21.05

Bless-the-Weather-knits

Guess what? I can knit! Nothing very complicated, and reeeeaallly slowly, but I *can* do it! And that’s all thanks to the lovely Siobhan!

Siobhan knew I had been wanting to learn to knit for a little while (I think I mentioned it in a post, or maybe on Instagram…), and so asked if I might like to come along to one of her knitting classes! She runs the classes right from her gorgeous (and oh so Instagrammable!) flat in Brixton, and each lesson includes three hours of tuition, an online guide covering all the techniques taught in-class, a ball of yarn and a set of beautiful knitting needles. Also included are cuddles with Siobhan’s gorgeous dog Elkie (who’ll try to share all her toys with you because she’s just generous like that) as many cups of tea as you can drink, and slices of (vegan, and CRAZY delicious!) homemade cake!

In the class we learnt the very basics of knitting- how to cast on and how to do a basic knit stitch- before moving on to learning how to ‘purl’ and the various ways of combining the two types of stitches. It was beyond fascinating to discover how different patterns are created in the wool just by combining the stitches in various ways, and it was so satisfying to see the results of what I was learning come to life right in front of my eyes. Aside from cooking (and even that has a wait-time!) pretty much everything I do during the day is online. The photos I take, posts I write, conversations I have- all happen via a screen. Siobhan and I were talking about how amazing it is to do something so *tangible* in this digital age, and to see the results of your work forming instantaneously.

Bless-the-Weather-knitting-lessonVegan-lemon-rosemary-cakeErika-Knight-wool

We started off the class looking at swatches (or maybe test squares, I can’t remember the exact name for them…) that Siobhan had knitted up, that showed the effect that knitting with different yarns, needles, and stitch combinations can have on the finished result. We got started casting on (a fancy way of getting the yarn looped onto the needles) a row of about 25 stitches, and then doing a few rows of basic knit stitch. I dropped a few stitches here and there (and made my first row of casting on stitches so tight it was a struggle to do anything with them), but on the whole I wasn’t too bad at all! We then moved on to experimenting with other stitches, and even began to learn how to create beautiful rib and moss patterns in the wool. The moss stitch is my absolute favourite. Once I’ve got to grips with knitting smaller items (family and friends, expect a LOT of scarves to be coming your way over the next few months!) I’d really love to have a go at knitting a big throw blanket for our living room. But I dream!

Learning-to-knit-with-Bless-the-Weather

^^ Those were just my practise rows, ‘kay? ;) ^^

Siobhan-knitting-lesson  Bless-the-Weather-how-to-cast-onCasting-on

Aside from teaching me and Marissa (the other student in Saturday’s class) how to knit, Siobhan also gave us a ton of information about the best knitting books to buy, practical tips about yarn weight and pricing and blends, and warned us about how knitting your own scarves is nowhere near as thrifty as people would like to imagine! ;) All in all, I really can’t recommend the class highly enough. I had the best morning learning how to knit, and Siobhan is an endlessly patient teacher. She’s also a super talented and inspirational lady, and the class felt more like having a good catch up with a friend rather than a lesson!

If you’ve been fancying learning how to knit for a while, do consider booking up a class! There are classes running over the next few months (12th July, 20th Sept, & 25th Oct) but only three places per class so spots will book up quickly! They’re a snip at £35 (inclusive of materials!) and if you’re a beginner (like me!) now’s a great time to start learning because we’ve got a few months to get good and start knitting all our friends and family’s Christmas presents!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to whip up another jumper…

** Siobhan provided me with a spot in Saturday’s class free of charge in exchange for me sharing my thoughts on the experience here on Cider with Rosie, and as ever my opinion is 100% honest :)

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Posted in LONDON

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20.05

South-Bank-bubbles-bursting

^^ Try saying that title ten times fast! ;) ^^

This weekend was filled with all my favourite things. Friends. Trips to London. Great food. Family. Time spent outside in the sunshine. Life laundry (dull, but satisfying). Essentially, it was the absolute greatest. Both Jason and I both were hit with a serious case of the Sunday night blues at the end of it, and are already getting excited for next weekend being a three day-er! My sister’s coming to stay with us next weekend, so I’m going to suggest we BBQ again. Because you never know when English summer will run out, and so it’s basically law that you should BBQ at every available opportunity, right?!

