. Chocolate mini-eggs anyone?
You've all probably had enough of them by now but I haven't and am happily scoffing them ten days late! So if you are mini-egged-out, I'll have yours on your behalf!
Baby simnel cakes, made very late in the day, have taken the place of the big one that was intended. I cut corners by using an easy boil-and-bake fruit cake recipe and retrieving some homemade marzipan out of the freezer, not as easy to roll out and use as freshly-made stuff, but zapped to a passingly malleable softness in the microwave, it served and I am not sure I don't prefer these baby simnel cupcakes to the big one I usually faff about making. The ratio of marzipan and mini-egg to cake is much better in these little ones. It's an ill wind that blows no good as they say.
The tub, originally a lid for a box containing handcream and redeployed, upside down, is quite squat and was a good shape and size but it had faded in the sunlight and needed a makeover.
A perfect project to do while being stuck in bed as the pattern is very basic and straightforward - just strips of Tunisian crochet in Tunisian simple stitch to line the inside and outside walls of the tub and two discs in the same stitch to cover the inside and outside of the base. Even if I went wrong, it didn't really bother me to unravel and redo it, I was just happy to have something in my hooky fingers. I like Tunisian crochet for this sort of thing - it makes a lovely dense, neat fabric with an appealing basket-work effect.
I made it in plain Casacade Ultra Pima cotton in the beautiful pale blue called "Alaska Sky". I am foolishly influenced by what yarn colours are called and am drawn to some in particular, just because the names they have are either beautiful, or evocative, or both. This is ridiculous, I know, but there it is and "Alaska Sky" does it for me. I am afraid this extends to buying bottles of particular wines because they have nice labels! And conversely I do not shop at a particular supermarket because I find the logo too ugly for words. Illogical, frivolous and shallow - I know!
To revert to hooky matters, the plain cover, even in the beautiful "Alaska Sky" blue, was very plain and needed a little jollying up, so once recovered from the worst of the 'flu, I embarked on making a collection of golden yellow and white Spring daisies to sew onto the sides.
The whole enterprise is perhaps not very practical as it will be difficult to wash with the cardboard tub sealed inside and the happy Spring daisies will probably collect the dust but I love it anyway.
The pattern for the daisies is from the book "Twenty To Make: Crocheted Flowers" by Jan Ollis. They are made using fine No 3 crochet cotton and a tiny 2.5 mm hook. They were rather fiddly to hook up, especially the double-petalled ones, and I was glad when I reached the end of the thirteen that I felt were enough but they do add a lovely Spring touch to my efforts.
The method for making the tub cover is adapted from the pattern in Gina Alton's book, "Pots To Knit And Crochet", which I used last year to cover my kitchen pencil pot. Have a look at my post here if you're interested.
In the meantime and rather belatedly, a very Happy Eastertide to you all!
I must now return to the pile of work awaiting, fuelled by another mini-egg or two,
OK three, if you insist!