You make something nice for one child, and it's like a fever going round, because you get a request for another. In this case it started with a pattern for a poncho from Simply Crochet magazine. It seems to take me about a year to get on trend, so you could argue that I'm decidedly untrendy. Anyway, the poncho thing started last year, maybe even the year before? but last year I thought it would be nice for our budding crochet beginner (a daughter) to have a go and she really liked the idea but was making all the usual excuses..... "too slow" and "hadn't got enough time" and "it would be quicker if you made it", and in truth I really thought it would suit her and would solve that perennial problem of the birthday present, so made use of all the spare time during the Christmas holiday and quickly made one up. I digress, however, and back to today's story, I inevitably was requested to make one for another daughter, it being another birthday present opportunity. As is the case amongst sisters, they have their own style and this poncho is as different to the other as night is to day. The first is an explosion of rainbow colour, and this is more 'grey is the new black'. It's coming along nicely, and should hopefully only take another week if I crack on with it. Just a quick note, for both poncho's I have used Drops 'Nepal' yarn which is a wool and alpaca blend. I didn't want to make so much effort with cheap acrylic and the Drops yarn is so reasonably priced, especially so if you can get it in the sale :)
After a day (yesterday) of the most appalling diet choices which included a bevy of biscuits and crisps and wine, today has been atonement day. Starting with a deliciously decadent smoothie of banana, avocado, blackberries, almond milk and apple, it was followed up with a fabulously fishy lunch which was surprisingly quick to do and was really, really tasty. It starred stuffed and baked rainbow trout with stir fry spiralised vegetables. The stuffing was a zesty sourdough and buckwheat concoction, whizzed in the blender with lemon zest, seasoning and lemon thyme, coated in olive oil to stick it together a bit. This was stuffed into the trout, placed on a foil lined baking tin and baked at 200C for 20 mins. Whilst this was cooking, the spiralised courgette, carrot and sweet potato was stir fried with some garlic and chilli. Super quick and surprisingly hearty (and I can wear my healthy diet halo with pride).
As an aside to all the making and baking, my Christmas cactus has again surpassed itself by flowering for a second time this winter, adding a bright splash of colour against the grey backdrop of the window.