I’m getting ahead of myself though. First, let’s talk about Saturday! I went up to London early Saturday morning to have a knitting lesson with the lovely Siobhan (more on this tomorrow!) and after I was done completing my three-hour transformation from novice into basically-a-professional-knitter (maybe exaggeration, but whatever) I journeyed from Brixton to Borough to meet my lovely Freya. We ate tons of stuff (well, I ate tons of stuff, most of it too quickly to even photograph) talked about weddings and all their related stresses, drank iced things by the bucketload (juice, earl grey tea, Monmouth coffee) and took a load of photos. Of course. I mean, what would be the point of going to Borough Market and *not* taking photos?!

Minnetonka-moccasins Il-Miele-honey Samphire-Borough-MarketRaclette
Last time I went to Borough Market (also with Freya and our lovely Tania too!) I spent ages eyeing up the Raclette grill stand but didn’t end up having any. This time though, I committed. I queued, paid my £6, and then went at it. They basically just serve you a little cardboard plate with sliced, salted new potatoes on, topped with a landslide of molten Raclette cheese and a little pile of mini pickles. It’s as sublime an experience as you would expect, and then some. A definite ‘must-do’ if you ask me.

The trip turned into a kind of cheese-themed one, since after I had my Raclette we ended up going round all of the different cheese stand tasting samples, and wound up talking with one of the companies about making a giant cheese cake to serve in the evening at our wedding next year. In fact, Freya and I were pretty sure the guys we were talking to thought we were getting married to each other, since we both kept talking about ‘our weddings’ and ‘when we get married’. Eh. We let it slide ;)

Freya-Borough-Market-tripCherries eggsCider-with-Rosie-giant-cookie
After we were done snacking on cheese and chutneys and cookies the size of my head at the market, we stopped by Monmouth for a little caffeine boost and then headed out to the South Bank for a walk along the river back towards Waterloo. There was this guy blowing the most amazing bubbles I’ve ever seen in my life just over from St Paul’s, so we stopped to take some photos. They were seriously the best bubbles ever! My inner five year old (and outer 23 year old) were both delighted by them!

All in all, the day was pretty great! Spending time with Freya always does my heart good, and eating lots of great food always does my stomach good. Maybe the day wasn’t entirely wedding dress friendly, but hey! ;) Somethings are more important! Like cheese. All of the cheese.

South-Bank-bubbles

S U N D A Y ::

We spent Sunday at home, Jason in the garden (mainly) and me in the house (mainly). Jason’s Mum came over to help Jase blitz the garden (I’m no use at gardening, and save for a little light herb-potting, hate it with a passion) whilst I prepared BBQ food and went to Waitrose and straightened out our little house and did all the other little jobs that make my heart happy. Like stuffing beer cans up chickens! ;) Seriously though, can we just take a minute and appreciate this…

Beercan-chicken

…because a chicken that flamboyant kind of needs a moment in the spotlight, don’t you think? Let’s appreciate the sexy dark crust its got going on, and also that it kind of looks like it’s got one arm behind its non-existent head. In fact, its entire pose just makes me laugh, and the fact that it’s got smoke billowing out of its neck.

I’d been fancying giving beercan chicken a go all last summer but never got round to it, and so we finally did on Sunday, and it was immense. I’d coated the chicken in a spice rub earlier in the day, then cracked open a beer, poured out 2/3 of it for Jason, stuffed the rest up the chicken (that is literally as technical as it gets) and then stuck it on the BBQ. 50 minutes and a few BBQ sauce-bastes later, it was done. All charred and sweet and spicy on the outside, and butter-soft and tender inside. Seriously the best chicken I’ve ever cooked, and now I want to make it every single weekend until early September, thank you very much.

Cider-with-Rosie-Teddy

^^ Teddy sat underneath the outside dining table with his mouth open, waiting to catch the chickeney-beery-juices that dripped off the chopping board. Handsome (and ingenious) boy. ^^

Pina-coladas

The rest of our afternoon was spent tidying, clearing up BBQ-related messes (BBQs always produce 5 times the amount of mess a regular meal generates, don’t you think?) and uploading bits and bobs to my YouTube channel! Also, Jason fell asleep in the bath, and I mentally redecorated our entire house whilst browsing Pinterest. So it was pretty much perfect, to be honest! Tell me, how was your weekend? Did you get out in the sun? (Most British question EVER.) And did you BBQ? Shall we have a sharing of really great BBQ recipes in the comments, if you have any? :)

BBQ-beercan-chicken

p.s Photos of me holding food (cheese, cookies etc.) shot by Freya!

p.p.s. I uploaded a new video to my YouTube channel yesterday morning! It’s a vlog of our goings-on from the weekend before last. Go take a peek! :)

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Posted in FAMILY, LONDON, WEEKEND

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19.05

Cider-with-Rosie-wedding-moodboard-1

1. romantic looped up-do, with delicate flower decoration
2. frosted cake topped with peach roses
3. baby’s breath place cards
4. blackberry + thyme sparklers
5. dreamy, soft focus photography
6. string lights + outdoor seating
7. pale blush lace wedding dress.
8. miniature can-baked naked cakes.
9. modern blush bridesmaid’s gown, + a loosely tied posy.

