I used to love that French crochet magazine Magic Crochet, which is no longer in print. Jam-packed with designs for doilies and table runners made in thread, with both graphic and written instructions, it featured many lovely and challenging patterns. Now, when shopping for crochet magazines at the newsstand, I’m often disappointed by the usual selection. It’s wonderful that crochet has experienced a revival, but we in North America have been taken back through all the beginner stuff in the past few years. Fortunately the market is maturing a bit and there is a rich treasure trove of inspiration to be found online from North America and beyond. Here are a few of my favourites:
- Crochet Me, an online magazine by Interweave. Interweave Crochet is an excellent publication. Yes, it’s American, but it is far and away above the average magazines.This site has downloadable patterns and e-books, videos and techniques, a gallery of members’ work, and articles by the editors. I enjoyed this post on Crocheted Gifts which encourages us to think beyond hats and scarves. Although beginners are welcomed with plenty of how-to guides, Interweave is also an excellent resource for intermediate and advanced crafters, and their patterns are anything but ordinary. Essays on the history of crochet are frequently published in these issues. http://www.crochetme.com/blogs/crochet_daily/archive/2012/10/04/beyond-hats-crochet-gift-ideas.aspx
- Duplet Magazine and Zhurnal MOD – these are Russion publications with distinctive use of traditional Irish modular crochet patterns. If you thought crochet thread was only for doilies, you must look at this. The magazines only have graphic patterns for the motifs, not full instructions for the garments shown. The text is in Russian but the graphic patterns transcend language and you will love the beautiful outfits. They have everything from bikinis to wedding dresses. If you like to crochet with thread, you will love this magazine. (Note: subscriptions are not available in Canada. I bought a few issues from Ebay.)
- Elann.com, for yarns, patterns, tools, and notions. Based in Canada, Elann sources excellent quality natural fibre yarns including alpaca, wool, and organic cotton. Check often for great deals on luxury yarns from famous name companies. They also have their own store brand with lovely yarns and exclusive patterns. I have always been happy with my orders from Elann. The delivery is quick and the service is excellent.
- Garnstudio Drops Design – this is a manufacturer’s website with a rich pattern library of both knit and crochet. Their patterns feature trendy European designs for adults and children.
- Vogue Knitting – long one of my favourites (for knitting, sewing, and crochet), Vogue has published a number of excellent crochet patterns, and recently published an entire issue devoted to crochet. This is high-fashion, wearable stuff. My mother owned a copy of the Vogue Sewing book, which I read cover to cover (still have to learn to sew, though!). I own the Vogue Knitting book, which is an authoritative guide to design and finishing techniques, many of which can be translated for crochet. Their online crochet site also contains a section of fine finishing techniques for crocheted garments.
What are your favourites? Do you love or loathe the Granny Square? What projects do you have on the go?
A colleague recently brought me some lobster mushrooms (thank you C.J., you rock). My husband was skeptical but he whipped up a batch of chicken and lobster mushroom alfredo with linguine. Even the kids ate it, and they’re picky.
Lobster mushrooms grow wild where we live, and I didn’t know about it until last week! Wow, do I live a sheltered life or what. In future I will be looking for them.
This week I am a hunting widow, which is not a bad thing. More time for crafts!
Anyway, in anticipation of the ELK my husband plans to bring home, here is a recipe entitled Elk Braised in Dark Ale, from EatingElk.com. I haven’t tried it yet, but hope to soon.
In the meantime I will be painting the walls of my Woman Cave (aka craft studio).
Plum Upside-Down Cake
Plum Upside-Down Cake
Sliced plums in a butterscotch sauce top this tender cake. Spelt flour, an ancient cereal grain, gives it a nutty hint.
This article was sent from the Canadian Living Mobile App.
12 oz (375 g) large firm ripe prune or purple plums (3 to 6 plums)
1/2 cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
3 tbsp (45 mL) butter, melted
2/3 cup (150 mL) butter, softened
1 cup (250 mL) packed brown sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange rind
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1-1/4 cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (125 mL) spelt flour
2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
Pinch each nutmeg and salt
2/3 cup (150 mL) milk
Halve and pit plums. Cut each into 6 wedges; set aside. In bowl, whisk sugar with butter until combined. Spread in greased 8-inch (2 L) square metal cake pan; decoratively cover with plums.
Cake: In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in orange rind and vanilla.
In separate bowl, whisk together all-purpose and spelt flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir into butter mixture alternately with milk, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 of milk. Spoon over plums, smoothing top.
Bake in 350°F (180°C) oven until golden and cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.
Run knife around edges of cake; invert onto plate. Scrape any remaining syrupy base over plums. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Per serving about:
- cal: 437
- pro: 6 g
- total fat: 20 g
- sat fat:12 g
- carb: 60 g
- fibre: 2 g
- chol: 110 mg
- sodium: 234 mg
- potassium: 256 mg
- RDI :
- calcium: 9%
- iron: 13%
- vit A: 19%
- vit C: 5%
- folate: 20%