Jason and I are in the tricky initial stages of wedding planning- it’s all ‘big decisions’ and budgeting’ and ‘co-ordinating dates with a hundred people at once’…and all we really want to do is the fun stuff! You know- the colour schemes. Flowers. Stationery-desiging. Dress shopping. Entertainment-booking. We’re getting there though, slowly but surely! We’re right now pulling together ideas for how we want the overall vibe of our wedding to be, and are finding that we share a pretty clear vision of how we want the day to feel. I mean, we’ve not even bickered once…yet! ;)

The general mood we want to create for our wedding day is a fairly relaxed, English country village one. The colour palette is likely to be pretty muted and soft, with plenty of lush green foliage to accent. We’re hoping that we can create a kind of garden party sort of vibe for the day- with guests spilling out of whatever barn or rustic venue we end up hiring, having drinks and playing games and listening to music on the lawns and patio. In the evening we’re hoping to light the place up (both inside and out) with candles and string lights and paper lanterns everywhere, and are looking to hire a swing band to provide great music throughout the day. And that’s just about where we’re at so far! The above images are a pretty good representation of the sort of feel and mood we’re aiming for. I guess you’d maybe called it a Spring wedding theme? Though since we’re potentially going to be having the wedding in early July, it might just have to be a Spring-themed wedding, in Summer!

{All images taken from my wedding board on Pinterest! Click through to follow along, if you’d like! :) }

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Posted in INSPIRATION, PINTEREST, WEDDING

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16.05

Monica-Vinader

Friday! Friday again! It’s come around ridiculously quickly this week. Almost too quickly (and that’s something I never thought I’d say!) It seems as though the weeks are just flying by at the moment, don’t you think? Maybe it’s because I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of summer, and also I’m finding that the more I have on my plate, the shorter the days seem to be as a result. Any one else find that too? We have a busy old weekend planned, this weekend. This evening I’m off out to see a production of Children of Eden at the college my Mum teaches at, tomorrow I’m spending the morning in London with Siobhan and later on am meeting Freya for a mooch round Borough Market, then Sunday Jason and I are going for a second viewing at a wedding venue. Eeeeek! I hope you had a delightful week, and are about to have an even more delightful weekend. Here’s a little list to peruse, of the things that’ve made me most happy this week…

1. Goslings on the lake near our house! (Jason has named them Ryan 1, Ryan 2, and Ryan 3. It took me a minute to work out his joke…;)

2. Getting quicker at editing videos. It used to take me about a million hours to edit one, and now it only takes about half that amount of time. Progress! ;)

3. Meeting the friendliest donkey at the farm I visited on Tuesday afternoon. He was called Harvey, which made me glad because I’m certain 90% of all the farm animals I’ve met in my life are named Rosie. (Fellow ‘Rosies’, have you found this too? I’m genuinely interested!)

4. Natural yoghurt, mixed with blackcurrant jam and raw oats. It’s my new favourite breakfast!

5. Spending time with family over the past weekend. Sometimes I forget what wonders time spent with your closest female relatives can do for the soul!

6. The happiness on Teddy’s face when he finds another dog’s forgotten tennis ball whilst out walking. Happened on three times this week!

7. Free delivery from Boden! (Code is U007, FYI!)

8. Dreaming up honeymoon destinations. I *kind of* want to go to New York…but I know I’ll just wind up photographing/Instagramming the crap out of everything and won’t switch out of work-mode for even one second! ;)

9. Midday text-catchups with my best friend. She tells me which body parts she’s currently examining (she graduates as a doctor next year!) and I tell her what food I’m currently tinkering about with and taking photographs of! Our worlds are pretty different these days, and it makes me laugh ;)

10. Sitting in the sunshine on Wednesday afternoon, drinking tea and watching Teddy have a little run around. It was kind of blissful (and that tea was a *really* good one).

Three posts that’ve made me happy this week :: Rocio’s dairy free passionfruit and chocolate banana ice-cream recipe (with the most beautiful photos!) || Joanna’s ‘Would you rather’ holiday game! Jason and I always play that on holiday! || Sonia’s beautifully simple post about a new addition to her summer wardrobe.

What’s made you happy this week? :)

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23 Comments
Posted in 10 THINGS, HAPPINESS

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